NOBODY likes tall weeds. While some weeds can be pulled by hand or hit with the lawn mower, others are more of a problem.
This article is written to help you pick among the best weed eaters for sale in 2023.
Finding the best weed eater (also known as weed wackers or string trimmers) that works in your yard is key to keeping stress levels down and your outdoor enjoyment up this summer. I know I have a hard time unwinding in my backyard if I see some tall grass growing along my shoreline.
It grinds in my brain like sand in the gears – I just want to eliminate the problem immediately – but without the right gas or electric trimmer that job becomes much harder. Having one of the best string trimmers in your arsenal makes the job easy. That’s why it’s time to shop for the best weed whacker – 2023 style!
The string trimmer is your main ally in the battle against heavy grass and pesky weeds that grow where your lawn mower fears to tread. Let’s help you make the right choice of outdoor power tool. We’ve come up with a list of top rated weed eaters for most usage situations. We’ll not only give you the facts, we also provide you with the reasons why a string trimmer is a great piece of outdoor equipment for nearly every homeowner.
Let’s get started!
While you can find more in-depth information in the weed wacker buying guide, the first decision you need to make before you can even begin looking for a new grass weed wacker is what power source it runs on. There are three power sources for weed eaters. Gasoline-powered weed eaters have a combustion engine to run the trimmer head. In the electric camp, there are corded and battery-powered. If you had asked me 5 years ago, I would have said battery-powered electric grass eaters were a toy. In today’s world, things have changed: in general a high-quality, high-voltage cordless string trimmer is as good as an average gas powered one.
The Best Weed Wackers Compared
Husqvarna 128LD 17 Cutting Path Detachable Gas Weed Eater
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Worx WG163 GT3.0 Powershare Cordless Weed Trimmer
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Husqvarna 4 Stroke Weed Eater
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BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX String Trimmer
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EGO Power+ ST1502SA 15-Inch 56-Volt Cordless String Timmer with Rapid Reload and Split Shaft
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Best Weed Eaters Reviews
Best Gas String Trimmer – Husqvarna 128LD 17″ Cutting Path Detachable Gas Weed Eater
With a lightweight and easy-to use design, this Husqvarna gas-powered weed eater will be your go power tool for all the dense grass in need of destruction. With plenty power from its 2 cycle engine as well as only weighing in at 11 pounds – it’s the gas powered string trimmer you need! It’s even weight distribution makes it feel even lighter – so there’s no strain on you when tackling tall grass.
This gas string trimmer is a great piece of outdoor power equipment to have around the house. It starts easily with a yank on the pull cord. You don’t need any special knowledge or experience with gas models—just remember that priming the engine will help get things going faster when the engine is cold! It’s a great feature found in this best weedeater.
This straight shaft gas trimmer is expandable, meaning you’ll likely be able to use the attachments that you already have lying around. You’ll find that the attachments of most gas string trimmers are designed to be “universal fit” – but each manufacturer decides exactly how “universal” that is. There are a wide range of attachments – one for a hedge trimmer, brush cutter, and leaf blower among others. If you don’t own any attachments, buy the Husqvrana or Poulan Pro – both should fit most of the time. Check your user manual to be sure.
Finally, the added bump feed head is a nice feature– just tap the trimmer head on the ground (not too hard!) to move more line forward.
Best Cordless Weed Eater: Worx WG163 GT3.0 Powershare Cordless Weed Trimmer
Are you looking to buy a battery-powered weed eater but want to occasionally edge or use as a lawn mower as well? Then the Worx WG163 is a great choice for you!
While not having the highest power motor or the widest cutting width of all the weed eaters on the market, it is a great choice for city or suburban lots where comfort and ease of use are as important as battery capacity. You get two 20V li ion batteries and a charger along with this weed trimmer. That way, you’ll be able to keep one battery charged while out in the yard with this battery-powered weed wacker.
Once underway in your yard, the line feed is automatic. You won’t need to stop your string trimmer to “bump feed” the head to access more trimming line. The Command Feed spool system is an automatic feed spool – making life easy for you.
Don’t get me wrong – this weed eater has plenty of power. But comfort is where is really shines. It weighs only a little bit over 6 pounds so it won’t tire you out carrying it around during the afternoon. Another good feature: this weed wacker converts into a wheeled edger and mini-mower.
Would I use this string trimmer to replace lawn mowers for most people? No. But this feature does mean it can cut grass in tight areas your lawnmower can’t reach.
