7 Best Battery-Powered String Trimmers of 2023 Reviews. 80 volt weed eater
Best Battery Powered Cordless Weed Eater Reviews [year]
In [year], it seems that the electric lawn care tools are becoming increasingly popular. The main reason is simple, the manufacturers produce tools with similar capacities compared to the gas-powered tools that are easier to handle, easier to maintain and environmentally-friendly.
A popular category of the electric lawn care tools are the battery powered cordless weed eaters, which are designed to be lightweight, quiet, and easy to maintain. Depending on the battery’s capacity, they can easily compete with the gas-powered weed eaters and are suitable for all lawn sizes and grass characteristics.
Let’s have an in-depth look at the world of these cordless tools.
To help you choose the right tool, I put up this buyers guide and a list of the best battery powered cordless weed eater reviews. Click on the links below for more detail on each model.
How To Choose A Battery Powered Cordless Weed Eater?
Even if it might seem easy to choose an electric cordless weed eater, the things are not quite that simple. There are a series of things to consider before buying a cordless weed eater, beginning with the common considerations regarding the purpose of use and versatility.
Just like in the case of the corded or gas-powered models, you should consider the:
But in addition to these factors, probably the most important thing to consider is the battery.
On the market, you will be able to find a wide range of cordless weed eaters, with batteries ranging from 12 volts to about 56 volts. Depending on the scope of use, you should choose a battery with a lower or with a higher voltage.
If you have a small lawn with a thin type of grass, then a 12-volt battery could be an excellent choice. A 12-volt battery is also a great choice for the beginners in the field of lawn care. The 18-volt and 20-volt weed eaters are also typically designed for residential use, but they are ideal for larger lawns and thicker types of grass.
If you have a really large lawn, of 1 acre or more, than it makes sense choosing a more powerful battery, of 36 volts or more. You should also look for a higher voltage if you are a lawn care professional considering to invest in an ecological tool.
However, if you are just a homeowner looking for the perfect tool to maintain your lawn, then I recommend the 12-volt or 18-volt battery powered cordless weed eaters.
The reason that stands behind my recommendation is that the 12 and 18-volt models are typically designed for residential use and are more versatile compared to the more powerful models. In fact, many manufacturers design these weed eaters as multi-use tools, manufacturing all sorts of useful attachments that will allow you to transform the weed eater into another lawn care tool such as a pruner, edger, blower, and more. It is useless to say that this is a cost-effective solution.
In addition to the voltage, you should also determine the type of the battery. If you are looking for a cost-effective solution, you will find out that the Ni-Ca batteries are less expensive compared to their Li-Ion counterparts.
However, the Ni-Ca batteries are heavier and have shorter lifespans, in addition to a shorter run-time and a longer charging time.
Another thing you should consider when choosing a cordless weed eater is the brand. This is an important aspect especially if you have, or plan to buy, other cordless lawn care tools, such as a lawn mower. In fact, many manufacturers make residential lawn care tools that have compatible batteries.
This is a great opportunity to increase your autonomy, especially because almost all tools are sold with a battery. In this way, you will be able to simply change the drained battery with a charged one and keep up with your work.
How To Maintain The Battery?
If the cordless weed eaters don’t need special maintenance procedures others than keeping the unit clean and changing the string when needed, there are a series of tips to follow if you want to maintain the battery in good conditions for a longer time.
The first advice is to buy a cordless weed eater only if you plan to use it regularly. The batteries tend to decrease their performances when not used for long periods of time, therefore, if you only want to trim the grass once in a while, you should consider investing in a corded or gas-powered model.
You should also keep the battery charged at all times. Keeping the battery completely drained when the tool is not in use also tends to damage it. For this reason, after you finish working, recharge the battery and then store it in a dry and cool place.
Also, when you charge the battery, make sure you charge it completely. It is an awful idea to only partially charge the battery, as this practice will reduce its performances and lifespan. Most chargers have LED indicators that let you know when it’s time to unplug it.
On the other hand, it is not advisable to wait until the battery is completely drained before recharging it. Ideally, the battery should still have about 15-20% power left when you place it in the charger. Also, pay attention to not leave the battery on the charger longer than it is necessary unless instructed differently by the operator’s manual.
Now, let’s have a look at the best battery powered cordless weed eater reviews to decide which is the right tool for you.
BLACKDECKER LST522 20V Max Lithium 2-Speed String Trimmer/Edger
The LST522 weed eater from Black and Decker is one of the most popular battery-powered cordless weed eaters available on the market. Designed mainly for residential use, this tool is powered by a 20-volt lithium battery and features a double function of trimmer and edger. You can easily switch from one tool to the other by simply flipping the trimmer’s head.Ideal for small and medium size lawns, this weed eater features a 12-inch cutting swath that will allow you to finish trimming your lawn in a breeze. And to make things even easier for you, the battery is compatible with a series of other tools from the Black and Decker 20-Max system
Things We Liked
- Variable speed: to increase the run-time and performance of the battery, Black and Decker equipped this tool with a speed control.
- Power Drive transmission: a feature designed to increase torque and consequently increase the cutting power.
- Automatic Feed Spool: you will not have to worry anymore about bumping the tool, thanks to this convenient system.
- Adjustable shaft and handle: this weed eater has a straight telescopic shaft and an adjustable handle designed to increase your comfort.
EGO Power 15-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Brushless String Trimmer
If you have a large lawn, or if you are a lawn care professional, then this EGO Power cordless weed eater is for you. Powered by a 56-volt lithium-ion battery and boasting a 15-inch cutting swath, EGO designed this tool for a fast and efficient trimming of all types of grass regardless the lawn size.This trimmer doesn’t convert into an edger, but this is not an essential characteristic since you will be able to use the powerful battery with a variety of other lawn care tools. In addition, the professional.095-inch dual twisted line will leave you with a perfectly manicured lawn.
Things We Liked
- Long aluminum shaft: designed to reach in the most remote corners of your lawn, this weed eater features a 49 inches long, anti-rust, aluminum shaft.
- Brushless motor: to increase the performance of the tool, EGO equipped this weed eater with a brushless motor.
- Bump feed line: to avoid wasting precious line, this weed eater features a bump feed head.
- Weather resistant construction: you will be able to use this weed eater in all atmospheric conditions, thanks to the convenient weather resistant construction.
Things We Didn’t Like
- Even if the battery is powerful and compatible with many other tools, this weed eater is less versatile than other models available on the market.
OREGON Cordless 40 Volt MAX ST275-A6 Trimmer/Edger
Another popular cordless weed eater that represents an excellent choice for both commercial and residential users is the OREGON ST275, a tool powered by a 40-volt lithium-ion battery. To ensure an impressive cutting performance, this weed eater uses the advanced Platinum Gatorline line that is much more resistant compared to the other lines available on the market.Like in the case of the other weed eaters reviewed, the ST275 has a battery compatible with a series of other tools and its versatility is ensured by the dual use: trimmer and powerful edger.
Things We Liked
- 4.0Ah battery: this powerful battery ensures a smooth run for up to 45 minutes, making this tool suitable for large lawns.
- Advanced Cutting System: this patented technology uses a very resistant platinum line and a bump feeding system, ensuring an incredible cutting quality.
- Comfortable use: the tool is lightweight and perfectly balanced to ensure a comfortable use.
- Variable speed: it will be easy to adjust the performance or the run-time of the tool thanks to its variable speed feature.
