Best Cordless String Trimmer Reviews and Buying Guide in 2018

One of the most critical elements of gardening is making sure your lawn is perfectly maintained.

Mowing, although indispensable, is only part of the job. If you want to apply the proper finishing touches, there’s simply no substitute for a string trimmer.

String trimmers go by many different names… Weed eaters, trimmers, weed whackers… Call them what you will, the end result is the same: an immaculate, edged lawn.

In today’s best battery weed trimmer reviews, the focus is firmly on rechargeable electric models. In our buying guide, we’ll outline the various options at your disposal but for home use, these quieter battery-powered cordless strimmers work best.

Before we walk you through the buying process and simplify things further, we’ll get directly down to business with our review of 5 of the best cordless weed eaters on the market today.

These are the best 5 weed eaters we’ll investigate for you:

Here are the Best Cordless Weed Eater and Battery Weed Trimmer Reviews in Details.

Greenworks Cordless String Trimmer & Blower Combo Pack STBA24B210 (24V)

Greenworks are a favorite in the garden tools space with just cause. Their lime green and black equipment is built to stand up to fairly heavy punishment but priced attractively.

If you’re looking for solid, no-nonsense appliances for the home and garden, their impressive range is always worth checking out. This best battery weed trimmer is no exception.


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The Greenworks 24-volt range of tools, including more than 20 different pieces of kit, all take advantage of the same excellent lithium-ion battery. You’ll get both the battery and charger included with this strimmer but you can save money across the range by subsequently buying bare tools and using the same battery for different tools.

Recharging is a rapid enough affair and you’ll get a full boost in anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes. Run time is quoted at 30 minutes and we’d say that’s fairly accurate. If you have a larger garden, you’ll probably want a heavier-duty strimmer anyway. If, though, you are happy enough with a lighter unit, think about purchasing an extra battery if a half-hour of edging won’t give you enough time to get the job done.

You can’t get going straight out the box as you’ll need a little work putting your string trimmer together. Make sure you have a Philips screwdriver hand since the first job is attaching the guard. Slip the front handlebar into position then fine-tune it so it feels nicely balanced. Adjust the cutting head so it’s flush to the ground and you’re all set to start your yard work. Don’t rush this stage as it pays to set things up properly for a seamless experience.

Firing up the electric start is a breeze and when it comes to edging duties, we really can’t knock this weed eater. To transform it from a multi-purpose string trimmer to a dedicated edger couldn’t be easier. Press the clearly marked button on the drive motor and the head will rotate 90 degrees enabling first-rate edging action. Using the wheel to guide you, simply pull the Greenworks toward you and you’ll get a crisp and clean line down the side of your lawn for a professional finish.

Sadly, there are a couple of bugbears that blight the edging experience slightly…

Firstly, the lower shaft frequently slides into the upper portion if you use a degree of pressure when you’re edging. You can overcome this by tightening the screw so don’t spit the dummy and think this is insurmountable.

A more serious issue involves the way the line can snap off inside the spool. This leads to problems when you’re trying to use it a straight-up trimmer so if this is your primary intended purpose, you might want to look into one of the other fine models we review. If edging is uppermost in your mind, the Greenworks acquits itself impressively.

As a nice add-on, you’ll also get a 24-volt variable speed axial blower. Blowing menacing leaves away is a cinch with this attachment. This is certainly not something that should be central to your buying decision but it’s an appreciated extra.

Including the battery, this cordless weed eater tips the scales at a little over 5 pounds so you get cordless convenience in a very lightweight package.

Don’t be fooled by its relatively limited power… You’ll still get a fair amount of flying debris so be sure to take all normal safety precautions.

Take a glimpse now at the overriding benefits and the minor drawbacks to the Greenworks so you can see if it makes a good fit for your gardening needs…

Pros.

