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How to Use a Carpet Trimmer

Updated February 21, 2017

A carpet trimmer is a multipurpose tool used to install carpeting. The tool helps to tighten the carpet over the tack strip and secure the carpet in place. It also removes excess carpeting that runs up the wall during the tightening process. Finally, it tucks the loose carpet edge against the wall and out of sight. To make carpet installation faster, you use a carpet trimmer at the same time that you use a knee kicker.

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Start in one corner of the room. Hold the knee kicker in your dominant hand while you are on your hands and knees facing the loose edge of carpeting.

Press the gripping edge of the knee kicker into the carpet and knee the padded end to tighten the carpet against the wall. Use a carpet blade to cut off the extra carpet that climbs up the wall. Make a cut that is 12 inches long. Set the blade aside.

Hold the carpet trimmer with the other hand against the wall, in the corner, lowering the tucking mechanism over the cut edge of carpet. Move the carpet trimmer parallel to the wall, as close to the wall as you can get, until you meet the knee kicker.

Move the knee kicker over 12 inches and knee it again to tighten the carpet. Follow behind with the carpet trimmer in the other hand, to tighten the carpet over the tack strip. Cut off the excess and tuck the edge against the wall.

Move the knee kicker over 12 inches again, following with the carpet trimmer in the other hand. Repeat this process until you have secured the entire loose edge of carpet.

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Things You'll Need

  • Knee kicker
  • Carpet blade
  • Carpet trimmer

About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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