Best Weed Eater Reviews Guide

Man cleaning a weed eater in the fieldWeed eaters are extremely useful tools for any homeowner, gardener or landscaper, but trying to choose from hundreds of models can be daunting. We sort it all out and whittle it all down so you can go straight to selecting the best weed eater for your home, garden or business.

You will learn how weed eaters work, the differences between gas and electric trimmers and the key features that make the best weed wackers efficient, safe and convenient to use. This guide includes a concise set of detailed weed eater reviews of the best machines on the market.

Our weed wacker reviews include specs and ratings so you can locate the best string trimmer and the best edgers at a glance.

What Is the Best Weed Eater?

If you are ready to cut right to the chase and take our top recommendation for the best battery powered string trimmer, then read the following review. This one is powerful enough to match the performance of the best commercial weed eater, even some with gas engines. It is the ultimate weed eater for homeowners. If it seems too pricey, check out our best weed eater reviews later in this guide for alternate selections.

DeWalt DCST990H1 40V MAX String Trimmer

DEWALT DCST990H1 40V MAX 6.0 Ah Lithium Ion XR String TrimmerThis powerful cordless trimmer from DEWALT might be the best commercial string trimmer around. For homeowners, this is the last cordless trimmer you will ever buy. The 40V/6Ah battery supplies awesome torque and a long runtime thanks to extra capacity and a durable brushless motor. Torque is constant even under load due to a patented metal gear drive. Trim an entire suburban yard on a single charge without the hassle and noise of a gas trimmer.

It provides precise control with a variable-speed trigger, Hi/Lo power switch, and a thickly padded, vibration-reduction handle that eliminates fatigue. Use the low range, 0-5600 RPM, for light-duty jobs and high range, 0-6600 RPM, for the heavier stuff. Its 15-inch swath, 0.080-inch dual line and smooth bump-feed make for quick, non-stop work on lawns, weeds and light brush.

Pros:

  • Long runtime and plenty of power
  • Durable all-metal, constant torque gear drive
 Cons:

  • No other attachments available
Product Details

  • Machine type: String trimmer
  • Engine type: Electric, cordless
  • Battery voltage/type: 40V/6Ah/Li-Ion
  • Shaft type: Straight
  • Head type: Bump-feed
  • Cutting width: 15-inch
  • Line diameter: 0.080-inch
  • Cutting edges: 2
  • Attachments: None
  • Weight: 13.9 lbs. with battery
  • Warranty: 3-year limited/1-year free service/90-day money back

Review
Men unpacking DEWALT DCST990H1If you have hesitated to purchase a trimmer because gas models are too loud and the cordless ones too wimpy, you have found your machine. This DEWALT cordless has acres of power and runtime to tackle yard chores with ease and simplicity. The 6Ah battery supplies 1.5 hours of work, especially when using the Hi/Lo RPM feature.

If you have a large yard, pick up an extra battery. A few buyers in weed eater reviews have had the handle loosen during long sessions. A few drops of blue Loctite thread locking liquid will solve that problem.

5
Performance
5
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 5
Summary
Forget about pulling on starter ropes, mixing gas and oil or messing with spark plugs, filters and fuel lines. This DEWALT cordless does away with all that, while providing plenty of cutting power for thick grass and weeds. This is the best yard trimmer you can buy, which is why it gets our highest rating. It is built to DEWALT's high quality standards and comes with a free 1-year service contract, so you can breeze through your trimming/cutting chores with ease and confidence.
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Top Rated Weed Eaters

What Is a Weed Eater?

A weed eater close-up shotA weed eater goes by many names: weed wacker, string trimmer, line trimmer, weed whips or even “whipper-snipper.” These lightweight, highly maneuverable tools are made for trimming around irregular shapes, such as trees and shrubbery and for cutting weeds and brush on steep terrain where a lawn mower could not venture.

A weed eater has a head at one end of a straight or curved shaft. At the opposite end, nearest the operator, is either an electric or gas-powered motor.

Between the motor and the head is a grip, which may be circular or handle bars. The on/off switch and throttle are mounted on the grip.

A polymer string in the head extends four to six inches from the edge of the head. As power is applied, the head spins so rapidly that the strings straighten and stiffen due to centrifugal force.

They are stiff enough and have sufficient velocity to cleanly slice through plant material with ease.

Some weed eaters accept additional kinds of blades or attachments for tougher or specialty cutting jobs. For instance, a metal disk with three or four sharp blades on the circumference can be used to cut heavy brush or saplings.

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Weed Eater

As you peruse weed wacker reviews or look for weed eaters for sale, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, narrow your search by deciding if you want a gas or electric model.

Even the best weed wacker with a gas engine requires lots of maintenance and is noisy, whereas electric trimmers are relatively quiet and simple to operate and maintain. If you regularly have tall weeds and brambles to deal with, then the best cheap weed eater for you is a gas-powered one. However, if your yard trimming is mainly grass with some occasional weed clearing, then an electric model suffices and simplifies life.

