Best Cordless Battery Operated Weed Eaters
If you’re in the market for a new cordless weed eater, then you should check out my product reviews after hands-on testing the best cordless weed eaters for home and professional use.
This in-depth guide covers all aspects of these awesome power tools and aims to give you my insight into the products available and what they’re capable of. I’ve put them all through their paces and picked out my favorite weed eaters based on overall performance, the best pro-quality tool under 350, and the best lightweight weed eater under 200.
- Best Pick Cordless Weed Eaters
- Best Weed Eater Money Can Buy
- Best Pro Weed Eater Under 350
- Best Lightweight Weed Eater under 200
- Choosing The Best Cordless Weed Eater
- Battery Vs Electric Vs Gas Weed Eater
- 20v Vs 40v Trimmer…or more
- Weedeater Batteries
- Straight Shaft Vs Curved Shaft
- String Trimmer Vs Edger
- Reviews: Best Battery-Operated Weed Eaters
- 1. Makita 36V Cordless Battery Weed Eater 5.0Ah 15″
- 2. DeWALT FlexVolt 60V Max String Trimmer 15-Inch
- 3. WORX 40V Power Share 13″ GT String Trimmer
- 4. Milwaukee M18 Quik-Lok String Trimmer
- 5. EGO Power Weed Eater Combo 15-Inch
- 6. Greenworks Pro 80V 16 inch Cordless Trimmer
- 7. Greenworks Weed Wacker G-MAX 40V 12″
- 8. Ryobi 40-Volt Cordless Weed Eater
- How to use a Weed Eater
- How To Use a Bump Feed Trimmer
- How To Edge With A Weed Eater
- Conclusion: Best Battery-Operated Weed Eaters
- Best Weed Eater Money Can Buy
- Best Pro Quality Weed Eater Under 350
- Best Lightweight Weed Eater under 200
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Pick Cordless Weed Eaters
If you’re in a hurry then here are my recommended string trimmers from the professional quality Makita 36V unit with incredible battery life through the lightweight Worx string trimmer which is a great low-cost, yet high-performing tool, for home use.
Makita 36V Cordless Weed Eater 15″
Built to last this powerful string trimmer offers 80 min battery run-time. Bump feed head, with variable speeds.
DeWALT FlexVolt 60V Max 15-Inch
Superb grip and comfort from this 60V trimmer. Two-speed function and 50mins of battery run-time.
WORX 40V Power Share 13″ GT
Only 8.6 lbs including battery, a very effective lightweight weed eater for home use. 40min battery run-time.
Choosing The Best Cordless Weed Eater
Also referred to as string trimmers, strimmers, weed whackers, or weed eaters. These garden power tools are designed to cut down weeds and grasses or tidy lawn edging, keeping your yard looking neat throughout the year.
If you’ve got ample outdoor space that tends to get overgrown, then a weed eater is a no-brainer…and should form part of your garden maintenance tool kit.
But before you dive in and throw your hard-earned cash around, let me guide you through the complicated world of garden trimmers so you can make an informed decision in selecting the right tool for your garden.
Battery Vs Electric Vs Gas Weed Eater
We are talking here about a garden power tool, so let’s look at the three ways you can power this device; battery (cordless), electric (corded), and gas-powered. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons and will suit different types of jobs. So how about we run down the options…
Electric Weed Eaters
Electric (corded) weed eaters offer similar cutting power to battery-operated machines but come with some restrictions by the fact that they have you tethered with a power cord running to the main electricity.
You lose the ability to weave freely across the landscape as the cord has a length restriction and can get caught on objects or features around the yard. Then there’s the setup, which usually involves running extension cables across your yard, which sometimes can be prone to electrical risk from surprise rainfall.
They do, however, have their benefits, such as a constant flow of power, and they don’t run out of juice. Once you are set up and ready to go, you won’t be interrupted. They also tend to be much lighter and cheaper than cordless strimmers, so if good value and a lightweight tool are high on your list of priorities then consider a corded model.
