How do I change fishing line in my trimmer?

How to change the line in a trimmer

Trimmer – the most common unit, which is used for mowing the grass and cutting small bushes. This device is characterized by ease of maintenance, uncomplicated operation during work and even women who do it thanks to the small weight. It is no secret that for high performance grass trimmers need the right choice of cutting tools. As the latter, trimmers use special cutting attachments (discs, knives) or trimmer heads with a fishing line inside. Blades and lines are consumables, but if knives can be sharpened, the line needs to be replaced as it is used up. In this article, we’ll explain in as much detail as possible how to properly replace the fishing line.

Types of trimmer heads

Grass trimmer head is a cylindrical body, in which the spool (reel) with the line (cord) is inserted. Such a design can be installed on both gasoline and electric trimmer. Heads differ in the way of filling and filing the fishing line and come in 3 types.

  1. Automatic. The line is fed after the user has lowered the engine speed. Although automatic filament feeding is advantageous for large jobs, such rods have the disadvantage of a large consumption of thread.
  2. Semi-automatic. Using this type of heads does not require from the user complex manipulations. The principle of operation is arranged in such a way that the cable is automatically extended at the moment when the device is working at full power. To do this, it is easy enough to hit the head of the trimmer against the floor (with the cable, the lock on the protective cover is removed from the cable.
  3. Manually. To extend the cable, the device requires a termination, according to which the line is tensioned manually.

Based on the above, semi-automatic reels are the best option. It should also be taken into account that the spools for trimmers (cut only for mowing the grass) and two-string, which are used for mowing tall grass and small with thin stems of bushes.

How to remove and disassemble the spool

Before proceeding with cable replacement, trimmer users must remove and disassemble the spool. Consider how to do this.

The trimmer’s mowing head consists of several parts: the body, the spring (not on all models), the spool with the cord, and the cover.

trimmer head

Warning! It is necessary to disconnect it from the mains before proceeding with the maintenance activities of the electric unit.

In trimmers, 2 variants are most often used to attach the mowing head.

Variant No. 1

To remove the trimmer’s mowing head, it requires a complete disassembly.

  1. To remove the cover covering the inside of the head, press on both sides of the latches (bars).
  2. When you remove the cover, you will see the sprocket that needs to be removed from the housing. Some spools have a spring underneath the spool, which you need to carefully pull out so you don’t lose it in the grass.
  3. After removing the spool, you will see a screw in the center of the housing with a slot for a Phillips or flathead screwdriver. There may also be a screw for the hex or star head.
  4. Using a screwdriver, selecting the necessary bit (nozzle), you must unscrew the screw (counterclockwise).
  5. After removing the fasteners, grasp the body of the part and, rocking it in different directions, remove it from the gearbox shaft.

Option #2

In this option, the head is screwed onto the gearbox shaft. To remove it, it is necessary to repair this shaft. For this purpose, on similar trimmers, for example, on Huter and Champion devices, there is a hole through which you can insert either a thin screwdriver or a metal rod.

So, to remove the spool, follow 2 simple steps.

  1. Insert the screwdriver into the hole and secure the rod.
  2. Grasp the head body and turn it clockwise. It should rotate in that direction, as the threads on the shaft are left-handed.


filament winding algorithm

Depending on which model of trimmer is used, the type, thickness and length of the line is chosen. The diameter of the cord can range from 1.2 to 4 mm. It is not difficult to guess that the thicker the cord is wound, the harder and thicker the grass it can cut.

In most cases, a 2mm universal line is used.

There are 3 ways to find out what gauge of line you can use on your mower.

  1. Refer to the manual of the machine for the thickness of the line.
  2. Check the spool yourself. It may have information on possible line diameters attached to it.
  3. Insert the cord into the outlet. If it fits in easily, you can use line of this diameter.

The line is wound on a spool located in the mowing head. The reel must therefore be opened first (see above). There are two ways of winding the line.

First method

In order to correctly determine how many meters of fishing line are needed for a particular spool, it must be wound on the bobbin so that the strand does not exceed the diameter of the sides. If the line is sticking out of the bobbin, it cannot be inserted into the body. Once you have decided on the length of the material, it needs to be wound onto the spool, here’s how to do it.

