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It starts quickly, runs almost vibration-free and will tear through just about anything that gets in its way. Features semi-auto spool feeding. The translucent fuel tank makes it easy to know when you need to add gas.
Noisier than electric models. Some throttle issues were noted.
Corded electric power means you’ll never have to stop to charge a battery or fill a gas tank. Weighing 6.3 pounds, it’s light enough for most users to carry easily and can be hung in storage without heavy-duty hardware.
Long runs of extension cords across the lawn can be a tripping hazard.
Like all DeWalt tools, this trimmer can take a beating and still perform for years to come. Its variable speed trigger gives you the option of prioritizing power or battery life, and it includes a charger.
Some customer reviewers recommend replacing the stock trimmer head to minimize head jamming, which is an easy, inexpensive fix.
This weed eater features an automatic line winder and string feeder, making it as easy as possible to change spools and keep your line at the perfect length. It can run for up to an hour on a charged battery.
All that technology comes with a higher-than-usual price tag.
Adjustable shaft can help prevent back pain for taller users. Features both a weed eater and edger setting, as well as two speed settings. The battery can last up to 50 minutes on a single charge, depending on which settings you use.
The automatic-feed spool could be more durable.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Keeping a lawn manicured and tidy demands more than just mowing. If you want to trim between obstacles too close together for a mower to fit between, prevent weed overgrowth and ensure that the edges between your grass and pavement remain crisp, you need a string trimmer. With so many options and configurations to choose from, however, choosing the best weed eater can be a challenge.
Whether you’re a full-time landscaper in search of a replacement tool or a DIY enthusiast hoping to maintain your own property to professional standards, it's important to carefully consider how you will use your weed eater and what features are most critical to meeting your needs. From clean, quiet battery-operated trimmers to those with powerful gasoline engines, shoppers are spoiled for choice when it comes to today’s lawn care tools.
Our top pick is the Husqvarna Gas-Powered String Trimmer. With a high-performance engine and lightweight construction, its combination of power and ease of use make it a great all-purpose trimmer for home improvement work and contract jobs alike.
Product Specifications: Power Source: Gas | Engine Type: 28 cc | Cutting Width: 17” | Shaft Type: Straight | Weight: 12.7 lb
This gas-powered trimmer from Husqvarna features a powerful 28 cc engine yet weighs less than 13 pounds. Smart Start technology means you won’t tire your shoulder and back out pulling its ignition cord, and a braided drive cable offers durability and strength that other weed eaters lack. The trimmer disassembles easily for compact storage in the off-season or for quickly packing into a work vehicle or trailer. A large selection of Husqvarna attachments, including hedge trimmers and edgers, can be used with this machine, allowing you to take advantage of this trusted brand’s penchant for quality tools across a wide range of yard work and property maintenance jobs.
Product Specifications: Power Source: AC power | Engine Type: Electric motor | Cutting Width: 14” | Shaft Type: Straight | Weight: 6.3 lb
This electric trimmer needs to be plugged in to use, but at 6.3 pounds it's the perfect tool for anyone who finds lifting and maneuvering other weed eaters to be challenging or uncomfortable. Its unique design lets you convert it to a wheeled edge trimmer by simply rotating its cutting wheel, so you can tighten your grass up without ever having to swap attachments.
A torque-boosting transmission provides endless power with no need for a battery, and its automatic feed spool keeps the line coming as needed. This weed eater is an excellent choice if you want to take care of light lawn work but don’t want to invest in a high-maintenance machine.
Product Specifications: Power Source: Battery | Engine Type: Brushless electric motor | Cutting Width: 15” | Shaft Type: Straight | Weight: 12 lb
DeWalt is a leader in the field of battery-powered tools, and this electric string trimmer is no exception to their reputation for rugged machines built to withstand years of hard work. Compact and lightweight, it features a brushless motor for high-efficiency performance and a variable speed trigger that lets you opt for either more power or longer battery life.
Its quiet, emission-free electrical operation makes for a more comfortable experience. It comes with a battery, a spool of line and a charger. Spend an afternoon trimming with this tough, quiet weed eater and you’ll see why DeWalt’s signature yellow tools are jobsite mainstays the world over.
Product Specifications: Power Source: Battery | Engine Type: Electric motor | Cutting Width: 16” | Shaft Type: Straight | Weight: 7.5 lb
Packed with technology designed to make your work easier and the tool more efficient, this battery-powered weed eater has a cutting-edge design and a telescopic carbon fiber shaft for easy lifting. Its patented Powerload technology automatically winds your trimmer line with the push of a button, and its advanced Line-IQ feature monitors string length to maintain its 16-inch cutting swath.
