best string trimmer

The 10 Best String Trimmers for Tackling Overgrown Grass

Do you have grass that is overgrown or impossible to reach with your mower? We searched through the myriad of trimmers available to find the best string trimmer for you. Your choice will be influenced by the size of your yard, the amount of your grass, and the depth of your pocketbook. Read on to find the trimmer that is your best fit.

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Product FAQs

1. What are string trimmers?

Commonly referred to as weed-whackers, string trimmers are devices used to trim overgrown grass and weeds. They are also used to trim areas that are difficult to reach with a lawnmower. A rotating head at the end of a shaft whips a monofilament line in a circle which will cut or tear through the grass and weeds.

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2. How are string trimmers powered?

Trimmers can be gas-powered or electric. Gas-powered trimmers are, generally, heavy duty and heavier in weight. Wireless, or battery-powered, trimmers are limited by the length of time the battery holds its charge and are usually less-powerful than gas trimmers. Corded trimmers, or plug-ins, are limited by the length of the extension cord you use.

3. Where can you buy one?

Trimmers are available at major retailers in the garden department, at local hardware and home improvement stores and online.​​​​​

4. Are there safety issues?

All trimmers throw debris, so it is important to wear safety goggles, sturdy shoes or boots, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt or a jacket when using one.

How the Trimmers Were Reviewed

gardener with grass trimmer

We looked at power, balance, comfort, dependability, and ability to get the job done when we compiled this list of the 10 best string trimmers. As a rule of thumb, gas-powered works best for large yards and these are preferred by lawn services. Battery models are good for medium-sized yards but may require charging or a second battery to finish the job. Wired or plug-in units are limited to areas within 200 feet of an outlet. When we judged power, we checked for swath width, the diameter of the circle that the trimmer cuts and the thickness of the string. Finally, we considered the price, to find the best values.

What They Cost

The string trimmers on this list range in price from a low of $49 to a high of $359. The best one for you depends on the use and abuse you’ll put it through versus how long you expect it to last. As with everything mechanical, more money will get you a stronger, heavier, longer-lasting machine but that is not necessarily the best value or fit for you.  If you are facing tall dense grass, lower-priced, lighter weight and lower powered trimmers may not do the job, so beware.


The Best String Trimmer – Our 10 Top Picks


Product

Image

Our Ratings

Power Source

Price

2-cycle engine, 28cc.

2-cycle engine, 22.8cc.

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4-stroke engine, 35cc.

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2-stroke engine, 25.2cc.

2.0 or 2.5-volt rechargeable battery

Power command dial

Lightweight at 8.7 pounds

Cuts an 18-inch swath

Well-balanced, curved shaft

Cuts a 14-inch swath

Gas-Powered Trimmers



Husqvarna 128LD 17" Cutting Path Detachable Gas String Trimmer
  • Features a 28cc 2-cycle engine which powers the 17 inch (cutting width) trimmer head
  • Trimmer engine runs on a mixture of unleaded gas and 2-cycle oil (2. 6 oz bottle is...
  • Easily release new trimmer line as you work by tapping the trimmer head against the grass...

The Husqvarna has a 28cc, one horsepower, 2-stroke engine designed for lower emission levels and lower fuel consumption than most competitors and is quiet enough that you won’t need earplugs. The adjustable ergonomic handle and lightweight, 10.8 pounds, makes it comfortable for most users. The Husqvarna Smart Start technology allows for quick, easy starting, although some users reported problems with the durability of this feature. This hardworking unit will handle tough jobs.

PROS

  • Lightweight 10.8 pounds
  • Low fuel consumption and lower emissions than competitors
  • Quiet and doesn’t require earplugs
  • Adjustable ergonomic handle
  • gas-powered units

CONS

  • SmartStart technology wears out
  • 2-stroke engine requires gas/oil max 

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Hipa RB-K70A Carburetor with Repower Maintenance Kit for Echo GT230...
  • Replacement manufacturer part number: ECHO A021000380, A021000381, A021000382, A021000720,...
  • Replace RB-K66 RB-K66A RBK66B RB-K70 RB-K70A
  • Package include: 1 x carburetor, 2 x mounting gasket, 2 x primer bulb, 1 x wire adjust...

