Makita Cordless String Trimmer Review
When it comes to Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE), you wouldn’t expect a power tool company to be a leading OPE manufacturer. In fact, Makita is one of the leading cordless OPE companies in the marketplace. Makita was one of the first, if not the first power tool manufacturer to introduce OPE products to their line up. While they offer a gas solution, their cordless OPE technology has been leading the way forcing other companies to play catch up. So let’s check out our Makita cordless string trimmer review.
Makita Cordless String Trimmer Review – Features
When you look around at most string trimmers, they are pretty much the same. They have a variable trigger and that’s pretty much it. Well the Makita XRU09Z is a little different.
First, Makita started with a brushless motor and designed it to run off two 18V Makita batteries. Not only does this provide more run time, torque and speed, but it doesn’t force you to buy into a new battery platform.
There is an easy access button to select between two different speeds, high and low. On high, the head will have a 6,500 rpm while on low it will produce 5,000 rpm. If you equip this with two 5Ah batteries, you will get about 60 minutes of run time on low. You will also notice a push button to engage the reverse feature. The reverse feature is beneficial to help remove weeds and other items that may get stuck on the head.
The trimmer uses a bump and feed style which means just bump the head on the ground and the line will advance.
The direct drive motor is mounted directly on the trimmer head for improved balance and great efficiency. Also, a user can enjoy a 13-3/4″ cutting swath.
The string trimmer has a built-in feature which is a constant speed control which minimizes the reduction in rotation under load. So it will attempt to keep the same speed.
Makita Cordless String Trimmer Review – Performance
When it comes to OPE, I have to admit, I am an EGO fan mainly because they also have a mower and snow blower which means I have one battery platform. However, when it comes to string trimmers, I think this is the best cordless string trimmer on the market.
The trimmer is powerful, easy to control and has a great balance so I don’t feel like I am fighting the tool.
It really doesn’t matter if I am trimming shorter grass or thick tall grass, this unit powers through everything I have thrown at it.
Makita Cordless String Trimmer Review – Value
For me, I think this is a great value. While it’s a little more expensive than some of the other string trimmers on the market, it falls in line with string trimmers of this caliber. Considering it is one of the most powerful trimmers in its class and all the power tools you can get into with the Makita battery platform, the Makita string trimmer is a great value. The trimmer offers some great features for the price.
Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 13 in. String Trimmer XRU23Z
As of this article, it looks like The Home Depot has a better price on the bare tool compared to Amazon.
Makita Cordless String Trimmer Review – Final Thoughts
Overall this is a great string trimmer and one of my favorite trimmers. I love the two speed along with the reverse feature. The trimmer is well balanced with the two battery system. There is plenty of power and more than enough run time to perform some serious work. I am 6′ tall and I don’t feel like I have to bend over to perform string trimmer tasks. So for me, this is a must have especially for those who already own or are looking into the Makita platform.
Makita is known to have one of the best cordless OPE lineups. Th XRU09 doesn’t disappoint. With two speeds and a reverse, this is one powerful and feature packed trimmers. The 2-18V batteries mean you get a long run time and higher performance to match a 36V trimmer.
The 8 Best Cordless Leaf Blowers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Sarah is a writer who loves researching and testing tech and Smart home products. She’s been an e-commerce writer since 2020, mainly covering gaming, home tech, streaming, and pop culture content. Her writing has been published in Entertainment Weekly, Business Insider, People, and more.
Andrew Hughes is a certified arborist, member of the International Society of Arborists specializing in tree heal care, and reviews tree content on The Spruce’s Gardening Review Board. He founded and runs Urban Loggers, LLC, a company offering residential tree services in the Midwest and Connecticut.
Nick Blackmer is a librarian, fact checker, and researcher with more than 25 years’ experience in consumer-oriented content.
If you dread the inevitable leaf-raking that comes with fall, you may want to consider investing in a cordless leaf blower, which can help reduce the hassle of your fall-time yard work and let you roam around your yard without having to worry about cord management.
Speaking on the benefits of cordless leaf blowers (specifically battery-operated options), Deane Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board and Certified Lead Carpenter, says: “Although cordless leaf blowers are less powerful than corded or gas-powered models, there is virtually no maintenance to perform other than charging the batteries. They’re perfect for clearing leaves from small yards or yards with very few leaf-shedding trees.”
We tested 27 electric leaf blowers (including 17 cordless) in our Lab in Des Moines, Iowa, where we methodically evaluated each unit’s ease of assembly and use, battery life, noise levels, and effectiveness. We tested for effectiveness under a range of scenarios, timing how quickly each leaf blower cleared dry leaves from a patch of grass, dry leaves from a patch of concrete, and damp leaves from a patch of grass. We also tested to see if each blower had the strength to move 0.25-, 0.5-, and 1-ounce trimmer line weights, as well as the precision to easily wrangle leaves in a box we drew with chalk on concrete. After our lab tests, we continued testing 10 models in our homes across the country for six months to evaluate their long-term durability and performance.
RYOBI 550 CFM 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Whisper Series Jet Fan Leaf Blower
We love how quietly the Ryobi 40V Brushless 125 MPH 550 CFM Cordless Battery Whisper Series Jet Fan Blower with 4.0 Ah Battery and Charger operates. While its product description says it has a noise rating of 59 dB, our personal measurement with a decibel meter showed its noise rating to be 40.2 dB. We also confirmed the same decibel rating while testing in one of our homes. We also found it to be just as powerful as some gas models.
Despite its quiet operation, the unit offers a good amount of power in the form of a 550 CFM airflow capacity and a 125 mph airflow speed. In our lab tests, the Ryobi cleared a patch of grass from dry leaves in 27 seconds and from damp leaves in 28 seconds. It was significantly quicker at clearing the patch of concrete from dry leaves, finishing the job in just 11 seconds.
We also found the machine easy to start up, with the single press of a button. We did have some discrepancies in maneuverability, with our lab results describing the blower as easy to heft, while in a real-world scenario, we found this blower difficult to manage. “When my husband uses it, he doesn’t quickly notice any fatigue or issues with its weight,” our at-home testing team member said. “He is a bigger, stronger guy. When I carry it, it does seem heavy to me, and the weight of the battery makes me tire faster. This may not be a great choice for smaller people.”
The battery was another issue for our at-home testing team member, saying she got only 15 minutes from a charge. “Anyone using this should definitely invest in at least one more battery,” she said. She also found the chute somewhat long, which she said made it sometimes not very maneuverable in tight corners. These discrepancies could be due to our team member’s height, but we still find them to be valuable Комментарии и мнения владельцев for any shorter users searching for a leaf blower. Again, those downsides don’t keep us from recommending this as an affordable, quiet solution to keep your yard tidy when the leaves fall.
How It Performed Long-Term
Although we had some usability issues since our at-home testing team member was shorter, we still appreciate this blower’s overall design and powerful motor after several months of regular use. The Turbo Mode is especially handy for cleaning off big piles of leaves as well.