  • 24-volt lithium-ion battery offers you complete freedom of movement along with roughly 30 minutes of run time on a single charge
  • Battery fits a full range of more than 20 Greenworks tools so save money over time
  • Super-simple electric start so no faffing around with rip cords
  • Head rotates through 90 degrees promoting a first-rate edging finish alongside simple trimming duties
  • Pivoting head with 4 positions serves up a highly flexible trimming solution
  • 100mph, 330CFM blower is a lovely addition with this strimmer
  • 0.065 inch line lends to simple advancement although it’s at the very lightest end of the cutting spectrum
  • Impressive warranty of 4 years for general defects and 2 years of coverage for battery-related problems

Cons.

  • Assembly is fairly tedious so don’t expect to spring straight into action
  • String can break off inside the spool where the line is very tightly overlapped

Conclusion

The Greenworks string trimmer is not without its drawbacks, specifically with regard to the spool assembly and issues with the line snapping.

That said, if you’re on the hunt for a multipurpose garden finishing tool and you don’t want to lash out too much for the privilege, you’ll get a cost-effective weed eater with the added bonus of a leaf blower thrown in.

In terms of its core purpose of edging, we really can’t fault this nifty little cordless string trimmer and that’s one of the reasons the Greenworks tends to crop up on most lists of the best cordless weed eaters.

If you’re in any element of doubt, the rock solid warranty (4 years for parts and 2 years for the battery) should be enough to push you into road testing the Greenworks.

Check it out today for an immaculately edged lawn every time.


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Makita XRU02Z 18V LXT String Trimmer (Bare Tool)

Next up in our look at the best battery weed trimmers is a bare tool from the industry leviathan Makita.

While this is only an 18-volt strimmer, don’t let that lack of voltage fool you into thinking you’ll be short changed in terms of performance.


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Kicking off with run time, Makita claims you’ll get an hour of trimming on a single charge. This is highly dependent upon the type of usage and we would say that a more accurate estimate would be around the 45-minute mark.

This is still nothing to be sneezed at and more than sufficient to edge and trim even a medium-sized lawn before needing to recharge. When you do need to give the 18-volt battery some juice, you’ll be able to impart a full charge in an exceptionally brisk 30 minutes. Even allowing for the expected exaggeration on the run time front – most manufacturers are guilty of this, not just Makita – we really can’t find much fault with these figures.

Please be aware that you will need to pay extra for the battery and charger. This 18-V LXT battery is not cheap and nor is the charger but you’ll be able to use it across your range of Makita tools so if you have some already, you’re in luck. If not, it might prod you into starting a collection!

Getting going could be made a lot easier if the instructions were clearer. Unless you’re pretty handy, assembly can be painstaking so bear this in mind if you’re not particularly practical and consider seeking assistance.

Once you’re all set, this lightweight and balanced strimmer is a joy to use. There’s a shoulder strap thrown in but, at around 6 pounds, you shouldn’t really need the extra support.

The bump feed system is a tried and true classic. While over time you’ll incur some damage to the head, you’ll waste less line and you can enjoy fuller control over the feeding. If, on the other hand, you want the convenience of an automatic feed, this is not the weed eater for you.

By rotating the trimmer head 180 degrees, you can switch from trimming to edging work without breaking your stride. A 5-position tilt lends additional flexibility and lets you reach awkward spots without straining yourself. There’s a metal guard in place which works well. For still further enhancement, you can take advantage of the telescopic shaft and make sure you get the optimum fit for your height.

Any general complaints about unsuitability for heavy-duty cutting are just that: general. This is nothing specific to the Makita and if you have a large area to aggressively cut and weed, a gas strimmer is the obvious choice rather than a cordless electric. In the plus column, a cordless appliance will give you a zero-emission experience with no ongoing running costs or tedious maintenance to concern yourself with.

Take a quick look at a summary of the Makita’s strengths and weaknesses before we hit you with our verdict on this capable, adaptable cordless weed eater…

Pros.

  • Fantastic, class-leading quoted run time of up to 60 minutes before needing to recharge
  • Get more work done in less time with ultra-rapid 7800RPM
  • Bump feed head for longer lifespan and ease of loading line
  • Straightforward spool assembly minimizes chance of anything going amiss
  • Shaft extends from 48 ½ inches to 56 ½ inches offering total versatility with positioning
  • Head pivots through 5 configurations allowing you to tweak the angle fuss-free
  • Extremely lightweight at just over 6 pounds so work for extended spells with fatigue setting in
  • Small footprint makes this tool equally strong for trimming and edging work allowing outstanding maneuverability

Cons.

