DIY Repair – Worx String Trimmer 19. Worx weed wacker battery
Troubleshooting and repairing a battery powered Worx string trimmer that suddenly stopped working.
Back when we bought our house we knew we needed a string trimmer to edge the lawn and reach tight spots a mower will miss. After some research at the time we wound up going with the Worx 20V battery powered string trimmer (Affiliate Link). We have been pretty happy with it every since. A full charge will usually take care of the front or back yard, but not both. Also, the ability to flip it around and roll it on the wheel for edging is great. On top of that, its light, though after using it for 30 minutes you might forget it. The battery has held up well and we have had zero problems with it.
You can therefore imagine our surprise when my wife was finishing up the backyard and the thing just stopped. We didn’t hear a sputter or grinding or anything, it just wouldn’t turn on when the switch was clicked anymore. I was worried we would need to replace it which wouldn’t be the end of the world. However, since I knew it was a pretty simple electrical device I was hopeful I could repair it.
Diagnosing the Issue
My troubleshooting heuristics usually flow from easiest potential issue to check to hardest issue to check, with some variances allowed for more likely problems. Since it required no disassembly, the obvious fist step was to use a multi-meter to check the battery voltage. The battery was very conveniently labeled, so it was easy for me to find the and – terminals. I set my multi-meter range to 200V DC and found 20 volts between and – just as I should. This meant the battery was not the problem.
Check Lithium Battery Voltage with Multimeter
- Getting some metal really hot (would suck if this was your wedding ring)
- Welding some metal together (would really suck if this was your wedding ring)
- Causing batteries to explode or catch fire, which is scary with modern lithium ion batteries and really bad for your face, and eyes
Just so you don’t think I am a genius, I did also explore an issue that turned out not to be the problem. I examined the trimmer closely and noticed a substantial amount of fibers wrapped around the shaft like hair and grass. I wondered if this large amount of material could be causing the shaft to stick. Therefore, I attempted to cut and pull this material loose with some tools my wife had around for clay sculpting. While I did get some of this material free, it didn’t seem to improve anything on the trimmer, so I went back to troubleshooting.
Debris on Battery Powered String Trimmer Shaft
Now I had a real conundrum though, if there was an electrical problem it was probably either near the handle and switches at the top, or near the electric motor at the bottom. I chose to start at the bottom near the motor for two reasons: I listened and felt both switches and heard good clicks and contacts, also, there seemed to be fewer screws in the bottom portion.
I was in too much of a hurry to fully document the disassembly for you. I began by removing the cover with the logo on it.
I don’t have pictures of the disassembly, but I think I basically did the following:
- Remove cover with Worx logo (Shown above)
- Remove the two screws underneath the cover
- Remove the screw in the middle of the rotating joint
- Remove the screw that held the guard together
- Remove the screw the held the guard on
- Try and fail to remove the metal bumper (I could not get that thing off)
After I got it apart I wound up with two pieces. The casing which holds the motor…
and of course, the handle and the actual motor as well as the wires that connect everything together. When I got to this step it was pretty obvious why the trimmer stopped working. As you can see from the photo, one of the wires that connects the motor had broken loose!
Finally, I knew what the problem was. I was very excited that this was the issue because fixing a broken solder connection is something I have done many times and already had the tools and materials for.
How to Replace String Trimmer Edger Line EASY / Worx Trimmer Spool Line / Weed Eater / Weed Whacker
Fixing the Problem
Luckily for this engineer, the problem turned out to be a broken connection between the motor and the wires that run up the shaft. Re-soldering a wire is definitely in my wheelhouse while small engine repair for a gas model is not.
First, I setup my soldering workstation. For work like this you can use either a small electronics soldering iron, or something with a bit more juice. In this case, since my little Radioshack iron was just taking forever to heat up, I wound up using my larger soldering iron that I normally use for stain glass. (Note that both are in need of replacement at this point though, and are pretty much good for nothing). You can either buy a nice soldering station, or a holder, or you can do what I do and use some nails in scrap wood.
