7 Best Brush Cutter Blades (Weed Eater Blades) in 2023: Top Blades, Tips and…

Best Brush Cutter Blades (Weed Eater Blades) in 2023: Top Blades, Tips and Comparison

Have you ever pondered the contrasts between brush cutting and string trimming? The difference is quite large. It is imperative that anyone looking for a power tool for their yard work or someone who is a professional gardener comprehend it and successfully make use of it.

The following are my comprehensive, experience-based reviews for brush cutter blades and a description of the best set I have. I have invested over 10 years experimenting with different gardening tools at my countryside residence, and brushcutters have always been one of the most frequently used. Now I am prepared to provide all the information a gardener requires to know about the brush cutting blade, its attributes, and its uses.

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Furthermore, I have created a thorough guide with expert advice on buying which will assist you in making the correct choice without taking long. All of the most frequently asked questions can be answered in the guide. over, I compare the trimmer brush cutter blade to the string cutter to eliminate any uncertainty. The article is based on brush cutters, but this is not to suggest that string cutters are ineffective. Rather, it is to emphasize the main use of each type.

Best Brush Cutter Blades (or Weed Eater Blades) Reviewed

Here are the best brush cutter blades that I’ve ever used and which are still available on the market. I’ve had many more of them, but only these 7 managed to help me with high efficiency. Pay attention to specs of each item to pick up the one you really need without overpaying. But before that, make sure you know everything about safe use of your powerful machine.

Forester Chainsaw Tooth 9″ Brush Blade – Best Brush Cutter Blade For Small Trees

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Forester is a dependable American brand from Wilkes Barre, which makes its products in China. It offers legitimate, top-notch replacement components for popular power tool names, such as STIHL and Husqvarna. In my opinion, it is the premier manufacturer of powerful 9” saw-style blades for brushcutters.

This item is exceptionally solid because it is designed to be able to tolerate up to 10,000 revolutions per minute. It has 20 sharp full-chisel teeth similar to those of a harsh chainsaw chain for cutting hardwood. Thus, you can utilize it to cut nearly anything apart from large trees and, obviously, rocks.

This one is very easy to sharpen since it needs two to three even strokes for each tooth each time you refill the fuel tank. I tried this blade on a large choke cherry bush with lots of substantial trunks growing close to each other.

This item proved to be just what I needed for my 32cc STIHL brush cutter; I didn’t notice any lack of sharpness until I was done with the large, wet bush. With this product, if you need to cut down several bushes in a row, you can easily replace the blade (there are two in one package) and keep going.

Furthermore, the kit also includes two round files for accurate sharpening, which makes it a great buy if you are looking for strong cutting power to tackle thick bushes.

  • Two blades per pack;
  • Quality round files included;
  • Heavy-duty performance (up to 10,000 RPM);
  • Affordable and comprehensive kit;
  • Full-chisel teeth.

ATIE Carbide Tip Brush Cutter Blade – Runner-Up

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The ATIE 80T is a great alternative to the RENEGADE 8’’ carbide-teeth blade and has approximately the same performance of 80 brazed-welded teeth, offering great longevity and cutting strength. The only downside is that the carbide tips may not be as long lasting as they are made up of only basic materials.

On the other hand, there are 80 blades instead of 60, meaning a larger cutting area. Since I don’t have the proper resources to compare the sturdiness of both alloys and designs, my personal experience tells me they are both extremely solid and rarely require sharpening.

Furthermore, it is compatible with both 1” and 20mm drives, allowing you to use it with string trimmers and brushcutters. However, I wouldn’t advise it for line trimmers as they are not powerful enough to generate the optimal RPM for this product, requiring it to rotate quickly for optimal performance.

The set includes two weed eater blades with protective plastic covers for the teeth, making it easy to transport. Therefore, you can purchase this model without worry if the RENEGADE 8” is not available.

  • Two items in the package;
  • 80 teeth for lower friction and higher longevity;
  • Universal 25.4 and 20 mm fit;
  • Good for most light and medium tasks.

RENEGADE BLADE 2pk-8″-80t – Extra-Durable Weed Eater Brush Blade

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This brush cutting blade for weedeater is not made by a well-known brand, yet it surpasses all other products for its versatility, durability, and cutting ability. Though it costs a bit more than similar models, the extra money is worth it for the improved performance.