Types of Weed Eaters

The following information will clear up the differences and capabilities of different weed wacker types. Some people choose to own more than one type to suit different applications.

Cordless Weed Eaters

The best cordless weed wacker, such as the DEWALT DCST990H1, which we reviewed above, can match the power of a smaller gas-powered trimmer, but most cordless string trimmers have lower power output. However, they are convenient to use and there is practically no maintenance except to charge the batteries and occasionally reload the trimmer string.

Cordless string trimmers are naturally quieter and their safety is enhanced by being able to turn them on and off instantly. Just like gas-powered models, many cordless trimmers, such as the GreenWorks 2100702 G-MAX 40V Digipro, take other attachments to help out with additional yard chores such as edging or tilling.

Gas-powered Weed Eaters

If you are willing to put up with increased noise, storing gasoline and performing some regular engine maintenance, then a gas trimmer may work well for you. Depending on your lot size and the type of cutting/trimming you are doing, the best gas powered weed eater could be a near-$100 model such as the Poulan Pro 967185601 PP25CFA 25cc, 2-cycle, curved shaft 17-inch trimmer. If mixing gas and oil is not your thing and you prefer a quieter trimmer, then seek out 4-cycle engines such as used in the Troy-Bilt TB575 EC 29cc 4-cycle, 17-inch trimmer, which overall is probably the best gas trimmer for the money in its class.

Battery-Powered Weed Eaters

Battery-powered weed eaters are the same thing as cordless weed eaters, but some manufacturers like Black and Decker prefer the alternate terminology. B&D, in fact, offer several battery-powered trimmer models such as their LST420 20-volt Max trimmer and edger, which is the best battery-powered string trimmer in the 20V class under $100. In the 40V range, a superb value is the Black & Decker LCC140 40-volt Max String Trimmer and Sweeper combo kit, which provides both the best battery powered weed trimmer and sweeper for average suburban yards.

Corded Weed Eaters

The other electric option for yard trimming is an electric, corded weed eater. These offer more power than a battery-powered weed wacker and eliminates stopping to change batteries or waiting for batteries to recharge. If your lot has a “back forty,” however, getting power to one might be a problem. Even the best weed wacker that runs on electric mains current requires heavy-duty extension cords to avoid prematurely burning out the motor.

Electric Weed Eater

The best corded electric string trimmer in our weed wacker reviews, in terms of raw power for the dollar, is the Remington RM115ST Lasso trimmer and edger. Honestly, we could not resist the under-$40 price. It has a hefty 5.5A motor and the head-mounted motor improves the balance. It is the best electric lawn trimmer for manicuring around our trees and shrubs. The best electric string trimmer with a unique design is the Black & Decker GH3000 14-inch trimmer. My neighbor let me try his. I like the trigger handle and the extra oomph from the 7.5A motor.

Weed Eater Engine

Gas-powered weed eaters come in one of two flavors. A 4 cycle weed eater uses a four-cycle gas engine, built on the same principle as a car’s gas engine. A 2 stroke weed eater uses a gasoline motor of a simpler design. The basic differences are these:

  • A 4 cycle gas trimmer engine is quieter and has less vibration than a 2-cycle engine
  • A 4 stroke weed trimmer fuel tank is filled with straight gas
  • A two-stroke weed trimmer runs on a mix of 2-cycle oil and gasoline
  • Two-cycle gas engines have faster acceleration and higher RPMs
  • A four stroke weed trimmer generally costs more than a two-stroke version

Four-stroke trimmers generally weigh a bit more too. Most people who buy a gas trimmer get a 2-cycle model because they are common and cost less. However, once you try a good 4-cycle gas trimmer, such as the Poulan Pro 966774301 4-cycle gas straight shaft trimmer, it is hard to go back due to the convenience and smoother running characteristics.

Top 10 Weed Eater Reviews

1. Black & Decker LST136W 40V Max String TrimmerBlack & Decker LST136W 40V Max Lithium String Trimmer

The 13-inch LST136W features a two-speed PowerDrive transmission. Set it to 8500 RPM for brush or 6500 RPM for grass or to extend the battery charge. String feeding is automatic and continuous, so it is bump-free. Whatever you throw at it, from blackberry vines to tall, thick grass, this cordless trimmer gets the job done. A twist of the handle turns it into an edger. It comes with a LBXR36 40-volt MAX Li-Ion battery, LCS36 fast charger and AF-100 cord spool.

Pros:

  • High-power cordless
  • No-bump, continuous line feed
 Cons:

  • Short runtime on brush
Black&Decker’s PowerCommand dial

Product Details

  • Machine type: Battery-powered string trimmer
  • Engine type: Electric, cordless
  • Battery voltage/type: 40V/Li-Ion
  • Shaft type: Straight
  • Head type: Continuous feed
  • Cutting width: 13-inch
  • Line diameter: 0.065-inch
  • Cutting edges: 1
  • Attachments: None
  • Weight: 11 lbs.
  • Warranty: 90-days cash back/3 years on defects

Review
This is an economical, lightweight, powerful single string trimmer that is easy to handle. It is compatible with B&D’s 36-volt Li-Ion system used for their hedge trimmer, vacuum and blower.