  • Sold as bare tool so, while you can use the battery across the Makita range, you will need to factor this into your budgeting
  • While the base unit is cheap, the battery and charger are pricey

Conclusion

As with many of these string trimmers, you’ll be able to execute both regular trimming duties and more precise edging work since the head rotates 180 degrees and lets you flit between these applications.

No cordless electric weed eater will match the outright cutting power you’ll get with a gas model but you should have more than adequate grunt for even more ambitious trimming work with the Makita.

If you’re after the convenience and eco-friendliness of a cordless electric strimmer but you’re not prepared to sacrifice performance, the Makita makes solid sense.

As well as a 30-day no-quibbles refund if you’re not satisfied, you’ll also be covered for 3 years against any defects so you can buy with complete confidence.

And if you’re looking for one of the best cordless weed eaters currently available, we’d urge to consider buying as the Makita delivers fully at a fairly reasonable price point.


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BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 20V MAX Lithium Easy Feed String Trimmer/Edge

As we reach the mid-point of our best battery weed trimmer reviews, it’s time for a hard-hitting 20-volter from BLACK+DECKER, a brand you can completely rely on.

Most people don’t want to purchase garden equipment unnecessarily. Not only are tools expensive, they take up a great deal of storage space into the bargain. For this reason, most manufacturers offer 2-in-1 approaches to trimming and edging and the BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 is a particularly fine example.


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Part of the 20V MAX range, you’ll enjoy the juice from a potent 20-volt lithium ion battery along with the freedom to undertake multiple applications by swapping out the battery.

When it comes to battery run time, companies either tend to inflate these out of all proportion or not quote them at all. BLACK+DECKER don’t offer any fixed information but, by providing a pair of batteries, you will get more than enough power to cut any size of yard for which a cordless electric would be appropriate.

In terms of performance, the PowerDrive transmission system is torquey so you’ll be able to churn your way through even rigorous applications like thicker and overgrown weeds or taller grass. Again, don’t expect the cutting power of a gas strimmer but be prepared to be pleasantly surprised at what you can deal with using the BLACK+DECKER.

For the ultimate in convenience, the proprietary Easyfeed system in place takes away all the guesswork and bumping out of line advancement. You need merely keep your head down and your eye on the job while the LSTE525 does all the hard yards for you.

With 2 speeds on offer, you can opt for increased run time or added power depending on the task you’re undertaking. This is a lovely touch.

To save you needing to invest in a trimmer and edger separately, you’ll be able to take care of both tasks using this excellent combo unit. Conversion from trimmer to wheeled edger is a cakewalk and you can finish your lawn perfectly with one neat and cost-effective package. All you need to do is hit a single button and you can switch from one to the other. You can even do this on the hoof so adjustment doesn’t get any easier.

Cutting a generous 12 inches in one hit, you’ll be able to nail your trimming duties without needing to devote the whole afternoon to the job.

It’s not all about performance, though. You can have a powerhouse of a weed eater but if it’s uncomfy to use, it will prove false economy and you’ll end up leaving your lawn to run rampant. From the height adjustment through to the soft, anti-slip grip, everything on the BLACK+DECKER is designed with user comfort uppermost.

The usual sterling 3-year limited warranty from BLACK+DECKER safeguards you from any unexpected repair bills bumping up the price a year down the track. This clearly demonstrates the confidence this firm places in their products.

We’ll highlight the chief pros and cons of this highly efficient strimming solution so you can determine whether or not you should add it to your gardening arsenal…

Pros.