This blade features a 203mm plate crafted from a sturdy yet lightweight steel, with holes in the surface to avoid overheating and make it lighter. In addition, it contains 60 teeth made from a proprietary carbide alloy that is 10 times sturdier than steel, so it won’t dull as quickly either.

These teeth are securely welded into slots, making it nearly impossible to remove them unless you try to cut through granite. This alloy consists of tungsten and 10 other alloys, such as chromium, vanadium, boron, and titanium, which give the teeth greater longevity and sharpness.

I recommend this product to both home gardeners and professionals who need something strong to take on most gardening tasks, including cutting grass, brushwood, and thin branches. Its holes and carbide teeth make it suitable for tough work in dusty conditions, where open mechanical parts experience high wear and tear.

If you accidentally hit a large rock, you may lose a tooth (it’s just the way carbide works), but the balance won’t be affected as there are still 59 teeth left. I use this blade for almost everything except cutting thicker trees. For that, you can find better options below.

  • Heavy-duty teeth made of carbide alloy;
  • Lightweight steel plate with holes against overheating;
  • Great for most purposes;
  • The reusable protective seal provided;
  • Requires rare sharpening.

RENEGADE BLADE green”VIPER” / HYBRID – Best Weed Water Blade with Combined Teeth

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The previous item was the first product by RENEGADE BLADE that I’ve tested. Once I needed to buy a new one but didn’t want to experiment with other brands, I had a lot of work to do rather fast. Unfortunately, my favorite one wasn’t available, but I noticed that the entire line of the brand has carbide teeth. Without thinking long, I ordered the 44t, and it appeared to be a good one.

This cutter blade has a bit fewer teeth to free up a few spaces for angled sharpened cavities. This feature makes cutting wood a bit more difficult but adds up power against weeds. Some thick stems get into cavities if you wave the machine fast enough and break with ease.

The teeth of this model are also a bit smaller for achieving lower friction. In addition, they are welded deeply into the plate, which makes it even harder to cheap them. This is a perfect budget carbide option with extra power against thick weeds. The manufacturer recommends using it at around 3,500 RPM, but it actually works well at higher speeds too. It’s a great option for medium-strength gasoline machines.

  • Multi-purpose low-friction carbide teeth;
  • Sharpened cavities for thick weeds;
  • Good for medium-powered machines;
  • Extra-durable design;
  • Rare sharpening required.

Rotary Razor Max JM777 – Best for Medium Brushwood

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JM777 is probably the best alternative to Forester 9’’ in case you need a less powerful solution. This one does an excellent job on saplings and medium-density brushwood. Due to a smaller diameter and high durability (up to 10,000 RPM), you can cut wood with high efficiency. However, the teeth will get dull a bit faster than the 9-inch’s Forester because there are just 14 of them. On the other hand, it’s a bit easier to sharpen them.

It’s a good solution for heavy brush cutting at high speeds. At the same time, you can use it for effective grass trimming as well if you don’t want to swap blades during the day. The center hole has a standard 1” diameter, which is suitable for the vast majority of brush trimmers. You should also know that there’s a mistake in the description of the item and you need a 1/8″ file for sharpening instead of the standard 3/16”. Proper sharpening will make it furious against brushwood.

ATIE 3 Teeth Steel Brush Cutter Blade – Best Star-Shaped Model

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Here is one more excellent product by ATIE. This 10” blade has 3 large sharpened knives that have a double-slope cutting surface. Of course, for most of the time, only the 10mm part of the blade actually cuts, while the rest couple of inches remain clean. On the other hand, they become very effective when you start waving your cutter fast enough from side to side. In addition, they reduce the probability of tall grass warping around the gear head as it’s rather high for star-shaped edges.

Due to the large diameter and thick 3mm plate, you can also apply this grass cutter blade for fast grass mulching. It behaves perfectly well on high RPM, and it’s rather hard to damage as the paddles are really sturdy. I recommend this one for dense weeds and grass, but I know people who cut down large brushwood with this one too.

I’m sure that chisel blades are much better for that, but you can try these as well, if you really want to. It’s a pleasure to sharpen these large knives anyway! You can use any flat files to achieve a bright shine and repeat it thousands of times.

