Trimming and edging your yard cuts the grass that a lawn mower can’t reach, giving your yard a clean and uniform cut. Trimming, or weed eating, allows you to cut the areas around stationary objects in your yard, while edging helps you cut a straight line in the grass where your yard meets mulch beds, roads, or sidewalks.
There are a variety of gas, electric, and battery powered weed eaters. So what’s the best weed eater for your lawn care routine?
Gas trimmers are a smart choice if you have a lot of acreage and thick grass that requires more power and runtime. However, gas weed eaters are typically heavier, requiring more energy to handle than an electric or battery-powered trimmer.
If you value ease of use, electric trimmers are a smart choice. As long as you have a cord and access to an outlet, you have unlimited runtime with a trimmer that is simple to start, quiet while running, and requires little maintenance. The downside to many electric trimmers is that they aren’t very portable, and can only go as far as the cord will allow. These weed eaters are a great choice for small yards.
Battery-powered trimmers are a good choice if you’re looking for a portable weed eater that is quiet and doesn’t release the fumes from gasoline or oil. Many battery-powered trimmers are effective, though some users argue these weed eaters can be weak and have longer downtimes due to charging needs.
With the various designs and models of string trimmers in mind, the This Old House Reviews Team evaluated a variety of weed eaters on Amazon that can fulfill your yard’s needs. These are our five top picks.
Best for Heavy-Duty Jobs: Husqvarna 128 17” Cutting Path, Detachable Gas String Trimmer
This is a versatile gas weed eater that can cut through a large area of your yard at once with its 17” cutting diameter. With the capability to attach separately sold items such as a pole saw, edger, and cultivator directly to the weed eater, this product can tackle more than just trimming and edging.
- 28cc, 2-cycle engine
- 11 pounds
- 17-inch cutting diameter
- Uses gas and oil mixture
- 2-year warranty limited to residential use
- Reduced starter cord resistance assists in starting the engine
- Capability to attach pole saw, edger, and cultivator, all sold separately
- Curved shaft design helps distribute the uneven weight of the trimmer
- Tap ‘N Go string release system gives you more string as needed
- Oil and gas must be mixed on your own
- Even with reduced starter cord resistance, Amazon reviewers noted that the motor still has difficulty starting
What Customers Are Saying
A common theme in Amazon reviews for the Husqvarna trimmer was that many customers complimented the product’s power and balance. However, some reviewers noticed a performance decrease during the trimming of thick grass and weeds, and others felt the weed eater was heavy and awkward, despite the curved design. In one particular review, a customer detailed beneficial steps when mixing your gas and oil, noting that non-ethanol gasoline is the best to use, and explaining the importance of mixing according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
This string trimmer is designed for homeowners on large lots that require extensive yard maintenance. The power behind a gas trimmer is hard to match from any other power source, and useful when cutting through less groomed areas of your yard. If you don’t mind dealing with an engine and the maintenance it occasionally requires, this weed eater could be a good fit for your trimming and edging needs.
Best for Small Yards: BLACK+DECKER 40V Max Cordless Sweeper & String Trimmer Combo Kit
Battery-powered trimmers are notorious for their short usage time. However, this BLACK+DECKER weed eater offers you a more powerful cut and longer battery life with its 40-volt model.
- 40 volt battery
- Automatic feed spool
- 11 pounds
- Compatible with the 36-volt ion system for other BLACK+DECKER tools
- 2-year limited warranty
- Automatic feed spool system delivers the right amount of line before every use
- Low noise design
- Charging indicator lets you know exactly how much battery is left
- Easily converts to trimmer with rotating pole design
- Comes as combo kit with leaf blower
- Only comes with one battery, so there is no backup in case it dies during use
- Amazon reviews consistently critique the leaf blower’s lack of power
What Customers Are Saying
In their Amazon reviews, many customers commented on the longevity of the included battery, a compliment that many battery-powered trimmers do not typically receive. Reviewers also praised the weed eater’s balanced weight and telescoping handle that adjusts to the user’s height. Though the weed eater’s pole is adjustable, some Amazon customers had difficulty in turning the pole, and others commented on the pole’s inability to absorb vibration.
