Bolens BL110 only runs on half choke

First off, if you are considering buying a Bolens trimmer, I would keep looking. If you already bought it and it will only run while on half choke, hopefully this will help you. I started having issues after about a year of purchasing it. Starts ok and will run on half choke, but as soon as you fully back off the choke, it stalls.

On top of the carburetor there are two screws surrounded by an aluminum housing. They are partly flat on one side and the rest is round. Take a hack saw or dremel tool and start notching out the aluminum housing until you reach the top of the screws (be careful not to get any aluminum shavings inside the carburetor). Make a small notch in each screw until you can fit a small flat-head screwdriver in them. Rotate each screw 1/4 turn counter-clockwise. Now start it up and it should run great. If not, you have something else wrong.


85 Responses

  1. Ron

    Yep, this works! Can’t understand why they shop this with no adjustable screws from the factory….I guess so you’ll buy a new one each season. Thanks!

    July 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    • did it and it WORKED! thanks for advice and posting!

      June 8, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    • cd

      Worked for sure!

      May 15, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    • Bob H

      Those oddball heads are a requirement of the EPA. Obviously a decision made by someone who never operated a two-cycle engine. But if anyone is looking for a way to adjust these monsters, you can go online (I got mine at Amazon) and order a pack of tools to adjust various styles of screws.

      May 18, 2017 at 5:14 pm

  2. David B

    Thank you so much! Mine hadn’t been working that great since I bought it, but I was too lazy to take it back. This season, it has been terrible! It has been taking me an hour to do a 15 minute job, the stupid thing would keep sputtering when I give it gas. I’ve wanted to beat the unliving #@$^%$$#$%@ out of this thing!

    Your fixed worked great for me! Feels like I won’t be smashing my trimmer on the driveway after all. Thanks!

    July 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm

  3. Mike

    Yes is dose work Thank you so much

    July 25, 2014 at 10:32 am

  4. Mike

    Also i was able to to it with a small pair of needle nose pliers
    Thanks Again

    July 25, 2014 at 11:24 am

  5. Dana

    Hey that fix worked exactly like you said. Runs like it is new now. Thanks.

    July 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

  6. Dale H

    This worked excellent and with a dremel it took all of about 3 minutes

    September 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

  7. Jim

    The fix worked! Thanks!

    November 16, 2014 at 9:47 am

  8. Dave

    It took me 5 minutes to fix a 2 year problem…Thanx a lot

    May 6, 2015 at 6:45 am

  9. Mr.lewiz

    This really does work!!! I was close to slamming it on the ground until I got a headache!!! Thanks for the info!!!

    May 9, 2015 at 7:58 pm

  10. Ken

    This worked perfect. Except I was able to turn the two screws without taking a hack saw or grinder to it. I took a small flat tip screwdriver and placed it in between the flat of the screw and the housing and slide/turn it. No grinding same results.

    May 17, 2015 at 1:29 pm

  11. Walter Doherty

    Unbelievable. I would say it now runs like new, but it runs better than new. They run poorly out of the box. I’m on my third one of these in 3 years, but I use it a lot. I returned the first 2 on the extended warranty.

    Half choke? After another month, it requires more and more choke to keep running, and runs slower and slower, stalling more and more often. After another month, you have to baby it and play with the trigger and the choke at the same time. Eventually, it just doesn’t run, which is what I was up to for the third time.

    Quarter turn counter clockwise, fixed. Runs better than new. I used a screwdriver with a half broken tip to adjust it.

    Thanks a ton.

    May 17, 2015 at 3:58 pm

  12. Erik Anderson

    Thank you so much… I was dreading having to take it in for repair… Now it works great….

    May 30, 2015 at 1:32 pm

  13. Brian

    THANK YOU!!!!! About to wrap mine around a freakin tree. Was taking forever to get it going enough to even get the job done. Took about 5 minutes with a tiny set of needle nose pliers and it runs better than it ever has – even when it was brand new.