Gas Weed Eaters
Then, we have gas-powered weed eaters. These tools were once favored by professionals as they combine both power and flexibility allowing you to get rid of even the thickest of weeds without any cords holding you back.
Although they are both powerful and maneuverable, they do have some drawbacks. They are very expensive, loud, very heavy, and require a bit more muscle power to control. Gas-powered weed eaters are known for regular issues with start-ups, as well as being messy and smelly. Refilling them with gas multiple times per job usually results in spillage or simply running out of fuel. Read Best Gas Weed Eaters.
Cordless Weed Eaters
Cordless weed eaters can offer great flexibility. The lack of cord means you can reach parts of your yard that you would struggle with a conventional electric strimmer, plus you don’t have to worry about trip or shock hazards from the electric cord laying on the ground.
Depending on the battery power, you may need to recharge them several times before the job is done or maintain several battery packs. They can sometimes lack the ultra-high power you can get from gas-fueled machines. However, rest assured the products on this list have been selected to get around the normal issues associated with cordless products. These are long-lasting and very powerful battery-powered Weed Eaters trusted and used by professionals.
20v Vs 40v Trimmer…or more
Power levels in battery strimmers come in various voltages, anywhere between 18v and 80v, but two of the most common power outputs range between 20 and 40 volts. This refers to the amount of power the motor can generate which basically dictates how many weeds can be eaten and how long it will take.
Unsurprisingly a 40v weed eater is a more powerful and more efficient tool than a 20v model and will handle a much bigger load and get the job done in less time.
However, 40v tools do have their downsides. Compared to a 20v model, they carry a heavier battery and are more typically expensive. So, if you’re just looking at getting rid of weeds around your backyard, a 20v weed eater should be enough. If you have a bigger area to tackle, think about investing in 40v or more.
Weed Eater batteries are the drive behind the machine, but their size and power level will determine how much power they kick out and how long they will last before draining. Batteries will usually be rated between 2.0 Ah and 5.0 Ah.
Amp Hour (Ah) is the rating for how long the battery can run. A tool that draws 2 amp of power will run for 60 minutes when powered with a 2.0 Ah battery. So you will get more power over more time with a higher Ah battery.
I recommend whenever you buy a strimmer or in fact, any battery-powered machine that you buy at least one spare battery, and make sure you check what’s included in the package you buy. Some weed eaters have no battery supplied as standard, whilst others like the Makita below on my list come with 4 batteries included!
Personally, I have three or four and tend to use a few of the same brands across my various battery power tools. So, I have a strimmer, chainsaw and pole saw from DeWALT, so I use my set of batteries across all three machines. For most brands, the batteries and machines need to be the same voltage e.g. 40V.
Straight Shaft Vs Curved Shaft
There are two main types of shafts that weed eaters come in. Straight shafts and curved shafts both offer slightly different things and will benefit other people based on their weed-eating needs.
Straight Shaft Weed Eater
As a general rule of thumb, the straighter shafted strimmers are more durable, largely because when the shaft is curved so is the drive chain inside. Whilst perfectly fine for light to moderate use, heavy users will want to go for a straight shaft.
The overall design of the straight shaft is more functional. It’s longer so its reach is extended, and the lack of curvature results in much less vibration during use.
Curved Shaft Weed Eater
The curved shaft design results in a balanced and easy-to-use tool that can feel more comfortable in use. Due to the reduction in length, the overall weight is reduced, and the curve near the motor makes cutting back small areas easy.
Curved shafts are generally better suited to smaller areas.
String Trimmer Vs Edger
Although similar and sometimes available as a combi-tool, string trimmers and lawn edgers are designed for two different functions.
A string trimmer is the same as a weed eater. It is intended for cutting back large areas of weeds or grasses across a broad surface area such as a border or lawn.
Edgers are intended for use to create a neatly defined edge to your lawn or grass areas. They make a clean-looking cut, making them a sort of detailing tool.
Reviews: Best Battery-Operated Weed Eaters
Here are the breakdowns of the best battery-operated weed eater on the market. From the power of the world-beating professional quality machines to low-cost to the best lightweight weed eaters for small gardens.
