Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Replace the Pull Cord on a Craftsman Weed Trimmer

By Eric Blankenburg ; Updated September 21, 2017

The pull cord on a Craftsman weed trimmer operates the starter mechanism so the operator can get the combustion process started. The pull cord allows the operator to turn the flywheel by hand until it spins fast enough and the engine takes over the process. This cord can get pulled off from excessive tugging when the engine won’t start or it may get ripped or frayed, forcing the operator to replace the cord before he can start trimming again.

Move the ignition switch on the Craftsman into the “Off” position. Unscrew the starter assembly cover and remove it from the trimmer using the screwdriver. Flip the starter cover over to replace the pull cord.

Cut the old cord off the pulley and the starter handle. Throw the old cord away. Push the new cord through the middle of the pulley, the hole in the starter cover and the center of the starter handle.

Tie a knot above the starter handle and at the base of the pulley. Wind the cord around the pulley until 10 inches remain unwound. Form a loop into the unwound portion.

Pinch the loop at the bottom and wiggle it back and forth until the recoil spring hooks onto the pulley. Hold the starter cover and wind the loop and pulley four to six revolutions to tension the recoil spring. Press and hold the pulley with your thumb.

Let go of the loop and unwind the cord. Lift your thumb off the pulley slowly to let the cord rewind onto the pulley. Add additional revolutions if the handle isn’t tight against the starter cover. Fit the starter cover back onto the engine and tighten it into place.


Things You Will Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Screwdriver
  • Scissors


  • The recoil spring can fly out at any time, so always wear safety glasses.

About the Author


Currently based in Minneapolis, Minn., Eric Blankenburg has been a freelance journalist since 2000. His articles have appeared in "Outside Missoula, Outside Bozeman," "Hello Chengdu" and online at GoNomad.com and various other websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Montana.