How to Use a Strimmer: Cutting Techniques for a Well-Kept Lawn

how to use a strimmer

A strimmer is a tool that cuts grass and weeds in different terrains and surfaces. It also makes it easier for you to cut grass on the edges of your lawn and your garden. It is one of the best garden power tools to have in your home.

A grass trimmer also makes it easier for you to cut grass using different techniques. It lets you give your garden different finishes. While a strimmer is quite effective in cutting grass on various surfaces, you have to use the right technique as you are cutting grass or else damage the trimming line.

In this guide, we are going to show you how to use a strimmer effectively. We will also show you the different techniques you can use while cutting grass with a strimmer.

How Do Line Strimmers Work

woman trimming grassInstead of using a blade to cut grass like other garden tools, a line strimmer comes with a sturdy nylon line that rotates while cutting long growths in your garden.

All grass trimmers have a motor that triggers the rotary motion of the nylon line and spool. Some strimmers have an auto-feed mechanism that feeds a string through the strimmer head if it wears out. This saves you from the trouble of pulling the string manually from the stringer head. Strimmers also come with a spool that holds the trimming line.

Grass trimmers are powered by different types of fuel. For instance, some grass trimmers are powered by petrol, while others are powered by electricity (i.e., electric strimmer). Battery-powered line trimmers have batteries that offer you different battery capacities. Due to this, may have different features.

Not to mention, the cutting power may differ from one product to another. Some may have a higher cutting power than others. The difference between such strimmer is not big. Take some time to study the different features of your brushcutters.

Precautions to Take When Using Strimmers

Below are important things to remember when using strimmers.

Be on the Lookout for Long Wires

If you are using a brushcutter with a long cable, you should keep the cable away from the trimming line as you are cutting turf. It would help if you also were keen and not walk blindly while cutting grass as you might trip and fall. Apart from that, it would help if you did not work in a wet area. It might be quite risky.

Protect Your Flowerbed

A strimmer can cut and ruin your flower bed quite fast. You should be cautious when using this machine as you are cutting grass near a flowerbed. Apart from that, it would be best to be extra careful as you are cutting near a wall. A grass trimmer can strip off bits of cement from the wall.

Do Not Use It in An Enclosed Space

A petrol-powered strimmer emits carbon monoxide—a hazardous gas that can harm your body. Using petrol grass trimmers or brushcutters in an enclosed area is dangerous. If you are planning to use it in an enclosed space, remember to open all the windows.

Once you finish cutting, store your petrol string trimmer in a safe place. Please keep it away from fire and any other material that may start a fire.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using a String Trimmer

Step 1: Wear Protective Gear

A cutting line cuts unwanted growths in a rotary motion. Some string trimmers have a speed of 2,500 rotations per minute. Due to this, the trimmer head can throw different types of debris in different directions.

To prevent any accidents from happening, you have to wear protective gear. Wear a pair of gloves and shoes made from a strong material. You should also wear a helmet that covers your face entirely. When it comes to safety gear, always choose the product the offers both durability and a high level of protection.

Apart from that, you should wear a pair of trousers while you are clearing turf with a strimmer in your hand.

Step 2: Remove Any Stones in Your Garden or Cut Area

If a string trimmer comes into contact with a stone, it might throw it in different directions and cause havoc. You have to remove the stones that might be in your lawn or garden. You should also get rid of the stones along the cut path to prevent damage to the tips.

You should also remove the obstructions in your garden. Examples of such obstructions include garden furniture and gardening tools.

Step 3: Start the Grass Strimmer

The next thing that you need to do is to start the strimmer. Since brushcutters have different designs, the start mechanism might differ from one strimmer to another. However, most trimmers have a power switch that allows you to start the motor.

Not to mention, brush cutters come with a manual that guides you in this process.

Step 4: Check the Direction of the Rotation

A strimmer displaces grass in different directions, depending on the rotation of the trimming line. For example, if a trimmer line rotates in a clockwise direction, it will displace debris towards the strimmer’s right side.

Using this type of grass trimmer, you have cut from the right side towards the left side. This gives you a better view of the area that you are working on. Moving your grass trimmer towards the right side might be challenging if it’s your first time using the tool.

Step 5: Make Sure the Tip Reaches the Grass

As mentioned earlier, a grass trimmer comes with a trimming line that makes it easier for you to cut grass. The tip of the trimmer is the part that cuts the grass. Hovering a strimmer over grass doesn’t do much.

For a brushcutter to cut effectively, the tip of the trimmer’s cutting head has to come into contact with the grass.

You can use a grass trimmer using four different cutting techniques; screeding, scything, edging, and tapering.

How to Get Rid of Grass and Weeds in Lawns: 4 Cutting Techniques

Screeding

This technique is used to get rid of nasty weed plants that might be growing on your patio or on your pavements. While this technique effectively eliminates weed plants from different surfaces, you might damage your trimming line if you use your grass trimmer on a very hard surface.

Strimming Grass by Edging

Just as the name sounds, this technique is used for trimming grass on the edge of a lawn. An edge trimmer makes it easier for you to style the edge of your lawn.

The spool of the brush cutter should be parallel to the surface that you are planning on working on. Raise the spool of the grass trimmer to a certain height. After that, start the brush cutter and walk along the garden’s edge to cut the grass that might be on that surface. While you might not get the perfect edge on your first attempt, the results will improve when you repeat this process.

Scything

Scything is a technique that makes it easier for you to cut around different types of obstacles. This technique also works when you’re strimming long grass before using a lawnmower.

This is the process of moving the grass trimmer from one end of your working space to the other end of your working space in a U shape. You can also overlap the previous scythes if you want to get an even and attractive cut. If you’re going to get a wavy finish, you separate the scythes.

Tapering

This technique makes it easier for you to get a fading effect around different obstacles that might be around your lawn. In short, it is cutting the grass to another level that is different from the surrounding area. Trying your hand at this cutting technique makes it easier for you to achieve a certain cut finish as you work around trees and poles.

Using Strimmers Correctly

And there you have it, everything you need to know on how to use a strimmer.

Using a strimmer is relatively easy. It allows you to cut grass using different techniques such as tapering, scything, screening, and edging. With such methods and with the best strimmer, you can easily cut grass in different areas.

A strimmer also makes it easier for you to cut grass on the edges of your lawn. Another thing to consider is that, unlike a lawnmower, this power tool lets you cut around obstacles. You can also use it to cut grass in parts and areas that are not easily accessed.

Make sure that you store it in a safe place once you finish using it. It would help if you also clean your strimmer regularly to keep it in the best condition.

Do you use a strimmer and other garden tools on your lawn? How do you get the most out of them? Share your best tips and tricks in the comments.

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