8 Best Brush Cutters of 2023 – Reviews. Handheld weed cutter

Best Brush Cutters of 2023 – [Reviews]

Brush cutters, also known as clearing saws, weed wackers, and weed eaters, are among the most versatile landscaping tools.

These devices can cut through saplings and chop down thick weeds, but which brush cutter is right for your yard and your needs?

To help you sort through dozens of these yard tools, we’ve picked the 8 Best Brush Cutters based on power, weight, and durability.

Top 8 Brush Cutters – Reviews

Wild Badger Power WBP26BCI

Best Overall

Wild Badger Power WBP26BCI

The Badger WPB26BCI straight shaft 2-in-1 grass trimmer and brush cutter is a versatile, powerful tool at an affordable price.

The 2-in-1 Wild Badger Power Brush Cutter and Grass trimmer gives you the power of a commercial-grade tool at the price of most electric versions.

This brush cutter has a shaft length of 57 inches, which allows a fair amount of distance between you and the blade when in use.

Weighing in at 12 pounds, it’s lightweight and comes with a harness so you can tackle large distances with ease.

Noteworthy: This brush cutter includes an automatic kill switch so you can quickly and safely turn the tool on and off, and its ergonomic soft-grip handle allows for comfortable use.

This brush cutter has a cutting diameter of up to 17 inches and has a twist and load string trimmer spool that allows for easy trimming.

Its full crank design also allows for reduced emissions, increased fuel efficiency, and a longer life, which can be a downfall of some other grass cutters.

Big perk: This brush cutter has a warranty of up to six years, which is the highest of any tools on our list.

  • Weight: 12 lbs
  • Power Source: 26 cc gas engine
  • Shaft Length: 57 inches
  • Cutting Width: 17 Inches
  • Type of handle: One hand loop handle
  • Can cut through up to 1-inch saplings
  • Warranty: 6 years

✓ Excellent warranty, up to six years✓ Inexpensive✓ Powerful

✗ Can’t cut through thick brush.✗ May vibrate more than some other brush cutters. ✗ May need to purchase a larger guard for extra-protection from debris.

Echo SRM-225U (17″) 21.2cc 2-Cycle Straight Shaft Brush Cutter

Best for Small Yards

Echo SRM-225U Straight Shaft Brush Cutter

The Echo SRM-225’s great fuel efficiency and reliable engine make it perfect for small yards.

The Echo SRM-225’s great fuel efficiency and reliable engine make it perfect for small yards.

With a durable debris shield and cut off knife, you won’t have to worry about debris flying at your face while trimming and cutting.

Noteworthy: This brush cutter has an anti-vibration handle and padded grips to help lessen fatigue and keep you comfortable during your cutting. It also self-lubricates to keep your blades running smoothly.

With a 21.2 cc engine, this brush cutter is on the lower end for some other gas-powered machines. This brush cutter’s engine means it works best for small properties and may not be able to handle small trees, thick branches, or dense bushes.

This brush cutter has a cutting width of 17 inches, which is the average size and should cut through grass with one sweep.

One significant benefit of this brush cutter is its 59-inch shaft, which allows for a large amount of distance between you, the blade, and flying debris for safe use.

Nice feature: This brush cutter’s 2-cycle motor is also great for small properties because its smaller, lighter, and easier to maintain than 4-stroke counterparts.

  • Weight: 12 lbs
  • Power Source: 21.2 cc gas engine
  • Shaft Length: 59 inches
  • Cutting Width: 17 inches
  • Type of grip: One hand loop handle
  • Warranty: 5 years

✓ Lightweight✓ Good cutting width✓ Anti-vibration handle✓ Long shaft

✗ It may be challenging to find replacement pieces. ✗ Doesn’t come with a shoulder strap.✗ Lower power engine than most gas brush cutters

Husqvarna 128LD Detachable Gas String Trimmer

The best-selling 128LD is your go-to gas trimmer when you need a powerful and easy-to-use tool for grass, weeds, and more.

The super-versatile Husqvarna 128LD Gas Trimmer is well-suited for small and medium-sized lawns. It has a powerful 28 cc engine and a cutting width of 17 inches, so you can chop down dense weeds and grasses with one swing.

This brush cutter has a 2-cycle engine, which works on a mixture of unleaded gas and oil, and includes a translucent fuel tank to easily check if your ratio is correct.

This brush cutter has a 53.93-inch straight shaft, which protects you while also helping trim hard-to-reach branches.

Nice feature: This brush cutter includes a Tap ‘N Go line release feature that easily releases new trimmer line as you are working.

Some of the attachments for this brush cutter include an edger with a 2-inch cutting depth and a cultivator that’s great for smaller areas and consists of a 6- to 9-inch adjustable tilling width. The Husqvarna 128LD can also attach to a pole saw, which works best for treetop limbs and can cut branches up to 6 inches in diameter.

  • Weight: 11 lbs
  • Power Source: 28 cc gas engine
  • Shaft Length: 53.93 inches
  • Cutting Width: 17 inches
  • Type of grip: One hand loop handle
  • Warranty: 2 years

✓ Lightweight✓ Multifunctional ✓ Great cutting width ✓ Great shaft length

✗ On the higher end for price.✗ Less power than other gas brush cutters

Troy-Bilt TB42 BC 27cc 2-Cycle Gas Brush Cutter

Most Versatile

Troy-Bilt TB42 BC Gas Brush Cutter

The Troy-Bilt TB42 can cut through most dense vegetation, and its 18-inch cutting path lets you get your yard work done quickly.

The Troy-Bilt TB42’s four-tooth brush steel blade can cut through most types of dense vegetation, and with its 18-inch cutting path, you can get your yard work done quickly.

One Amazon reviewer noted that this Troy-Bilt brush cutter’s adjustable J-shaped handle is ideal for left-handed people (as well as right-handed).

As the jack of all brush cutters, this tool is attachment capable and works with 10 different Trimmerplus additions, transforming from a pole saw to an edger with ease.

The shaft length on this trimming tool is rivaled only by the Ryobi Brush Cutter and is great for getting under shrubs and reaching tall branches.

Nice feature: 27 cc gas engine is Jumpstart capable, so you don’t have to worry about pull cords.

✓ Excellent shaft length✓ Great cutting width✓ Good power rating

Iglobalbuy 52cc 5-in-1 Multifunction Grass Cutter Trimmer

Power Pick

Iglobalbuy 52cc 5 in 1 Multifunction Grass Cutter Trimmer

This Iglobalbuy tool is the most powerful gas brush cutter on our top 10 list, and it’s also one of the most affordable.

This Iglobalbuy multifunctional grass cutter trimmer is the most powerful gas brush cutter on our top 8 list, and it’s also one of the most affordable.

This versatile trimmer comes with a 3-tooth heavy-duty metal blade attachment to cut through brambles, thick overgrowth, nettles, and dense shrubs.

This is a 5-in-1 brush cutter and can be used as a strimmer, hedge trimmer, pruner, extension pole, and trimmer, and can be useful for both residential and commercial landscapers.

Cool added safety perk: Safety is paramount when using a brush cutter; that’s why this trimming tool comes with gloves and earmuffs to keep your hands and ears damage free.

Considerable disadvantage: The biggest downside to this brush cutter is its weight. Because it has such a powerful engine, this brush cutter weighs a heavy 32.6 pounds, which would be hard to carry around your property without a harness.

This brush cutter has a substantial shaft length of 43.31 inches, but you may need the extension pole attachment to reach tall branches.

✓ Great price✓ Excellent power✓ Good cutting width✓ Good shaft length✓ Multifunctional

RYOBI 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless String Trimmer

This Ryobi string trimmer has a good cutting width of 15 inches, perfect for small to medium yards.

All you have to do is turn on the Ryobi Cordless String Trimmer and get to work — no dealing with the hassle of mixing oil and gas. This is one of the most affordable brush cutters on this list, and with a 40 v engine, it rivals most gas cutters.

This Ryobi string trimmer has a good cutting width of 15 inches for small to medium yards, and you should be able to cut through grasses and weeds with ease and only have to go over spots once.

