I Hate the Weed Eater

Sorry, this is a gripe post. I hate using the weed eater (aka string trimmer, edger, angry hornet....). I try to put it off as long as I can, which usually means I run it about once a month. When I do, it is always a pain. First, it takes a special fuel-oil mix that I can never remember the ratio for. So I usually make up a gallon and it will last all year. Of course, by the end of the year the fuel and oil are becoming sort of a slurry goo, which I know isn't good for the motor. Next, our trimmer is not the easiest thing to start. I'm starting to get down the order of incantantations and black magic spells necessary to start it. Usually, it involves some language not befitting young ears, and severe abuse of my arm and shoulder as I pull on the starter line. Everyone once in a while the starter line hitches on something and I feel like I just about ripped my arm off. And you can't just start it. Here are the steps as I've figured them out so far:

  1. Insert ear plugs, and apply PPE (personal protective equipment)
  2. Top off fuel
  3. Prime fuel line with 3 to 5 pumps on the primer
  4. Turn the choke completely off
  5. Pull starter cord several times
  6. Curse
  7. Continue pulling starter cord until motor turns over a couple of times
  8. Switch choke to middle position
  9. Continue pulling starter cord
  10. Curse louder, forgetting ear plugs are in and that everyone in the neighborhood can hear you
  11. Continue pulling until motor starts
  12. Flip choke to full-open position and hope it doesn't die and flood the motor

Approximately 70% of the time, this method works. The other 30%, the motor floods and I have to start all over. Grrr....

Of course, now you've just gotten started with the trimmer. Now begins the process of traversing the yard looking for stuff to clip. Usually the light post, mailbox, trees, house perimeter, and fence are on the list. The fence is the worst part. If I get too close, I tear up the fence. Not close enough, and it looks like I didn't trim. All the while the trimmer is spraying very small, very hard bits of tundra in every direction. Inevitably, either the spool of string runs out or gets jammed, which requires shutting down the trimmer, fixing the problems, and repeating steps 1 through 11 above.

Once I've finished with the trimmer, I have a fine coating of grass from head to toe. My hands are always completely shot at this point due to all of the vibration from the trimmer. The reason that this comes up today is that I ran the trimmer yesterday, and after two full showers I'm still finding clippings. My eyes are the worst part. I wear my glasses while I trim, but it doesn't keep everything from getting in. I found a nearly inch long blade of grass in my eye one time. Fortunately, no damage done.

Anyway, I think that helped to vent my frustration with the trimmer.


Jennifer said...

I know you hate the weed eater babe, but the lawn looks SO GOOD after you do it! :)

Absenth said...

A) Steps 1-11 are right on.
B) I agree 100%
C) is your trimmer a "Yard Master"

If C = yes, How does a company who has mastered the yard get off selling a product that's such a pain in the ... to use, and still keep the title "Master of the yard?"

I've mowed twice this summer, I've yet to run the trimmer. Maybe starting with a Captain & Coke, run steps 1-11, trim yard, finish with two or three shots of 151 might make it not so bad..... Mmmmm....

Thanks for venting for me. I had enough other stuff piss me off this week :)

Adam said...

We have a Ryobi, which might be another brand name for the same equipment. Hmmm... combination alcohol and power tools... sounds like a recipe for fun to me :-)

Beer.... is there anything it CAN'T do?

Pami said...

All I want to know is when you're coming over to do our yard since Absenth hasn't trimmed yet (that I've noticed).

Of course, beer will happily be provided. :)

Samuel said...

Yuo need to look into buying an Echo. The model around $235 will set you for life. You will never buy another weedeater.

Here is a review of the ECHO BRAND:
"Review: I have a very wide rain runoff ditch that I only trim down once a month or less... the weeds get very dense and thick. The Echo weed wacker I got wasn't the top model but does have a straight shaft and plenty of power to cut it...literally!! Makes my trimming easy and cut the time in half from other wackers I have used. I've had it for about 4 years and ZERO problems!"

Adam said...

Hmmmm.... When the Ryobi finally dies (or I sabotage it), maybe I'll look at getting an Echo.

Alwin said...

using the weed eater (aka string trimmer, edger, angry hornet... echoweedeater.blogspot.com

Jade Mason