  • Ultra-sturdy 3mm-thick steel;
  • Easy to sharpen with a flat file;
  • Good for dense grass and thin brushes;
  • Low damage rate;
  • Universal 1” and 20mm fit.

Wisamic 10 inch 80T Carbide Blade – Best Weed Eater Blade 2 Pack

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This affordable blade by Wisamic offers an excellent ability for cutting medium-thickness brushwood, tall grass, and water weeds. The 80 teeth of the item are made of standard 2-component Tungsten carbide alloy, which remains sharp around 5-8 times longer than average steel edges. The teeth are welded into notches for lower chipping probability. Nevertheless, it’s not likely to stay like new after a few hits on rocks or thick hardwood.

I figured out that the best application of this product is to cut 3” stuff and smaller to avoid overheating and quicker blunting. Tests on thin hardwood were successful but not as good as when I used RENEGADE BLADE. For average brush and woody weeds – it’s almost perfect. If you’re still skeptical about clear carbide cutting abilities, you should try this weed eater brush cutter blade. The package includes washers for easy installation on both 1” and 20mm arbor bores.

  • Two washers are included;
  • Good for medium-hardness wood and dense woody weeds;
  • Stays sharp longer than steel;
  • Universal fit.

Brush Cutter Blades Buyer’s Guide

The market is overflowing with offers by numerous brands, so it’s a tough mission to make the right choice, especially if you’re a newbie. Read this section to know the difference between the existing types and to know what brands you should be looking for. There are 3 most commonly used types of blades – chisel, knife, and smasher.

Knife Blades

Knife blades can have from 2 to 40 sharp knife edges. This is the cheapest, most common, and generally most effective blade type. In most cases, the cutters are equipped with one by default. Such blades are usually very good at cutting dense weeds, watery plants, and brushwood (not all models).

The number of knives defines cutting ability and, what is more important, the actual time of effective spinning. There are several simple things that you should remember. Rectangular and star-shaped nozzles with 2-3 large knives are much easier to sharpen. Besides, they blunt much slower. On the other hand, I’ve noticed that these models can wrap strong tall grass around the gear head if you don’t apply enough traction.

Blades with 4 and more sharp knives are less likely to wrap the gear head as they keep the vegetation around the outer contour. It’s always better to have both types. Or you can train a safe cutting technique to avoid swapping the blades too often.

If you need mulching capabilities, you have to look for rectangular and star-shaped nozzles as they have the largest knife surface. The rounded shape is totally useless for mulching, so don’t waste your time trying to mulch with it.

Chisel Blades

All of these blades are circular but may have a different number of teeth and chisel type. Some of them provide a shaving effect, while the others are somewhat similar to a chainsaw chain effect. Some items even have a chainsaw welded between discs.

Due to high cutting capabilities, I recommend you use them for cutting hardwood and woody weeds. At the same time, these blades are usually very difficult to sharpen because of their complicated design. They also have a heavy kickback action if you cut something deep.

On the other hand, their cutting ability is very high if you don’t try to cut something thicker than 4 inches. In addition, chisel blades can pull themselves into the wood without bouncing away.

These blades can have steel teeth with or without offset (the first is much better), or chainsaw chisel. They have extreme wood cutting power, but the kickback and sharpening are significant as well.


These though nozzles don’t have sharp edges as they rely on the thickness and raw smashing action. You don’t have to sharpen them so the maintenance is very simple. Just clean the clippings off and go. Despite their fierce appearance, these nozzles can be used only for mulching grass and water weeds. I also don’t recommend them for tall weeds as they can easily wrap around the gear head and slow you down.

Less Common Types

Mulching blades are designed for furious mulching action and can only be used with the most powerful machines.

They can also throw prunings with high force, so you can use them only wearing full-body protective gear. The vibrations they cause are also too heavy for average machines;

Tungsten carbide teeth – being made of one of the strongest alloys on the market, these circular blades don’t have to be sharpened as frequently as average models. This is my favorite type, as it’s universal and durable.

Diameter Effects

My experience proves that diameter doesn’t affect the cutting ability too much. You should understand that the most important part is the cutting edge that is always very short. The larger diameter of a circular blade boosts the cutting edge size, which can be effective when you cut grass and weeds, but nothing else. The majority of models have more or less the same diameter.