Disadvantage: This brush cutter has a shaft length of 29.5 inches, which is still long enough to be protective, but may not be the best for reaching high branches.

Advantage: This brush cutter has a great warranty of up to five years.

  • Weight: 11.3 lbs
  • Power Source: 40 V 4.0 Ah Lithium-Ion battery
  • Shaft Length: 29.5 inches
  • Cutting Width: 15 inches
  • Type of grip: One hand loop handle
  • Warranty: 5 years

✓ Lightweight✓ Affordable✓ Great cutting width✓ Great warranty✓ Can cut saplings up to an inch thick.

✗ Possibly too short of a shaft length depending on the job.

Makita EM2650UH 4-Stroke Brush Cutter

The Makita EM2650UH brush cutter has a 4-stroke engine, making it quieter and lowering the amount of toxic emissions it releases.

With the longest shaft of any tool on this list, the Makita EM2650UH can cut even top-tier branches. This brush cutter has a 4-stroke engine, making it quieter and lowers the amount of toxic emissions it releases.

This brush cutter works best if you have a small to medium-sized yard and was designed to be compact and easy to store. This brush cutter’s shaft is also made of steel, which helps keep its vibrating to a minimum to lower fatigue and increase your tool’s life.

Unique features: This brush cutter includes a Mechanical Automatic Decompression System, which encourages quick and easy stops and starts. You also can access the filter without tools for easy maintenance.

Disadvantages: Compared to other brush cutters, this Makita tool has a smaller cutting width and puts out less power, and it is one of the most expensive on this list.

✓ Lightweight✓ Excellent shaft length✓ The adjustable bike shaped handle helps keep you balanced when cutting.

✗ Expensive✗ Small cutting width✗ Lower engine power for the price

Husqvarna 336FR 966604702 Pro Brush Cutter

The Husqvarna 336FR costs close to a commercial-grade tool, with the features to make it worthy of that price point.

As the Cadillac of the brush cutter world, the Husqvarna 336R costs close to a commercial-grade tool, with the features to make it worthy of that price point.

  • A 34.6 cc X-torq engine that helps reduce harmful emissions without limiting power.
  • A shaft length of 58.4 inches means this brush cutter provides a significant amount of protection between you and the blade, and the bike handlebar allows for greater control and comfort.
  • With a weight of 15.4 pounds, the Husqvarna 336R comes with a harness that helps to distribute the weight across your back, shoulders, and chest so you can carry it for long distances.
  • Versatility: This brush cutter comes with a trimmer head, grass blade, and saw blade and cuts a substantial 17-inch path, so you can easily handle a variety of landscaping projects with one tool.

Important to note: The cutting guard attachment works with both the grass blade and trimmer attachment to help keep you protected.

✓ Powerful engine ✓ Lightweight✓ Great cutting width ✓ Great shaft length ✓ eco-friendly than other gas-powered tools ✓ Includes a harness

✗ Expensive ✗ The engine may seize if you don’t use the proper oil to gas ratio.

Buyers Guide

How To Choose The Right Brush Cutter For Your Property

If this is your first time shopping for brush cutters, where do you begin? How do you find the right brush cutter for your yard and your needs?

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a brush cutter and short definitions for some key terms:

Yard size: For a small yard, an electric brush trimmer likely is perfect. For larger yards, gas cutters are easier to maneuver (because they aren’t tied to a cord), but these tools tend to be heavier. If you have a lot of ground to cover, look for a gas-powered brush cutter with shoulder straps to make your yard work easier on your back.

Head size: The larger the head, the more distance you can cover with one swath. This means you can get the job done faster, but it might be difficult to cut around small corners. Smaller heads can get in those nooks and crannies of your yard but may require you to go over the same spot more than once to cut all of the brush.

The right-size blade: Brush cutters can be dangerous, and using the right-size blade can help keep you safe. For example, using a small blade on a thick branch or rigid tree can result in injuries to the user and the breakdown of your equipment.

Knowing the size of the blade recommended for the materials your cutting is essential to keeping you safe and increasing your equipment’s life.

Gas vs. Electric Brush Cutters

Almost all options on our list for the 9 Best Brush Cutters are gas-powered, but there are several capable electric choices out there. Gas-powered and electric brush cutters each have advantages and disadvantages, and here is a quick summary of the differences.

Electric brush cutters

Electric brush cutters tend to be more similar to string trimmers, as they are lightweight, quiet, and easier to maneuver. Like their trimmer counterparts, though, some of the downsides of electric brush cutters are their lower power and distance limitations because of their cord.

For small properties and lower budgets, electric brush cutters could be the way to go.

Gas brush cutters

Gas brush cutters are excellent for large yards in terms of power but these tools tend to be heavy. Gas brush cutters can be more expensive, but with multiple attachments and increased maneuverability, these tools give you a lot of bang for your buck.

Most gas brush cutters also come with anti-vibration technology, which many electric cutters don’t have.

How We Chose Our Top 8 Brush Cutters

When you are shopping for brush cutters, these are key factors to consider:

Weight: Weight is always something to consider when buying any landscaping tool, but it is crucial when purchasing a brush cutter. You need to carry this tool around your yard, so if you don’t have a harness or shoulder strap, you may not be able to get through trimming your yard without taking a break or two or three. Having too heavy of a brush cutter also can lead to lowered maneuverability and injury.

Price: The brush cutters on our list vary greatly in price. Some are under 200, and some cost more than a riding lawn mower. Most homeowners don’t need commercial grade equipment, and there are affordable and quality options for your personal landscaping needs.

Power: Electric brush cutters on our list range in power from 18 to 84 volts. The gas options on this range between 21.2 and 54 cc. For medium to larger yards, a gas-powered brush cutter with more than 27 cc of power is the way to go.

Shaft length: Shaft length is important for a few reasons. The longer the shaft, the more distance between you and the blade, which is important for safe landscaping. A longer shaft also helps you reach branches without needing an extension pole, but too long of a rod can be challenging to maneuver, leading to fatigue.

Cutting width: Cutting width is the cutting head’s diameter on your tool and the cutting width on most brush cutters ranges from 10 to 18 inches. The length of your cutting head determines the amount of greenery your device can cut in one pass. Having a larger cutting width helps if you have a large yard and/or dense vegetation, but a shorter cutting width is best to maneuver through small spaces.

FAQ About Brush Cutters

Because of their benefits, 4-cycle engines tend to be the more praised of the two.

4-cycle engines are fuel-efficient, quiet, environmentally friendly, and pack more of a punch as they generate power through torque instead of RPMs.

They’re so eco-friendly that some states even require landscapers to use only 4-stroke trimmers for their limited impact on the environment.

2-stroke engines, however, are cheaper, more lightweight, and are easier to store and maintain. These engines work on fewer parts and offer less vibration, which can help lower fatigue.

Most of the brush cutters on our list run on a 2-cycle engine, and for small residential properties, staying within your budget and saving on storage may be more appealing.

Brush cutters can be dangerous, so follow this safety checklist whenever you’re using a power tool to trim, prune, or cut thick grass or tree limbs:

— Wear protective goggles or face shields, and long pants, gloves, and boots. — Don’t wear loose clothing or long jewelry.— Do tie your hair back to avoid it getting caught in the brush cutter.— Use a brush cutter with a long shaft and deck guard to keep your face and body protected fr om the blade and flying debris. — Wear a shoulder strap or harness to lessen the brush cutter’s weight on your arms, lowering fatigue and preventing injury.— Pay attention while adding or mixing fuel with a gas-powered brush cutter, and always make sure the engine has stopped before removing the fuel cap.— The final and most important safety tip: If you feel you’re unable to use a brush cutter properly, hire a landscaping professional for your safety and the safety of others.


We compiled this buying guide and list of 9 best brush cutters to help you save time and money when shopping for one of these versatile tools.

There’s a brush cutter for every budget, yard size, and power preference, and adding this landscaping tool may change your lawn care game forever.