Though Amazon customer’s suggest this trimmer’s battery life is better than most other battery-operated products, it is still best suited for small jobs. Since there is only one included battery, it is important to be able to finish the job on one charge. As a plus, features such as the automatic feed spool system and low noise design make your small jobs even more manageable.
Best Corded: Greenworks 18-Inch 10 Amp Corded String Trimmer (Attachment Capable) 21142
This weed eater from Greenworks is a corded option that offers great runtime without the pungent fumes from a gas trimmer. The 10 amp motor behind an 18-inch cutting diameter is strong enough to power through tall grass and tough weeds, and with the quick connect coupler, your weed eater can instantly transform into a hedge trimmer or leaf blower.
- 10 amp motor
- 18-inch cutting diameter
- 13 pounds
- 4-year limited warranty
- Electric start with cord lock feature
- Large cut path at 18 inches
- Cushion and over-mold grip for comfort and better handling
- Quick connect coupler allows for attachment changes from various name brands
- Variable speed control can be fussy and inaccurate, preventing you from setting it to the exact speed you want
- Bump control system for feeding trimmer line has malfunctioned for many Amazon customers
What Customers Are Saying
One Amazon customer pointed out that the trimmer provides comparable power to that of a gas trimmer, but without the powerful fumes. On arrival, many reviewers raved about its easy assembly, allowing them to get out and take care of their yard quickly. Though many reviewers described the product’s powerful performance, there are also a number of reviewers that critiqued its design, citing poor ergonomics that caused the hand to wrap awkwardly around the handle.
This corded weed eater is a good fit if you have a small yard. Though powerful enough to cut through brush and heavy grass found on large lots, the cord limits mobility to around 100 feet from the power source. However, despite an awkward design, the trimmer is affordable and effective.
Best Lightweight: WORX WG163 GT 3.0 20V PowerShare Cordless String Trimmer & Edger
The WORX WG163 is light at just six pounds. It utilizes two, 20-volt batteries that can be interchanged with a variety of WORX’s products, like leaf blowers and drills. The weed eater also comes with helpful features, such as an attached spacer guard that helps protect your flowers and plants by showing you the exact cutting reach of your trimmer’s string.
- 2, 20-volt batteries
- Command feed spool system
- 12-inch cutting diameter
- 6 pounds
- 2-in-1 trimmer and edger
- 3-year limited warranty
- Command feed spool system allows you to control when to feed more line into trimmer at the touch of a button
- Spacer guard shows the limit of the line’s reach, helping you prevent unwanted cutting of flowers and plants
- Free spools for life, just pay shipping costs
- Interchangeable battery works with a variety of WORX tools
- Adjustable handle and trimmer shaft
- Command feed system is prone to jamming
- Battery life can be unpredictable, with some Amazon reviewers experiencing short usage time off of a single charge
What Customers Are Saying
Amazon reviewers agree that this is a lightweight mower suitable for small, simple jobs. One reviewer, in particular, noted that this WORX trimmer was great for those that want to worry less with the mechanics of their tools, citing the ease of the command feed system to distribute the line. Reviewers did have varying responses to the battery life of this trimmer. Some said that they could trim for up to 30 minutes on one charged battery, whereas others said they could trim for only 15.
This is a suitable weed whacker for individuals that have difficulty managing heavier gas trimmers or have a smaller yard that doesn’t require a weed eater that lasts over an hour. This is an affordable trimmer that is capable of tackling small yard work and doesn’t require the technical skills of feeding in a new line or mixing oil and gas.
Best Battery-Powered: CRAFTSMAN V20 String Trimmer / Edger
The 20-volt battery-powered weed eater from CRAFTSMAN offers customers a quiet, portable solution to their yard maintenance needs. To maximize the power of the battery, the trimmer offers two-speed settings to allow you to optimize your battery’s life. The weed eater’s battery pack can also easily transfer to any number of your CRAFTSMAN tools that have a compatible battery pack.