The runtime is typically less than 30 minutes, so buy an extra battery. Get an extra line spool too.

4
Performance
4
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 4.6
Summary
The B&D LST136W has plenty of adjustable cutting power. It is lightweight enough for any family member to handle with ease. Considering its cordless convenience and the amount of power per dollar, this trimmer is a bargain.

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2. GreenWorks G-MAX 40V Digipro 14″ String Trimmer

GreenWorks 2100702 G-MAX 40VGreenWorks’ brushless motor provides maximum battery efficiency and increased torque. Coupled with the 14-inch, dual-string cut and two speeds, this cordless trimmer handles like a small gas trimmer on grass, weeds and light brush. It comes with one 2Ah Li-Ion battery and charger. Six optional heads are available to handle anything from blowing leaves to light tilling. It is compatible with GreenWorks battery models 29462 and 29472 and charger model 29482.

Pros:

  • Powerful, dual-head design
  • Several optional attachment heads
 Cons:

  • No handle rotation for string edging
GreenWorks 2100702 G-MAX 40VProduct Details

  • Machine type: String trimmer
  • Engine type: Electric, cordless
  • Battery voltage/type: 40V-2Ah/Li-Ion
  • Shaft type: Straight
  • Head type: Bump-feed
  • Cutting width: 14-inch
  • Line diameter: 0.065-inch
  • Cutting edges: 2
  • Attachments: Optional blade, rototiller, chain saw, hedge trimmer, blower, edger
  • Weight: 13 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2-year battery/4-year tool/10-year motor

Review
Keep the 2Ah batter as backup and get yourself a 4Ah batter to up the runtime from 10 minutes to 20. Otherwise, this is a powerful, fast-cutting cordless trimmer that easily handles tall grass and light brush. Weed eater reviews for this model regularly compare this cordless model to the power of gas trimmers. The myriad attachments make this a very versatile tool.

5
Performance
4
Durability
5
Versatility
4
Ease of Use
4
Value
Overall 4.4
Summary
This is an economical, but capable trimmer designed mainly for light trimming and manicuring. The many available attachments can make this your core gardening and landscaping tool.

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3. Husqvarna 224L 25cc 4-Stroke Gas Trimmer

Husqvarna 224L 25cc 4-Stroke The 224L is an excellent example of Husqvarna’s high-quality gas-powered tools. It features a 25cc 4-stroke, no-mix gas engine with hi-tech features that make this a one-pull starter. At 11 lbs., it is lighter than comparable cordless trimmers but with higher torque. It is super quiet and the 0.095-inch dual line cuts through thick berry vines with ease.

Pros:

  • One-pull starting every time
  • Quiet and lightweight
 Cons:

  • Run-of-the-mill warranty
Product Details

  • Machine type: String trimmer
  • Engine type: 4-stroke gasoline
  • Battery voltage/type: N/A
  • Shaft type: Straight
  • Head type: Bump-feed
  • Cutting width: 17-inch
  • Line diameter: 0.095-inch
  • Cutting edges: 2
  • Attachments: N/A
  • Weight: 11.3 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years

ReviewThe light weight of this made-in-USA gas trimmer belies its formidable power. With a 17-inch cut and dual edges, 7100 RPM plus over 1-HP of cutting power, it easily tackles a large yard, brush and even saplings. It truly is a one-pull starter and ranks 5-stars as the best weed wacker for the money by most buyers.

5
Performance
5
Durability
4
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 4.8
Summary
Absolutely the easiest starting weed wacker on the market with plenty of power to handle an acre of grass, weeds and brush. Its vibration-free, quiet-running, high-torque motor makes quick work of large landscaping jobs. A bit pricey, but Husqvarna products are worth it.

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4. Hitachi CG22EABSLP 2 Stroke Gas Powered Grass Trimmer

Hitachi CG22EABSLP 21.1cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Curved Shaft Grass Trimmer (CARB Compliant)Hitachi’s CG22EABSLP string trimmer’s commercial-grade, 21cc 2-stroke motor provides this best weed wacker ample power for grass, weeds and light brush. Its 54-inch length is comfortable even for taller operators. Stress-free starting technology reduces cord pulling resistance 50 percent. It is especially designed for tight spaces with a curved shaft and 4-inch, bump-feed string head that holds 0.095-inch copolymer cord. Weighing under 9 lbs., user fatigue is not an issue.

