Using A String Trimmer the Right Way

These tips will help you use your string trimmer (or you might call it a weed wacker) like a professional landscaper. You’ll learn how to avoid scalping the grass and your favorite clematis, or scar valuable trees and shrubs.

Type of String Trimmer

In this article we used a straight-shaft string trimmer which we like better than a curved-shaft type. Why? Because it’s easier to control when you’re using it under smaller trees and shrubs or other hard to reach areas.

Spin Direction:

The biggest question is what direction to use a string trimmer. The answer depends on which way the debris goes when you’re cutting.
. If debris ejects from the left side and cuts best from the right, the line spins counter clockwise. So keep your right side closer to the work as you move along a fence or curb. That way the weeds and grass you’re cutting will eject out of the cutting path instead of into it.
Edging_with_string_trimmer. If debris ejects from the right side and cuts best from the left, the line spins clockwise. So you’d keep your left side closer to the work.
. A clockwise spin tends to be better for left-handed people; a counter-clockwise rotation is best if you’re right-handed.

You don’t want to scalp the grass, so don’t just hover the string trimmer over the grass and let it cut. 
Tip: The ends of the string is where the cutting power is.
When using the string trimmer, always start by positioning the string trimmer a few inches above the grass level and slowly lower it to the desired length. This ensures an even, controlled cut.

. Trimming is best for cutting or trimming grass. Hold the string trimmer so the strings hit the grass at a slight (5-10 degree) angle. Move side to side.

. Edging is a great way to accentuate the borders of the lawn to make it look cleaner. To do this, hold the tool vertically to the ground (90-degree angle) and move along the edges to remove the top layers of turf.

. Tapering is cutting the edge of the grass at a 45-degree angle to blend the edge with the mowed height of the grass for a nice, clean look.

. Scything is handy when in tall grass or against an obstruction. Move the string trimmer in a “U” motion into and out of the work.

Additional Grass and Weed Trimmer Tips and Tricks:

• The tip of the string does the bulk of the cutting
• Be aware of what’s around you. Flip the guard down to avoid damage to trees, plants, bushes, fences, sprinkler heads and decorative rocks or stones.
• Always have extra trimmer string/line on hand.
• The Mantis Cordless String Trimmer is a fast, easy way to do the grass trimming and edging.



  1. I’ve had a mantis string trimmer for several years. I appreciate your tips. I’ll try to utilize them when summer arrives.

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