Price at time of publish: 199
Maximum Air Speed: 125 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 550 CFM | Weight: 9.7 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 59 dB
WORX WG584 40V Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Power Share with Brushless Motor
The WORX 40V Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Power Share with Brushless Motor lets you choose from an airflow capacity of 300 to 470 CFM and from an airflow speed of 60, 69, 80, or 95 mph. We appreciated that the unit was so lightweight and surprisingly quiet for the amount of power it had. It cleared the patch of grass with dry leaves in 12.9 seconds, which was the fastest clocked time among all the other models on this list for that specific test. It cleared the patch of grass with damp leaves in 52 seconds and the patch of concrete with dry leaves in a considerably faster 12.7 seconds.
This unit is made up of three pieces. While we had no issue following the assembly instructions and finished setting the leaf blower up in less than two minutes, we struggled a bit when attaching the final piece. We wish this unit allowed us to have better control over the airflow, since we were unable to round up the leaves in the box we drew with chalk on a concrete sidewalk. However, we were pleased with its power, as it easily pushed each trimmer line a 10-foot distance. We were also pleased with its long battery life, and we never noticed a decline in power during use.
How It Performed Long-Term
After six months of regular use, we think this leaf blower is a great, inexpensive tool. While it may not be the best for precise jobs, it’s variable speed and lightweight design make it an effective and comfortable option for quickly clearing your yard of leaves.
Price at time of publish: 220
Maximum Air Speed: 95 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 470 CFM | Weight: 7.3 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 102.1 dB
Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower
We initially had some hesitancies about the efficacy and overall comfort of backpack blowers, but this model from Greenworks completely dispelled any doubts. This backpack blower is comfortable to wear, easy to use, and expedites the leaf-clearing process. This model also was quieter than some other backpack leaf blowers we tested. It has a trigger-activated variable-speed throttle and a cruise control option that provides constant airflow as needed. We especially appreciated the multiple power options during lab testing, since the trigger offers more precise airflow, but the turbo mode and cruise control have a lot of power behind them.
Greenworks estimates that the fully charged 2.5Ah battery lasts only around 18 minutes if run continuously at its highest speed. We noted it ran far longer during our at-home testing because we were able to blow an entire backyard multiple times before recharging. This blower also has a charger that quickly restores power to the battery in just 45 minutes.
Despite its variable speed, this model still isn’t the most powerful of those we tested—its maximum air speed is 145 mph, and maximum airflow is 580—but it works well in smaller yards. However, we loved using this backpack blower and think it’s a great alternative to traditional leaf blower models.
How It Performed Long-Term
While a backpack blower may not be best for every yard, we think this backpack blower is a great compromise for homeowners with smaller yards. “This was the easiest year of picking up leaves I’ve ever had!” our at-home testing team member said. We enjoyed using this blower to not only clear leaves but also blow debris off a back deck and front porch.
Price at time of publish: 350
Maximum Air Speed: 180 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 610 CFM | Weight: 14.64 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 87 dB
Echo 2-Stroke Cycle Handheld Leaf Blower
The Echo Gas 2-Stroke Cycle Leaf Blower manages to be a powerful gas model—with an airflow capacity of up to 453 CFM and an airflow speed of up to 170 mph—without being too loud, too unwieldy, or too high maintenance. We’d like to note that we have not had a chance to test this blower in our lab or at home, so our assessment is based on research alone. This model has a 70 dB noise rating, an 8.6-pound weight, and, according to users, manageable maintenance and cleaning requirements. Since this is a gas model, regular maintenance is required to keep it functioning properly, which is something to consider before purchasing it. Also note that a shoulder harness is not included with this leaf blower, though the unit does have shoulder harness points, so you have the option of buying a harness separately and attaching it to the leaf blower.
The unit relies on a recoil start (so you need to pull a cord to start operating it), but users say it’s a quick, easy, and fairly smooth start-up process. Further contributing to its user-friendliness is a translucent tank that allows you to easily monitor your fuel levels as you operate the unit, as well as an air filter that’s made to help keep the engine clean. It has a curved tube as well, which is designed to mitigate strain placed on your arms and wrist and thus help prevent them from quickly growing weary. There’s also a cruise control mode, which can help further minimize the taxing nature of your yard work.
Price at time of publish: 249
Maximum Air Speed: 125 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 450 CFM | Weight: 6.7 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 66 dB
After using our meticulous testing methodology to evaluate and compare 27 leaf blowers, our top pick is the Ryobi ONE 18V 100 MPH 280 CFM Cordless Battery Variable-Speed Jet Fan Leaf Blower. The model is light enough to easily operate with one hand and powerful enough to quickly clear leaves under different circumstances, ultimately offering a well-rounded design at a good price point. If you’re looking for a backpack model, the Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower is our favorite. The unit is comfortable to wear, and it also has a substantial 610 CFM airflow capacity and a speedy recharge time.
Other Options We Tested
Litheli 40V Cordless Leaf Blower: We didn’t have any trouble using this blower during our dry and wet leaf tests and the trimmer line tests, but we found that its trigger “lock” was confusing to use. You had to press down on the lock button while still holding the trigger, which made continuous operation a bit tiring, rather than providing relief. This blower was also very loud and did not neatly blow the leaves in one direction compared to other models we tested. CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Blower: As much as we appreciated this blower’s compact size, it took twice as long to accomplish all of our tests because it lacked blowing power. If the fishing lines fell into cracks in the sidewalk, this blower was unable to blow them out of the cracks, and we noticed our arm was feeling fatigued from trying to angle the blower in so many different ways.
How We Tested the Cordless Leaf Blowers
The Spruce tested 27 leaf blowers in The Lab, including 10 battery-operated cordless models. We followed a detailed testing methodology in order to properly test and evaluate each product’s effectiveness, battery life, ease of use, portability, noise level, and value. We provided ratings for each attribute based on our personal experiences with each unit, and we included the best performing units in this roundup. We timed how quickly each leaf blower could remove different types of leaves from different types of landscapes to test their effectiveness. We measured noise levels with a decibel meter, and we measured each unit’s weight when judging portability. We considered both noise level and portability in practical terms, too, noting whether the noise was tolerable or if the unit could be operated with one hand. When assessing battery life, we looked to see if the power output remained steady and if the battery life started to dwindle while in use. We considered how easy it was to access the controls, change between speeds and various attachments, and maneuver the device when rating ease of use. When it came down to value, we considered whether each unit offered too little, just enough, or more than expected for its price point. For our test, we spread out 0.75 pounds of leaves on a 10-foot by 10-foot patch of grass. Using the highest mode available for each leaf blower, we timed how quickly we were able to clear the leaves from the area. With each leaf blower, we performed this test again on the grass but using 0.75 pounds of damp leaves, and one more time on a patch of 10-foot by 10-foot concrete using dry leaves. In order to test if the units were garden-friendly, we spread out leaves around plants in a garden bed. Using each unit’s lowest setting, we used the units to clear the leaves from the garden and noted if their airflow caused any damage to the plants. When applicable, we tested a unit’s vacuum or mulching function as well. We also gathered leaves in a dense pile to test suction power and counted how many times we had to empty the leaf blower’s bag. At the end of our lab testing, we used the 10 cordless models in our homes across the country to evaluate their performance over time.
What to Look for in a Cordless Leaf Blower
Cordless leaf blowers are powered by either gas or electricity. Electric blowers tend to weigh less and produce less noise and air pollution, but they can overheat and generally aren’t as powerful. Gas-powered products, on the other hand, pack a punch when it comes to force, but they emit a number of gas pollutants and their maintenance is a little more complicated.