Weed Eater WE20VT 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery Powered String Trimmer and Edger
Designed for residential use, the Weed Eater WE20VT is powered by a 20-volt lithium-ion battery that is also compatible with a hedge trimmer and a blower from the same manufacturer. This weed eater is a versatile tool, being easily transformable into an edger.With its.065 single line and with up to 25 minutes of autonomy, this weed eater represents an excellent choice for all homeowners who have small lawns with thin grass that are looking for a lightweight and easy to handle tool.
Things We Liked
- Auto feed spool: a feature appreciated mostly by the inexpert lawn owners, the auto feed function will make grass trimming hassle free.
- Adjustable length: to increase your comfort, this tool has a telescopic shaft, so you will be able to adjust the length to your own height.
- 12-inch cutting swath: you will be able to trim the grass even in the narrower parts of your lawn, thanks to the 12-inch cutting width.
- Easy to handle: with only 5 pounds of weight, this weed eater is really easy to handle.
Ryobi ZRP2200 18V Hybrid Li-Ion String Trimmer Certified Refurbished
The last battery powered cordless weed eater reviewed is this certified refurbished ZRP2200 Ryobi weed eater. Despite being a refurbished tool, this weed eater is of a really good quality, the manufacturer guaranteeing this by offering a one-year limited warranty.What is really great about this weed eater is the fact that it can be powered by an 18-volt battery or by a power cord, so you can literally choose between unlimited power or unlimited mobility depending on your necessities.
Things We Liked
- Two-in-one tool: this weed eater can be easily transformed into a walk-behind edger.
- Adjustable cutting width: depending on the characteristics of your lawn, you can adjust the cutting width between 10 and 12 inches.
- Adjustable shaft: this tool has a straight telescopic shaft that can be adjusted to match your comfort.
- Auto feed line: with a.065 inches auto feed line, this weed eater will allow you to trim your grass fast and efficiently.
Things We Didn’t Like
Click the link to find out about more of the best Ryobi weed whackers.
Conclusion and Final Pick
As you can see from these best battery powered cordless weed eater reviews, the cordless weed eaters can be a valid option for both residential and commercial users.
As a residential user, in my opinion, the best battery powered cordless weed eater available on the market is the BLACKDECKER LST522 20V Max Lithium 2-Speed String Trimmer/Edger.
This tool is versatile, is powered by a 20-volt lithium battery and is really easy to handle thanks to the lightweight construction and excellent balance.
The battery is of a high quality and compatible with a series of other lawn care tools.
In addition, the auto feed characteristic will make the grass trimming an easy and quick operation. For these reasons, I recommend the LST522 weed eater from Black and Decker.
Don’t forget to also check out our review of other types of string trimmers.
Best Battery-Powered String Trimmers of 2023 [Reviews]
Battery-powered lawn care essentials, such as string trimmers, grow more popular every year because they are convenient and eco-friendly, but which one is right for you?
To help you choose a battery-powered string trimmer, we have compiled our top 10 picks, complete with detailed reviews, specs for you to compare, and advice from people who’ve already used these products.
String trimmers — sometimes called weed eaters, weed wackers, weed trimmers, or grass trimmers — are necessary for a truly polished lawn. Battery-powered models are quiet, clean, and easy to use, but they have their disadvantages, too.
In our comprehensive buyers guide, we’ll help you decide if battery-powered is the best option for you and give tips on choosing the right model. But first, let’s dig into the best battery-powered string trimmers of the year.
Best Battery-Powered String Trimmers
WORX WG191 56V string trimmer/edger
WORX WG191 56V string trimmer/edger
Our overall champ, the WORX WG191, is a cordless electric string trimmer with the power of gas.
With its powerful 56-volt battery, the WORX WG191 delivers a gas-like performance for taking down especially thick or tall grass. You can tell this trimmer is meant for heavy-duty work because it even comes with a commercial-grade 0.08-inch trimmer line.
Plus, with a cutting head that pivots and an extended-reach straight shaft design, this weed eater can get into all your yard’s nooks and crannies.
Whether you need to cut down a patch of weeds or give your lawn a clean edge, the WG191 has you covered. You can convert the tool from a weed trimmer to an edger and back by simply pushing a button and twisting the shaft.
It’s versatile for different grass conditions, too, with the variable speed control feature. Using the variable speed trigger, you can up the torque for overgrown spots in your lawn and decrease it during easy parts to extend battery life.
While many users reported that the WORX WG191’s power is indeed comparable to that of a gas string trimmer, they also noted some drawbacks.
On one charge (which takes about 90 minutes), the trimmer runs only for about 15-20 minutes. That should be enough time to trim around a typical yard, but it may not be long enough for larger properties.
Also, this trimmer runs louder than many other battery-powered tools.
✓ Powerful battery rivals a gas engine ✓ Variable speed control to extend battery life✓ Converts to wheeled edger with the push of a button
✗ Unimpressive battery run time✗ Users reported it runs loud for an electric model ✗ expensive than many other options
BLACKDECKER LST140C 40V MAX
Best Budget Pick
BLACKDECKER 40V MAX
The LST140C from BLACKDECKER packs a whole lot of power for a relatively small price (around 100).
The LST140C from BLACKDECKER is the best cordless string trimmer for homeowners on a budget. Here’s why: Even though this 2-in-1 trimmer/edger costs about 100, it has a high-performance 40V MAX lithium-ion battery, which is twice as powerful as the other budget picks on this list.
Though it isn’t quite as beefy as a gas trimmer, 40 volts should be more than enough power to tackle the usual weeds around a house.
Best Cordless Weed Trimmer Review 2023. Top 5 Options With Battery and Charger
Aside from being powerful, the LST140C is versatile and convenient. Like our top pick from WORX, this BLACKDECKER model converts to an edger, so you can get more jobs done with one tool.
The LST140C also features an automatic feed spool, which means you don’t have to bump the cutting head against the ground to release string as you do with most other string trimmers.
Unlike our top pick, users praised the BLACKDECKER LST140C’s battery run time. On one charge, it runs for about 40 minutes, which may not seem like much but is actually quite impressive for a cordless string trimmer.
Keep in mind that battery life varies greatly depending on specific working conditions, so the trimmer probably won’t run for that long every time you use it.
✓ Inexpensive✓ Long battery life✓ Powerful battery compared to others in the same price range✓ Converts to edger
✗ Uses flimsy line and only has one (opposed to a dual line), which limits performance in thick grass and weeds✗ No guiding wheel for edger mode
BLACKDECKER LST201 20V MAX
BLACKDECKER LST201 20V MAX
BLACKDECKER’s LST201 has many of the same features as the LST140C but at a lower price. Bonus points? It’s lightweight.
BLACKDECKER’s LST201 model is essentially a smaller, less powerful, and less expensive version of the LST140C. At around 80, this is the most affordable cordless string trimmer of all our top picks.
With a relatively weak 20-volt battery and small 10-inch cutting head, this trimmer certainly isn’t the best choice for large yards. However, if you only need to do light work around a small lawn, the LST201 will serve you well.
One substantial benefit of the BLACKDECKER LST201 is that it’s super lightweight — just 4.5 pounds. It should be easy for anyone to carry for long stretches of time working in the yard, even those with limited upper body strength such as seniors.
This model also has the same convenient automatic feed spool and edging capabilities as our other pick from BLACKDECKER.
Though most users were satisfied with the performance of the LST201 for its intended light-duty work, they reported some issues that you should be aware of before you buy.
One is the trimmer’s shaft length, which some users reported was too short for them to use comfortably, which meant hunching over while working and causing back pain. Another concern is the battery’s short run time, which is usually about 15 minutes or less on one charge.
