The 10 Best String Trimmers

Updated March 13, 2018 by Christopher Thomas

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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you're looking to tidy up your turf without bringing out the heavy machinery, make the chore a little easier with a string trimmer that can get close to fences, edges, and foundations without damaging them. These weed whackers will make easy work of maintaining any space, as they come in both gas and electric options with enough power for small yards or professional landscaping jobs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best string trimmer on Amazon.

10. Remington RM2510 Rustler

The Remington RM2510 Rustler is a basic, consumer-grade model that can handle light yard maintenance, although it has a tendency to get tangled in thick weeds. While it's not suitable for high-volume work, it's an absolute steal for such a reliable tool.
  • 16-inch cutting swath
  • a bit difficult to start
  • can overheat with heavy use
Brand Remington
Model 41DD110G983
Weight 13.6 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Makita LXT

With five pivoting head positions and a telescoping shaft, the Makita LXT lets you get the perfect angle to help reduce back strain. While it reaches speeds of up to 7,800 RPM, it cuts somewhat roughly at the lower settings.
  • backed by a three-year warranty
  • low-profile so easily stored
  • battery must be purchased separately
Brand Makita
Model XRU02Z
Weight 7.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. GreenWorks G-Max

The GreenWorks G-Max offers a smart design that allows you to see what you're doing, while still managing to protect you from debris throwback. It delivers an above-average, 14" path diameter, and a sturdy, straight-shaft construction.
  • instant electric starting
  • impressively quiet while running
  • about an hour of use per charge
Brand Greenworks
Model 21362
Weight 18.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Remington RM1159

Everyone who uses the Remington RM1159 seems to love it, because it takes care of unsightly edges around even the largest lawns without putting too much stress on your body. It doesn't have a ton of intricate features, but it is awfully easy to start.
  • 14-in wheels for maneuverability
  • cuts can be a little uneven
  • requires precut lengths of string
Brand Remington
Model 25A-26J7783
Weight 78 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Black & Decker 3-in-1

If you live in a small-ish home, the Black & Decker 3-in-1 may be all you need to manicure your petite garden perfectly. A detachable chassis keeps cuts as level as a mower's, and there are both plug-in and cordless models available.
  • shaft rotates for vertical edging
  • string feeds itself automatically
  • won't cut through thick brush
Model MTE912
Weight 13.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Husqvarna HU625HWT

Tackle any landscaping job with the Husqvarna HU625HWT, a full-featured unit that'll put a professional finish on any size of lawn. It offers the comfort and consistency of a mower, alongside the precision of a commercial-grade string trimmer.
  • ultra-strong 163cc 4-stroke engine
  • customizable cutting height
  • debris shield is prone to breaking
Brand Husqvarna
Model 961730006
Weight 72 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Poulan Pro Straight-Shaft

The Poulan Pro Straight-Shaft is a light-duty option that comes in at an affordable price. It delivers a 25cc, two-stroke engine, and an extra-large, 17" cutting width, both of which should be enough to meet the needs of most homeowners.
  • spring-assisted pull starter
  • great value for a gas-powered model
  • tap-n-go head feeds string easily
Brand Poulan Pro
Model 967105301
Weight 16.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Husqvarna 324L

The Husqvarna 324L is a beast of a machine that's well worthy of its manufacturer's unmatched pedigree. It sports a 4-stroke engine that runs on pure gasoline, eliminating tedious fuel mixing, and it offers top-of-the-line power with minimal vibrations.
  • one tank lasts a very long time
  • operates well at any angle
  • good for the largest jobs
Brand Husqvarna
Model 967055801
Weight 18.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Greenworks 4-Amp

The Greenworks 4-Amp makes especially quick work of an untrimmed yard, since you'll never have to add any fuel or charge a battery. Even though its A/C nature limits the overall range, it's still an excellent selection, because it costs next to nothing.
  • uses a grounded extension cable
  • 6- and 10-amp models also available
  • the lightest option on the market
Brand Greenworks
Model 21212
Weight 7.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Ego Power+

The Ego Power+ features a variable-speed trigger for precise control of its powerful, highly efficient, brushless motor. Its 56-volt battery uses arc-lithium technology to extend each charge, so you can tackle large swaths of land without running out of juice.
  • long shaft with inline grip
  • charges in as little as 20 minutes
  • 5-year limited warranty
Brand EGO Power+
Model ST1502
Weight 20 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

How To Choose The Right String Trimmer

String trimmers come in a range of sizes, and with a variety of attachments, so it can be difficult for some to identify which one is right for their needs. One of the first decisions to make is whether a gas-powered or electric model is best for you. As a general rule of thumb, gas-powered models will be more powerful and can run for longer, but they are also louder and may be more difficult to start. Gas powered models are a good choice if you have thick brush to cut, or a large area that must be maintained.

