Troy-Bilt’s Revenge

For about the time it takes to mow the entire lawn, I worked on my weedtrimmer on a recent afternoon.

The last of the original line had spooled out, except for about a foot long piece. I looked forward to replacing the line with child-like anticipation. Because my new weed trimmer had a Speed Spool(TM), which eliminates the tedium of taking the weed trimmer head apart by allowing the user to simply insert one ten foot line through the two openings, even up the two ends so that about five feet are sticking out on each side, then start winding the line back into the spool.

This sounded easy enough, so I pulled out ten feet of off-brand weed trimmer line (same gauge as the line used by this weed trimmer), and went to insert it. Not so fast. The afore-mentioned foot long remnant was hiding inside the spool, requiring it to be disassembled after all.

This is done by pushing in on two extremely tight plastic tabs on the lower half of the spool, which were designed by the diabolical genius who invented the child-proof cap. Actually, one is tighter than the other, which results in the other side binding up completely. The possibility of this happening is suggested in the owner’s manual, which also said to use genuine Troy-Bilt trimmer line. So for five to ten minutes, I attempted to push these tabs in. Somehow, I finally succeeded, revealing that the spool is made up of two plastic halves and that the metal sides of the two openings are actually little metal cylinders (two on each opening) that are designed to make putting the two halves back together once you’ve taken them apart an absolute nightmare.

Once I got the remaining original line out and managed to reassemble the spool (another four or five minutes later), I was then ready to insert the line. When I did so, I soon discovered that the line entered the spool easily, and started curling all around inside the spool. After inserting a foot or so of line without seeing any line come out the other end, pulling out, and repeating this process a few times, I came to the conclusion there was somewhere else for the line to go besides coming out the other end, and that as long as there was this option, the line was going to take it.

I then hit on the idea of partially disassembling the spool to allow myself to guide the line through cialis online. I learned two things from this attempt, which took another ten minutes or so:

  • There is no such thing as “partially disassembling” this spool.
  • The channel through the spool disappears when you take the two halves apart, in much the same way as your lap disappears when you stand up.

Once I began to accept this idea, I did what comes naturally to me in situations like this. I turned to Google (after drying my eyes), and found that even when I fed it search terms like


I got very general results, about 94.7239832 of which were from merchants trying to sell me a Troy-Bilt trimmer with a speed spool, and the rest of which were describing a different model of trimmer head. Further attempts to refine the results confirmed what I had already suspected: I was the only person to ever have this problem in the history of the universe.

I went through the instructions one last time, and pondered whether the fact that I had after-market trimmer line could possibly make any difference. No, I reasoned, because the line was the right diameter and it was feeding into the aperture just fine. I considered this carefully for some time, and pondered whether to go to the store to buy Troy-Bilt trimmer line. This seems like an easy decision to make, but I was running short on time for the day, and I really wanted to figure this out before going up to the store, because I didn’t want to buy the line and find out it didn’t solve the problem.

And then I noticed the foot-long piece of line that came out of the weed trimmer in the first place. It went right through the trimmer head the first time.

Next time I’ll follow directions.

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