    May 31, 2015 at 2:24 pm

  14. Jay

    Same problem with this machine. I cannot believe a manufacturer would not put slots on one of their machine AND not properly tune it before delivering it to the consumer. I just dropped a dremel metal cutting blade on each slot, cutting into the barrel as well and made two nice deep slots. In my case, had to go counter clockwise so it would run richer.


    June 5, 2015 at 10:36 am

  15. George

    I have a similar problem.
    My trimmer would not start so I cleaned the carb and now it starts….but only on full choke with throttle wide open. Once I let off on the throttle it will stall after 10 seconds. If I go to 1/2 choke it will stall immediately. Any suggestions because my next step will be a cutting torch

    June 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    • ron strock

      my feelings exatly except im gonna run mine over with a school bus !!!!!

      August 4, 2016 at 5:03 pm

  16. Bob

    I too had a similar problem but found an alternative solution. With a pair of small needle nose pliers (the kind use for electronics works) I was able to remove both adjustment jets from the carburetor. With a a small rotary grinder (like a dremel tool), I then cut a small slot on the head of each adjustment jet. I replaced the jets and can now adjust them whenever I want. Be careful since there is a small rubber “O” ring on each jet.

    June 11, 2015 at 7:43 am

  17. Rick Adams

    I don’t know if mentioning where to get the tool to fix this is allowed. I bought an entire set of 4 from A**** for $22.00, No cutting, no grinding. You need to use the D type driver. Now I have the tools to repair all my 2 cycle (and some 4 cycle) engines. Don’t blame Bolens or any other manufacturer for not being able to just use a screwdriver for the idle mixture screws. This is a B.S. EPA requirement. They are the same requirements that make the gas cans spill all over when filling gas tanks. Everyone has the spout that needs to be pressed down and gurgles for 10 minutes just to fill a small gas tank. After adjusting both screws like you say works like a charm until it needs adjusting again! Thank you.

    June 13, 2015 at 10:31 am

  18. Underexposed

    I found you don’t even need to “chip” away at the metal housing to access the screws. Each screw has a small triangulated opening on top. Just take a fine needle-nose pliers, use the aluminum side as a fulcrum, stick one nose into the triangulated opening the other on the outside of the housing using it as a fulcrum. NOW turn the screw carefully. WALA!!

    June 21, 2015 at 7:16 am

  19. RonRad`

    Cut two slots, quarter turn counter-clockwise on both screws, runs great. Thanks.

    June 29, 2015 at 2:25 pm

  20. dick

    it works, thank you, may your tribe increase!

    July 3, 2015 at 3:54 pm

  21. Jim

    Worked perfectly! Thank you! I turned the weedeater on it’s side and placed the end of a VERY small screw driver in the “v” notch on the two screws and then used a small hammer to tap the screw back a 1/4 turn counter clockwise. Runs like it’s new again! Thanks!

    July 10, 2015 at 5:04 pm

  22. David Human

    Same problem here since I bought it new at Lowes 1 1/2 years ago. 1/4 of a turn counter clockwise and now it runs perfect. THANKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    July 13, 2015 at 2:24 pm

  23. Frank

    To all of you who are wondering why a manufacturer would do such a stupid thing as make it impossible to adjust the carburetor so it will run right, look no further than our federal government! the E P A mandates this!!!
    The fact that it makes millions of small engines unusable is of no concern to them.It’s all about pollution, as if a 25 cc engine that drinks 2 quarts of gas a year can pollute that much.

    July 20, 2015 at 12:39 pm

  24. Ja Ja

    Perfect!!! Followed your instructions and it WORKED! I really am glad that I found your post, thank you so much for posting! I was ready to go and get a new weed eater today.

    August 22, 2015 at 7:50 pm

  25. Chris

    Add me to the list of those who modified a tool and not the machine. Small pair of needle nose on the grinder. Fit right in. Works perfectly now. Thank you.