When thinking about how powerful a leaf blower you need, consider the size of your yard. If you have a large space with lots of trees, you’ll need a high-powered product with a high CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating—this means you’ll be able to move leaves and debris faster and more efficiently. Deane Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board and Certified Lead Carpenter explains that “CFM measures the cubic feet per minute or volume of air coming out of the blower. You can think of it as the ‘size’ of the airflow. Bigger air will move more leaves at one time.’” He says a 500 CFM airflow capacity works well for typical residential yard work, but also says anywhere between a 300 CFM to 400 CFM airflow capacity is acceptable if you’re working with a smaller yard that doesn’t have too many trees. With an airflow capacity of 610 CFM, the Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower can move the greatest volume of air compared to all the other models in our roundup.
Some leaf blowers have only one speed—which might work if you have a small yard and are mostly clearing away dry leaves. However, if you want to use your leaf blower for tougher jobs, you’re better off getting a variable-speed blower that you can adjust as needed. Our top pick, the Ryobi ONE 18V 100 MPH 280 CFM Cordless Battery Variable-Speed Jet Fan Leaf Blower, is a variable-speed model that lets you choose from different speed settings. However, our pick for the best variable-speed leaf blower is the WORX 40V Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Power Share with Brushless Motor due to its handy and comprehensive range of settings for airflow speed and airflow capacity.
The main benefit of a cordless leaf blower is that you won’t be tethered to an extension cord during operation. With a corded leaf blower, you have to worry about finding an electrical outlet, finding an extension cord, and navigating around obstacles with the power cord. With a cordless leaf blower, you can get started more quickly and have unlimited mobility. Many cordless leaf blowers are also fairly lightweight, making them easier to handle.
In general, most battery-powered leaf blowers will last 20 to 30 minutes per charge. However, there are several variables that will affect how long a cordless leaf blower lasts. Gas-powered models will naturally last longer than battery-powered units, and they can be refueled immediately. The type of battery and speed at which your blower is operating will impact the runtime, as well. (In particular, running a leaf blower on its highest setting will drain its battery extremely quickly.) Looking at long-term life span. Biermeier warns that “most cordless leaf blowers aren’t considered heavy-duty models.” He says you can “expect about an 8 to 10-year life span before plastic parts wear down,” and for battery-operated models, depending on how frequently you use your leaf blower, “you’ll likely have to replace the batteries every few years.”
If you have a battery-powered cordless leaf blower, you’ll typically need to charge it after every use. Most models have a fairly limited runtime, so it’s best to start out with a full charge every time—otherwise, you run the risk of running out of battery power before you finish cleaning your yard. Also keep in mind that you may be able to conserve battery power by pulling out a rake for smaller, fast clearing jobs.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Sarah Toscano is a freelance writer for The Spruce, specializing in all things related to home tech and Smart home gadgets. With the exception of one model, all of the cordless leaf blowers listed in this roundup were tested in The Lab, where product testers followed a detailed testing methodology to assess each unit’s features. Toscano carefully researched the one model that wasn’t tested, as she read through pages of customer reviews, scoured discussion forums, and analyzed the product’s specs to evaluate the leaf blower.
Toscano also consulted with Deane Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board and Certified Lead Carpenter, to learn more about the features, uses, and benefits of a good cordless leaf blower. Emma Phelps, an Updates Writer for The Spruce, assisted in refreshing this article with our latest long-term testing results. She also reviewed our product picks and highlighted several tested products that didn’t quite make our final list.
What Is The Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Makita DUR368AZ Twin 18V Brushless Cordless Brushcutter Review
gardening tool manufacturers are opting for battery power over fuel or electric, and today’s string trimmers are a case in point. We tested these eco-friendly yard maintenance devices to help consumers make the right purchase for their property.
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Handy outdoor power tools make quick work of tackling overgrown weeds and grass, giving the yard a tidy look and trimming hedges and shrubs. We put battery-powered trimmers through their paces on several grass or weed types to see how well they ran and cut, ultimately arriving at this list of the best battery trimmers.
For ensuring a polished look to a lawn, the best string trimmer is a great investment. These yard-care tools spin a cutting head loaded with nylon string (instead of a fixed blade) to cleanly trim the grass at the edge of a lawn or mow down weedy areas. Though gas and electric models once dominated, new and improved battery-powered versions don’t require mixing fuel or storing gasoline like gas string trimmers do, nor are they limited by the length of an extension cord, like corded electric string trimmers are.
Some battery trimmers are better suited to different-size yards, users, and budgets. So we could help consumers make the right choice, we tested some of the most popular string trimmers to find out how they perform under real-world conditions. To qualify as a top pick, a string trimmer should be durable, powerful, and easy to operate. The string line should exit the reel easily with no need for the user to constantly remove the reel cover and untangle the line.
The following battery-powered string trimmers are at the top of their class. Anyone looking to invest in a trimmer is likely to find one here to fit their landscaping needs.
- BEST OVERALL:STIHL FSA 60 R 36V Battery Trimmer
- RUNNER-UP:Ego ST1511T Power 15-Inch Powerload String Trimmer
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:BlackDecker LST300 LBXR2020-OPE 20V String Trimmer
- UPGRADE PICK:Makita XRU15PT1 36V LXT Brushless String Trimmer Kit
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY:DeWALT DCST972X1 60V MAX 17-Inch String Trimmer Kit
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT:BlackDecker LSTE525 20V MAX String Trimmer/Edger
- BEST FOR LARGE YARDS:Echo DSRM-2100 eFORCE 56V 16-Inch Battery Trimmer
- BEST FOR SMALL YARDS:Worx WG163 20V Power Share GT 3.0 String Trimmer
- BEST DUAL DIRECTION:Husqvarna 320iL 40V Battery String Trimmer
- BEST TRIMMER/EDGER COMBO:Worx WG170 20V Power Share Revolution String Trimmer
- MOST VERSATILE:Greenworks Pro 80V 16-Inch Cordless String Trimmer
How We Tested the Best Battery Trimmers
To truly test these battery-powered string trimmers, we started by assembling the tools and charging the batteries. Most trimmers arrived with the batteries about 25 percent charged right out of the box, but a full charge allowed us to gauge runtime at full power. Although some of the trimmers offer lower power settings that could extend runtime, we found that the lower settings simply made them less capable when it came to coarse weeds, so we ran them at full power for testing.
We put each trimmer through its paces in a variety of real-world scenarios: “clean” lawn grass, weedy grass, and natural areas featuring coarse, weedy seedlings and vines. To earn a spot in our lineup, the lightweight 20-volt (V) trimmers had to deliver a clean, crisp cut in both clean and weedy grass sections. In addition to trimming the grass zones, we used the 36V, 56V, and 80V models to cut through woody, viny growth in natural areas. Along with cutting power, we tested for battery runtime, maneuverability, and operator comfort and determined the best battery trimmer by category.
Our Top Picks
These reviews describe the key features of each cordless string trimmer and how the models performed in our backyard tests.
