Behind lawnmowers, weed whackers are some of the most popular tools for keeping a lawn in check. However, if you don’t know how to use a weed wacker, they can be one of the most frustrating tools in your arsenal. Fortunately, this guide will offer you some easy tips to implement to use yours correctly. In no time at all, you’ll be out there creating ideal borders of perfect and consistent height.
How Weed Eaters Work
First, if you’ve never used a weed whacker before, rest assured they’re one of the most user-friendly machines out there. They have one moving part, at the very end of the shaft, which is a rotating head. This head spins string around in circles at high RPMs to cut down grass and weeds.
There are no blades, wheels or guides to worry about. However, that rotating string is extremely dangerous. So your weed whacker should have a protective shell over it and you would do well to keep your hands away from it unless the machine is completely off. As always, be sure to read the manual. The owners manual will cover the basics and should have you on your way, but every machine is different.
Using and maintaining a gas weed eater
We’ll start by covering how to use a weed wacker that is gas-fueled because the majority of them still are. So let’s first start by filling the machine up with gas. You should find the gas tank right by the handle bar. Take care not to let it overfill, as the surrounding area will heat up some while the machine is on and you don’t wanted to be working near hot gas. Also, most people don’t bother with any kind of fuel other than just unleaded. Anything else is probably a waste of money.
Now, on most units, you’ll need to prime it. There should be a plastic bubble by the gas cap. Press that in between 5 and 10 times. Check your manual to confirm how many times or it may be written near the bubble. If you don’t prime the unit, it won’t start. However, if you do so too much, you’ll flood the engine and need to wait before it will work.
Beginning with an Electric Unit
Electric units are far easier. You should simply have a start lever to hit, and that will be it. If it doesn’t work, however, this either means you need a new battery (if it takes one), or there’s a bad connection. Be sure you turn the machine off before investigating.
Clearing Grass and Weeds
Before you turn the machine on, don a pair of safety goggles. Debris will fly, and it will sometimes do so fast given the speeds at which your machine is cutting. Then, hold the weed whacker with both hands (one on the handle bar, one at the grip) at roughly a 30-degree angle and slowly apply it to the areas you’re wishing to clear.
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