Keeping your lawn looking nice and neat isn’t easy. It takes quite a bit of work and a number of lawn care tools to ensure your lawn not only looks good but stays healthy. One of the most important tools you’ll ever need is a grass trimmer. This tool is necessary for keeping those edges trimmed to perfection.
If you’re looking for a grass trimmer for your lawn, you’ve probably already noticed that there are plenty of models to choose from. Obviously, this makes choosing the right one for your lawn care needs slightly more difficult than you thought it would be. If you’re not up to the challenge of wading through the different weed whackers being sold, we’ve got just the list for you. Below are the 10 best grass trimmers that will suit most lawn care needs.
Top 10 String Trimmers Of 2020 Reviewed
1. BLACK+DECKER LST136W 40V MAX String TrimmerBest Grass Trimmer For Fences
If you don’t have a big lawn with a rather limited budget, the Black + Decker LST136 40V Max String Trimmer is the better option for you. It is ideal for regular lawn grass and can easily cover the same amount of area as our first pick on just a single battery charge. The main difference is that the EGO is more efficient due to its power output. We love that this unit comes with a telescoping shaft which allows individuals of varying heights to use the tool. It features a rotating head which is ideal for edging.
And at 6.5 pounds plus its ergonomic design, this unit feels very comfortable to use. However, there have been reports of the tool breaking down after a couple of years. The automatic feeder wastes too much string which causes the long string to hit the head’s housing, reducing the cutting speed. Also, replacement spools aren’t cheap.
- Long runtime (45 minutes)
- Rotating head
- Telescoping shaft
- Reports of breaking down after a year
- Automatic feed wastes string
- Expensive replacement spools
2. Makita XRU02Z 18V LXT Cordless String TrimmerBest Grass Trimmer For Edging
The Makita XRU02Z is another cordless option on our list. It comes with a motor that can produce 7800 RPM to provide you with a faster cutting speed. The telescoping shaft allows you to adjust the length of the trimmer from 48-1/2″ to 56-1/2″. It features an easy-loading bump and feed trimmer head that pivots in 5 positions to enable you to easily reach tight spaces.
And the 180º rotating head allows you to use this unit as an edger. On a single charge, you can get a runtime of up to 45 minutes, enough to cover a regular suburban-sized lawn. And it takes only 30 minutes to charge. This Makita grass trimmer is definitely ideal for light to medium duty jobs. However, refilling the line is not easy to do. The plastic grass guard is a bit on the flimsy side and can easily break. And this trimmer tends to jam when cutting tall grass.
- Telescoping shaft
- 7800 RPM
- Fast charging battery
- Refilling the line is hard
- Cheap plastic grass guard
- Not for cutting tall grass
3. Greenworks 16-Inch PRO 80V Cordless String Trimmer
This particular cordless string trimmer from Greenworks stands out because of one thing (though it has lots of great features). It is compatible with most gas attachments from various brands such as Ryobi Expand-It and Poulon Pro. The other cordless models we’ve discussed do not have the same capability.
Other highlights with this grass trimmer include a 45-minute runtime with its 2.0AH battery (not included), a 30-minute charge time, an easy load head for quick line refills, a self-winding spool head, a variable speed trigger, a 14/16-inch cut path, and a .080 cutting line. This baby is very powerful and can easily match some gas-powered models out there. However, compared to other cordless models, this is very heavy – a whole 16 pounds! The bump feed doesn’t seem to work properly.
- Cuts through tall grass easily
- Fast charge time
- Compatible with gas attachments
- Very heavy
- Bump feed doesn’t work properly
4. Ego ST1502-F Power+ 15″ String TrimmerBest Electric String Trimmer
This cordless model is our number one pick because it is powerful enough to match a gas-powered model, able to easily cut through 1-inch thick bamboo without slowing down, but doesn’t produce the noise and exhaust fumes. It features a variable speed trigger to allow for different cutting conditions. While it isn’t light at around 10 pounds, it feels balanced and comfortable in your hand. It has a longer runtime than most cordless models; it can completely cut through a 3,400 square foot lawn on a single battery charge with its 15-inch cutting swath.
The charging time is quite fast too – only 40 minutes. Other highlights include the dual-line head, the 0.095-inch trimmer line, and a bump feed feature. However, the battery level indicator only lights up when the battery is down to 15% while other models’ batteries use a series of lights. Changing the line isn’t easy because the spool is hard to remove. And while you can use this for edging, the handle makes it awkward on your wrist to do so.
