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Old 07-06-2011, 09:31 PM   #1
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Trimmer Problems


Had a small electric for years, decided to upgrade to a gas (Craftsman 2 cycle curve shaft) and I'm going crazy! 1. It says it's a dual line and the spool has 2 eyelits but only one a 1-channel spool! Can I thread 2 lines into one spool? 2. Each bump puts a mini crop-circle in my lawn, are you supposed to bump on the concrete or stone??? 3, Line keeps jamming and snapping off, or snapping off if I touch anything hard (woor or stone pavers, edging, etc.) I am using 20 feet each use, and have 1-inch pieces of string all over the yard! 4. I'd like to use it as an edger (like the pro landscapers do) but the line keeps snapping and I have to shut down and open the spool to re-thread. 5. After unjamming, sometimes the line wraps around the shaft in a knot instead of clipping off on the shield's blade. All of this may just be me needing to learn proper use, but it's been a few months and I'm getting very frustrated. Any "trimmer for dummies" links? By the way, I saw a recommendation for a product called "edgeit" but they are out of stock for the season! Any alternatetives for that??? Thanks, sorry for the long first-post!

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Old 07-06-2011, 10:15 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your troubles Steve. You are supposed to bump the w/e on something hard if you don't want to leave circles in your grass. I don't know what size line yours takes, but I'm guessing it's small in diameter in comparison to the commercial machines. I have had a Stihl straight shaft w/e for close to 20 years. Haven't put a spark plug in it. I do go through line, but the line rarely breaks off inside, and it doesn't leave pieces all over. I go through line due to a lot of patio stone walls I trim up against. I do use it to trim along the driveway also. You can try and make your machine do what you want, but it may not be up to the task.
Mike Hawkins

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Old 07-06-2011, 11:35 PM   #3
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No clue how to thread on two lines if it only has one spot for it, seems like an odd setup.

But a lot of your issue seems to be cheap line, grab something a bit heavier looking and see how that goes. I've never had those kinds of problems, but I also threw two 10' pieces in mine and have been using it all year, some kind of gator brand line that just keeps going and going.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:32 AM   #4
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Steve:

I feel your frustration! It sounds as if you may have been "undersold" with this trimmer; i.e., a basic "home owner" model for a "commercial" type application. I also have had a Stihl for over 15 years and have never had a problem with line breaking while edging (.095 gauge line) except when trimming along the fence or stone walls.

You may go to Sears.com (parts link-have model number ready) and see if an optional replacement spool is available that will accept two lines.

As far as the line breaking off, the line will absorb humidity from the air and when it is wound tightly around a spool will cause it to turn brittle as it dries. The line purchased, if early in the season this year, may have been last years stock and not stored in a controlled environment. Don't purchase more line than you think that you can use in 1 season so that it does not get brittle over the winter. Also as Hatsee said, don't skimp on the line.

Check the cut off blade to make sure that there is not an accumulation of grass covering the blade so that it can't cut. If dull, a quick once over with a file might also help. Also, make sure that whenever you bump the spool, (not in the grass!), that you are running the unit at full throttle.

I have never seen the "edgeit", but used to sell similar products that were very disappointing. The main problem with them were the plastic blades worked fine until something hard was hit. If just trimming grass and weeds with no obstructions, they were fine, but the minute you hit anything hard, they break and are not cheap to replace.

Hope this helps and good luck!
Jim Pierson
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatsee View Post
No clue how to thread on two lines if it only has one spot for it, seems like an odd setup.

But a lot of your issue seems to be cheap line, grab something a bit heavier looking and see how that goes. I've never had those kinds of problems, but I also threw two 10' pieces in mine and have been using it all year, some kind of gator brand line that just keeps going and going.
This is horrible to say - being a guy and all - but if your trimmer came with instructions, read them. They'll explain how to string your trimmer spool.

I had several of those type trimmers when my sons & I did our mowing business.

What you do is pull out about 2 arm-lengths of trim line (or however much ends up fitting on the spool), meet the ends together, then for what is kind of a big "U" with the line.