Pros:

  • One-pull start
  • Curved head for tight areas
 Cons:

  • A few quality issues reported
Hitachi CG22EABSLP 21.1cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Curved Shaft Grass Trimmer (CARB Compliant) warrantyProduct Details

  • Machine type: String trimmer
  • Engine type: 2-stroke gasoline
  • Battery voltage/type: N/A
  • Shaft type: Curved
  • Head type: Bump-feed
  • Cutting width: 17-inch
  • Line diameter: 0.095-inch
  • Cutting edges: 2
  • Attachments: N/A
  • Weight: 8.8 lbs.
  • Warranty: 7-year consumer/2-year commercial

Review
Lightweight and powerful, this Hitachi trimmer is highly maneuverable through corners, tight spaces and brush. Note that it has a curved shaft, which levels the trim on grass. There do seem to be random quality issues reported in weed wacker reviews for this model, so check yours carefully when it arrives.

5
Performance
3
Durability
4
Versatility
4
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 4.2
Summary
Surprisingly quiet for a 2-stroke engine, this Hitachi trimmer makes quick work of weeds, grass, vines and light brush. It is priced less than some cordless trimmers but has significantly more torque. It is a tough cutting machine.

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5. Toro Corded 14″ Electric Trimmer and Edger

Toro 51480 Corded 14-Inch Electric Trimmer/EdgerThe Toro 51480 corded electric trimmer cuts through thick weeds effortlessly thanks to a 14-inch cutting width and dual lines. Line length is automatically adjusted without head bumping. One button converts it from trimming to edging and the built-in guide wheel assists straight, clean edge cuts. Shaft length is completely adjustable thanks to the telescoping design.

Pros:

  • Adjustable length shaft
  • Auto advance string adjustment
 Cons:

  • Consumes string quickly when edging
Toro 51480 Corded 14-Inch Electric Trimmer/EdgerProduct Details

  • Machine type: String trimmer/edger
  • Engine type: Electric, 5 amps
  • Battery voltage/type: N/A
  • Shaft type: Straight, adjustable length
  • Head type: Bump-free auto advance
  • Cutting width: 14-inch
  • Line diameter: 0.065-inch
  • Cutting edges: 2
  • Attachments: None
  • Weight: 7.5 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2-years

Review
This Toro trimmer is 1 amp stronger than its predecessor and stands up well against the best rated weed eaters in the budget class. Weed eater reviews express love for the adjustable shaft and dual use as an edger. It does tend to eat string when in edger mode. You certainly cannot argue with the sub-$50 price on this capable machine however.

4
Performance
4
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 4.6
Summary
For under 50 bucks, this is a very handy, powerful machine. The simple, built-in guide wheel makes this a 2-in-1 machine. For small yard and occasional light brush and vines, it is an ideal machine.

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6. Toro Cordless 12″ 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Electric Trimmer/Edger

Toro 51484 Cordless 12-Inch 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Electric Trimmer/EdgerThis machine is a modified, cordless version of the Toro 51480. Power comes from an included 20V Li-Ion battery pack. It converts to an edger in seconds and includes a built-in guide wheel for straight cuts. The line is fed automatically without bumps. The adjustable handle and shaft provide a fatigue-free, ergonomic fit for any operator. Comes with one battery and charger.

Pros:

  • Cordless freedom
  • Edging guide wheel
  • Excellent ergonomics
 Cons:

  • Single battery not enough for larger yards

Toro 51484 Cordless 12-Inch 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Electric Trimmer/EdgerProduct Details

  • Machine type: String trimmer/edger
  • Engine type: Electric, cordless
  • Battery voltage/type: 20V/Li-Ion
  • Shaft type: Straight, adjustable length
  • Head type: Auto advance
  • Cutting width: 12-inch
  • Line diameter: 0.065-inch
  • Cutting edges: 2
  • Attachments: None
  • Weight: 6.9 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2-years

Review
This may be the best lightweight weed eater around. It has plenty of power to cut through wet grass and weeds and everyone loves the ergonomics. You should buy a second battery, if you want to trim for more than half an hour. It does sacrifice 2 inches of cutting width compared to its corded brother.

4
Performance
4
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 4.6
Summary
This trimmer lets you take its impressive cutting power where extension cords fear to tread. Not as much power as a gas engine, but plenty for smaller yards. The edging function is definitely worthwhile.

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7. Ryobi RY26520 Weed Trimmer

Ryobi RY26520 26cc Straight Gas Lawn Grass Weed Trimmer - Manufacturer RefurbishedAlthough the RY26520 is designed for tackling lots full of weeds and brush, it excels as a lawn trimmer too. The powerful, low-emission, 26cc, 2-stroke motor slices through thick weeds and vines like butter. The extended shaft makes it easy to dig under fences, decks and around trees while accommodating taller operators. It features a bump head and no-tool cord spool.