STIHL FSA 60 R 36V Battery Trimmer
It makes sense that the STIHL FSA 60 R would be a top performer in this test group. It comes from a brand with a long history of industry-leading outdoor power equipment. This string trimmer measures just over 66 inches long, weighs less than 10 pounds with the battery installed, and works for about 25 minutes per charge. The 36V 3.9 amp hours (Ah) battery charges in a little more than 2 hours.
The tough polymer material used for the motor housing and debris shield help keep the weight down. A few other standout features include a variable-speed throttle trigger, trigger interlock, battery retainer latch, EasySpool cutting head, bump guard, and hang loop. The trigger interlock and battery retainer latch prevent accidental startup. The variable trigger and EasySpool head improve operating efficiency by saving battery life and minimizing the time it takes to reload, respectively. The bump guard protects sensitive surfaces during close trimming, and the hang loop offers a convenient way to store the tool when not in use.
This is a great all-around pick for quarter- to a half-acre yards. The relatively short runtime of the STIHL FSA 60 R belies a very capable trimmer. In our tests it easily and cleanly sliced through all kinds of grass and weeds, including tough tree saplings up to about ¼ inch thick. The shorter runtime actually mattered less because the trimmer cut so well, and we moved at a faster pace than with some of the other trimmers with longer runtimes.
The other thing we noted here was the amazing level of operating comfort. The trimmer was fairly lightweight to begin with, but the weight was so well balanced—with just enough weight forward of the front handle to keep the head near ground level—that using it required significantly less effort than what was required of some of the other trimmers that weighed about the same. Also, vibration was minimal, so after trimming we had plenty of energy to keep working.
- Weighs less than 10 pounds but easily powers through tough weeds
- 25-minute runtime per charge for about 5,000 linear feet of trimming
- Excellent balance to keep the head at ground level
- EasySpool head, bump guard, variable-speed throttle, and accidental start protection
- Smallish 13.8-inch cutting swath is on the small side for open spaces
- 2-hour recharge time for battery is longer than that of some competitors
Get the STIHL battery trimmer at Ace Hardware or Blain’s Farm Fleet.
Ego ST1511T Power 15-Inch Powerload String Trimmer
Ego Power has made a name for itself in the outdoor power-equipment category by building an affordable battery-powered tool line that competes favorably against old-fashioned 2-cycle gas-powered equipment. The ST1511T 15-inch string trimmer proved to be powerful, clean, and quiet in testing. The 56V 2.5Ah lithium-ion battery delivers up to 45 minutes of runtime, with a recharging time of just 50 minutes. The bump-feed trimmer head comes preloaded with 0.095-inch trimmer line for more cutting force and less noise. Taller users will appreciate the straight shaft design, and the unit weighs in at just over 10 pounds.
In our tests, the Ego trimmer showed ample power to cut through everything in its path, including overgrown, weedy grass; privet seedlings; and honeysuckle vines. Its well-balanced design, with the heavy battery in back offset by the long, straight shaft, made it comfortable to work with and more agile than others we tested. Our only caveat: For seasonal yard cleanup or maintaining larger landscapes, the 45-minute maximum runtime may not be quite enough.
- Auto-loading trimmer head reduces downtime while working
- Adjustable telescoping straight shaft provides a custom fit for different users
- Excellent power and runtime value at a moderate price point
- Heavier than some with less forward weight to keep head down
- Battery is bulkier than others, making the tool tiring to use over an extended period
Get the Ego Power battery trimmer at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or Lowe’s.
BlackDecker LST300 LBXR2020-OPE 20V String Trimmer
To give the yard a polished look without breaking the bank, consider the BlackDecker cordless string trimmer. It features a 12-inch cutting swath to cut down the corners and clean up the edges of small- to medium-size yards. An automatic feed spool means no more stopping to bump the tool when new string is needed. Two 20V lithium-ion batteries are included.
In our tests, this trimmer performed very well in weed-free grass and in weedy lawn areas. With a light weight of just 5.7 pounds, this trimmer is easy to handle without causing arm and shoulder fatigue. The short, straight shaft design is most comfortable for users under 5 feet 9 inches tall. We also liked that with a quick adjustment to the head, the trimmer becomes an edger to neaten up the grass along sidewalks and driveways. In all, we found this affordable tool a solid pick for small obstacle-free landscapes.
- Pack includes 2 batteries for more runtime, less downtime
- Automatic feed spool
- Money- and space-saving design that both trims and edges
- Battery recharges in just 45 minutes
Get the BlackDecker battery string trimmer at Amazon (with extra battery) or The Home Depot.
Makita XRU15PT1 36V LXT Brushless String Trimmer Kit
The Makita XRU15PT1 string trimmer is a premium option to keep the lawn and garden under control. It can handle large yards with enough power to tackle dense weed growth. This cordless string trimmer comes with four 18V 5.0Ah batteries so you’ll never run out of power. Shoppers can purchase this model as a kit that includes a dual battery charger and two sets of batteries, or as a “tool only” for those who already have items from the Makita 18V tool platform.
With a long, straight shaft and high-power cutting head, this 10.4-pound trimmer feels like a pro-quality tool. It was well balanced and articulate while trimming around shrubs and between obstacles. It had plenty of power to cut through tough vegetation. In our tests, it made nice clean cuts and crisp edges in the grassy areas and tore through weedy privet seedlings and honeysuckle vines without hesitation. It’s an excellent candidate to replace gas equipment for medium to large landscapes, though the price may be high for budget-minded shoppers.
- Runtime is longer than charge time for ready-to-go fresh batteries
- Includes a second set of batteries for extended work
- Gas-like power and performance for tough trimming jobs
- Expensive trimmer due to the high cost of batteries
- Small debris guard allows some material close to operator
- Stiff bump head required a hard strike to let out line
Get the Makita battery trimmer at Amazon or Mowers Direct.
DeWALT DCST972X1 60V MAX 17-Inch String Trimmer Kit
When an established leader in pro-grade cordless hand tools enters the lawn-care category, shoppers will want to take note. The DeWALT 60V battery trimmer packs a heavy-duty brushless motor powered by a 60V 3Ah FlexVolt lithium battery that lets it tear through all kinds of tough weeds for at least 40 minutes per charge.
This attachment-capable trimmer comes equipped with a straight shaft and Rapid- loading adjustable spool. It uses.080-inch trimmer line to cut either a 15-inch or 17-inch swath. A safety switch in the grip prevents accidental starts. Users can select high or low power, depending on the project, and control the trimming RPM with a variable-speed trigger. The universal attachment feature lets owners replace the trimmer attachment with a variety of other tool heads, including an edger, hedge trimmer, pole saw, and more.
The DeWALT battery trimmer was one of the heaviest we tested, but also the most powerful. With the standard.080-inch trimmer line that came pre-spooled, this tool had no trouble cutting anything from grass to thin tree seedlings and even tough blackberry canes. In low-power mode it offered more cutting force than the high- power setting of most others we tested. In high range it beat all but the STIHL, which was about an even match in terms of pure power. To be honest, high power was too much for many of our applications, so we also tested thoroughly in low range. It ran about 40 minutes on high, and about 60 on low.
Other than the heavy weight, the only negative point we have to offer is the noise. The trimmer is loud to begin with, and when initially triggering or feathering the trigger it makes an even louder whine/whistle sound. Still, it’s a very impressive tool at a fair price for the power and runtime and a good choice for large properties or cleaning up overgrown areas.