Brush Cutter vs. String Trimmer

On first sight, brushcutters and string trimmers are similar devices. I was very disappointed when I bought an average line trimmer around 9 years ago and read an article about brushcutters a while ago. My disappointment was huge because I figured out that the second type of machine is much more powerful and combines the capabilities of both types. But let’s dig a bit deeper.

? Power Versatility

All string trimmers are equipped with less powerful engines than brushcutters. Manufacturers make line trimmers only for soft grass and weed trimming jobs, so they don’t put the power needed for cutting bushes and trees into their devices. Still, the design of both power tools is almost the same, and it’s very hard to distinguish one from another if you’re new to the topic.

Ok, now you know that line trimmers are not powerful enough for doing something more difficult. On the contrary, brushcutters can be equipped with heavy-duty 2 and even 4-stroke engines, depending on the purpose of a particular model. They also have stronger chassis and transmissions in order to withstand the tension created by the friction between wood and the blade.

While less power means less versatility, more power lets you adjust your tool to a wider range of tasks. That’s why the lines of cutting nozzles for brushcutters are so diverse. You can install an average nozzle with nylon strings to trim hard-to-reach areas of your lawn, or put on a circular saw-type blade and trim down brushwood without any difficulties.

If you ask me, “Can I convert a line trimmer into a brush cutter?” I’d answer “yes” too. However, you cannot expect it to be as powerful and versatile anyway. over, you will reduce your line trimmer’s longevity if you try to use it against too dense vegetation.

? Disadvantages?

power can be a disadvantage too, but only if you don’t actually know what you need. Brushcutters are usually a bit more expensive and entail higher maintenance costs. By that, I mean more expenses on power sources as heavier engines consume notably more fuel or electricity. Besides, you need a bit more muscles to carry an average cutter. It’s a small thing, but it can be critical for someone anyway.

Finally, cutter blades are more dangerous and require you to be more careful while operating. While a nylon string cannot make deep cuts through your skin, a blade can easily cut off your fingers or do something worse. It’s not really a disadvantage, but I don’t recommend you to operate this device if you’re not sure that you can follow all the safety measures.

? Do You Need Brush Cutting Blade?

I’m strongly convinced that having a brush cutter with a descent blade is a must for any gardener. I also don’t see any reasons for purchasing a less powerful trimmer and wasting money on a conversion kit and more frequent motor repair works. Using a blade with a trusted brushcutter, you can do heavier stuff and be sure that your tool won’t break or overheat in the middle of the day.

Plus, you can downgrade to a nylon trimmer anytime. Paying a bit more at the start, you save up on solving potential problems in the future.

FAQ on Brush Cutter Blades

In this section, I answered all the most frequently asked questions of my readers about brushcutters and blades. If something remains unclear, you’re welcome to let me know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев.

What is a brush cutter blade?

Unlike a nylon string nozzle, a brush cutter blade is a solid metal item that’s stamped or lasered from thin pieces of steel. There’s a variety of shapes on the market with a variable number of cutting edges (from 2 to ~40). Each shape has both pros and cons, so you have to be as attentive as possible to match the type and your purposes.

What is the difference between a grass cutter and a brush cutter?

An average grass cutter is significantly smaller and lighter than a brush cutter. These gardening devices are designed for trimming your lawn in places that cannot be reached by a mower. A brushcutter is equipped with a more powerful unit and can help you get rid of denser vegetation.

Can you use a brush cutter to cut grass?

While a string cutter is too weak to cut brushwood, a brushcutter blade can do it all if you choose the right model. Fortunately for your budget, you can purchase a powerful brushcutter and use it for both grass trimming and brushwood works. All you need to do is ensure that the model you want to buy is compatible with nylon trimmer heads and the needed blade types. This way, you can really save up a bit and buy one tool instead of two.

How thick can a brush cutter cut?

While an average nylon cutter can cut only through lawn grass and tall grass, a brushcutter is powerful enough to cut really dense vegetation, including brushwood and even thin tree trunks. However, it’s not a chainsaw, so you should be careful and avoid touching trunks that are above 4 inches in diameter. I also don’t recommend you cut hardwood with this blade as a kickback may damage the cutter and even the transmission of your tool. Your tool’s cutting capabilities also depend on the sharpness of your blade, so you have to check it before each session to be effective and avoid traumatism.