To remove the broken solder connection from the terminal on the motor, I used a desoldering pump, or “solder sucker” like this one at Amazon (Affiliate Link). If you do any amount of solder repair, you need one of these. The technique with a solder sucker is pretty obvious: push down the pump until it clicks in place, then use an iron to heat the solder to liquid, put the tip of the sucker as close as you can and hit the button to suck the solder into the pump. Then wash, rinse, repeat, until you get it clean enough to re-solder. Use a bit of flux to get the old solder to flow if needed. You can see the de-soldered motor terminal in the following photo.
Battery String Timmer Motor Ready for Soldering
To repair the connection I decided to duplicate the original assembly technique which was to leave a long exposed piece of wire but wrap it in heat shrink tubing. The downside to this is that the tubing may wear off and cause a short, but shortening the wire down to the insulation would be risky because the wire moves in the swivel head and if it breaks again you will need some slack to re-solder it again. I cut the tubing to length and slid it on the wire, then attached the wire to the terminal and prepared it for soldering as shown following.
Battery String Trimmer Motor with Wire Attached for Soldering
Re-soldering is as simple as heating up the terminal and the wire and applying solder until its covered. I used a solder with a flux core, but you could also use a pure metal solder and supply your own flux.
Battery String Trimmer Motor after Solder Repair
I then pushed the tubing down and used the soldering iron to shrink it around the terminal and wire. However, I was not happy with the results so I added some electrical tape to the repaired connection, as well as to the existing connection which was showing some wear. After putting the tape on it was time to put everything back together.
Battery String Trimmer Motor Terminals Repaired
Reassembly was pretty tough on this one. Since I had pretty much just forced it apart (and not removed that metal wire guard) the thing did not want to go back together. To make matters worse, you are trying to hide a wire in a swiveling joint, which is pretty hard. In the end I did get it, but even if you do a better job of disassembly I think a second pair of hands would help alot.
These Worx trimmers run around 100 USD so I was very happy to have been able to fix it in less than an hour.
My issue turned out to be a broken solder connection. In the case of a battery powered trimmer like this, there aren’t a whole lot of ways for it to break. Off the top of my head, the other potential issues you might check for would be:
I should also give a shout out to Worx for the free trimmer spools for life deal they have with these things. I owned this one for 3 years and just learned about this now. All in all a good tool, but nothing lasts forever.
Battery String Trimmer Repaired and Ready for Action
It turns out there was one more twist to this story. Shortly after this repair the trimmer failed again. I disassembled it again and found that the wire had been broken again. Further investigation revealed that the root cause of this was the motor’s shaft had rotated against and almost instantly broke the wire feeding the motor. To correct this I had to splice on an extension to the wire. If you do the same make sure and find a thick wire to handle the current.
The actual root cause turned out to be that the motor was able to twist itself inside the housing because the white piece of plastic that the motor spins in was not held tightly in the housing. If you perform this repair, try and find some way, such as a little glue or silicone to hold that piece tight when you reassemble. Also make sure that the motors contacts are positioned so that the wires are held away from the motor, and even use some tape if needed to hold them up.
thoughts on “ DIY Repair – Worx String Trimmer ”
Clive Petersen August 26, 2017 at 10:45 am Excellent article. I had the same problem and followed your article. Now it’s fixed. Thanks.
Doreen V Sweeney October 22, 2017 at 10:14 am I have had 18 volt trimmer for many years and have just started really using it. Mine did not die but it did slow down and I noticed there was debris wrapped around the chamber shaft like you. I have tried cleaning it out but still notice some left and I can’t find a way to remove the chamber so I could thoroughly clean it out. Can you help me with this. I have searched all over for some video that would demonstrate how to remove it. There is only one screw without a head holding it on and I don’t have a socket small enough to grab it. Please help. Your information was very helpful in case I run into this after I clean it out.
Mike June 10, 2018 at 1:20 pm Same issue with mine after 4 years. Used your troubleshooting and methods and fixed it in an afternoon. Really well done! Thank you.