Best 4 Cycle Weed Eater – Husqvarna 4 Stroke Weed Eater
This gas powered string trimmer is a beast. I generally think gas powered weed eaters aren’t necessary for most landowners, but there are situations where you absolutely need one. For instance, if you own a few acres of land, a gas powered model is really going to be the best choice for your needs.
If you do have a large lot – so big that a cordless weed eater isn’t practical – don’t mess around with 2-stroke string trimmer engines. Just buy a 4-stroke engine model and be done with it. You’ll be happy with the performance, and won’t have to deal with mixing gas and 2-cycle oil in your tank. The price difference isn’t that big.
And this Husqvarna will fill those needs. It’s a 4-cycle engine, which means you get great performance and power from your string trimmer. The engine of this Honda-powered weed eater is so powerful that it can even tackle tough weeds without any hassle.
You’ll no longer have to worry about an oil mixture as there’s a separate tank for the trimmer fuel, which means you won’t ever need ot mix anything else but gas and oxygen Believe me, remembering the right gas-to-oil mix for gas trimmers isn’t as easy as you’d think.
This weed cutter has an 18” cutting path which makes it the best in class for completing larger trimming projects. A translucent fuel tank allows you to see how much gasoline is left without having any spills or hidden risks, and also helps track its usage throughout each day. You’ll be happy you bought this helpful feature!
The 25cc engine will provide your string trimmer with plenty of power. One great upgrade is to change the trimmer head to a metal one if you need to clear small brush. It won’t cut through redwoods, but it’ll cut through most anything you’ll encounter.
This isn’t a cheap purchase, but a quality name like Husqvarna should last you for years and years to come.
Best Commercial Grade Battery Powered Weed Eater – DEWALT Flexvolt 60V String Trimmer
DEWALT is known for delivering a high-quality, professional grade power tool. For most homeowners, this FLEXVOLT 60-Volt electric weed eater will take care of all your tough-weed needs. I feel comfortable saying this cordless weed trimmer delivers enough power to replace any 2-stroke gas engine trimmer that is older than 5 years.
Why is this a solid gas string trimmer replacement? The lithium-ion battery holds enough juice to power the batter-powered weed wacker for a long time, even at high-power. Most yards don’t need the higher speed – which in turn can extend battery life by half.
If you purchase a 9AH battery pack, you can trim weeds for hours on this setting. They have a great battery life.
One caveat – you likely will want to switch to 0.095″ trimmer line as soon as possible. The big complaint with this battery-powered model is the line snaps often – that’s because the 0.08″ trimmer string that comes with it can’t handle the force dished out by the motor. Here’s a link to one of the 0.095″ products that work.
If you are looking for a great pick for power among cordless trimmers, the FLEXVOLT 60-Volt is a top pick for you.
Best Weed Eater For Women (and Shorter Men) – BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX String Trimmer
I do get asked quite a bit what’s my pick among the best weed eaters I’d recommend for someone’s mom or sister that does the yardwork.
This is the string trimmer-edger I usually go to – as long as they live in a normal urban or suburban neighborhood. We live on a small lot on a lake, so I don’t have a large frontage of weeds tocombat. My wife (God-bless her) finds weed wacking cathartic. She enjoys the immediate-feedback you get when CRUSHING some weeds.
I wouldn’t use this at my height (6’2″) if I had a much bigger lot. It’d annoy me having to bend a bit. But for anyone under that height, the adjustable handle makes adjusting the trimmer to your body a snap.
Both my wife and I like this cordless electric string trimmer. It’s push-button start. It’s maneuverable, has an adjustable shaft and handle, and isn’t very heavy at all. In our research, it’s in the top ten percent for a lightweight weed eater. My guess is, all in (including the 1.5AH battery) it weighs in around 8 pounds.
Like all cordless trimmers, it’s a snap to charge the battery. A single charge takes about 90 minutes in my experience on average with a battery life above 30 minutes. The lithium-ion battery isn’t meant to cover acres of ground either – but for an average size city or suburban yard it does the trick. This wouldn’t work well on a horse farm, for example.
I don’t often use the lawn edger feature, but it is there when you need it and is pretty simple to use. It’s really quiet as well – you won’t need to worry about you or your loved one damaging their hearing when using this cordless string trimmer.
