String Technique: The Best Way to Use a Grass Trimmer

Lawn maintenance is an art as many avid gardeners will tell you. Mowing the lawn with the right equipment is one of the most important tools you will need. The lawn mower has been the main equipment used for centuries; while the hedge trimmers or hedge shears are generally used to manicure the edgings and getting into those hard to reach spots around flower pots and flower beds. The grass trimmers have eliminated the extra work of manicuring and cleaning around these hard to reach areas and have even replaced the trusty lawn mower. Although the grass trimmer is simple to use, like all tools there are guidelines and instructions published by the manufacturers’ for safety reasons which must be adhered.

String Position When Cutting Grass

Before cutting, turn on the grass trimmer to determine which way the string rotates. If it rotates anti-clockwise then the cutting edge is on the right side and the waste chute will be on the left. If the reverse position is determined then everything is in the reverse as indicated above. To begin cutting your grass, position the waste chute away from the fence or wall; if positioned with the waste chute along the wall while cutting, you will find you have a pile of grass cuttings to contend with which will clog your path and make it more difficult to cut properly.

Angle the string down and the body of the trimmer up and away from the fence, using the tip of the string to cut the grass. This angled position will give you a cleaner look to your fence line or lawn edge and is called tapering.  Using the body of the string to cut may damage the string and cause breakage, and may give you an uneven height grass after cutting. This technique is called parallel cutting.

Using the grass trimmer to cut a wider area as the entire lawn will take some skill, as you have to get your whole body involved. Holding the trimmer sweep it in a semi-circular motion over the grass and you will be able to cover and cut a wider expanse of lawn.

Preparation before Using the Grass Trimmer

  • Wear clothing that covers and protect your body completely. Long sleeve shirts, thick trousers, heavy boots with steel toes, thick, comfortable garden gloves, protective visors as well as dust masks are all very important gear to wear.
  • Search the grass before cutting to get rid of any debris that may get caught in the path of the trimmer strings; these will become missiles and can travel as fast as 300mph in any direction. This is very dangerous to eyes as well as windows and car windshields. Secure any cables and electrical wires that may be in use on the ground, if caught in the trimmer strings they may be damaged badly.
  • Position the grass trimmer so as to avoid persons passing in the vicinity of you cutting the grass. If unable to secure persons from injury it is best to turn the machine off and allow them to pass. Children should be in a secure area away from any possible missiles that will cause injury.

Owning a grass trimmer comes with a lot of responsibility, but used correctly will give you years of service and have a lawn and garden admired by all.

Walter Brown

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