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Best Weed Eater Reviews Guide For 2016

A real heavy-duty string trimmer in action.

Do you want a perfectly manicured yard that will make your neighbors green with envy and do a double-take every time they step outside? Has your rickety old trimmer finally kicked the bucket for good? Perhaps you’ve moved into a new home and want to get your homeownership off to a good start with the best weed eater out there? Regardless of why you’re here, if you’re looking for the best weed eater to buy, you’ve come to the right place!

With years of personal and professional experience in lawn maintenance, I’ve put in hours of testing over the years and have tried out virtually every brand, type, and model of best weed trimmer ever made in order to provide the most comprehensive and unbiased weed eater reviews around. While there are dozens of different models all vying for your hard-earned buck, you’re about to discover the absolute best weed eaters on the market today, plus a whole lot more. Enjoy!

Product

Model Type

Black & Decker LST-136W

Black & Decker LST136W

Cordless Electric

Core CTG400 CGTSD

Core CTG400

Cordless Electric

Hitachi CG22EASSLP

Hitachi CG22EASSLP

Gas Powered

Black & Decker LST420

Black & Decker LST420

Cordless Electric

Toro 51480

Toro 51480

Corded Electric

GreenWorks 21212

GreenWorks 21212

Corded Electric

Earthwise CST00012

Earthwise CST00012

Cordless Electric

Black & Decker NST1118

Black & Decker NST1118

Cordless Electric

Black & Decker LCC140

Black & Decker LCC140 40v Li-Ion Trimmer and Sweeper combo kit

Cordless Electric

PoulanPro PP25CFA

PoulanPro PP25CFA

Gas Powered



George Ballas and his original weed eater.

What is a Weed Eater/String Trimmer/Weed Wacker?

Also called a weed wacker or string trimmer by some, the weed eater was originally invented by George Ballas in the 1970s as an effortless way to trim weeds along driveways, sidewalks, the sides of houses, and in places lawn mowers simply can’t reach. Over the years, weed eaters have evolved into a number of different types, styles, and brands designed to fulfill the needs of every homeowner. George Ballas showed off in 1975 the original Weed Eater, a popcorn can rigged up with some wires.

As any other multi-purpose tool for gardening of either personal property or working heavy-duty in the fields, string trimmers have their safety guidelines, which you should follow for the most productive and harmless experience. Learn about safe work with weed eaters in this manual


Reasons to Buy the Best Weed Eater/String Trimmer/Weed Wacker

If you've ever tried edging your driveway or sidewalk with a lawnmower, then you know how frustrating it can be. With this in mind, let's review some of the top reasons you can benefit from a quality weed eater today.

A man working heavy-duty string trimmer on a pack of bushes and weeds.

1. Effortless Edging - Any quality weed eater can easily be inverted to effortlessly edge driveways, sidewalks, garden beds, and anything else for a perfectly manicured look.

2. Ability to Cut Thick Weeds and Brush - With a top-notch weed eater, you can tackle almost any cutting and trimming task, including clearing a variety of brush and trimming the thickest of thickets.

3. Lightweight and Easy to Use - Most popular and well-liked weed eaters are designed to be as lightweight and easy to use as possible, so anyone from a retiree to a soccer mom can use them.

4. Budget-Friendly - Commercial and professional-grade weed eaters may set you back a few hundred dollars, but there are some downright awesome weed eaters out there designed for residential use that cost as little as a night out at the movies.

5. Cut Yardwork in Half - With the ability to quickly and efficiently cut through nearly anything, a quality weed eater can seriously reduce time spent laboring in the yard, which you'll surely appreciate on a hot summer day.


What’s the Difference Between a Weed Eater and a Lawn Mower?

A line of Husqvarna production mowers.

By Charles & Hudson (Flickr: Husqvarna Product Tour) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Lawn mowers and weed eaters are both important lawn care tools, but there are a number of differences between them. Lawn mowers are big and heavy lawn-cutting devices with large blades and four wheels, allowing them to be pushed or driven back and forth across your yard to trim the grass to your desired level. While essential lawn care tools, lawn mowers lack the ability to cut weeds and trim grass along driveways, sidewalks, and in tight spots.

Weed eaters, on the other hand, are not only much more lightweight and portable, but they’re specifically designed to brilliantly prune the edges of your lawn where lawn mowers simply can’t reach. If your yard needs a little trim around the edges and could use a little weed eater love, this guide and the expert weed eater reviews contained within will help you find the absolute best weed eater for your needs.


Types of Weed Eaters

Cordless trimmer battery being put into the socket.

- Cordless Weed Eaters/Trimmers:

Cordless weed eaters are one of the most portable and easy to use types of weed eater on the market today. In addition to providing cord-free mobility and the ability to be used without the need for spending money on gas, breathing in fumes, and pull starting like traditional gasoline models, these environmentally-friendly weed eaters perform reasonably well in the tall stuff and often have run times of at least 30 minutes before needing to be recharged. Unfortunately, some models can take hours to recharge and are noticeably heavier than corded weed eaters, making them more suitable for smaller yards and applications.

The cord of this trimmer is clearly visible behind the man using his Toro string trimmer.

