A petrol strimmer, also known as a string trimmer or weed eater, is a powerful tool that proves invaluable for maintaining the edges and hard-to-reach areas of your garden. Starting a petrol strimmer may seem daunting for beginners, but with the right knowledge and technique, it becomes a straightforward task. In this article, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process to start your petrol strimmer with confidence.

Garden Strimmer Starting Guide

1. Safety First

Before attempting to start your petrol strimmer, prioritize safety precautions to prevent accidents or injuries.

  1. Wear Protective Gear:

    • Put on safety glasses, gloves, and appropriate footwear to protect yourself from debris and sharp objects.
  2. Check the Work Area:

    • Ensure the work area is clear of obstacles and bystanders. Maintain a safe distance from others during operation.

2. Inspect the Strimmer

Before starting the engine, conduct a quick inspection of the strimmer to ensure everything is in order.

  1. Check Fuel Levels:

    • Confirm that the strimmer has sufficient fuel. Running out of fuel during operation can damage the engine.
  2. Inspect the Cutting Head:

    • Examine the cutting head for any signs of wear or damage. Ensure the trimmer line is of the appropriate size and in good condition.
  3. Check for Leaks:

    • Inspect the strimmer for any fuel or oil leaks. Address any leaks before attempting to start the engine.

3. Prime the Engine

The primer bulb is a small, rubber button that helps to pump fuel into the carburetor, facilitating easier starting.

  1. Locate the Primer Bulb:

    • Identify the primer bulb on your strimmer. It is usually located on the carburetor or fuel system.
  2. Press the Primer Bulb:

    • Press the primer bulb several times until you see fuel moving through the fuel lines. This primes the engine for starting.

4. Set the Choke

The choke helps to enrich the air-fuel mixture during the starting process.

  1. Locate the Choke Lever:

    • Find the choke lever on your strimmer. It is typically located near the air filter or carburetor.
  2. Engage the Choke:

    • Move the choke lever to the “Choke” or “Start” position. This restricts airflow, enriching the fuel mixture for easier starting.

5. Position the Strimmer

Proper positioning is crucial for safe and effective starting.

  1. Place the Strimmer on a Flat Surface:

    • Position the strimmer on a flat and stable surface. This ensures stability during the starting process.
  2. Secure the Strimmer:

    • Use your foot to secure the strimmer in place, holding it steady while starting.

6. Pull the Starter Cord

Now that the strimmer is primed and the choke is engaged, it’s time to start the engine.

  1. Grasp the Starter Handle:

    • Firmly grasp the starter handle with one hand. Ensure your other hand is securely holding the strimmer for stability.
  2. Pull the Starter Cord:

    • Give the starter cord a brisk and smooth pull. Do not yank or jerk the cord abruptly. Repeat pulls until the engine starts.

7. Warm-Up the Engine

Once the engine starts, allow it to warm up for a few moments.

  1. Disengage the Choke:

    • Once the engine is running smoothly, disengage the choke by moving the choke lever to the “Run” position.
  2. Let the Engine Idle:

    • Allow the engine to idle for a minute or two before engaging in trimming activities.

8. Adjustments and Operation

Make any necessary adjustments to the throttle and cutting height before beginning your trimming tasks.

  1. Adjust the Throttle:

    • Adjust the throttle to the desired speed for your trimming needs. Some strimmers have a variable speed trigger for precise control.
  2. Set the Cutting Height:

    • If your strimmer has an adjustable cutting height, set it according to the height you want for your lawn.

9. Shut Down and Storage

After completing your trimming tasks, shut down the strimmer properly for safe storage.

  1. Reduce Throttle and Idle:

    • Reduce the throttle to idle for a minute before shutting down the engine. This helps cool the engine gradually.
  2. Turn Off the Engine:

    • Switch the engine off using the engine stop switch or key. Ensure the cutting head has come to a complete stop.
  3. Store Properly:

    • Store the strimmer in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Consider draining any remaining fuel if storing for an extended period.


Starting a petrol strimmer doesn’t have to be intimidating. By following these step-by-step instructions and prioritizing safety, you can confidently start your strimmer and tackle your lawn maintenance tasks with ease. Regular maintenance, including checking the fuel system, spark plug, and cutting head, will contribute to a smooth starting process and ensure the longevity of your petrol strimmer. Mastering the art of starting your strimmer sets the stage for efficient and effective lawn care, allowing you to keep your garden well-groomed and aesthetically pleasing.

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