From slicing through saplings to chopping down thick brambles, whatever your yard needs, choosing one of these brush cutters can help you do it all.

LawnStarter participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other retailer affiliate programs. LawnStarter may earn revenue from products promoted in this article.

Note: Amazon star ratings and the number of reviews for the products listed above may have changed since that material was collected.

Leanna Doolittle

Leanna Doolittle is a freelance writer and photographer with a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida-Saint Petersburg. She enjoys spending time with her cat Oscar and tending to her many indoor plants and succulents.

Best Battery-Powered String Trimmer Reviews 2023

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

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

Best Battery-Powered String Trimmer Overall

EGO PowerLoad String Trimmer with Line IQ ST1623T

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

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

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

Best Battery-Powered String Trimmer Power

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

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

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

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

Best Lightweight Battery-Powered String Trimmer

Husqvarna 520iLX Battery-Powered String Trimmer

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

Best Attachment-Capable Battery-Powered String Trimmer

STIHL Battery-Powered Kombi System KMA 135 R

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

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

Best Cordless Handlebar String Trimmer

Greenworks Commercial 82V Bike Handle String Trimmer

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

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

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

Best Budget Battery-Powered String Trimmer

SKIL 40V PWRCore Brushless String Trimmer LT4818-10

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

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

Price: 159.00 with 2.5Ah battery and charger

Best Line for Battery-Powered String Trimmers

Echo Black Diamond 0.095-Inch Trimmer Line

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Price: 199.99 with a 2.5Ah battery and charger

Best HART Battery-Powered String Trimmer: 40V HLST051VNM

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

Price: 237.00 with a 4.0Ah battery and Rapid charger

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

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

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

Best Milwaukee Battery-Powered String Trimmer: M18 Brushless 2828

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

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

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

Best Ridgid Cordless String Trimmer: 18V Brushless R1201

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

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

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

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

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

Best Toro Cordless String Trimmer: 60V Flex Force 51830

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

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

5 Best Brush Cutter || Brush Cutters In 2023 || Buying Guide

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

Cutting Power

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

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

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

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

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

Cutting Swath

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


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

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

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

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


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

Weight and Balance

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

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

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

Sound Level

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

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

Line Changes

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

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

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

Attachment Capability

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

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

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

Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews

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

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

Pro Tool Reviews consults with innovators in the technology and design of tools to gain a broader grasp of where these products fit and how they work.

We work with more than two dozen professional contractors around the United States who review products for us on real job sites. We consult with them extensively on testing methods, categories, and practical applications.

Our site will provide more than 500 pieces of new content this year absolutely free for our readers. That includes objective evaluations of individual tools and products.

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

Best Walk Behind String Trimmer Review: Top 3 Push Weed Eaters 2023

We previously discussed how handheld weed trimmers are ideal when you are up for some light trimming.

This is where walk-behind string trimmers shine—they let you kill overgrown leaves by pushing them.

Are you facing some thickly weeded areas? Is your yard too large for a handheld model? Is the weed too rough for a lawnmower?

When you’re facing serious foliage, then it’s not recommendable to use handheld models. Likewise, a bigger yard size requires a more powerful unit.

But with the right-wheeled grass trimmer, you can munch grass and weeds down to size fast.

There are many choices on the market – and they come with different features and prices.

To help you assess those factors, our team has created a list of the 5 best push weed eaters.

Similarly, we’ve prepared everything you need to know in one article: a comparison chart, how to choose, product review of walk-behind weed eater models this year.

By the end of this post, you will certainly be able to decide which models would work best for your urban garden.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to accomplish a task by only pushing a tool?

As the saying goes, it’s like having a walk in the park.

Check out this short overview to see the aspects that will make trimming lawns way easier compared to using handheld models.

  • 1 Best Walk Behind String Trimmer- Reviews Buying Guide For 2023
  • 1.1 1. Top Pick: Remington RM1159 Walk-Behind String Trimmer
  • 1.2 2. BLACKDECKER 140cc 4-Cycle Gas Powered Walk-Behind High-Wheeled String Trimmer
  • 1.3 3. TAZZ One-Piece Steel Deck Walk-Behind String Trimmer
  • 3.1 Yard Size
  • 3.2 Weight And Dimensions
  • 3.3 Engine Power
  • 3.4 Cutting Swath
  • 3.5 Trimmer Line Size And String Replacement
  • 3.6 Cutting Height
  • 3.7 Wheel Size
  • 3.8 Comfort And Ease Of Use
  • 3.9 Noise And Pollution Levels
  • 3.10 Warranty And Price
  • 4.1 Why You Should Opt For A Wheeled Unit
  • 4.2 How To Change The Trimmer Line?

Best Walk Behind String Trimmer- Reviews Buying Guide For 2023

Product Specifications

  • Wheel Size: 14 inches
  • Cutting Swath: 22 inches
  • Trimmer Line Size: 0.155 inches
  • Cutting Height: 1 to 6 inches
  • Engine Power: 159cc gas engine
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 5 gallons
  • Operating Time:60 minutes
  • Maximum Yard Size: 5 acres
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty

A 159cc OHV gas engine powers up the Remington RM1159 Walk-Behind High-Wheeled String Trimmer. In this way, its 4-cycle gas engine boosts your power in killing tall, tough weeds.

To make things way easier, a 22-inch cutting swath trims around garden beds, fences, and other landscaping borders.

The trimmer line size is a standard 0.155 inches in diameter, so this shouldn’t pose any problem when changing strings. This line size is resilient enough to stand up to a lot of hard work.

A word of advice: learn how to change the trimmer line because you might do it often when you spend a lot of time cutting against barriers.

Don’t worry, the tool’s design makes this additional task worry-free.

What we liked best during our test is that the offset trimmer head aids in cutting hard-to-reach areas.

over, it is a user-friendly tool because the 14-inch ball-bearing wheels assist in maneuvering with ease through rough terrain or thick bush.

This large size can surely cope with uneven ground.

However, at 78 pounds, the Remington RM1159 walk-behind wheeled string trimmer mower is the heaviest model on this list, so it may somewhat be difficult to store.

But know that most big units are normally designed with the best features.

Besides, it has a running time of 60 minutes and a 5-gallon fuel tank capacity. Subsequently, you can cover areas up to 5 acres.

To our delight, it has an extraordinary cutting height of 1 to 6 inches. This is perfect for uneven areas since you can adjust the height depending on how long the weeds are.

As for the ergonomics, the Remington RM1159 comes with a comfortable folding handle for convenient transportation and storage.

Recalling our tests, we’ve seen how this wheeled trimmer easily handled 5-foot-tall weeds without having a jam.

In addition, the model is easy to start, so you only have to crank up on the first pull.

If you want to include edges, know that this model only trims parallel to the ground surface.

This means you can’t cut into the crevice between a yard and the pathway.

To be fair, this machine is specifically designed to face rough stuff. Hence, you might need to mow afterward if you want manicured outcomes.

Still, the Remington RM1159 Walk-Behind Trimmer can create intricately shaped spaces. This is due to the off-center positioned trimmer head.

We’re pretty sure you will love this unit’s ability to change the height of the cut.

Using a simple lever on the handle, you can choose from the three different settings.

As proven by these impressive attributes, this wheeled weed whacker is powerful enough for tackling any terrain.

In a nutshell, the Remington RM1159 Walk-Behind High-Wheeled String Trimmer is a user-friendly unit that makes big jobs seem small and help you clear the tallest, toughest grass and weeds.

It has a powerful engine that makes a consistent and clean cut.

The 10 Best Weed Eaters of 2023

Michelle Ullman is a home decor expert and product reviewer for home and garden products. She has been writing about home decor for over 10 years for publications like BobVila.com and Better Homes Gardens, among others.

Mary Marlowe Leverette is one of the industry’s most highly-regarded housekeeping and fabric care experts, sharing her knowledge on efficient housekeeping, laundry, and textile conservation. She is also a Master Gardener with over 40 years of experience and 20 years of writing experience. Mary is also a member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board.