- Electric Weed Eaters/Trimmers:

These types of weed eaters are extremely lightweight and easy to use. Although they are just as capable of trimming thick weeds and brush as many of the gas powered trimmers for sale, electric weed eaters typically lack the power provided by their gas counterparts. That being said, they’re the least expensive and most lightweight type of weed eaters available, which makes them a great option for many homeowners.

Cans of gasoline

By BrokenSphere (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

- Gas-Powered Weed Eaters/Trimmers:

When most people think of weed eaters, they usually envision gas powered models capable of chewing through the toughest of weeds with ease. As the most powerful type of weed eaters available, gas-powered weed eaters are ideal for large yards and can tackle the toughest of trimming jobs. However, they’re often heavier, louder, and more expensive than other types of weed eaters mentioned in weed eater reviews. Nonetheless, if you have a large yard or need to tackle some serious brush, a gas-powered trimmer may be the perfect type of weed eater for you.

Earthwise battery near the recharger and power connector.

Earthwise battery with charger. Check out our review!

- Battery Powered Weed Eaters/Trimmers:

If you like the idea of owning an eco-friendly weed eater and need to trim hard-to-reach places a corded electric trimmer simply can’t get to, then a battery powered model may be right up your alley. Powered by rechargeable batteries, these popular weed eaters can be carried and used anywhere in your yard without having to worry about messing with cords and extension cords. Unfortunately, most battery powered weed eaters only have run times of two to three hours before needing recharged, which can take several hours. Therefore, if you opt for one of these versatile trimmers, you may want to consider purchasing an extra battery or two as well.

- 4-Cycle String Trimmers:

While similar two-cycle gas-powered string trimmers, there are several differences between two and four-cycle models. For instance, 4-cycle string trimmers are easier to start, don’t require the mixing of oil and gas, and emit less pollution. On the downside, they’re also heavier than the majority of 2-cycle weed eaters, requiring a little extra effort to use. So, if you have a large yard, nice budget, and the ability to handle a serious piece of lawn care machinery, then you can’t go wrong by choosing the best 4 stroke weed eater as your lawn care weapon of choice.

- Commercial Weed Eaters/Trimmers:

Commercial weed eaters and trimmers are larger, heavier, and more powerful than residential gas and electric weed eaters, making them ideal for cutting large areas of thick grass and dense brush. Also referred to as brush cutters by some, these large weed eaters typically require two hands to successfully operate, and the best commercial weed eater may even come equipped with a harness to help user’s support the added weight of the machine. Commercial trimmers are also usually constructed with a metal blade instead of the standard monofilament line found in the other types of weed eaters mentioned thus far, allowing them to cut through heavier brush.

A corded string trimmer lying onto tall and healthy bushes of green.

By Hedwig Storch (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

- Corded String Trimmers:

At the other end of the spectrum, corded string trimmers are extremely lightweight and easy to use. While they can be easily carried and used by men and women of all ages, the fact that they’re corded severely limits their range. Most corded string trimmers have a maximum cord length of 100 feet, but an extension cord can be used for greater operating range. Although corded string trimmers are lightweight and relatively simple to use, the need for a cord or extension cord can be a hassle for some, so you should take this into consideration when shopping for the best weed eater for you.

How to Use a Weed Wacker

If you're looking for the best string trimmer and have never used a weed eater or weed wacker before, you’ll likely be surprised at just how easy it is. In fact, the following steps will show you exactly how to use one of these essential lawn care tools, so you’ll be ready to trim your yard like a pro right out of the gate, regardless of which type you choose:

  • Step 1

    A weed eater can cause flying debris and injuries can occur from coming into contact with its rapidly spinning monofilament string, so you should wear protective clothing including eye protection, long pants, and proper closed-toe shoes. By taking these protective measures and only working with the best weed wackers, you’ll greatly increase your safety when operating any of these lawn care tools.
  • Step 2

    Since corded electric and battery powered weed eaters typically only require pressing an on/off switch, you can skip the next two steps if using one of these models. If you opt for a gas powered model, however, you should first place the weed eater flat on the ground and press the primer bulb located on the rear of the motor five to six times. Then, locate the choke lever and set it to full choke before pulling in the throttle trigger.
  • Step 3

    While pressing the throttle trigger, quickly pull the starter cord outward and allow the weed eater to pull it back in. Repeat the process until the motor sputters in an effort to start. At this point, you should move the choke lever to half-choke and pull the starter cord again until you hear the motor start up.
  • Step 4

    After starting the weed eater, locate the grip in front of the motor and grasp it in your dominant hand. Then, place your index finger over the throttle trigger and place your other hand on the secondary assist handle.
  • Step 5

    Now, let out the cutting line by gently tapping the trimmer’s rotating head on the ground while the motor is running at full throttle. It’s important not to let too much line out as this can cause injury. The line should go out no further than the debris shield attached to the trimmer head.
  • Step 6

    With the weed eater running and the proper amount of line out and ready to cut, hold the trimmer out in front of you so that the rotating head is level to the ground and sweep it across from left to right in a fanning motion. The end of the line is what does the cutting, so you should never place the head of the weed eater directly against the cutting surface. When edging around your driveway or sidewalk, simply hold the trimmer on its side for a clean edge a professional landscaper would be proud of.
  • Step 7

    When done, turn the weed eater off simply by pressing the on/off lever to the off position. This will turn the motor off and allow the head to stop rotating.