  1. You need to fold the fishing line in half so that one end is 10-15 cm longer than the other.
  2. Note that the spool is divided into 2 parts by the central side, with which it starts charging. Find a groove on it and, applying some force, insert the cable bent in the middle into it.
  3. It is very important to determine which direction the fishing line will be wound on the spool. If you look closely, you will find an arrow or an arrow mark on the spool indicating the winding direction. There are times when there is no arrow on the bobbin. In such a situation, you may look at the arrow drawn on the mowing head and wind the line in the opposite direction.
  4. The line should be wound carefully, coil by coil, with maximum thread tension.
  5. After laying the line, the short end of the line should first be secured by inserting it into a matching diameter groove on the side of the spool.
  6. The second end, the longer end, is fastened in the groove on the opposite side of the spool.
  7. After securing the line, cut the ends, leaving about 10 cm of slack.
  8. Next, install the spool in the mowing head. By alternately inserting and pulling the thread into the output holes of the head, install the spool in the housing. Then pull the line, using the necessary force, out of the mounting slots and tighten it.
  9. Now you can put on the cover and secure it with the slats.

The second method

Some reels offer a second method of securing the line: you can charge 2 sections of line instead of one half. Change the fishing line according to the following algorithm.

  1. Before changing or loading new thread, determine how many meters of thread are needed using the method described above.
  2. Bend the end of the thread into a hook.
  3. Find the hole designed to attach the line to the bottom of the spool and insert the looped end of the string into it.
  4. It is necessary to wind the cord to the necessary level after the direction of the arrow, which does not exceed the diameter of the spool.
  5. Do the same steps for the second Knapp cell.
  6. Assembling the head is no different than the method considered folded in half with a piece of fishing line when threading the spool.

There is a very easy and quick way to replace the fishing line without disassembling the Shtil brand mower head, as you can see by watching this video.

The ends of the cord protruding from the holes in the body can be cut to the required length if the part is installed in the trimmer. This can be done in two ways:

  • By turning on the trimmer (when turned on, the ends of the fishing line are cut on the knife, which is mounted on the protective cover for this purpose);
  • By cutting the extra ends with scissors so that they do not touch the body of the line.

The second method is used when it was necessary to put a cable with a large diameter and it is impossible to shorten it with the knife.

If the thread was tucked into the mowing head, but the protruding cable ends are not long enough, they must be lengthened before starting the device – this applies to the head with manual setting. However, there are cases where a semi-automatic mowing head is used if they do not extend automatically due to insufficient length of the protruding cable ends. In this case, it is necessary to turn off the device (you must pull the plug from the socket on the electric device), manually press the button on the bottom of the part and pull out a small fishing line. According to this procedure, the cable can advance again due to the centrifugal thickness, if they use the maximum spindle speed.

Regardless of what thickness of fishing line you presented, you should remember: in order not to constantly interrupt the work and change the cord, you should avoid places where the tool works (rocks, edges, thick Twiors dryers, etc.).

What can be used instead of a fishing line?

Many trimmer users wonder: What can replace the fishing line in devices of this type? Pointless experiments begin with the introduction, installation of metal or copper wire, metal ropes or strings in the mowing head and ordinary fishing line.

If a metal rope is installed instead of a fishing line, the trimmer will turn into a dangerous device not only for the user himself, but also for those around him. This fact is explained by the fact that during the operation of the device, the steel rope gradually closes, its ends are released, and small pieces of wire fly in different directions at high speed.

A similar thing happens when using steel or copper wire, only with the difference that the pieces torn off are larger and can cause significant injury.

And if you accidentally connect your own or someone else’s leg while working with a device with a steel wire (cable), you will severely and deeply tear some tissues and in some cases you will have to amputate your fingers. The manufacturer does not use nylon for this purpose because it is light and strong enough, it does not fly apart during separation and cannot cause injury.

Of course, it is possible to use a fishing disc in a trimmer instead of a standard one, but this leads to unnecessary difficulties, as it wears out quickly, breaks, mows slowly and is not suitable for mowing hard grass. In addition, a lot of time is lost during work for repeated replacement of the broken tool.

In practice, the installation of an ordinary line is justified when the user will mow the grass near the fence, especially if it comes from the chain-link fence. In this case, he switches to a fishing line to protect the standard and sometimes expensive cord from wear and tear, for which there is no shame. To change the cord to fishing line, you usually have to choose the largest thickness of 2-3 mm.

Replace fishing with a hard disc or knife

When it comes to personal property, parking areas and other places where you need to take care of various plants, the cutting tool often has to be replaced by a trimmer. This is dictated by the fact that the standard cable installed in the mowing head can only be finished with grass. However, if a bush or young growth of trees appears in the way of the worker, the line does not cope with such a task, and a replacement with a more effective cutting tool is required.