The criteria I used to make this line-up includes comfort and balance when operating the tool, weight, and noise, as well as overall power and performance based on the segment the product was designed for. I group Pro-level tools, Mid-level home use, and Entry-level budget tools to create this list of top buys.
Best Battery Powered Weed Eater for 2022
Even before you finally pull the trigger on a battery-powered lawn mower, cordless string trimmers present a much more accessible entry point for homeowners. Pros running landscaping crews have grabbed these tools when they need a quiet solution for municipalities. So what’s the best battery powered weed eater (string trimmer) for your needs? It depends. We got our team together to give you our top picks for a wide range of applications and users.
Want to see our top overall weed eater picks, including gas models? Check out this article!
Best Battery-Powered Weed Eater for Homeowners
EGO PowerLoad String Trimmer with Line IQ ST1623T
Even before becoming a household name, EGO launch out the gate with a fairly capable weed eater. Since then, the company improved power, capability, and vibration control. It now makes what we consider the best battery-powered homeowner weedeater in the industry.
With PowerLoad automatic line loading, EGO makes the easiest-to-load weed eaters we’ve ever used. For 2022, we felt their PowerLoad technology and carbon fiber shaft simply dominated the battery-powered string trimmer category for homeowners.
Price: Price: 299 with 4.0Ah battery and charger
Best Battery-Powered Weedeater for Power
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Whisper Series Carbon Fiber String Trimmer RY402110VNM
Believe it or not, Ryobi has unleashed some incredibly powerful and feature-rich OPE products in the past couple of years. Their 40V HP brushless tools have redefined what we thought possible at these price points. Their latest flagship Whisper Series string trimmer produces truly impressive cutting speed and power.
Ryobi combined advanced battery and brushless motor technology to spin 0.105-inch line with a 17-inch cutting diameter. Plus, since this battery-powered weed eater falls under their Whisper Series, it operates with roughly 60% less noise than comparable gas models.
Price: 299 with 6.0Ah battery and Rapid charger
Best Lightweight Battery-Powered Weed Eater
Makita ConnectX String Trimmer CRU03
Makita claims 30cc of gas-compatible power in their ConnectX battery-powered weed eater. They dropped the tool weight under 10 pounds by shifting the battery to a harness you wear on your back. Because you can hold more juice, you get up to 1200Wh of capacity and commercial-level runtime. While Makita joins an existing group of companies sporting backpack batteries, ConnectX has a particularly value-based weight and performance combination we really like.
Best Attachment-Capable Battery-Powered String Trimmer
STIHL Battery-Powered Kombi System KMA 135 R
When we reviewed and compared weed eater attachment systems, the Sithl 36V KombiSystem beat everyone in both performance and options. It felt like we had a gas-powered system in our hands. The KMA 135 R powerhead makes it even better.
Unfortunately, STIHL uses a proprietary attachment mechanism. However, they provide so many attachment options we don’t really mind. On top of all that, the extensive STIHL dealer and service network supports these tools long after the sale. That simply isn’t the case with most other manufacturers.
Best Budget Battery-Powered Weed Eater
SKIL 40V PWRCore Brushless Weed Eater LT4818-10
With our best budget battery-powered weed eater recommendation we set a price limit: 160 for the entire kit—including battery and charger. The Skil 40V PWRCore Brushless Weed Eater (model LT4818-10) presents a powerful option that fits the bill.
This battery-powered weed eater really fills a need for a capable trimmer that doesn’t go overboard on weight or price. With more power than 18V/20V trimmers, it’s a good fit for budget-minded individuals.
Price: 159 with 2.5Ah battery and charger.
Best Battery-Powered Weedeater Overall
Husqvarna 520iLX Battery-Powered String Trimmer
When we’re talking about the best all-day, everyday professional tool for residential crews, we love the Husqvarna 520iLX string trimmer. It weighs almost nothing—an amazing tool. On top of that, you get really low vibration and well-rounded features mixed with top-notch cutting performance. While other pro brands match it in some areas, nobody has quite as good of an overall package as Husqvarna.
