Last Updated on December 21, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
A weed eater, often dubbed as a string trimmer or weed whacker is a handy lawn care device that is designed to trim grass and weeds growing in locations not accessible by a lawnmower.
A string trimmer is one of those garden tools that you probably won’t use during the winter, just like your lawn mower, therefore it must be stowed properly during these months to ensure long service life.
As easy as it may sound, the answer as to what is the best solution when it comes to storing your weed eater is a tricky one, most notably because the guidelines vary across models.
In addition, there are a few extra steps to follow when storing a string trimmer, so that you can use it right away next spring.
The first consideration when looking at how to store your weed eater, is what type of string trimmer it is.
There are various types of string trimmer, yours could be a gas trimmer, a corded electric trimmer or a battery trimmer
How to Store a Cordless Weed Eater
Electric weed eaters do not have a fuel tank, making them relatively easy to deal with in terms of how they are stored over the cold months.
Since a cordless weed eater isn’t powered by gasoline, but a battery instead, you should remove the battery and keep it separately in a cool, dry and safe place.
Your device is then ready to be hung on a hook or placed on a practical shelf in your garage or garden shed.
How to Store an Electric Weed Eater
A clean string trimmer makes for a durable string trimmer!
If you have an electric weed eater, one that plugs into an electrical outlet via a power cord, such as the Makita electric weed eater, you simply clean all the parts, wrap the power cord around the length of the trimmer and hang or place your electric weed eater on your chosen storage solution.
Best Way to Store a Gas Weed Eater
The first, most important thing to do when storing a gas weed eater is to remove the fuel. This is for two reasons — one, it can cause leaks, and two, the fact that gasoline deteriorates after six months or so, unless stabilized.
If you think you may be using it on occasion through the winter, then by all means leave the fuel in the tank, but add a fuel stabilizer to be on the safe side. It’s unlikely that you’ll use too much fuel stabilizer, but if you do, the problem is easily rectified.
You can remove the gas from your string trimmer by emptying it into a vessel and using it in another gas-powered appliance.
But, remember to use the contents from your gas tank within six months or else it will have to be disposed of properly. This especially applies to homemade premix fuel, but also to ethanol-free fuel.
The carburetor of your gas weed eater will also have small traces of gasoline in it that should be removed so that it doesn’t deteriorate and create blockage problems.
To deal with this, you don’t need to go through any messy removal processes, simply fire up the appliance after you’ve emptied the tank, and allow this small amount of gasoline to burn away on its own.
This is a convenient way of ensuring that you don’t leave fuel in the carburetor that could compromise the fresh fuel that you put in once spring arrives.
Finally, it’s recommended that you thoroughly clean the weed eater, because gas and oil can easily get into nooks and crannies.
The plastic casing of your weed eater should be the only thing covering these areas, so simply remove it to get right in there.
Clean Air Filter and Parts First Before Storage
No matter which type of string trimmer you own, cleaning is an important part of proper maintenance.
So far as general rules of maintenance go, there are certain parts of each type that you should be sure to clean, before your trimmer is stored for winter, and in fact, a lot of these are things that should ideally be regular maintenance procedures.
Gas string trimmers/gas-powered weed eaters come with air filters to protect the engine, an important component that should typically be cleaned every 5 or so times you use your string trimmer.
Another reason to clean the filter of your weed eater is that the lawn care tool will be sitting in your garage all winter. Hence, greater chances that it will get clogged with dust while being stored.
Most air filters are tucked away neatly in a box that’s generally located at the back of the appliance.
Simply, unscrew the screw to the box to reach the filter, dust the debris off gently with an old toothbrush to get rid of any visible dirt, remove it, wash it with a little petrol or acetone, air dry, and reinstall it in your weed eater.
If you’re unable to locate the filter at the rear of your weed eater, refer to your owner’s manual under maintenance tips.
While you’re on the job with your wacker dismantled, you may as well also check the fuel filter & lines for signs of any leaks.
Other String Trimmer Parts
While you’re in the process of cleaning the filters, you also might as well wipe down the handle, shaft, not forgetting to remove any debris, dirt, rocks & grass that may be stuck around the string, and head of the tool, at the same time.
Inspect and Lubricate the Weed Eater
Speaking of the parts, it’s a good idea to have a bit of a check on the string spool for knots and twists in the string, and replace it if it isn’t in good working order. This applies to an electric, battery or gas-powered weed eater.
Next, take a closer look at the spark plugs, retainers, and springs.
Not knowing you have a dodgy spark plug can lead to some frustrating diagnosis time!
It’s also a good idea to detach the driveshaft and lubricate it with WD-40 or another similar lubricant.
Lastly, check and tighten all the screws and bolts, as some of them can easily come loose during use.
If your gasoline operated or electric weed eater is a few years old, you may also want to use a light engine oil to coat all the external parts to protect your trimmer during winter and to prevent rust formation before, during and after storage.
Some Storage Solutions
Brackets and Hooks
You should never leave your weed eater lying on the floor where it can easily get trodden on and damaged, rather hang it up out of the way in your garage or other storage area.
A four stroke weed eater can take up a fair amount of floor space!
And they are an expensive item, so you want to keep your weed eater safe.
Hanging a weed whacker in your garage or other space can be easily done with a simple plywood bracket installed on the wall.
First, measure how high you’d like to hang the weed eater so that it doesn’t get in the way and leaves you enough space to move around and for storage of bigger and heavier items on the floor.
Then fix a couple of sturdy hooks into the wall that you can hang the weed eater from.
Reliable closet shelf brackets are good for this as they keep the machine nice and secure, in particular, curved closet shelf brackets.
Shelves are another great option for storing weed whackers and other tools in your garage or shed.
If you’re a bit of a handyman, you can make a custom slotted rack or shelves easily using some plywood, and creating indents or holes in them to secure, not only your weed trimmer, but all your other gardening tools, over the winter.
If you’re not so inclined to take on the job yourself then you could opt to buy pre-made shelves from your local hardware shop.
One thing to bear in mind is that, if you intend using the chosen storage facility all year round, it’s best not to have it on a particularly cold wall, as placing a machine that is still hot from use, against a cold wall can cause damage to the engine due to sudden expansion and contraction.
Can You Store A Weed Eater Vertically?
Yes, it’s no problem for your weed whacker to be stored vertically, and it’s in fact, a good space-saving idea to store your weed whacker vertically with the help of brackets and hooks or a custom slotted rack as mentioned in more detail above.
Can You Store A Weed Eater Horizontally?
Yes, if you prefer storing your weed heater horizontally, you can create a horizontal cradle to sit it in.
Should I Hang A Weed Whacker With The Engine Up Or Down?
You can hang your weed whacker in any direction, but most leading manufactures recommend storing a weed whacker vertically with its engine up.
The reason for storing a weed whacker with its engine at the top is to prevent fuel leaks and to suspend the whacker with less supported weight hanging freely.
However, so long as you don’t leave any gas in the machine and have made sure to empty it all out and clear the carburetors, then this shouldn’t be an issue.
The best place to keep your weed whacker is in an unoccupied area of your garage or shed, but one that’s easy to reach at the same time.
For more tips on storage, check out our weed eater reviews.
Remember, at the end of the day, the best form of maintenance information will be found in the manufacturers’ handbook.