How To Install A Ryobi Bump Feed Trimmer Head (Quickly & Easily!)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

Summertime means a lot of different things. It means BBQing. It means spending time outdoors with friends and family. It also means keeping your yard nice and manicured, looking clean and fresh throughout the summer.

One of the best ways to keep a yard looking fresh and neat is with a trimmer. Ryobi trimmers are some of the most dependable on the market today. There are bump feeders, where you literally bump the trimmer on the ground to give it a longer line. But how do you install the trimmer head? The process is simple, so read below for our step-by-step guide.

What is a Ryobi Trimmer and How Does it Work?

Ryobi is not the only manufacturer of string trimmers on the market. Also known as “weed eaters,” this tool helps in the maintenance and care of a lawn. In particular, it is good for getting to the edges of the lawn, removing the buildup of weeds that can occur.

Trimmers are great because they can get the areas that a lawnmower just cannot. They are relatively lightweight and the extended string can get into even the tightest of spaces. The result is a clean, neat-looking lawn with sharp edges.

How to Install Ryobi Bump Feed Trimmer Head

The Ryobi Trimmer is one of the most acclaimed on the market today despite being so affordable. It comes with a 26cc engine that has two cycles and low emissions for environmentally-friendly results. The two cycles refer to the piston rings, which increase the overall power that the trimmer delivers. More power means a faster and easier experience trimming.

Step 1: Invert the Trimmer

To access the Ryobi weed trimmer’s bump feed, you first need to flip it over. When you see the bottom of the tool, look for the feed header. It is a circular component that sticks out for the center of the header.

The bump head is also easily identified by the string sticking out of it. Whenever you are in doubt about where the bump head is, just take a look for the string.

Step 2: Loosening the Bump Head

The next step is to loosen the bump head so that you can install the feed. You can loosen up the bump knot or head by unscrewing it counterclockwise. This is more effective than loosening the thread on the screw ridges, too.

If you encounter more resistance than you were expecting, grab a pair of pliers. The pliers will give you increase leverage and grip. It will also help you to avoid potential injuries that can come from the force of pulling. Finally, you should be able to remove the bump knot or head; keep it off to the side.

Step 3: Removing the Inner Spring Reel

Now that the bump head or bump knot has been removed, you should see the inner string reel. It is on the innermost part of the trimmer’s cutting head. Take the string reel out and keep it off to the side where it will be safe and won’t get lost.

You want to avoid doing damage to the inner reel spring as damaging it will require replacement. By now, you should also be able to see the engine shaft’s lower part as well.

Step 4: The Shaft Housing

When you see the engine shaft’s lower section, use your non-dominant hand to grip the shaft housing. You want a firm grip but nothing overly tight. Then, take your dominant hand and shake off the cutting hand. At the same time, gently pull the cutting hand up and out.

Continue making this motion until you are able to slip the cutting head off of the large hex nut that it sits on. It may take a little work to get the cutting head off if your trimmer is old or worn down, so be patient.

Step 5: Replacing the Cutting Head

With the old cutting head removed, you can install the new one. Attach your new cutting head onto the large hex nut from the previous step. You want to return the shaft housing into its place, but you don’t want to force it. Press gently to do this, ensuring that the shaft housing is secure.

Also, make sure that your fitting is firm. Consider giving it a little bit of an extra tightening in order to make sure the attachments are secure. Not only that, make sure that you don’t have any unexpected movements when reattaching the shaft housing. Those movements can cause the shaft housing to sit crookedly and not fully attached.

Step 6: Add the Spring Reel and Tighten the Bump Head

The innerspring reel is supposed to attach at the innermost point of the trimmer’s shaft housing. When the innerspring heel is in its proper place, you should have a tough time seeing the engine shaft’s lower part, so keep that in mind.

Be certain that the spring reel is back in its correct place on the housing shaft. The spring reel is one of the most important components of the inner portion of the housing shaft. All that is left is to put the bump head back.

Put the bump head back in position and tighten it with clockwise turns. Just be aware of the other components. If you want, you can use pliers to put it back into place more securely. Further, it will give you an improved grip as you tighten the bump head.

Step 7: Test it Out

When you have finally put everything back in its proper place, all that is left is to run a test. Make sure that everything is securely fit back where it belongs and try a little test run. The last thing you want is to try it on your lawn only to find that it is malfunctioning.

Depending on how well you handle tools, everything should take about 10 minutes at the most. Given how long it can take to trim your lawn, the less time wasted, the better.

What are the Pros and Cons of Ryobi Trimmers?

Ryobi has a reputation as one of the best manufacturers of outdoor power tools. Their line of trimmers in particular earned rave reviews from customers. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of using a Ryobi trimmer?


The good news is that, with a Ryobi trimmer, you can cover most lawn edging in about 30 minutes at the most. Of course, that depends on the level of trimming and edging that you are doing and how stringent you want to get about the entire process.

The StartEasy flip button means there is no need for pulling to open the engine up. Old trimmers required you to pull on a string, much the same as you would with a lawn more.

There is also the detachable head, which makes it easier to swap out attachments. The more comprehensive the work that you do on your lawn, the more that you will see how the various attachments come in handy.

The two-cycle engine is simpler to use and maintain. The components are much simpler, so you can store it without the hassle of some of the other combustion engines out there. And because it has two engines, that means far less vibration as you use it. All of this means greater comfort during use and ease when storing.


That said, there is never a good side without a bad. The good news is that even the downsides of Ryobi’s trimmers are not that bad. It comes down to a slight inconvenience and a little less fuel efficiency than some of the other options out there.

The noise is probably the biggest downside of a Ryobi trimmer. It isn’t going to win any awards for its quiet efficiency, but that’s okay. Most lawnmowers are pretty loud as it is, so it is just another loud component of the lawn care process.

The fuel economy, particularly for the two-cycle Ryobi weed trimmer, is also not the most efficient. The four-cycle engine offered by Ryobi and others tends to be a more fuel-efficient option. Of course, you really aren’t using that much gas on most small- to medium-sized lawns, so it may not be that big of a deal.

Gas emissions are another concern. The Ryobi weed trimmer burns some of the oil within off so that it can be used as fuel. If you care about the emissions that your gas-powered tools give off, this could be a slight concern.

Related Questions

Now that you know how to install a new bump feed onto your Ryobi trimmer, you may be left with a few other questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to Ryobi trimmers.

Does Ryobi Make a Good Outdoor Power Tool?

For weed trimmers especially, the Ryobi weed trimmer is one of the more efficient on the market. Moreover, it is one of the most affordable in its class as well. All that means a great option for the DIY lawncare types.

If you can get past the loudness of the engine, you have a great trimmer on your hands. It does the job in a quality way and will last for a long, long time.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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