- Battery type: 60V 3Ah FlexVolt lithium ion
- Runtime: 40 minutes
- Weight: 12.95 pounds
- Outstanding power for clearing overgrown weeds and brush
- Works with.080-inch or.095-inch trimmer line for normal or heavy trimming
- Excellent runtime of up to an hour for average grass trimming
- Power head can run other landscaping tool attachments
- Heavy weight of just under 13 pounds, but no shoulder strap
- Longer battery charge time at 135 minutes
- Noisy operation, especially when initially triggering
Get the DeWALT battery trimmer at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot.
BlackDecker LSTE525 20V MAX String Trimmer/Edger
Weighing just 8.8 pounds, this string trimmer is easy to carry, maneuver, and control with an adjustable handle and a safety trigger switch to prevent accidental starts. The 12-inch trimming radius is suitable for keeping the lawn properly maintained without damaging fencing, decks, trees, or other common yard obstacles.
This cordless string trimmer operates with a 20V battery that can last for up to 20 minutes, and a spare battery is included. For edging, simply turn the head and use the built-in wheel to balance as the trimmer string handles the task.
When we used the tool to trim weedy lawn grass patches and edge the curb and driveway, it made nice clean cuts and tracked well to make good straight edges. The shaft and handle adjusted to comfortably fit our 6-foot user. The tool is amazingly lightweight for the amount of power it offers, but the weight is mostly balanced to the front of the handle, and having to manually counterbalance it while working fatigued our tester. Though not built for heavily weed-infested yards, it has ample power and runtime to clean up curb lines, driveway edges, and otherwise maintain a smaller landscape.
- Very lightweight and easy to carry
- Handle is customizable to fit the size of user
- Trimmer doubles as an edger with a simple turn of the head
- Battery provides limited runtime, although a spare is included
- Not enough power to tackle coarse, woody weeds
- Weighted toward the front, which may cause user fatigue
Get the BlackDecker MAX battery trimmer/edger at The Home Depot or Tractor Supply Co.
Echo DSRM-2100 eFORCE 56V 16-Inch Battery Trimmer
A wide cutting swath, extended runtime, and powerful trimming ability make the Echo DSRM-2100 eFORCE battery trimmer an excellent choice for large yards. The straight-shaft trimmer is powered by a brushless motor and 56V 2.5Ah lithium battery for up to 56 minutes of powerful performance that rivals traditional 2-cycle trimmers. It cuts a 16-inch-wide swath to get the job done efficiently.
This battery trimmer weighs in at a comfortable 9.75 pounds, making it a relatively lightweight choice at this level of capability. It features battery-saving low/high power settings for different cutting conditions, a variable-speed trigger, and a cushioned handle grip for comfort. The Speed-Feed cutting head comes preloaded with.095 trimmer line and reloads quickly without disassembly.
The Echo eForce battery trimmer is an excellent value for large-property maintenance. In our tests, the cutting power seemed to be slightly less than that of the DeWALT and STIHL trimmers, but it was still very capable. In high-power mode we trimmed for about 40 minutes. But the better-than-average power and wider swath meant that in 40 minutes with the Echo, we were able to complete work that other trimmers would need an hour to accomplish. The noise level was good, and reloading was fast and easy.
This trimmer could have scored higher with improved balance. Although it is a lightweight trimmer overall, most of the weight is in the working end. The heavy cutting head forces the operator to compensate by lifting upward on the front handle and pushing downward on the rear handle while working. We tested with the 2.5Ah battery that comes standard. Working with the available 5Ah battery (sold separately) would rebalance the trimmer to some degree while doubling runtime and increasing overall weight.
- Excellent price for this combination of power and runtime
- Wide cutting swath and power performance for large properties
- Rapid charging system charges the battery in less than 40 minutes
Get the Echo battery trimmer at The Home Depot or Acme Tools.
Worx WG163 20V Power Share GT 3.0 String Trimmer
Owners of small yards may find this lightweight string trimmer an excellent option. It weighs just 5.5 pounds and easily converts from a trimmer to an edging tool; a built-in wheel helps balance the tool while edging. A push-button feed system gives the ability to extend the trimmer string without bumping the 12-inch trimmer head or manually pulling additional string from the trimmer. It comes with two 20V batteries and a charger, and the battery lasts for up to 20 minutes on a full charge.
This Worx string trimmer tackled our grassy areas with ease, both the weedy and weed-free zones, but it wasn’t as capable on rough areas. We were particularly impressed by the edger function, which we found comfortable and well balanced thanks to the 90-degree shaft-rotation capability. The adjustable trimmer head and upper handle let us customize the working angle, but the process of doing so proved clunky. We had to reach down and turn a rather stiff knob at the connection point between the shaft and cutting head to unlock and relock the angle for each adjustment.
- Battery provides limited runtime, although a second battery is included
- Head-tilt adjustment is somewhat awkward and clunky
- Relatively long 60-minute charging time for 20 minutes of runtime
Husqvarna 320iL 40V Battery String Trimmer
One limiting factor of most string trimmers is the cutting head’s direction of rotation; it matters more than one might think. The direction of rotation determines where the clippings will go, and in some situations, how the user should grip the trimmer. The Husqvarna 320iL 40V battery trimmer offers a solution, thanks to its dual-direction cutting head. At the touch of a button, we could change from clockwise to counterclockwise rotation and back, without changing grip on the handles.
This straight-shaft trimmer is powered by an efficient brushless motor and 40V 4Ah battery that drives about 45 minutes of runtime per charge. It features a Rapid-load cutting head that comes prespooled with.080 trimmer line and cuts a 16-inch swath. Low-vibration technology improves operator comfort, and the machine weighs in at just over 10 pounds with the battery.
Anyone not interested in going off the beaten path might still do well to consider this trimmer. Its balance is impeccable, rivaling the STIHL in comfort even though it’s a fraction of a pound heavier. And for quiet operation, this one takes the gold medal. The only real question regarding comfort and control was, why so many buttons? Its four thumb-operated buttons control on/off, high/low power, clockwise rotation, and counterclockwise rotation.
- Dual-direction trimmer head leaves clippings where desired
- Excellent balance for comfortable extended use and less fatigue
- Among the quietest of the trimmers we tested
Get the Husqvarna battery trimmer at Lowe’s.
Worx WG170 20V Power Share Revolution String Trimmer
While plenty of string trimmers also function as edgers, we found this model to have the best dual-function design. At the push of a button, the trimming head on the Worx WG170 Revolution trimmer converts to an edger that rolls easily along the edge of a sidewalk or driveway. The head tilts up to 90 degrees, so it is easy to reach weeds on slopes while standing comfortably.
The trimmer comes with two batteries plus a charger and three extra spools of trimmer line. The string trimmer also boasts a handy spacer guard that keeps it from bumping into plants, and the shaft adjusts to suit taller or shorter users. It cuts a 12-inch swath and operates on a 20V lithium-ion battery. We tested the tool with the 2Ah battery, but it also comes with a 4Ah battery at some retailers.
