The 10 Best String Trimmers

Updated October 16, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best String Trimmers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Looking to tidy up your yard without bringing out the heavy machinery? Make the chore a little easier with a string trimmer. These weed whackers will make light work of maintaining any yard, as they come in both gas and electric options with enough power for smaller home gardens as well as 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 lawn work, but shouldn't be used for really thick weeds, as it has a tendency to get tangled in them. It does have a wide 16-inch cutting path, though.
  • good value for the price
  • a bit difficult to start
  • may overheat with heavy use
Brand Remington
Model 41CD110G983
Weight 14.2 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Poulan Pro PP125

The Poulan Pro PP125 is a straight-shaft option that comes in at an affordable price. It has a powerful 25cc 2-cycle gas-powered engine that should be strong enough to handle the demands of most home owners, and an ample 17" cutting width.
  • spring-assisted pull starter
  • vibrates a bit heavily
  • difficult to restart when warm
Brand Poulan Pro
Model 967185601
Weight 15.8 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Worx WG168

The Worx WG168 has a variable 3-speed control, so you can up the power when tackling heavy brush and lower it to extend the battery life when needed. The head rotates and has an extendable pull-out metal guide for maintaining the edges of your lawn.
  • charges in under an hour
  • adjustable handle for better control
  • only uses one cutting line
Brand Worx
Model WG168
Weight 14 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Toro 51488

The Toro 51488 doesn’t shy away from difficult gardening jobs. It runs on a powerful 48-volt lithium ion battery and has a cast aluminum head to protect its internal components. Plus, its dual 13” lines slice through weeds quite quickly.
  • matches the power of gas models
  • automatic line feeder system
  • battery may die prematurely
Brand Toro
Model 51488
Weight 13.9 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Makita XRU02Z

The Makita XRU02Z has five pivoting head positions and a telescoping shaft that allows you to get just the right cutting angle, which helps to reduce back strain. While it can reach powerful speeds of up to 7,800 RPM, it's not super effective at its lower settings.
  • includes a three-year warranty
  • compact size stores easily
  • battery must be purchased separately
Brand Makita
Model XRU02Z
Weight 7.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Black & Decker LCC140

The Black & Decker LCC140 comes as a combo kit that includes a weed whacker and a blower, so cleanup when you finish is literally a breeze. The trimming unit also converts to an edger, so you are essentially getting three tools for the price of one.
  • blower is light but powerful
  • trimmer has six cutting speeds
  • both machines share one battery
Brand Black & Decker
Model LCC140
Weight 13.7 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. GreenWorks 21362 G-Max

The GreenWorks 21362 G-Max has a smart design that doesn't obstruct your view of the cutting head, but still manages to protect you from debris throwback. It has a reasonable 14" path diameter, and a sturdy straight shaft construction.
  • instant electric starting
  • impressively quiet while running
  • up to 55 minutes of use per charge
Brand Greenworks
Model 21362
Weight 18.6 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Ego Power+ ST1502-S

The Ego Power+ ST1502-S 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 its charge so you can tackle large swaths of land without running out of juice.
  • long shaft with in-line grip
  • charges in as little as 20 minutes
  • 5-year limited warranty
Brand EGO Power+
Model ST1501-S
Weight 17.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Husqvarna 128LD

The Husqvarna 128LD is a beast, built to handle even thick brush and weeds without slowing down. It is a professional-grade model that can stand up to the demands of commercial gardening companies thanks to its wide 17-inch cutting diameter.
  • strong braided-wire cable drive
  • shaft is detachable for transport
  • can be held sideways for edging
Brand Husqvarna
Model 952711953
Weight 18.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. DeWalt DCST990H1

The DeWalt DCST990H1 comes with an impressive 40-volt, 6Ah premium high-capacity battery, so you can get through your whole yard without having to worry about stopping for a recharge. It also has a bump line feeder system to make your job a little easier.
  • impact-resistant xenoy housing
  • precision variable speed control
  • comfortable padded auxiliary handle
Model DCST990H1
Weight 12 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 October 16, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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