- 15-inch cutting swath
- Taking the spool off is hard
- Battery indicator only lights up at 15%
- Not ideal for edging
5. DEWALT 20V Max Lithium Ion XR String Trimmer
The DEWALT DCST920P1 features a brushless motor, a 13-inch cutting swatch, variable speed control, a dual-line head, and a 20V MAX 5.0Ah Lithium Ion battery. It also comes with a 3-year limited warranty, 1 year of free service, and a 90-day money back guarantee. For almost $200, it sounds like a pretty good deal, right? There’s more. The cutting line is .080″. The unit comes with a bump feed.
And it only weighs 8.5 pounds. On average, you can run this trimmer for an hour on low power. At a high setting, the runtime is around 30 to 40 minutes on a full charge. This unit is ideal for light duty cutting though it can still cut tall thicker grass on high power. But for seriously thicker weeds, you will need to buy something else. Also, the grass guard is quite small which isn’t enough to protect you from flying debris. Plus, we did notice that the head is a bit on the heavy side.
- Variable speed control
- Long runtime
- 90-day money back guarantee, 3-year limited warranty
- Not for heavy duty jobs
- Small grass guard
- The head is a bit heavy; unbalanced feel
6. Greenworks 13-Inch 4 Amp Corded String TrimmerBest Auto Feed Grass Trimmer
The Greenworks 13-Inch 4 Amp Corded String Trimmer is the only one of its kind on the list. Compared to all other picks, this is probably the most budget-friendly option. It’s also lightweight (5.2 lbs), easy to use, and has a 13-inch cut path which is reasonably big. This 4-amp unit is powerful enough to hack down 1 foot-tall weeds in an average-sized yard in less than 30 minutes.
However, you will need an extension cord for this unit. The automatic line feed takes some time to get used to and can cause you to waste line. Also, the telescoping length doesn’t extend long enough for all individuals.
- Powerful unit
- Very lightweight
- Very affordable
- Requires an extension cord
- Not long enough for all individuals (6 feet or more)
- Automatic line feed can waste line
7. Husqvarna 17-Inch Straight Shaft Detachable String TrimmerBest Gas Grass Trimmer For The Money
If you need lots of power and versatility with your grass trimmer, then this gas-powered model from Husqvarna may just be the right one for you. This model comes with a 28cc engine. It has a 17-inch cutting width and uses a .095 diameter trimmer line. It features a Smart Start function and an auto return stop switch to ensure fast starting. At 10.8 pounds, it’s as light as some of our cordless picks. The unit also comes with a versatile cutting guard that can be used with the trimmer head or a grass blade.
This trimmer is attachment capable so you can transform it to a brushcutter, pole saw, tree pruner or edger should the need ever arise. Did we mention that it almost has no vibration? Yes, vibration fatigue isn’t going to be an issue with this trimmer. However, the pump head doesn’t work as well as one would hope for the price of $200. The shaft is not the ideal length for all individuals. And since this is a 2-cycle engine, you’ll need to make sure you mix your fuel right.
- Powerful engine
- Almost no vibration
- Attachment compatible
- Short shaft
- Bump head doesn’t work effectively
- Requires you to mix oil + gas correctly
8. Echo SRM-225 Straight Shaft Gas Trimmer
The Echo SRM-225 String Trimmer is another gas-powered model on our list. This one comes with a less powerful engine – only 21.2cc though it does offer the same 17-inch cutting swath. It comes with a 2-stroke engine, a line advance bump feed, and an anti-vibration handle. It starts really quickly and can cut through thicker grass if you use a .08 line diameter.
Compared to the Husqvarna, the shaft on this model is longer and more ideal for people taller than 6 feet. The balance and weight of the trimmer are perfect while the easy winding system is very convenient. However, it isn’t as powerful as we’d like especially at this price point (over $400 brand new on Amazon). And it is quite heavy.
- Fast start
- Anti-vibration handle
- Long shaft
- Not powerful enough
- Very expensive
9. BLACK+DECKER MTE912 12-Inch Electric 3-in-1 Trimmer/Edger and MowerBest Grass Trimmer For The Small Yard
This 3-in-1 corded grass trimmer mower is the perfect choice for those who want just one tool for all their lawn care needs. This model features a durable mower base deck with four wheels so you can easily transform the string trimmer into a lawn mower with a 12-inch cutting swatch. You can easily switch between “modes” by using the foot pedal release to insert or detach the unit from the base deck.
The 6.5-amp motor is powerful enough to keep a small yard of up to 1200 square feet looking trim and attractive. And you can even adjust the height of the mower deck (2 height positions). However, it doesn’t quite cut like a mower should; it’s recommended that you use it like a vacuum, pushing it back and forth to get the grass cut the way you need it to be. You’ll need a two-prong extension cord for this unit (though it does have a cordless model). And the automatic feed wastes line, like most of the other models that have this feature.
