Weed wackers, also known as string trimmers or weed eaters, have been around for many years with a single goal – to help homeowners maintain their gardens with ease. Not only do they keep the gardens looking great, but also keep the pathways and verges free of grass. By keeping the shrubs and weeds under control, those garden tools put the finishing touch on a nice-looking yard.
Whether you’re in need if a weed wacker for general garden and yard chores or for serious integrated landscape management, it is essential that you choose the best machine for your jobs. No matter you simply want to find a solid piece of equipment or seek a heavy-duty tough trimmer, make sure to find the right tool that will help you easily maintain your property.
There’s a whole host of weed wackers available on the market. There are hundreds of different gas-powered models today. On the other hand, the electric variants are becoming more and more popular because of their compact nature and environmental friendliness. So how to know which one would be ideal for you? Read on to figure out.
Here is a list of The Best Weed Wacker
If you are ready to go shopping for a weed wacker, we recommend that you check out the following considerations first. Find out what you should look for in our product guide, then move onto our in-depth weed wacker reviews.
Choose the Right Type
First and foremost, you need to determine which type would work best for your needs. There are 3 main types of weed wackers:
- Gas-powered weed wackers are the most appropriate for large areas with dense weeds or tall grass, as they’re powerful and run smoothly. On the other hand, the gas models are generally more expensive, noisy, and emit harmful fumes. Those devices can be powered by either a 2-cycle or a 4-cycle engine. The four-cycle models are best for jungle-like gardens and they don’t require a mix of engine oil and fuel, unlike two-cycle models.
- Corded-electric weed wackers are perfect small areas that involve simple gardening tasks, such as trimming the verge or low maintenance weeding. In general, these machines are quieter and more lightweight than other models. On the downside, the electric weed wackers offer a limited reach, meaning you’ll have to be close to an electrical outlet while working.
- Battery-powered weed wackers are the perfect choice for those looking for an eco-friendly, portable device. They can be used for a small to medium sized gardens. The main issue of these trimers is the battery life because you’ll have to charge the battery quite often. Newer lithium-ion models can run for more than an hour, but such a battery is bulky and heavy.
A weed wacker is supposed to feel comfortable and balanced in your hands. That’s why the weight must be distributed evenly from bottom to top, or it can be slightly heavier at the top. Also, be sure that all the controls are easily accessible and smooth.
While the larger, gas models usually need a shoulder harness when working for an extended period of time, the lightweight machines only require a top mounted handle for better control. While all weed wackers vibrate to some extent, some models compensate vibrations and reduce fatigue with some kind of damping. Go for them!
Curved vs. Straight Shaft
The type of shaft is one of the most important things to take into consideration when looking to purchase a weed wacker. The shaft serves to transfer power from the motor or engine to the cutting lines.
As you may already know, it can either be straight or curved. Some models come with a detachable shaft, so they can also be used as a tree pruner, brush-cutter, hedge trimmer, sweeper, or edger.
Weed wackers with a curved shaft are typically easier to handle and maneuver. They are lighter and shorter, thereby convenient for working around small, narrow flowerbeds and lawns.
Straight shaft models, on the other hand, are more suitable for large yards because they are more powerful and heavy-duty. In addition, these machines offer a longer reach and hence come in handy when you want to reach under fences or bushes.
String Feed Options
Once you have dived in, you will come across numerous models with different intimidating hi-tech names. Based on the cutting line or string feed, all those models can be categorized into one of the following three types:
- Bump Feed: These models put out more string when you bump their head against the ground.
- Auto Feed: They are equipped with a pre-wound head which feeds string automatically as needed.
- Fixed Line: The amount of string is fixed to fit snugly into the head, so you’ll have to change it manually when getting worn down.
A lot of weed wackers are prone to stir up debris during the work. That’s why you have to wear boots, long pants, gloves, and safety glasses when working with them. With the exception of electric cordless models, the majority of weed wackers are engineered to operate at over 85 decibels. So it’s a good idea to use an ear protection as well.
Below, you can familiarize yourself with the best weed wackers these days. Take the time to carefully check out each of them.