Best Line for Battery-Powered Weed Eater Use
Echo Black Diamond 0.095-Inch Trimmer Line
We love Echo Black Diamond trimmer line. Denser than other brands and with sharper cutting edges, it excels when used with battery-powered weed eaters. We use Black Diamond 0.095-inch line specifically. It cuts like a thicker line without reducing trigger time.
The only potential issue we’ve seen ahs to do with the EGO PowerLoad system. That prefers smoother line and tends to snag on Black Diamond (loading and when feeding it out)—so we avoid it in that particular tool.
Price: 14.99 for a 1-pound package (253 ft.) or 60.99 for a 5-pound spool (1394 ft.)
Battery-Powered Trimmer Options from Brands We Trust
Best DeWALT Battery-Powered String Trimmer: DCST972
We like the 17-inch cutting diameter of the 60V Max brushless battery-powered weed eater. This 2-speed trimmer features a universal connection system. You get a swift 5800 RPM on the top end and support for 0.95-inch line (it comes spooled with 0.080″).
Surprisingly, for DeWALT, it has a rather thick grip. It might bother those with smaller hands. Attachments can rotate in any of three positions—makin git easy to use the trimmer head for edging.
Price: 249 bare tool, 299 with 3.0Ah battery and charger
Best EGO Battery-Powered String Trimmer: ST1623T
There’s a reason we picked EGO’s Line IQ trimmer as our best overall for homeowners. It’s so easy to use with excellent performance and smooth operation, that it can make one of the worst tasks enjoyable.
Price: 299 with 4 Ah battery and charger
Best Greenworks Battery-Powered Weed Eater: ST60L254
Greenworks’ Pro 60V line has a few options and we like the ST60L04 as the best overall balance of performance and price for trimming. It’s a smooth-operating trimmer with an easy-loading Load N’ Go head that uses 0.095-inch line and runs for more than half an hour on its 2.5Ah battery.
Price: 179.99 with 2.5Ah battery and charger
Best Makita Battery-Powered Weed Trimmer: GRU01
We realize not everyone is in a place to jump onto Makita’s ConnectX system. If you want high performance with wider OPE and power tool compatibility, give the 40V max XGT GRU01 a look. It has three speeds and tops out with a blistering 6500 RPM. Plus, there’s an Automatic Torque Drive feature that auto-adjusts the speed to match what you’re cutting. Even better, this one is just 10.4 pounds with a 4.0Ah battery, giving it an excellent blend of performance and weight.
Price: 289 bare, 439 with 4.0Ah battery and Rapid charger
Best Milwaukee Battery-Powered String Trimmer: 2825-21ST
Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel Quik-Lok attachment system still holds the top spot for the best Milwaukee string trimmer in our books. Its 2-speed brushless design does an excellent job on a wide range of grasses. Even though it doesn’t use a universal connection, the available attachments have done a fantastic job over several years of service with our crew.
Now that there’s a new commercial lawn mower, whispers of further Milwaukee OPE expansion are in the wind, so keep your eyes open in case something new in the string trimmer department shows up.
Price: 229 powerhead and string trimmer attachment, 299 string trimmer kit with 8.0Ah High Output battery and Rapid charger
Top 4: Best Battery Powered Weed Eaters
What We Look for in the Best Battery-Powered Weed Eater – A Buying Guide
We consider 3 key metrics that contribute to cutting power in weed eaters: line speed, line thickness/mass, and the torque of the motor.
A faster line speed yields better and cleaner grass cutting. Most battery-powered string trimmers do well—at least in dry grass. You want at least 5000 RPM to ensure your line spins quickly enough to slice through thicker grasses. The top models on our list might spin at upwards of 6500 RPM. This really impacts cutting wet grass and thicker weeds.
Thicker trimming line also helps cut tougher grasses. Most battery-powered weed eaters we recommend handle 0.095-inch line. Some homeowner models use 0.080-inch. That works fine for dry grass, but tougher loads and coming into contact with cement boundaries and fencing can quickly run through line. A battery-powered weed eater that supports 0.105-inch tells you two things: 1) it has lots of power, and 2) you have a pro model in your hands.
