How Do I Use a Grass Trimmer? A How to Guide

How Do I Use a Grass Trimmer? A How to Guide

How To Use A grass Trimmer / Strimmer

The grass trimmer proves to be a versatile device, serving as an invaluable tool in maintaining the pristine appearance of your lawn. Regardless of the propulsion system, trimmers exhibit a wide range of designs and sizes. However, they all operate on the same fundamental principles.

Referred to by various names such as grass trimmers, weed-whackers, line trimmers, and string trimmers, these versatile tools excel in achieving meticulously defined border edges, maneuvering around challenging landscapes like trees and garden ornaments, and taming larger areas of overgrown vegetation. When confronted with tasks such as working alongside garden walls or handling sloping grassy areas, where conventional lawn mowers are inadequate, a grass strimmer asserts itself as an indispensable tool to have.

Spin Direction of the Spool

Having a clear understanding of the spin direction plays a vital role in maximizing the effectiveness of your grass trimmer. If the line rotates in an anti-clockwise direction, it will expel grass debris from the left side and achieve optimal cutting efficiency on the right side.

Consequently, when the spin is anti-clockwise and you are operating alongside a fence or curb, it is crucial to keep the right side of your body closer to the working area. This positioning ensures that the trimmer head expels the grass to the left, preventing it from being discharged onto the path you are trying to clear. Failing to maintain this arrangement can lead to complications, such as the trimmer becoming obstructed or slowed down.

Different Types of Cutting Techniques

Parallel Cutting

The most commonly employed technique with a grass trimmer is parallel cutting. By maintaining a level position, the trimmer's line angle facilitates a straightforward and straight cut. Ensuring a stable footing prevents any height variations caused by weight transfers. This method is particularly effective for fences or walls, although a small mistake can lead to uneven cutting heights.


Tapering is a useful technique that involves tilting the trimmer at an angle, allowing the leading edge of the line to cut the grass. By creating an angled cut, this method achieves a cleaner and more visually appealing appearance along fenced edges.


Edging offers a fantastic way to add precise finishing touches to the lawn's edges, typically around flowerbeds or driveways. It involves removing any protruding blades of grass or debris, resulting in crisp edges. Using a grass trimmer, simply adjust the line orientation to be perpendicular to the grass, enabling vertical cuts. Some Flymo models feature rotating heads, making edging even easier. With most Flymo products, the head can rotate 90 degrees, simplifying edging along the lawn's periphery.


When dealing with longer grass, the scything technique proves efficient for covering large areas swiftly. To execute this method, swing the grass trimmer in a circular U-shaped motion around yourself. Maintaining a steady position ensures a uniform and well-groomed cut.

How Does a Grass Trimmer Work?

A grass trimmer is a garden tool that employs a nylon line instead of a blade to cut grass. The propulsion system rapidly spins the wire, enabling it to effortlessly cut through the grass. Through the principle of centrifugal force, the line becomes stiffer as it spins faster, making it more effective at cutting through garden debris. To ensure user safety, the head of the grass trimmer is covered by a shield that protects against contact with the cutting line and any debris thrown up.

Grass trimmers can be powered by various sources. Petrol-powered trimmers tend to be the most powerful, as their internal combustion engines can spin the wire at high speeds. This type of machine is particularly effective for dense patches of grass. For smaller tasks, electric or battery-powered grass trimmers are suitable, as they don't require as much power. Electric trimmers typically come with a cable that needs to be plugged into a mains power socket. It's important to consider the length of the cable, usually around 10-12 meters, to ensure it can cover your garden before purchasing the machine.

One drawback of grass trimmers is that the line can break, although it is relatively inexpensive to replace. Common reasons for line breakage include:

  1. Close Contact: The most frequent cause of breakage is when the head comes into harsh contact with objects in the garden, such as stones, walls, or paving edges, causing the line to snap.
  2. Incorrect Parts: Breakages can occur due to the use of incorrect parts. It's important to refer to the manufacturer's instructions for guidance on the proper parts to use.
  3. Wear and Tear: Unfortunately, wear and tear can also affect the trimmer. Even a well-maintained product can be affected over time. Cold temperatures during winter can make the nylon line brittle. Storing the nylon line in a warm place during the cold months can help prevent this.

To prolong the lifespan of your grass trimmer, it's important to keep it clean. A clean trimmer will always perform better than a dirty one. Dirt and debris can accumulate in the trimmer head, clogging the line mechanism and reducing its spinning efficiency.

Maintaining your Garden Trimmer


Disclaimer: The information provided has been prepared as a guide only and the steps taken are likely to vary for different appliance models. We strongly recommend using a qualified engineer to undertake major repairs and fault finding.


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