Manufacturers of trimmers have provided for such situations and supplemented their products with a mass of attachments in the form of knives with several “petals” or in the form of cuts, similar to circular saws.

Trimmer blades and discs

If you replace the line with a knife with several “petals”, such a tool can mow both tall grass and plants with thick and dry stems. And after the user of the power tiller replaces the line with a disc, he will be able to mow bushes or small trees.

Installation of the blade and discs is made according to the following algorithm.

Remove mowing head

  1. First you need to remove the shaft, the mowing head (clockwise) or the anthem mother, if the device has not yet been used.
  2. Set the saw or cutter blade so that it is dressed on a small rip (sleeve).

You can watch this video for a better understanding of the tool replacement process.

Problems with the fishing line

Users of trimmers, both gasoline and electric, sometimes have problems with the fishing line. “Advanced” motorists can easily cope with the difficulties and understand why this happens, while for beginners this is a problem that has no rational explanation. But in fact, everything is easily solved. The most common problems that occur with fishing line are as follows.


If the fishing line tears frequently, it can be caused by the following reasons:

  • Rocks, small branches and other hard obstacles bump into the grass;
  • The user mows the grass back to the fence, and when he is a net fisherman, this tears the “antennae” even faster.
  • Poor quality cable (it is recommended to buy high quality);
  • The output holes in the mowing head are worn, so the sockets are removed and break off when fishing on the sharp edges (requires complete replacement of the part).

High cord consumption.

Generally, the cord runs out quickly when it is frequently banged with a semi-tamatic head or pressed hard. Coating of the spool occurs and the length of line is cut with a knife. Another reason why the cord runs out quickly is improper use of the automatic head device: the user often reduces the engine speed while casting. But, as we remember, the automatic head is arranged in such a way that a new piece of line is fed each time the revolutions are reduced, so it is used up quickly.

The thread does not apply

It happens that the thread is wasted when the spring in the semi-automatic head loosens. The thread is constantly being lengthened and shortened by the knife mounted on the housing, so the thread consumption increases. To check this, remove the housing and turn the unit on. If the line is “up”, the spring needs to be replaced.

Fishing Flies

The reason that the line is peeling after starting the device is also due to a loose spring in the head. It also happens that when the device is turned on, the collecting head crumbles and the spring installed in it is lost. Inexperienced users do not notice the absence of the spring and assemble this assembly without it. Therefore, the cord is not fed, and under the action of centrifugal force, it flies out.

The cord is not fed, the spool does not rotate

An automatic or semi-automatic head should feed the line without stopping the device. But if it doesn’t come out, it may be due to the following reasons:

  • Improper feeding of the fishing line, which causes the latter to not rotate;
  • The cord is not working evenly and the thread may be jammed between the bends (the thread should be wound correctly, bend to bend without skewing);
  • Too short ends of the thread come out of the holes, so the centrifugal force is not enough to extract them, and the line does not feed (it is always recommended to adjust the length of the cord before starting the device, to tighten it slightly) ;
  • The fishing line is sticking together (this is taken into account later).

The thread is sticking together

This trouble most often occurs due to the use of low quality cord. During operation, the trimmer head heats up, and the low-quality line melts in it and sticks together. In addition, when the line meets a hard obstacle, the filaments sinter. In this case, there is a sharp braking of the cord, on which it is pulled into the head, where it loosens it. Some rod owners recommend lubricating the cord with mineral oil or spraying silicone spray on the bobbin after reeling. Others advise winding fewer turns on the reel. However, it is better to buy a quality product, in which the manufacturer has taken into account the factor of overheating the head and does not overstretch the thread.

How to change the line in the trimmer with your own hands?

photo 1

During grass mowing, the fishing line, aka trimmer cord or cutting line, gradually removes the grass and breaks off against various obstacles.

Therefore, it is necessary to change it from time to time.

This process should also be carried out if you have moved to a place with coarse vegetation or changed the requirements for the appearance of the lawn after mowing.

Each trimmer’s instruction manual details how to change the line on a regular reel. However, this document is not always available, and the operating time of a standard mowing head is short.

For this reason, you have to put another reel, often of a different type, with a different algorithm for changing the line.

In this article, we will tell you how to change the line on an electric trimmer, rewind and reassemble the spool.