✓ Inexpensive✓ Lightweight✓ Converts to edger
✗ Relatively weak battery✗ Unimpressive battery life✗ Small cutting swath✗ Shaft is too short for some users✗ Automatic feed feature doesn’t always work correctly
WORX WG163 GT 3.0 20V String Trimmer Edger
The WORX WG163 is lightweight, affordable, and great for small yards. What really impressed us is this string trimmer’s versatility.
The WORX WG163 is another lightweight, easy-to-use budget pick suited for small yards. This trimmer “kit” is even more of a bargain because it comes with not one but two 20-volt lithium-ion batteries.
With the extra, you can have one battery charged at all times, so even if you run out of juice while trimming your yard, you can switch out the batteries and keep working. Plus, the batteries are compatible with all WORX PowerShare tools.
Even though its 20 volts of power isn’t anything to write home about, the WG163 makes up for it with impressive versatility:
- It converts easily to an edger with rubberized wheels for traction and guidance, resulting in smoother cuts, including on uneven terrain.
- The trimmer head pivots 90 degrees, and the shaft is telescoping, so this trimmer can fit into all the tight spots in your yard.
- An adjustable spacer guard protects your flower beds and other landscape features while you trim around them.
Another notable feature of the WORX WG163 is the “command feed” spool system. Instead of automatically feeding the line, this trimmer gives you complete control over the string’s length with a button on the handle.
✓ Inexpensive✓ Lightweight✓ Telescoping shaft for greater reach✓ Converts to wheeled edger ✓ Comes with extra 2.0Ah battery
CRAFTSMAN V20 string trimmer/edger
What the CRAFTSMAN V20 lacks in power it makes up for with a wider cutting head that will cut the time you spend trimming.
CRAFTSMAN’s V20 string trimmer represents a happy medium between our more premium picks and budget picks. It still isn’t the most powerful, with a 20-volt battery, but it has a wider cutting head to help you trim your yard faster, and it uses a thicker, more durable 0.08-inch string that can manage more dense growth.
Also improving on 20V trimmers from other brands, this CRAFTSMAN model has variable speed control. You can easily switch to the high setting for more torque or the low setting for better battery efficiency as needed. The V20 gives you control over more than just the speed, since it features a push-button line feed system similar to the WORX WG163.
Customer Комментарии и мнения владельцев: A few reviewers reported problems with the line feed system not working, meaning they had to manually pull the string out, which can be a pain. Users also reported that this model tends to eat through line quickly.
✓ Larger and better at cutting thick grass than other 20-volt trimmers✓ Variable speed control to extend battery life✓ Converts to edger
✗ Relatively weak battery✗ Push-button line feed doesn’t always work✗ Can go through trimmer line too quickly
Ryobi RY40250 40V string trimmer
The Ryobi RY40250 is versatile and convenient. Its adjustable cutting head makes it easy to trim open spaces and tight spots.
Ryobi’s RY40250 40-volt string trimmer combines a mid-range battery power level with premium features that make the tool more versatile and convenient. Perhaps most importantly, this trimmer is compatible with Ryobi’s full line of “expand it” attachments, which can save you money and storage space by letting one tool do the work of many.
With additional purchases, you can convert the RY40250 to a hedge trimmer, pole saw, cultivator, and other lawn care tools.
Even if you use the RY40250 only as a string trimmer, it has merits that make it stand out.
To extend the battery’s run time, the trimmer has variable speed control and an adjustable trimmer head that ranges from 13 to 15 inches wide. Why this is important: Being able to change the cutting head’s size not only improves battery efficiency but also makes the tool perfect for both open spaces and tight spots.
There’s something else that’s special about the RY40250’s cutting head: It features a bump-feed line release system similar to the ones used for most gas string trimmers.
This trimmer is close to commercial-grade, with its 40-volt battery, 15-inch cutting swath, and heavy-duty 0.08-inch line. But that capability comes with a major downside: weight. The RY40250 weighs more than 11 pounds, which is most likely too heavy for the average homeowner to carry for an extended period of time.
For similar power output with a more manageable size (and price), try the BLACKDECKER LST140C.
✓ Converts to other tools with Ryobi attachments (sold separately)✓ Variable speed control to extend battery life✓ Adjustable cutting head size
✗ Heavy✗ expensive than many other options
Kobalt KST 2580-06 80V MAX string trimmer
Kobalt KST 2580-06 80V MAX
This Kobalt string trimmer’s higher power delivers gas-like performance with a long run time.
The price point for our final pick, the Kobalt KST 2580-06, jumps significantly, and the power level jumps to match it.
With an impressive 80-volt battery, this trimmer can provide gas-like power for up to a full hour. If you have a large, unruly property of more than an acre but you want an electric string trimmer, this might be the string trimmer for you.
In addition to a brushless motor that provides enough torque to power through even the thickest patches of grass, this Kobalt trimmer can hold a 0.095-inch, professional-grade trimmer line. That’s usually the thickest line you can find in a residential trimmer, and you’d be hard-pressed to break it.
Similar to the Ryobi RY40250 and gas string trimmers, you release more line while working by tapping the cutting head against the ground.
Even though the Kobalt KST 2580-06 could be all about power, it isn’t. It’s also versatile, with high/low variable speed options and an adjustable cutting head that goes from 14 to 16 inches.
This trimmer is the largest and most powerful on our list, and the obvious tradeoffs follow. It’s also the heaviest and (by more than 100) the most expensive option out of our top picks.
✓ Powerful battery offers gas-like performance and long run time✓ Holds extra durable, commercial-grade trimmer line✓ Variable speed control to extend battery life✓ Adjustable cutting head size
✗ Much more expensive than other options ✗ Heavy ✗ Users reported restringing is difficult✗ Replacement parts are hard to find if you have problems down the road
How does a string trimmer work?
A string trimmer (aka grass trimmer, weed trimmer, weed wacker, or weed eater) consists of a long curved shaft or straight shaft with a cutting head on the end. The cutting head is, as its name suggests, the part that cuts down grass and weeds. It spins a single line (usually a nylon string) or dual lines fast enough to create a blade-like effect that slices through growth.
The point of string trimmers is to reach the overgrown grass and weeds in tight spaces where a lawn mower won’t fit, such as the area around flower beds or other landscape features. Since most string trimmers can easily convert to an edger, you can usually use them to create clean edges around your lawn, too.
Pros and cons of battery-powered string trimmers
Just like gas string trimmers and corded electric string trimmers, battery-powered string trimmers have their advantages and disadvantages. Use these pros and cons to decide if battery-powered is the way to go for your yard:
✓ Environmentally friendly, no emissions ✓ Quieter than gas models✓ Lighter than gas models✓ Easy to start and operate✓ Low maintenance✓ maneuverable than corded electric models
✗ Most can’t compete with gas in terms of power✗ expensive than comparable gas and corded electric models✗ Limited by battery’s run time, usually about 15-30 minutes✗ Have to buy new batteries about every two to three years
Ultimately, battery-powered string trimmers are best for small yards rather than large yards because of their time limitations. They also are suited for lawns without too much thick grass and weeds, since they tend to lack in power and torque.
What the specs mean for you
When you’re looking at different battery-powered string trimmers — either here on this list or on various retailers’ websites — you’ll find a lot of specs. In this section, we’ll help you understand what some of these measurements mean and how you can use them to figure out which trimmer is best for your yard.
These are the factors we used to rank the best battery-powered string trimmers of the year:
Voltage: Most of the time, the first thing you’ll notice about a cordless string trimmer is the voltage of its battery. That voltage tells you the trimmer’s power output, with higher voltage meaning more power.
powerful batteries produce more torque, so trimmers with high voltage are necessary to cut through thick, tall grass and weeds.