  • Integrates seamlessly with the 20V MAX system from BLACK+DECKER allowing you a wide scope of work
  • Choice of gray or whitPair of 1.5Ah lithium-ion batteries included doubling your effective run time without forcing you to dig deepere colorways so co-ordinate your cleaner with your pool décor
  • Serves double-duty for wheeled edging and all-purpose trimming so great overall value with 2-in-1 functionality
  • Easyfeed system circumvents the need to bump the head and advances your line optimally
  • PowerDrive transmission amps up the torque on tap and lets you power through even thick, dense weeds and grass
  • Height adjustable with soft and textured grip so a pleasure to use
  • Dual-speed control gives you the best of both worlds: choose from more power or more run time according to your needs
  • Wide 12-inch cutting swath enables you to work quickly as well as effectively

Cons.

  • Cleaning is a chore since you can’t use water as the motor could be damaged
  • Taller users complain they still need to bend even after using the height adjustment so think twice if you’re a larger individual

Conclusion

BLACK+DECKER consistently serve up top-tier tools at an affordable price point and this combo trimmer/edger holds true to that tradition.

As with many cordless tools sporting lithium-ion batteries, you’ll be able to press the battery into action with any other BLACK+DECKER equipment you have so you can save money in the long run.

With this string trimmer you get a winning mixture of power, cutting performance and versatility all rolled in to a lightweight but eminently durable appliance.

For a space-saving trimming solution at a price you’ll love, check out the BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 today and get straight to work on your lawns tomorrow.


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WORX WG163 GT 3.0 Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger with Command Feed (20V)

As we near the end of our best battery weed trimmer reviews, we’ve got something for the budget-conscious among you in the form of the WORX WG163 GT 3.0.

This 20-volt combination trimmer and edger delivers more than commendable performance, a user-friendly and versatile experience and all at a price you won’t believe. If you already own some of these potent batteries, you can make further savings by buying the bare tool for little more than the price of a few drinks.


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We’ll save you reading further if you want a really powerful string trimmer for coarse weeds and grass running rampant because the WORX is a light-duty weed eater that’s simply not cut out for hardcore strimming. This should be clear by the price but it’s worth clarifying so you know what you’re getting into front and center.

The other negative is that the spool is pretty small so it’s not ideal for anyone wanting to spruce up a more substantial garden.

While it might seem a strange tactic to start a review by flagging what’s wrong, we have no interest whatsoever in steering you towards unsuitable products and, if you have a smaller yard and lighter trimming or edging to take care of, this cordless string trimmer makes a fine workhorse.

Although it’s better suited to small areas, the cutting swath punches above its weight at 12 inches. You should be able to tear down all those annoying weeds and barely need to swap over the batteries. If you do run out of juice, simply pop in the second 20-volt lithium-ion and you can carry on where you left off without needing to take a charging break.

Line feeding is tailored for your complete convenience thanks to the innovative Command Feed system. You won’t need to do a thing except concentrate on your trimming and you’ll get plenty of line on demand the simple way.

Height adjustments are also intuitive and user-friendly with a simple lever allowing you to extend or retract the telescopic shaft for your total comfort.

The lightweight nature of cordless string trimmers makes them ideal for anyone advancing in years or suffering from mobility issues. At just over 5 pounds, this weed eater is portable, highly maneuverable and takes up very little storage space. You’ll be able to worm your way under the decking or in and around any obstacles with consummate ease using this excellent cordless.

Almost all trimmers these days dole out edging functionality and the WORX is no exception. You can make the change tool-free in seconds flat. The guard in place protects your flowers and plants from being massacred and also works effectively as an edging guide showing commendable attention to detail by the manufacturer. These small extras can make all the difference.

Have a look for yourself at a breakdown of the plus points and negatives so you can decide if this pocket-friendly little cordless string trimmer deserves a place on your gardening team…

Pros.

  • 12-inch cutting path so you can nail that trimming in a trice
  • Uninterrupted cutting thanks to 2 batteries so you can switch them over if you need extended run time
  • Shaft tilts 90 degrees and packs telescopic functionality with a quick release lever to make fine-tuning super-simple
  • Guard in place to protect your flower beds and serve as an edging guide
  • Super-light trimmer at just over 5 pounds so perfect even if you struggle with heavier loads
  • Command Feed system so the line is advanced as you need it without needing user input
  • Incredible value for money if you opt for the model with battery and charger included but no sacrifice on performance
  • Neat design lets you work you into awkward areas with ease

Cons.