How to sharpen a brush cutter blade?

  • Gather the gear – you need a workbench, clean rag, bucket of soapy water, wire brush, metal file (or a sharpening machine), oil for lubrication;
  • Make sure that the device won’t start all of a sudden;
  • Mark the bottom side of the blade to put it back properly;
  • Carefully remove the blade;
  • Clear the blade of clippers and mud, then wash it in the bucket of soapy water, and dry with a clean rug;
  • Wear protective gear;
  • Use a sharpening machine or make manual strokes with a metal file to achieve a bright shine on the cutting edge;
  • Put the blade back on your brush cutter.

Cut Fast

Now you see how important it is to tell brush cutter blade types and string cutters. Before making an order, you should make sure that you select a blade with the right properties. It may also happen that you need more than one blade for different gardening needs.

Have you already used brush cutter blades before? Which models have you tried? I’ll be glad to see you sharing your opinion in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section below. If you have any questions regarding this topic, you’re welcome to ask them there too. I usually reply quickly.

Best Battery-Powered String Trimmer Reviews 2023

Even if you’re not quite ready to pull the trigger on an electric lawn mower, cordless string trimmers are a much easier jump for most homeowners to make. Even Pro lawn care crews have legitimate options to replace gas models. What’s the best battery-powered string trimmer for your needs? We got our team together to determine top picks for a range of priorities.

Want to see our top overall string trimmer picks, including gas models? Check out this article!

Best Battery-Powered String Trimmer Overall

EGO PowerLoad String Trimmer with Line IQ ST1623T

EGO started back in the day with surprisingly strong performance for a cordless string trimmer and eye-opening vibration control. Since then, it’s only gotten better as battery and motor technology have improved. Add to that, EGO’s PowerLoad feature makes line changes the easiest to load we’ve ever used—just thread your line to the middle and press a button.

As for the latest advancement, Line IQ automatic line feeding keeps a 16-inch cutting swath without having to bump the head. It sets the bar very high for any other brand hoping to compete for the title of the best battery-powered string trimmer.

Price: Price: 219.00 bare, 299.00 with a 4.0Ah battery and charger

Best Battery-Powered String Trimmer Power

Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Whisper Series Carbon Fiber Shaft String Trimmer RY402110VNM

In case you haven’t noticed, Ryobi has been absolutely unleashed in the lawn care department. The 40V HP Brushless lineup has been impressive, taking the Home Depot-exclusive brand to a whole new level in OPE. For the latest flagship string trimmer, that means impressive cutting power.

The combination of advanced battery and brushless motor tech lets you use line up to 0.105-inch with a 17-inch cutting swath. It’s fantastic when you’re reclaiming overgrown areas or simply have a lot of lawn to maintain. It gets even better, though, because this model is also part of the Whisper Series, boasting 60% quieter operation than a comparable gas model thanks to specifically focusing on the pitch of the sound.

Price: 279.00 bare, 329.00 with 6.0Ah battery and Rapid charger

Best Lightweight Battery-Powered String Trimmer

Husqvarna 520iLX Battery-Powered String Trimmer

When we’re talking about the best all-day, everyday professional string trimmer for crews who prefer light weight models, we love Husqvarna’s 520iLX. What helps it rise above others is its combination of lighter weight, extremely low vibration, and thoughtful feature set in conjunction with excellent performance—all with a sub-10-pound operating weight. Other professional brands hit several of the same elements, but none of them put them together as completely as Husqvarna.

Best Attachment-Capable Battery-Powered String Trimmer

STIHL Battery-Powered Kombi System KMA 135 R

When we tested cordless attachment systems, none of them had the overall performance that Sithl’s 36V KombiSystem did. It was the closest one to using a gas powerhead. Now the performance is even better with the KMA 135 R powerhead.

Even though STIHL doesn’t use a universal attachment mechanism, the brand’s list of available attachments is deeper than we’ve seen from any other. Plus, STIHL’s extensive dealer and service network is there to support you after the sale.