Tips and Warnings

Since no two weed eaters are exactly the same, it’s important to read the owner’s manual in order to become familiar with all of your weed eater’s parts prior to operating it.

Some people are visual learners, so here’s a great video that clearly shows how to correctly operate a weed eater. It also provides a few other gems of weed eater info.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Weed Wacker for Your Needs

Whether you want the best rated weed eater ever made or simply the best option for a small yard and limited budget, there are a ton of weed eaters on the market today and even more weed eater reviews trying to steer you in one direction or another. While any weed eater is better than none, there are some questions to ask yourself in order to avoid a hasty purchase and disappointment in the end, including:

• How big is your yard?

The size of your yard should be one of the biggest factors when deciding on the best weed eater for you and your lawn. Gas powered weed eaters have plenty of power and aren’t bound by a cord, making them a great option for homeowners with large yards. Meanwhile, corded electric models are less mobile and ideal for smaller yards. As far as gas powered weed eaters go, 25-30cc models are great for normal weed trimming, but larger models with 30-40cc motors are better for more challenging yards and applications.

• What type of power source would you prefer?

When reading through weed eater reviews and sorting through top rated weed eaters, you need to decide between gas, electric, and battery powered models. Gas powered weed eaters are usually the most powerful and are designed for a variety of heavy duty uses and people who need to move around freely without the need for an extension cord. Corded electric weed eaters are great because you don’t have to purchase gasoline or worry about charging up batteries, but you have to deal with bothersome cords and can only reach as far as your extension cord will let you. Battery powered weed eaters also run on electricity and are usually smaller and less powerful than other types of weed eaters.

• How much do you want to spend?

Weed eaters come in all sizes and prices. Some smaller battery powered models can be purchased for under $80, while larger professional-grade weed eaters can cost upwards of $200 or more. Although it’s possible to find big, powerful, and versatile gas trimmers at a nice price, as is the case with just about everything else, you usually get what you pay for.

• What brand of weed eater would you like to own?

Today, there are literally dozens of different lawn mower and weed eater brands. However, all brands are definitely no created equal. Some of the top brands in the business include Black & Decker, Greenworks, Husqvarna, and Hitachi. Sure, you may find a quality weed eater from another manufacturer, but you can’t go wrong with one of these popular brands.

• Is there a warranty or money back guarantee?

Similar to lawn mowers, TVs, refrigerators, and other large items, most weed eaters are backed by a warranty or money back guarantee. Since weed eaters are machines and even the best machines break down from time to time, the warranty of a weed eater should be nearly as important as its cutting ability.

Tips on How to Maintain Your Trimmer

A man trimming the edge of his lawn

Most quality weed eaters are durable and made to last for years, but a little maintenance now and then will add years to your weed eater’s life. Since you’re here for solid, actionable advice, here’s the rundown on proper weed eater maintenance, so you can keep your new weed eater running smooth and trouble-free for years to come.

• Turn it off – It may seem like common sense, but it’s important to turn your weed eater off before performing maintenance on it. It’s also a wise idea to empty the gas tank and disconnect the spark plug.

• Clean it up – Every trimmer should be cleaned from time to time. To do so, simply brush off any debris and wipe it down with a simple water and dish soap mixture.

• Check the string – You don’t need to replace the string every time you use a weed eater, but you should always check it prior to using it. Although most weed eater brands require frequent string replacement, how often you’ll need to replace the string will largely depend on its usage. When replacing weed eater line, simply remove the disk, discard any remaining line, and re-string it. New string or line can easily be found in any hardware or big box store.

• Clean the sparkplug – The spark plug may need to be cleaned every three to four months. It’s a relatively simple process, but you should refer to the owner’s manual for detailed instructions on how and when to clean or replace it.

• Clean the air filter – You should check the air filter before each use and clean it as needed. To do so, locate the air filter, remove it, and simply clean it with soap and water. If you have a gas trimmer, you should also add a few drops of oil to the foam filter to allow it to soak up and filter as many dirt particles as possible.

• Safely store it – The fuel tank should be emptied prior to storing your weed eater in a dry place. Before putting it away, you may also want to check the wheels and screws and tighten them if needed.

By following these maintenance and safety tips you’ll help keep yourself safe and your new weed eater running in tip-top shape to enjoy for years to come. Although the manual is written for an Echo product, the basic knowledge and tips apply to all string trimmers.

String trimmer closeup photograph.

By Hedwig Storch (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

How to String Your Weed Wacker

Changing the string or line in your weed wacker’s cutting head is standard maintenance and the process is rather similar for most models.

First, make sure to disconnect your weed eater from its power source. For electric and battery powered weed wackers, all you have to do is unplug the cord or remove the battery. For a gas powered weed eater, you must remove the spark plug or its boot.

