One of the most important things about owning a string trimmer is storing it properly. If you just leave it outside when you’re done working then it’ll be exposed to the elements and will become damaged very quickly. But since most of us don’t have unlimited storage space in our garden sheds or garages, we need to be creative when it comes to string trimmer storage.
But one of the main problems we run into is whether we should do trimmer storage vertical or horizontal. Is there a best way? And if so, why?
It is best practice to store your weed eater vertically. This is because there is less chance of a gas or oil leak as well as other benefits. While gas and oil leaks do not apply to electric weed eaters, it’s still better to keep it vertical as it’ll put less pressure on the tool and will free up space elsewhere.
But there’s still a lot more to understand about how to store a weed eater and in this guide we will cover everything you need to know
Weed eaters have quite an odd shape so they’re not something you can just throw in a corner and forget about until the next time you need to use it. But failing to protect your string trimmer by keeping it indoors is only going to lead to disaster so it’s really important to find a good storage solution.
When you find the best way to store your string trimmer, you’ll find that it stays in better condition and doesn’t take over the space, giving you more room to store other things too!
Can You Hang A String Trimmer Vertically?
When it comes to how to hang a weed eater, vertically is always going to be your best option. In fact, if you take a look in your manufacturer’s guide, it’ll probably advise this as the optimal method so it’s a good idea to stick with this.
But why is this such a good idea? Well, there are a few reasons that hanging a weed eater vertically is great and we will cover some of them in the points below.
- For gas powered string trimmers, keeping them vertical ensures that no gas or oil can leak during storage.
- When hanging vertically, there will be less pressure on the fragile components of your string trimmer.
- By ensuring that the weed eater is not on the ground, this will keep it cleaner and stop a build up of dirt and dust.
- Hanging the weed eater vertically means that it’ll take up less storage space.
Storing the weed eater in a vertical position, preferably hanging on the wall, is essential for gas powered models due to the risk of oil and gas leaks, as mentioned in the points above. However, you can also store your electric or battery powered weed eater this way if you are looking to free up space on the floor.
What’s more, when you hang an electric weed eater on the wall, you are protecting some of the delicate parts such as the spool, guard and line cutter which can be put under pressure when the tool is laid flat. This may result in them weakening and eventually breaking.
Should You Hang A Weed Eater Engine Upside Down?
As the song says; the only way is up! And that applies to your weed eater as well. All manufacturers of gas powered weed eaters will advise you to store your tool with the engine facing up. Again, this is in relation to those pesky gas and oil leaks which may happen when the engine is pointing down.
There is no risk of any gas or oil leaking if you have an electric trimmer but the guard near the bottom of the tool is quite delicate so you shouldn’t use this to hang the trimmer.
For those of you with an electric or battery powered weed eater, you should make sure that it is hung vertically with the cutting side pointing towards the floor. Don’t be tempted to hang the string trimmer using the guard or the lower handle. While a lot of people do this, it can cause damage over time such as cracking. Also, doing this means that the trimmer will be further out from the wall.
If this happens, there is a risk of you accidentally bumping into it and it could fall down. This would obviously damage your machine and could injure you. It might appear as thought these parts are just made for hanging but this isn’t the case.
Can You Store A Weed Eater Horizontally?
So, we’ve figured out that hanging a weed eater vertically is the best solution to your storage problems but surely it’s OK to store it horizontally, right?
Sadly, this isn’t OK as there are several things that can cause problems when you store a weed eater this way. One of the main problems is that there is a serious risk of gas and oil leaks but you’ll also find that you put unnecessary pressure on the fragile parts of your machine and you’ll take up a lot more space than you really need to.
Issues With Storing Horizontally
I have just touched upon some of the reasons that storing a string trimmer horizontally is not a good idea. But in order to fully understand why, it’s a good idea to look at these reasons in a little more detail. So let’s dive in!
Gas or Oil Leaks
Anyone who has ever made the mistake of storing their string trimmer in a horizontal position may well have experienced a gas or oil leak. This is so common when keeping your tool like this and while it probably won’t do much harm if it happens once or twice, you shouldn’t allow this to keep happening.
Regardless of whether you have a two cycle or four cycle gas string trimmer, there is a possibility of the gas or oil leaking out when they’re stored horizontally. However, it’s a lot more likely to happen with a four cycle trimmer since they have the oil in a separate compartment to the gas.
