Weed eaters, weed wackers, string trimmers; whatever you call them, they are an essential part of lawn maintenance. Weeds grow everywhere, and you need the best weed eater in your tool shed in order to save time and aggravation when dealing with them. There are so many choices regarding features, power and weight, looking for the best lawn trimmer can feel like a full-time job.
If you are in the market for a new string trimmer, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to help you make the right decision on your next weed wacker purchase. We’ll first provide you with the information you’ll need to choose the right trimmer for your particular situation. The fact is, the weed eater that works best at one house isn’t always the right choice for another homeowner. We’ll then give you some ideas for the best wacker in each category.
Best Weed Eaters Available By Power Source
Battery/Cordless Powered Weed Eaters
- Very Lightweight
- Low Maintenance
- No Emissions
- Quieter Than Gas
- Still Not as Powerful as Gas
- Battery Size Limits Run Times
Ease of Use
The battery powered weed eater has become a popular choice for many homeowners. These tools are really easy to use: anyone can slap a battery in, and start trimming weeds in seconds. To use a battery powered wacker, you just need to charge the battery and plug it in to the weed eater. There’s no smelly, flammable gasoline to deal with, or a long copper cord to haul around. When it comes to ease of use, the battery powered line trimmer wins by a knockout. An additional benefit is if you have other battery powered outdoor tools in the same brand family – you can then usually share batteries between them. Just make sure they are the same voltage.
As for power, most battery powered trimmers aren’t going to overwhelm you and cut down that 5 foot tall nest of weeds in your backyard; but they do pack enough power for most yard needs . The better models will have a 40 watt or higher battery – 80 volt is really the way to go if you can afford it. If you’ve ever used a cordless drill with just 18 volts, you know how underwhelming that experience can be when tackling a tough job it can be. Since this is a purchase you’d expect to last for more than a couple years, don’t cheap out and buy technology that’s already seen it’s prime.
Limited Run Time
The main downside to battery powered string trimmers is also it’s advantage: the battery itself. While light, versatile and easy to use, a small power source has it’s disadvantages.
To begin with, a lithium ion battery has a set amount of charges. Eventually, it will die – especially if you overheat it or run the charge down too low. This will require you to purchase another battery. While we’ve written an more in-depth article on battery care that provides a full list of ideas, rotating two or more batteries can help to slow their eventual demise. That’s what I did then I purchased my Black and Decker last year – I picked up two extra 2amp 40V batteries at the same time. I also purchased a battery powered mower and blower from Black and Decker to use in my smaller yard – so as long as I remember to charge after usage, I’m good to go.
You are also limited to the amount of usage time per charge.You need to look at the amperage rating of the battery – 2amp rated batteries will last longer than 1 Amp. Of course, they take longer to charge as well – nothing is free in this life. Once it’s dead, you need to wait until it charges back up. As stated above, having more than one battery on hand is really a must if you have a yard of any size.
The battery powered weed eater is a good option if you have a small to medium yard that only needs general lawn care. You could get away with an acre or two with some bushes and small trimming to take care if you have more than one battery. If you have vines thicker than a pencil to deal with, you probably want to look for a more powerful device.
Our Choice For The Best Battery/Cordless Powered Weed Wacker
- The PowerDrive Transmission delivers more power from the motor to the cutting string so you can get the job done faster
- 40V MAX* lithium battery for long runtime
- PowerCommand dial to choose between MAX power and MAX runtime
- The Automatic Feed Spool ensures continuous work without bumping
- Easily converts from trimmer to edger with a quick turn of the shaft
This monster from BLACK+DECKER is head and shoulders above the competition. Loaded with plenty of features that not only sound cool; they are actually useful. It is lightweight for great mobility and comfort.
40 Volt MAX Lithium Battery
One of the most powerful batteries on the market, this one will last longer, and is more powerful than almost every other brand out there. It’s 33% more powerful and holds a larger charge than regular lithium batteries.
Even better is the fact these will work with most BLACK+DECKER products that use a 36 volt lithium battery.
Power Command Dial
On the handle is a power control knob that lets you dictate how much power the battery will use. For maximum trimming power, set the dial all the way up for 8500 RPMs. Or, for longer battery life, lower the dial and turn it down to 6500 RPMs.
