Ways to Use a Weed Wacker Properly
Along with maintaining a safe distance from pets and children, while using a weed wacker, you must also watch out for small wildlife including frogs, snakes, and insects.
A gym is for exercising, while a garden is for relaxation. However, the line of distinction between those two would surely blur when garden maintenance, especially the task of getting rid of unwanted and all-too-frequent weed growth, is taken into consideration.
Thank the Lord that we have our power tools to assist us in this endeavor. Chief among them is the handy weed wacker, also known as weed eater or string trimmer, which makes life much simpler for many homeowners across America.
Though it is easy to use, there are certain safety measures and precautions that one must take while using the weed wacker. So, before attacking that unwanted weed in your garden, go through this Buzzle article to learn about the proper method of using a weed wacker.
How To Use a Weed Wacker
This step has deliberately been named as step 0, because it is something you should do before you start using or even picking up the weed wacker―wear protective gear. The weed wacker comprises a high speed motor. Its spinning, trimming-head is capable of shooting debris with great force in all directions. It may lead to bruising or scarring on the operator’s arms and legs, and in worst cases, it might even hit a sensitive body part such as the eyes.
Therefore, you must wear appropriate protective clothing and gear before you begin the weed cutting process. Wear comfortable long pants, long sleeved shirt, gloves, shoes, protective eye goggles. Also, many weed wackers are quite noisy, so to avoid hearing damage, wearing ear protection is recommended.
Before using the weed wacker, you must run a preliminary diagnostic check. This is to ensure that the device is in a good working condition. The weed wacker user manual usually includes information on this. You should check the functioning of all parts, add trimmer line to the head, and perform other routine inspections as mentioned in the user manual. If you are using a gas-powered weed wacker, then you should inspect the gas level in it and refill if necessary.
The next step involves inspecting and clearing the area where you wish to eliminate the weed. Lookout for stones, pebbles, sticks, items of trash and other debris that may interfere with the weed wacker’s operation, or may get expelled during the cutting process.
Once you have performed the above steps and the related checks, you can start trimming. If you are using an electric weed wacker, then uncoil its wire, plug it into the socket and start it. For a larger area, it is recommended to use a gas-powered trimmer, to avoid the hassle of adding wire extensions. In that case, simply switch it on and commence with the trimming process as described in the next step.
You should hold the weed wacker in a proper way such that, its handle fits comfortably against your hip. The trimming head should be kept parallel to the ground and low enough to cut the grass at least one inch higher than the soil level. If the grass is heat-stressed or of a variety that cannot tolerate close-cropping, then the trimming head of the weed wacker should be held higher.
With the weed wacker powered on, gently swing its handle from side to side while moving forward in short steps. The entire process should be continuous and smooth. Try to maintain the height between the trimming head and the ground throughout the entire trimming process. This will ensure that the grass is cut evenly.
While moving forward, try to partially overlap each new stroke with the previous one. This will help maintain a uniform cut as you proceed. When you reach the end of the area, turn and create a second swath parallel to the first one. Again partially overlap the edge of the second with the edge of the first one. Repeat this process until the entire area to be cut is covered.
To cut the excess grass along sidewalks or plant beds. you will need to learn how to use the weed wacker to ‘edge’. For this, turn the weed wacker at a 90º angle to the ground with the protective shield on its top facing towards you to keep the dirt and debris away. Slowly lower the trimming head until the line cuts into the ground slightly. Try to cut a clean edge as you walk.
Rake up the cut grass and collect it into a large enough sack ready for disposal. Clean the weed wacker according to the cleaning and maintenance instructions mentioned in its user manual and store it until next time.
Weed Wacker Safety Tips
1. Always bear in mind that the weed wacker is a power tool, and therefore, should always be handled with care. It should only be used for chopping weed and shouldn’t ever be tried on other objects.
2. There have been a few incidences involving gruesome accidents where incorrect use of the weed wacker has led to severe injuries. Hence, while trimming grass, you should always try to make a conscious effort to maintain a safe distance from it.
3. If you are using an electric weed trimmer, be careful to avoid contact with water to prevent electrocuting yourself.
4. Try to avoid rocks, bricks, fencing boundaries, and other non-weed objects as it will cause the nylon cutting string of the weed wacker to wear down at a much faster rate.
5. Though it is a power tool, using the weed wacker requires physical strength, which can put a lot of strain on the user. The user’s back, usually, is the most vulnerable as the user is required to continuously carry on the swinging action. Therefore, it is advisable to wear a back brace during the process. Also, wearing grippy gloves can help prevent the strain on the wrists and arms.
Thus, the weed wacker is a neat little power tool that can make the job of cutting unwanted weed much simpler. Ensure that you follow the steps and tips highlighted in this Buzzle article to quickly, easily and safely de-weed your garden.