Ben Bowen June 15, 2018 at 3:48 pm If at all possible, Never take the handle apart. The internal parts are not user friendly. one accidental bump and spring loaded parts go everywhere. I took the handle apart first because I had a hot spot in the handle,It got really hot whenever I put a third battery on. The wiring down to the motor should have been the next heavier gauge. One tip that I learned as a 40 year electronics tech, when using a solder sucker, trim out a depression in the tip that fits your soldering iron. The increase in suction is amazing, and the reaction of the solder sucker doesn’t drive the soldering iron tip into the circuit board, which can cut circuit traces
William Swanton July 13, 2018 at 2:01 pm I reviewed your instructions, your update is what happen to my unit. So, I untangled the wires and wrapped additional electrical tape around the wires then put silicone around the white plastic portion. Just tested it and it’s working fine! Wish I had seen this before throwing out my 1st one.
Jake August 26, 2018 at 12:09 pm Great and detailed, fix, in my case the wire was mot cut nor had it come off the motor leads but they we’re all crimped and smashed, I straightened all the wires made sure they were all sound, ‘re taped them, ‘re routed them so they would not get crimped again during re-assembly. many thanks to you for this very helpful post.
Rick February 5, 2019 at 5:34 pm Thanks, the hidden screws were driving me nuts. Now to get the freakin handle back together.
Duane Yamamoto August 16, 2019 at 2:56 pm What and where is the rotating joint? how do you remove the screw the screw from it?
Carol Taylor July 17, 2020 at 1:12 pm Thanks for the info. however, my problem is the switch in the handle. I heard a click and the trimmer no longer would start. Is this something I can repair myself? If so, how. Hope to hear from you!!
tejas toolman March 24, 2021 at 5:33 pm I just took mine apart, bearing bushing were dry, now 1 battery last the whole yard when 2 batteries never finished weeding/edging the yard. simple to fix but won’t last like my 30 yr old electric homelite weedeater
Dariusz May 3, 2021 at 8:40 am This was an incredibly helpful post, both in the article and Комментарии и мнения владельцев. Ran into the issue of my Worx 20V trimmer intermittently stalling out. I assumed a loose connection somewhere, so I took the head apart (as described here) and did various continuity checks, but everything proved to be electrically fine. I was also very careful around the handle (thanks for the warnings in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев) and it was enough to pry it slightly open to test the switch, but the switch was fine too. Now, I was really scratching my head. So I started to look around for other causes and noticed that a little inner plastic piece of the trigger was worn/cracked. After a studying it, I realized that that particular piece was actually supposed to make contact with the switch to depress it to start the trimmer, but it looked like it might not always be holding it down tight enough (due to the damage). So a modern approach to fix this would likely call for 3D printing a new trigger piece. But the primitive fix: I grabbed a couple wood chips from the yard and filed them down to fit snuggly inside the hollow openings in the trigger, setting them so the tops of the wood chips were slightly higher than the worn/cracked plastic. After reinstalling the trigger, the trimmer “worx” better than new, as its easier to squeeze and probably won’t fail here again. Thanks everyone the troubleshooting assist.
Gil May 21, 2021 at 10:22 am Thanks for you post. Your description of disassembly was spot on. Unlike you, my soldering skills are 10 times worse and my metal tab was broken flush with motor. After three fails, I read that this tab is actually part of the motor brush. I therefore drilled a small pilot hole next to the metal through the plastic and inserted a small metal screw. I cut the tab at the end of the broken wire, stripped off about an inch of insulation, added a piece of shrink tubing for later, wrapped the exposed wire around the screw, tighten down securely, heat shrank the tubing and reassembled the trimmer. It worx good as new. Hope this will helps someone else.
Felicia Weekley May 23, 2021 at 8:29 am My spool seat got cracked and broke off. Cord tangles and breaks within seconds. Ive gone through an entire spool in just a few mins trying to get it to work. Its truly frustrating as i cant figure out why it would even effect it. Ive tried to put the spool in both ways. I cannot find a spool seat to repair it at the worx site. Is this repairable or am i just SOL?
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We Tried Amazon’s Best-Selling Cordless String Trimmer
If you need a lightweight cordless string trimmer that’s easy to use, this 12-inch model from Worx is perfect for the average yard.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
In case you’re not up with the popular memes on social media, there’s a common one about middle class dads who love lawn care constantly batting around Instagram and other outlets. It’s not one I identify with. I’m not a fan of lawn care. In fact, one great selling point for me about living in the desert after years in the Midwest is that I don’t have to mow a lawn anymore. But I do have to run a trimmer regularly to keep things tidy so as not to incur the wrath of the neighborhood association.
