Updated November 2018

Best Weed Eaters

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Best Weed Eaters Updated November 2018

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

Husqvarna

17-Inch 28cc 2-Stroke
Check Price at: 1 store
All-around great quality, power, performance, and balance for thorough, precise work.
Smooth and well-balanced (not too much buzz) yet powerful.
May require adjustment (carb screws) if it happens to bog down when accelerating.

BLACK+DECKER

40V Max Lithium
Check Price at: 1 store
An electric weed eater that’s best for lawns with moderate weeds.
It’s less than 8 pounds (most weed trimmers are over 10 pounds). We appreciate battery-powered tools that eliminate gas fumes.
Doesn’t have the power for extra thick brush.

GreenWorks

10 Amp 18-Inch Corded
Check Price at: 1 store
A surprisingly low price tag for such a heavy-duty string trimmer.
It checks all the boxes on our list: affordable, electric, and heavy-duty.
Rewinding the spool can take some work and replacements are not very accessible.

Hitachi

22.5cc 2-Cycle Gas Powered
Check Price at: 1 store
A great middle ground option (no pun intended): light and durable for an average price.
Lightweight yet durable. The string is easily replaceable.
The string seems to tangle. Fortunately, it’s easy to replace if need be.

DEWALT

20V Max Lithium Brushless
Check Price at: 1 store
An electric option with a brushless motor that can attack weeds and grass of all sizes and thickness.
A dependable battery life and durable weed wacker that can handle thick brush.
The narrow guard requires a full face shield to protect from debris. The 3-year warranty is pretty limited.

Our process

6,250
Customer Reviews
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Products
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Hours

Performance matters when it comes to power tools. We know you’d rather spend your limited free time on beautifying your home, not laboring over weed eater reviews and deciphering product ratings in search of one that fits your preferences and landscaping needs. To get your home projects up and running, the House Method team compared five of the best weed eaters including both gas and electric options. We’ve synthesized verified customer reviews, answered common questions around buying a weed trimmer, and researched how to use one. We’ve done the heavy lifting, so you can use your time wisely making a house your home.

Weed eater reviews guide 

Weed eaters are landscaping tools that cut through invasive weeds or unsightly brush. They use a nylon string underneath a guard on a shaft to trim back weeds with precision and speed. If you’re a weekend warrior who wants to keep your space in-shape, you have options.

Weed trimmers come in a variety of models, shapes, and functions. Some are gas-powered for more oomph, others are electric for less of an impact on the environment and possibly your health. There are several safety features and attachments to consider as well.

There’s nothing more frustrating than a power tool that lets you down from catching, having unreliable parts, or just plain running out of power. Browse the best weed eaters above and our review guide below, so you can spend your weekend eating away at that to-do list, not on the phone with customer service or trying to DIY a repair.  

There are different types weeds—some tougher than others—so knowing your yard and what’s in it is key to determining the amount of power you’re going to need from your weed trimmer.”

3 Major factors to consider

Fuel

String trimmers can be gas or electric. If you’re going with gas, you’ll enjoy a more powerful trimmer that lasts through your work. Electric weed eaters emit fewer fumes and are therefore less of a health risk and more environmentally friendly. The drawback is that you sometimes lose power or endurance when going electric. Certain models of electric weed eaters were built to last, so consider models like the DeWalt 20V Max Lithium Brushless weed eater if you want to have your gas-powered cake and eat your electric one too.

Line

We noticed in our own testing and many weed eater reviews that a poor choice in line can make or break getting a chore done as painlessly as possible. Line varies in both size and shape. Here’s a breakdown:

Shape

  • Round: Basic and easy to find. Versatile and sturdy with minimal breakage.
  • Square: Heavy-duty choice for tougher weeds, but not quite ready for brush.
  • Multi-sided: A step above square as far as durability goes. A good choice for thick brush.
  • Twisted: A bit more expensive but right for heavy workloads.

Size

Naturally, the thinner the line, the lighter the weed you can “eat.”

  • 0.065-0.080: Light work—grass and grass-like weeds
  • 0.085-0.105: Medium—grass plus non-woody weed
  • 0.110 and above: Heavy—all types of weed and brush

Function

Size, weight, and maneuverability of your weed trimmer should accommodate the type of work you need to get done. If your yard has a lot of trees or lawn furniture and you need to get in nooks and crannies, stay away from heavy-duty weed eaters with wide shields. A heavier option may be a better fit though if you’ve got an open space and you want a power tool that can make strong, sweeping cuts through intense brush.

