A grass strimmer can come in many shapes and sizes and can be used for specific jobs which you or your clients have in mind. As you’ll be aware of – a strong nylon cord spins up to 8,500rpm to clear grass, weeds and other vegetation in a quick and relatively easy way. In the right hands it’s an effect tool, however it can also be dangerous when used incorrectly or not maintained properly.
The grass strimmer is one of the easiest tools to service, but quite often basic checks are neglected – some of which will ensure your tool performs better and lasts longer which keeps your clients happy meaning you win more business and contracts. SARTRA have put together a short guide for contractors, public sector workers and estate management departments to advise grass strimmer users how to:
- Inspect the nylon cord
- Check the air filter
- Check the air intake
- Check the spark plug
- General Inspection
- Prepare the tool for winter
This guide is aimed towards petrol powered grass strimmers, but the principles of some tips can be used on corded/battery tools as well. These tips are to be used for immediate maintenance and care for your grass strimmer – full maintenance information should be found in the manufacturer’s maintenance guide.
Inspect the Nylon Cord
With the tool switched off (and unplugged if you’re using a corded electric strimmer) inspect the quality of the nylon cord. If it is excessively frayed and damaged it won’t cut through grass or other vegetation as effectively if the cord was in good condition. Depending on your strimmer and it’s features, extend the cord and cut away the weak and damaged end using pliers or heavy duty scissors. If the cord spool within the cutting head is low or nearly running out, you’ll have to open it and replace it with a new one. Do this after every use of your strimmer.
Check the Air Filter
After a lot of use the air filter on your grass strimmer will become clogged with dirt and debris which is expected to be found when using a tool like a strimmer. This air filter will need to be cleaned. As before, make sure the tool is switched off. Remove the air filter from your grass strimmer and soak it in warm water. Avoid using any kind of soap or detergent – warm water will do the job. Once soaked for 5-10 minutes, remove the air filter and wring out the excess water. Now leave it to dry and then re-insert it onto your machine. Blowing into the air filter or using an air blow gun will also work if you need a quick fix while working, however this wont be as thorough and may clog up just as fast. Do this check after every 10 hours of use – check more frequently in dusty locations.
Check the Air Intake
Lots of debris is created when using a grass strimmer – meaning that grass cuttings and dirt is bound to get sucked into the strimmer’s air intake vents. Spend a moment checking the air intake – paying particular attention to remove any debris that is inside or blocking the vents. Check this before and after each session.
Check the Spark Plug
Quick and easy. The spark plug will always suffer from standard wear and tear as you work with a grass strimmer. Inspect the spark plug, it’s cap and everything that surrounds the area. If you spot any damage to the spark plug, remove and replace with a new one. We recommend checking your spark plug after every 25 hours of use.
Your grass strimmer may receive some damage if you regularly use it near walls, fences, trees and low hanging branches. This could be anything from a gentle bump to a hard knock or even strimmer parts becoming loose due to vibration. If unnoticed and not dealt with, these factors could add up and make your machine unsafe quite quickly. Always do an inspection to make sure your tool is performing as it should do. Make a note of any accidents which involves dropping your grass strimmer, or an example of you knocking your strimmer hard against a wall or fence. Do this after every session.
Prepare For Winter
The grass strimmer is a seasonal tool which is usually used during the Spring, Summer and Autumn months. Making sure your machine is suitably prepared for winter storage is vital to prolonging the life of the strimmer and it’s performance next season. Clean your machine by removing any wet or dried on grass, dirt and grime that may be stuck to the cutting head. If ignored and left unclean for months – damage could be unnecessarily caused to your strimmer. Consider wiping oil on metallic surfaces to prevent rust and make sure to drain away any excess petrol left in the fuel tank. Keep your grass strimmer in an approved area making sure it will not fall over and get damaged – then finally place a sheet over it to protect it from moisture.
Grass strimmers are an effective tool to have in your workforce which require minimal effort in maintaining and servicing. By doing these quick and easy servicing steps you will make sure your grass strimmer continues to cut at its best and will help to prevent damage and injury.
During your checks you might find that you need new parts or materials to get your strimmer working as good as it needs to. You can find a range of grass strimmer parts on the Landscape Supply Company website including the SARTRA Strimmer Head (to suit machines that fit Stihl heads) costing you as low as £7.79.
Will you be using this guide to maintain the performance of your grass strimmers? Have we missed any tips or tricks that you could recommend we add? Please leave a comment below – we’d like to include your input.