Caring For a String Lawn Trimmer – Part One

Besides your lawnmower, your trimmer could be the most used tool when it comes to maintaining your lawn. The trimmer can be used to edge the lawn and garden and cut grass in areas where a lawnmower is unable to reach.

Just as you have a seasonal routine for maintaining your lawnmower, you should also have one for maintaining your trimmer. (Courtesy: Phillip Thorn at

Just as you have a seasonal routine for maintaining your lawnmower, you should also have one for maintaining your trimmer.
(Courtesy: Phillip Thorn at

Just as in the case of your lawnmower, a trimmer must be maintained so that it can perform to its ultimate capability.

Creating a seasonal maintenance schedule is a good way to develop a routine in maintaining the trimmer. Here are some suggestions.

When The Lawn Care Season Begins

As the spring approaches you will want to do a number of things to prepare your trimmer for the coming tasks. This includes:

· Replacing the cutting line with fresh string. Changing the line regularly at this time of the year may prove a necessity because trimmer cutting lines age quickly and thus become brittle. In this condition, the line can break more easily.
· Replacing the spark plug on gas-powered trimmers.
· Carefully balancing the trimmer. It is important that you feel comfortable using the trimmer on day one of the lawn care season and properly balancing it will help to assure that. Set the handle so it feels comfortable when you trim or edge. Inspect the debris shield that covers the cutting line for cracks or other damage. If damage is found, replace the shield.
· Gas string trimmers that are powered by a two-stroke engine require the proper mixing of oil and fuel. Check your owners’ manual for the right ratio.

During the Lawn Care Season

Actions to take to assure the regular maintenance of the trimmer during the lawn care season include:

· Always checking to see that the intake vents near the air filter of a gas-powered trimmer are clear of debris so the engine will work properly.
· Cleaning or replacing a gas trimmer’s air filter as needed. This chore is required more often in dry, dusty conditions.
· Making certain that the carburetor idle speed is slow so that the cutting edge of a gas trimmer doesn’t turn. This assures that you can operate the centrifugal clutch that keeps the cutting head spinning.

Preparing the Trimmer for winter

Actions you should take before storing the trimmer for the winter include:

· Adding stabilizer to the fuel and running the engine to distribute it through the fuel lines and carburetor.
· Thoroughly cleaning outer surfaces and clearing debris from all intake and exhaust vents.
· Spraying a degreaser on the greasy and dirty areas of the trimmer, leaving it for 10 to 15 minutes and then wiping clean.
· Removing a gas trimmer’s spark plug and adding an ounce of oil into the cylinder. Slowly pull the trimmer’s starter cord to distribute the oil over moving parts to prevent rust and reinstall the plug.
· Rinsing the trimmer and drying it thoroughly before storing.
· Storing the trimmer in a clean, dry area as described in the owners’ manual.

Next time, how to replace the air filter and spark plug and how to check and add oil.

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.