Many industrial tools now have household versions; the string trimmer, also known as a weed whacker, is one of them. With any heavy-duty equipment, users wonder about possible injuries and the likelihood of experiencing them. The most common safety question about string trimmers is whether they can cut skin.
String trimmers can cut your skin. They can also cut through your fingers or other objects. The “blade” is sharp and causes lacerations easily. Protecting yourself from head to toe before using one would be best. Additionally, it would help if you take particular caution with your eyes and hands.
Different sources give varying advice, so you may be confused about how much string trimmers can hurt you. This article explains how a string trimmer can injure you and offers tips on safely using one.
How a String Trimmer Cuts Your Skin
The fact that a string trimmer can cut your skin isn’t meant to scare or discourage you from using one but is a friendly reminder not to be irresponsible when working with such equipment.
Many guides and users will argue about the low likelihood of injuries happening with a weed whacker or how you shouldn’t worry because it won’t happen to you. However, you shouldn’t forget that accidents happen, with severe consequences.
Those who take the proper precautions and are vigilant while using string trimmers will be less likely to experience the following:
You can get cut by the “blade” itself or from sharp pieces of plastic, rocks, or wood which are ejected by it. The most common areas to get cut are ankles, knees, legs, and arms. You can get cut as high as your neck or face if you’re not careful.
You’ll also notice that the clothes you wear (if they aren’t the proper protective gear or are made of rubber) will also get cut. Small holes or tears can happen where debris reaches the most.
Being covered is key to protecting yourself from getting cut.
Small rocks or other solid objects can be launched at you if you’re going hard on the ground. You may not notice the pain when it happens, but you could have minor bruises on your hands or legs.
Bruises aren’t as common as other injuries, but the higher your string trimmer’s power, the worse it can hurt you. You should avoid forcing your tool onto solid material that is present, such as rocks, plastic objects, etc. Try to work around them rather than through them.
3. Eye Damage
The worst injuries users or passersby have experienced because of string trimmers are related to their eyes.
Since debris, such as rocks, pieces of wood, random plastic, etc., are so sharp, they quickly go into your eyes. This can cause anything from mild irritation to blindness.
The majority of irreparable damage to the body in string trimmer accidents has to do with the eye. Anyone within the vicinity of live weed whackers is at risk.
Goggles or safety glasses are non-negotiables for keeping your eyes safe. It isn’t recommended to substitute them with your prescription glasses or sunglasses.
Additionally, don’t remove the plastic guard any string trimmer comes with. It is installed for your protection.
3 Safety Tips on Using String Trimmers
Knowing the possible harm a string trimmer can cause shouldn’t scare you off. Conquer your fear by taking the right steps and making the right decisions with such a tool.
1. Wear the Right Gear
Make sure your skin is covered from head to toe. Wear rubber boots that cover your knees as well for maximum protection near the line of fire.
Cover your eyes with appropriate eyewear and if you’re a big believer in “Better Safe Than Sorry,” wear a plastic face cover.
Consider using the following gear while using a string trimmer for safety:
- Face Shield (if you don’t already have one, here’s a good one you can buy on Amazon)
- Rubber Boots
- Protective Eye Goggles (You probably already have one of these, but if not, you should definitely get one. Here’s a good one you can buy on Amazon.)
- Safety Gloves
2. Make Sensible Choices
It can seem tempting to force your way through your lawn/area with the string trimmer, but that isn’t a smart choice.
If you’re feeling like there’s random material coming your way and you’re cutting through more junk than greens, change your tactics.
Work your way around rocks, plastic, or other objects littering your work area.
3. Don’t Mess With Your Tool
It’s understandable if you customize your tools according to your liking, but ensure that it doesn’t compromise your safety.
Some users will recommend removing the guard your string trimmer comes with or using higher settings than needed. Don’t listen to them, even if you’re experienced.
Freak accidents can happen anytime, anyplace, with anyone.
Should You Wear Goggles While Using a String Trimmer?
Wearing goggles is essential while using a string trimmer. The eyes are the most vulnerable part of your body when you’re around a string trimmer. You can injure your eyes while using one or even standing nearby. Always wear goggles or other forms of eye protection until the string trimmer is off.
How Should I Remove a Tangled Object From My Weed Whacker?
Please turn off your weed whacker before you decide to mess with it. If something becomes stuck in it or it isn’t performing correctly, switch it off and cautiously inspect the problem.
Is a Manual Lawn Mower Safer than a String Trimmer?
Logically, as a lawn mower isn’t automated, you have more control over its actions. It also isn’t strong enough to break apart objects. So it’s safer than a string trimmer, which works at high speed and has enough force to break apart weak rocks, sticks, etc.
A string trimmer is dangerous enough to cause serious medical injuries. As a responsible user, you should take all safety precautions necessary. In case of a problem with the machine, please don’t take it upon yourself to fix it. As for a medical emergency, you should take prompt action so the injury doesn’t worsen.