Best String Trimmer For A Tall Person: EGO Power+ ST1502SA 15-Inch 56-Volt Cordless String Timmer with Rapid Reload and Split Shaft
If you are tall, you need to make sure your weed wacker has three features. First, you are looking for a straight shaft. This will allow you to benefit from the entire shaft length, rather than have some of it be “burned up” in the bend of a curved shaft. Second, you want a longer shaft. The good news is, most straight shafts by their very design are longer. Look for one in the 57″ to 60″+ range if you are over 6′ tall.
Finally, you need an adjustable handle. It’ll help you balance the weight of the string trimmer better for your body, which will make for a more comfortable day of yard maintenance for you.
This weed eater ticks all of those boxes – and does it well!
The EGO Power+ST1502SA hit the market in 2021 and is a great battery-powered string trimmer. I’ve seen professional landscapers using this cordless trimmer. It definitely has the heft of a professional grade string trimmer.
It has plenty of options. The variable speed trigger is nice for keeping granular control of where and when you spin the trimmer head. The brushless motor is more efficient and less prone to vibrating than a brush motor. You’ll also be using more hefty 0.095 inch trimmer string which will allow you to cut thicker grass and weeds than if you had smaller diameter trimmer line.
If you are going to be using this battery-powered weed wacker for a long time, you should think about investing in a shoulder strap to help carry the load. This is definitely not the lightest string trimmer on the market. A strap will make the job easier.
Weed Eater Buying Guide
As we said before, you need to look at your individual yard needs before you rush out and buy a string trimmer. Let’s go through the questions you need to ask yourself in order to pick out the right power tool for your situation.
There are some differences among string trimmers depending on what powers the motor. This table below quickly lays out the pluses and minuses of each category.
Pros and Cons Of String Trimmers – By Power Source
Battery Powered String Trimmers
Battery powered weed eaters are a favorite for their ease of use. To start, you just plug in a charged battery, press a button, and you are on your way. They are also generally lighter than gas-powered models. Another nice feature is the lack of emissions. No longer do you need to breathe in gas fumes while weed eating.
While lack of power used to be a big negative, newer, higher-voltage models rival 2-cycle gas powered trimmers. Finally, electric models are quieter than their gas counterparts.
On the downside, battery-powered models have a limited run time versus either gas or corded electric models. Battery life is very important when looking at buying a cordless string trimmer. In addition, not all battery-powered weed whackers can match the power of similarly-priced gas-powered ones. The newest, higher-volt models are making great strides in this direction however.
Gas Weed Eaters
Gas powered weed wackers are known for their power, and ability to cut through thicker weeds and growth. There’s a reason most professionals use gasoline. In addition, the lack of cords or limited battery power mean you can cover a larger area more efficiently with a gas-powered model.
On the downside, gas powered trimmers are loud, give off fumes, and in general are heavier than either of the electric-powered types. They also require maintenance – both during the cutting season and to get ready to put the tool into storage. Neither electric-powered model types have that requirement.
Corded Electric Trimmers
Corded-electric powered weed eaters are really easy to use. Plug in an extension cord, press the start button and begin cutting weeds. Electric trimmers are generally lighter than gas-powered models. Another nice feature is the lack of emissions. No longer do you need to breathe in gas fumes while weed eating. Finally, electric models are usually the least expensive types of weed wackers.
On the downside, corded electric models require you to have a long-enough extension cord to reach where you want to work. The cord can be heavy, which negates some of the weight benefit. It’s also sometimes a pain to keep an eye on the cord so you don’t cut it. Finally, they can be among the least powerful types of trimmers.
What Are Your Weed Control Needs?
The first step in choosing the right weed eater for this year and beyond is to determine what situations it will be used in. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How big is your yard?
- Do you have thick weeds?
- Are you handy?
- Do your neighbors live closeby?
- Can you handle a heavy duty weed eater?
In addition, you need to decide for yourself just how much you want to spend on your string trimmer. You don’t want to spend $300+ on a top of the line gas powered weed eater with variable speed control if all you need is one of the battery powered trimmers that will do the job.
On the flip side, some yards need a commercial grade weed eater to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time. Like most things in life, there are trade offs between money and time.
If you have a large yard, you really are limited to either looking at gas trimmers or battery-powered trimmers. Your maximum corded electric trimmer reach will be about 150 feet from an outlet in ideal conditions – and you likely don’t have ideal conditions.
One of the cordless models could still work for you depending on how you answer the remaining questions. Do remember to keep in-mind the costs of additional battery packs when comparison shopping – a large yard will need at least 2.0 AH worth of energy for your cordless string trimmer to do the job right.