Cutting swath: A trimmer’s cutting swath, sometimes called cutting width, is the area of grass it can cut at once. With a larger cutting swath, you can cover more ground in less time and finish trimming your yard faster. A smaller cutting width might be necessary for tighter spots.
That’s one reason string trimmers with adjustable cutting heads, like a few of our top picks, can be so handy.
Line diameter: Line diameter measures the thickness of the trimmer line a given string trimmer can hold. The thicker the string, the more durable it will be and the denser growth it will be able to cut through.
Most residential string trimmers hold a 0.065-inch line, which should be sufficient for your needs. Some can use 0.08-inch string, which straddles the line between amateur and professional-grade, or even 0.095-inch string, which is good for especially heavy-duty work.
Weight: It seems basic, but weight is an important number to pay attention to when shopping for string trimmers or similar power tools. If you get a trimmer that’s too heavy, you probably won’t be able to carry it long enough to finish working on your yard.
Know the limits of your upper body strength and choose your string trimmer accordingly. Some trimmers can attach to shoulder straps to lighten the load on your arms and back.
Price: As we mentioned before, battery-powered tools are usually more expensive than their gas or corded counterparts. That doesn’t mean there aren’t affordable options, though, and you’ll notice that all our top picks cost less than 300.
Higher-end models can run closer to 500, so don’t be surprised if you see higher while shopping around. Keep in mind that sometimes, the trimmer comes without a battery and charger, which you’ll then have to buy separately.
Most of our top picks include a battery and charger, though, so you might not have to worry about factoring the extra cost into your budget if you choose one of these.
FAQ About Battery-Powered String Trimmers
You need to clean the cutting head and guard regularly to remove caked-on dirt and grass clippings that could slow your trimmer down. You’ll also have to replace the trimmer line eventually. When that time comes, make sure you follow the correct instructions for your specific model.
Soaking trimmer line in water can help it retain its flexibility, which means it won’t break as easily and will last longer.
It’s hard to say how many years a battery-powered string trimmer should last, since these tools haven’t been around for very long. Other string trimmers typically last five to 10 years with proper maintenance.
If you want your lawn to look its best, you can’t go without a string trimmer. Many homeowners opt for battery-powered string trimmers because they don’t produce harmful emissions like their gas counterparts but aren’t tethered to an extension cord, either.
For people who decide a battery-powered string trimmer is right for them, our top picks are the best options that fall within the average family’s budget.
LawnStarter participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other retailer affiliate programs. LawnStarter may earn revenue from products promoted in this article.
Note: Amazon star ratings and the number of reviews for the products listed above may have changed since that material was collected.
Jordan Ardoin is a writer, editor, and classical literature student based in Colorado. When she isn’t reading or writing, she enjoys goofing off with her cats and spending time in nature.
Gas-Powered vs. Battery-Powered Weed Eaters
Do the loud noises from neighborhood lawn equipment ruin your quiet Saturday? Or are you more, “Give me power at any cost?” These are things you’ll need to consider when choosing between gas vs. battery-powered weed eaters.
Battery-powered and gas-powered weed eaters do the same job, so you may wonder, “What’s the difference?” Actually, power sources mean big differences in the use and performance of machines. Before you buy a weed eater, you want to know what type of machine will serve your lawn most efficiently and whether or not the noise or gas smell will bother you.
We’ll discuss the pros and cons of gas-powered vs. battery-powered weed eaters to help you decide which is best for your lawn.
- Why do I need a weed eater?
- Essential weed eater terms
- Pros and cons of gas-powered weed eaters
- Pros and cons of battery-powered weed eaters
- Which is the best weed eater for me?
- FAQ about weed eaters
Why do I need a weed eater?
Weed eaters are an indispensable power tool in the DIY lawn maintenance tool kit. These handy machines help homeowners and lawn pros cut down grass and weeds in areas that a lawn mower just won’t reach.
If you have a drain ditch in your lawn or a steep slope, a weed eater will keep the grass looking nice and neat. These machines also create that professional, finished look when you use them to create clean lines around the edge of your lawn and flower beds.
Believe it or not, battery- and gas-powered machines aren’t the only types of weed eaters on the market. You’ll also see electric string trimmers (AKA corded models that require an extension cord) and even propane weed eaters.
Electric models are popular in very small, “postage stamp” lawns, and propane models perform as well as gas. While it’s good to know there are other options, we’ll FOCUS on the more popular gas-powered and cordless models in this article.
Not only do weed eaters accomplish many lawn tasks, but they also have many names:
- Weed whacker (or weed wacker)
- Whipper snipper
- Weed trimmer
- String trimmer
- Weed whipper
- Line trimmer
- Grass trimmer
They all mean the same thing and do the same job. Here are a few brands you’re probably familiar with:
Essential weed eater terms
If you’re a weed eater novice, here are a few terms and components to familiarize yourself with as you do your research:
Gas models rely on gas and oil to power the engine. Battery-powered models rely on batteries — usually a lithium-ion battery. Both types offer brushless motors as well. Brushless motors are more efficient and less noisy than brushed motors. If you’re concerned about cost, though, know that the brushless motors are more expensive.
When you look at these power sources, gas models will label motor power in cubic centimeters (cc) and battery models will label it in volts (24V). The higher the number, the more power they offer.
Battery-powered models work well on lawns up to an acre, depending on your level of power. Use a machine with 20-40 volts for up to ½ acre, or from 40-80 volts for up to an acre. If your lawn is over an acre, you may want to consider a gas-powered machine.
Also, pay attention to rpm (revolutions per minute). Some will have a variable speed option as well (3,500 rpm, 5,300 rpm, 6,500 rpm) to save battery power. The higher rpm, the better the line will cut through thicker material.
There are four types of feed systems: bump feed, auto-feed, command feed, and fixed-line feed. The purpose of the feed system is to release more line when you’re running low.
- Bump feed: Tap the machine on the ground a few times while it’s running to get a longer string. This system is quick and easy and, if you’ve removed the guard, it gives you control over the length of your line.
- Auto-feed: The trimmer uses its own “brain” to release more line when the line is too short. This system is convenient but gives the operator less control over the length of the line.
- Command feed: When you run low on line, simply push a button or turn a dial, and the feed mechanism will release more line. This is similar to the bump feed because you can make your line as short or long as you wish.
- Fixed-line system: Buy pre-measured segments of line to load into the feed mechanism when your line runs low. This system works with fixed-line heads to load a pre-cut length of line into the machine. These heads are often ideal for heavy-duty trimmers that require thicker string.
Trimmer line (or blade)
Different trimmers will accept different trimmer line widths. (Trimmer line is the string that does all of the cutting.) Some battery-powered models accept slightly thinner line widths than gas models. Some trimmers come with the option to buy blades for tougher jobs.
You can choose from two main types of handles: loop handles or bicycle (AKA “bullhorn”) handles. Loop handles are most common on residential weed eaters. Bicycle handles may be more comfortable for larger, longer, brush clearing jobs. Try both types to see which feels more comfortable for you.
Weed eaters come with curved shafts or straight shafts. Curved shafts are for light use on a residential property, and they are great for beginners. Straight shafts are for more strenuous commercial work and sometimes come with the option to buy a blade or other accessories. Straight shaft trimmers are also easier to get under bushes. Curved-shaft models are less expensive overall.
If you have lots of brush or rocks in your lawn, pay attention to the size of your debris guard on the back of the head. Some are larger than others. You’ll want to invest in a model with a larger deflector (or purchase a kit) if this is a concern for you. Some models also come with a flip-down edge guard in the front that ensures you don’t get too close to trees and other plants.
