Weeds are the villain when it comes to keeping your garden in shape. They spread quickly, sneak to hard-to-reach areas, and kill your expensive and attractive green lawn. Not even the strongest lawn mower can keep them at bay. That’s when a string trimmer, weed eater, weed wacker, or whatever you want to call it, comes into handy.
The best string trimmer can easily pull these devious weeds from around tree edges, shrubs, flower beds, and even your kids’ playhouse. If that’s what you’re looking for, continue reading to discover the best products on the market, along with a few tips to help you choose one.
The Best String Trimmers Right Now!
We have harsh criteria when choosing string trimmers, putting performance and value for the money as priorities but also considering factors like comfort, noise, and ease of handling. So, only three models have made it to our list.
Whether you’re looking for a corded or cordless string trimmer, you’ll find it here. Oh! And we have a budget option for those who don’t want to burden their wallets.
1. Best Overall: Ego Power+ 15-Inch 56-Volt Cordless String Trimmer
Ego Power manages to tick all the boxes with this beast of a weed eater. The cordless string trimmer runs on a fast-charging 56V lithium-ion battery that provides you with enough juice to trim your 2,000 square foot lawn in one go.
It features a 15-inch cutting swath, enabling it to take out larger grass sections in less time. Boasting an adjustable aluminum straight shaft, the unit itself is sturdy and caters to users of various heights.
Thanks to the padding on the handle, you won’t feel any fatigue even after a long trimming job. And if you like to get your grass trimmed quietly, you’ll love how silent this unit is.
Light, portable, and extra durable
Fast-charging battery with a long run time
Excellent balance and vibration dampening
Features various speed options
Nearly silent operation
Tricky-to-install replacement spools
Very hard to replace the trimmer string
2. Best Heavy Duty: Husqvarna 17″ 2-Cycle Gas-Powered String Trimmer
Gas weed eaters remain the answer to cutting heavy weeds from larger landscapes, and in this category, nothing beats the Husqvarna 122C Gas-Powered String Trimmer. Although not the lightest unit out there, it trims grass quickly and efficiently with a 17-inch cutting swath.
The curved shaft design renders the weed wacker easy to maneuver, while the 122C engine offers more grass-cutting for your dollar. Additionally, it comes with extra features like an automatic line feeder and an Auto Return stop switch for quick and easy restarting, making it all the way worth the extra pennies.
Perfect for larger gardens
Easy to use for beginners
Comes with extra features
A bit on the pricey side
Noisier than the other options on the list
3. Best on a Budget: Black + Decker 6.5-Amp Electric String Trimmer/Edger
Featuring a 6.5A motor, an adjustable handle, a 14-inch cutting swath, and an ergonomic straight shaft, the Black + Decker Electric String Trimmer doesn’t only provide high-performance trimming but also makes the best option for those on a tight budget.
The highlight of this corded unit is the automatic feed spool which advances the cutting line by itself, saving you the time of doing it yourself.
Additionally, it comes with a built-in edger to help you neaten the edges faster. Overall, it’s light, reliable and worth more than what it costs.
Lightweight and ergonomic
Features a rotating head that turns into an edger
Automatic feed spool for uninterrupted trimming
The line feeding system isn’t the best
Potential problems with the replacement line
How to Choose a String Trimmer
String trimmers have come a long way since they were first introduced to the market, and while their insane versatility gives more choices for garden owners to choose from, it adds to the confusion of choosing the best string trimmer for your landscape.
To help you make a well-informed buying decision, here are the features you should look for in your next weed trimmer.
The first factor you should decide on is whether you want your hedge trimmer to be powered by gas, electricity, or battery. It all falls back to how you’re going to use it and how much cutting and trimming your yard needs.
A gas powered trimmer is ideal for larger landscapes, longer grass, and overgrown lawns. They tend to be sturdier than their electric counterparts, and their powerful motors have what it takes to handle tough jobs in a shorter time without breaking a sweat.
They come with a few drawbacks, though. For example, they’re heavy to carry around and require lots of maintenance and upkeep. Not to mention that you’ll have to make sure they’re filled with gas all the time, and sometimes you’ll have to keep an extra gas container around just in case!
If you decide to go for a gas weed eater, keep in mind that some of them are picky in their fuel choices and can only handle low amounts of ethanol. In all cases, we recommend that you use ethanol-free gasoline to avoid any performance issues and future costly repairs.
Electric Powered (Corded and Cordless)
Electric weed eaters come in two versions: corded and cordless. Both offer a consistent amount of power that varies according to the model’s wattage.
Unlike gas string trimmers, they’re lighter, easier to maintain, and spares you the hassle of filling gas. However, they lack gas string trimmers’ tremendous power, so they’re a better choice for lawn owners with small or average-sized yards.
For environment-conscious users, they make the ultimate choice, and the fact that they produce less noise is enough to seal the deal for the garden owners who don’t want to disturb their neighbors while doing their gardening chores.
Quick pro tip: it’s recommended that you choose a grass trimmer that uses the same battery as your other power tools. That way, if the battery of your cordless electric string trimmer dies while you’re in the middle of cutting your overgrown lawn, you can pop in a spare from any of your other equipment.