Auto Feed Spool
The BLACK+DECKER auto feed spool means no more bumping. As the string wears out, the auto spool feeds new line out. This is time effective and cuts down on leaving divots in the grass from bumping.
Rotating Trimmer Head
Quickly go from regular trimming, to edging in seconds. The head rotates 180 degrees to make your yard look like it was edged by a professional.
The one downfall is the small cutting radius. It only cuts a 13” diameter which is much smaller than other weed eaters we looked at.
Overall, this is the weed eater you want if you prefer battery operated weed eaters. The ability to swap out batteries with other BLACK+DECKER products only adds to its charm. You can’t go wrong when you consider all you get for the low price you pay.
Electric/Corded Weed Eater Reviewed
- Very Easy to Use
- No Maintenance
- No Emissions
- Low Cost
- Not as Powerful
- Cord Can Get in the Way
The corded electric weed eater has been around for some time. It’s no stranger to lawn care and has built a reputation for being a cost effective tool to maintain your yard.
Low Cost – Ease of Use
The main draw to using these types of weed wackers their cost effectiveness and very easy maintenance load. To use one, just plug it in and start attacking your weed enemy . This ease-of-use does come at a price, however.
Since they are powered by the AC grid, you need to have them plugged in at all times to use the tool. This can mean lugging around an extension cord (that can get heavy), or stopping periodically to plug it in to different outlets. You also run the risk of cutting the electric cord since it can get in the way at times.
While an electric corded weed eater does it have limitations; it can be the perfect fit for some. If you have a small yard with little grass to cut, this would be an ideal choice. You won’t be cutting down any large brush with one of these. But for small yards, they are perfect.
The Best Electric/Corded Weed Eater Reviewed
- 10Amp motor with straight shaft and .080 dual line bump feed
- Light weight and simple electric start with cord lock feature makes it easy to use
- Large 18" cutting path helps speed up the trimming process
- Compatible GreenWorks Replacement Spool, Model 29622
- Quick-connect coupler allows for easy attachment changes and fits various name brands
Corded string trimmers have come a long way, and the GreenWorks 21142 10 Amp weed eater proves this fact.
It only weighs about 10 lbs. which is slightly heavier than other corded weed eaters, but still very lightweight for a weed eater overall.
Large Cutting Path
The 18” cutting path will cut down on your time in the yard. This is the largest cutting path in its class.
Still not as powerful as a gas powered trimmer, the 10 amps in the GreenWorks motor is powerful enough to tackle almost any general lawn care. It is by far the largest motor in its class. Compare it to BLACK+DECKER models with just 4.4 and 6.5 amps; it’s easy to see the power behind this bad boy.
Gas Powered Attachment
The gas attachment is a nice feature and makes this weed eater even more versatile. It still won’t be as powerful as a normal gas powered weed eater, but having this option makes this model stand out among its competition. As if the 10 amp motor wasn’t enough.
All in all, this is a great electric corded weed eater. It’s the perfect solution for small yards and general maintenance. It will also work on tougher jobs other corded weed eaters can’t handle. At a very low cost, you get a good bang for your buck. It’s versatile, durable and almost as powerful as lower end gas powered whackers. And comes in at a budget friendly price.
If a corded weed eater is what you’re looking to buy, this should be your choice.
Gas Weed Eaters Reviewed
- Lots of Power
- No Cords – Not Limited to a Small Area
- Professional Grade Cutting
- Stinky and Loud
- Maintenance Required at Times
- Carbon Footprint
A gas powered weed eater is common among professional lawn care crews. They are more powerful than electric and battery powered weed eaters. They are ideal if you have a larger yard since there is no issue with not having enough cord like an electric weed eater.
However, they take a little weed eater know how, to keep them maintained and running smooth.
Most gas powered weed eaters require a mixture of oil and gas. It’s rather simple to mix gas for a weed eater, but still an added step.
You will also need to perfrom some general weed eater maintenance. Changing spark plugs every so often; cleaning out the carb and so on. They aren’t extremely difficult to maintain. But some people would rather not have to deal with this.
Gas powered eaters will cost a bit more than most other weed eaters as well. You can find low priced weed eaters for smaller jobs, so this isn’t to say you can’t buy a “cheap” gas weed eater. Just keep this in mind when shopping for your next string trimmer.
