What to Do When the Weed Eater Head Won’t Come Off

How to

weed eater head won't come off
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If you’ve been struggling with getting the head off of your weed eater, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Being a frequent gardener or just keeping up with lawn maintenance can cause a number of issues, including problems with equipment.

Luckily, we’ve gone through and survive plenty of these issues, especially with a weed eater.

Using the most recent model of weed eater means that there can be two main reasons that the head won’t come off.

First, the head could either be designed as a bump knob, or it could be a screw-off lid.

Either way, we will teach you how to remove it if the weed eater head won’t come off.

Replacing a Weed Eater Head

To safely remove the head of the weed eater, you’re going to need a specific set of tools.

Each weed eater device will have different types of attachments.

Looking at the device can help determine what tools you’ll need.

If not, you can determine the necessary tools by looking at the manufacturer's manual.

Here’s a simplified list of the possible tools you’ll need to use:

  • Weed eater replacement head
  • A spool of nylon string (preferably 0.085 in diameter)
  • Towel or cloth
  • Screwdrivers of varying sizes
  • Wrenches of varying sizes
  • Oil and gas

Step 1: Inspect the Attachment Type

The very first method for identifying the problem is going to be assessing the type of weed eater connection.

Some older models of weed eaters don’t come with additional head attachments, which may be why you’re struggling to get them off.

These types often are built-in to the machine, and you can tell if yours have one if the head and main body have a small gap.

There are two main types you’ll run into:

Knob Head

This is located at the base of the attachment and will be a relatively small bump.

This bump is attached to the main body of the weed eater and allows the device to extend.

Knob heads are popular with electrical and gas weed eaters.

To remove it, you will need to press down on the head after the device is powered off, and it should pop off.

Screw Head

This can be identified if the head and the main body of the weed eater is aligned closely together.

Generally, this type will have no gaps between the attachment and weed eater.

To remove this, power off the device and grasp firmly on the head.

From there, rotate it in a counterclockwise motion until it comes off.

Step 2: Turn off the Main Power

Once you’ve assessed the connection type, it will be time to begin removing the weed eater head from the main body.

Just with any electrical device, you’re going to want to switch the power off so that the engine is completely turned off.

To ensure that it won’t start up again, locate the power button, and power the device off.

If you can hear the engine rumbling, then it’s likely still turning off.

Taking the plug out can ensure that the device doesn’t accidentally switch on.

Once it’s been powered off and had time to cool, you can lay it down on a flat surface and begin to remove the head.

Step 3: Clean the Device

If you’ve already used the device, then it may be a good idea to remove any of the grime before you attempt to get the head off.

Dirt and build-up of mud, leaves, and other particles may cause the head to become jammed.

By cleaning it off, you’ll have an easier time removing it and also be able to get a good grip on the device.

The best method to clean a weed eater head is by using a durable towel.

Start by dipping the cloth in water and wiping down the device.

Dip the towel back into the water to remove any dirt and continue to wipe the machine down.

Once the trimmer head is free from grass clippings and dirt, you can move onto the next step.

Step 4. Start by Removing Spool

Many weed eater heads have a spool of line that loops around the housing of the head.

To remove the head, you’re going first to have to remove this spool.

It can be a bit complicated at first, but after pushing the line in and twisting, you will be able to get the spool loose.

Once it starts to loosen, pull the spool out carefully.

Depending on what brand the weed eater is and if the device already came with a spool, the head may have an odd shape.

If you’re struggling to remove the spool, we highly suggest using the instruction manual.

On the off case that you don’t have the instruction manual, then you may want to contact the manufacturer for further details.

We understand how hard it can be to remove a stuck head.

The last thing you want to do is attempt to rip out the spool if it's clogged; you can end up damaging the device permanently.

This is the reason why we recommend contacting the manufacturer if the spooler gets stuck.

Step 5: If There’s No Spool, Look for Remaining Nuts and Bolts

Standard models of weed eaters sometimes come without spools.

If this is the case, you’re going to want to identify the retaining nuts and bolts.

These small screws are what attach the head of the device to the main body.

To remove them, unscrew them and then pull off the head.

It can be challenging to locate these nuts and bolts because they are small.

To ensure that you’re removing the right ones, try and find the ones that directly attach the head to the main body.

Use the proper size and screws to remove them so that you don’t strip or damage them.

If you’re still struggling to get the head off even after removing the screws, you may want to consider two options: either the head is stuck and needs to be oiled, or the device may be reverse-threaded.

Step 6: Remove the Head of Your Weed Eater

Once you’ve got the spool and nuts and bolts out, you can easily pull off the head of your weed eater.