Pros:

  • Over 1-HP cutting performance
  • Long reach shaft
 Cons:

  • Carb is not optimally adjusted

Product Details

  • Machine type: String trimmer
  • Engine type: 2-stroke gasoline
  • Battery voltage/type: N/A
  • Shaft type: Straight
  • Head type: Bump-feed
  • Cutting width: 17-inch
  • Line diameter: 0.095-inch
  • Cutting edges: 2
  • Attachments: None
  • Weight: 12.1 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1-year

Review
With a powerful 17-inch cut, this Ryobi weed wacker clears out weeds in a hurry. The longer shaft is a boon to taller folks. It is a bit heavy, but in line with other gas trimmers. According to one Ryobi weed wacker review, a slight adjustment in the carb’s hi/lo settings will yield a lot more power.

5
Performance
4
Durability
4
Versatility
4
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 4.4
Summary
This is a good value in a 2-stroke trimmer, which is more than enough for clearing out tough, tall weeds or vines on any lot. It is more than a decent lawn trimmer also. Buy it refurbished and you have a true bargain.

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8. Remington RM115ST 5.5 Amp Electric 14-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer/Edger

Remington RM115ST Lasso 5.5 Amp Electric 2-in-1 14-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer/ EdgerThe RM115ST’s 5.5A motor and 14-inch dual-string carve up wet, thick weeds without hesitation. With the 180-degree rotating handle, telescoping shaft and edging guide wheel, it takes seconds to go from trimming to edging. At a little over 8 lbs., it features fatigue-free operation without the noise and fumes of a gas trimmer. An auto-release button on the handle extends line as you go.

Pros:

  • Ample power for even light brush
  • Adjustable shaft and handle
 Cons:

  • Line length adjuster is flaky
  • Skimpy warranty
Remington RM115ST Lasso 5.5 Amp Electric 2-in-1 14-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer/ EdgerProduct Details

  • Machine type: String trimmer/edger
  • Engine type: Electric, corded
  • Battery voltage/type: N/A
  • Shaft type: Straight, adjustable
  • Head type: One-button auto-release
  • Cutting width: 14-inch
  • Line diameter: 0.065-inch
  • Cutting edges: 2
  • Attachments: None
  • Weight: 8.9 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year

Review
This is an efficient cutter, trimmer and edger. It is more powerful than the similar Toro model we reviewed earlier and also features an edger guide wheel. The most common complaint in any weed eater review for this model is that the line length release is tricky to operate.Remington RM115ST Lasso 5.5 Amp Electric 2-in-1 14-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer/ Edger

5
Performance
4
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 4.8
Summary
This Remington corded weed eater is just what you need for quickly sprucing up any yard. No gas needed. Just plug it in, adjust it to your height and away you go. It is absolutely the best electric weed eater at the price.

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9. Poulan Pro PP25CFA 2-Cycle Curved Shaft 17-Inch String Trimmer

Remington RM115ST Lasso 5.5 Amp Electric 2-in-1 14-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer/ EdgerThis Poulan Pro curved-shaft trimmer provides flat, even lawn cutting and plenty of power for chopping down tall, thick weeds and light brush. The 1-HP, 2-cycle gas engine features high RPMs and low emissions. Dual line cutting and a 17-inch width makes for quick completion of any yard work. This affordable trimmer comes with Poulan’s ProLink attachment system that accepts specialized heads for blowing, tilling, hedge trimming, edging, brush-cutting and tree pruning.

Pros:

  • Pro-Link attachment compatible
  • Lots of power and cutting width
 Cons:

  • Handle clamp comes loose at times
Product Details

  • Machine type: String trimmer
  • Engine type: 2-stroke gasoline
  • Battery voltage/type: N/A
  • Shaft type: Curved
  • Head type: Bump-feed
  • Cutting width: 17-inch
  • Line diameter: 0.095-inch
  • Cutting edges: 2
  • Attachments: Six optional power attachments available
  • Weight: 9 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1-year

Review
This is a very capable homeowner-grade trimmer with oomph and a wide cutting swath. The ability to switch out attachments is a big plus as it saves money on buying separate tools. A few buyers noted the wing-nut clamp on the rotatable handle can vibrate loose.

5
Performance
4
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 4.8
Summary
The Poulan Pro line is economical but durable. The trimmer price alone is very competitive and the ability to change out attachments for other yard chores is a real benefit. This will make short work of yard trimming and cleaning out large weed patches.

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10. Troy-Bilt TB575 EC 17-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer with JumpStart Technology

Troy-Bilt TB575 EC 29cc 4-Cycle 17-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer with JumpStart TechnologyThe TB575EC’s 4-stroke engine is quieter and supplies more torque at low RPMs than 2-stroke trimmers, while avoiding the inconvenience of mixing gas and oil. It comes with a spring-assist starter and accepts an optional electric starter. Easily reach under fences and shrubbery with the extended shaft. Cut down on trimming time with a generous 17-inch cutting swath and 0.095-inch cord.