After you’ve started the engine, you may wonder, “How do I spin the line?” There are often two control buttons above the handle. Why are there two? One acts as a safety. For example, if you mistakenly press one while you are holding the machine, the line won’t run (and you’ll be less likely to cut something unintentionally). So, when you’re ready to start weed eating, press both control buttons to spin the line.
Pros and cons of gas-powered weed eaters
Gas-powered string trimmers are the “old guard” of the string trimmer world. They’ve been around much longer than battery or electric weed eaters and have a good track record of reliable performance. Here are some pros and cons of these machines.
✓ Delivers commercial-level, all-day performance✓ Sufficient power for large properties or many properties✓ Handles tall grass and overgrowth with ease✓ Preferred choice of pros✓ Can be repaired ✓ Consistent power throughout use✓ Easy to carry gasoline with you
✗ Gas engine requires maintenance✗ Exhaust emissions may have adverse effects on people and air quality✗ Noisy to operate✗ Engine can become gummed up with old fuel or fuel without proper stabilizer ✗ Pull starters can be difficult for some homeowners✗ Gas and oil can be messy to work with
Pros and cons of battery-powered weed eaters
Battery-powered weed eaters (AKA cordless weed eaters) are the (relatively) new kid on the weed whacking block, but they’ve made quite an impression on many homeowners. Many residential customers enjoy their quiet, emission-free operation and sufficient run time.
✓ Does a sufficient job for a small property or a single property✓ No engine to maintain✓ Batteries swap out easily if you run out of power✓ Very low noise✓ No gas or oil to replace✓ Easier to start — no pull cord✓ No fumes✓ Can use batteries from other machines from the same brand✓ No emissions
✗ Battery power dilemma — Need a recharging station if you want to weed eat all day (or have tons of batteries)
✗ Battery run time✗ Battery recharge time✗ Hard to find someone to repair✗ Power fades as battery life fades✗ Rechargeable batteries and charger may not come with the unit
Which is the best weed eater for me?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you make a decision:
What size property do you have? Smaller residential properties are ideal for battery-powered weed eaters. Larger properties not only have more space but are likely to have taller grass and brush, so gas-powered trimmers may be a better fit.
How do you plan to use the weed eater? Unless you’ve built your lawn care business around being an all-electric provider, you’ll need at least one gas weed eater in your arsenal. If the machine will only be for you as a homeowner, a battery-powered model has plenty of power.
What level of engine care are you willing to do? Gas-powered models require you to get your hands dirty. You’ll need a constant supply of gas and oil, and you’ll need to winterize it before you put it away for the off-season. If you’re not willing to do this, go with a battery-powered model.
What kind of attachments do you need? Before you make a purchase, look into which attachments (if any) your top pick offers. Common attachments include hedge trimmers, pole saws, edgers, and cultivators. Attachments save space and money and are a good investment for many customers.
Both gas string trimmers and cordless string trimmers come with a few models that are dual brush cutter/trimmers. This gives you many more options for ways to use your trimmer.
Physical considerations: As you’re shopping around, pay attention to the weight of the machine. If you don’t like to carry around heavy machinery for a long time, consider that as you shop. Gas-powered machines are generally a little heavier than battery-powered models.
See if it has other ergonomic features for ease of use or for jobs that will require more than a quick walk around the lawn. Sometimes straps and slings are helpful for those larger cleanup jobs. Straps and slings distribute the weight across your shoulders and give your arms and back a break.
Finally, consider the length of the shaft. Although some shafts have an adjustable-length feature, other machines only have one length, which could be problematic for some buyers. If you’re concerned about getting a machine that works well for your stature, go inside the store and hold several different machines to gauge weight, ergonomics, and length.
Extras: Not all battery-powered models include the battery and/or charger. In addition, you’ll probably want to buy a backup battery upfront so you can have an extra battery on days when you want to stay out in the lawn longer than one battery will allow.
Cutting width: If you prefer a wide cutting width (diameter), check this before you buy. If you’re used to a 17-inch cutting path, for example, you might be disappointed if you get home and find that yours only has a 13-inch reach.
Warranty: If this is important to you, check to see what warranty is offered. With battery-powered equipment, battery warranties may be separate. If you don’t see a separate warranty for the battery, check to see whether or not that is included.
FAQ about weed eaters
Which is the best weed eater for seniors?
For seniors or for anyone who isn’t as strong as Joe Lumberjack, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:
—Weight: Look at the tool weight. Also, consider that a battery or tank of gas will add to that. —Pull start vs. battery start: With a gas model, the pull start may be an issue for some seniors. You have to put the weed eater on the ground and quickly pull up on the string. A spring-assist pull start may make starting the machine easier if you prefer a gas weeder. However, if you’re considering a battery-powered model, push a button, squeeze the trigger, and you’re good to go. —Ergonomics: You may want to invest in a special handle or shoulder strap. Even though this tool may only see residential use, these components may make even a small job that much easier. —Cost: If you don’t have a lot of extra money to spend, curved-shaft models are usually less expensive. Also, look for refurbished models or seasonal sales. Generally, stores offer both great and great selection s on lawn equipment on the three summer holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day). Fall sales starting in September offer great deals (end-of-season), but selection may be more limited.
Which is the best brand of weed eater?
What brand of lawn equipment have you enjoyed using in the past? Or, what brand does your neighbor recommend? Personal experience and the recommendations of friends go a long way.
You may even ask the lawn workers in your neighborhood to see what type of equipment they use. If someone works with a tool day in and day out, they probably have a favorite brand to recommend.
Pro Tip: If neighbors or lawn crews are in short supply, call your local small engine shop. They’ve got the inside scoop on which brands they never see, and which ones come in all the time for repairs.
Which is the best residential weed eater?
Heavy-duty vs. light-duty use: If you have a small, postage-stamp-sized lawn, don’t go all out. A simple, lightweight machine will do fine. If, on the other hand, you have a standard yard, a large yard, or a backyard that looks like a jungle if you let it go, you may want to opt for a more powerful model.
Quality: High-quality machines usually cost more. If you don’t have experience with a particular brand or model, read helpful online “Best Weed Eater” guides, talk to neighbors, and read reviews.
Cost: This is a defining factor for many homeowners. Lighter use means a lower cost and vice versa. Shop sales, and do your research for a model that will do what you need at a price you can afford.
Best Battery String Trimmers Reviews 2023 [Top 3 Pick]
If weed-eating is not your favorite way to relax after a long week, let our local lawn care pros take the guesswork out of “Who’s going to mow my lawn?” Our reliable crews give your lawn a professional cut and edge every time.
Main Photo Credit: StrangeApparition2011 | Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0
The 10 Best Weed Eaters of 2023
Michelle Ullman is a home decor expert and product reviewer for home and garden products. She has been writing about home decor for over 10 years for publications like BobVila.com and Better Homes Gardens, among others.
Mary Marlowe Leverette is one of the industry’s most highly-regarded housekeeping and fabric care experts, sharing her knowledge on efficient housekeeping, laundry, and textile conservation. She is also a Master Gardener with over 40 years of experience and 20 years of writing experience. Mary is also a member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board.
Emily Estep is a plant biologist and journalist who has worked for a variety of online news and media outlets, writing about and editing topics including environmental science and houseplants.
Whether you call it a “weed eater,” “weed whacker,” or “string trimmer,” these landscaping tools are ideal for trimming grass and weeds along the edge of a flowerbed, around a tree trunk, underneath a deck, and in other hard-to-reach places.
Jeremy Yamaguchi, the CEO of Lawn Love, says, “A weed whacker can quickly and effectively trim grass, weeds, and other unwanted plant growth in areas difficult to reach with a mower or shears. When choosing one, the most important thing to look for is the power it offers, as well as the size and weight of the tool. Gas weed eaters are the most powerful, but electric models are best for most homeowners.”