The Echo SRM-230 is a commercial-use model with a 2-cycle engine and a straight-shaft that is popular with lawn services. Users report that it is dependable and long-lasting and when it is time for a replacement, they will stick with the Echo. It has low vibrations, is easy starting and feels well-balanced. It weighs in at 11.2 pounds, has a 22.8cc engine, and trims a 17-inch swath.

PROS

  • Weighs 11.2 pounds and is well-balanced.
  • Low vibrations
  • Dependable and long-lasting

CONS

  • 2-stroke engine requires gas/oil max .

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This powerful 35cc., 4-Cycle Honda model has a straight shaft and cuts a 17-inch swath. It is relatively quiet. The added power comes with increased weight and cost. This is the heaviest of the gas-powered models in our top ten, but a shoulder strap helps distribute the 14.8 pounds of weight. Well-made and durable, this model will handle the toughest weeds.

PROS

  • Powerful 35cc. engine
  • 4-Cycle engine takes gas only
  • Durable, well-made

CONS

  • Heaviest on our list at 14.8 pounds
  • Most expensive on our list

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$

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Poulan Pro PR28SD, 17 in. 28cc 2-Cycle Gas Straight Shaft String...
  • SureFire Fuel Delivery System. Easy as..Prime, Choke and Pull
  • Effortless Pull Starting - Spring assisted starter system for ease of starting
  • Auto return stop switch automatically resets to the ON position for easier starting

The Hitachi has a long 60-inch shaft but is lightweight and has a low vibration level. It does require ear protection as it exceeds OSHA recommended decibel levels. At 15-inches, it has a smaller swath than the other recommended gas models. It has a semi-automatic line feed but only holds 13 feet of 0.095 line. This well-built, well-balanced model comes with a 7-year limited warranty.

PROS

  • 10.3 pounds
  • Low vibrations
  • Well-built and balanced
  • 7-year limited warranty
  • Low price

CONS

  • Requires ear protection
  • Only holds 13 feet of line

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Wireless Trimmers

Wireless trimmers run on rechargeable batteries and are less powerful than gas-powered models. Their biggest limitation is in runtime; even the best will not last much more than a half of an hour. They are lighter than gas-powered engines but can still trim overgrown grass if used properly. They are not as effective on heavy brush, however.

EGO Power+ ST1500-S 15-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Brushless...
  • Dual-feed twist line with 0.095 in. diameter
  • Hi-efficiency brushless motor with variable speed
  • Compatible with all EGO POWER+ Arc Lithium Batteries

The Ego Power+ ST1502 rivals the gas-powered models for attacking long grass and can even cut through one- inch thick bamboo. Runtime per charge is about 36 minutes. This is clearly the best of the battery-powered units. Though heavier than other wireless models, it is quiet and has a low vibration level. It cuts a 15-inch swath and can take line up to 0.095 inches thick. It comes with a 2.0- or 2.5-volt battery, but a separate 7.5-volt battery, which averages 105 minutes of worktime, is available.

PROS

  • 9.82 pounds
  • 7.5-volt battery available
  • Rapid reload system
  • Quiet and low vibrations
  • Takes up to 0.095 line
  • 5-year warranty

CONS

  • 36-minute runtime on 2.5-volt battery
  • Not designed for edging

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BLACK+DECKER String Trimmer / Edger, 13-Inch, 5-Amp (ST8600)
  • Performance to power through the toughest weeds, grass and overgrowth with a 5.0 amp motor...
  • AUTOMATIC FEED SPOOL AFS automatically feeds trimmer line as needed
  • Adjustable height and pivoting handle positions

The Black & Decker 40V lithium battery will give you 25 minutes of runtime on a full charge. The power command dial allows you to increase the power for thick weeds or dial it down for longer battery life. It is powerful enough to tackle tall grass and tough weeds. It is well balanced and easy to use and weighs in at 7.8 pounds. Its 13-inch swath is smaller than some on this list, but it has an auto-feed spool system and comes with a 3-year warranty.