Start by positioning both of your hands at the base and head of the weed eater.

Softly pull the head from the base until the unit pops off.

If it jams, try and use a cordless screwdriver to loosen the ends.

This can help pry heads from the weed eater if it’s stuck on the main body.

However, take special care not to be too rough; otherwise, the unit may crack.

Step 7: Clean out the Inside

Once you have the head off, it’s a good idea to go into the weed eater and clean it off.

The head attachment will need to be cleaned if you’re going to reuse it.

Inspect the inside and see if it’s in good condition, and throw away the head if it contains any cracks, rust, or damaged parts.

If not, take the head out and clean the inside with a towel.

Be careful of any sharp edges and use gloves.

Once you have the insides cleaned out, you can place it back onto the main body.

To replace the current head with a new one, purchase a separate head from the corresponding brand.

Ensure that you have the proper model, as not all weed eater heads will fit on the main body of the device.

Once you’ve got the right one, you can begin to reattach the head.

Step 8: Replace the Spool and String

Start by inserting the two ends of the line spool from the device.

The holes on the outside of the head should safely secure the spool in place.

You’re going to want to place at least three inches of spool out of each end.

From there, you can tighten the bottom bump knob or screw on a new head.

Step 9: Replace the Weed Eater Head

Just as you detached the head, reattach it following the opposite steps.

Insert the head of the weed eater, and either screw or screw-drive it back into place.

Always test the device after you’ve reattached the head.

Try and shake the device a bit and see if the head stays in place.

Once it has, you can power it on and see if it works.

If the weed eater head operates without issues, then you can continue to use the device as normal.

On the off chance that the unit doesn’t function normally, then you’ll need to try and find where the issue is.

weed eater head won't come off

Weed Eater Head Won’t Come Off: What to Do

If you hit a roadblock while loosening the weed eater head, then we can help you.

There’s a number of issues we commonly see among gardeners reattaching weed eater heads.

Here’s a quick list of the most frequent problems;

Having the Wrong Head Replacement Type

We see plenty of people assume that all weed eaters are the same.

Generally, this is true, but each head is made to work with a specific weed eater body.

If you’re struggling to get the head back on, it could be because you’ve purchased the same brand but not a compatible head type.

Having an Older Model That’s Stuck

Sometimes, it will be impossible to get the head off of the weed eater.

Many old versions of weed eaters are only designed to have one purpose.

If the head isn’t coming off, it could be that the head isn’t designed to come off.

Aside from that, the head of the weed eater can get permanently stuck.

If you’re not cleaning your device regularly or it’s been sitting in a shed for a while, the head may not come off easily.

If this is the case, you may need to get rid of the entire device and replace it.

However, if you find that the unit is stuck, you can attempt to clean it off.

Cleaning the head and the connection can help remove dirt and grime.

This, in turn, will allow the unit to loosen and possibly help the head attachment from coming off.

Using the Wrong Tools

The last issue we find that’s pretty common is that you could be using the wrong type of screwdriver.

Chipping the screws or damaging the indents can result in the head becoming stuck.

If you’re using screwdrivers to remove nuts and bolts, ensure that you have the right size.

One way to avoid this issue is to invest in a decent tool kit.

We recommend using hand screwdrivers for the removal process.

The reason for this is that electrical power screwdrivers may be too forceful and might chip away at the exterior of the head.

If the weed eater’s head is made from plastic or fragile material, it could become permanently damaged due to unscrewing at such a high speed.


Replacing a weed eater head isn’t a complicated process, but it does pose a risk.

Before you begin, always take the necessary safety procedures to ensure that you won’t get injured.

The weed eater is a powerful device and still needs to be powered off before taking it apart.

If you’re struggling to replace the device’s head, then we don’t recommend doing it yourself.

Instead, ask someone with experience to help you.

Weed eaters can be extremely dangerous to you and the people around you; the last thing you want is to get injured or break your device accidentally.

Struggling to replace the head is normal, but don’t get carried away.

Reading step-by-step guides, such as this one, can help you stay safe and on track.

Most weed eaters will have a similar head removing process, but some are designed uniquely.

If you don’t have access to the manual, consider contacting the company for further instructions.


Removing a weed eater doesn’t have to be super complicated.

If you’ve taken the necessary steps to learn what to do when the weed eater head won’t come off, you’ll find that the process will become much more manageable.

We understand that it can get frustrating at times, which is why it’s essential to learn the steps ahead of time.

We hope that we’ve at least helped you understand how to loosen the head off a weed eater.

About the Author

Steve has been gardening for over 20 years now. He enjoys sharing his experiences with others.

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