In our yard, this trimmer cut through and created a crisp edge on both weedless and weedy lawn areas. We really liked the easy adjustable feature on the trimmer head: A twist lock holds it in just the right position, up to 90 degrees, for a customized working angle for users of different heights. Also, the batteries are interchangeable with those of many other Worx 20V cordless tools.
- Adjustable upper handle to accommodate users of different sizes
- Trimmer head converts to an edger for use along sidewalks or driveways
- Comes with 2 batteries to make up for shorter runtime
- Requires a relatively long charging time
- Trimmer feels underpowered for tackling coarse, heavy weeds
- Only 20 minutes of runtime per charge
Get the Worx WG170 GT battery trimmer at Amazon or Target.
Greenworks Pro 80V 16-Inch Cordless String Trimmer
The Greenworks Pro 80V trimmer is a quality tool that adapts to a variety of other functions with attachments such as a brush cutter. (However, attachments are sold separately.) The 2Ah battery provides up to 45 minutes of runtime and recharges in just 30 minutes. The brushless electric motor is efficient and quiet, providing plenty of torque to cut through heavy weeds without the noise and smell of a gas-powered unit.
In our test areas, the Greenworks Pro trimmer was powerful enough to cut through the toughest weeds and vines with ease. The heavy battery weighs the machine down toward the rear, but the included adjustable shoulder strap makes operation more comfortable. The battery is compatible with other Greenworks 80V tools. Just don’t get too excited about the variable-speed trigger: Although it’s intended to allow a gradual increase from “off” to “high” speed, we found the range of movement between the two to be minuscule; in effect, the trimmer is either “off” or “on.”
- Battery type: 80V 2Ah lithium ion
- Runtime: 45 minutes
- Weight: 10.6 pounds without battery
- Trimmer has a quiet, efficient brushless motor
- The recharging time is only 30 minutes; runtime is 45 minutes
- Gas-like power and performance without the noise and smell
- Slight lag time between triggering and full power
- The trimmer’s adjustable speed feature is difficult to use
- Weight is balanced toward the rear, but shoulder strap helps
Get the Greenworks Pro battery trimmer at Amazon.
What to Consider When Choosing a Battery Trimmer
When shopping for string trimmers, also known as weed eaters, keep in mind yard size, how often the tool will be used, and the height and strength of the primary user. The following key considerations will help in selection.
Trim width, also called swath width, indicates how wide a path the trimmer will cut through weeds in a single pass. Many models on the market today feature swath widths of 10 to 18 inches. The wider the width, the more power the trimmer must have, which often means the tool will be heavier because it will require a larger, more powerful battery.
Running a string trimmer requires a hefty dose of power. Though most of today’s trimmers run on rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, a few accept nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries. Li-ion batteries are more powerful, but NiCad batteries are less expensive (an average of 70 to 125 less). Li-ion batteries also are smaller, hold a charge longer, and provide full power throughout the discharge cycle.
NiCad batteries suffer from “memory effect,” meaning if the battery is used before it has fully charged—or if it’s recharged before its power depletes—it will “remember” the earlier charge level and won’t hold a longer charge in the future. If choosing a trimmer that has a NiCad battery, let it charge fully before use and drain completely before charging. For most users, a string trimmer with a Li-ion battery will be the best choice.
Along with battery type, consider how much operating power the battery has, which is measured in volts. Today’s rechargeable string trimmer batteries average from 18 volts up to an average of 60 volts of power. powerful batteries at the high end often are intended for commercial use and can cost 200 or more per battery.
Some string trimmers in this category sell without a battery (or battery charger), which the user must purchase separately. This could be a cost-saving benefit for those who are adding to a same-brand, battery-compatible cordless tool collection, since the same battery will power multiple tools. However, it can be more convenient to purchase a kit with multiple batteries to have one on the charger while the other is in use.
The “feed” of a string trimmer indicates how the trimmer head releases additional trimmer line as it becomes frayed and broken during use. The standby is a bump feed where the user bumps the bottom of the trimmer (the area where the spool attaches) on the ground to release a few inches of fresh line.
Some newer models feature an auto-feed sensor that gauges the length of the strings and releases more when needed. Still others have a push button to release more line. Auto and button feeds eliminate the need to bump the spool, which can reduce the risk of damage if bumped too hard, but many commercial-type trimmers still use bump feed because it’s quick and easy.
Curved vs. Straight Shaft
Some string trimmers feature a straight shaft that runs from the handle to the cutting head, while other models feature a distinct curve in the lower shaft about two-thirds of the way down. Some users find curved-shaft trimmers to be easier to operate since the spool end already rests at a handy angle for weed whacking.
Straight-shaft trimmers often accommodate interchangeable tools, such as a tree trimmer head, which can be swapped out depending on the task at hand. In general, straight-shaft trimmers work better for users at least 6 feet tall, while shorter users will appreciate curved-shaft trimmers.
Battery-powered string trimmers have a distinct advantage over gas-powered trimmers when it comes to noise pollution. Gas-powered trimmers are moderately loud, emitting an average of 90 decibels (about as loud as a motorcycle passing by from 25 feet away). By contrast, a cordless string trimmer emits approximately 77 decibels, which is comparable to casual conversation.
Those who are still unsure about how to use a battery string trimmer may find the following answers to common questions about these tools helpful.
Q. Can a string trimmer cut weeds?
A string trimmer is used to cut and control weed growth around the home and garden. However, light-duty trimmers may have issues with very dense weed growth.
Q. Can you use a string trimmer to cut grass?
A string trimmer can be used to cut grass, though you need to be careful not to cut the grass too short while trying to keep the trimmer balanced. It isn’t the easiest way to cut the grass, but it is possible.
Q. Can you edge with a string trimmer?
Yes, a string trimmer can be used for edging the garden, driveway, walkway, or sidewalk. If you have a large yard, it may be better to invest in a separate edging tool.
Q. How many volts should be in a trimmer?
String trimmer batteries average from 18 volts up to 80 volts. Typically, the higher the voltage, the longer the battery life.
Q. How do you edge a lawn with a string trimmer?
Hold the string trimmer perpendicular to the lawn to keep the cut even. Position the head about 4 inches off the soil so the string has space to rotate. The string should rotate and cut through the grass and dirt. As you move along the desired borders, keep the head balanced and even. Clean up the cut grass and dirt to finish the job.
Why Trust Bob Vila
Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.
Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.
Meet the Tester
Mark Wolfe is a writer and product tester with a background in the nursery and landscaping industry. For more than 20 years he mowed, edged, planted, pruned, cultivated, irrigated, and renovated beautiful landscapes. Now he tests and writes reviews about the latest outdoor power equipment, hand tools, lawn-care products, and other outdoor-living goods.
Additional research provided by Glenda Taylor.
The best strimmers in 2023
Need a new strimmer? Tackle long grass and tricky corners with our pick of the very best cordless and corded models.
Strimmers are a great tool for tidying up straggly grass, as well as areas a lawn mower can’t reach, such as path and flower bed edges, and around the base of trees. They can also help clear overgrowth if you’re starting a new garden, and trim vegetation on steep slopes.
We put a range of strimmers to the test, using them in different areas of the garden to see how they coped with trimming long grass and awkward areas. As we evaluated each one, we assigned them scores, and the models that topped the test were awarded BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buys. Each review has a detailed list of pros and cons for clarity and has been rated according to ease of use, handling, performance, and value for money. Only the stand-out strimmers have made our list, so you can buy with confidence.