Best Cordless Handlebar String Trimmer

Greenworks Commercial 82V Bike Handle String Trimmer

Bike handle string trimmers are the way to go for trimming large areas or long fencelines. Their harnesses shift the weight off of your arms and lower back while offering a stable platform to maneuver.

Of the battery-powered options on the table, the Greenworks Commerical 82V bike handle string trimmer is our top choice. Boasting higher power levels than 36cc gas models, its 5700 RPM top speed and 18-inch cutting swath clear overgrowth in a hurry.

A 4.0Ah battery powers the brushless motor for up to 45 minutes and Greenworks’ Rapid charger gets it back in the game in just 30 minutes. With a pair of batteries at your disposal, you can charge one while using the other and only have to stop long enough to swap them.

Best Budget Battery-Powered String Trimmer

SKIL 40V PWRCore Brushless String Trimmer LT4818-10

If you’re on a budget, there are still quality string trimmers to choose from. There are plenty of good high-voltage ones under the 200 mark and several 18V/20V max models to choose from under 150. But what if you want the performance of a voltage boost but 200 is still too high?

STIHL FS131R Best Brush Blade, Install, Review, Demo: What Is The Best One And What Should You Get

That’s where the Skil PWRCore 40 Brushless String Trimmer steps in. This brushless battery-powered trimmer fills a need for a capable weed eater that doesn’t go overboard on weight or price. With more power than 18V/20V models, it’s a good fit for budget-minded individuals. It also carries a 5-year limited warranty.

Price: 159.00 with 2.5Ah battery and charger

Best Line for Battery-Powered String Trimmers

Echo Black Diamond 0.095-Inch Trimmer Line

Echo Black Diamond trimmer line is denser than others and has sharper cutting edges in its design. For battery-powered string trimmers, you can use Black Diamond 0.095-inch line that cuts like it’s thicker without killing your runtime. There’s some reduction because of the increase in mass, but not as much as when it combines with the increased air resistance of thicker lines. It’s the line we prefer on our gas trimmers and with cordless models being as capable as they are today, we’re able to on those as well.

Best Battery-Powered String Trimmers: Recommendations From Brands We Trust

Best DeWALT Battery-Powered String Trimmer: 60V Max DCST972

DeWALT sports an impressive 17-inch cutting swath on its latest 60V Max brushless string trimmer. It’s a 2-speed attachment-capable trimmer using a universal connection system, opening up more options beyond DeWALT attachments. With 5800 RPM on the top end (4650 in low), there’s plenty of speed and you can swap out the 0.080-inch line that comes pre-spooled with 0.095-inch.

It’s a little beefier than some models with the 3.0Ah 60V battery pushing the total weight over 11 pounds. The trigger grip section is also a bit thicker than most, so you might not care for it if you have smaller hands. On the plus side, there are three points for the attachment detent to lock into, making it simple to convert the trimmer head into a string edger.

Price: 259.00 bare tool, 329.00 with 3.0Ah battery and charger

Best Echo Cordless String Trimmer: 56V eForce X Series 2600 Series

Our top choice for Echo is a bit different than other brands in that we’re recommending a series built on the same foundation. The DSRM-2600 has the top performance with three speeds and a brushless motor that tops out at 5700 RPM. Add in a 17-inch cutting swath and you get a cordless fast grass-clearing machine that has plenty of confidence.

This model comes in a few forms, starting with a standard string trimmer(DSRM-2600) and a bike handle version (DSRM-2600U). There’s also an attachment-capable model (DPAS-2600) if that’s the route you prefer.

Best Greenworks Battery-Powered String Trimmer: to 60V ST60L254

Greenworks’ Pro 60V line has a few options and we like the ST60L04 as the best overall balance of performance and price for trimming. It’s a smooth-operating trimmer with an easy-loading Load N’ Go head that uses 0.095-inch line and runs for more than half an hour on its 2.5Ah battery.

Price: 199.99 with a 2.5Ah battery and charger

Best HART Battery-Powered String Trimmer: 40V HLST051VNM

HART stepped up big time and has a brushless 15-inch carbon fiber shaft model for its 40V Supercharge line. It’s another attachment-capable option using a universal connection and is capable of whipping 0.095-inch line with performance that tops what a 25cc gas model can do. Thanks to its carbon fiber shaft, the weight comes down a bit without sacrificing the strength you need for the job.