Electric models come in two varieties, battery-powered and corded models. With a corded model you never have to worry about running out of juice mid way through your yard, but being connected means your range is limited. Even with long extension cords, they can sometimes be difficult to manage, especially over terrain with obstacles. The extra mobility of battery-powered models can be helpful and many of the newer models with 40 to 80V lithium-ion batteries are just as powerful as the corded models. Whichever type of electric model you choose, they will both be easy to start at the push of a button, noticeably quieter than a gas-powered model, and more eco-friendly.

The larger your landscape to maintain and the thicker the brush, the more powerful of a string trimmer you should buy. Otherwise it may have difficulty taking on the task at hand. Thick weeds can get tangled up in the strings of less powerful models instead of being cut. If you are just cutting grass and some minor weeds, a light-duty model with a smaller engine should be fine. If you are working on more than an acre of two of land or trying to hack through some thick sections of weed, your best bet is a medium to heavy-duty trimmer.

Whichever kind and size you choose, it is often preferably to buy one that either accepts or, more preferably, comes with attachments that allow you to easily perform other tasks, like edging or leaf blowing, without buying a dedicated tool.

Tips For Using A String Trimmer

One of the most important tips for using a string trimmer is to buy the right size string. If your string is too small, it may not cut thick weeds effectively, and if it is too large, you may not be able to wrap enough of it around the spool, resulting in you having to stop and add more string too often.

To avoid completely stripping a yard bald, it is imperative that you hold a string trimmer level and a couple of inches off of the ground. Once you have it held comfortably level, roughly three inches above the ground, make wide, side-to-side sweeping motions while keeping it parallel to the ground the whole time. It may take some practice to get it right, so start on a part of your lawn that isn't seen often.

If trimming overly tall weeds, it is best to start from the top and work your way down. Oftentimes the string can get tangled in the stems if you start on tall weeds from the bottom. Instead just cut off a few inches in each pass and work your way down to your desired cut height.

A string trimmer can also be used for edging by holding it at a vertical orientation to the ground as opposed to vertical. It is easier to just use a dedicated edger, but for those who don't have the cash to lay out on an edger, a string trimmer works in a pinch.

Always wear long pants, closed-toed shoes, and eye protection when using a string trimmer. It is not uncommon for small rocks to fly off the ground and potentially cause injury if one is not wearing the proper safety gear.

The Inventor Of The String Trimmer

The first string trimmer was invented by Tim West in the late 1960s. He built it out of a handheld router with a chain bolted to the center spindle, which was then mounted to a pole. For some reason or another he never tried patenting or marketing his idea, so the notable inventor of the string trimmer was George Ballas.

In the early 1970s he conceived the idea while getting his car washed. He was watching the revolving action of the cleaning brushes, which inspired him to make a revolving grass and weed cutter. He built his first string trimmer out of a popcorn can, an edger, and heavy-duty wire fishing line.

He decided to consult with a mechanical engineer by the name of Thomas N. Geist to make an improved version that could be sold commercially. He patented his string trimmer in 1974. He called his invention the weed eater and by 1977 he had made over $80 million in sales. Ballas went on to patent other inventions, such as a rotary string lawn mower and an adjustable table for hospital beds.

All modern string trimmers utilize Ballas' same design. They have a long shaft with an engine on the top for balance and a cutter head at the bottom. As with his first commercial model, nearly every one has a protective guard of some kind to cover the string and reduce the amount of debris that flies up towards the user.

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Last updated on March 13, 2018 by Christopher Thomas

A traveling chef, musician, and student of the English language, Chris can be found promoting facts and perfect copy around the globe, from dense urban centers to remote mountaintops. In his free time he revels in dispelling pseudoscience, while at night he dreams of modern technology, world peace, and the Oxford comma.

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