He cautions, “To ensure safe use of a weed whacker, always wear the appropriate protective gear, including goggles and gloves, stand with your feet apart for balance, hold the tool’s handle firmly but comfortably with both hands, and never operate the weed whacker without its guard attached.”
Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Electric Cordless String Trimmer
If you want the power of a gas weed eater but the convenience of a battery-powered tool, then this 40-volt offering from Ryobi is the answer. Our top choice of string trimmer is loaded with great features, including a brushless motor for longer life with less required maintenance and an adjustable handle so you can position it comfortably for your height. We also appreciate its two-speed trigger with variable speed control, so you can go faster when you need extra power for tough weeds or brush, and slow the tool down to extend the battery run-time when merely cutting small weeds and grass. Plus, it has an adjustable cutting width, with a minimum of 13 inches and a maximum of 15 inches.
This string trimmer comes with 0.085-inch string, which is good for trimming grass and weeds, but you can also load it with 0.095-inch string if desired for tackling tougher weeds, light brush, or thick grass. Either way, the weed whacker is very easy to reload, thanks to the REEL EASY head, which can be rewound in under 60 seconds. When you want to let out more string, a gentle bump of the tool against the ground advances just the right amount so you can keep working without having to stop and let out line by hand. The tool also comes with a set of serrated plastic blades, which can be fitted into the tool’s head in place of string. Use the blades for cutting tougher brush and weeds. While not nearly as strong as metal blades, these do a good job on softer weeds and grasses, but they aren’t sturdy enough for woody weeds.
This versatile weed eater works with the Ryobi line of Expand-It accessories, sold separately, which can turn your string trimmer into a pole saw, electric hedge trimmer, soil cultivator, snow thrower, blower, and more quickly and easily. The weed whacker comes with one Ryobi lithium-ion 40-volt battery and charger, which are compatible with any other Ryobi tool using a 40-volt battery. Depending on conditions, you can get up to one hour and 10 minutes of run-time from the battery before needing to recharge.
Price at time of publish: 213
Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 11.3 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 40 volts | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 15 inches
Greenworks 5.5 Amp 15-Inch Corded Electric String Trimmer
Just because a weed whacker comes at a budget price, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo great features, as this corded electric offering from Greenworks proves. Plug the tool into an outdoor-rated extension cord up to 100 feet in length; no smelly gasoline fumes or worrying about a battery running down before you finish. Suited to a small-to-medium yard, this string trimmer’s head easily pivots for use as a trimmer or an edger, doubling its versatility. It has a 15-inch cutting swath and uses 0.065-inch string, which automatically advances as the exposed string wears down. When you need to reload the string, you can use pre-filled spools or rewind bulk string onto the spool that comes with the tool. However, you cannot use heavy-weight string with this weed eater, and if you choose to rewind the spool, rather than replace it, it can be a bit tricky to do correctly.
The handle telescopes from 40 inches to 50 inches, and the grip is also adjustable, so you can set the weed whacker to fit your own height, making it comfortable to use for lengthy gardening sessions. Its 5.5-amp motor runs smoothly and quietly and has enough power to quickly cut through grass and non-woody weeds. At only seven pounds, this is a reasonably lightweight string trimmer, so it won’t wear you down before the job is through.
Price at time of publish: 90
Type: Corded electric | Weight: 7 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 5.5 amp | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 15 inches
Echo 25.4 cc Gas 2-Stroke Straight Shaft Trimmer
If you have a large area of brush, overgrown grass, or woody weeds to clear, then you’ll appreciate the extra power of a gas weed eater like this offering from Echo, which runs on a 25.4 cc, professional-grade two-stroke engine. Like other gas-powered weed eaters, you’ll need to fill the gas tank with a 50:1 ratio of fuel to oil mix. Echo’s i-30 starting system makes it much easier to start up this weed eater than most others, and once powered on, this sturdy beast chews steadily through just about anything you ask it to. The handles are padded and ergonomically shaped for comfort and are also designed to greatly reduce the amount of vibration that reaches your hands and arms.
The 0.095-inch heavy-duty string advances with a bump of the tool against the ground. When the string runs out, the Echo Speed-Feed system requires no tools and takes only seconds to reload; no frustrating fuss or bother. With a 17-inch cutting swath, you can work your way across the lawn quickly. Should you need even more powerful cutting action, Echo sells a separate conversion kit that lets you swap out the string head for a metal-bladed head that easily cuts through thick underbrush and overgrown weeds. Be aware that this weed eater is quite loud and does emit gas fumes, as is typical for gas-powered tools.
Price at time of publish: 329
Type: Gas | Weight: 13.4 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 25.4 cc | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 17 inches
Ryobi ONE 18-Volt Cordless Battery String Trimmer
Go cordless with this lightweight string trimmer that’s designed to take care of small-to-medium yards. The curved shaft makes it easy to maneuver around shrubs, rocks, and tree trunks, and the handle is ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip. Plus, weighing a mere four pounds, this is a weed eater that shouldn’t tire you out. It’s powered by an 18-volt battery that recharges in an hour and runs for anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes per charge, depending on how you use it. And with a simple push of a button, you can switch the head’s orientation: use it horizontally for trimming and vertically for edging.
The cutting swath of this tool is 10 inches, which is on the small side but can be a good thing if you are edging a flowerbed or other area with many obstacles to work around. It can only use 0.065-inch string and automatically feeds out more string as required. It’s not too difficult to reload once the string runs out. The weed whacker comes with an 18-volt battery that can be used in other 18V Ryobi tools, as well as a charger. Note that it is not compatible with Ryobi’s Expand-It attachments, however.
Price at time of publish: 69
Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 4 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 18-volt | Shaft Type: Curved | Maximum Cutting Width: 10 inches
Best Corded Electric
Ryobi 10-Amp Attachment-Capable Corded String Trimmer
As long as you have an outdoor-rated extension cord up to 100 feet, and you don’t need to trim beyond that point, a corded electric weed eater is a great option. You get a lot of power, like you would from a gas-powered tool, but you also get the benefits of a cordless tool, including no smelly fumes, no need to keep gasoline on hand, and an easy start at the push of a button. Plus, there’s no need to worry about your battery running out too soon. This corded weed whacker from Ryobi is loaded with great options beyond the above: It has a 10-amp motor for maximum performance, it cuts an impressive 18-inch path, and it is designed to reduce vibrations through the handle, so it’s easy on your hands, although it is relatively heavy for this type of tool.
The tool comes with 0.080-inch string, but can also use 0.095-inch string if you need something even more heavy-duty. String advances with a bump of the tool to the ground, and when it’s time to replace the reel, it’s very easy to install a new one or simply rewind bulk string around the reel. Best of all, this string trimmer is compatible with Ryobi’s extensive line of Expand-It attachments, meaning you can purchase a wide variety of optional attachments to turn the weed whacker into a brush cutter, hedge trimmer, pole saw, snow thrower, and more. However, its head does not pivot for use as an edger, as do many other weed eaters.
Price at time of publish: 90
Type: Corded electric | Weight: 11 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 10 amp | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 18 inches
Best Under 200
BLACKDECKER 20V 12 Inch Lithium Ion Cordless 2-in-1 Trimmer/Edger
Here’s a reasonably priced tool that effectively whacks weeds with the head in a horizontal position and then serves as an edger when you rotate the head into a vertical orientation. This battery-powered, 20-volt string trimmer from BLACKDECKER is perfect for small-to-medium-sized lawns and has enough power to chew through typical grass and weeds (although this isn’t the tool for tough brush or heavily overgrown lawns). You can adjust the handle up or down to suit your height. The cutting width of this weed eater is set at 12 inches, which is somewhat narrow but sufficient for small yards.