A corded electric string trimmer relies on a cord to get its power from an electric outlet, while a cordless trimmer works on a battery.
Needless to say, the latter is your best option if you have many trees and obstacles in your yard and want to avoid unnecessary wire tangles. Yet, you’ll have to remember to recharge the battery every time before you get your grass manicured.
Cordless electric string trimmers, on the other hand, are the cheapest and require no charging or refilling, so they’re the easiest to use.
String trimmers aren’t complicated in their design, but when it comes to choosing a straight or curved shaft, you might find yourself a bit lost. To obtain a workable model, you should base your decision on your budget, level of experience, and size of your landscape.
Trimmers with curved shafts are bent halfway between the trimmer’s head and the grip. They feature a more compact design and are usually lighter and more balanced, so they pose less strain on your back even if you use them for a long time.
They’re also easy to hold and maneuver. This, along with the fact that they’re affordable, makes them a worthy choice for landowners with no experience in trimming hedges and weed.
However, their compact design renders them less durable, so they’re only suitable for light cutting jobs in small residential yards.
Straight-shaft trimmers are, as their name indicates, straight! They tend to be a bit pricier, yet they can hold up to the abuse much more than those with curved shafts. That’s why if you have a jungle to trim, a straight-shaft string trimmer would be your best pick.
They also cater to taller users who don’t like bending and kneeling to make the trimmer’s head meet the ground. However, due to their heavier design, they tend to be less stable, so unless you have the skill to hold them, you might want to use a support strap to ease the burden.
Did you know? Lawn cutting and trimming grass injuries are more common than you think. It’s important to be extra careful; always wear protective gloves and footwear and make sure to keep a safe distance between your feet and the blades.
In general, you can use any string trimmer to trim the grass around the edges. The problem is you’ll have to hold the unit at an awkward angle for the blades to be perpendicular to the grass to cut uniform lines.
Some models come with a rotating head that you can flip into a vertical position, turning the cutter into an edger. This way, you can prune the areas beside the sidewalks and the grass surrounding trees without changing your position.
Did you know? Mowing your lawn, cutting weed, and trimming ground cover can actually help you lose weight. An average mowing job burns 250-350 calories per hour, so if you’ve just had a fatty Burrito Supreme meal from Taco Bell, you don’t have to hit the gym; just get your weed wacker started.
As much as the shaft affects the balance of your string trimmer and the amount of fatigue you’re going to experience, the length of your wheeled edger is an important factor too.
For extra comfort, look for a string trimmer with adjustable handles and shaft lengths to be able to access even the trickiest-to-reach spots without bending or straining your back.
And while you’re at it, check whether your string trimmer of choice comes with optional attachments like a leaf blower, mower, brush cutter, and tiller. This will give you the best value for your money and reduces the number of tools you have to carry around.
Quick pro tip: extending your weed eater’s line length will increase your cutting swath. However, over-extending the trimmer line over long periods of time can reduce the life span of your trimmer and lower its efficiency.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you can’t find an answer to your question below, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
What String Trimmer Do Professionals Use?
There isn’t a certain model that all professionals agree on, but heavy-duty construction and high-performance stand on top of their lists. That’s why battery-powered, straight-shaft weed eaters are the go-to choice for those who deal with extremely tough trimming jobs.
Is a Straight or Curved Shaft Trimmer Better?
If you don’t mind the expenses and your lawn is large or requires cutting under decks and low-hanging trees, you’re better off with a straight-shaft trimmer.
On the other hand, a curved-shaft trimmer comes at a lower price and provides better balance, so it makes a better option for those who don’t have much experience with weed eaters. It has a lower cutting swath, though, so keep that in mind.
What’s Better: 2-Cycle or 4-Cycle Trimmers?
If a simpler unit with more power output is what’s in your mind, a 2-cycle trimmer should be your choice. It weighs less, covers more grass areas, and comes with fewer problems in the long term, thanks to the simpler engine and fewer moving parts.
On the other hand, 4-cycle trimmers are more fuel-efficient and operate quietly. They lack the power of the 2-cycle ones but cost less money. It’s your call to make!
Which Is Better: Battery or Gas Trimmers?
That depends on the size of your garden and the amount of grass you want to trim. Gas trimmers are the most reliable when it comes to larger areas, but they require lots of maintenance and refilling.
Battery or cordless trimmers, on the other hand, are lighter, so they’re more mobile. They produce fewer vibrations, noises, and emissions. However, due to the limited wattage of the batteries, they’re only suitable for smaller areas.
- The Ego Power Cordless String Trimmer is, by far, the best cordless weed eater on the market, thanks to its long-lasting battery, ergonomic grip, quiet operation, and versatility.
- For those looking for a trimmer to cover large areas and cut through thick weeds, we recommend the Husqvarna 122C gas-powered string trimmer.
- If you don’t mind dragging a chord around your lawn, the Black + Decker electric trimmer is the most wallet-friendly yet feature-loaded model you can find.