    September 2, 2015 at 2:21 pm

  26. DuWayne

    Mine has has a red and clear plastic on top.
    The clear plastic is the only one that can be adjusted.

    September 5, 2015 at 10:49 am

  27. Del Skaar

    Holy Cow!!!! This thing runs like a raped ape now. It would barely run before, and I just bought it this year. I was thinking I had bad gas all this time.

    October 12, 2015 at 2:26 pm

  28. Randy

    Thanks man, this baby started right up after the 1/4 counter clockwise turns and 5 priming pumps. By the way it was 38 degrees outside. Great throttle response now. Awesome.

    October 18, 2015 at 1:17 pm

  29. Alex

    use a electrical butt connector instead of cutting.

    November 16, 2015 at 6:39 am

  30. Joe

    Using the electrical butt connector is the easiest.I enlarged the connector with a 13/64 drill bit. Fits like a glove. Thanks for the info.

    January 24, 2016 at 3:01 pm

  31. Kev

    OMG I just did this, im in Australia, my Bolens 110 whipper snipper ran like crap out of the box, kept dying all the time, would only run barely on half choke.
    Couldn’t figure out what the security bit was, its single D stupid thing.
    I just used a small screwdriver and forced these stupid connectors around 1/4 turn counter clockwise, and it runs like a boss after 30 seconds on no choke number 3.
    Wtf is wrong with the people who are selling this stuff? Why put stupid connectors like this years ago they just had screws?
    Thanks for your help so much was about to bin it.

    January 24, 2016 at 9:54 pm

  32. Night and day results Amazing! Followed directions 1/4 turn cc runs like a scalded dog ! Answers throttle – idles well

    February 9, 2016 at 1:14 pm

  33. Ben

    Perfect fix, thank you sir!

    April 7, 2016 at 10:17 am

  34. Dean

    Perfect solution! Wish I would have read this before tearing the motor down and putting it back together with no result. Would’ve save me a whole lot of time.

    April 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

  35. Steve Starr

    One more THANK YOU from mid-Missouri. I’m well-pleased instead of well-f***ked.

    April 23, 2016 at 6:11 pm

  36. Joe F.

    Thanks a Million! Worked for me also don’t understand why the Manufacturer won’t put adjustable screws in place of the non adjustable ones.

    April 23, 2016 at 7:27 pm

  37. D

    Worked great, but I used an electrical butt connector to turn the screws. Thanks for the heads up

    May 2, 2016 at 6:15 pm

  38. John

    I honed the housing down and turned the so-called set screw with pliers. Two pulls on the cord and it fired. First time I could run it in the third position.

    Thank you

    May 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm

  39. Joe

    After fighting this all of last year I came across your advice and it worked great. Thank you.

    May 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm

  40. Carl Lukers

    Knowing Bolens is cheap, When finished using, empty remaining gas, start and run until completely out of fuel. I used the same trimmer for 8 yrs doing this.

    May 16, 2016 at 9:23 am

  41. Mihaela

    It worked. Thank you. My husband tried to fix it and gave up. I saw your post right before the trip to the store to buy a new one. Took me 1 min to fix it, using a small flat screwdriver.

    May 29, 2016 at 6:15 am

  42. Sam

    I smashed my trimmer to bits

    June 8, 2016 at 11:11 am

  43. Frank

    After changing filters buying carb cleaner spark plugs drawing gas I find the answer. Thank you soooooo much.not even 1 minute to fix it.

    June 9, 2016 at 9:33 am

  44. After changing filters, new gas, spark plugs, bringing trimmer to have it repaired and tech guy telling me how much it would cost to fix it. Which I would not pay. I find the answer. Thank you soooooo much. 1 minute to fix it.

    June 9, 2016 at 9:37 am

  45. Kevin

    I have had this bolens trimmer for 5 years now. These past 2 months I could only get it to run when at half choke. I cut slots in the screws and was going to start adjustment but I ran across another post saying to take the carb and air filter off and give it a good cleaning and re-oil the sponge air filter. It came off easily just the 2 screws under the air filter. If you adjust the screws and then later clean the filter and carb it will run to lean and cook the engine. Took me a whole 10 min to disassemble cleaned with liquid wrench and put back together. Restarted with no adjustment to screws and runs great now. I would suggest doing this adjustment only after a good cleaning and it still runs like crap.