Price: 237.00 with a 4.0Ah battery and Rapid charger

Best Makita Battery-Powered String Trimmer: 40V max XGT GRU03

We realize not everyone is in a place to jump onto Makita’s ConnectX system. If you want high performance with wider OPE and power tool compatibility, give the 40V max XGT GRU03 a look. It has three speeds and tops out at a blistering 7000 RPM. Plus, the trimmer’s 30cc gas equivalent performance has a 17-inch cutting swath and is suitable for use with a brush cutter blade, making this the most capable string trimmer in the line.

Price: 299.00 bare, 399.00 with a 4.0Ah battery and Rapid charger

Best Milwaukee Battery-Powered String Trimmer: M18 Brushless 2828

Milwaukee’s M18 Brushless String Trimmer sites alongside the M18 Fuel Quik-Lok attachment system as your two choices from Team Red. Both are solid choices and it’s the dedicated brushless string trimmer that earns our top recommendation.

Though not part of the M18 Fuel system, it is brushless and compatible with all of Milwaukee’s M18 batteries. This 2-speed model features a 14 – 16-inch cutting swath that cut very confidently in our tests. What sends it over the top is the value proposition. It’s under 200 as a kit and it comes with a 6.0Ah High Output battery that retails for 179 if you bought it by itself. If you’re a fan of Milwaukee tools, this is a great entry into its OPE line.

Price: 179.00 bare, 199.00 with a 6.0Ah High Output battery and charger

Best Ridgid Cordless String Trimmer: 18V Brushless R1201

Ridgid fans don’t have to consider a separate battery system to join the cordless lawn care craze anymore. Fully compatible with Ridgid 18V power tool batteries, there’s a nice range to get started with.

The string trimmer is on the smaller side, featuring a 12 – 14-inch cutting swath but still capable of using 0.095-inch line. It’s also on the lighter side, weighing less than 10 pounds with a 4.0Ah battery.

Price: 189.00 bare, 249.00 with a 4.0Ah battery and charger

Best STIHL Battery-Powered String Trimmer: 36V FSA 135 R

STIHL was already doing a great job in the professional battery-powered lawn care department, but the 135 line takes it a step further with even better performance and durability. Comparable to the power the FS 91 offers, it’s matching up with one of STIHL’s workhorse gas models. The trimmer works best with 0.095-inch line and has a 16.5-inch cutting swath. It also comes in both standard and bike handle models, giving you a great option for clearing large areas.

Best Toro Cordless String Trimmer: 60V Flex Force 51830

Toro’s 60V 51830 is the top performer for the Flex Force line. Its brushless motor offers an excellent 16-inch cutting swath and a well-balanced design. While it doesn’t have some of the cutting-edge features that some of the other models do, we don’t have any complaints. It’s an excellent all-around option that keeps its price reasonable.

Price: 149.99 bare, 219.99 with a 2.5Ah battery and charger

Best Battery-Powered String Trimmer Buying Guide: What We Look For

Cutting Power

Three primary factors go into cutting power: line speed, line thickness/mass, and motor torque.

The faster the line whips around, the better the tips cut grass. Most battery-powered string trimmers are fine in this category. As long as you’re getting at least 5000 RPM, you should be in good shape. The top models are capable of hitting 6500 RPM and there is a significant difference in how fast you can complete your trimming duties at higher rotational speeds.

Shifting the FOCUS to the line thickness, the higher the line mass, the more force it’s able to cut through thicker grass with. It’s like the difference between getting hit by a 175-pound safety and a 225-pound linebacker at the same speed. mass equals more cutting power.

You’re Using it WRONG

Most cordless string trimmers take 0.080-inch line at a minimum. We recommend 0.095-inch for the best all-around performance. If you have tougher grass or deal with overgrowth frequently, a string trimmer with 0.105-inch line lets you power through even better. Just keep in mind that line diameter has a direct effect on runtime—thicker line takes more power to run.

Finally, a motor with higher torque helps the trimmer resist slowing down as the going gets tougher. Even though trimming grass seems like a low-demand task, grass does push back against the line, causing it to bend back and eventually start to bog the motor. Higher torque holds keeps the head spinning better in tough cutting situations, even when its highest RPMs are lower than low-torque gearing.