PROS

  • Weighs only 7.8 pounds
  • Power command dial
  • Well-balanced
  • Auto-feed system

CONS

  • 25-minute runtime

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Kobalt 40-volt Max 13-in Straight Cordless String Trimmer (Tool Only -...
  • Kobalt 13-in cordless electric string trimmer and edger cuts down weeds, grass and...
  • 40-volt max Li-ion battery system offers great performance and runtime and can be used...
  • Power through the toughest grass and weeds with heavy duty .080-in dual line delivered by...

Kobalt shows faith in its 40V string trimmer with its 5-year warranty. This adjustable straight shaft, 2-speed unit has an impressive runtime of 45 minutes. It cuts a 13-inch swath, and at 8.7 pounds, it is light and powerful but not as well-balanced as some of the other units.

PROS

  • 45-minute runtime
  • Lightweight at 8.7 pounds
  • Powerful
  • 5-year warranty

CONS

  • Not as well-balanced as others

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Corded Trimmers

Wired or corded trimmers are lightweight, quiet, and less expensive compared to gas or battery powered units. The biggest drawback is the cord. While you can use up to a 200-foot outdoor rated, heavy-duty extension cords, the cords can be cumbersome and annoying.

Greenworks 18-Inch 10 Amp Corded String Trimmer (Attachment Capable)...
  • 10Amp motor with straight shaft and .080 dual line bump feed
  • Light weight and simple electric start with cord lock feature makes it easy to use
  • Large 18" cutting path helps speed up the trimming process

The Greenworks 10-amp corded trimmer cuts an 18-inch swath and has plenty of torque to cut tough weeds and overgrown grass. Comparable to 4-cycle gas trimmers, it is the most powerful corded trimmer on our list. It requires a 10- or 12-gauge extension cord. It features a telescoping handle to adjust to user height, and it has a 4-year warranty.

PROS

  • Power comparable to a gas  trimmer
  • Cuts an 18-inch swath
  • Adjustable handle

CONS

  • Reach is limited by length of extension cord

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BLACK+DECKER Trimmer Line, 20-Foot, 0.08-Inch, Auto Feed (SF080)
  • Compatible with: GH3000
  • 20 feet 0.080 inch Replacement Line
  • Factory wound for maximum reliability and less tangling

The Black & Decker GH3000 has 7.5 amps of power and cuts a 14-inch swath. This lightweight, 6.9-pound unit has a well-balanced curved shaft. Some users have issues with the automatic line feed, but this is a frequent issue with many string trimmers. There is a limited 2-year warranty on this model.

PROS

  • Lightweight 6.9 pounds
  • Well-balanced, curved shaft
  • Low price

CONS

  • Automatic line feed has issues

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Toro PowerPlex 51690 Brushless 40V MAX 480 CFM 150 MPH Cordless...
  • Turbo boost power with speed lock up to 480 CFM to move more faster - 20% more air volume...
  • Speed nozzle increases air speed to 150 mph
  • Brushless DC motor for more power, more run time and longer life than brushed motor

The Toro 51480 is included in this list because it is serviceable, it weighs in at a light 7.5 pounds, and it cuts a 14-inch swath – all at a very affordable price. It will cut overgrown grass if you trim a few inches at a time. Some users had issues with the line feed when using the Toro line, but those issues improved with a slightly heavier line. It carries a 2-year warranty.

PROS

  • Lowest cost
  • Lightweight 7.5 pounds
  • Cuts a 14-inch swath

CONS

  • Not as powerful as others on this list
  • Does have some line feed issues

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Our Recommendations

All the trimmers that made our list are excellent choices. We recommend these three as the 10 best string trimmers. The Husqvarna 128LD is our number one recommendation because it is powerful, yet quiet for a gas trimmer, it cuts a generous 17-inch swath, and is economical compared to others in its class. For those who prefer a battery-powered trimmer, the Ego Power+ ST1502-SF got high ratings from users. Dependable, with a 5-year warranty, it is well-balanced, quiet, yet powerful and gets our recommendation. For those with a small yard, you won’t go wrong with the Greenworks 21142. Lightweight and powerful, it cuts a generous 18-inch swath and sells for a very affordable $75. Any one of these 10 trimmers will perform well whacking overgrown grass and pesky weeds.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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1 comment
Rene' Conly says Feb. 2019

Does anyone know how I can rid my landscape flowerbeds of dollar weed ??? IT HAS TAKEN OVER.

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