Emily Estep is a plant biologist and journalist who has worked for a variety of online news and media outlets, writing about and editing topics including environmental science and houseplants.

Whether you call it a “weed eater,” “weed whacker,” or “string trimmer,” these landscaping tools are ideal for trimming grass and weeds along the edge of a flowerbed, around a tree trunk, underneath a deck, and in other hard-to-reach places.

Jeremy Yamaguchi, the CEO of Lawn Love, says, “A weed whacker can quickly and effectively trim grass, weeds, and other unwanted plant growth in areas difficult to reach with a mower or shears. When choosing one, the most important thing to look for is the power it offers, as well as the size and weight of the tool. Gas weed eaters are the most powerful, but electric models are best for most homeowners.”

He cautions, “To ensure safe use of a weed whacker, always wear the appropriate protective gear, including goggles and gloves, stand with your feet apart for balance, hold the tool’s handle firmly but comfortably with both hands, and never operate the weed whacker without its guard attached.”

Best Overall

Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Electric Cordless String Trimmer

If you want the power of a gas weed eater but the convenience of a battery-powered tool, then this 40-volt offering from Ryobi is the answer. Our top choice of string trimmer is loaded with great features, including a brushless motor for longer life with less required maintenance and an adjustable handle so you can position it comfortably for your height. We also appreciate its two-speed trigger with variable speed control, so you can go faster when you need extra power for tough weeds or brush, and slow the tool down to extend the battery run-time when merely cutting small weeds and grass. Plus, it has an adjustable cutting width, with a minimum of 13 inches and a maximum of 15 inches.

This string trimmer comes with 0.085-inch string, which is good for trimming grass and weeds, but you can also load it with 0.095-inch string if desired for tackling tougher weeds, light brush, or thick grass. Either way, the weed whacker is very easy to reload, thanks to the REEL EASY head, which can be rewound in under 60 seconds. When you want to let out more string, a gentle bump of the tool against the ground advances just the right amount so you can keep working without having to stop and let out line by hand. The tool also comes with a set of serrated plastic blades, which can be fitted into the tool’s head in place of string. Use the blades for cutting tougher brush and weeds. While not nearly as strong as metal blades, these do a good job on softer weeds and grasses, but they aren’t sturdy enough for woody weeds.

This versatile weed eater works with the Ryobi line of Expand-It accessories, sold separately, which can turn your string trimmer into a pole saw, electric hedge trimmer, soil cultivator, snow thrower, blower, and more quickly and easily. The weed whacker comes with one Ryobi lithium-ion 40-volt battery and charger, which are compatible with any other Ryobi tool using a 40-volt battery. Depending on conditions, you can get up to one hour and 10 minutes of run-time from the battery before needing to recharge.

Price at time of publish: 213

Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 11.3 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 40 volts | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 15 inches

Best Budget

Greenworks 5.5 Amp 15-Inch Corded Electric String Trimmer

Just because a weed whacker comes at a budget price, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo great features, as this corded electric offering from Greenworks proves. Plug the tool into an outdoor-rated extension cord up to 100 feet in length; no smelly gasoline fumes or worrying about a battery running down before you finish. Suited to a small-to-medium yard, this string trimmer’s head easily pivots for use as a trimmer or an edger, doubling its versatility. It has a 15-inch cutting swath and uses 0.065-inch string, which automatically advances as the exposed string wears down. When you need to reload the string, you can use pre-filled spools or rewind bulk string onto the spool that comes with the tool. However, you cannot use heavy-weight string with this weed eater, and if you choose to rewind the spool, rather than replace it, it can be a bit tricky to do correctly.

The handle telescopes from 40 inches to 50 inches, and the grip is also adjustable, so you can set the weed whacker to fit your own height, making it comfortable to use for lengthy gardening sessions. Its 5.5-amp motor runs smoothly and quietly and has enough power to quickly cut through grass and non-woody weeds. At only seven pounds, this is a reasonably lightweight string trimmer, so it won’t wear you down before the job is through.

Price at time of publish: 90

Type: Corded electric | Weight: 7 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 5.5 amp | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 15 inches

Best Gas

Echo 25.4 cc Gas 2-Stroke Straight Shaft Trimmer

If you have a large area of brush, overgrown grass, or woody weeds to clear, then you’ll appreciate the extra power of a gas weed eater like this offering from Echo, which runs on a 25.4 cc, professional-grade two-stroke engine. Like other gas-powered weed eaters, you’ll need to fill the gas tank with a 50:1 ratio of fuel to oil mix. Echo’s i-30 starting system makes it much easier to start up this weed eater than most others, and once powered on, this sturdy beast chews steadily through just about anything you ask it to. The handles are padded and ergonomically shaped for comfort and are also designed to greatly reduce the amount of vibration that reaches your hands and arms.

The 0.095-inch heavy-duty string advances with a bump of the tool against the ground. When the string runs out, the Echo Speed-Feed system requires no tools and takes only seconds to reload; no frustrating fuss or bother. With a 17-inch cutting swath, you can work your way across the lawn quickly. Should you need even more powerful cutting action, Echo sells a separate conversion kit that lets you swap out the string head for a metal-bladed head that easily cuts through thick underbrush and overgrown weeds. Be aware that this weed eater is quite loud and does emit gas fumes, as is typical for gas-powered tools.

Price at time of publish: 329

Type: Gas | Weight: 13.4 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 25.4 cc | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 17 inches

Best Cordless/Battery

Ryobi ONE 18-Volt Cordless Battery String Trimmer

Go cordless with this lightweight string trimmer that’s designed to take care of small-to-medium yards. The curved shaft makes it easy to maneuver around shrubs, rocks, and tree trunks, and the handle is ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip. Plus, weighing a mere four pounds, this is a weed eater that shouldn’t tire you out. It’s powered by an 18-volt battery that recharges in an hour and runs for anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes per charge, depending on how you use it. And with a simple push of a button, you can switch the head’s orientation: use it horizontally for trimming and vertically for edging.

The cutting swath of this tool is 10 inches, which is on the small side but can be a good thing if you are edging a flowerbed or other area with many obstacles to work around. It can only use 0.065-inch string and automatically feeds out more string as required. It’s not too difficult to reload once the string runs out. The weed whacker comes with an 18-volt battery that can be used in other 18V Ryobi tools, as well as a charger. Note that it is not compatible with Ryobi’s Expand-It attachments, however.

Price at time of publish: 69

best, brush, cutters, 2023, reviews, handheld

Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 4 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 18-volt | Shaft Type: Curved | Maximum Cutting Width: 10 inches

Best Corded Electric

Ryobi 10-Amp Attachment-Capable Corded String Trimmer

As long as you have an outdoor-rated extension cord up to 100 feet, and you don’t need to trim beyond that point, a corded electric weed eater is a great option. You get a lot of power, like you would from a gas-powered tool, but you also get the benefits of a cordless tool, including no smelly fumes, no need to keep gasoline on hand, and an easy start at the push of a button. Plus, there’s no need to worry about your battery running out too soon. This corded weed whacker from Ryobi is loaded with great options beyond the above: It has a 10-amp motor for maximum performance, it cuts an impressive 18-inch path, and it is designed to reduce vibrations through the handle, so it’s easy on your hands, although it is relatively heavy for this type of tool.

The tool comes with 0.080-inch string, but can also use 0.095-inch string if you need something even more heavy-duty. String advances with a bump of the tool to the ground, and when it’s time to replace the reel, it’s very easy to install a new one or simply rewind bulk string around the reel. Best of all, this string trimmer is compatible with Ryobi’s extensive line of Expand-It attachments, meaning you can purchase a wide variety of optional attachments to turn the weed whacker into a brush cutter, hedge trimmer, pole saw, snow thrower, and more. However, its head does not pivot for use as an edger, as do many other weed eaters.