This string trimmer costs more than competing options, but with low noise, no fumes, up to 60 minutes of runtime on a charge and power equivalent to a gas engine, it’s the perfect tool for keeping a lawn or hedgerow professionally manicured.
Product Specifications: Power Source: Battery | Engine Type: Brushless electric motor | Cutting Width: 13” | Shaft Type: Straight | Weight: 6.3 lb
With its included battery, spool of line and charger, this electric string trimmer is a no-nonsense solution to all of your light-duty weed-eating jobs. It features two-speed settings, one that prioritizes power and another that extends its running time.
You can advance more string as needed with the push of a conveniently located button at the top of the tool’s adjustable shaft and its head can be rotated to transform from a standard weed eater to an edger. A built-in VersaTrack hanger makes this tool compatible with Craftsman’s compact hanging rails. Users are impressed with this trimmer’s power and its long battery life.
Product Specifications: Power Source: Gas | Engine Type: 25.4 cc | Cutting Width: 17” | Shaft Type: Straight | Weight: 12.3 lb
This gas-powered option from Echo features the company's i-30 starting system, letting you turn over its 25.4 cc engine with ease. Thick rubber grips keep your hands from going numb during long jobs. Its high-capacity Speed-Feed 400 head gives you enough string to work for extended periods without needing to change the spool. A translucent gas reservoir lets you keep an eye on your fuel supply, preventing you from running out of gas unexpectedly.
Buyers appreciate that this trimmer runs reliably during hours of tough trimming work and cuts through particularly challenging brush with ease. Made to work hard and built to Echo’s exacting standards of durability, this weed eater is a great choice for commercial work or for buyers with a lot of property to maintain.
Product Specifications: Power Source: AC power | Engine Type: Electric motor | Cutting Width: 13” | Shaft Type: Straight | Weight: 5 lb
At only 5 pounds in weight, this corded string trimmer is perfect for quick, small jobs around the yard. Its head can be rotated to function as a weed eater or an edger trimmer in a matter of seconds. Its spool feeds automatically, using centrifugal force to run the line out as needed.
While extension cords can be cumbersome, Black and Decker takes some of the inconvenience out of the equation with a cord retention loop that prevents you from accidentally unplugging the trimmer if you pull too hard. Though it’s not as rugged as many other weed eaters on this list, this trimmer is a great solution for lawn care jobs on a budget.
Gas-powered weed eaters have the most powerful engines and are generally favored by pros. With no battery to run out and no cables to plug in, you can tackle tough jobs anywhere as long as you’ve got the fuel handy.
However, gas-powered trimmers emit noxious fumes and are loud enough to require ear protection while using. Mixing the required gas and oil can be tricky and often results in spills and leaks that can cause damage to floors and truck beds or result in slipping hazards.
Small gas engines can also be challenging to turn over, requiring at least one firm pull of the starter rope to get your trimmer running. Gas weed eaters have a reputation for being hard to start, but it’s usually the result of falling behind on maintenance.
Gas-powered weed eaters are recommended for users that have enough experience with small engines and motors to keep up with the care required to ensure that they run smoothly.
With a corded string trimmer, you’ll never need to wait for a charged battery or worry about running out of gas. With no emissions, no fuel mixing and quiet operation, they’re excellent if you want to keep your lawn kempt without disturbing the neighbors or having to maintain a combustion engine. They’re also the least expensive option, depending on the model you select.
The long power cables needed to freely move the weed eater around can be a hassle. Aside from tangling around obstacles, or your feet, they can be accidentally unplugged or even sliced by the tool itself.
A corded weed eater is a great choice for trimming small areas where a power outlet is handy, but for professional jobs or tasks where electricity can be hard to come by, their drawbacks are a deal-breaker.
A battery-powered weed eater combines the clean, quiet convenience of an electrical motor with the portability of a gas-powered tool.
Advances in battery technology have allowed manufacturers to offer trimmers with motors that rival the energy output of a combustion engine. However, especially powerful battery-operated weed eaters are costly and there still remains the risk of having to stop mid-job to recharge.
Carefully research the battery life of any trimmer you’re interested in, keeping in mind that manufacturers present it under optimum working conditions. Additional batteries are recommended for avoiding downtime, which also adds an additional cost to your purchase.
Battery-powered weed eaters are ideal for trimming up remote areas or large swaths of property, but most professionals still opt for a gas-powered alternative.
