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How to Reload a Trimmer Line

What is a Trimmer?

Trimmers have many, many different names, depending on how and where you grew up: weedwhackers, strimmers, or whipper snippers. All over the world, there are different names for this relatively simple piece of equipment, but it’s most commonly referred to as a trimmer in the United States of America.
For more information on the difference between a trimmer and a brush cutter, have a look at one of our other articles that you can find here on our website: “best brush cutter.”

Young worker mowing lawn with grass trimmer outdoors on sunny day

A trimmer is a long, hand-held piece of equipment, often supported by a harness worn around the operator’s torso. This just helps to bear some of the load and reduce fatigue while using it. A motor of some kind (usually powered by gasoline or electricity) converts stored energy into kinetic energy, turning the trimmer head at the base of the device. Attached to this head is what is, in essence, a glorified piece of string. This is technically known as a “trimmer line.”

The trimmer line spins quickly from the rotational movement of the trimmer head. The faster the head spins, the tauter the string becomes. This is due to centrifugal force always pushing outwards, away from the rotational movement. Think of how, if you stand on the edge of a roundabout as someone pushes it, you are always being forced off from the rotational forces. You will see the same principle applied to the trimmer head.

What is a Trimmer Line?

Brush cutter and trimmer round line

The tauter the trimmer line is, the stronger it will technically be. The stronger it is, the more cutting power it will have. Although it’s only a piece of string, there should be no trouble for this trimmer line to cut through grass, not-so-dense weeds, and even small woody plants like saplings.

When the trimmer line hits the item you’re trying to cut (in this example, let’s say a weed), it encounters an obstructive force that will slow it down somewhat, despite cutting through it. As the line slows down, it becomes less able to cut through vegetation and other things you might need it to.

This is why, when using a trimmer, the operator always has to gently move it back and forth into the vegetation and back out again. This helps the trimmer head get back up to speed, so it has the maximum cutting potential available.

When Should You Change the Trimmer Line?

Lawn mower pulls the line out of the trimmer coil - maintenance

The trimmer line is designed for cutting, but this, of course, makes it the main subject of wear and tear on the tool. So when should you change it?

Here are three situations where it’s important to change your trimmer line:

  1. If the old one breaks – this one goes without saying, really. If your old piece of string has broken, your trimmer is almost useless without it, and so it’s vital to change it. It’s unusual to see a trimmer line break if it’s being used correctly.
  2. When there is not much left in the spool – again, clearly, you will need more string so that you don’t run out.
  3. After a period of inactivity – not using your trimmer may result in the line becoming brittle. A brittle trimmer line is considerably more likely to break than a normal one.

How to Replace a Trimmer Line

Orange spool with trimmer line close up - check filling, technic

Thankfully, changing a trimmer line is no difficult task and shouldn’t take you more than 10 or 15 minutes at most. (Note – there are different types of spool available, but the most common is a dual-sided one, and we will use this model as the example to explain how to change your trimmer line)

  1. First, cut your new string to size. You usually need about 10 feet on each side. There are two possible ways to do this, the first being to use a twin-strand split line (recommended), and the other to cut two lengths of line to 10 feet each.
  2. After this, you need to remove the trimmer head to give you access to the inner reel. This is usually done by unscrewing the bump knob. You should then be able to take the reel and the spring out.
  3. On the reel, you should see two holes at the top. Feed both strands of your trimmer line through just one of these holes (it doesn’t matter which) and pull it all the way through until there are only a couple of inches left. After this, loop these couple of inches through the second hole and tighten it.
  4. Once it’s tight, wind the long bit of the line around the reel, making sure that it’s even and taut.
  5. When you have about half a foot left, push both strands of the string into the holding slots.
  6. You should then reattach the spring to the shaft of the trimmer, feeding the trimmer line through the eyelets of the spring head.
  7. Put the reel back on, making sure to match up the holding slots of the reel with the eyelets of the spring head. Then reassemble the head.
  8. To ensure everything is working properly, gently pull on the lines. If they come out without any resistance, all is good.

After this, you should be locked, loaded, and ready to roll.

Conclusion

We hope you have found this article on how to reload a trimmer line interesting. Be sure to check back in for new content!

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