Keep yard obstacles in mind when picking the right weed wacker for you. Trees, gardens, or furniture should be considered when determining the dimensions and maneuverability that you’ll need to get the job done.”

Best weed eater for one-pass power HUSQVARNA 17-INCH 28CC 2-STROKE

You won’t have to go back for touch-ups with the Husqvarna weed eater. This contractor-standard weed trimmer is legit (and still safe for the layperson). It’s gas-powered but smooth and not too heavy. It has a 28cc engine, 17-Inch cutting width, and uses a 0.95 trimmer line. It’s compatible with up to 11 professional-grade attachments, so you can get an immaculate lawn with a single tool. Needless to say, it’s well-equipped for average weeds and brush.

3 Features we tested

Start and stop aids

Like chainsaws or any other power tool, getting a weed eater started can be a pain in the neck—or arm … or shoulder. Some have features for that, like spring-assisted starters, which make pulling the cord easier on gas-powered products. Keep a lookout for string trimmers with stop buttons, so you can rest assured that you have an easy way to cut power with the flip of a switch.

String feed options

The feed system releases the string through the head of the weed eater. This means the string will eventually run out and need to be replaced. Tangled, flimsy, or difficult-to-replace string was a common complaint we read in weed eater reviews. Consider how the string feeds before you buy.

An auto string feed trimmer takes the hassle of string replacement out of the picture. It automatically releases more line whenever the weed eater starts to run short.

The bump feed system, on the other hand, requires you to bump the head on the ground to release more line. It can be an annoying hold-up, but when it comes to replacement parts, this system is less costly for repairs down the line. It also gives you more control over the length of your line.

Dimensions

These are the factors that matter when it comes to knowing your yard and its layout. If you have out-of-reach nooks and crannies around trees or furniture, go for a longer shaft and smaller head. Just remember your protective gear. A smaller head can make more debris airborne, so keep those glasses on and wear long sleeves and pants and closed toe shoes.

With the right accessories, you can upgrade your weed eater to perform other functions, like an edge trimmer. Consider attachment-capable trimmers so you can add another layer of versatility to your tool.”

Safety tips

Don’t bypass the user guide—You should definitely know your product manual when it comes to any power tool. Review the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly to ensure you understand all the safety risks and recommendations for handling and care.

Maintenance—After use, clean the string trimmer with a cloth and dish soap to avoid a clogged machine. Remove and clean air and fuel filters as well as the spark plug.  Some gas weed eaters may need oil changes too.

In-use safety—Weed trimmers can be heavy—at least 10 pounds before they’re even filled with gas. Form matters when using these power tools. Avoid injury by using both hands and keeping a tight grip. Stand straight with a slight bend in your knees. Some customers prefer an over-the-shoulder harness for additional back support. And of course, do not operate the tool within 60 feet of another person.

Best weed eater with a comfortable grip HITACHI 22.5CC 2-CYCLE GAS POWERED

10.3 pounds is fairly light for a gas weed eater. It also has an anti-vibration system for smooth use. It’s longer than the other weed eaters we reviewed, so you won’t have to bend as far to clear those hard-to-reach problem areas. It also has an S-Start recoil system, so it shouldn’t be as taxing to get up and running like gas weed eaters are. You won’t sacrifice power for comfort either. It has a 22.5 cc pure fire two-stroke engine. And if you’re on the fence about going with gas, keep in mind this product meets emissions levels.

Think about buying a visor to shield your face if your weed wacker has an insufficient protective shield. Eye protection and gloves are also a must. Debris will likely hit your legs, so wear long pants, but avoid loose-fitting clothing that could get caught in the tool.”

Frequently asked questions

What is the best weed eater?

The Husqvarna weed eater is the best weed wacker in terms of quality and performance. It has the power and versatility for any of your landscape needs while still being stable and relatively light.

If electric is more your speed, consider the DeWalt 20V Max Lithium Brushless. It has all the clean benefits of an electric weed eater without compromising power or battery life.

How does a weed eater work?

A weed eater, also called a string trimmer, uses a nylon string in a trimmer head at the end of a long shaft, whipping in a circular motion to cut grass and weeds. You activate the trimmer with a trigger on the handle. You can use a gas weed eater, which usually has more power, or an electric one, which reduces fumes.

How much does a weed eater cost?

Weed eaters range between $70 to upward of $200. We think the Black and Decker weed eater is the best bang for your buck. Cheap weed eaters usually have less power though, so keep the size your yard in mind to pick the right product for you.

The team that worked on this review

Sabrina Karr
Writer
Kelsey Roadruck
Editor
Casey Taylor
Product Researcher
John Morgan
Producer

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