To find out if a gas powered string trimmer is right for you, be sure to read our weed eater buying guide below.
The Best Gas Powered Weed Eater Reviewed
- 28cc engine
- 17-Inch Cutting Width
- Uses .095 diameter trimmer line
- Attachment capable, 2 cycle unit
- Straight Shaft. Transmission gear ratio: 1.4
Made by one of the most trusted brands in the product category, this model has an excellent cutting width, commendable motor, and ergonomic design. The combination of these benefits will make this an option that is hard to match.
One thing that gives this an advantage above many of its competitors is the fact that it is lightweight. Even if you have to trim a large area or you need to work for an extended period, you will not complain. Carrying the unit for an extended period does not need to be a burden.
The power that can be demonstrated by this string trimmer is derived from its dependable engine. With this, you can anticipate that this will be reliable, regardless if you have to complete demanding jobs. Even the pros can trust the functionality of this product.
Smart Start System
Starting string trimmers can be complicated and can require force from the user. In the case of this model, on the other hand, it is an entirely different story. It comes with an intelligent engine starter, which means that minimal effort should be exerted.
This is one feature that is excellent in terms of portability and space-efficiency. When you take off the shaft, the length is significantly reduced. You can easily keep it in the back or your car or in the storage cabinet, even if there is limited space.
Overall, Husqvarna 128LD String Trimmer is an option that can prove to be reliable, especially because the brand has already made a reputation that is hard to rival. The detachable shaft makes it a versatile option. More so, the 28cc motor is also impressive as it allows it to tackle different jobs in the easiest way possible.
Weed Eater Buying Guide
If you are struggling to determine which weed eater is right for you, our buying guide will help aide in your decision. Our goal here is to find out what your needs are, and fit you with the right weed eater.
What Are Your Weed Eating Needs?
The first step in choosing the right weed eater, is to determine what it will be used for.
- How big is your yard?
- Do you have thick weeds?
- Are you handy?
- Are you environmentally friendly?
- Can you handle a powerful weed eater?
These, along with other questions are what you should be asking yourself before purchasing a weed eater. You don’t want to spend $300 on a top of the line weed eater; when all you need is a $90 battery powered one that will do the job just as well.
Larger yards require a weed eater that will last for the duration of the cut. A corded weed eater will be rendered useless on a bigger area. If you need a weed eater that will be able to reach across a distance; and last longer. A gas, or battery powered weed eater is a solid choice.
You also need to factor in cost. If you are on a budget, a gas powered weed eater may not be the best fit. They are generally the most expensive out of all types of weed eaters. You may instead look at electric or battery powered ones.
Trimming down brush, or other thick areas will need a more powerful trimmer. Battery and corded weed eaters lack the essential power to take down larger weeds. Gas will be the only way to go on tougher jobs.
Ease of Use
All weed eaters are relatively easy to use. But gas powered ones will require a little extra work. You will need to mix fuel, change spark plugs from time to time. And general repairs may need to be made over time.
If you aren’t very handy, or just want something simple with low maintenance, a battery powered, or corded weed eater will be what you want.
Angled Shafts vs. Straight Shafts
Some weed eaters will have a shaft that has a 90 degree bend at the trimming blade. Others will be straight. The ones with the bend will be easier to use and manage. The angle makes it hit exactly where you need it most of the time.
However, the bend in the shaft does have limitations. You won’t be able to get into hard to reach areas for one. It can be very difficult to get a good cut underneath bushes since the angle will stop the blade from going to deep. Trying to edge with an angled shaft is also very difficult.
A straight shaft weed trimmer will a little trickier to use, but if you can get the hang of it, you can do more. They will reach tough spots and can easily be flipped to get a nice edge around or garden.
Buy the Weed Eater You Need Now
Once you find the best weed eater type for you, check out all of our reviews to find the best fit for your personal needs. Whether you want gas, electric, or battery power; we review them all with an unbiased approach that gives you all the facts and specifications you need to make an informed, and smart purchase that you will be happy with in the end.
Stop hesitating, go buy that new weed eater so you can finally have the best looking yard on the block and be the envy of your neighbors.
FAQ about Weed Eaters
Now that you already know the various questions that will allow you to use your weed eater appropriately, you can be sure that you will be able to use it with ease.