Remember that thicker line or string means less runtime—all things being the same.
We also look for a motor that can maintain speed under load. Run a weed eater in wet grass and you can quickly hear the speed drop on lesser models. Models with brushless motors and higher torque keep the head spinning when it runs into those tough cutting situations.
A wider cutting path means you get more work done in the same amount of time. It takes more battery power to run these wider cutting paths or swaths, however. Look for at least 15-inches of cutting diameter. If you end up with a 16- or 17-inch model, be sure you have the torque and battery size to handle those larger sizes.
The average homeowner on a 1/4-acre lot only needs about 15 minutes of consistent trigger time to cover trimming. Most cordless string trimmers are able to hit that at high speed without too much trouble.
Professional lawn care crews and homeowners with larger properties or acreage need much more.
You may also want to maximize dual-speed models for their best effect. Learning how to trim at low speed for dry grasses gives you a lot more runtime that if you run the battery-powered weed eater at full-throttle the whole time.
We highly value low-vibration string trimmers. We already have enough work to do managing the weight of such a long tool without vibration adding additional fatigue. Some of the latest models let almost no vibration up the handle to the user.
Weight and Balance
If you’re working all day on a lawn crew or even just putting the finishing touches on your own lawn, you want the lightest weight you can get without sacrificing the power you need. Bare weight isn’t everything—the battery can add a lot. If you can get a fully-loaded battery-powered string trimmer that meets your performance needs and comes in under 10 pounds, that’s a big win.
Balance is a consideration and the trimmers that have the best typically mount the motor on the trimmer head to counter the battery weight on the back. Many models also let you adjust the front handle to help dial in your fit.
If you’re after an attachment-capable model, you’re stuck with the motor in the back, and the balance shifts back. For those and trimmers that are simply heavier by nature, consider adding a shoulder strap to help you out.
Low noise is one of the major benefits of moving away from gas power. Cordless string trimmers we’ve tested range from decibels in the low 80s to the upper 90s (measured at our operator’s ear). Even at the top end, it’s an improvement over the majority of gas trimmers.
Your line selection plays a bigger part than it does on gas trimmers. Sometimes, switching the line you use can reduce the overall noise level or change the tone to a less irritating pitch.
When changing line, we don’t mind manual loading. We do, however, look for models with a fast-loading system (SpeedFeed, Rapid Load, etc). These loading methods let you feed line straight through the head and either turn the head to load it, or activate a power loader to pull in the string.
The best on the market right now is EGO’s PowerLoad design. It takes the fast-load concept and adds automatic winding and gives us the easiest, quickest line changes we’ve ever had.
Pro lawn crews typically have dedicated machines for string trimming, edging, and hedge trimming, but homeowners can save a lot of money by using interchangeable heads and tools that cover everything from blowing to brush cutting.
As we mentioned earlier, attachment systems require a top-mounted motor that affects the balance. It’s a trade-off you have to make for the convenience you gain.
One thing to keep an eye on is the attachment connection style. Models with a “universal” connection can use attachments from other brands, opening up far more choices. Recent multi-head systems including EGO, Milwaukee, and STIHL aren’t compatible with others, so you need to make sure they have everything you need before investing.
Why You Can Trust OPE Reviews
Ever check out a “review” site and you can’t tell if they actually tested the tools or if they’re just “recommending” the Amazon top sellers? That’s not us. We won’t recommend anything unless we’d actually use it ourselves and we don’t really care who the primary retailer is. It’s all about giving you a legitimate recommendation and our honest opinion of each product.
We’ve been in business since 2016 covering outdoor power equipment, writing reviews, and reporting on industry news in the landscaping, heavy equipment, and lawn care industries. Our Pro reviewers have lots of experience in these fields as well as the skills and experience to know whether these products can perform well on the job.
Each year, our team reviews and gets their hands on hundreds of additional landscaping tools and equipment at our shop and at media events and trade shows.