- 3-in-1 lawn care tool
- Adjustable height
- Perfect for small yards
- Requires a two-prong extension cord
- Automatic feed wastes line
- Narrow cutting swath
10. Remington 22-Inch Trimmer Lawn Mower
If you have the garage space and require an incredible amount of power from your grass trimmer, then the Remington 22-inch trimmer lawn mower is just the thing. It features a 159cc 4-Cycle OHV engine with a 22-inch cutting swath, an off-set trimmer head, and 14-inch ball-bearing wheels. The tallest, toughest weeds won’t stand a chance against this grass trimmer. You can easily push this baby around, even through thick brush because of the large wheels. Hard-to-reach places aren’t so hard to reach with this unit’s trimmer head.
And it comes with a single-lever height adjustment which has three positions so you can control how your lawn looks. The handles are adjustable but not really ideal for tall people. There are no front wheels which means you can tire yourself out by just keeping the front elevated. And the gas tank is not transparent so you’ll need to open it and use a flashlight to see how much fuel you have left.
- Very powerful machine
- 22-inch cutting swath
- Off-set trimmer head
- No front wheels
- The gas tank is not transparent
- Not ideal for really tall individuals
How to Choose the Best String Trimmer: The Ultimate Buying Guide
A good grass trimmer is just the thing to get rid of those unsightly, uneven edges of your lawn that your mower can’t seem to reach. This tool, also called string trimmers or weed whackers, come in two main types – gas and electric. The plastic string that cuts the grass comes in a variety of thickness and textures. And not all machines will accept all “sizes” and textures of strings. If you’re looking for the perfect grass trimmer, then you’ve got your work cut out for you. But don’t worry too much because we’ve got this buying guide that should help.
What is a Grass Trimmer?
A grass trimmer, strimmer, string trimmer, or weed wacker is a tool that can help you maintain the edge of your lawn. It features a plastic or nylon string that whirls around to cut greener in tight spaces.
Now, you might be wondering what makes it different from an edge. Well, a string trimmer is perfect for maintaining edges that were already created by a different lawn tool – the edger. An edger is a tool that allows you to create crisp, well-defined lines at the edges of your lawn. Basically, the edger will create the “landscape” of your lawn while your trimmer will maintain it. Both are important tools for keeping your lawn nice and clean.
What are the Types of Grass Trimmers?
There are three types of grass trimmers – gas, corded, and cordless. The type of trimmer you choose will depend on several factors including the size of your lawn and preferences.
If you have tall grass and large lawns, you’ll want something powerful. Gas string trimmers definitely fit that bill. As an added benefit, these models have longer runtimes and better mobility compared to a corded unit. Most models will feature a pull cord to start the machine and have a large cutting swath (16 to 18 inches).
While they’re typically less than 13 pounds, gas trimmers are still heavier compared to electric units. With this type of grass trimmer, you’ll need to make sure you’re using the right fuel for the tool to work properly And because it uses fuel, it will produce exhaust emissions. While it won’t be as bad as models from years before, it’s still something to consider if you want something eco-friendly.
When choosing a gas-powered model, you’ll need to consider the power output which is measured as cubic centimeters (cc). You’ll also need to consider the type of engine used. 2-cycle engines like the Husqvarna 17-Inch Straight Shaft Detachable String Trimmer require a blend of oil and gasoline in order to run but it will have enough power to get the job done without weighing down your arm too much. 4-cycle engines are perfect for jungle-type lawns and will run on gasoline alone.
While this makes things easier on the fuel front, you will need to perform regular oil changes. The good things about these engines are they’re easier to start, quieter, and produce less pollution. However, they are heavier and cost more.
Corded String Trimmers
Corded grass trimmers are less complex than gas-powered models. They’re easier to start (just by pushing a button) and maintain. They’re also much quieter and cleaner to operate. Among all three types, corded models tend to be the most affordable. They also weigh less. However, your mobility is limited with a corded grass trimmer so this is more ideal for trimming a small work area.
In addition, if your lawn has several trees and other obstacles, a corded unit may be difficult to maneuver. The power output of a corded unit is measured in amps (A). For a regular suburban yard, a 3-amp unit or more is powerful enough to get the job done provided that you’ve got the outlets and extension cord to use it. Our one and only pick for this type of grass trimmer is the Greenworks 13-Inch 4 Amp Corded String Trimmer which has more than enough power for your average-sized yard.
Cordless Grass Trimmers
Cordless units, like its corded counterparts, are easier to use and maintain. They’re quieter and run cleaner. One benefit of getting a battery-powered model is that it has the same mobility as a gas-powered model. However, it will have a shorter runtime since it runs on batteries. What users love about this type of weed wacker is the fact that you won’t need to worry about outlets and extension cords or mixing fuel just to get the machine working. All you’ll need to do is to make sure the battery is fully charged before taking it out to the yard. Speaking of charging, units will differ in their battery charging times.