Replacing the fishing line

To properly replace the cable, you need to follow the following sequence of steps:

  • Select a suitable new cutting line;
  • Prepare the trimmer for replacement;
  • Disassemble the spool (only for semi-automatic and poorly performing automatic heads);
  • Remove the old fishing line;
  • Wind on the new fishing line;
  • Reassemble the spool.

How do I choose a line for grass?

When choosing the right fishing line for your trimmer, consider 3 important parameters:

  • Size (cross-section);
  • shape;
  • The material from which it is made.

The larger the cross section of the cutting filament, the faster it mows the grass, the higher the load on the main elements of the trimmer, i.e. on the pinion and the shaft of the boom, so you need to find a balance between mowing speed and the safety of the device.

photo 2

The shape of the cord influences:

  • Mowing efficiency and speed;
  • Quality and accuracy of the cut;
  • Tire consumption.

Here, too, you need to look for compensation, because basically the efficiency and quality of mowing is proportional to the consumption of the line.

If you replace the line with a quality line that consists of nylon with no or minimal addition of other polymers such as polyethylene or polypropylene, it will last longer, but it will be noticeably more expensive.

To some extent, the quality of any line can be improved by soaking it in water for 24 hours (why the line gets soaked), but even then, a cheap cord cannot effectively compete with an expensive one.

You can find more information about choosing a trimmer cord here.

How to prepare an electric trimmer for a line change?

Every electric mower or lawn trimmer spins the reel at an enormous speed (7-10,000 rpm), so fishing line breaks pose a serious threat to humans.

It is enough to turn off the gasoline trimmer, and the electric not only turn it off, but also unplug it from the power grid.

If it accidentally turns on while changing the fishing line, injuries cannot be avoided. Also, install a separate unit so that the spool was at the top and there was maximum access to it, it will facilitate all manipulations.

How does an automatic or semi-automatic type head disassemble?

Disassembly is part of the cord replacement process in a semi-automatic head, but fully functional automatic rollers do not have this disadvantage, so you only have to disassemble them if the cord feed mechanism is not working properly.

To disassemble the unit, press the plastic tabs on the sides of the housing with your fingers and then remove the cover.

photo 4

Be careful, the spool inside is pressed by a spring, so the cover may pop off, after which the feed mechanism parts should fall out and lift off the ground.

If you cannot press both stops at the same time, press only one, use a standard wrench if necessary, as you can press more with it than with your fingers.

More information on disassembling both types of trimmer heads can be found here.

How do I remove the old fishing line?

Usually removing old cord from a disassembled head is not difficult, the only exceptions are when the cord was originally not wound correctly on the reel or the cord was caused by the reel rubbing hard against tall, dense grass with a stiff, flattened stem.

If the cord is incorrectly wound, solve them slowly, turning them into the wind, when the material is sticking, try to solve it by pulling the reel by the reel.

If it breaks or the coils don’t separate, cut them off and remove them from the spool.

It is much easier to remove the old fishing line from a mechanical spool, just either disassemble it or take the line out of the holes that provide its bend.

We describe all these steps in more detail here.

How do I wind up a new line?

The winding method depends on the trimmer head.

If you have an automatic spool, then:

  • After removing the old string, install it;
  • Align the marks on the cover and the button;
  • Insert a 2-4 m length of fishing line into the through hole.
  • form from it 2 “tails” of equal length;
  • Turn the handle in the direction of the arrow on the cap until the tails are long enough to cut the grass.

Methods of winding other types of coils we have described in this article (winding).

How to assemble a coil quickly?

Assembling collapsible mechanical coils is not a problem, because due to the simplicity of design it is impossible to make a mistake here.

Assemble the semi-automatic and automatic heads must be in accordance with the order of installation of parts, otherwise the line feed mechanism will not work.

For semi-automatics, the order in which the parts are installed in the housing is as follows:

Assemble automatic reels in a different order:

  1. Spring.
  2. Sink.
  3. Guide (if any).
  4. Button.
  5. Cover.

Useful Videos

We offer you a video, which tells you how to change the line on the reel of an electric grass trimmer correctly:

Another video instruction on how to quickly and correctly change the line on the lawnmower, and this replacement algorithm is relevant for different types of electric trimmer reels – both automatic and semi-automatic:


Replacing the fishing line is an important and responsible operation, on the correct execution of which depends on the efficiency of grass mowing and the service life of the trimmer.

Now you know more about changing the fishing line on any type of reel. This will help you properly charge your device’s mowing heads with the proper fishing line, which means you can mow effectively without shortening the life of your electric trimmer or lawnmower.

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