Then, turn the weed eater over on a flat surface. The cutting should be facing upward. This will allow you to see and unscrew the string hub cover to access the spool. Some covers also have tabs that must be pressed while unscrewing.

After removing the cover, remove the spool inside the hub as well and toss out any remaining line left on the spool. Then, clean the hub, hub cover, and spool.

Next, you’ll need to cut new line for the hub of your weed eater. Most single string hubs require up to 25 feet of line, while split string hubs usually require less. You should refer to your owner’s manual to for instruction specific to your weed eater.

With the new monofilament line cut, insert it into the hub and follow the arrow to wind it in the right direction. It’s important to evenly wind the line and avoid any overlaps. You want to avoid winding the line too tight or loose, but a little practice is all it takes to get right.

When wound, tuck the ends of the line into spool’s tabs with at least six inches of line coming out of the tabs. Then, feed the line through the dedicated holes on the side of the hub and insert the new spool of line. Finally, put the hub cover back on and yank on the trailing strings to loosen them from the hub tabs. Now, all you have to do is re-connect the power source and get ready for some trimming action!


Best Weed Eater Brands

Weed eaters have become increasingly popular as people across the nation are tossing out their old manual trimmers and enjoying the effortless cutting power of today’s powerful, portable, and affordable string trimmers. Unfortunately, while there are dozens of brands making weed eaters today, only a handful of companies are actually doing a great job. According to many homeowners, the top three brands are:

Black & Decker is arguably the most reputable name in the lawn and garden world, so it should come as no surprise that the renowned company is also one of the leading manufacturers of corded and cordless electric string trimmers. Famous for their zero emissions, Black & Decker weed eaters are incredibly eco-friendly, but they’re also equipped with unique features that help make lawn care a breeze. Perfect for on-the-go, environmentally conscious homeowners with average size yards, Black & Decker products are some of the most popular in the world today.

Like Black & Decker, Greenworks has made a name for itself by making top-quality electric lawn care tools. Powered by electricity, the company’s weed eaters are eco-friendly and easy to use, making them increasingly popular for today’s busy, earth-conscious individuals. Greenworks is also known for its innovation and creating lawn care tools with cutting-edge features. If you’re mindful of our impact on the environment and want a portable, affordable, and more than capable weed eater, Greenworks can’t be beat

Hitachi is well-known for making quality electronic products, but the popular Japanese brand makes some of the best weed eaters and lawn care equipment as well. The company’s powerful gas string trimmers are capable of tackling the tallest and thickest of weeds while minimizing vibrations. Considered by many as making the best and most affordable two-stroke weed eaters on the market, it’s hard to go wrong with Hitachi when shopping for the best weed eater available today.


Top Rated 10 Best Weed Eater Reviews For The Money — Our Top Picks!

1

Suited for: Personal use

Black & Decker LST136W

Black & Decker LST136W
Performance
Durability
Versatility
Ease of Use
Cut Capacity

Pros

• Portable and lightweight
• Adjustable power settings
• Automatic feed spool
• Very versatile and durable

Cons

• Limited battery life
• Not made for thick brush or heavy-duty work

Overview:

As one of the most revered names in the lawn care industry, Black & Decker is well-known for making quality affordable products that last for years. The company’s hugely popular LST136W definitely adheres to this formula. The cordless electric trimmer is extremely portable and lightweight, yet its 40V MAX lithium battery power system manages to provide the right amount of power to tackle a variety of residential trimming tasks.

With variable cutting speeds, an automatic feed spool, adjustable shaft, and a number of other unique design features as well, it’s easy to see why the Black & Decker LST13W is one of the most popular weed eaters around.

LST136W string trimmer is being utilized by a man wearing protection glasses and gloves.

Product Details:

  • Cutting Swath – 13 inches
  • Weight – 7.9 pounds
  • Engine Size – 40V electric battery-powered motor

Review

Cordless electric weed eaters will always be less powerful than gas powered models, but the dual 40-volt MAX lithium batteries of the Black & Decker LST136W allow the lightweight trimmer to remain at a steady RPM and flawlessly trim most weeds with ease. The batteries may only last up to 45 minutes, but they can be fully recharged in less than an hour. Plus, most jobs requiring a weed eater, such as edging or trimming around flower beds, can typically be done in record time with the nimble and powerful trimmer.

The LST136W is also designed with an auto-feed spool feature, adjustable shaft, swivel handle, and a number of other unique features that make it stand out from the pack. However, while it may be suitable for most users, the incredibly popular Black & Decker weed eater may not be powerful enough for people with extra-large yards. Thankfully, the speed settings are adjustable, allowing you to cut an array of brush or prolong battery life when needed.

Conclusion

The Black & Decker LST136W is affordably priced and built to perform, making it one of the most popular weed eaters on the market today. Although it’s powered by batteries and lacks the brute power of a gas model, the adjustable power settings feature allows you to optimize battery life or enjoy a boost of power whenever you want.

With an automatic feed spool as well, it’s a super simple model any weed eating newbie can pick up and begin using with ease.