We work with dozens of professionals around the United States who review products for us on real job sites and consult with us on testing methods, categories, and weighting.
String Trimmer Buyer’s Guide — Best-Rated String Trimmers
String trimmers are an important tool for the homeowner, and there are a variety of different types of string trimmers available.
The most important factor to consider when purchasing a string trimmer is the type of power that the trimmer uses. There are three types of power sources for string trimmers: electric, battery-powered, and gas-powered.
Electric string trimmers are well suited for weekend gardeners because they are light weight and easy to use. They are powered by a cord that plugs into an outlet. Battery-powered string trimmers are also a good choice for homeowners and weekend gardeners, as they are cordless and can be used anywhere. Gas string trimmers are the most powerful and can go anywhere, but they are also heavier and require the most maintenance.
Elecicopo 3 IN 1 Cordless Grass Trimmer Review
Battery-powered cordless string trimmers have become the most popular trimmers for homeowners. They produce no emissions, run quietly, and start instantly. With a battery-powered trimmer, you can cut for about 30 minutes on a single charge.
Here’s our guide to help you learn about and buy a string trimmer:
What string trimmers are used for
- String trimmers are used for cutting weeds and long grass but not woody material.
- String trimmers can cut down tall grass and weeds that may clog a lawn mower.
- String trimmers are particularly good for trimming around trees and flower beds, near buildings, along fences, and around other solid structures such as swing sets.
- Some models double as grass edgers when turned on their sides. They can keep the edges along sidewalks and driveways neat.
- String trimmers can cut a path from 7 to 20 inches wide, depending on the model.
String trimmer basics to know
- A string trimmer is also known as line trimmer, weed-eater, weed whacker, weed trimmer, grass trimmer, flexible line grass trimmer, nylon cord trimmer, nylon string trimmer, and rotary trimmer.
- A string trimmer is a long-handled tool with either a straight or slightly curved shaft. The cutting head has one, two, or three heavy nylon monofilament strings on a spool that are spun at high speed by an electric (regular or battery-operated) or two-cycle gas engine. The string acts as a blade to cuts grass and weeds.
- Heavy-duty string trimmers are usually gas-powered and have straight shafts. Curved shafts are found on most light-duty models.
- The cutting nylon cord is reeled out as it becomes frayed or broken, either by a button on the handle (push button auto feed) or by bumping the trimmer head on the ground (bump feed); automatic feed models are also available. Some heavy-duty models have heavy fixed strings that are replaced in fixed lengths.
- Some gas-powered models can also be adapted to use a metal saw-tooth blade for heavy brush cutting.
- Trimmer line is available separately in various thicknesses from.040 to.130 inches and in various lengths from a foot to 1,000 feet.
- Gasoline-powered string trimmers tend to be heavier duty and are available in a wide range of sizes and capabilities, from those for home use to professional landscape maintenance operations.
- Gas engines are rated by displacement measured in cubic inches; the higher numbers indicate more power.
- Cordless battery-powered string trimmers are powered by rechargeable batteries. They are easy to start, quiet, do not use volatile fuels, and emit no exhaust fume. Their use is limited by battery life.
- Corded electric-powered string trimmers are powered by electric motors. They are easy to start, quiet, do not use volatile fuels, and emit no exhaust fume.
Frequently asked questions before buying a string trimmer
Q: How big is your yard or the area that needs maintenance?
A: Take a good look at the whole yard. An electric corded is good for small yards. A gas-powered trimmer is best for big yards and large properties. Battery-powered trimmers can be used in both large and small yards.
Q: What kind of string trimmer do I need?
A: If you have a large yard, you will need a trimmer with long runtime. A battery-powered cordless string trimmer can take on large areas, but you will likely need an extra battery. A gas-powered trimmer will have the greatest power and can take on large, tough jobs.
Q: What kind of obstacles can a string trimmer go up against?
A: If you will be trimming along walls or fences or around swing sets or other heavy permanent objects, you may need a machine that can use thicker, weighted line; heavy line is less likely to break or fray when striking hard objects. If you will just be trimming grass along a sidewalk in a small yard, a lighter corded machine will be sufficient.