  • Line spool is quite small so best for those with minimal cutting needs
  • Not suitable for tough or tall grass and weeds so don’t buy this if you have demanding strimming in mind

Conclusion

Not everyone wants to slash out on prohibitively expensive garden equipment, particularly if it doesn’t get used on a regular basis.

For anyone who just needs to cut down some stray grass and weeds and impart a neat, edged finish to a smaller lawn, this cordless string trimmer makes the ideal addition to the toolshed.

You won’t get the shoddy workmanship and unreliability that often accompanies cheaper garden equipment and the attractive price is a selling point in its own right.

For a crisp and pro-grade finish to your mowing duties, think seriously about investing in the WORX 2-in-1 cordless string trimmer and edger. It’s a very small investment and a worthwhile one!


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DEWALT DCST920P1 MAX 5.0 Ah Lithium Ion XR Brushless String Trimmer (20V)

Last, but by no means least, in our best battery weed trimmer reviews is an entry from the unimpeachable DeWalt. From home and garden right through to the job site, their black and yellow equipment is ubiquitous for a good reason…

You’ll always get first-class functionality and results without needing to outlay a fortune if you opt for DeWalt equipment. This weed eater sticks firmly with tradition and, although relatively basic, it’s a very effective piece of machinery.


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Run-time is not disclosed but in common with most 20-volt lithium-ion batteries, you’ll get a reasonably guaranteed half-hour of juice on a single charge. Depending on the size of your garden, this should be ample to get the job done. The wide 13-inch cutting path lets you work quickly and efficiently so you can nail the tedious task of trimming and kick back to enjoy your garden fully.

Another bonus with the batteries is that they’ll slot in to any of the DeWalt 20V MAX range so you can make a saving over time without needing to continually pay through the nose for unnecessary powerplants.

The brushless motor in place is incredibly durable and also kicks out more than enough oomph to trim and edge your lawn without any fanfare. With the line edging towards medium-duty grade, you’ll be able to sever even bulkier weeds and longer grass without breaking your back or burning out your trimmer.

You can ramp up the speed or cut it back using the ergonomic trigger which lets you alter the cutting power depending on the situation at hand.

Weighing in at a fraction over 8 pounds, the DeWalt is a bit heavier than some of its competitors but still lightweight enough for most users to operate with ease.

User feedback is something of a mixed bag with this trimmer and to some extent we think that’s because some people buy this expecting an all-singing weed eater when it’s clearly a simpler, more direct cutting solution. Common reported niggles include claims that the build quality is not up to scratch and complaints about being charged even under warranty so all we can really say is that you’ll need to make your own mind up how much attention you pay to this third-party chatter.

DeWalt are in a class of their own when it comes to giving the customer what they want. There’s a 90-day money back guarantee which means there’s no need to try before you buy if this is impractical. The limited warranty is good for a full 3 years. During the first year of this period, you’ll also qualify for free servicing. Put simply, you can’t ask for much more than that.

Take the time now to study the positive and negative aspects of this great string trimmer before moving on to our buying guide right below…

Pros.

  • The brushless motor offers the ultimate in dependability while delivering a pro-grade finish to your lawn
  • 20-volt lithium-ion battery and charger included so no hidden costs
  • Wide 13-inch cutting radius shaves precious time off your trimming tasks
  • Variable speed trigger takes the sting out of managing your run time effectively
  • Torque-heavy drive system helps you to maintain consistent speed under load and deal with challenging cutting applications
  • 0.080 diameter line bridges the gap between light and medium duty trimming so great for larger gardens with more profuse foliage to cut down
  • Meshes with over 100 tools in DeWalt’s 20V MAX lithium-ion range so take advantage of a single battery across your tools
  • Money-back guarantee and lengthy warranty takes the headache out of your purchasing decision

Cons.

