How to Change the String on a String Trimmer


A gas or electric string trimmer makes fast work of weeds in the yard. The thick, plastic cord whips around at high speed to cut down dandelions, crabgrass and other undesirable growth. Over time, the string wears out and a new length must be pulled from the spool inside the trimmer. When the line runs out, respooling only takes a few minutes with household tools.

Step 1

Disconnect an electric trimmer from the power or remove the spark-plug wire from a gas trimmer.

Step 2

Turn the trimmer upside down and check the housing cover for the line spool. Although the construction varies with different trimmer models, most covers are attached with two plastic tabs that fit into slots on the housing.

Step 3

Turn the cover counter-clockwise while holding the housing with one hand. The cover may need to be pressed down as it is turned to release the two plastic tabs. Use the screwdriver if necessary to pop off the cover.

Step 4

Remove the cover and set aside.

Step 5

Lift the line spool from the center spindle inside the trimmer housing.

Step 6

Remove any old string from the trimmer with scissors.

Step 7

Attach new string to the trimmer spool by inserting the end of the string in one of the holes inside the spool and treading it through the other hole.

Step 8

Wrap the string two to three times around the spool counter-clockwise, then tie the end of the string to the line with an overhand knot.

Step 9

Wind new string around the spool counter-clockwise to the fill mark on the inside of the spool. Do not overfill with string.

Step 10

Clip the string with scissors and place the spool back on the spindle inside the trimmer housing.

Step 11

Thread the string through the outer hole in the side of the housing.

Step 12

Place the string inside the housing into the V-shaped clip that prevents the string from unwinding and becoming tangled inside the housing.

Step 13

Replace the housing cover and turn clockwise until the two tabs snap into place.

Step 14

Pull the string out from the housing to check the length. If it extends beyond the safety guard around the trimmer, clip the excess length with a scissor.

Things You'll Need

  • String trimmer
  • Replacement string
  • Flat-blade screwdriver
  • Scissors


  • Restringing a trimmer
  • Trimmer repair and maintenance
Keywords: Weed whackers, gardening power tools, replacing string on a grass trimmer

About this Author

Evan Burgess is an award-winning writer with 20+ years of experience, covering business, politics and government, the arts, public relations and marketing. His popular film blog can be seen at He received his bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master's degree from the University of Virgina.