    June 10, 2016 at 10:41 am

  46. Thanks, runs like a new one, how’d you figure that out?

    June 10, 2016 at 11:09 am

  47. thank you, worked just as you said, runs much better

    June 21, 2016 at 1:50 pm

  48. Harry

    I bought mine a couple years ago and it has never ran right from the very first day. Actually went and bought a craftsman and been using it with that pretty little yellow one sitting on a shelf. After reading your article I did that and it runs beautiful now. Thank you very much

    June 25, 2016 at 3:48 pm

  49. Art

    I have had this problem after using this trimmer for one season. I looked it up online and found this information. I am not a great handyman so I didn’t want to attempt to drexel or saw the carb. I looked around more and found that someone used a blue wire connector. I tried it but it didn’t work at first but after a few taps to snug it on I turned it with a pair of pliers and turned both screws 1/2 turn. It runs perfect now. It is really roaring now.

    June 25, 2016 at 5:39 pm

  50. Kyle W

    Thanks- this worked perfectly. After moving from Texas to Washington, my little bolens trimmer ran worse than before (only ran at half choke in texas). I left the carb on and used a piece of hacksaw blade to create the screwdriver slot in the aluminum, then into the steel. 1/4 turn anti-clockwise each!!! Awesome fix for those who don’t need commercial grade yard equipment. If this doesn’t fix your problem then reset the screws and reset your search criteria!

    August 3, 2016 at 4:31 pm

  51. JEspejo

    OMG.. This was simple and perfect.

    August 4, 2016 at 3:13 pm

  52. Dosmatr

    now if only I could get the bump knob to function correctly and actually feed line I might be able to hold on to this POS

    September 5, 2016 at 5:59 pm

  53. Tim

    Many thanks, Mark! I was pretty pissed about having only gotten a year of service out of a brand new trimmer, but I used a hacksaw to notch the screws, gave them a quarter turn, and now it works again. Many thanks for the help.

    September 24, 2016 at 2:57 pm

  54. Alvin

    Is that “a 1/4 turn from bottomed out” or “a 1/4 turn from factory settings”? I’ve screwed with mine so much in the last 2 years, that I have no idea where the factory settings were.

    September 28, 2016 at 9:56 am

  55. Alvin

    PS – mine is a BL 160.

    September 28, 2016 at 9:57 am

  56. Kirk

    This fixed my problem. Thnaks! Was just about to buy a new one.

    October 7, 2016 at 12:56 pm

  57. lucky

    I tried the notch on the screws worked yaaay. For a minute. Right out of the box wouldn’t stay running for more than 5 mins. Ran even better when screws were adjusted but still dosent stay running. Any suggestions

    November 19, 2016 at 11:34 am

  58. Rob

    Suggestion worked great! Used a dremel to cut slots in both screws.

    January 29, 2017 at 10:05 am

  59. David

    Thanks so much for the info. I couldn’t get my long nose pliers to work, but I was able to make the adjustment with an icepick. Started right up!

    April 12, 2017 at 5:01 pm

  60. JJ

    Thank you so much. I had been struggling with this for a year. It worked beautifully. Much appreciated.

    April 17, 2017 at 5:51 am

  61. Tony

    Thank you very much! Worked like a charm. It sounds like a 1968 Yamaha 125 with an expansion chamber ; )

    April 18, 2017 at 5:22 pm

  62. Parry

    Came across this page when trying to find help with my Bolens BL110 weedeater. Has never run on Lvl setting 3 since I bought it last fall. Got frustrated trying to use it yesterday so came looking for help. I adjusted as noted here without having to notch unit. I used a very small eyeglasses screwdriver and tapped it around with a hammer. Fired it up and unit runs lvl 3 for the first time since I have had it. Runs great!! Thanks for the info.

