How to Spool a Weed Eater – 3 Easy Methods

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Last updated on June 15th, 2019 at 09:30 am

The one intimidating thing about using a string trimmer is to refill the spool. Some spools are easy to load while others are very difficult. Others are not entirely difficult, they just lack concise instructions. Accordingly, to save you from the frustration of loading the spool unsuccessfully, we have put together a comprehensive set of instructions. These instructions cover the three main types of string-loading mechanisms that apply across the corded, gas-powered, and cordless weed wackers. These mechanisms include manual, manual ratcheting, and electric load mechanisms.

Method 1: Manual Spooling

Time needed: 2 minutes.

This method involves manually winding the string around the spool. It applies to popular brands such as the Dewalt string trimmer and the Greenworks weed eater. The steps involved are:

  1. Put on safety gloves

    A pair of abrasion-resistant safety gloves is essential for protecting your hands from injury and dirt.

  2. Disconnect weed eater from power supply

    Remove the battery if you are using a battery powered weed eater. Otherwise, unplug the cord of your electric weed whacker.


  3. Remove the spool

    Read the instructions of your string trimmer on how to remove the spool. For most DeWalt weed eaters, grab the protruding part of the head and turn clockwise to unlock the spool. Pull the spool straight out.


  4. Remove old line and debris

    Remove any old line that is in the spool by taking apart the head. Alternatively, you can run the bump-to-feed weed eater until all the entire old line is sput out. Ensure that the spool is free of grass and debris before you begin to restring. Reinstall the spring if it comes out in the process.

  5. Refill the spool

    Restring the spool using the appropriate size of the trimmer line. Typically, cut about 20 feet long of the trimmer line if your weed eater is a single line. In the case of a dual line trimmer, cut two 10 feet long strings. Once you have cut the line(s) wind it around the spool as illustrated. For the DeWalt Dual string trimmer, wind the cutting lines neatly in layers on each groove of the spool starting from the bottom groove. Avoid crisscrossing or tangling the string(s). Once you have neatly wound, leave about 6 inches of the line and hook it through the holding slot. For the dual string spool, hook the least 6 inches each of the strings to each of the holding slots.

  6. Reinstall the loaded spool

    Once loaded neatly, reinstall the spool to the trimmer head housing. Be sure to feed the end of the string through the hole on the side of the head. In the case of a dual line, feed each end of the strings to the holes on the opposite sides of the spool housing. Ensure that the holding slots are aligned to the holes on the walls of the housing. Push the spool into the spool housing and turn counterclockwise to lock it in place.

  7. Success!

    Once the spool has locked into place, pull the end(s) of the trimmer line(s) to release from the holding slot(s). The trimmer is now ready to be used. If the strings extend beyond the cutting blade, you can resize them manually or let the blade resize them once the unit runs. If the lines are shorter, bump to advance the line in case your trimmer has the bump feed system. Otherwise, the line will advance automatically.

Method 2: To Spool by ratcheting

Ratcheting is the second method of spooling. It involves the use of a tool or using hands to turn the head in a ratcheting manner. Unlike manual spooling, this method is more efficient because it does not involve taking the head apart. It involves the following easy steps:

  1. Wear Safety hand protection gloves
  2. Remove the battery or unplug the weed eater from the power supply
  3. Bump the head a couple of times to eject the old line
  4. Line up the arrows on the top part of the head with the eyelets on the sides.
  5. Insert the correct size (per the manual of your weed wacker) of the cutting string through the eyelets
  6. Pull the string through to even out both sides.
  7. Attach the winding tool to the protruding part of the head that has teeth on the side. This applies mostly to the Ryobi String Trimmer.
  8. Begin to ratchet until almost all the string is taken in. If your tool does not have a ratcheting tool, just hold the spool housing tightly with one hand and rotate the protruding part to eat the string until only about 5 inches is left outside.
  9. Power up the tool and bump its head as it runs to release the string to the appropriate cutting length.

Method 3: Spool by Electric Loading

Some string trimmers have very simplified spooling mechanism. With them, all you need is to run the trimmer line through the eyelets and then press a button to wind the string. The EGO Power Plus is one of such weed eaters that have made loading the string as easy as pie.


Julius is an electrical engineer by profession who used to work at a solar microgrid firm as an O&M supervisor. While there, he realized that having the right tools for the trade is equal to getting the job half done. That's when he started this blog to talk about tools.

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