How to Hold a String Trimmer?

I’m sure you’re excited to get going when you get a new string trimmer for your garden. However, if you want to keep yourself safe and use the tool at its best, you must know the right way to hold your string trimmer before you start operating the device.

You must hold your string trimmer firmly with both hands. Set your tool on the right side of your body so the muffler faces away from you. You must slightly bend your right arm and keep the left one straight. Keep the trimmer at waist level, so that the cutting head reaches the grass. 

Now it may seem a bit too basic, but trust me, correctly holding the trimmer will make the process a lot easier and safer. So, read on as I tell you the correct way of using your tool in the best possible way!

How to Hold Your String Trimmer Properly

When it comes to string trimmers, you have two main types: straight-shaft and curved-shaft trimmers. 

People often use straight-shaft trimmers to edge their lawns. However, a curved-shaft trimmer works best for this purpose. 

Either way, you must position the tool correctly to ensure your safety while maintaining your garden at its best.

How Do You Hold a Straight Shaft Trimmer?

If you’re edging with a straight shaft trimmer, turn it on its side to save yourself from flying debris. That ensures the debris moves away from you.

Most trimmers support clockwise rotation but check yours to be sure. Some models may support a counter-clockwise rotation. 

Hold the trimmer at its normal position. Move the shaft till the guard reaches up so you clearly see the line. As you rotate it, you’ll note the trimmer head angle is changing. Try to position it at a 90-degree angle with the surface. 

Rotating the head alone doesn’t give the perfect 90-degree angle. You also need to lift the shaft to your shoulder. This movement is more comfortable and makes the trimmer easier to hold.

If you use a gas-powered trimmer, don’t bring the engine very close to your head and ears. Keep it several inches away to avoid burns and loud noise. Wearing hearing protection equipment is also a good idea when using these tools. 

How Do You Hold a Curved Shaft Trimmer?

Like a straight-shaft trimmer, you must hold a curved-shaft one at the right angle to trim your garden. Start by positioning your trimmer at a 90-degree angle with the ground. At this angle, the line moves in a horizontal motion to effectively cut the grass.

If you’re cutting in a straight line, hold the shaft at a 30-degree angle to the garden floor. You can bend it later if you need.

While holding the trimmer without support works for some, you can keep it on your shoulder if you want to free your hands. You can decide whatever works best for you.

Once positioned, lower your trimmer so that the line touches the ground. Gently move it along the garden edges and areas where you need to cut the weeds. Make sure to hold the tool steady during every operation.

Which Way Do You Walk With a String Trimmer?

After correctly holding the string trimmer, you must decide which way to walk with it. There’s no fixed way to answer that.

Some people walk in the forward direction as they trim their gardens, while others may walk backward. It depends on what feels more comfortable to you, though I recommend always walking forward because it minimizes the chance of you tripping on some obstacle and injuring yourself. 

Rotation of the String Trimmer

The way to walk with a trimmer also depends on whether the rotation is clockwise or counterclockwise. You can assess that by seeing where the debris goes as you trim. 

#1 Clockwise Motion 

Clockwise rotation trimmers are suitable for left-handed operation. If your trimmer rotates clockwise, the debris will be ejected from the right end. In this case, you should try keeping your left end nearer the work site. 

#2 Counter-Clockwise Motion 

At the opposite end, counter-clockwise rotation is perfect for right-handed trimmer operation. If your weed eater rotates counter-clockwise, the debris is ejected from the left side. Try keeping your right side nearer to your work as you trim.

If you use your trimmer correctly, debris will land on the other end instead of where you are cutting.


Should I Use a Curved or Straight Shaft String Trimmer?

Whether you need a straight or curved shaft trimmer depends on what you do with the tool. A straight shaft trimmer is a better option if you’re trimming under hedges and bushes. These ones are more suited for taller people and professionals with extensive cutting tasks.

Curved shaft trimmers are a suitable option for daily and less extensive tasks. They are ideal for simple grass and weed trimmings. That’s when you don’t need to get under obstacles. Also, this trimmer will work well for you if you aren’t very tall.

If you want to read more about what type of string trimmer might be best for you, check out this article I wrote on this very topic

Should I Use a Shoulder-Mount Approach to Hold the Trimmer?

Usually, most people will rotate the trimmer shaft and hold it in their hands to trim the garden. However, this may result in straining your back. With the pressure to keep the trimmer this way, your back may begin to ache. 

If you hold the shaft on your shoulder or arm, it reduces this pressure and helps to minimize strain. Therefore, this is a more convenient method for using the tool. 

Final Thoughts

Maintaining your garden with a string trimmer is not hard if you know how to hold and use it correctly. The key to perfect trimming is a little guidance and persistent practice! 

I hope the information above helped in knowing how to hold your string trimmer and the best ways in which to use it correctly. 

Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!

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