Secrets of the String Trimmer
August 25, 2009 9:25 AM   Subscribe

My Ryobi string trimmer doesn't feed well. Should I just buy a new head for it or try one of those alternative string trimmer heads?

I've also seen heads that use pre-cut pieces of nylon string. Do those work?

It used to feed ok, not great. Now I have to manually refresh the nylon when it wears down, which has made me completely timid in my weed whackery. I think that self-feeding trimmers are a cruel marketing lie.
posted by mecran01 to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
I have a Homelite weed eater that uses precut lengths of string. I bought a big spool of the stuff at a hardware store years ago and am still using it.

The only bummer is having to pull the head off just about every time I use it to replace the string (I also use it for edging, which chews it up pretty fast). I cut some of the spool, , thread it through the head and move on. Otherwise it works great. Beware of the bolt seizing up. If it does (and mine did), the head will be stuck on there. WD-40 fixed it, and I've been right as rain since.
posted by jquinby at 9:41 AM on August 25, 2009

Response by poster: Ok, pre-cut it is. I use mine for edging too. Thanks!
posted by mecran01 at 10:01 AM on August 25, 2009

Response by poster: The local megalith hardware store had a precut/bump set of two heads, so one of those should work.
posted by mecran01 at 11:11 AM on August 25, 2009

I replaced the head of my cheapo Bolens trimmer earlier this summer becuase I lost the spring that went with it and they didn't sell just the spring. I was amazed at how much better it worked once I replaced the head.

When I got back to the store a few weeks later to buy some of this fancy precut line I had heard about, I noticed they were now selling just the spring. Heh.
posted by Big_B at 12:54 PM on August 25, 2009

I tried all kinds of different heads, and never could get one that would feed properly for long. I got a replacement head at Lowe's that uses 2 lengths of precut line. They feed in thru a hole by pressing a plastic button, then out another hole. Same for opposite side. I love it. I use a big spool I keep in a box with a pair of pruning shears to cut the line to the appropriate length. Much cheaper than buying the line already cut. I cut 6 to 8 lengths at a time, and keep them in my pocket. You can change them in about 10 seconds. No more winding, bad feeding, etc. Great investment.
posted by ehoenig77 at 3:58 PM on August 25, 2009

Response by poster: Ah, another recommendation for the precut string dispenser. Excellent. I'm going to install the one I bought today right now and will report back. #yardfilter
posted by mecran01 at 5:48 PM on August 25, 2009

Precut string dispenser is good. PROTIP to make it work better is to carry a pair of pliers in your back pocket to pull the short pieces out once they're cut down too far to pull out with your fingers.
posted by ijoyner at 12:27 AM on August 26, 2009

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