The weed eater comes with 0.065-inch line, which is suited to light use on grass and small weeds. Note that you cannot refill it with heavier line. The line advances automatically as it wears down with use, so you don’t need to carry the task out manually or bump the tool on the ground. The weed whacker comes with the 20-volt battery and charger, which are compatible with other BLACKDECKER cordless tools. Run-time before needing to recharge the battery varies greatly, depending on yard conditions, but you will typically get anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes on a single charge, which is enough to finish trimming or edging a small lawn.
Price at time of publish: 89
Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 7.1 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 20 volts | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 12 inches
WORX WG163 GT 20V Power Share Cordless String Trimmer Edger
The WORX Power Share cordless weed eater just keeps racking up high ratings; this weed whacker has more than 20,000 customer ratings and an average of 4.5 stars. But that’s not really surprising, considering that this 20-volt tool comes with two batteries, so you can have one charging and one in use, doubling your working time. The batteries and charger are compatible with any other 20-volt WORX tool. You can easily pivot the head on the weed eater to turn it from trimmer to edger, and it’s easy to angle it for use on a slope or when reaching into awkward spots between plants or around obstacles. When using it as an edger, its rubber wheels help you stay in a steady line.
This weed whacker uses 0.065-inch string, which is easy to advance at the push of a button, thanks to the Command Feed spool system. But most amazing of all, WORX will send you free refill spools of string for the life of the tool; you just pay for shipping. This will come in handy, since the string can run out quickly. It also has a 12-inch cutting diameter, which isn’t the highest but is quite sufficient for average-sized lawns and yards. And at only 5.3 pounds, this is a lightweight string trimmer that’s easy to use even when your gardening sessions stretch out long.
Price at time of publish: 140
Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 5.3 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 20 volts | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 12 inches
DeWALT 60-Volt Cordless Attachment-Capable String Trimmer Kit
If you use your string trimmer frequently and want lots of power as well as useful features, then you’ll appreciate the DeWALT weed whacker, which is a cordless model running off a 60-volt battery; that’s a lot of power, although it does add to the overall weight of the product. The high-efficiency brushless motor requires no maintenance to keep on running smoothly and fairly silently. There’s a two-speed, variable control trigger, so you can turn it up high when you need maximum power for chewing through brush or tall grass, or turn it down low to extend the battery run-time. You can even adjust the cutting width between 15 and 17 inches.
The weed whacker comes with 0.080-inch string, but the tool can also use 0.095-inch string if you need something even more heavyweight. To advance more string, just bump the weed eater lightly against the ground. The quick-load spool makes it easy to refill the string once you run out. If you want even more versatility from this weed eater, you’ll like its universal-attachment capability, which means you can purchase a wide variety of attachments from DeWALT or other companies to transform the weed whacker into a brush cutter, hedge trimmer, pole saw, blower, tiller, and more. It comes with a 60-volt DeWALT battery that is compatible with other tools from this company, as well as a charger.
Price at time of publish: 301
Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 15 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 60 volts | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 17 inches
Best with Attachments
BLACKDECKER Corded String Trimmer With Lawn Mower Attachment
With most models of string trimmers, you have to purchase attachments separately. However, this 6.5-amp corded electric weed whacker from BLACKDECKER comes with a lawnmower attachment, making this a highly versatile tool for small backyards. In fact, it’s three tools in one: edger, string trimmer, and lawnmower. It’s especially good for mowing on slopes or hills where a traditional lawnmower can be hard to maneuver. And it can be used with an outdoor-rated extension cord up to 150 feet in length, so you can work your way around most small yards. Since there is no way to add a clipping bag to the tool, you can leave the grass clippings in place on the lawn to decompose into mulch or rake them up once you are finished mowing.
The string trimmer uses 0.065-inch string. There’s an automatic string feed, so you don’t have to stop and reel string out yourself or worry about bumping it against the ground while mowing. As a weed eater, the cutting swath is 12 inches. It pivots easily into edger mode. For use as a mower, the trimmer simply snaps into the mower base. You can adjust the mower’s cutting height from 1.6 inches to 2.4 inches; the mower does not have blades, but simply uses the spinning string to cut the grass, and it does a great job on most lawn types. You can even adjust the height of this tool’s handle between 33 inches and 43 inches to make it comfortable for your height.
Price at time of publish: 119
Type: Corded electric | Weight: 9.9 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 6.5 amps | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 12 inches
Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Quik-Lok String Trimmer
This professional-quality cordless string trimmer has the kind of power and run-time you’d expect from a gas weed eater, thanks to its M18 8.0-Ah lithium-ion battery. This sturdy weed whacker consists of two parts: a Milwaukee M18 FUEL power head with Quik-Lok and a Milwaukee M18 FUEL Quik-Lok string trimmer attachment. You can use any of Milwaukee’s other compatible attachments with the fuel head, making this a very versatile tool that can carry out a wide range of landscaping tasks. It has enough power to clear through thick brush, overgrown grass, and heavy weeds, reaching full throttle in less than a second and maintaining power without bogging down. The tool is designed for good balance, making it easy to carry and comfortable to use, even on lengthy yard tasks.
A variable-speed trigger lets you go faster when you need more power, or slow things down when you want to extend battery run-time as much as possible. The cutting width of the weed whacker adjusts from 14 to 16 inches. The string that comes with the tool is 0.080 inches, but you can also use it with heavier 0.095-inch line. Either way, you can reload the string reel in just a few seconds. When the string gets short during use, just bump the trimmer against the ground to advance more string. Not everyone needs a weed eater with this kind of power and at this price point, but for those who do, it’s hard to beat this offering from Milwaukee.
Price at time of publish: 349
Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 12.3 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 18 volts | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 16 inches
If you’re looking for a cordless electric weed eater that not only has plenty of power but is also loaded with great features like an adjustable cutting swath, variable speed control, and compatibility with numerous attachments for other landscaping purposes, then it’s hard to go wrong with the Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Electric String Trimmer. But if you need the kind of power that only a gas tool can deliver, then the Echo 25.4 cc Gas 2-Stroke Straight-Shaft Trimmer is our recommendation. It has a 17-inch cutting swath and can be converted for use with metal blades instead of string.
What to Look for in a Weed Eater
There are three basic types of weed eaters, based on their power source.
Gas-powered weed whackers like the Echo 25.4 cc Gas 2-Stroke Straight Shaft Trimmer are the most powerful type, making them the best suited for large properties or for chewing through heavy brush. On the downside, they are much louder than electric models and can be heavier and more difficult to start. Plus, they require you to have a supply of gasoline on hand, and in many areas, they are being phased out due to their emissions.
Corded electric string trimmers are not as popular as they once were, but are still a fine choice if you are looking for a low-priced weed eater, you don’t have a very large lawn or garden to maintain, and you have access to an outdoor electrical outlet and an outdoor-rated extension cord of 50 feet or more. The Ryobi 10-Amp Attachment-Capable Corded String Trimmer has an 18-inch cutting swath and great power.
Cordless or battery-powered weed eaters are now the most popular type—the WORX Power Share WG163 is an especially highly rated option—particularly in areas where gas-powered models are restricted. Today’s cordless weed whackers have good power, although not as much as a gas-powered model. Still, they have more than enough oomph to maintain a small to medium-sized lawn. As a rough guideline, you’ll generally get half an hour or so of runtime before you need to recharge the battery. For many people, that’s all that’s needed to get the job done. If you have a big lawn, then it’s convenient to keep two batteries on hand so one can recharge while the other is in use. Other benefits of cordless weed whackers include a lack of smelly emissions, immediate starting at the press of a button, reduced vibrations, and quiet operation.