Best strimmers at a glance
- Best Buy for budget:Powerbase 550W Electric Grass Trimmer, 30cm
- Best Buy for performance:Stiga GT 500e Cordless Grass Trimmer
- Best Buy for features:WORX WG184E Dual Battery (x2 18V battery) Cordless Grass Trimmer
- Best Buy for ease of use:Gtech Grass Trimmer GT50
- Makita DUR181RT 18V String Trimmer
- Mac Allister 18V LI 18V 280mm Cordless Grass Trimmer
- Vonhaus F-Series Cordless Grass Trimmer
In every review we award outstanding products our coveted Best Buy award. To see these and the others we recommend, browse our pick of the best strimmers below.
For more lawn tool reviews, check out our reviews of the best lawn mowers, particularly our tests of the best cordless lawn mowers. For more cutting, trimming, or pruning help, see our reviews of the best garden shears, the best hedge trimmers, the best secateurs and the best loppers.
What’s a strimmer used for?
Strimmers cut the long grass and weeds that a mower can’t reach. They’re great for cutting in tricky places, such as around the base of a tree, the corner of a lawn, or on steep slopes. Depending on their power and their blade material, they can also tackle woodier growth like ivy, brambles, and stinging nettles. Many strimmers can also be used to tidy up along the edges of a lawn by adjusting the angle of the cutting head.
What’s the difference between a strimmer and a trimmer?
There’s no difference between a ‘strimmer’ and a ‘trimmer’, they’re the same tool. ‘Strimmer’ is an old trademark name that caught on, as you might say ‘hoover’ for any vacuum cleaner or ‘coke’ for any cola.
What’s the difference between a strimmer and a brush cutter?
A brush cutter is a more powerful tool, usually with metal blades, designed to tackle thick vegetation, rough grass, and weeds. It’s more commonly used by professional gardeners.
What are the types of strimmer?
The key thing is to always check before you strim. Use a broom or rake to sweep the grass before you start, taking care to look out for small critters like frogs and slow worms, but also larger animals like hedgehogs.
Can I use a strimmer to mow the lawn or trim hedges?
Hypothetically, you could use a strimmer to cut a lawn, but it would take a long time. Strimmers are much less efficient at this task than lawn mowers, and it’s more difficult to get an even cut.
Strimmers aren’t designed to trim hedges, as their woody growth is too thick to be cut with plastic blades or nylon cord, and it would be very dangerous. Instead, use a hedge trimmer, or for more precise work, shears, a pruning saw, or pair of secateurs.
What are the key features to look out for?
Before you buy think about the following :
- Cutting head. The cutting head is the most important feature on a strimmer. It should be adjustable, so you can change the angle of the cut to cope with inclines and fiddly jobs. In most models, the head turns 90°, so you can trim along the edges of paths and flowerbeds. In the very best models, the cutting head also has wheels to help guide along edges and support the weight of the strimmer.
- Adjustable shaft. The best strimmers have a telescopic shaft, so you change the height to suit you. In some models, the shaft is angled rather than straight to help you manoeuvre into tricky spots. If space is an issue, it’s also helpful if you can break down the shaft and cutting head after use for storage.
- Line feed and blade replacements. It’s useful if a blade strimmer comes with spare blades, so you don’t run out if one breaks in the middle of a job. You should be able to get a new spool of line for a line strimmer or replace the whole head. With both types it’s helpful if the spare blades or line can be stored on the tool.
- Handle types. There are two types of strimmer handles. The most common is a round, circular handle on the shaft of the strimmer, called a loop handle. It makes the strimmer easy and comfortable to control, and on the best models, it can be slid up and down the shaft, so you can adjust it to your height. Alternatively, there are ‘steer’ handles. two handles rather than a loop. These offer more control and let you use a comfortable scything motion when you cut, but they take up room, and can be a little more expensive. They’re also far more common on brushcutters and petrol strimmers than electric or cordless strimmers, so you might not find steer handles on many domestic models.
- Straps and safety harnesses. A shoulder strap or safety harness is an excellent bonus feature. It takes some of the weight of the tool, making it more comfortable to use, and also helps balance it, for better manoeuvrability and a more precise cut.
- Bump guard. Some strimmers have metal guards on the head, called bump guards, which prevent the strimmer from cutting beyond a certain point. This protects your garden, as it stops you from nicking a tree or garden furniture but it also protects your strimmer line or blades by preventing them from catching on a fence or wall and breaking. The best bump guards can be adjusted, so you can control how closely you cut.
Buying a strimmer. video
Kate’s Wildlife Warning
Our wildlife editor, Kate Bradbury, has some advice on using a strimmer responsibly.
“The key thing is to always check before you strim. Use a broom or rake to sweep the grass before you start, taking care to look out for small critters like frogs and slow worms, but also larger animals like hedgehogs. Hedgehogs frequently sleep in long grass during the day and can suffer terribly from strimmer injuries, so it pays to check before you strim.”
Best Buy strimmers
Powerbase 550W Electric Grass Trimmer
- Great cut
- Both trimming and edging function
- Wheels to help edging
- Comfortable, soft-grip handle
- Spare spool and storage on the machine
- 30cm cutting width
- Good value
This corded trimmer won a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award for the best budget strimmer. A double line trimmer, it gives a fantastic cut, and thanks to its generous 30cm cutting width, tackles the job quickly and efficiently. It’s particularly good when edging due to wheels that help take the strain, so you can achieve a precise cut. The soft-grip loop handles on its telescopic shaft are comfortable and there’s a helpful loop for tucking the cable away when you’re moving around. It has an automatic feed and we love that there’s a storage compartment on the shaft for the spare spool, so it’s close-at-hand when it needs replacing. However, gardeners with limited mobility should note that this strimmer weighs 3.1kg, which is over a kilo more than the lightest machine on test, the Gtech GT50, and it doesn’t come with a strap to help take the weight. The black power cable is only 10m, so you’ll need an extension cord if you plan to strim further from a power source, and it’s tricky to see it in the grass. It also requires some heft to move between the strimming and edging modes as the mechanism is stiff. That said, it’s good value, gives a great cut, and comes with a generous three-year warranty.
Buy the Powerbase 550W Electric Grass Trimmer from Homebase
Stiga GT 500e Cordless Grass Trimmer
RRP: £139 (£301 including battery and charger)
- Telescopic shaft, which separates in two for storage
- Both strimming and edging function
- Support wheels for vertical edge cut
- 50 minute fast charge
- Battery level indicator lights
- Powerful performance
- Part of the Stiga ePower cordless range
Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for performance, this trimmer has a generous 30cm cutting width, and the durable nylon double line automatic feed keeps working, so you don’t have to bump line out. The head is easy to rotate for use as an edge trimmer and the wheels help to support the weight of the body, ensuring it cuts at a consistent height. However, as it doesn’t come with a support strap, it’s eventually tiring to use. It’s powered by a large 2Ah 48V lithium-ion battery, which along with the charger is sold separately, making this significantly more expensive than other models in the test. That said, after a fast 50 minute charge it runs for 20 minutes, cutting powerfully and efficiently. It copes well with large patches of long grass, as well as hard to reach areas, and cuts lawn edges cleanly. Light indicators on the battery let you know how much time you have left to finish the job, the telescopic shaft separates in two for easy storage and it comes with a two year warranty.