Q: What is the best string trimmer for thick, overgrown weeds?
A. Gas-powered string trimmers are more powerful than electric models. If you want to use a battery-powered trimmer to remove heavy weeds, make sure the trimmer has a high voltage rating.
Q: Can I use a string trimmer as an edger?
A: If you will be edging along walks, hardscapes, or planting beds, choose a trimmer that features a flip head that can be used as an edger, or consider a trimmer with a built-in edger.
Q: Can I use any of the strings or lines available at the store on my string trimmer?
A: No. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding string gauges. If you use a string or line that is too heavy for your machine, you risk burning out the motor. Electric trimmers use the lightest gauges. Gas-powered trimmers commonly use medium to heavy gauge line. A heavier gauge cuts thicker weeds.
Q: How long will a string trimmer last?
A: With good care and maintenance, a string trimmer will last for several years. You will need to replace the string regularly. Battery-operated machines will need new batteries every few years.
String trimmer buying tips
- There is a large choice of string trimmer makes and models available.
- Be sure the tool is comfortable to use. Check the handle length, controls, overall feel, and importantly the balance of the machine in your hands.
- Models with the engine mounted on the upper end of the handle and with straight shafts are easily handled and more powerful.
- Larger models can carry more string.
- A built-in clutch that prevents the cord from turning when the motor idles is an important safety feature.
- Some models have “bump feeds.” A bump feed means when the head of the tool is bumped on the ground cord is released while the motor continues to run.
- Models without bump feeds must be turned off to hand-feed new string.
- Electric and battery-powered trimmers are quieter and vibrate less than gas-powered trimmers
- A 20 to 25-centimeter gas engine is sufficient for most lawns and homes.
- Electric models have a range of 1/8 to 3/4 horsepower. Look for the most amperage.
- Some gas and battery operated string trimmers are available as a split base or power base. A split base tool is a shaft with a power head (engine) that can accept different attachments usually with a string trimmer and separately a hedge trimmer, a pole saw, an edger, a brush cutter, or a cultivator. This is a good option if you need multiple powered tools.
Types of string trimmers
Electric corded string trimmers
Electric corded string trimmers run on electricity. They require an extension cord –usually 50 to 100 feet long–and must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Electric trimmers usually have enough power for small to medium size yards–about 1/4 to 1/2 acre–that are within 100 feet of an outlet. Use is limited by the length of the cord.
- Pros: usually the least expensive, lightest weight, start instantly, run indefinitely, no fuel, no need to re-charge batteries, quieter, no fumes, less maintenance.
- Cons: slower cutting speed, requires outlet and extension cord, range limited by the length of extension cord, potential electric shock.
- Tip: follow the manufacturer’s instructions for selecting a compatible outdoor-rated extension cord (usually a 14-gauge or heavier 12-gauge extension). Extension cords usually max out around 100 feet.
- Cost: average 70 to 130.
Cordless battery-powered string trimmers
Cordless battery-powered string trimmers are powered by rechargeable batteries. The batteries require a charging station that is plugged into an electrical outlet. Lithium-ion batteries provide the power and runtime for the average residential yard to about 1/2 acre. You will likely need a second battery so if the machine runs out of power while trimming you can finish the job.
- Pros: start instantly–no choke or pull-cord, good mobility, less vibration than gas models, the motor does not produce emissions; brushless motors and high-voltage batteries give long-lasting power, and batteries may be interchangeable with power equipment from the same manufacturer.
- Cons: cost can be about the same as gas trimmers, run time is determined by the voltage and amp-hour rating of the battery (about 30 to 40 minutes of semi-continuous cutting on a single charge), battery re-charge time of about 60 minutes can slow your work.
- Cost: 115 to 300; spare batteries can range from 40 to 125.
Gas-powered string trimmers
These are commonly the best choice for large yards, orchards, or fields where a long runtime is needed. Gas-powered trimmers are also powerful enough for cutting down thick, heavy brush. Gas trimmers are available with either 2-cycle or 4-cycle engines. Two-cycle engines require a gas-oil mixture to run. Four-cycle engines run on regular gas (the oil is separate) and are the most powerful.