Pros:

  • 29cc 4-stroke engine
  • Takes attachments
 Cons:

  • Bump head can jam
Troy-Bilt TB575 EC 29cc 4-Cycle 17-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer with JumpStart TechnologyProduct Details

  • Machine type: String trimmer
  • Engine type: 4-stroke gasoline
  • Battery voltage/type: N/A
  • Shaft type: Straight
  • Head type: Bump-feed
  • Cutting width: 17-inch
  • Line diameter: 0.095-inch
  • Cutting edges: 2
  • Attachments: Optional attachments for cultivating, blowing, edging, etc.
  • Weight: 15 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years

Review
This 4-stroke engine never bogs down through thick grass and weeds. It is amazingly easy to start and the long shaft has plenty of reach. One or two buyers had a problem with the bump-feed jamming. The relatively high weight can induce fatigue.Troy-Bilt TB575 EC 29cc 4-Cycle 17-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer with JumpStart Technology

5
Performance
3
Durability
5
Versatility
4
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 4.4
Summary
This is the best weed eater for the money in the 4-stroke gas trimmer class. It tackles any small to medium-sized yard with gusto. Extra reach, ample power and quiet operation at an excellent power to price ratio make this a superb trimmer value.

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Best Weed Eater Brands

Remington

Remington® has been making quality power tools since the early 20th century and are known for one of the best cordless string trimmer product lines at affordable prices. The Remington RM2560 gas trimmer is an excellent example of high quality at a low price. Its powerful 2-cycle motor, wide 17-inch, dual-line swath, long shaft and QuickStart technology are features you expect in more expensive trimmers, but this one sells for under $70. That Remington weed eater screams value.

Black and Decker

The Black and Decker weed wacker line includes several high-voltage cordless and corded trimmer/edgers to fit any application and budget. The B&D GH3000 is a high-performance electric string trimmer with an outstanding 7.5 amps of power and a generous 14-inch cut. Switching from trimming to edging takes seconds. Its unique gun-like handle and trigger are popular among buyers. Their LST300 12-inch 20V trimmer/edger features dual power settings, an auto-feed spool that really works plus a pivoting handle.

Husqvarna

Husqvarna weed eaters exude quality like no other brand. They have a long, well-deserved reputation for making powerful, long-lasting yard, garden and commercial gas-powered tools that earn their keep. For example, their best weed wacker, the Husqvarna 223R 24.5cc 2-Cycle Bike Handle trimmer  has one-pull Smart Start technology, a LowVib vibration reduction system and built-in stand design. At under 10 lbs., it is a highly maneuverable, ergonomic trimmer. Huskies do not come cheap, but if you want one of the best rated weed trimmers made that will last a lifetime it is worth the price.

Poulan Pro

Poulan weed wackers, trimmers, edgers and other outdoor power equipment are legendary for performance and affordability. Though they started out in the U.S., they are now a subsidiary of Husqvarna and as such have a dedication to quality. The Poulan Pro PP333 17-inch, 33cc, 2-cycle straight shaft trimmer is the best commercial weed trimmer that is affordable by homeowners. It is effortless to start, has an automatic clutch, long shaft, dual line cutting and torque to spare. It accepts a number of Poulan power attachments such as the Poulan PP1000E 7-Inch Pro Lawn Edger with heavy-duty gearbox.

Ryobi

Ryobi is a manufacturing conglomerate that makes components for autos, electronic equipment and telecommunication applications. Ryobi trimmers are related to Craftsman and RIDGID brands and share the same reputation as the best grass trimmer in their class. Their budget model in Ryobi fluorescent green is the Ryobi One+ 18-Volt Cordless String Trimmer that sells for under 60 dollars. Its rotating shaft converts it to a capable edger. Their RY40210 Electric 40V Cordless String Trimmer/Edger stands up to the best electric weed eater from other manufacturers.

Hitachi

An Hitachi weed wacker could be the best weed trimmer for the money in the mid-range class of trimmer/edgers. The quality is almost as good as Husqvarna products. Their CG27EASPSL 27cc straight shaft trimmer is one of their best weed wackers with a professional-grade 2-stroke engine. The solid steel drive shaft transmits maximum power to the head. Their trimmers have excellent throttle response. They also make a top-rated cordless trimmer: the Hitachi CG18DSDL 18V/3Ah Li-Ion grass trimmer. It is ideal for manicure operations. It cuts with 0.080-inch line and features a long shaft and excellent balance.

Toro

Toro has been based in Minnesota since WWI. A Toro trimmer for home or farm use is made with the same precision as their commercial products. Their very popular string trimmer, the 51488 13-inch, dual-Line 48V Li-Ion cordless string trimmer has a unique design that places the motor at the head end. It features a variable-speed control for the perfect cut, an auto-feed head and dual-line efficiency. It is the best lawn trimmer in the high voltage class.

Troy Bilt

Troy-Bilt makes the best rated weed wacker under $200 dollars: the TB42 BC 27cc 2-Cycle Gas Brushcutter, which features JumpStart technology that eliminates cord pulls. It is a very affordable step up from ordinary string trimmers with its 8-inch, 4-tooth blade for heavy, thick vegetation including saplings. It accepts 10 outdoor power attachments including a blower, hedge trimmer, edger, pruner and more. Troy-bilt also makes a smooth-as-silk 4-cycle curved shaft trimmer, the TB525 EC, which is similar to the TB575 straight shaft trimmer reviewed earlier.