2

Suited for: Personal and light commercial use

Core CGT400 CGTSD

Performance
Durability
Versatility
Ease of Use
Cut Capacity

Pros

• Extended battery life
• Lightweight and well-balanced
• Powerful motors for increased performance
• Environmentally-friendly
• Extra-wide cutting swath
• Two and five-year warranties available

Cons

• Three-hour charge time
• Not ideal for heavy-duty jobs
• More expensive than other battery power models

Overview:

Have you ever asked yourself, "what is the best weed eater for commercial use?" If so, the CORE CGT400 may be for you! With an extra-long battery life in comparison to other cordless models and powerful trimming abilities, this weed eater is more than capable of making short work of nearly all trimming tasks.

It may be a little more expensive than other cordless weed eaters, but if you’re reading these weed eater reviews in search of the best weed eater on the market, the Core CGT400 CGTSD is definitely worth considering. It’s one of the only cordless models that can give gas weed eaters a run for their money.

A professional using his Core CGT400 CGTSD

Product Details:

  • Cutting Swath – 20 inches
  • Weight – 11 pounds
  • Engine size – Patented CORE motor provides 25% more power than 25cc gas engines

Review

The Core CGT400 CGTSD is lightweight, reliable, and designed to run just as long as a traditional gas powered trimmer, making it one of the best cordless electric weed eaters around. In addition to being perfectly balanced for an ultra-comfortable feel, it’s equipped with a high-energy Conductor Optimized Rotary Energy motor, high-energy power cell, comfort grip handle, dual-mode speed and torque controls, and more.

Extremely lightweight yet even more powerful than many two-stroke gas powered weed eaters, the Core CGT400 CGTSD can be used for a variety of personal and professional outdoor landscaping tasks. The lightweight, durable, and virtually maintenance-free trimmer is priced similarly to many top-notch professional gasoline trimmers, but it’s just as powerful, eco-friendly, and super easy to use. It’s tough to argue with that.

Conclusion

All things considered, the Core CGT400 CGTSD is a great buy for anyone interested in a powerful cordless weed eater that can perform with the best in the business.

The impressive trimmer is lightweight, well-balanced, ultra-quiet, and can easily take care of just about any trimming chore. With an extended run time and shorter than normal charging time, it’s the perfect weed eater for anyone in search of the best.

3

Suited for: heavy-duty residential and commercial use

Hitachi CG22EASSLP

Hitachi CG22EASSLP
Performance
Durability
Versatility
Ease of Use
Cut Capacity

Pros

• Powerful gas motor
• Low emissions
• Anti-vibration system
• Easy to start
• Durable and well-made
• 7-year warranty

Cons

• Louder than electric models
• Odd on/off switch placement

Overview:

Hitachi is widely known for creating top of the line electronics, but the brand’s awesome lineup of lawn care tools are equally impressive. Ideal for homeowners and professional lawn care professionals in need of a powerful, nimble, no-frills weed eater, the Hitachi CG22EASSLP is simply one of the best around. The commercial-grade trimmer is equipped with a powerful 21.1cc engine, Walbro carburetor with built-in purge primer, blade attachment capabilities, anti-vibration system, and much more, making it unbelievably reliable and easy to use.

If you’re ready to stop throwing your money away on cheap trimmers that barely last a season and purchase one of the best weed eaters on the market today, this Hitachi is the way to go.

Heavy duty trimmer is seen being utilized by a man.

Product Details:

  • Cutting Swath – 17 inches
  • Weight – 9.7 pounds
  • Engine size – 21.1cc two-stroke gasoline motor

Review

The Hitachi CG22EASSLP is the perfect weed eater for anyone looking for a powerful, lightweight, and extremely versatile trimmer. The rock-solid weed wacker comes equipped with a powerful and reliable commercial-grade 21.1cc motor, extra-long 60-inch solid steel drive shaft, and a reliable cutting head with a large 17-inch cutting swath.

While the guys at Hitachi could’ve stopped there, they decided to include a super helpful anti-vibration system, semi-automatic line dispenser, and aftermarket Walbro carburetor as well, culminating in one super tough yet friendly to use weed eater that anyone can appreciate. With so much to offer, it’s easy to see why the Hitachi CG22EASSLP is one of my all-time favorites.

Conclusion

People love saving a buck, but too many homeowners make the mistake of wasting their money on cheap weed eaters that either stop working like they did when they came out of the box or simply quit working altogether.

Whether you’ve gone down this path before or are looking to make your very first weed eater purchase, you should save yourself some money and do yourself a favor by buying a top-notch model like the Hitachi CG22EASSLP. As far as weed eaters go, they don’t get much better than this.

4

Suited for: Personal use

Black & Decker LST420

Black & Decker LST420 lol420
Performance
Durability
Versatility
Ease of Use
Cut Capacity

Pros

• Max life batteries for extended run time 
• Very lightweight and easy to use
• Smooth gear-drive transmission for excellent power deliverability
• Automatic line feed spool
• Very versatile

Cons

• Run time limited to battery life
• Not suited for thick brush and other heavy-duty applications

Overview:

The Black & Decker LST420 is a super portable and lightweight weed eater with ample cutting power. The little power-packed trimmer weighs in at just under six pounds and features a fully adjustable telescoping shaft, swiveling handle positions, a four-hour 40V Max lithium-ion battery pack, and a silky smooth transmission, which makes it not only incredibly easy to start and operate, but extremely versatile as well.