- Pros: best for heavier work, faster cutting, big range of sizes and cutting capacities to choose from, work anywhere.
- Cons: usually more expensive, needs fuel/oil mixtures, stepped starting procedure, heavier and noisier (use earplugs or ear-muff style headsets) than battery or electric models and creates fumes, requires more maintenance.
- Cost: Average cost 125 to 400. You will also need specific fuel mixes and heavy lines.
String trimmer features to consider when buying
- Weight: Choose a weed trimmer you can lift and handle.
- Straight or curved shaft: Choose between a straight and curved shaft. This is a personal choice. Curved shafts tend to be shorter and are often lighter. They are able to maneuver around obstacles. Straight shafts are longer increasing reach and coverage from a given point; they can cover more ground in fewer steps.
- Balance: Choose a trimmer that is easily balanced in your hands. Top-mounted motors offer the best balance. You may want a trimmer with adjustable-length shafts or handles if the trimmer is going to be used by different members of the household.
- Noise: Corded electric and battery-powered trimmers are quieter than gas-powered trimmers. Use ear protection when using power equipment.
- Vibration: Gas-powered trimmers produce intense vibration which can leave your hands numb. Choose a trimmer with anti-vibration technology or use anti-vibration gloves.
- String loading and feeding: String loading and replacement can be difficult. Choose a trimmer that fits your needs and is easy to load with line. Some models offer pre-wound string refills; others require you to load the string yourself. Remember, using string or line that is too heavy risks burning out your trimmer’s motor.
- Shields and guards: The trimmer should have a shield over the string to prevent debris from flying out and striking you or others. Some models have cutting guards that extend away from the machine and limit the trim range and protect plantings.
- Attachments: Some models offer optional attachment heads such as an edger, blower, pole saw, hedge trimmer, mower, or tiller. These models have a power head and shaft that accepts attachments; these are often called split shaft or power base tools. The attachments fit on to the end of powered shaft.
String trimmer maintenance
String trimmers we like
About our list: We spend nearly every day in the garden. We also spend a lot of time with other gardeners. Many of the tools on our favorites list are tools we use or tools we see being used by our gardening friends. We also chat with sales associates at the garden center, box store, and hardware about tools they are selling and recommend. Our list is comprised of tools we know first-hand are right for the job and reasonably priced.
Battery-powered cordless string trimmers
EGO Power ST1511T 15-Inch Weed Eater 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless POWERLOAD String Trimmer Kit with Telescopic Alu Foldable Shaft Weed Wacker – 2.5Ah Battery and Charger Included. About 199.
Makita XRU12SM1 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless String Trimmer Kit (4.0Ah). 18 volts, Straight shaft. Maximum cutting width 15 inches. Weighs 11 pounds. About 240.
EGO Power MHC1502 Multi Combo Kit: 15 String Trimmer, 8-Inch Edger Power Head with 5.0Ah Battery Charger Included. About 419.
Electric corded string trimmers
Worx 15 in. 6 amp. Corded Electric String Trimmer, Edger with Telescopic Straight Shaft, and Pivoting Head. Weighs 7 lbs. About 58.
Toro 51480 Corded 14-Inch Electric Trimmer/Edger. Straight shaft. Maximum cutting width 14 inches. Weighs 6.3 lbs. About 65.
Gas-powered string trimmers
Craftsman WS205 25cc 2-Cycle 17-Inch Straight Shaft Gas Powered String Trimmer and Brushcutter Handheld Weed Wacker with Attachment Capabilities. Maximum cutting width 17 inches. Weighs 18.91 lbs. About 160.
Wheeled string trimmers
BLACKDECKER 25A-26S5736 4-Cycle Gas Powered 22-Inch Walk-Behind High-Wheeled String Trimmer with 140cc OHV Engine. About 528.
Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SWSTM4317 Southland 2 Cycle Wheeled String Trimmer. About 304,
Written by Stephen Albert
Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.
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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.
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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.