How to Use a Weed Eater

If you are new to weed eaters, you might want to start with a corded or cordless model. These are generally lighter and can be turned off instantly by simply releasing the trigger. With gas-powered models, it is easier to lose control and do some serious scalping or scarring of your lawn.

Keep in mind that all weed eaters turn in one direction, usually counter-clockwise, which means they cut better on one side than the other. For a CCW trimmer, make cutting sweeps from right to left. If your trimmer happens to turn clockwise, then cut left to right.

A man using a Remington weed eaterIt is most effective to cut in arcs while keeping your feet planted. Try to provide overlap between swaths to cut more evenly. Along edges, you can slightly tilt the trimmer to taper the cut. If you have a 2-in-1 trimmer, like the Toro 51480 Corded 14-Inch Electric Trimmer and Edger, you can adjust the tool for a vertical cut along sidewalk edges.

How to Start a Weed Eater

Naturally, there is not much to starting an electric weed wacker. Simply make sure it has a battery or is plugged in and press the trigger. Most gas trimmers are easy to start if you follow a few simple steps:

  • Make sure the tank has fresh gas. If it is a 2-stroke engine, ensure the gas-oil mixture is of the correct ratio.
  • If the engine is cold, set the choke lever to full choke.
  • If so equipped, prime the carburetor via a pump bulb, usually located near the choke lever. Three or four pumps should be adequate. Also prime a warm engine if it has run out of gas after re-filling it.
  • If so equipped, depress the throttle slightly and set the trigger lock.
  • Place the trimmer on a firm surface, such as the ground or a workbench.
  • With one hand on the shaft holding the trimmer firmly in place, pull briskly upward on the pull cord.
  • Repeat pulling the cord until the engine starts or you hear it pop.
  • If it pops, set the choke lever to the middle position and pull the cord again if necessary.
  • Once it starts, release the throttle lock and move the choke lever to wide open.>
  • Give the trimmer a minute to warm up, if it was a cold start.

Modern trimmers, such as the Husky 224L 4-stroke gas trimmer, feature one-pull starting technology that simplifies the steps above.

How to String a Weed Eater

Photograph of a person using a weed whackerEven the best electric grass trimmer requires reloading line. Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell you how string changes are made in all trimmers, since the procedure differs between models and manufacturers. Therefore, the following are general tips.

Re-loading your trimmer may require that you remove the entire head or just the cover. Even if you only remove the cover, it is best to remove the spool and re-string it outside the trimmer.

Look carefully at the spool for arrows that indicate the direction in which the trimmer cord will wind.

Typically, you reload with a single, 15-foot length of new line, though some trimmers can accept 25 feet of line. Buy the best weed wacker string you can find.

The best cordless grass trimmer with a single line cut requires pushing an inch of line into a hole along the center of the spool. Dual-line trimmers fold a single line through an eye at the spool axis. The mid-point of the line folds at this eye. Thus, you have two equal branches of the same line extending from the spool.>

Wind the line in the direction of the spool arrow until it is used up. The tricky part is re-inserting the spool in the head because the line naturally wants to unwind. So, keep your hand over it as you slide the spool back in. You also need to guide the end or ends of the wound line into the side holes on the head so they extend out from the body.

It really is an easier process than it sounds like, and with a bit of practice you will be able to reload a spool in a few minutes.

Weed Eater Features

Understanding the various features offered by string trimmers helps you sort out those that are most valuable to you.

Battery vector drawingPower OutputGas-powered trimmers typically measure output in terms of cubic centimeters of piston displacement or cc. For example, the Troy-Bilt TB525 trimmer has a displacement of 29 cubic centimeters. Corded electric string trimmers measure relative power by amperage and cordless trimmers use voltage of the battery pack as the relative measure.

None of these units are easily interchangeable and the ultimate power of a trimmer depends on other factors than simply engine or motor size. The best approach is to compare power outputs only between trimmers that use the same type of power source.

Curved linesShaft ShapeTrimmer shafts are either straight or curved. Straight shafts are more popular because they better reach under shrubbery, fences and decks. Curved shafts place the head in a more horizontal position, so they are better for nice level cuts on lawns.

Two lines vector imageNumber of Cutting LinesAll the trimmers reviewed in this guide have either single or dual cutting lines. Dual lines cut faster than single lines, but their spools are slightly more difficult to reload. Some commercial-grade trimmers have four fixed-length cutting lines.