Cutting Swath

Having a large cutting swath helps you clear large areas faster or gives you a more generous border for your mower. You need more power to run wider, though, and runtime is always a consideration. That said, in the past couple of years, we’ve seen the technology come together to give us solid options. Look for a 15-inch cutting diameter for most situations. Recent 16- and 17-inch models are a great choice when you have larger areas to cut.


The average homeowner on a 1/4-acre lot only needs about 15 minutes of consistent trigger time to cover trimming. Most cordless string trimmers are able to hit that at high speed without too much trouble.

Professional lawn care crews need much more, though. So do homeowners with large properties and farm/ranch acreage.

If your runtime needs are greater, look for a string trimmer that balances the efficiency of a brushless motor, uses 0.095-inch line, and possibly comes with a higher-capacity battery. Of course, you can always carry multiple batteries.

Also, consider learning how to trim at low speed when the grass isn’t as thick. Even though you have to slow down a bit, you’ll cut a significantly larger area.


We highly value low-vibration string trimmers. We already have enough work to do managing the weight of such a long tool without vibration adding additional fatigue. The harmonics in some of today’s models are so good that hardly any vibration makes it up the handle… and they are a joy to use!

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Weight and Balance

If you’re working all day on a lawn crew or even just putting the finishing touches on your own lawn, you want the lightest weight you can get without sacrificing the power you need. Bare weight isn’t everything—the battery can add a lot. If you can get a fully-loaded battery-powered string trimmer that meets your performance needs and comes in under 10 pounds, that’s a big win.

Balance is a consideration and the trimmers that have the best typically mount the motor on the trimmer head to counter the battery weight on the back. Many models also let you adjust the front handle to help dial in your fit.

If you’re after an attachment-capable model, you’re stuck with the motor in the back, and the balance shifts back. For those trimmers that are simply heavier by nature, consider adding a shoulder strap to help you out.

Sound Level

Low noise is one of the major benefits of moving away from gas power. Cordless string trimmers we’ve tested range from decibels in the low 80s to the upper 90s (measured at our operator’s ear). Even at the top end, it’s an improvement over the majority of gas trimmers.

Your line selection plays a bigger part than it does on gas trimmers. Sometimes, switching the line you use can reduce the overall noise level or change the tone to a less irritating pitch.

Line Changes

When you have to change the line, it can be an easy or frustrating process. Manual loading is largely a thing of the past, though some trimmers still have manual heads. To make the process easier, look for models that have some type of fast-loading system (SpeedFeed, Rapid Load, etc). With these, you thread the line through the head to the middle, turn the head to load it, and go get on with the work.

Regardless of what comes on the trimmer, you can upgrade most to a quick-load head.

The best on the market right now is EGO’s PowerLoad design. It takes the fast-load concept and adds automatic winding and gives us the easiest, quickest line changes we’ve ever had.

Attachment Capability

Pro lawn crews typically have dedicated machines for string trimming, edging, and hedge trimming, but homeowners can save a lot of money by using interchangeable heads and tools that cover everything from blowing to brush cutting.

As we mentioned earlier, attachment systems require a top-mounted motor that affects the balance. It’s a trade-off you have to make for the convenience you gain.

One thing to keep an eye on is the attachment connection style. Models with a “universal” connection can use attachments from other brands, opening up far more choices. Recent multi-head systems including EGO, Milwaukee, and STIHL aren’t compatible with others, so you need to make sure they have everything you need before investing.

Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews

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We’ve been in business since 2008 covering tools, writing reviews, and reporting on industry news in the construction and lawn care industries. Our Pro reviewers work in the trades and have the skills and experience to know whether tools can perform well in the field.

Each year, we bring in and review more than 350 individual products. Our team will put our hands on hundreds of additional tools at media events and trade shows throughout the year.

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The end result is information you can trust because of the editorial, scientific, and real-world professional experience we collectively utilize each and every time we pick up and test a tool.

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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.”

Best Overall

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

Best Budget

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

Best Gas

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

Best Cordless/Battery

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

Best Rated

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

Best Splurge

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

Best Heavy-Duty

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.

Cutting Width

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.

Safety Features

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.

String Control

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.

Standout Features

Speed Control

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.