Husqvarna 128LD 17-Inch Straight Shaft Detachable String Trimmer, 28cc
The Husqvarna 128LD is primarily intended for professionals, however, their features make it easy to use and hence good for anyone. Starting is quick and simple thanks to the fuel pump and Smart Start recoil system. It’s equipped with a semiautomatic line spool that keeps cutting at the highest level throughout use.
The curved shaft is detachable for the optimal ergonomic positioning and extended reach. Besides, the trimmer also contains a brush cutter blade which is made of steel and can be replaced in case of the tougher bush. To run properly, the 2-stroke motor requires a mixture of oil and gas. Once you have fueled it properly and strapped on, you will be able to go for a few hours. Air is removed from the fuel system and carburetor automatically for easy starting.
You should know that it’s a very loud and heavy kit, as it comes with a gas motor and weighs over 16 lbs when fueled. So be prepared for that if you want to choose this model.
- Runs nearly vibration-free
- Starts easily
- Semi-auto spool feeding
- Curved detachable shaft for greater ergonomics
- Braided, strong wire cable drive
- No bump string replacement
- Noisier than electric or battery-powered models
- Requires gas
- On a heavy side
Summary: One of the best weed eaters available. It’s a contractor-standard machine that has been proven to be reliable. The impressive 28cc motor and detachable shaft make it suitable for different jobs.
GreenWorks 21142 10Amp 18-Inch Corded String Trimmer
Corded weed wacker models have come a pretty long way over the years. The GreenWorks 21142 proves this fact. Since it’s a corded device, you will not have to bother yourself stopping it to add gas or recharging a battery.Nevertheless, you won’t be limited to a small area.
Don’t let its modest price deceive you. Despite the low price, this 18’’ 10 Amp corded deceive can handle the garden jobs surprisingly well without cutting the corners like some other trimmers. The 18-inch cutting path (one of the biggest in this class) will considerably reduce your time when working in the yard. It also boasts one of the largest motors in its class that offers plenty of power.
Weighing roughly 10 pounds, it’s a bit heavier than most electric corded models, but yet quite lightweight for a string trimmer overall. A cushioned-trigger handle diminishes vibration notably. There’s a telescoping, adjustable shaft which lets you get the length as per your needs. The gas attachment is another thumbs-up feature which makes the device even more versatile.
- Perfect for small garden and yard areas
- Professional grade cutting
- Easy and fast to start
- Lots of power
- Well balanced
- Spool feed tends to tangle
- Carbon footprint
- Requires maintenance at times
Summary: If a corded string trimmer is what you are searching for, this one could be a good choice. This electric weed eater is specially designed for the smaller gardens and yards, where it tackles the job fine. Maybe it isn’t as powerful as a gas-powered weed wacker, but it is capable of tackling any general garden care.
BLACK+DECKER LST136W 40V MAX Lithium Ion String Trimmer, 13"
Not everyone needs a big, heavy-duty machine to maintain a yard. If you’re one of those people, then this cordless device is the right choice for you. Of course, it comes with a unique set of advantages and disadvantages.
The BLACK+DECKER LST136W stands head and shoulders above the rest with its design and plenty of great features. Even though it’s a battery-powered device, it can handle the large jobs quite fast and easy. Despite the robust design, it is lightweight and well-balanced for high comfort and mobility. By turning the shaft, you can convert this string trimmer to a lawn edger in a matter of seconds without using any add-ons.
The PowerDrive Transmission allows for direct power delivery from the engine to cutting string, which eventually results in a faster work. There’s also the PowerCommand dial for even more power efficiency. That allows you to easily switch between MAX runtime and MAX power mode. It is also fitted with an automatic feeder for continuous trimming without any problem with tangling.
- Powerful PowerDrive transmission
- Powerful battery
- No maintenance
- No messy gas or oil
- 2-year warranty
- Great values for the money
- Not as powerful as a gas trimmer
- Cutting width could be slightly larger
- Given the power, the string could be longer
- Cord may get in the way
Summary: The robust battery-powered weed wacker with a powerful transmission and long-lasting battery. The trimmer uses a 40V MAX Li-ion battery, one of the most powerful batteries, which can hold a large charge.
