Strimmer Wire Troubleshooting FAQ

strimmer cutting out on lawn

Strimmers are super handy little devices. They make trimming everything from lawns to weeds a breeze and save your back a load of pain. But just like every other mechanical contraption, they have their own assortment of issues. If you’re wondering why your strimmer wire keeps snapping, whether or not you can use your strimmer on wet grass, or the type and quantity of oil to use, you’re in the right place. Those of us at DreamyHome decided it was time to put together this handy-dandy little FAQ for all of those questions.

Today’s Topics Include:

There’s a lot to cover today, so let’s just dive in, yeah?

Common Strimmer Questions & Answers

Now we started with a clear question – why does your strimmer wire keep snapping? While we gave a super brief answer, it’s only fair to dive a bit more deeply, so let’s just get going. We want to make sure your strimmer is operating perfectly, so let’s get it fixed, yeah?

Why Does My Strimmer Wire Keep Snapping?

strimmer wire spool and wire cutters

If your strimmer wire keeps snapping, there are three likely causes – rocks, improper parts, or a straight-up broken or poorly aged wire. Here’s what to do in order to fix this conundrum:

  • If you’re hitting something too hard:
    • Every time you decide it’s time to trim up your lawn with a trimmer, you need to do an inspection first. Things like rocks, fences, and other hard items are simply too sturdy for a trimmer wire to handle. Hitting one of these will snap your wire – so remove them first!
  • If you think it’s too old:
    • On average, you should be replacing the trimmer line every two months at most (with heavy/regular use). If you’re not doing that, start! It’s likely that you just need to replace the line more often.
  • If you think it’s a flaw in a part:
    • Make sure you’re using original parts. If you bought it used or purchased third-party parts, it’s likely that a part not intended for your model of strimmer has made its way into the mix. This will damage the line and cause it to snap far more often.

To prevent these issues from occurring in the first place, here’s what to do:

  • Regularly replace your line.
  • Walk the area you’re going to trim and remove any large rocks.
  • Clean the trimmer after every use. (This prevents anything from getting caught internally and is just generally a good practice.)
  • Use only original parts. If you have to buy a replacement, get it straight from the manufacturer. Skimping on parts will impact the lifespan of your strimmer every time.
  • Ensure the strimmer’s line isn’t super long. Cut it down if it is! The longer the line, the better chances it has of snapping.

In short, check your line, parts, and the area you’re trimming to ensure the line doesn’t snap.

What Can I Use Instead of Strimmer Wire?

strimmer wire keeps snapping trimming lawn

This is a super short section, but it’s asked enough that we felt it was necessary. If you’re wondering what you can use instead of strimmer wire, I have good news – there’s quite a bit! Keep in mind, though, that your strimmer was designed with the intent you’re using the standard nylon line. Anything else runs the risk of damaging your strimmer (look above).

But to answer the question, you can use each of the following in place of strimmer wire:

  • Steel cables
  • Zip ties
  • Fishing line

Just be sure to properly trim whatever you’re using and to walk the area you’re planning on trimming. Hitting a rock with a nylon line is bad – hitting a rock with a steel cable could cost you a limb.

In short, you can use everything from zip ties to a steel cable in place of strimmer wire. However, this runs the risk of damaging the device and potentially causing serious injury without the proper protective equipment.

What Size Strimmer Line Do I Need?

And in the same line of discussion, it’s worth talking about the actual recommended size of strimmer line for various tasks. If you’re wondering what size of strimmer line you need, good news! There’s a list right below:

  • Light Work
    • If you’re planning on just trimming up your lawn and a few weeds, you can use lines between .065″ – .085″ (.16 – .21 cm).
  • Heavy Work
    • Larger task loads such as tall grass and sturdier weeds require a slightly thicker line. You’ll want between .085″ – 0.11″ (.21 – .27 cm).
  • Heaviest Work
    • For truly tough tasks like actual underbrush or small branches, you’ll need a line thicker than .11″ (.27 cm).

Just remember that the thicker your line, the more resistance it’ll encounter and the slower it’ll swing. If you have a super heavy-duty strimmer with a beast of a motor, this won’t be a concern, but those with “strimmer lite” models will notice a change in performance. Don’t let this scare you – it’s normal.

In short, the size strimmer line you need varies on the task. Grass and small weeds need something small, taller grass and tougher weeds need a middling size line, and stuff like brush and branches will require a high-gauge line.


Strimmers are super handy contraptions, but they come with a slew of knowledge that’s needed to properly use them. What type of oil (and how much) do they take? Can you replace their line, and what with? What about maintenance and best practices? Each of these questions should have been answered in this handy little list, meaning now you get to do the fun part – actually trimming things!