Perfect for homeowners with small to medium-size yards, the Black & Decker is arguably the best weed eater for the money, but let’s take a closer look at each to see if it’s the right weed eater for you.

Black & Decker weed eater being utilized

Product Details:

  • Cutting swath – 12 inches
  • Weight – 5.7 pounds
  • Engine size – 20V two-amp hour motor

Review

Many people find battery powered weed eaters much more convenient than gas and electric trimmers, but most discover battery life, or the lack there of, is often an issue with many models. The Black & Decker LST420, however, features a not one but two 20-volt Max lithium-ion batteries, allowing it to retain its charge up to five times longer than many of the other cordless weed eaters on the market today.

The LST420 is also equipped with a super reliable gear drive transmission and a number of other great design elements, including a helpful automatic feed spool and dual-mode accelerator. Another great thing about this Black & Decker model is the ease in which it can be converted into an edger. This means, it’s the only lawn care tool you need to achieve the perfect manicured look.

Conclusion

Overall, the Black & Decker LST420 is an excellent weed eater for homeowners hoping to find a portable, eco-friendly model with extended battery life and reliable cutting power. If this sounds like something you’re after, then this affordable lightweight weed eater may have your name written all over it.

5

Suited for: Personal use

Toro 51480

Toro 51480
Performance
Durability
Versatility
Ease of Use
Cut Capacity

Pros

• Powerful electric motor
• Unlimited power source
• Easily switch between trimming and edging modes
• Automatic feed spool
• Fully adjustable
• Inexpensive
• Two-year warranty

Cons

• Limited reach
• Not as lightweight as some models

Overview:

If you have a small yard, an extension cord or two, and reach isn’t a concern, then the Toro 51480 may be for you. The powerfully effective 5-amp corded electric trimmer works like a champ and comes littered with features normally found on models that cost twice as much. With a 14-inch cutting head, simple push button operation, and the ability to convert to an edger in the blink of an eye, it’s easy to see why the Toro 51480 can be found in thousands of sheds and garages around the world.

The corded electric trimmer may have a limited reach and require an extension cord for most yards, but it’s one of the best electric weed eaters available and definitely deserves a spot on the list.

A man is seen cutting out weeds at the edge of visible lawn.

Product Details:

  • Cutting swath – 14 inches
  • Weight – 7.5 pounds
  • Engine size – powerful 5-amp electric motor

Review

Most electric trimmers weigh a ton and lack the durability of more expensive gas and battery powered models, but the Toro 51480 definitely breaks the mold. Thanks to its powerful and reliable 5-amp electric motor, dual-line cutting head, push button operation, and fully adjustable design, this beast of a trimmer is super easy to use and can make short work of any edging or trimming task.

While powerful and more than capable of tackling nearly any type of brush, what myself and others like best about the Toro 51480 is its versatility. With the press of a button, it effortlessly transforms into a well-oiled edging machine. It even come with an edging wheel to help prevent scalping and create a perfectly crisp edge. When you consider its automatic feed feature, durability, and low price tag as well, it’s hard not to like this impressive Toro.

Conclusion

The Toro 51480 has a lot going for it. Its adjustable design and perfect power deliverability make it a dream to operate, yet its powerful 5-amp electric motor allows it to cut through the thickest of weeds. If you’re looking for a simple and reliable weed eater that just plain works, this Toro is an excellent choice.

6

Suited for: Personal use

GreenWorks 21212

GreenWorks 21212
Performance
Durability
Versatility
Ease of Use
Cut Capacity

Pros

• Very inexpensive
• Lightweight
• Rotating handle and adjustable shaft
• Automatic line feed
• 4-year warranty

Cons

• Short power cord
• Not as powerful as some other models

Overview:

According to the EPA, over 54 million Americans mow their lawns each and every weekend, consuming a whopping 800 million gallons of gas every single year. If you’re looking to lower that staggering figure by one and do your part by being as environmentally-conscious as possible, the GreenWorks 21212 was made just for you!

Known to produce some of the best eco-friendly lawn equipment in the business, GreenWorks has quite a few awesome lawn care products. However, the company’s insanely popular 21212 electric weed eater is arguably its best yet. Incredibly lightweight and powerful enough to cut down tall grass with the best of them, it’s a great option for any eco-conscious homeowner.

Greenworks trimmer being used.

Product Details:

  • Cutting swath – 13 inches
  • Weight – 5.2 pounds
  • Engine size – 4-amp electric motor

Review

GreenWorks products are known for their reliability, quality craftsmanship, and eco-friendly designs, and the GreenWorks 21212 is no exception. The motor provides plenty of power for fast, effortless trimming of tall grasses and thick weeds, allowing users to enjoy a well-manicured lawn without breaking a sweat. Meanwhile, its fully adjustable design and rotating handle make trimming along driveways and sidewalks a breeze.