A string trimmer’s cutting swath or cutting width is the width of the tool’s cutting capacity, indicating how much you’ll be able to trim in one pass. There are weed whackers with cutting swaths as small as 10 inches, and weed eaters with large 20-inch cutting widths, but most are between 12 and 16 inches. If you have a large lawn, a string trimmer with a wide cutting swath will help you trim more quickly. But if you need a tool that can squeeze between shrubs, rocks, or other obstacles, then you’ll find that a weed wacker with a smaller cutting swath can maneuver a bit more easily.
Some higher-end weed eaters have adjustable cutting swaths that let you go up or down a couple of inches. Our top choice, the Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Electric String Trimmer, can be adjusted for cutting widths between 13 and 15 inches.
Noise Level and Vibrations
Generally, cordless string trimmers are fairly quiet; you’ll mostly hear the whirl of the string and the sound of grass or weeds giving way. However, gas-powered weed whackers are loud enough to require ear protection during use, and corded electric models may or may not be loud enough to make you want to cover your ears, depending on the brand and model. However, you should wear eye protection when using any type of weed eater, as there is always a danger of stones or debris being tossed up into your face.
Vibration can be an issue with many weed eaters, especially gas-powered models. This can be tiring if you are using the tool for an extended session of trimming or chewing through brush. Some brands now build anti-vibration technology into their string trimmers, usually in the form of a handle that helps reduce some of the vibration. You can cut down even further on unpleasant hand numbness or fatigue by wearing a good pair of thick work gloves while you use your weed eater.
Since you’ll be holding your weed eater the entire time you are working, its weight can become an issue. You don’t want to be tired out before you finish your edging or trimming. As a general rule, electric weed eaters are quite a bit lighter than gas-powered models. The Ryobi ONE 18V Cordless Electric String Trimmer weighs a mere four pounds.
Most electric weed eaters weigh 12 pounds or less, although battery-powered models are usually heavier than those with a cord. Gas weed whackers generally weigh between 12 and 18 pounds.
Any weed eater should have a protective guard over the string to help keep rocks and other debris from flying toward you. However, you should always wear closed shoes, long pants, and eye protection when using these tools. Most weed whackers have the power switch placed so you can easily shut the tool off immediately should there be an emergency.
Straight or Curved Shaft
There are two basic styles of weed eater shafts: straight and curved. Curved shafts are generally easier to maneuver around rocks and other obstacles and are less tiring to the user’s back during long work sessions. However, straight shafts give you more reach and can be extended underneath shrubs or fences. Weed eaters with straight shafts often have a little more power, and battery run-time tends to be a little longer on these tools as well, but the choice between the two mostly comes down to personal preference.
Weed whackers work by spinning a thin plastic string-like cord very rapidly, which creates enough force to slice through grass, weeds, and brush. Most weed eaters have a roll of string within the base of the tool, so you can reel out more as the cord wears down, which can happen fairly quickly when working on thick brush or grass. There are three basic methods for reeling out more cord:
- Automatic feed senses when the cord is getting short and reels out more without you needing to do anything. The Greenworks 5.5 Amp 15-Inch Corded Electric String Trimmer is an auto-feed weed whacker.
- Push-button feed requires you to push a button on the weed eater’s handle to reel out more string.
- Bump-feed weed eaters reel out more cord when the trimmer is bumped against the ground.
Once the reel of string is empty, you’ll need to refill it. This is a fairly simple process for most weed eaters, but be sure to read the instructions before attempting it for the first time.
Note that there are also different thicknesses of string-trimmer lines or strings: as a general rule, 0.065-inch to 0.085-inch string is for light-to-moderate trimming of grass and weeds. For heavier weeds, brush, or tough grass, string that’s between 0.085-inches and 0.110-inches is required. Many string trimmers can use different sizes of line so you can switch them out if necessary.
Most string trimmers have just one set speed. Some higher-end models, including the Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless String Trimmer, however, let you adjust the speed with either a two-speed setting or variable control. This allows you to speed up the tool for more power while tackling thicker growth or tougher brush, or slow the speed down to extend battery run-time when working on small weeds or grass.
Some string trimmers have heads that can be adjusted from a horizontal position to a vertical orientation, which allows them to be used as an edger as well as a trimmer. Others, including the DeWALT 60-Volt Cordless Attachment-Capable String Trimmer Kit, allow you to attach a variety of separately purchased heads for other landscaping tasks such as cultivating soil, shearing hedges, mowing grass, or blowing leaves.
The vast majority of weed eaters are stringed tools, using a thin plastic cord that spins very rapidly to cut through grass and weeds. There are more powerful, but similar tools often called “brush cutters,” that use metal blades instead of plastic cord to chop through thick brush, tough weeds, and highly overgrown grass. Some weed eaters can be converted for use with blades as well as with plastic cord. Typically, only a gas weed eater has the power to convert to metal blades for cutting thick brush. The electric corded or cordless models that can cut with blades, as well as cord, typically can only handle plastic blades. These can cut light brush but can’t handle thick, woody stems as a metal-bladed brush cutter can. Neither a string nor blade weed eater is necessarily better; the best choice depends on your specific needs and the condition of your property.
Both gas and electric weed eaters have their pros and cons. Gas-powered weed eaters are stronger and aren’t tethered to an electrical outlet. However, gas weed eaters require filling with gas and oil and create smelly fumes. They are generally much louder than electric models and vibrate more during use. They are also heavier and more costly than electric models. However, for maintaining a large property or tackling thick brush or very overgrown weeds, a gas weed eater can be the better choice. For most yard cleanup, however, an electric weed eater, whether corded or cordless, is sufficient to handle grass, weeds, and light brush that isn’t too woody. Electric weed eaters don’t create smelly fumes and don’t require you to keep gasoline on hand. They generally are much quieter than gas-powered models and don’t vibrate as heavily during use, which makes them easier on your hands and arms.
There are pros and cons to both two-stroke and four-stroke (also called “two-cycle” and “four-cycle”) gas-powered weed eaters. Fewer moving parts means that two-stroke weed eaters are lighter in weight and easier to maintain than four-stroke models. They generally also have quite a bit more power. However, you will need to mix the gas with oil for two-stroke trimmers. If you’re looking for a quieter model that produces lower emissions, a four-stroke gas trimmer is the way to go. Another benefit: with four-stroke models, no mixing of gas and oil is required. Keep in mind, these models are pricier and generally weigh more than two-stroke weed eaters.
There are gas weed eaters for home use with 20 cc engines and professional models with as much as 50 cc engines, but the majority of gas-powered weed eaters used by the average homeowner have 22 cc to 28 cc engines, which provide plenty of power for tackling overgrown weeds, grass, and brush. When it comes to electric weed eaters, corded models for very light use might have as little motor power as 3 amps or as much as 10 amps, but for typical home use, a motor in the middle of that range is more than sufficient. Cordless weed eaters can use batteries between 18 volts and 80 volts, but again, the middle of that range is generally powerful enough for regular home use.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Michelle Ullman, who specializesin home and garden products. She has been writing for The Spruce since 2020, covering a wide range of home improvement products including power and hand tools, painting supplies, landscaping tools, and tool organizers. To choose the best weed eaters for this article, she consulted dozens of customer and third-party reviews, considering each product’s power source, performance, ease of use, versatility, and price point. She received additional input from Jeremy Yamaguchi, the CEO of Lawn Love.
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.
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.
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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.