- 20-volt battery
- Push button feed system
- 13-inch cutting diameter
- 11 pounds
- 3-year limited warranty
- Two speed settings, allowing you to balance the power of the trimmer and its runtime
- Adjustable length pole
- Push button feed system delivers the right amount of trimmer string at the touch of a button
- Battery compatible with a variety of CRAFTSMAN tools
- Only comes with one battery
- Push button feed system administers new line every time the head stops spinning, delivering new line even when it’s not needed
What Customers Are Saying
Reviewers on Amazon were satisfied with the ergonomics of the weed eater, complimenting the user-friendliness of the adjustable shaft and handle. Though some reviewers thought the push-button feed system was unhelpful, others preferred it to the Tap ‘N Go system of other models, which administers a new line by tapping the trimmer’s head to the ground. Despite being battery-powered, one customer stated the weed eater lasted long enough to trim their almost three-acre yard.
This trimmer is a good choice if you’re looking for something portable and user-friendly. Without the hassle of maintaining an engine or correctly mixing oil and gasoline, you can focus instead on your yard’s basic maintenance.
Weed Eater Comparison
|Superlative||Best for Heavy-Duty Jobs||Best for Small Yards||Best Corded||Best Lightweight||Best Battery-Powered|
|Weight||11 pounds||11 pounds||13 pounds||6 pounds||11 pounds|
|Cutting Diameter||17-inch cutting diameter||Not listed||18-inch cutting diameter||12-inch cutting diameter||13-inch cutting diameter|
|Power Source||Gas and oil mixture||Battery||Electric||Battery||Battery|
|Voltage/Engine||28cc, 2-cycle engine||40 volt battery||10 amp motor||2, 20-volt batteries||20-volt battery|
|Warranty||2-year warranty, limited to residential use||2-year limited warranty||4-year limited warranty||3-year limited warranty||3-year limited warranty|
|Line System||Tap 'N Go||Automatic feed spool||Tap 'N Go||Command feed spool system||Push button feed system|
The This Old House reviews team is dedicated to providing informative, thorough, and transparent reviews. We conduct extensive research on products so that you, the reader, can save time and money when purchasing products for your home and family. When choosing the weed eaters offered by Amazon, our team considered a variety of factors including:
- Power source
- Customer reviews
Buying a Weed Eater: Factors To Consider
String trimmers can be gas or electric. If you’re going with gas, you’ll enjoy a more powerful trimmer that lasts through your work. Electric weed eaters emit fewer fumes and are therefore less of a health risk and more environmentally friendly. The drawback is that you sometimes lose power or endurance when going electric.
A poor choice in line can make or break getting a chore done as painlessly as possible. Line varies in both size and shape. Here’s a breakdown:
- Round: Basic and easy to find. Versatile and sturdy with minimal breakage.
- Square: Heavy-duty choice for tougher weeds, but not quite ready for brush.
- Multi-sided: A step above square as far as durability goes. A good choice for thick brush.
- Twisted: A bit more expensive but right for heavy workloads.
Naturally, the thinner the line, the lighter the weed you can “eat.”
- 0.065-0.080: Light work—grass and grass-like weeds
- 0.085-0.105: Medium—grass plus non-woody weed
- 0.110 and above: Heavy—all types of weed and brush
Size, weight, and maneuverability of your weed trimmer should accommodate the type of work you need to get done. If your yard has a lot of trees or lawn furniture and you need to get in nooks and crannies, stay away from heavy-duty weed eaters with wide shields. A heavier option may be a better fit though if you’ve got an open space and you want a power tool that can make strong, sweeping cuts through intense brush.
Weed Eater Safety Tips
Don’t bypass the user guide
When it comes to any power tool, it’s important that you know your product model. Review the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly to ensure you understand all the safety risks and recommendations for handling and care.
After use, clean the string trimmer with a cloth and dish soap to avoid a clogged machine. Remove and clean air and fuel filters as well as the spark plug. Some gas weed eaters may need oil changes too.
Weed trimmers can be heavy—at least 10 pounds before they’re even filled with gas. Form matters when using these power tools. Avoid injury by using both hands and keeping a tight grip. Stand straight with a slight bend in your knees. Some customers prefer an over-the-shoulder harness for additional back support. And of course, do not operate the tool within 60 feet of another person.
Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team
This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.
We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.
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