  • Some reported issues with build quality but so much depends on usage that this is hard to quantify
  • Power tends to fade over time

Conclusion

With DeWalt, you can buy without wondering whether your gear is going to let you down a couple of months down the line. While their tools are not the very cheapest, they represent fantastic value for money.

This cordless string trimmer is a textbook example of a stripped-down tool with no bells or whistles that simply gets the job done and gets it done extremely well.

If you’re looking for an affordable and strimmer capable of heavier duty work than most cordless models can stand up to, the DeWalt DCST920P1 merits a place on any shortlist.

Check one out today and you’ll be highly likely to add it to your shopping cart right away!


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OK …

It’s time now for our brief buying guide…

String Trimmer Buying Guide

Now you’ve got a sound overview of the leading strimmers up for grabs, we’ll underscore what you need to think about to ensure you get the best weed eater for your needs.

Why Do You Need a String Trimmer In The First Place?

String trimmers are a fundamental part of various landscaping tasks.

Whether it’s giving your lawn a close shave right up to the edges or seeing off high grass and weeds, strimmers step in where a lawn mower is not fit for purpose.

From cutting grass on a sharp incline through to slashing down brush and weeds, the key selling point of a string trimmer is that it can reach the places a mower would struggle to access.

What you can do with your weed eater depends largely on the type you opt for. If you choose one of the above cordless models, you’ll be limited to lighter trimming duties. The beefier alternatives are capable of dealing with much more demanding applications.

How Does a String Trimmer Work?

Regardless of the category, the bulk of string trimmers work in the same fashion.

There’s a monofilament line and some form of rotating cylinder. The motor powers the cylinder and the spinning line slices away at the weeds, grass or brush.

They come with a range of powerplants and we’ll delve into that right now…

Types of String Trimmer

Although the focus of this article is how to get the best cordless string trimmer, it would be remiss of us not to point out the full spectrum of options for you when it comes to edging your lawn and dispatching stray weeds.

It might be that you decide a gas-powered weedeater or even a commercial grade strimmer would work best for you. In that case, we’d far sooner you were armed with the full facts than steered in the direction of something unsuitable.

String trimmers can be cleaved into 5 broad categories:

  • Gas String Trimmer
  • Corded Electric String Trimmer
  • Battery Powered Cordless String Trimmer
  • Commercial String Trimmer
  • Wheeled String Trimmer

Gas String Trimmer

There is no denying that gas-fueled string trimmers are capable, powerful beasts. They generally also have a price tag to match the performance.

These can be subdivided into 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines but that falls outside of the scope of this article. Put simply, a 2-stroke gas engine needs oil mixed in with the gasoline.

Gas strimmers are heavy and great for cutting projects in large areas where you might meet challenging conditions and need longer run times. As a rule of thumb, if you are likely need to need more than 45 minutes of heavier-duty action from your weed eater, it pays to go gas.

On the flip side, gas strimmers demand pretty regular maintenance, they’re noisy and they also kick out a lot of exhaust fumes. This all conspires to render them less than ideal in a small city lot where you’d be far better advised to go electric…

Corded Electric String Trimmer

If you are working to a tighter budget and you have less exacting cutting requirements, an electric weed eater should be more than man enough for the job.

A corded electric is a much cheaper bet than a gas alternative and is almost maintenance-free. These run much more quietly and you’ll be responsible for belching far fewer pollutants up into the atmosphere.

Most corded electric string trimmers come in at well under 10 pounds but this lightweight nature is compromised by the need to be tethered to a power outlet, most commonly via an extension cord.

For a cheap, no-nonsense string trimmer cut out for occasional use on a lighter scale, a corded electric is a safe bet

Battery Powered Cordless String Trimmer

Third on our list of categories and the focus of today’s article, a choice that combines maneuverability, reasonable performance and freedom of movement, electric cordless string trimmers are a smart bet for many city dwellers.

There’s no point in claiming that in terms of raw cutting power a cordless strimmer can match a gas-fueled or corded model. They can’t. They are also a little more expensive than corded electric versions and the battery adds a little extra weight.