I don’t have much space to take care of, so when it was time to replace my unwieldy corded trimmer, I wanted a cordless yard tool that was also easy to run and maintain. I decided to give the Worx 12-inch string timmer a try. After all, it’s Amazon’s best-selling string trimmer with a 4.5-star rating after more than 21,000 reviews.
What Is the Worx String Trimmer?
Well, like it says, it’s a string trimmer. But it’s actually more than that, too. It converts to an in-line lawn edger with a turn of the head, which makes it easy to quickly take care of grass and weeds growing over your concrete sidewalk or other areas were you might want a crisp line.
The head tilts a full 90 degrees, and the telescoping body can be adjusted with a quick-release lever. That makes it ergonomic to use, and also lets you make necessary adjustments to run it on a hill or squeeze into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. And it weighs less than six pounds.
It comes with two batteries and a charger, which is a nice bonus for a piece of equipment that’s very reasonably priced at just over 100.
How We Tested It
I used it to trim the property around my house over the course of six weeks, so about four times thanks to some surprising summer rains that came a little early.
Right out of the box, set up is easy. It took me less than five minutes to snap the few parts together. After that, I put one of the batteries onto the charger and let it get a full charge before using it.
I started with a long stretch of green space between the sidewalk and the street. It’s not a landscaped section, by any means, just a random collection of Bermuda grass and desert weeds. This was the first cut of the season too, probably a week or so past due for a trim, so everything was getting a little bushy. You don’t have to have the power of a gas trimmer to take care of that space, but some of those weeds are tough enough to chew through string and get a cheap trimmer twisted up. The Worx trimmer had no problems with them. I didn’t even have to let out more string while I was cutting them.
Next, I moved over to a part of my yard where grass grows up between the large landscaping rocks. There’s not a lot of stuff to cut there, but it can be tricky for a trimmer with the stones. Again, no problems with the Worx trimmer. It got in as close as I needed it to against the rocks and wacked the weeds, without leaving me a tiny nub of string once I finished. Along the sidewalk, the in-line edger was helpful for making a nice even cut.
I’ve used it four times, at about 20 minutes per session, since getting the trimmer, and the battery is still holding its initial charge. That’s an added convenience I appreciate about the Worx trimmer.
The caveat to this is that I don’t have a lot of yard to take care of, so I can’t speak to how well this product would do for large yards or those with a particularly stubborn weed patch that’s gotten out of control.
What Others Are Saying
“Awesome little weed eater! I bought this after struggling over and over to start and restart our gas-powered weed eater,” said Aggie, a verified Amazon purchaser. “This one is so lightweight and literally starts with the push of a button!”
Kimber, another verified purchaser, had this to say: “So how does it perform? I love it. A friend stopped by the other day and complimented me on how nice the yard looked. The trimmer is lightweight, and I have a health issue that causes chronic pain at forty-something. The weight, or lack thereof, is a huge relief compared to the gas trimmer collecting dust and spider webs in the garage. I realize the batteries will lose some steam, but right now I have enough to take care of my yard. It is so easy to feed line to that a child could do it.”!
This is a solid cordless trimmer that gets the job done for most yards. It might not be as powerful as traditional gas-powered string trimmer, but it’s easier to use and doesn’t require the same kind of upkeep. Its feather weight makes and adjustability make it accessible to more users too.
Where to Buy
The Worx 12-inch cordless string trimmer is available from Amazon.
Worx Cordless Weed Trimmer WG154 Review: Does This Uphold the WORX Brand Name?
If you have a smaller yard and want a lightweight, cordless trimmer the WORX Cordless Weed Trimmer is perfect.
I hope you love the products that I recommend here! Just so you know, I work with Amazon and other affiliate partners and may be compensated from the links below.
About the WORX Cordless Weed Trimmer
The WORX Cordless Weed Trimmer uses a MaxLithium 20v battery that has a charging time of five hours and 30 minutes of run time.
