Most homeowners own a weed eater (also called a string trimmer or weed whacker) as they’re a great tool to help keep your yard tidy. But one of the most frustrating things about them is when the trimmer line runs out or breaks and you’re only midway through a garden clean-up!
So how do you figure out how long the trimmer line should last so you can be prepared?
On average, a spool of trimmer line should last two to three months assuming an hour of use every week for most casual users. This can vary depending on the model of weed eater used, how strong the line is, and the type of grass and weeds you’re cutting with it.
As there are so many factors involved, I’ve written this post to show you how to get the most mileage out of your trimmer string. I’ll cover topics like why it breaks, how to tell when it’s time to replace it, and what to do to make it last longer.
Keep reading to find out all you need to know before your next session tidying up the lawn or clearing those weeds around the yard.
How Long Does Trimmer Line Last Before It Needs Replacing?
The length of time a spool of trimmer line lasts largely depends on the type of grass and weeds you’re cutting, as well as how often it’s used and the power of your weed eater.
For most homeowners who use their string trimmer once a week for an hour or two, you will usually get two to three months of weed eating out of a spool of standard quality line. Of course, this can vary and if you’re cutting thick weeds or hardy grasses then it might need replacing sooner.
On the other hand, if you’re doing very light clearing work and your yard is small, then the nylon string may last for the whole growing season.
Lawn care professionals will get through their line much quicker of course and often use a heavy-duty string which works well with their more powerful tools and lasts longer.
When Should I Replace The String On My Trimmer?
One of the most obvious signs that you need some new line is when it runs out of course!
I always check before I start trimming to see if there is enough line left on the spool to complete the job. That way I don’t have to stop and fiddle with threading new string on or changing the spool halfway through!
If you have plenty left but it keeps breaking a lot more than normal, then that’s an indication the trimmer string may be old, poor quality, or degraded in some way. If that’s the case then you may need to replace it. If you want to learn about the various reasons why your trimmer line can break prematurely, check out this article.
It’s also a good idea to change the trimmer line if you notice that it isn’t cutting as efficiently as usual. If you find yourself having to go over areas multiple times or your trimming job looks uneven then this could be a sign the string is worn and needs replacing.
How To Make Your Trimmer Line Last Longer
Here are my top tips for getting the most life out of the string on your weed eater:
- Use the right size and shape: Trimmer lines come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Make sure you are using the correct type for your whacker. Using the wrong size can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your machine.
- Don’t overload the spool: Overloading the spool with too much trimmer line when threading it yourself can cause it to tangle and break more easily.
- Try not to feed out more line too often: With many popular string trimmers, you just tap the head on the ground to feed out some more string, but it can be easy to overdo it! Remember to only feed out some more when you think it’s gotten too short.
- Avoid hard surfaces: When using a weed eater, try to avoid cutting against hard surfaces like concrete or rocks as this can cause the line to snap or wear down faster.
- Keep it clean: Dirt and debris can build up around the rotating head and guard plate, causing the line to wear down more quickly. Clean it regularly with a brush or cloth. If you are not sure how to clean your trimmer, you can read more about it here.
- Store it properly: When not in use, store your string trimmer in a dry place out of direct sunlight. During the summer months, it’s a good idea to soak your spare line in a bucket of water, as this prevents it from degrading through heat and going brittle.
Is It Better To Use A Thicker Trimmer Line?
As a general rule, thicker lines will last longer than the more lightweight versions, but you must make sure that your weed eater can handle it.
What Are The Different String Sizes?
Trimmer line comes in several different sizes that are often put into 3 categories:
- Light Duty: 0.065 inch
- Medium Duty: 0.080 inch or 0.095 inch
- Heavy Duty: 0.105 inch and over
If your whacker can handle it, I suggest using the 0.095-inch string as it’s strong enough to handle most situations and lasts well, but still has enough flexibility to use all around the yard.
You can also buy string in a range of different shapes such as round, twisted, serrated, etc. but that’s a topic for another day!
If you don’t know how to choose the right type of trimmer line, you can read all about it in this article I wrote.
I hope that by now you have a good idea of how long your trimmer line should last and how you can get the most out of the spool you’ve got loaded up.
Just follow my tips for the best ways to make it last as long as possible and check you’re using the right size for both the job in hand and the model of weed eater you have.
Lastly, a good trimming technique is as important as anything, and avoiding those hard or sharp objects around your garden can really make all the difference so keep a look out as you work!