Why does my trimmer line keep breaking?

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A trimmer line makes the job of mowing grass or weeds near obstacles like trees and landscaping rocks fun and simpler.

Sadly, trimmer lines are known to notoriously give up prematurely leaving you frustrated and facing another trip to the shop for a replacement.

I know that they were never built to last that long but you will agree with me that they sometimes break too soon.

And it’s pretty annoying. And unhealthy for your finances.

Below we explore the reasons why your trimmer line keeps breaking and measures you can implement to get more life out of these handy landscaping tools.

Why does my trimmer line keep breaking: answered

You had thoroughly researched your string trimmer choice when buying and were convinced that it’s the most durable option.

But alas! It’s broken a couple of weeks later.

So, what’s happening?

Well, here is why your unbreakable trimmer line (you thought this!) failed to hold up (and why you could be to blame!).

1.     You are shunning useful hacks and tricks when cutting

The number one explanation behind your frequent breaking of the trimmer line is flawed trimming technique, especially when working on certain conditions and near some areas.

Here are the common pitfalls and how to protect your trimmer line:

·         Overgrown grass, weeds, or shrubbery

You are exposing your tool to grave danger when trimming and edging thick grass and groundcover and you must stay out of harm’s way.

That’s because the strimmer suffers extreme stress and could break off (in the head) thwarting your efforts to achieve an impeccably groomed lawn that becomes the envy of your entire neighborhood.

Recommended course of action

Knowing how to safely trim a lawn in such zones is key to keeping your trimmer safe.

The idea is to slide the head slowly toward the area you purpose to mow so that you will cut using the tip while exercising due care.

Trust us, a lot of lines break rapidly because of this oversight.

·         Sharp obstacles such as ornamental rocks

Hard surfaces and objects such as walls and rocks are another menace (these can easily break the line) when mowing near them.

Here is how you typically end up with a broken trimmer line as you try to neatly cut the grass around the hard stationary surfaces:

In general, you tend to bring the trimmer the closest possible to the object (also called line crowding) as you endeavor to make that immaculate cut.

Problem is the string will inevitably bend against the target object while doing this and then straighten out with every change of position.

This repeated bend-straighten action may break the string.

At other times (mostly when you are engaged in persistently high speed trimming), the trimmer line melts together further messing the tool.

Recommended course of action

The most important thing is to avoid ‘crowding’ the trimmer head (holding the trimmer head too close to the hazardous obstacles like bricks, cement, or fencing).

Work strategically and aim to get the string just sufficiently close to cut the turf and refrain from bending or twisting it (keep the line fully extended).

Another way of reducing the line breakage problems here is slowing down- bring the throttle speed down to a level where you can manipulate the spinning speed of the trimmers cutting head as desired.

The above hacks also help keep strimmer problems that lead to breaking huge chunks of the line off like hitting fences and boulders. 

2.     Wrong trimmer line type

Another cause of your replacing strimmer line frequently is buying squared or star-shaped lines.

These are known to suffer quicker wear and tear when they come into contact with concrete, trees, and more.

Disguising above ground septic system using artificial rocks

Recommended course of action

If this is you, it could be the time to test round trimmer lines (the shaft is rounded and completely circular in shape).

These are more durable (the best brands use super sturdy nylon components) and slash even through fairly overgrown grass with no dramas.

Indeed, they come most recommended by experts for residential yards. Read more on the best aftermarket weed eater heads here.

3.     Its time is up (nothing you can do here)

Trimmer lines or line trimmers as they’re otherwise known are engineered to wear out in about 5 years no matter the thickness or material used.

Not even the tough reinforced copolymer nylon –touted as wear resistant by some manufacturers- will escape natural weakening over time because of the unpreventable stress as you trim and edge grass.

Of course, we implore you to select the best trimmer line (that suits your budget) always.

But keep in mind that you will need to go shopping after 5 years (it has now grown old and brittle) the fact that you are practicing the previously mentioned string trimmer tricks notwithstanding.

Dos and Don’ts!

We won’t lie about it serving you for eternity but the following dos and don’ts can help you get longer service out of your line (and save you money).

  • Do keep the trimmer out of the sun. It makes the wire become brittle.
  • Don’t catch the trimmer line on objects. The friction causes tons of heat that can cause melting.
  • Do change the eyelets if too “sharp”. The same goes for the grommets.
  • Don’t go too deep. The extra pressure is no good.
  • Do try a different brand (if already using a round-shaped line)
  • Don’t wind the trimmer line too tightly. It causes abundant feeding and breakage issues.

If you have been asking yourself “Why does my trimmer line keep breaking?”, then the above tips and tricks will help you to easily identify and sort the problem and save money and time.

Hopefully, your tool will last as long as the manufacturer designed it to and help you maintain a pristinely manicured bed of grass.

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