On the top side of your spool, there are probably two little holes near the center. Each end of your trimmer line goes in one of those holes, then you pull all of it through. You then wind "both lines" the same direction - the direction the arrow indicates you should wind them.

I'm probably not doing a good job of explaining it, but it really is fairly simple. Once you see it and figure it out, you'll slap yourself on the forehead.


As Firehawk said, bump the head on something hard, not your lawn.


Be careful to buy the right line. Diameters run from .065 to .105. Get line that's too thick and it won't work.


Good luck!
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:42 AM   #6
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Guys: Thanks so much for the quick replies! To follow up your comments... I did read the manual and it told me exactly what you did. Not sure why it still jams on the spool, but I read some posts recommending that I lubricate the line, so I'll try that. (BTW, tried .65 and .95 and both did the same, so I doubt that it's a line problem.) What really has me confused is, as long as the head spins, how can the unit be bad or innefective? What makes a more expensive model better as long as they both spin when throttled? I will follow your tips and see if it gets better next use! Thanks again for the support!!!
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveromo View Post
What really has me confused is, as long as the head spins, how can the unit be bad or innefective? What makes a more expensive model better as long as they both spin when throttled?
I imagine that a lot of has to do with the fact that certain companies, because they are in the lawn care equipment business, devote a lot of time and money to designing, testing, and otherwise developing a trimmer that is effective; they have no choice but to do this, and they want to do this, because it is their business. What does effective involve? I don't know, but it probably incorporates "little things", like the size ratio of the spool to the circumference of the head, or maybe the engine speed as related to the size of the line. On the other hand, there are companies that know there are thousands of trimmers sold every day or week, and they want a piece of the pie, so they approach it from the standpoint like you mentioned, "as long as the head spins". Nothing against the Craftsman brand, they have a lot of very fine tools and equipment, but, whether they manufacture or simply brand this particular item, it seems pretty doubtful, to me anyway, that they spend the amount of resources to ensure that their trimmers perform at the level of a company that relies solely on sales, and more important, repeat sales, of lawn care equipment. This applies to many of the things that we use every day as well.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveromo View Post
Guys: Thanks so much for the quick replies! To follow up your comments... I did read the manual and it told me exactly what you did. Not sure why it still jams on the spool, but I read some posts recommending that I lubricate the line, so I'll try that. (BTW, tried .65 and .95 and both did the same, so I doubt that it's a line problem.) What really has me confused is, as long as the head spins, how can the unit be bad or innefective? What makes a more expensive model better as long as they both spin when throttled? I will follow your tips and see if it gets better next use! Thanks again for the support!!!
Jamming on the spool... Hmmm, that could be one of several things. It could be that you have it wound opposite the direction it should be. It could be that you've wound it too tight (sounds weird, I know), or that you have too much line packed in there. It could be that you somehow got it threaded through the holes incorrectly (very common problem and easy to do).


There ARE some "head designs" that are better than others, but basically they are all the same. Essentially, bumping the head on the ground temporarily releases the spool and allows it to "free-spin" for a split second, releasing more line out the holes.


One last thought... I would NOT "lubricate" the line. In my experience, those trimmer heads are down in the middle of so much dust, that any lubricant is simply going to attract it, adhere to it, and make a HUGE oily mess in your spool.


Good luck. You'll figure it out!
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:17 PM   #9
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Trimmer Problems


Need help in finding homelite grass trimmer parts
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:24 PM   #10
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A follow up to my original post. Spent a day testing the trimmer with 2 diff types of line (.65 & .95) Wound it loose, tight, dual and single. In ALL cases, the line jammed in the spool then snapped inside the head after just a few minutes of trimming. I am considering an alternative method and would like some feedback. What about those individual "u-shaped" lines that are stronger, but more easily replaced in the head? Or an "aero-flex" replacement head with helicopter-like blades that promise to withstand an occasional strike to concrete or fencing? Thanks for the responses to my first post, hope you can help with this also.

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