Spooled lines vector imageLine FeedsTrimmer line wears down as it works and needs to be extended periodically. There are four ways to accomplish that:

  • In a fixed-line trimmer, the pre-cut lines are replaced manually.
  • A manual, spooled trimmer requires that you stop the trimmer, loosen the head and pull on the lines to extend them.
  • Bump-feed heads require that you push the head against the ground sharply to release pressure on the line. Centrifugal force extends the line at each release.
  • Automatic advance heads extend line without bumping. These are totally automatic or may require a momentary push on a release button at the handle.

Lightbulb vector imageEase-of-Use FeaturesMany weed wackers have extra features designed to make the trimmer more comfortable or efficient.

Fast Forward vector imageFast-load spoolsWith a fast-load spool, you do not remove the spool or head to replace line.

Finger swipe vector drawingEasy StartThe best gas-powered weed eaters have several ways to reduce cord-pulling effort such as spring-assist recoil starters.

Variable switch vector imageVariable SpeedThe best electric weed eater will have a variable-speed trigger to match string speed to the work.

Arrow Vector imageSlide ShaftsThese allow adjusting the shaft to a length most comfortable for the operator.

Arrow vector drawingRotating HandleRotating handles are often found on trimmers that also edge.

Weed trimmer's spoolsCutting SizeThe size of the swath that any weed eater can make is measured in inches. The larger the diameter of the swath, the more cutting can be done in the same amount of time.

Since the line is moving at a very high speed, however, every additional inch of cutting size requires disproportionately more power.

Most electric trimmers have a 14-inch swath more or less, whereas more powerful gas engine weed wackers can have a swath up to 17 inches.

How to Maintain Your Weed Eater

Electric Weed Eaters

Maintenance for an electric weed eater, whether it be corded or cordless, is almost trivial. You should minimize its exposure to harsh elements and keep the area around the head and motor clean. Keep motor air vents completely clear of debris. Occasionally, check bolts and screws for tightness.

Engine oil vector drawingGas Weed Eaters

Even the best gas powered weed wacker requires significantly more maintenance than an electric model. The most important item is the engine oil. Use the best motor oil money can buy. Make sure the oil mixed with gas for a two-stroke engine is specifically designed for your machine.

After every few hours of use, check that the engine cooling fins are clear of debris. If they clog, there can be crippling damage done to the cylinder and piston. Make sure to add or refresh the grease at the head every 20 hours or so. At the same time, check the condition of the air filter and either clean it or replace it. Before long periods of storage, a four-cycle weed eater’s engine should be run dry and a drying agent added to the fuel tank and run through the carburetor briefly.

Eye protection vector imageWeed Eater Safety Tips

Before you even pull the trigger on your electric trimmer or the pull cord on your gas trimmer, make sure you follow these safety tips:

  • Wear gloves, a face shield, ear protection, long pants, calf-high rubber boots and a long-sleeved shirt. Trimmers can throw out rocks or other hard debris at incredible velocity.
  • Start a gas trimmer with it placed firmly on the ground or a bench and make sure the head is clear and free to turn.
  • Novices should never use a trimmer on steep or slippery ground. You need to concentrate on trimmer control and not avoiding a fall.
  • Never walk backwards or sideways when using a trimmer.
  • Gas trimmer engines get burning hot, so keep yourself and other flammables away from the metal parts of the engine.
  • If using a corded electric trimmer, use only outdoor-rated extension cords. Plug it into a GFCI-protected outlet.
  • The longer your extension cord run the bigger gauge cord you need to avoid premature electric motor burn out.

Making the Decision to Buy

If you read this string trimmer buying guide all the way through, you are in the perfect position to make your buying decision. You now have a strong set of machines from which to choose that will fit any landscaping need and any budget right here at your fingertips. You have also acquired the detailed know-how to make an educated choice.

There is no reason to hesitate any longer, especially since the weeds and grass just keep on growing.

Our Final Recommendation: Buy from Amazon

FedEx delivery truckYou surely have noticed that we implicitly recommend that you make your string trimmer purchase via Amazon as all the products link to their online store. We buy all our lawn and garden tools there, powered and non-powered, because they offer strong advantages:

  • We can closely examine each product’s key features and there are plenty of detailed photos and specs.
  • It is easy to see related items, accessories and supplies for each model. Usually, they are displayed on the same page as the weed eater under consideration.
  • The buyer reviews are full of excellent information including common faults or operating tips. We drew on many of these weed wacker reviews to supplement our own research.
  • Amazon has excellent pricing. There are times when you can find the same product for a few bucks less elsewhere, but that is rare.
  • Even if we found the same model on another site or in a local shop for less money, we are loathe to forgo Amazon’s world-class return policies. Returning a disappointing or defective product via Amazon is so easy. More than once, they have replaced products that were outside the manufacturer’s warranty period.
  • Amazon has more shipping options than anyone and they deliver in the time frame they promise.
  • I estimate that we have saved hundreds of dollars by not having to drive from store to store, not having to wait in lines or hassle with flaky store return policies. Our time is better spent maintaining our beautiful yard or simply relaxing.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick one, two or three of the great weed eaters recommended here and get to trimming!