In the short term, a leak like this isn’t going to put your string trimmer out of action but the clean up can be really annoying and definitely something you’ll want to avoid.
Pressure On Fragile Parts
String trimmers, especially gas powered models, appear to be incredibly robust tools. And they are. However, they do have some very delicate parts that can become damaged when the tool is not stored correctly.
The cutting side of the trimmer is one part that really needs to be taken care of as it’s pretty delicate but things like the shaft and the handle are also at risk of breaking. This is because many of them are made from either plastic, which can crack or aluminum which has a tendency to bend.
When you place the trimmer horizontally, there could be a lot of pressure on these delicate parts and the weight of the engine could cause them to warp or crack.
There’s also the risk of putting other items on top of your string trimmer thinking that it’ll take the weight when in reality this could be doing some serious damage.
How much storage space you have will determine whether this point will be an issue for you. Most of us don’t have unlimited space in the shed or garage so we need to think wisely when it comes to packing all of our equipment in there.
When you think sensibly, you will be able to get all of your garden tools, furniture, DIY equipment and anything else you need to store into the garage without it feeling cluttered. But this relies on using every inch of available space wisely and storing your weed eater horizontally just goes totally against that.
If the tool is laid flat then you won’t be able to store anything on top of it and it’ll take up a lot of room either on the floor or on a shelf. But when it’s hanging vertically, you’ll find that you have much more free space and you’ll have a much easier time getting everything in.
FAQ About Weed Eater Storage
How do you store a string trimmer in a garage?
The garage is a great place to store your string trimmer but you need to make sure that you do it correctly. This involves storing the weed eater in a vertical position, hanging on the wall. Don’t hang it by its handle or guard as these are delicate parts that could be damaged from any undue pressure.
How do you store a gas string trimmer?
Before you store your gas string trimmer for winter, we would recommend giving it a good clean. You’ll need to remove any dirt, grass, dust, and any other debris that may be clinging to it. The fins should be totally clear of any dirt as if they become clogged you will likely find that your string trimmer overheats the next time you come to use it. It’s also possible to wash the cutting end with some fresh water if you need to but make sure you allow it to dry thoroughly before storing.
This is also a great opportunity to check your string trimmer to make sure that there is no damage or parts that need fixing. If there are, then tend to this now rather than leaving it until later.
Some models require that you grease the shaft although there are others that have a sealed pre-greased system which will last the entire life of the trimmer.
There is a debate over whether you should leave gas in the trimmer’s tank over winter and for the most part, I would tell you to just drain it out. This is something that manufacturers are urging their customers to do because it’s in the best interests of the tool.
However, if you really must leave the gas in the tank then I’d urge you to use a fuel stabilizer which will increase the life of the fuel and prevent any gummy residue from forming.
If you have purchased fuel from the local gas station then this can turn bad a lot quicker than you might think. There’s a common misconception that mixing oil and gas in a two cycle engine will prolong the life of the oil but this isn’t true. That said, you can buy a commercial premix that will last significantly longer than a homemade blend.
The reason for this is that commercial products tend to use ethanol free gas. You’ll notice that the price is a little higher but when you consider that the product lasts longer, it’s worth forking out for. Plus, using ethanol based fuels can cause problems for your engine over time so it’s always a good idea to avoid them where possible.
If you do decide to use an ethanol based fuel, don’t bother adding a fuel stabilizer, just go ahead and drain the tank before you store your weed eater over the winter. This way, you can be 100% confident that you won’t come back to a plethora of problems in the spring. The easiest way to drain the tank is to either use a siphon pump or just let the engine run until all of the fuel has been burned.
String trimmers should be part of the yard car arsenal of every homeowner but these cumbersome tools can take up a lot of unnecessary space if they aren’t stored correctly. Moreover, not storing your weed eater properly can lead to problems such as gas leaks, oil leaks and parts of the machine breaking because of unnecessary pressure.
It is best to hand your string trimmer vertically on the wall. This will help to prevent any of the aforementioned problems and will take up as little space as possible.
If you have a gas powered string trimmer then be sure to drain all of the fuel from the tank before storing the tool for long periods of time. Alternatively, you can use a fuel stabilizer.