Arguably the best feature of the GreenWorks 21212, however, is its dual-line with automatic feeder, which usually isn’t found on weed eaters in this low price point. When you factor in all of these pros along with its laughably low price tag, the Greenworks 21212 is tough to beat.

Conclusion

The GreenWorks 21212 is a great weed eater for the price. Although you’ll likely need an extension cord, unless your yard is the size of a patio, the added hassle is well worth the reliable power provided by this popular electric trimmer. All in all, the GreenWorks 21212 weed eater is an excellent model for anyone in need of a great trimmer for ordinary everyday trimming tasks.

7

Suited for: Personal use

Earthwise CST00012

Earthwise CST00012 trimmer
Performance
Durability
Versatility
Ease of Use
Cut Capacity

Pros

• Well-built
• Affordable
• Eco-friendly
• Comfortable to use
• Adjustable cutting head angle
• Telescoping shaft

Cons

• Shorter cutting swath
• Relatively short battery life
• Not as powerful as gas or corded electric models

Overview:

Just as earth-friendly as the GreenWorks above but cordless and much more maneuverable, the Earthwise CST00012 is easily one of the best battery-powered trimmers on the market today. While it’s slightly less powerful than many gas and corded electric weed eaters, many happy owners have remarked that the sleek, lightweight, and nicely designed CST00012 has more than enough power for their needs.

If you’re looking to join the “green revolution” and want the versatility and mobility of a cordless trimmer, this impressive Earthwise model is definitely a worthy option.

Cordless trimmer's battery being injected.

Product Details:

  • Cutting Swath – 12 inches
  • Weight – 8.2 pounds
  • Engine size – 18V electric battery-powered motor

Review

Completely green and emission-free, the Earthwise CST00012 cordless string trimmer is one of the lightest, quietest, and most effective cordless electric weed eaters around. Rather than dealing with fumes or cumbersome cords, this easy-to-use cordless weed eater was specifically designed with maneuverability and the environment in mind.

The rechargeable 18V NiCd battery-powered motor generates up to 7,800 RPM, providing the necessary power to cut through weeds in lightning-quick fashion. Similar to the other weed eaters on the list, the Earthwise CST0002 is also equipped with a number of other helpful design features, such as an adjustable cutting head, rotating handle, edge guard, and semi-automatic line feed, making it yet another great contender.

Conclusion

As you can see from these and other weed eater reviews, there are a lot of great string trimmers out there to choose from. However, if you want a lightweight, affordable, and robust cordless trimmer with all of the features you need and none that you don’t, the Earthwise CST00012 is hard to beat.

8

Suited for: Light personal use

Black & Decker NST1118

Black & Decker NST1118 light grass trimmer.
Performance
Durability
Versatility
Ease of Use
Cut Capacity

Pros

• Extremely lightweight and easy to use
• Smooth and reliable power deliverability
• Adjustable handle
• Very maneuverable
• Affordably priced
• Two-year warranty

Cons

• Small cutting swath
• Short battery life

Overview:

Similar to the NST2118 but without the added battery, the Black & Decker NST1118 cordless weed eater is well-made and designed with a ton of features that have made Black & Decker the most trusted name in power tools and lawn care products. For instance, the small and compact trimmer utilizes the brand’s innovative PowerDrive transmission for optimal power deliverability from the motor to the string.

With a number of other standout features as well, it’s a terrific all-around trimmer any homeowner can appreciate.

Black & Decker trimmer at work

Product Details:

  • Cutting swath – 10 inches
  • Weight – 6.4 pounds
  • Engine size – 18V electric battery-powered motor

Review

I may be a fan of cordless weed eaters and Black & Decker products in general, but the NST1118 isn’t without it faults. However, if you can overlook its relatively short battery life and small cutting diameter, the affordable and eco-friendly NST1118 may be for you.

Equipped with a suitable but not too powerful 18V motor and Black & Decker’s unique PowerDrive transmission, this diminutive little trimmer can cut with the best cordless trimmers in the business. Of course, like any top-notch weed wacker, it also features an automatic feed spool, telescoping shaft, and push-button functionality, making it a winner in my book.

Conclusion

The Black & Decker NST1118 may not be the biggest and baddest weed eater on the block, but it’s a great option for on-the-go homeowners with small to average-size yards.

With the right blend of power and agility, this small and lightweight cordless trimmer checks most of the boxes, which is more than I can say for a number of other models being made today.

9

Suited for: Personal and light professional use

Black & Decker LCC140 40v Li-Ion Trimmer and Sweeper combo kit

Black & Decker LCC140 40v Li-Ion Trimmer and Sweeper combo kit
Performance
Durability
Versatility
Ease of Use
Cut Capacity

Pros

• Very versatile
• Powerful cutting abilities
• Extremely lightweight
• Environmentally-friendly
• Quiet operation
• Longer run time than other cordless models

Cons

• Run time limited to battery life
• Questionable sweeper durability

Overview:

Like the rest of Black & Decker’s impressive weed eaters, the LCC140 is lightweight, loaded with features, and has ample cutting power. Powered by a 40-volt Max lithium-ion battery for an above-average running time and featuring a small, lightweight design, the Black & Decker is considered by many as one of the best cordless trimmers around.