Price at time of publish: 90

Type: Corded electric | Weight: 11 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 10 amp | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 18 inches

Best Under 200

BLACKDECKER 20V 12 Inch Lithium Ion Cordless 2-in-1 Trimmer/Edger

Here’s a reasonably priced tool that effectively whacks weeds with the head in a horizontal position and then serves as an edger when you rotate the head into a vertical orientation. This battery-powered, 20-volt string trimmer from BLACKDECKER is perfect for small-to-medium-sized lawns and has enough power to chew through typical grass and weeds (although this isn’t the tool for tough brush or heavily overgrown lawns). You can adjust the handle up or down to suit your height. The cutting width of this weed eater is set at 12 inches, which is somewhat narrow but sufficient for small yards.

The weed eater comes with 0.065-inch line, which is suited to light use on grass and small weeds. Note that you cannot refill it with heavier line. The line advances automatically as it wears down with use, so you don’t need to carry the task out manually or bump the tool on the ground. The weed whacker comes with the 20-volt battery and charger, which are compatible with other BLACKDECKER cordless tools. Run-time before needing to recharge the battery varies greatly, depending on yard conditions, but you will typically get anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes on a single charge, which is enough to finish trimming or edging a small lawn.

Price at time of publish: 89

Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 7.1 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 20 volts | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 12 inches

Best Rated

WORX WG163 GT 20V Power Share Cordless String Trimmer Edger

The WORX Power Share cordless weed eater just keeps racking up high ratings; this weed whacker has more than 20,000 customer ratings and an average of 4.5 stars. But that’s not really surprising, considering that this 20-volt tool comes with two batteries, so you can have one charging and one in use, doubling your working time. The batteries and charger are compatible with any other 20-volt WORX tool. You can easily pivot the head on the weed eater to turn it from trimmer to edger, and it’s easy to angle it for use on a slope or when reaching into awkward spots between plants or around obstacles. When using it as an edger, its rubber wheels help you stay in a steady line.

This weed whacker uses 0.065-inch string, which is easy to advance at the push of a button, thanks to the Command Feed spool system. But most amazing of all, WORX will send you free refill spools of string for the life of the tool; you just pay for shipping. This will come in handy, since the string can run out quickly. It also has a 12-inch cutting diameter, which isn’t the highest but is quite sufficient for average-sized lawns and yards. And at only 5.3 pounds, this is a lightweight string trimmer that’s easy to use even when your gardening sessions stretch out long.

Price at time of publish: 140

Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 5.3 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 20 volts | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 12 inches

Best Splurge

DeWALT 60-Volt Cordless Attachment-Capable String Trimmer Kit

If you use your string trimmer frequently and want lots of power as well as useful features, then you’ll appreciate the DeWALT weed whacker, which is a cordless model running off a 60-volt battery; that’s a lot of power, although it does add to the overall weight of the product. The high-efficiency brushless motor requires no maintenance to keep on running smoothly and fairly silently. There’s a two-speed, variable control trigger, so you can turn it up high when you need maximum power for chewing through brush or tall grass, or turn it down low to extend the battery run-time. You can even adjust the cutting width between 15 and 17 inches.

best, brush, cutters, 2023, reviews, handheld

The weed whacker comes with 0.080-inch string, but the tool can also use 0.095-inch string if you need something even more heavyweight. To advance more string, just bump the weed eater lightly against the ground. The quick-load spool makes it easy to refill the string once you run out. If you want even more versatility from this weed eater, you’ll like its universal-attachment capability, which means you can purchase a wide variety of attachments from DeWALT or other companies to transform the weed whacker into a brush cutter, hedge trimmer, pole saw, blower, tiller, and more. It comes with a 60-volt DeWALT battery that is compatible with other tools from this company, as well as a charger.

Price at time of publish: 301

Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 15 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 60 volts | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 17 inches

Best with Attachments

BLACKDECKER Corded String Trimmer With Lawn Mower Attachment

With most models of string trimmers, you have to purchase attachments separately. However, this 6.5-amp corded electric weed whacker from BLACKDECKER comes with a lawnmower attachment, making this a highly versatile tool for small backyards. In fact, it’s three tools in one: edger, string trimmer, and lawnmower. It’s especially good for mowing on slopes or hills where a traditional lawnmower can be hard to maneuver. And it can be used with an outdoor-rated extension cord up to 150 feet in length, so you can work your way around most small yards. Since there is no way to add a clipping bag to the tool, you can leave the grass clippings in place on the lawn to decompose into mulch or rake them up once you are finished mowing.

The string trimmer uses 0.065-inch string. There’s an automatic string feed, so you don’t have to stop and reel string out yourself or worry about bumping it against the ground while mowing. As a weed eater, the cutting swath is 12 inches. It pivots easily into edger mode. For use as a mower, the trimmer simply snaps into the mower base. You can adjust the mower’s cutting height from 1.6 inches to 2.4 inches; the mower does not have blades, but simply uses the spinning string to cut the grass, and it does a great job on most lawn types. You can even adjust the height of this tool’s handle between 33 inches and 43 inches to make it comfortable for your height.

Price at time of publish: 119

Type: Corded electric | Weight: 9.9 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 6.5 amps | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 12 inches

Best Heavy-Duty

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Quik-Lok String Trimmer

This professional-quality cordless string trimmer has the kind of power and run-time you’d expect from a gas weed eater, thanks to its M18 8.0-Ah lithium-ion battery. This sturdy weed whacker consists of two parts: a Milwaukee M18 FUEL power head with Quik-Lok and a Milwaukee M18 FUEL Quik-Lok string trimmer attachment. You can use any of Milwaukee’s other compatible attachments with the fuel head, making this a very versatile tool that can carry out a wide range of landscaping tasks. It has enough power to clear through thick brush, overgrown grass, and heavy weeds, reaching full throttle in less than a second and maintaining power without bogging down. The tool is designed for good balance, making it easy to carry and comfortable to use, even on lengthy yard tasks.

A variable-speed trigger lets you go faster when you need more power, or slow things down when you want to extend battery run-time as much as possible. The cutting width of the weed whacker adjusts from 14 to 16 inches. The string that comes with the tool is 0.080 inches, but you can also use it with heavier 0.095-inch line. Either way, you can reload the string reel in just a few seconds. When the string gets short during use, just bump the trimmer against the ground to advance more string. Not everyone needs a weed eater with this kind of power and at this price point, but for those who do, it’s hard to beat this offering from Milwaukee.

Price at time of publish: 349

Type: Cordless electric | Weight: 12.3 pounds | Engine/Battery Power: 18 volts | Shaft Type: Straight | Maximum Cutting Width: 16 inches

If you’re looking for a cordless electric weed eater that not only has plenty of power but is also loaded with great features like an adjustable cutting swath, variable speed control, and compatibility with numerous attachments for other landscaping purposes, then it’s hard to go wrong with the Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Electric String Trimmer. But if you need the kind of power that only a gas tool can deliver, then the Echo 25.4 cc Gas 2-Stroke Straight-Shaft Trimmer is our recommendation. It has a 17-inch cutting swath and can be converted for use with metal blades instead of string.

What to Look for in a Weed Eater


There are three basic types of weed eaters, based on their power source.

Gas-powered weed whackers like the Echo 25.4 cc Gas 2-Stroke Straight Shaft Trimmer are the most powerful type, making them the best suited for large properties or for chewing through heavy brush. On the downside, they are much louder than electric models and can be heavier and more difficult to start. Plus, they require you to have a supply of gasoline on hand, and in many areas, they are being phased out due to their emissions.

Corded electric string trimmers are not as popular as they once were, but are still a fine choice if you are looking for a low-priced weed eater, you don’t have a very large lawn or garden to maintain, and you have access to an outdoor electrical outlet and an outdoor-rated extension cord of 50 feet or more. The Ryobi 10-Amp Attachment-Capable Corded String Trimmer has an 18-inch cutting swath and great power.

Cordless or battery-powered weed eaters are now the most popular type—the WORX Power Share WG163 is an especially highly rated option—particularly in areas where gas-powered models are restricted. Today’s cordless weed whackers have good power, although not as much as a gas-powered model. Still, they have more than enough oomph to maintain a small to medium-sized lawn. As a rough guideline, you’ll generally get half an hour or so of runtime before you need to recharge the battery. For many people, that’s all that’s needed to get the job done. If you have a big lawn, then it’s convenient to keep two batteries on hand so one can recharge while the other is in use. Other benefits of cordless weed whackers include a lack of smelly emissions, immediate starting at the press of a button, reduced vibrations, and quiet operation.