In return for paying a touch more and dipping out on oomph, you’ll get a trimmer ideal for light trimming and edging duties with the ability to roam around the garden at will. Say goodbye to the trip hazard and inconvenience of a power cord but only buy one of these strimmers if light trimming is your core purpose.

For cutting down longer grass or working with larger areas, a cordless will struggle. There’s insufficient power to deal with tough or unwieldy grass while the 30 minute run time will prevent clearing really spacious gardens in a single sitting.

Commercial String Trimmer

If you live somewhere rural and you need to deal with brush rather than just grass and weeds, you should roll with a commercial-grade string trimmer.

These gas-guzzling behemoths are tailor-made for large gardens or contracting work.

Heavy, rugged and built to last, you’ll also be able to make use of a range of attachments to perform a broad scope of duties without your equipment burning out or letting you down.

Wheeled String Trimmer

At first glance, these wheeled models resemble a lawn mower and that’s because they normally act as a combined mower/strimmer.

Also commonly called walk-behind string trimmers, these units make very light work of hefty weeds and long grass without much manual input on your part.

Fairly maneuverable due to their large wheels, if you have a huge yard with some rougher ground, a wheeled strimmer is worth further investigation.

What To Look For When Buying a String Trimmer

Once you’ve narrowed down your choice from the above options, there are some more general factors to take into account.

We’ll look now in more depth at the other critical elements that will combine to give you the best string trimmer for your personal requirements…

String Trimmer Heads

When it comes to the head of your weed eater, you need to think about the 3 principal variants:

  • Automatic Feed
  • Bump Feed
  • Fixed Head

Automatic Feed

Feeding in the line on your string trimmer can be a bothersome chore. With an auto-feed model, you’ll need to put in very little work indeed to reap maximum rewards.

The line spinning motor on an automatic feed strimmer lets you focus your attention firmly on the job at hand while it does all the hard work for you.

On the down side, more moving parts means there’s more likelihood something will go wrong. To replace a defective line spinning motor can prove more hassle and expense than a replacement strimmer so be aware that an automatic feed is convenient but not perfect.

Bump Feed

With a regular bump feed system, you’ll need to wind lengths of line around the spool of your tool.

There are a couple of openings in the trimmer head through which you feed 2 equal lengths of line.

As you carry out your edging or weeding, you gently bump or tap the head of the trimmer. This causes the internal spring system to release then advance the line.

Popular and reliable, once you get used to a bump feed strimmer, you’ll appreciate the control you get from it. Repairs can be made on the hoof with relative ease.

If you exercise too heavy a hand, you risk damaging the head. This will eventually wear out anyway through sustained contact with the ground.

Fixed Head

If you dislike fiddly tasks like winding the line onto the head of your string trimmer, a fixed head model makes sense.

These, though, are more common on bulkier commercial strimmers that use tough, thick string. Since this lasts longer, you won’t need to keep stopping to replace it which can be equally as much effort as threading the line.

In any case, you’ll still have to take a break in proceedings to replace the line with a fixed head.

So…

As you can see, no trimmer comes without its own snags so think about the style of head and work out which ones best gels with your personal preferences.

Shaft Design

The shaft is where the power from the engine or motor is transferred to the trimmer line.

You’ve got 3 different routes here:

  • Straight Shaft
  • Curved Shaft
  • Split Shaft

Straight Shaft

The key selling point of a straight-shafted string trimmer is the superb reach it provides.

Whether you need to work your way under some shrubs, get under the decking or wriggle into awkward spots of the garden, a straight shaft simplifies access across the board.

The drive cable doesn’t need to bend either so you tend to get a bit more reliability with a straight shaft.

Perfect for taller users, a straight shaft trimmer will usually be a little heavier so bear this in mind and think about your intended use before steamrolling in and getting the wrong type for your needs.

Curved Shaft

Lighter and easier to maneuver, curved shaft trimmers force the drive cable to bend so this does become a weak point.

In return for running this risk, you’ll get a string trimmer that affords you superior control and often less vibration into the bargain. Weedeaters with curved shafts also tend to be better balanced.