    April 19, 2017 at 1:11 pm

  63. David

    This was the easiest fix. I was about to bring it in for repair. It runs better than new!


    April 19, 2017 at 1:59 pm

  64. Andy

    Came across this fix and absolutely worked. I did use the dremel and cut a slot. Strange thing is mine is a Bolens 100 and it only had ONE screw in that aluminum housing. Maybe different carb than the 110? Thanks very much for this!

    April 22, 2017 at 2:10 pm

  65. Brian

    I have a Bolens BL150, with only one screw. Moved it 1/4 turn, runs like new! You rock, I’ve been struggling with this for 2 years!

    May 4, 2017 at 7:19 pm

  66. David

    It didn’t like .35 turn clockwise, it liked it counterclockwise but all in all I got it running on wide open throttle then tuned the screw till it revved high smoothly. Now works like a charm, thanks!

    May 9, 2017 at 6:03 pm

  67. Jim

    This is an awesome hack! Only problem is… I’ve messed with mine so much I don’t know where the screws should be set from factory to start with. Any suggestions?

    May 28, 2017 at 9:57 am

  68. John Barr

    This fix worked perfectly! May get more than one season out of a cheap weed eater after all!!

    May 31, 2017 at 10:01 am

  69. Brian Mock

    Thank you, this was really helpful!

    May 31, 2017 at 3:58 pm

  70. Mark

    Bolens BL160 FIXED You are a genius!

    June 10, 2017 at 10:18 am


    Brian, you da man, look at all these comments of it working. You saved allot of people allot of money. WELL DONE!….. and yes, it worked for me too!

    June 11, 2017 at 10:35 am

  72. W. Partymiller

    Bolens BL110 trimmer: 2 Carb Adjustment screws. Outer screw is High Speed adjust- engine running, hold throttle open, turn screw until its running its fastest. That’s good.
    Inner screw is Low Speed adjustment, with engine running, turn in until it stalls, then adjust back out until it idles okay.
    Ordered tool set from Amazon from China for 7.99, took 6 days to arrive in PA. Good deal.

    June 13, 2017 at 9:31 am

  73. Matt


    Only one adjustment screw.

    Used a hacksaw to cut a slot through the surrounding metal and into the screw. Make sure to get this centered!

    Never ran better than it does now. Total transformation.

    June 13, 2017 at 9:14 pm

  74. Henry

    Another satisfied customer… of the original poster, not Bolens / MTD.

    June 14, 2017 at 10:53 am

  75. Vince

    Thank you for this post. This fixed my daughter’s Bolens BL110 after my tearing it apart and cleaning it did no good. Was ready to buy a new one for her as a gift when I came across this article. It now runs the best it ever has.

    June 26, 2017 at 7:46 pm

  76. Mark

    boom, ain’t this internet thing great! Thanks for posting! took a dremel cutting wheel to it and cut two slots

    July 11, 2017 at 9:24 pm

  77. Jeff

    What tool set from a…..n are you referring to

    August 11, 2017 at 6:41 am

  78. Ryan

    you dont need the tool set, just a small flat head screw driver and a hammer. I just chiseled it a quarter turn. This took less than 5 minutes and now my weed eater works great.

    August 19, 2017 at 7:16 am

  79. P fa

    Hi all, just bought this at yardsale for $20. We casually know these people or I’d have actually offered less. Obviously there must be special wrenches at that factory to adjust these screws and that being said have hacksaw will travel, runs good now.

    August 27, 2017 at 11:55 am

  80. Dave

    Unreal!! Worked perfectly!!

    September 30, 2017 at 11:38 am

  81. R. Lozano

    Thanks! Runs good now! First issue was a broken trigger(it wasnt obvious), ordered and replaced it. Then made the adjustment using a small cheap craving tool and small hammer.Thanks!☺

    December 18, 2017 at 7:49 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *