How to Remove Weed Eater Head – 5 Easy Steps

As an Amazon Associate, this site earns commissions from qualifying purchases. For more information click here.

Weed eater heads are durable, but at some point it is going to need a replacement. Constant use and trimming with a thick string takes its toll even on the heavy duty types. I am happy to say though that changing a string trimmer head is a simple process. What’s even better is the steps are similar to corded and gas trimmers.

To change a weed eater head: press the tabs on the bump knob and either turn or pull it off, or turn the knob counterclockwise. Take the spool out and you can now remove the head and replace it.

Those are the basic steps, but for a more detailed guide I suggest you read on. If this is your first time to change a string trimmer head, the following information might be useful.

Things You Will Need

  • New weed eater replacement head. I prefer the Weed Warrior EZ Lock because it is compatible with Stihl, Husqvarna, Echo, Ryobi and other popular brands
  • Screwdriver (check manual for required size and type)
  • Wrenches (look in the manual for the specific type)
  • Cleaning cloth
  • String (if you plan to change the spool string too)
  • Oil and gas (if you are going to replace the fuel)
  • Power outlet (for testing an electric weed eater)

Before You Remove the Weed Eater Head

Before anything else, you have to check what type of head your weed eater has. This determines how you should remove it.

There are two variants:

Knob head. The knob head has a small bump and is typically found near the bottom of the attachment. The bump itself is linked to the body, The knob head is commonly used in gas and electric string trimmers.

Taking a knob head is easy. Turn your weed eater off and press the head down. It should come off. With other models you have to press tabs to release the head.

Screw head. If the head is positioned very near the body, it is a screw-on type. Most of these do not have any space between the trimmer and attachment.

To remove a screw head, turn the string trimmer off first. Now turn the head counterclockwise until it comes off.

How to Replace a Weed Eater Head

Now that you know what head type your string trimmer has, you can replace it. If you want a more visual approach, watch this video. This focuses on a specific brand, but as you will see it is applicable to all types.

If you prefer to read step by step instructions, follow the guide below.

Step 1: Turn the Weed Eater Off

The first thing you should do is turn the weed eater off. Press the switch to shut it off. If you are using a corded trimmer, unplug the device from the power source. For gas models, disconnect the spark plug. If you have a cordless string trimmer, pull the battery out.

Let the engine cool off for a few minutes. Both gas and electric string trimmers generate heat when in use, that’s normal. Just to be safe, let the gas engine or electric motor rest for a while.

To be even safer, disconnect the spark plug after turning off your gas weed eater. If you have an electric string trimmer, unplug it from the power outlet after switching off. Some might say these steps are not necessary but it’s better to be safe.

Step 2: Clean the Weed Eater

If you are in a hurry, you can just clean the trimmer head. But I recommend cleaning everything to e ensure top performance.

Use a damp towel to wipe off the dirt, grass clippings and other debris. If the trimmer is really dirty it might take several wipes.

Cleaning not only improves performance but also makes it easier to remove the head. When a weed eater head is stuck, it’s usually because of stuck dirt. A good cleanup makes a huge difference.

Step 3: Remove the Weed Eater Head

There are two ways to take the string trimmer head off. How you do it depends on whether the trimmer has a spool or not.

With a Spool. Check if the string trimmer has string around the head. If there is, you have to take it out first. Usually you have to push the string in and give it a light twist to pull it off. It could take some effort but the string will com out.

If you are having trouble pulling the spool line, refer to your user guide. There are different types of string trimmers so the mechanism can and does vary.

It can be frustrating especially if the line keeps getting twisted. You just need to focus and that string will eventually loosen.

Do not forcibly pull the line out. That’s going to make things worse as the line can get snagged and cause damage.

After the string loosens, loosen the spool. Be careful so it doesn’t get entangled.

Without a Spool. If the string trimmer doesn’t have a spool, you have to take the nuts and bolts out. Once you remove these you can lift the head out.

Be careful when pulling out those screws though. There could be a lot of them on the trimmer and you could end up unscrewing the wrong ones. Look for those bolts that connect the head to the trimmer body..

A couple of things I want to add here: make sure you have the right screwdriver or wrench size to avoid damage. You can find the information in your user manual.

If you were able to take off the nuts and bolts but the head refuses to come off, it probably needs oiling. I suggest some WD-40 to loosen it up. This usually happens with old string trimmers. If you haven’t changed the head in a while, rust might have set in, so oil is going to help.

Remove the Head

Whichever of the two methods you used, it is now time to physically remove the weed eater head.

Here is how you do it:

Position your hands at the head and base of the string trimmer. Grab the head firmly but pull it off gently. It should lift off easily. If it doesn’t, use a screwdriver or a similar tool to pry it loose.

After the head is installed you can start the weed eater. This guide shows you step by step how to operate a gas, electric and cordless weed eater.

Step 4: Clean the Interior

Now that you have the head off, clean the area where the head was connected to. Look for cracks, dents or any signs of damage. Use a cloth to remove dirt, grime, dust etc.

If your weed eater is new this should not take long. If it hasn’t been cleaned in a while it will take time. Once you’re done you can either put the head back on or install a new. Since the focus of this guide is on how to change a weed eater, that is what we’ll do.

Step 5: Install the New Weed Eater Head

If you have not already done so, buy a compatible head. You can find a list of compatible trimmer heads from the manufacturer website or operating manual.

Put the two ends of the string spool so the head openings secure the spool. Leave 3-4 inches of string hanging. Either screw the replacement head on or secure the knob.

Give the head a slight shake to see if it is secure. Turn the string trimmer on and use it for a few minutes. If everything runs fine you’re done.

Tips and Warnings

Follow the instructions in the owner’s manual. There are many types of string trimmers so the steps for replacing a head will vary.

Use only a compatible head for your weed eater. You won’t be able to install it if the deice is not suitable for your weed eater.

Clean the weed eater on a regular basis. This is going to make a huge difference in terms of its lifespan.