Weed eaters are designed to be balanced and comfortable, letting you carry them with ease and sweep them back and forth without back pain or strain on your arms and shoulders.
Some weed eaters include a telescopic shaft that can be adjusted to accommodate the height of the user. The tool’s primary grip can usually also be moved up or down the shaft for further fine-tuning. If you’re prone to back pain, choosing a string trimmer that features as many customization options as possible will allow you to tailor it to your preferences.
Electric trimmers are lightweight and can typically be operated without any shoulder straps or assistance. Gas-powered weed eaters, however, are generally too heavy to use for long periods of time without a harness to prevent injury or fatigue. Some models include this accessory, while others require you to purchase it separately.
The vibration of a weed eater’s motor can lead to pain and eventual numbness in your hands. All trimmers vibrate while running, but gas-powered weed eaters do so much more dramatically than electric models.
To minimize the discomfort caused by vibration, look for a trimmer with a padded rubber grip. Some gas-powered options also have vibration-reducing components built into their motors, although there is no way to fully eliminate this problem.
While string trimmers are primarily used for clipping weeds in places lawnmowers can’t fit, some models offer a surprising degree of flexibility by letting you tackle a range of other maintenance tasks.
Some trimmers, such as the Craftsman Battery-Powered String Trimmer, can be converted to edgers by rotating their head. Others, including the Husqvarna Gas-Powered String Trimmer, can accommodate a number of attachments that turn it into a hedge trimmer, tree pruner or even an automatic sweeper.
If you want to consolidate your lawn equipment or just give yourself the ability to handle more work on your own, a weed eater with a modular design opens up a world of other DIY possibilities.
Weed eaters are simple machines, so small features like spool type, power-saving devices and easy-start systems can make a big difference. We'll look at what you get with each and whether it's worth the money for the type of work you want to do.
Some gas-powered weed eaters include features that make starting them easier. These are often given proprietary names, but they tend to serve the same basic functions: making the engine’s cord easier to pull and reducing the amount of troublesome air introduced into the tool’s fuel system.
The Husqvarna Gas-Powered String Trimmer, for example, has both of these features listed as “Smart Start” and “Air Purge,” respectively.
Electric weed eaters start and stop at the push of a button, making them much easier for most users to operate.
Weed eater line is quickly cut and worn out, meaning that the machine needs a constant supply of fresh string to keep trimming. Wound around a spool on the tool’s head, new line is fed using one of the following methods:
A weed eater with a straight shaft has more power and durability, making them ideal for cutting difficult areas over large plots of land. They also have a longer reach.
Curved shafts are usually easier to handle and are more user-friendly.
Some models have a rotating head that allows them to be used as an edger as well. This can eliminate the need for a second tool, and let you get two jobs done at once.
Weed eaters are simple tools and while they all include a shield to prevent some debris from flying back at the operator, they leave safe operation largely up to the user. To stay safe while trimming your grass, use the following safety gear:
For under $100, you can find a basic battery-powered or corded weed eater such as the Black and Decker 2-in-1 Electric String Trimmer. For a very small yard that only needs a weed eater a few times a year, this might not be a bad choice. However, be aware that weed eaters in this price range cannot handle prolonged use. Batteries may last less than two hours and corded weed eaters may only have the power to handle grass and small weeds.
At $150 to $200, the choices and quality go up significantly. Lithium-ion batteries power many models in this price range, including the DeWalt Flexvolt Battery-Powered String Trimmer. These weed eaters do a good job on small weeds and small to midsize yards, but most batteries don’t last longer than 45 to 60 minutes before they need to be recharged. They are not meant for prolonged use.
Between $200 and $400 is where you’ll find two-stroke, weed eater/edger combinations. They’ll be either battery- or gas-powered. Reliability and durability increase in this price range. These models can cut through tall weeds and some brush.
Above $400 you can find professional-grade trimmers capable of taking on the toughest of weeds and brush, such as the Echo Gas-Powered String Trimmer. These heavy-duty machines can be run for extended periods of time without overheating or slowing down, except to occasionally replace the string.
We researched more than 20 string trimmers from top brands before narrowing it down to our favorites above. Because comfort during long jobs is essential, we considered each one’s overall design and ergonomics as well as its weight. We also looked at the power source, engine type, cutting width and shaft type, among other aspects, to find the best-performing models that can get the job done quicky.
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Derek Walborn is one of BestReviews’ trusted lawn, garden and DIY experts. Providing insight since 2021, he has written extensively on topics that range from home security systems and propane grills to the latest power tools and home improvement gadgets.
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