Since the shaft is curved, slicing away grass and weeds from fence posts or gateways is a breeze.

Split Shaft

The leading advantage of a split-shafted strimmer is the fact you can take the shaft itself apart and attach accessories like leaf blowers or hedge trimmers to expand the horizons of your yard work without buying complete new tools.

Read plenty of user reviews before diving in and picking up any accessories, though. While the removable head of the split shaft string trimmer is a wonderful idea, the lion’s share of attachments are pretty inefficient so buyer beware.

Type of Strimmer Line

Once you’ve doubled down on the exact type of string trimmer that will best service your gardening requirements, it’s well worth taking the time to familiarize yourself with the types of string line on offer.

Since both the diameter and the shape of the line can directly influence the speed and efficiency of your trimming, we’ll take a glance now at both areas…

Diameter

The larger the diameter of your line, the more cutting power you’ll enjoy and the more able it will be to cope with thick, tough material.

Most trimmers will only handle line up to a certain size, though, so don’t try to insert super-big line into a strimmer unfit to cope with it.

  • Light Duty (0.065 – 0.080 inches) – If you want to do some light cutting and weeding of a standard and smaller residential lawn, light duty line up to 0.080 inches in diameter is more than good enough
  • Medium Duty (0.085 – 0.105 inches) – If you have a more substantial garden and the weeds are a little denser, up the diameter to a medium-duty gauge. This will also be suitable for moderate commercial projects
  • Heavy Duty (0.110 inches and upwards) – Not applicable for most home users, for really large areas or more involved commercial jobs, there’s no way around heavy-duty line which consists of any line more than 0.110 inches across

Line is no different to any aspect of your buying decision. It’s not a case of a right or wrong answer, simply the most suitable line for your trimming needs.

Style

The shape of the line also affects performance and certainly rates a mention.

  • Round Line: The most common type of line, round line is best for lighter duty work in small gardens. This kind of line doesn’t work well with stubborn weeds but under normal conditions and restrained edging work, it will last the distance. Round line is also extremely easy to replace in your weed eater
  • Multi-Sided Line: The multiple sides on this line give a clean cut and respond well to use on a more demanding site. They’ll slice through coarse grass and weeds double-quick but on the downside, this line is highly prone to breakage
  • Twisted Line: If you need to dispatch really hardcore weeds or you’re out on a contracting job, twisted line is an effective weapon. It helps to cut down noise and vibration and will also stand up admirably to contact with concrete so it’s a great choice if conditions dictate a really heavy-duty solution
  • Serrated Line: Thicker weeds will fall away fuss-free if you slice through them with serrated line. The sawing action promotes a clean cut and this type of line is ideal for medium-duty projects

Try Before You Buy

As you can see, there are a significant number of variables at play when it comes to getting the best string trimmer.

Balance plays a fundamental role so it’s well worth popping into a store to physically handle the weed eater you have in mind even if you plan to buy it online. There’s nothing wrong with a little window shopping!

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to road test a strimmer, be sure to read plenty of user feedback so you can get an idea of how the tool will feel in use.

OK…

Now you have a comprehensive breakdown of what to look for when you’re on the trail of the best cordless string trimmer, a brief parting shot dealing with safety…

Safety

It’s sound practice to clear the garden of any rogue debris and also make sure there is nobody in striking distance when you’re edging your lawn and cutting down the weeds.

Always wear safety goggles, gloves long sleeves and long pants along with work boots rather than any kind of soft or open-toed footwear.

It’s a wise idea to use ear protection as well since even cordless string trimmers tend to be pretty noisy.

A Final Word

We very much hope this detailed look at cordless string trimmers has pointed you in the right direction and cleared up some of the confusion.

It’s not just the name of these things that gets bewildering but the range of options to choose from. With any luck, you now have a clear idea of what would work most fittingly in your garden. You also have 5 great cordless weed eaters to investigate, none of which will disappoint.

Drop us a line any time if you have any queries or feedback at all. We love to hear from our readers and we aim to bring you exactly what you need for the home and garden here on the site.

Now go and fire up that string trimmer!

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