Hitachi CG23ECPSL 22.5cc 2-Cycle Gas Powered Solid Steel Drive Shaft String Trimmer
As its price suggests, this is not one of those top-rated “beefy” products. However, this 2-cycle gas-powered weed wacker includes plenty of extras and can cut through the tough brush with ease, which is why we’ve included in the list. By the way, its trigger is pretty wide and nice, whereas the skid plate beneath the gas tank makes it look like a trimmer that is twice as expensive.
With the balanced design and anti-vibration system, user fatigue is decreased to a minimum so that you can use the trimmer effortlessly all day. You’ll be able to keep it running for hours without changing the string thanks to the semi-automatic spool feeding. A wide, 17-inch diameter allows you to move quickly while working. Moreover, start-up pull is a breeze thanks to the Hitachi incorporated technology. All these features are meant to save you time and effort.
Does it look like something you want to buy? If yes, please note that a brush cutter blade is not included, so you’ll have to buy it separately if needed.
- Powerful 2-stroke engine
- Long drive shaft
- CARB compliant
- Excellent anti-vibration system
- Semi-auto spool feeding
- Easy and quick startup
- Affordable price
- Air filter isn’t adequate for the dirty environment
- Doesn’t come with attachments or extra parts
- Doesn’t have a harness
- Requires fuel mix
Summary: The Hitachi CG23ECPSL is a strong, lightweight gas-powered weed eater that features a long shaft and offers a decent reach. It’s a great choice if you are looking for a powerful device with low vibration and high versatility.
Toro 51480 Corded 14-Inch Electric Trimmer/Edger
If you own a small or medium-sized garden with a lot of thick grass and weeds that need to be kept under control, make sure to consider buying this electric machine. With an auto-feed trim line, a 5 amp engine, and a wide 14” dual-line cutting head, the Toro weed wacker can get the gardening chores done in a flash.
Although this device is primarily intended to act as a string trimmer, it can quickly turn into an edger with a push of a button as needed. It comes with an auto-feed system which prevents bumping, as well as a guide wheel that prevents scalping.
The adjustable assist handle and telescoping shaft provide an extended reach, which comes in handy when you want to tackle hard-to-reach areas. Besides, you can also adjust the rust-free aluminum shaft for better control and comfort.
- Perfect for small yards
- Easy to switch between edging and cutting
- Quiet operation
- Wide 14-inch swath
- 2-year warranty
- Ridiculously cheap
- Not suited for thick weeds and tall grass
- Fragile cutting string
- Requires an extension cord
- The auto feeding does not work very well
Summary: The Toro 51480 is a corded electric device that can act either as a trimmer or edger. Despite the ridiculously low price, it’s proven to be a reliable garden tool that can get the job done fast. That’s why many people like using it for commercial landscaping.
Now that you have familiarized yourself with the top models and the basic considerations, you’re all set to go shopping. However, before you make a final decision, make sure to consider what kind of yard work you’ll need to tackle.
For regular garden jobs, you don’t need a professional-grade, expensive device. The most electric corded weed wackers can handle weeds and grass just fine. The great thing about these machines is that they are easy to maneuver and can reach spots where lawn mowers can’t go. That makes them ideal for places such as tight corners, the edges of a flowerbed, areas around trees, and the like. This way they can give your pathway or garden a tidy, nice look around the border or edges.
For heavy-duty gardening and landscaping tasks, it’s worth investing in a weed eater with brush-cutting capabilities. This is especially true if you own a large garden which has lots of dense undergrowth and tall grass growth to maintain. The gas-powered models are typically more powerful, thereby more efficient at handling substantial dense weeds.
As for the battery-powered weed wackers, those devices deliver power almost equal to gas-powered models without emitting harmful gases. They can be used for medium to large sized areas. Another big plus is that their battery can be used for other devices, including chainsaws, lawn mowers, and leaf blowers. The downside is that they tend to be expensive and heavy. Also, not all people are happy with battery life though. However, it is something that generally hits all cordless devices, right?