It has an adjustable cutting width – either 12 inches or 10 inches. Using the 10 inch setting does also prolong the run time.
It features a automatic single line feed, using a 0.065 inch feed, and has a foldable space guard, which you can snap up and protects your flowers when you are weed trimming.
It can be changed from a trimmer to an edger at the flick of a switch and weighs in at 4.2lbs. It comes with a three-year guarantee and 30-day money-back guarantee.
A lot of thought has been put into the design of the WORX WG154. Ergonomically it is really nice to use. The handle can be easily adjust to make it more comfortable and it just feels natural to use, almost like it is an extension of your arm!
Features like the flower guard, which can be snapped up and down to protect plants, the function to change from trimmer to edger and to adjust the cutting width are all incredibly easy and intuitive to use.
The first thing you will notice about this is how light it is! It weighs 4.2lbs and it is about half as heavy as your normal trimmers.
It is so light means it is very easy to handle and perfect if you are older or maybe have less physical strength. Even using it for a prolonged period will leave you with little to no fatigue.
Above: The WORX WG154 is really comfortable to use and ergonomically designed
This has a good double helix trimmer cord, which whilst it isn’t as thick as some, it is durable and there is less need to change it and it produces a nice cut of the grass.
The automatic line feed on the whole works really well (although there are a couple of minor issues outlined below) – and WORX actual prove free spools for life if you give proof you own a WORX product. All you have to do is pay for shipping and handling.
This is surprisingly powerful considering the fact it is so light. It isn’t a replacement for a gas weed eater, but if you don’t want fumes/grease and issues getting it started this is a great choice.
Thanks to the line feed and the fact it is easy to handle you will have no problem getting through most weeds in your yard with this.
Above: The auto-feed head works really well
It has an adjustable cutting option. Just loosen a screw, turn the line cutter and re-tighten the screw and you can change the cutting width from 10 inches to 12 inches or vice versa.
Having it at the 10 inch setting makes it easier to get into those tricky spots and leaves you overall with a better cut and a nicer looking lawn. Bear in mind that the cutting with the 12 inch width uses more power than the 10 inch width.
This switches between a trimmer and an edger really easily, it just takes the flip of a switch and the edger works really well, you get a nice clean edge and it is simple to keep a nice straight line.
And it comes at a really reasonable price!
The Not So Good
All in all this works really well but my main issue is around the battery.
First of all the run time isn’t that long – around 30 minutes, this wouldn’t be so much of a problem were it not for the fact that it takes a long time to recharge – around five hours.
So this means you either have to trim your lawn in parts, waiting for the battery to recharge, or you have to go to the expense of buying a second battery, so you can use one whilst the other charges.
The battery is very poor when compared to something like the EGO Power String Trimmer.
Unlike some of its competitors it doesn’t have a telescopic shaft. The shaft length won’t be suitable for all and particularly if you are tall you will find yourself stooping over it a lot and getting backache or sore knees from bending down.
The Auto Feed function works well, but one small fault is that every time you stop and start the trimmer it auto feeds the trim line, cutting off string even it might already be the proper length.
The spools you get are quite small and pre wound, so they don’t necessarily last that long and this compounds that.
The spool cap is also very poor quality and cracks and break very easily – not a massive problem but irritating nonetheless.
Above: The WORX WG154 does not have a telescopic shaft.
At A Glance
- Well designed
- Line feed works really well
- Good trimmer cord
- Adjustable cutting option
- Easy to switch functionality
- Good edger
- Great price
- Poor battery life
- Battery takes a while to charge
- No telescopic shaft
- Auto feed releases too much line
- Poor spool cap
The Worx WG163 is a lightweight weed trimmer and edger that’s easy to adjust.
Top Ten Reviews Verdict
The Worx WG163 Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger is a great weed eater with plenty of adjustment options.
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The Worx WG163 is a sleek tool that takes care of shaggy edges and thanks to its improved battery power, it provides extended runtime. It weighs 7lbs and can be converted from a trimmer to an edger in seconds.