Buy the Stiga GT 500e Cordless Grass Trimmer from Stiga
Worx WG184E Dual Battery (x2 18V battery) Cordless Grass Trimmer
RRP: £199.99 (including battery and charger)
- Telescopic shaft, which separates in two for storage
- Both strimming and edging function
- Comfortable handle
- Variable speeds
- Support wheels for vertical edge cut
- Automatic feed
- Battery level indicator on the shaft
- Part of the Worx 20V Powershare tool system
- Three year warranty
Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for features, the Worx WG184E grass trimmer includes variable speed settings, an adjustable handle and shaft, an automatic feed and wheels. Powered by two 20V lithium-ion batteries, it has a 20-minute run time from a one hour charge, and there’s a battery level indicator on the shaft, so you can see how much power you have while you’re using the strimmer. The cutting head rotates to convert to an edger, and the wheels provide support and ensure a neat, consistent cut along an edge. We like the different speed settings, so you can boost power for longer grass, or reduce it to conserve the battery life if you’re just neatening up edges. The 33cm cutting width makes this the widest model in the test. That said, at 3.9kg it’s also the heaviest in our test, but the telescopic shaft and adjustable loop handle help to balance this strimmer and make it comfortable to hold and manoeuvre. However, it doesn’t come with a strap for additional support and becomes tiring after use in the strimmer mode. It comes with a generous three year warranty.
Gtech Grass Trimmer GT50
RRP: £129.99 (including battery and charger)
- Both trimming and edging function
- Adjustable loop handle
- Ergonomic harness
- Battery level indicator
- Safety switch
- Good value
Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for ease of use, the Gtech grass trimmer GT50 is a well-designed tool. It includes a safety switch, an ergonomic harness, an adjustable loop handle, a swivel head to change from trimmer to edger, and easy-to-fit plastic blades. Weighing just 1.8kg, it’s the lightest in the group we tested, but has a relatively narrow 23cm cutting width, so it takes longer to cover ground than the Worx, with its generous 33cm head. On test it tackled long grass and thin woody weeds on uneven terrain, as well as leaving lawn edges looking neat. However, you’ll need to plan ahead for strimming sessions as the 18V lithium-ion battery takes a lengthy four hours to charge to give 30 minutes of power, though there are helpful indicator lights on the battery to keep track of how much time you have left. As it includes a battery and charger, it’s comparatively cheaper than some other cordless trimmers, but the battery is only compatible with two other Gtech cordless tools, the HT50 hedge trimmer and SLM50 lawn mower. which doesn’t represent the best value for money. Other cordless systems have more battery-sharing tools available. It comes with a two year warranty.
The best of the rest
Although some models didn’t quite achieve a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award, they still have great features that make them worth recommending. Browse our pick of the best of the rest on test.
Makita DUR181RT 18V String Trimmer
RRP: £178.00 (including battery and charger)
Our rating: 4.25 out of 5
- Quietest on test at 88.5dB
- Both trimming and edging function
- Adjustable bump guard
- Charges quickly
- Includes shoulder strap
- Rotating head
- Battery compatible with more than 100 other Makita tools
This single-line cordless model from Makita is easy to set up thanks to clear instructions. It has several adjustable features, so you can alter the length of the shaft from 115 to 133cm, change the angle of the trimmer head, and rotate this head to trim the edges of the lawn. Even the bump guard is adjustable with a screwdriver, so if you have a variety of obstacles to trim around you can get the distance exactly right. There’s a safety button, which must be pressed to turn it on, and at 88.5dB this was the quietest strimmer on test, compared to the Powerbase strimmer, which was the loudest at 95dB. It cuts quickly and efficiently despite a small cutting width of 26cm, and comes with a shoulder strap, so it feels light and manoeuvrable despite weighing nearly 3kg. However, the charger for the 18V, 5.0Ah lithium-ion battery emits a high pitched whine, which would be annoying if you have to charge it in the house, rather than in the garage or shed. It also doesn’t come with any spare line, and unlike some of other battery powered strimmers, there is no indication of the battery level as you work. As with all Makita tools, it comes with a generous three-year warranty, and the battery is compatible with a wide range of other Makita garden and power tools.
Mac Allister 18V LI 280mm Cordless Grass Trimmer
RRP: £79.99 (includes battery and charger)
At just under 2kg, this strimmer feels lightweight and easy to move around the garden and it achieves a fast, efficient cut. It’s especially comfortable to hold when edging, has a simple automatic feed, and a relatively generous 28cm cutting width – the widest in the test was the Worx WG184E with 33cm. The 18V, 2.0Ah lithium-ion battery charges in 75 minutes and covers 250 square meters on a single charge. However, we found all its parts stiff to adjust. particularly lifting the bump guard up and down. and it’s fiddly to switch between the strimming and edging modes and to extend the telescopic shaft. Furthermore, the noise level is one of the loudest at 96dB, and this noise is noticeably high-pitched. It has a two-year warranty, and though it’s part of a cordless system, only six other tools are available.
Buy the Mac Allister 18V LI 280mm Cordless Grass Trimmer from eBay
Vonhaus F-Series Cordless Grass Trimmer
Despite its narrow 21cm cutting width, this strimmer gives an excellent cut. The plastic blades tackle grass and woodier material well, and the 30-minute run time is one of the longest in our test. We like the storage feature under the handle for the included spare plastic blades, which are bright pink and easy to spot if they snap off into the grass. However, while it’s efficient, this machine is the loudest on the test at 98dB, and the handles are uncomfortable too. It also takes an hour and a half to charge, which though less than the 4 hours of the Gtech model, is much longer than the 45 minutes of the Makita DUR181RT and Mac Allister 18V LI 18V 280mm. The 12V, 2.0Ah F-Series lithium-ion battery is compatible with just three other Vonhaus tools. a hedge trimmer, garden saw, and handheld hedge and grass trimmer. which can save you money if you buy these in the future, but is limited compared to other cordless systems such as the dozens of compatible tools in the Worx PowerShare cordless system. Crucially, this strimmer also has no edging function, so if you’re after neat lawn edges you should look elsewhere. Because it’s just 12V, the battery is less powerful than others on test, but if you need to tidy up a small garden on a budget, it will do the job well, and comes with a two-year warranty.
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How We Tested
We tested a range of strimmers, putting them through their paces on lawn edges, sloped areas and big and small gardens. They were assessed according to the following criteria with equal marks attributed to each:
- Preparation. Assessed how easy the strimmers were to assemble, how long this took and if any extra tools were needed, and how easy the instructions are to use. We also looked at how easy and quick it was to charge the batteries and store the strimmers.
- Handling. Looked at comfort, weight, balance and grip, including features like a safety button, the runtime, and noise.
- Performance. Focused on blade shape and material, cutting width and efficiency, and smoothness and precision of cut. We also assessed power and any extra functionality.
- Value for Money. Considered all of the above plus any special features, RRP and warranty.
For more information on our testing process, see How We Review.
This review was last updated in April 2022. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.