Cutting Width

A string trimmer’s cutting swath or cutting width is the width of the tool’s cutting capacity, indicating how much you’ll be able to trim in one pass. There are weed whackers with cutting swaths as small as 10 inches, and weed eaters with large 20-inch cutting widths, but most are between 12 and 16 inches. If you have a large lawn, a string trimmer with a wide cutting swath will help you trim more quickly. But if you need a tool that can squeeze between shrubs, rocks, or other obstacles, then you’ll find that a weed wacker with a smaller cutting swath can maneuver a bit more easily.

Some higher-end weed eaters have adjustable cutting swaths that let you go up or down a couple of inches. Our top choice, the Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Electric String Trimmer, can be adjusted for cutting widths between 13 and 15 inches.

Noise Level and Vibrations

Generally, cordless string trimmers are fairly quiet; you’ll mostly hear the whirl of the string and the sound of grass or weeds giving way. However, gas-powered weed whackers are loud enough to require ear protection during use, and corded electric models may or may not be loud enough to make you want to cover your ears, depending on the brand and model. However, you should wear eye protection when using any type of weed eater, as there is always a danger of stones or debris being tossed up into your face.

Vibration can be an issue with many weed eaters, especially gas-powered models. This can be tiring if you are using the tool for an extended session of trimming or chewing through brush. Some brands now build anti-vibration technology into their string trimmers, usually in the form of a handle that helps reduce some of the vibration. You can cut down even further on unpleasant hand numbness or fatigue by wearing a good pair of thick work gloves while you use your weed eater.


Since you’ll be holding your weed eater the entire time you are working, its weight can become an issue. You don’t want to be tired out before you finish your edging or trimming. As a general rule, electric weed eaters are quite a bit lighter than gas-powered models. The Ryobi ONE 18V Cordless Electric String Trimmer weighs a mere four pounds.

Most electric weed eaters weigh 12 pounds or less, although battery-powered models are usually heavier than those with a cord. Gas weed whackers generally weigh between 12 and 18 pounds.

Safety Features

Any weed eater should have a protective guard over the string to help keep rocks and other debris from flying toward you. However, you should always wear closed shoes, long pants, and eye protection when using these tools. Most weed whackers have the power switch placed so you can easily shut the tool off immediately should there be an emergency.

Straight or Curved Shaft

There are two basic styles of weed eater shafts: straight and curved. Curved shafts are generally easier to maneuver around rocks and other obstacles and are less tiring to the user’s back during long work sessions. However, straight shafts give you more reach and can be extended underneath shrubs or fences. Weed eaters with straight shafts often have a little more power, and battery run-time tends to be a little longer on these tools as well, but the choice between the two mostly comes down to personal preference.

String Control

Weed whackers work by spinning a thin plastic string-like cord very rapidly, which creates enough force to slice through grass, weeds, and brush. Most weed eaters have a roll of string within the base of the tool, so you can reel out more as the cord wears down, which can happen fairly quickly when working on thick brush or grass. There are three basic methods for reeling out more cord:

  • Automatic feed senses when the cord is getting short and reels out more without you needing to do anything. The Greenworks 5.5 Amp 15-Inch Corded Electric String Trimmer is an auto-feed weed whacker.
  • Push-button feed requires you to push a button on the weed eater’s handle to reel out more string.
  • Bump-feed weed eaters reel out more cord when the trimmer is bumped against the ground.

Once the reel of string is empty, you’ll need to refill it. This is a fairly simple process for most weed eaters, but be sure to read the instructions before attempting it for the first time.

Note that there are also different thicknesses of string-trimmer lines or strings: as a general rule, 0.065-inch to 0.085-inch string is for light-to-moderate trimming of grass and weeds. For heavier weeds, brush, or tough grass, string that’s between 0.085-inches and 0.110-inches is required. Many string trimmers can use different sizes of line so you can switch them out if necessary.

Standout Features

Speed Control

Most string trimmers have just one set speed. Some higher-end models, including the Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless String Trimmer, however, let you adjust the speed with either a two-speed setting or variable control. This allows you to speed up the tool for more power while tackling thicker growth or tougher brush, or slow the speed down to extend battery run-time when working on small weeds or grass.


Some string trimmers have heads that can be adjusted from a horizontal position to a vertical orientation, which allows them to be used as an edger as well as a trimmer. Others, including the DeWALT 60-Volt Cordless Attachment-Capable String Trimmer Kit, allow you to attach a variety of separately purchased heads for other landscaping tasks such as cultivating soil, shearing hedges, mowing grass, or blowing leaves.

The vast majority of weed eaters are stringed tools, using a thin plastic cord that spins very rapidly to cut through grass and weeds. There are more powerful, but similar tools often called “brush cutters,” that use metal blades instead of plastic cord to chop through thick brush, tough weeds, and highly overgrown grass. Some weed eaters can be converted for use with blades as well as with plastic cord. Typically, only a gas weed eater has the power to convert to metal blades for cutting thick brush. The electric corded or cordless models that can cut with blades, as well as cord, typically can only handle plastic blades. These can cut light brush but can’t handle thick, woody stems as a metal-bladed brush cutter can. Neither a string nor blade weed eater is necessarily better; the best choice depends on your specific needs and the condition of your property.

best, brush, cutters, 2023, reviews, handheld

Both gas and electric weed eaters have their pros and cons. Gas-powered weed eaters are stronger and aren’t tethered to an electrical outlet. However, gas weed eaters require filling with gas and oil and create smelly fumes. They are generally much louder than electric models and vibrate more during use. They are also heavier and more costly than electric models. However, for maintaining a large property or tackling thick brush or very overgrown weeds, a gas weed eater can be the better choice. For most yard cleanup, however, an electric weed eater, whether corded or cordless, is sufficient to handle grass, weeds, and light brush that isn’t too woody. Electric weed eaters don’t create smelly fumes and don’t require you to keep gasoline on hand. They generally are much quieter than gas-powered models and don’t vibrate as heavily during use, which makes them easier on your hands and arms.

There are pros and cons to both two-stroke and four-stroke (also called “two-cycle” and “four-cycle”) gas-powered weed eaters. Fewer moving parts means that two-stroke weed eaters are lighter in weight and easier to maintain than four-stroke models. They generally also have quite a bit more power. However, you will need to mix the gas with oil for two-stroke trimmers. If you’re looking for a quieter model that produces lower emissions, a four-stroke gas trimmer is the way to go. Another benefit: with four-stroke models, no mixing of gas and oil is required. Keep in mind, these models are pricier and generally weigh more than two-stroke weed eaters.

There are gas weed eaters for home use with 20 cc engines and professional models with as much as 50 cc engines, but the majority of gas-powered weed eaters used by the average homeowner have 22 cc to 28 cc engines, which provide plenty of power for tackling overgrown weeds, grass, and brush. When it comes to electric weed eaters, corded models for very light use might have as little motor power as 3 amps or as much as 10 amps, but for typical home use, a motor in the middle of that range is more than sufficient. Cordless weed eaters can use batteries between 18 volts and 80 volts, but again, the middle of that range is generally powerful enough for regular home use.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was researched and written by Michelle Ullman, who specializesin home and garden products. She has been writing for The Spruce since 2020, covering a wide range of home improvement products including power and hand tools, painting supplies, landscaping tools, and tool organizers. To choose the best weed eaters for this article, she consulted dozens of customer and third-party reviews, considering each product’s power source, performance, ease of use, versatility, and price point. She received additional input from Jeremy Yamaguchi, the CEO of Lawn Love.

The 5 Best Heavy Duty Brush Cutters of 2023 ( Reviewed ). Best Brush Cutters

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

The 8 Best Weed Whackers for a Tidy, Weed-Free Lawn

Top weed whacker models, like the Ego Power 15-Inch string trimmer, make it easy to keep your lawn looking trim.