Dimensions: 37.2″ x 5.9″ x 17.7”
Power needed: Battery Powered
Battery life: 30 minutes
Cutting width range: 11.8”
Energy Star Certified: N
In our list of the best electric weed eaters, the Worx WG163 is priced at the higher-end but comes with advantages such as an adjustable handle, reduced noise and hassle-free usage.
The main positives of this terrific cordless trimmer are the low noise levels and a shaft that can be adjusted to suit the user’s posture and height while having the option to tilt 90 degrees to cover a wide range of terrains.
How to Replace String Trimmer Edger Line EASY / Worx Trimmer Spool Line / Weed Eater / Weed Whacker
In contrast to gas-powered weed eaters, the Worx 20-Volt WG163 requires little maintenance, boasts low carbon emissions and is easy to store, making it ideal for the average homeowner. The only downside of the electric trimmer and edger is long charging intervals, sometimes up to five hours. However, it also comes with a spare battery, a two-year warranty and free replacement spools for life.
Worx WG163: Features
The Worx 20-Volt WG163 weed eater is a powerful tool with both extended runtime and longer reach thanks to the improved battery power. At just 5.3lbs it’s lightweight and maneuverable, with a front handle further increasing how easy it is to use in difficult or tight spaces.
It easily and quickly converts to a wheeled lawn edger, without the need for any extra tools. The adjustable head of the Worx 20-Volt WG163 can move through 90° for a range of terrains, while the front handle is also adjustable, aiding not only maneuverability but the ease of carrying too.
Worx has also included a patented line-feeding system too. It works at the press of a button on the handle for less string fuss. It also has a free spools for life promise, so you don’t need to worry about the extra expense of buying replacement spools. Along with the two-year warranty, it’s clear Worx is aiming for longevity with this weed eater.
As with most cordless trimmers, it doesn’t have the gusto of gas-powered weed eaters, but it does come without a lot of the hassle too. There’s no need to replace gas or drain it ready for winter storage and the Worx 20-Volt WG163 is definitely powerful enough for the average homeowner.
Another benefit of electric weed eaters is the reduced noise, and the Worx 20-Volt WG163 is no exception. It also vibrates less, making trimming your yard less of a chore, especially if you have a larger area to cover.
Worx WG163: Pricing and value
The Worx Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger is at the pricier end of the market at just over 150 but that extra expense allows the Worx WG163 to provide power and versatility for a great cutting experience.
It also only has a few features over the Greenworks 21142 18-Inch 10 Amp Corded String Trimmer, which is about half the price. The big advantage the Worx WG163 has is that it’s battery-powered, but if having a cord isn’t a dealbreaker for you then you could save some cash by opting for the Greenworks weed eater.
Worx WG163: User reviews
Users tend to rate the Worx WG163 well, averaging a score of 4.3 out of five at Walmart. Most reviews are positive and commend the battery life and ease with which they were able to trim their lawn. Users like the light weight of this weed eater as it was less tiresome.
The few negative reviews didn’t like the lack of an automatic string feeder as they felt they had to continually stop to feed more string. They also didn’t like the long charging time of the batteries, often up to five hours.
Overall, users really liked the Worx 20-Volt WG163, saying it was powerful enough to do a great job on their lawns while the light weight and ease of use were big plus points too.
Should you buy the Worx WG163?
The Worx Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger is a great budget cordless weed eater with some great features for improved maneuverability. The extra battery is also a must-have, considering the long charge time, while the two-year warranty and free replacement spools for life mean Worx have really paid attention to the longevity of this weed eater.
If this product isn’t for you
The RYOBI RY40204A Electric Weed Eater is a great all-around electric weed eater. It’s a battery-powered lawn trimmer that charges quickly and can keep cutting for longer than most other battery-powered weed eaters, covering gardens with large terrains with ease.
Though it is corded and slightly heavier than most electric weed trimmers, the Greenworks 21142 is budget-friendly, very powerful, durable and comes with a handy shoulder strap that provides good weight distribution for longer uses.
The Black Decker LST300 is a lightweight, two-in-one lawn trimmer and edger with a design that can tackle tough spots under fences that are beyond the reach of a full-size lawn mower. The battery tends to last for a shorter period, so it’s better suited for smaller gardens.