With a handy sweeper included and the ability to easily convert into an edger as well, the Black & Decker LCC140 is hands down one of the most versatile tool combos I’ve run across.

A man cutting grass edges in this backyard.

Product Details:

  • Cutting Swath – 13 inches
  • Weight – 4.7 pounds
  • Engine Size – 40V electric battery-powered motor

Review

If you’re looking for a trimmer but could use a quality sweeper as well, then the Black & Decker LCC140 40V Weed Eater and Sweeper Combo Kit has your name all over it! Sure, the 40V LCC140 string trimmer is the star of the show. After all, it’s equipped with one of the most powerful motors in its class plus a wide range of first-class features designed to make any landscaping newbie seem like a pro within minutes.

However, the real value of the LCC140 combo kit lies in the included sweeper, which is lightweight like the trimmer and a great tool for clearing any trimmings left behind. I already have my fair share of great sweepers, but with so much lawn care value for such an affordable price, I simply couldn’t justify leaving the Black & Decker LCC140 off the list.

Conclusion

From top to bottom, the Black & Decker LCC420 is one of the best cordless trimmers on the market. If you’re looking for a great all-around weed eater with awesome cutting power, this cutting-edge model won’t disappoint. The included sweeper is simply the icing on the cake!

10

Suited for: Personal and commercial use

Poulan Pro PP25CFA

Poulan Pro PP25CFA
Performance
Durability
Versatility
Ease of Use
Cut Capacity

Pros

• Versatile 6-in-1 trimming tool
• Powerful motor
• Dual cutting line
• Oversized cutting swath
• Well-priced 

Cons

• Limited battery life
• Not made for thick brush or heavy-duty work

Overview:

Poulan is all about power and precision, and the brand’s mighty Pro PP25CFA gas weed eater has both in spades. With a gas-powered two-cycle motor and extra-wide cutting swath, users can trim weeds and brush faster and easier than ever before. That being said, its included attachments are what really put the Poulan Pro PP25CFA over the top.

It may be a little bit heavier and more expensive than cheaper cordless models, but if you want a versatile and powerful gas trimmer it doesn’t get any better than this Poulan.

Poulan string trimmer being utilized.

Product Details:

  • Cutting Swath – 17 inches
  • Weight – 9 pounds
  • Engine size – 25cc two-cycle gasoline motor

Review

The Poulan Pro PP25CFA is an awesome weed eater, but its attachments are what transform it from an above average trimmer into a must-have lawn care accessory. From regular trimming via monofilament line to edging, blowing, hedge trimming, tree pruning, brush cutting, and even tree pruning, the Poulan Pro PP25CFA can really just about do it all.

Of course, the Poulan’s powerful 25cc two-cycle motor is no slouch either. In fact, it has more than enough power to tackle the toughest of yards. Whether you have a large property in need of some serious maintenance or a small yard and simply want the best of the best, the Poulan Pro PP25CFA is a wonderful option worth keeping on your short list.

Conclusion

The Poulan Pro PP25CFA is a powerful, moderately priced gas-powered string trimmer with a heavy-duty motor that makes short work of any nearly any cutting task.

The auto line feeder works quite well and the Poulan’s assortment of attachments allow it to transform into a myriad of tools within seconds. It may be a little heavy for some, but that’s the price you pay for such power and durability.

Weed Eater FAQ

What type of weed eater is best for me?

I’m often asked this question, but a lot of factors must be considered in order to find the best weed eater for you. While there’s no simple answer to this question, I’ve shown you plenty of great models to consider. By considering your needs and choosing a weed eater accordingly, you can’t go wrong.

How often should the air filter be cleaned?

Most manufacturers recommend checking and cleaning the air filter after five hours of use. However, for optimum performance, you should check the air filter before every use and clean it as needed.

Can I leave fuel in my weed eater when storing it?

No, in order to prevent the formation of damaging um deposits, you should empty your weed eater’s gas tank when storing it. This is especially true if you plan on storing it without use for longer than 30 days.

What do weed eater warranties cover?

Most warranties cover manufacturer defects. Improper maintenance and the rotating head parts are usually not covered, so it’s important to follow proper maintenance and usage procedures.


Making the Decision

As you can clearly see, there are several things to consider when shopping for a weed eater. While all weed eaters share the same basic design, there’s a wide variety of weed eaters with different power sources, sizes, and price tags.

Electric weed eaters are nice for small yards because they’re incredibly reliable and easy to start. Battery-powered weed eaters are good option due to their increased range and mobility, but their limited battery life limits their usage. Gas-powered weed eaters provide the most power. However, they’re not exactly environmentally-friendly and require more maintenance than electric models.

Like everything in life, there’s no perfect solution, but you ideally want to find a weed eater that provides as much power as possible within your budget. The more power your weed eater has, the easier your yard maintenance will be. That being said, you also want to choose a lightweight and nimble weed eater that’s comfortable to use.

Fortunately, I’ve shown you some excellent weed eaters that pretty much check all of these boxes and then some. So, pick out the best weed eater for you and make your yard the envy of the neighborhood today!

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