How to keep string trimmer line from sticking

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A string trimmer is second to none when it comes to mowing hard-to-access areas like around boulders, fences, or irregular terrain making it a must-have garden tool.

Of course, a string trimmer is pretty versatile and you can use it in myriad other applications including getting rid of weeds and edging out lines for a crisp looking yard.

But users often encounter the issue of the tool getting stuck when attempting to restring it after taking the head apart.

This guide will teach you how to keep string trimmer line from sticking , if you have been struggling with this problem.

Let’s get down to business.

How to keep string trimmer line from sticking

A string trimmer (also goes by the names weed eater, weed trimmer, weed whacker, whipper snipper, line trimmer and more depending on where you live) is a pain when it repeatedly gets stuck.

So here are five little hacks you can employ to keep it from  getting all jammed up—and hopefully, you will see the last of the frustrating tendency. 

1.   Wrap it correctly

This sounds pretty obvious and it is: forget about it feeding well if you’re doing something wrong when loading the string trimmer line.

The correct way is first making sure that you wrap your string evenly.

Then, it’s recommended that you complete a level before letting it lodge on top of the other levels.

That’s because upper levels get into the spaces left by the previous windings and later block the strimmer line from feeding seamlessly.

Additionally, keep it straight and try to keep the line smooth (avoid over-tightening) lest the line bunches up and jams.

Be sure to check your product’s owners’ manual or website and follow the procedure given in there.

Being careful when wrapping the line usually does the trick. 

Don’t worry if you can’t seem to get it right: it took some of us months of practice to crack it and you’ll soon be okay.

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2.   Spray the string trimmer line with WD-40

Most of us hardly lack a can of WD-40 (also known as Water Displacement, 40th formula) in the cupboard.

What you don’t know is that it’s a multipurpose problem solver and it could be all it takes to prevent your string trimmer line from getting jammed constantly.

So grab your WD-40 can and spray all of your line until it’s soaked.

This stops the line from binding together and the line should subsequently work just fine.

A silicone spray would also be an excellent option and tends to catch less dust than WD-40.

The good thing is that there is an enormous choice here and you can even substitute WD-40 with things such as:

  • Motor oil- sprinkle some motor oil (apply it generously) as you load the line.  It again works decently and may halt your problems.
  • Fluid Film– you can try this instead of WD-40 or motor oil. You want to spray it well on the spool (after you restring) for the best result.
  • Vegetable oil– you can use standard vegetable oil as well.

3.   Replace the line with one having the correct diameter

Another awesome hack that works like a charm is ensuring that the trimmer line is not too thick.

You see, replacement lines for various weed eater models come in a specified diameter.

Subsequently, it will jam if you have replaced it with one that’s too thick.

The best place to confirm the right diameter for your unit is once again the operator’s manual.

Go through it and note the recommended diameter and order one that’s right.

Next, detach the head cover and mount the recommended line following the steps listed in your owner’s manual.

4.   Check that you were not duped into buying junk

The final potential cause of your endless hiccups is that you bought a crappy string trimmer line!

It’s an open secret that some of the inexpensive models out there are pretty low quality and never run fine in the long run.

I have seen them at some hardware stores and they’re a disappointment, to say the least.

Sadly, buying another make/model is the only solution we can think of if you have tried everything else without much success

If buying online, it’s best to peep through the comments made by other buyers as you do your research.

It will give you an excellent idea about the quality of each brand you’re considering and could save you bucks.

5.   One last thing: could it be the trimmer head?

I should add that trimmer heads have been mentioned as also contributing to spooler/head problems and you shouldn’t ignore that possibility.

In fact, the head is the single most critical part of any line trimmer and could bring up plenty of issues if it’s not functioning properly or is mismatched.

Inspect its status and see if it’s the real culprit.

Some cool aftermarket models are available in the market if you can’t find an OEM head in case you choose to take the replacement route.

That’s how to keep string trimmer line from sticking and keep your device working like a well-oiled German machine.

One final piece of advice: when troubleshooting this headache, start with the simplest solution which is making sure that the string is wound on the spool correctly.

This solution works for most owners and you may be surprised that it’s your haphazard wounding that has been causing the line to jam all along.

Explore the reasons why your trimmer line keeps breaking

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