Marcus Reeves is an experienced writer, publisher, and fact-checker. He began his writing career reporting for The Source magazine. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Playboy, The Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. His book Somebody Scream: Rap Music’s Rise to Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power was nominated for a Zora Neale Hurston Award. He is an adjunct instructor at New York University, where he teaches writing and communications. Marcus received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

In This Article

Whether you know it as a weed whacker, weed eater, weed trimmer, stringer, or string trimmer, this handy yard tool is a must for getting rid of weeds on and around your lawn. A weed whacker can cut weeds and tall grass in hard-to-reach areas along sidewalks, fencing, shrubs, and groundcover—a must-do on the checklist of seasonal landscape maintenance.

We spoke to lawn experts at WWCS Environmental Services to get the lowdown on how to best use a weed whacker for weed removal and lawn health. “A good weed whacker is a great lawn maintenance tool to use in combination with a mower and weed killer to keep a lawn in top condition,” says Ashley Platen-Mills, the director of WWCS Environmental Services.

We researched some of the best weed whackers on the market based on important factors like their power, price, shaft style and grip, and how much they weigh so as not to cause back strain or user fatigue. We also looked at how easy the string is to replace and safety features.

Best Overall

Ego Power 15-Inch String Trimmer with Powerload

  • As a cordless string trimmer, you can expect around 25 to 30 minutes of use out of it per charge, which, though considered good for a battery-powered weed whacker, might not be enough for larger properties.

Providing just as much cutting power as a gas model, but without the fumes and high maintenance requirements, the Ego Power 15-Inch String Trimmer is our choice for the best weed whacker. Manually replacing a string line on a weed whacker can be an arduous task, but this model has a feature that winds the trimmer automatically—all you have to do is feed the line into the trimmer’s head and press a button.

The perks of this trimmer don’t end there; it has one of the strongest shafts of any weed whacker currently on the market, and, thanks to its carbon fiber construction, it’s incredibly lightweight so you won’t tire as you carry it around your yard powering through various landscaping chores.

It features a large 15-inch cutting width to cover more area as well as variable speed control so you can customize your weed-whacking experience to your lawn’s needs. In addition, it has a brushless motor, which is known to extend motor life as well as provide a longer running time than other cordless models. The company also provides a lifetime warranty, so you’re guaranteed a strong, durable, and efficient yard work tool that will last forever.

Price at time of publish: 250

Power: Cordless 2.5-amp hour 56-volt battery | Cutting width: 15 inches | Weight: 7 pounds | Shaft length: 42 inches | Feed system: Bump

Best Gas-Powered

Echo 21.2 cc Gas 2-Stroke Cycle Straight Shaft Trimmer

  • It has a manual pull start (no electric start), so the weed whacker will need to be kept warm and dry in order to start on the first pull. You’ll also need to add oil to the gas (2.6 ounces to every gallon for a 50:1 ratio).

Gas power tools are typically the preferred option for professional landscapers and gardeners, and this Echo 21.2cc Gas 2-Stroke Cycle Straight Shaft Trimmer makes it clear why. Providing 21.2cc of power, this machine is user-friendly for homeowners and comfortable to hold thanks to its cushioned ergonomic handles situated at the front and rear for better handling and grip.

Since this tool is gas-powered, it is ideal for use on larger properties. The anti-vibration design, along with its fairly low weight of just 11.5 pounds, allows you to use it for longer without getting tired.

The gas tank is see-through, so you can easily see when it’s running low on fuel. There’s also a shield to protect you from flying lawn debris. It has a long 59-inch shaft that provides extra reach for hard-to-access places, and the exhaust blows towards the back, which means it can be used comfortably by both left- and right-handed users.

Though it has a bump feed system, the “bump” required is more like a tap, which means you don’t have to worry about breaking the tool every time you want to advance the line.

Price at time of publish: 340

Power: Gas 21.2cc, 2-stroke engine | Cutting width: 17 inches | Weight: 11.5 pounds | Shaft length: 59 inches | Feed system: Bump

Best Corded Electric

BlackDecker 14-Inch Corded Electric String Trimmer

With no need to recharge batteries or refuel, the BlackDecker 14-Inch Corded Electric String Trimmer lets you FOCUS on where to plug it in and which weeds to whack. This handy tool is not only economical, but it also doubles up as an edger with the simple flip of the unit, making it our choice for the best corded weed whacker.

The string trimmer can get to tight spots, like up against fencing and along your flower beds, where your lawnmower can’t (or shouldn’t) go, and the edger side can neatly trim, regardless of your lawn shape, all the its edges along the driveway and sidewalk.

Its cord retention system ensures that the cord won’t accidentally become unplugged or get in the way while you’re working, and the weed whacker’s adjustable shaft height means that you can customize it to a length that suits you and all members of the family. At only 5.3 pounds, this tool provides for easy trimming and is light enough to not cause user fatigue or strain.

If you’re looking for an economical way to keep the lawn neat and tidy and don’t mind having to be near an electrical outlet, this is the tool for you.

Price at time of publish: 69

Power: Corded electric, 6.5-amp motor | Cutting width: 14 inches | Weight: 5.3 pounds | Shaft length: 45.5 inches | Feed system: Automatic

Best Battery-Powered

Worx 20V Power Share GT Revolution 12-Inch String Trimmer

A battery-powered string trimmer is one of those must-have outdoor power tools. The Worx 20V Power Share GT Revolution cordless string trimmer is not only lightweight at just 5.5 pounds, it also has two rubber support wheels to make it even easier to push along while weed whacking, trimming, edging, or even doing a little mowing (this tool is also a mini mower). Its 90-degree pivoting head allows you to get into your lawn’s nooks and crannies easier, and it has an adjustable ergonomic handle that can change between seven positions for maximum comfort and easy handling.

This machine is impressively strong (with up to 100 pounds of tensile strength, according to the manufacturer) and has an aerodynamic design that has been made to reduce drag. It can run for 40 to 60 minutes on a fully-charged battery, which works out to about 20,000 feet of lawn edges. Keep in mind, though, that the wheels do not swivel, which may make it harder to edge along a curved path.

We also like that it has a handy extra string spool holder on the trimmer, so you’ll always have string when you need it. Automatic feeds often mean that the line runs out quite quickly, but one of the best things about Worx trimmers is that the company provides free spools for life if you run out—all you have to do is pay for postage and processing.

Price at time of publish: 150

Power: Cordless 4-amp hour 20-volt battery | Cutting width: 12 inches | Weight: 5.5 pounds | Shaft length: 48 inches | Feed system: Automatic

Best Wheeled

Craftsman 159cc Wheeled String Trimmer

  • There is no on/off switch, electric start, or idle mode, and it turns off as soon as you release the bar, meaning you must start it again via the pull start. This does, however, save fuel.

like a lawnmower than a weed whacker, both in appearance and use, this Craftsman 159cc Wheeled String Trimmer provides a different type of lawn trimming experience, one that is preferred by many over the usual types of weed trimmers on the market.

Since it’s a walk-behind machine, you don’t have to lift it in order to use it, which saves you backache and reduces user fatigue. Though it has a manual feed system, it’s very easy to change out the string, so this shouldn’t be a concern.

Its large 14-inch wheels make maneuverability a breeze, and it also has an impressively large cutting width of 22 inches, which allows you to cover more ground in less time. It can cut thick and unruly grass, weeds, and sticks on large properties, and it has six cutting heights to choose from, ranging from 2.4 to 4.4 inches.

While it is a pull-start machine, it has an auto choke system that means you don’t have to prime the engine before starting it up. It also has a foldable handle that makes it easier to store neatly away.

Power: Gas, 159cc 4-cycle overhead valve engine | Cutting width: 22 inches | Weight: 78.7 pounds | Length: 34.6 inches | Feed system: Manual

Best for Large Yards

Husqvarna 18.5 in. 336FR Pro Gas-Powered Brushcutter

  • This tool is one of the most powerful weed whackers available and is built to last. It’s ideal for anyone with a very large yard with thick grasses and weeds to get rid of.