Cost is always a factor. A gas powered weed wacker may be difficult to fit into a tight budget. They are generally the most expensive though you can find bargains if you shop around enough and are lucky. A corded electric weed eater tends to be the cheapest – the cost of lithium ion batteries drives up the price of cordless models.
Most trimmers are meant to handle thick weeds but not actual saplings or brush. Trimming down brush, or other thick areas will need a more powerful weed eater. Battery and corded weed eaters lack the essential power to take down larger weeds. Gas will be the only way to go on tougher jobs – usually using a brush cutter attachment.
EASE OF USE
All weed eaters are relatively easy to use. Gas powered ones will require a little extra work. You will need to mix fuel and change spark plugs from time to time during the summer.
When the season is over, you must make sure to prepare your gas powered trimmer for storage – otherwise it’s likely you’ll have an expensive paperweight come the spring. Our ethanol-blended gas plays havoc on a gas engine if left untouched for 5-7 months. I speak from experience on this.
If you aren’t very handy, or just want something simple with low maintenance, a battery powered, or corded weed eater is a good choice for yard maintenance.
HOW CLOSE ARE YOUR NEIGHBORS?
If you live in an urban or other area where your neighbors houses are close to yours, you’ll want to take into account how loud your device is going to be. The actual trimmer head isn’t very loud at all – but gas weed eaters can certainly wake up your neighbors even through closed windows. It might not be a primary concern to you, but if there’s no reason to tick off your neighbors with a loud gas trimmer, why do it?
ANGLED SHAFTS VS. STRAIGHT SHAFTS
Some weed eaters will have a shaft that has a 90 degree bend at the trimming blade. Other string trimmers will be straight. The best weed eaters can have either shaft – both have their time and place.
Curved shaft string trimmers will be easier to use and manage. The slight angle makes easier to guide the trimmer nylon string to hit exactly where you need it most of the time.
However, the bend in the shaft does have some downsides with it. You won’t be able to get into hard to reach areas for one. It can be very difficult to get a good cut underneath bushes since the angle will stop the blade from going to deep. Trying to edge your walkway or patio with an angled shaft is also more difficult.
A straight shaft weed trimmer will a little trickier to use, but if you can get the hang of it, you can do more. They will reach tough spots and can be both a trimmer and an edger with practice. These weed eaters can easily be flipped to get a nice edge around or garden. It’s an art learned over time – there will be some damage to your yard as you master the skill.
Weed Control FAQ
What is a fixed line trimmer head?
Fixed line trimmer heads require users to manually replace string. There is no bump-release or automatic way to extend line.
Why is my string trimmer line breaking?
String trimmer line usually breaks from hitting a large solid object. You should always make sure that your line won’t be exposed to hard objects like bricks and stones because this can cause them break down very easily. If you’re not careful enough with your weed eater, even brushing against a tree root could snap the nylon string.
Luckily for you, it’s not hard to restring a string trimmer.
How do I install new weed eater line?
Installing new weed eater line isn’t a hard process. It does vary a bit from one weed eater model to another, but in general you remove the head cover, spool in more line, pull line through the hole(s) in the head and replace the cap.
We have a more in-depth article on how to put string in a weed eater.
Is there any difference between a brush cutter and a weed eater?
A grass trimmer, also known as a weed eater, is not as heavy-duty as a brush cutter. Brush cutters often come with circular toothed blades for cutting grass. These blades spin at a high rate of speed, making them ideal for cutting through thick and stubborn weeds as well as woody plants.
Most trimmer string comes in one of two lengths: single nylon or double nylon. It’s good for cutting through grass and light weeds like dandelions, but not so good for heavier weeds. I wouldn’t use a brush cutter if you need to cut up against trees, walls, or fences – you’ll likely damage the tool, the obstacle, or both.
Can you use a string trimmer as a lawn mower?
Yes, you can use a string trimmer as a lawnmower. There attachments for many weed eaters that allow them to become small mowers. They work well enough, but take a long time to cover the yard.
While theoretically one could try to cut the grass with a string trimmer without the attachment, I’d highly recommend you find a better use of your time. It will be hard to do well, and painfully boring.
What’s a Split Shaft Weed Wacker?
Split shaft trimmers are string trimmers that allow you convert the weed eater into an entirely separate tool. To identify if your trimmer is a split shaft trimmer, examine the shaft itself. A split shaft trimmer features a coupler system located at the midpoint of the drive tube. With this system, you can interchange a series of attachments to suit your needs. This feature allows you to avoid having to own a bunch of different power tools.