Some like the Ego ST1502-F Power+ 15″ String Trimmer will have a fast charge of 30 minutes while others can go up to 3 hours. The power output indicator for cordless units is volts so try to look for a unit that has 40-80 volts to get more power and longer runtime. It is recommended that you also get a spare battery to further extend a unit’s runtime which is typically 30 minutes.
String Trimmer Mowers
Now, this is a special type of grass trimmer. It looks like a lawn mower where you walk behind the unit as it trims. The difference is that it actually features strings instead of blades and will help you trim hard-to-reach areas that your regular mower just can’t get too.
This is also a gas-powered model and will provide you with more power and mobility. Compared to a handheld gas-powered unit, a string trimmer mower will be able to work more efficiently when trimming a very large cutting area. The main disadvantage of getting a unit like this is the price which is very expensive. The Remington 22-Inch Trimmer Lawn Mower, for example, costs $300.
What Trimmer Best Suits My Yard?
As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll need to choose the type of grass trimmer based on how big your yard is (among other things). Generally, the bigger your yard is, the more powerful your grass trimmer should be to ensure that it works efficiently.
Light-duty models like the BLACK+DECKER LST136W 40V MAX String Trimmer are perfect for light trimming of grass and weeds in a yard that’s up to an acre in size.
Medium-duty models are for trimming thicker grass and weeds in yards that are up to an acre in size. While they’re still effective for trimming yards up to 2 acres big, they won’t be the most efficient. Some medium-duty units can use attachments which makes them more versatile, able to perform other landscaping jobs.
Heavy-duty models can cut rougher grass and weeds and are perfect for yards that can be as big as 2 acres in size. A lot of these units like the Greenworks 16-Inch PRO 80V Cordless String Trimmer can accept attachments which also makes them versatile tools.
Professional units can cut grass, weed, and brush in yards more than 2 acres in size, though you can still easily use them in smaller yards. Like heavy-duty models, most of these can also use attachments for performing other landscaping jobs.
What are the Features I Should Consider in My Grass Trimmer?
Curved or Straight Shaft Trimmer
The shaft is where the power of the engine or motor is transferred to the lines that cut the grass and weeds. Some models will feature a straight shaft which provides a longer reach and is ideal for tall people. Also, these can easily reach grass beneath shrubs, bushes, and benches. Other models will feature a curved shaft which is perfect for trimming grass and weed in tight areas. They also tend to be lighter in comparison and easier to handle.
Some grass trimmers like the BLACK+DECKER LST136W 40V MAX String Trimmer will have a rotating head which means that it can swing the head into a vertical position. This is a useful feature for edging your lawn where it meets the driveway or sidewalk.
There are a lot of factors you’ll need to consider when looking at the cutting line. A line that’s too thin won’t have much cutting power while one that’s too thick may bog down the motor or engine of the grass trimmer. Some models have single-line heads which are easier to use since winding new trimming line is simplified. Other models like the Ego ST1502-F Power+ 15″ String Trimmer have dual-line heads which cut twice as much grass with each revolution.
Cutting Line Feed Options
Fixed line heads make loading new line easier since you’re using pre-cut pieces, no winding required and no tangles to worry about. However, this also means that you’ll need to thread a piece of the line more frequently. Bump heads like that featured in the Makita XRU02Z 18V LXT Cordless String Trimmer will feed new line from the spool whenever you “bump” or tap the head against the ground. Automatic-feed heads will, as the name suggests, automatically feed new cutting line as needed using centrifugal force.
Starting aids can help make using a gas-powered model much easier. For example, spring-assisted starting makes it easier to pull the starter cord. A fuel-primer bulb (which you push) can help start a cold engine faster.
Variable Speed Controls
Some grass trimmers like the DEWALT 20V Max Lithium Ion XR String Trimmer will feature different levels of power to suit a variety of cutting conditions. Cordless grass trimmers will often have this feature to enable you to extend the battery life or cut thicker grass/weeds.
Other features that you might be interested in is the cutting swath (the cutting area of the trimmer), adjustable shaft (allows you to change the height of the trimmer), fast-loading spool (lets you insert a new line and wind it without removing the spool), and guides/wheels (for creating clean edges more easily).
One Last Thing…
There are a variety of replacement trimmer heads available in the market that you can choose from. These will offer different configurations of cutting line, able to handle different cutting conditions. If you are planning to purchase one, make sure that you check its compatibility with your trimmer.