SOLVED: Why Does My Trimmer Line Keep Breaking? Fixing Brittle String

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I just learned something new – the answer to ‘why does my trimmer line keep breaking?’

It’s a problem I’d been having with my Stihl FS 45 line trimmer.

The line I was using was brand new, but it was very brittle and would break the moment it hit a brick or any other hard object. It meant I was going through a ton of trimmer line and not really accomplishing much.

But then, YouTube popped up the following video which solved my problem.

Weed Wacker String Keeps Breaking

Why does my weed wacker line keep breaking?

This video explains why this happens and how to solve it (skip to 3:44 to hear the trimmer line hack).

The reason line trimmer string breaks so easily is because it dries out, especially if it’s been sitting around for a long time.

The remedy is to to soak the trimmer line in water.

I tested it out, and it works!

Soaking Trimmer Line In Water

Stihl trimmer line feed problems
Fixing my Stihl trimmer line-feed problems

So what do you need to do?

It’s really simple.

If you haven’t watched the video, here’s what I did:

  1. Put the trimmer line into a bucket of water
  2. Leave it there for 24 – 48 hours (some say even a bit longer)
  3. Take it out and let it dry in the sun
  4. Test it out

As you can see, it’s not rocket science, but it’s one of those things that most of us need to be told about before we realize the issue.

I was amazed by what a difference this made to my weed eater line – it went from being extremely weak and brittle, to surprisingly strong and durable.

Trimmer Line That Doesn’t Break

trimmer line keeps feeding out
Trimmer line keeps feeding out – problem solved

Why does my trimmer line keep breaking?

I have discovered that the trick isn’t buying a thicker, stronger trimmer line that doesn’t break, it’s making sure your current trimmer line has a higher moisture content.

The most expensive trimmer line won’t be suitable for all weed eaters, especially the thicker products.

Unless you have a higher-powered unit like theStihl FS 55 or above, something like the 2mm I use should be fine.

Other helpful information from the YouTube comments on Chickanic’s video, including the following.

Tom Foolery said:

My Stihl dealer told me the bucket of water trick a few years ago and it does help, but the problem I was having was the line pinching on itself in the spool and it would not feed.

I discovered several years ago a sure fire trick and that is to shoot a little silicone spray on the line, this was a game changer for me. Hope this helps someone else.

Alasdair wrote:

One extra advantage I’ve noticed with a hydrated line is the extra mass adds to the centrifugal force holding the line out perpendicular, creating a more powerful cutting force.

When I hit the really heavy stuff I always pre-soak the loaded spool from the night before. I add a few drops of dishwashing detergent to the water which breaks the surface tension of the water against nylon in a bunched state and also helps prevent friction lock of the cord in use.

Del Seckora stated:

When using a bump feed type head bump more often so that the trimmer line doesn’t get so close to the head.

The line does develop heat and when it is short or close to the head it transfers that heat into the spool and causes it to fuse together in the spool.

But there is plenty more great advice from experienced line trimmer users that you should check out in the video’s comments.

Let me know your experiences with trimmer line that keeps coming out, and what you did to solve the problem, in the comments below.

Lastly, for interest’s sake, do you know what the FS means on Stihl Weed Eaters?


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3 thoughts on “SOLVED: Why Does My Trimmer Line Keep Breaking? Fixing Brittle String”

  1. This is one of the most helpful internet videos I’ve ever seen! I have about 1/2 roll of .95 Weedeater brand trimmer string and today it began to break almost immediately upon use. It was also getting very tangled on the spool. I was about ready to toss the 500+ feet of string. I am so looking forward to trying your water bucket trick, and perhaps a few drops of dishwashing soap. (Someone even suggested a squirt of lubricant to help avoid tangling.)

    Thank you very much for your profession tip and smooth delivery! You are a champ!

  2. Stihl weed-eater, both MGG self feed and not self feed heads. Soaked .95 trimmer string in a bucket for 5 days. Made absolutely no difference, still sheared off after maybe 10 – 15 yards of side trimming. I think Stihl has a defect in their trimmer head design. Have used EHCO for over 10 years, no problems!


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