Though technically not classed as a weed whacker, this Husqvarna brush cutter can do everything a weed whacker can and more. Thanks to its much thicker trimmer line, grass blade, and saw blade, it is capable of getting through the thickest grasses, reeds, stalks, and even small trees. It’s the optimal tool for working on larger yards and overgrown parts of your property, but you won’t need this much power if you have a small yard.

Though it’s a gas power tool, it has been designed to use less fuel and emit fewer exhaust emissions.

Since this tool is a little heavier than other weed whacker models, it comes with a body harness that is worn by the user and strapped to the tool to distribute its weight evenly, making it much easier to lift and maneuver, without causing back pain or user fatigue. It also has a bike-style soft-grip handlebar for more user comfort and ease of use.

While it does technically have a bump feed system, it needs nothing more than a small tap on the ground to activate the line change, making it less likely to damage the unit.

Price at time of publish: 669

Power: Gas, 1.9 horsepower, 34.6cc engine | Cutting width: 18.5 inches | Weight: 15.4 pounds | Length: 58.4 inches | Feed system: Bump

Best Lightweight

Ryobi ONE 18-Volt Cordless Battery String Trimmer

At just 4 pounds, this Ryobi string trimmer and edger is so light that it almost feels like a toy to handle, but that’s not to say that it lacks in performance. On the contrary, this weed whacker and edger is tough on weeds, cutting them down in just one pass. It features a rotatable shaft that shifts the tool from weed trimmer to edger, and its grip is ergonomic, making it even easier to handle and maneuver around tighter spaces, such as small backyard gardens.

Though it provides a rather short run time of around 10 minutes, charging the battery fully only takes an hour, and if you have a second battery handy, you can easily get through a small- to medium-sized yard without any issues. It has an easy auto-feed system that advances the line every time you let go of the trigger, and it comes with a three-year warranty, too.

Price at time of publish: 69

Power: Cordless, 1.5-amp hour 18-volt battery | Cutting width: 10 inches | Weight: 4 pounds | Shaft length: 42 inches | Feed system: Automatic

Best Budget

Greenworks 5.5 Amp 15-Inch Corded Electric String Trimmer

  • This economical weed whacker proves that there’s no need to break the bank in order to keep the corners and edges of your lawn looking spick and span.

For residential use on a smaller-sized lawn, you don’t need to shell out hundreds on a high-end weed whacker when a budget option, like this 5.5-amp string trimmer from Greenworks, will clean up your yard easily and effectively in very little time.

Simple to use with an automatic line feed system, this unit has a rotating and pivoting head that can be adjusted to four different positions for getting into every hard-to-reach corner of your yard and provide a nice clean line along landscape edging.

The handy wheels on the edger side make trimming along driveways, pathways, and sidewalks practically effortless, and, to change the device into an edger, all you have to do is press a button. There’s not a guard on the edger side, so it is a little messier when it comes to flying lawn clippings than when using the trimming side, but that’s a small price to pay for its economical cost, light weight, and constant flow of corded electric power.

Price at time of publish: 40

Power: Corded electric, 5.5-amp | Cutting width: 15 inches | Weight: 7.3 pounds | Shaft length: 41 inches | Feed system: Automatic

The Bottom Line

The super-strong and durable Ego Power 15-Inch String Trimmer with Powerload was our overall top pick of the best weed whackers due to its sturdy carbon fiber shaft, 30-minute runtime (considered good for a cordless weed whacker), large 15-inch cutting swath, and easy automatic string feed system. What’s more, it has a lifetime warranty that, in effect, guarantees you a tool that could potentially last forever.

What to Know About Weed Whackers Before Shopping

Power Source

In terms of power, weed whackers typically come in two main varieties: gas and electric. A gas version offers more power, while an electric model is quieter, more lightweight, and generally easier to use. Electric battery-powered trimmers are a good option for home use because they’re more maneuverable than gas options or corded electric models.

Corded electric weed whackers offer continuous power without needing to charge batteries, but you’ll be limited to the area your extension cord can reach.

As with all gas-powered tools, a gas weed whacker requires you to handle fuel and put up with the fumes it emits. Yearly maintenance by a professional is also a must, but if you’re confident enough, you can do it yourself with a good YouTube tutorial.


These tools come in varying sizes and weights, but thankfully, modern weed whackers are much lighter than their predecessors, making them easier to use by just about anyone. A gas weed whacker is typically a little heavier than its electric counterpart since you have to factor in the fuel weight, too, but on average, you’ll find that the best weed whackers weigh around 5 to 10 pounds.

Shaft Style

You can also choose between a curved or straight shaft. The curved shafts can feel better-balanced and easier to use but may have less torque, while the straight ones will have a longer reach and can more easily double up as edging tools. A straight shaft also puts less strain on the interior mechanisms of the weed whacker and is more likely to be able to handle different attachments.

Feed System

A feed system releases the cutting string—the line the tool uses to cut the weeds down—to the head of a weed whacker. The string, which is typically made of plastic, needs to be advanced every few yards or so since it gets considerably worn down. Old weed whackers required the string to be changed manually by hand, but most trimmers nowadays have much easier feed systems, the main two for residential use being a bump feed and an automatic feed.

  • Bump feed: These systems are fully user-controlled and will only release more line when you bump the weed whacker on the ground. This is a straightforward system, but you do have to be careful not to damage the tool while bumping it.
  • Automatic feed: An auto-feed system is more intuitive and will release more line when it detects that it is time for new string. Though auto-feed systems give you one less thing to worry about, they are often a little more expensive than bump-feed systems in terms of buying price and repairs. You may also find that it goes through spools of string faster than a model with a bump feed system.

Your Questions, Answered

When should you use a weed whacker?

One of the best practices to avoid potential lawn issues in the summer is to use your weed whacker in conjunction with a lawn mower every time you mow the lawn, which could be once a week from springtime on. A lawn mower isn’t able to trim the grass and weeds along the edges of sidewalks and driveways or get into corners, nooks, or the bases of sharp inclines, which is why a weed whacker is necessary. “You can use a weed whacker all year round for the best lawn maintenance,” Ashley Platen-Mills says. “However, weekly use, along with your lawn mower, will be required during the growing season, which is typically March through October.”

You’ll also want to use a weed whacker near delicate flower beds instead of taking the mower right up to them. While a weed whacker is the tool of choice for hard-to-reach areas, be careful not to cut grass against trees as this can cause severe damage to the bark and tree in general. “Remember to keep it 2 inches off the grass when trimming and go over the lawn with a weed whacker first before using the mower,” Platen-Mills says. This way, the lawn mower will chop the clippings, too, and either bag them or mulch them, depending on the type of mower you have.

Can you use a weed whacker on wet grass?

While you can use a weed whacker on wet grass, it isn’t advisable. “Using a trimmer on wet grass will more than likely end up ripping the grass rather than cutting it cleanly,” Platen-Mills says. “This can lead to scalping and bald patches.” Scalping is when too much grass is removed at once, resulting in unsightly stubbly brown patches. “It’s better to use the string trimmer when the lawn is dry in the areas where you can’t take a lawn mower, and then use the lawnmower to go over and collect the trimmings.”

How do you clean a weed whacker?

There’s no need to give these tools a detail clean or wash them off with water. “Straight after use, wipe the weed whacker down well with a stiff brush to get rid of any lawn clippings and soil,” Platen-Mills recommends. In addition to keeping the tool generally clean, yearly maintenance of gas models is necessary in order to check the fuel, oil, engine, spark plugs, and the blade on weed whacker-mower combo models.

Who We Are

This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over 10 years of commerce-writing experience. Kat is also the Commerce Editor-at-Large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S. online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this best weed whacker article, Kat reviewed and tested multiple weed whackers; spoke to lawn maintenance experts at WWCS Environmental Services, including its director, Ashley Platen-Mills; and researched and considered factors such as each weed whacker’s power, cutting swath, shaft length and style, durability, as well as value for money.