10 Best Weed Wackers Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

We keep hearing that cordless outdoor power tools, particularly cordless string trimmers, have finally reached gas engine power tool performance. To determine if that’s true, we put three pro-duty string trimmers to the test. Two were gas engine machines, one was 18-volt cordless.

We cleaned out an area then went without late-summer mowing or fall cleanup. The grass was shin deep and accompanied by tangled weeds and briars. Our three candidates were an Echo SRM 2620T, a Stihl FS91R, and Milwaukee’s 18-volt M18 Fuel Quik-Lok, and we added three more models toward the end in case you don’t need all of this heavy-duty power.

Top 10 Weed Wackers

Bestseller No. 1
WORX WG163 GT 3.0 20V PowerShare 12' Cordless String Trimmer & Edger
825 Reviews
WORX WG163 GT 3.0 20V PowerShare 12" Cordless String Trimmer & Edger
  • 2-in-1 function with dual-position wheels for grass trimming and edging
  • Converts from a trimmer to an in-line edger in seconds with no tools; No-Load Speed : 7600/min
Bestseller No. 2
BLACK+DECKER LST300 Weed Whacker
1086 Reviews
BLACK+DECKER LST300 Weed Whacker
  • 20-volt Lithium Ion battery pack for 33% more run time
  • The PowerDrive Transmission delivers more power from the motor to the cutting string so you can get the job...
Bestseller No. 3
BLACK+DECKER LCC222 20V MAX Lithium String Trimmer/Edger, Sweeper Plus 2 Battery Combo Kit, 10'
556 Reviews
BLACK+DECKER LCC222 20V MAX Lithium String Trimmer/Edger, Sweeper Plus 2 Battery Combo Kit, 10"
  • Sweeper is ideal for clearing driveways, sidewalks, decks, garages
  • String trimmer features Automatic Feed Spool; no bumping required
Bestseller No. 5
BLACK+DECKER LSTE523 Li-On String Trimmer
709 Reviews
BLACK+DECKER LSTE523 Li-On String Trimmer
  • Converts from trimmer to wheeled edger
  • Power Drive Transmission for increased torque
Bestseller No. 6
BLACK+DECKER ST8600 5 Amp 13' String Trimmer/Edger
305 Reviews
BLACK+DECKER ST8600 5 Amp 13" String Trimmer/Edger
  • Performance to power through the toughest weeds, grass and overgrowth with a 5.0 amp motor and POWERDRIVE...
  • AUTOMATIC FEED SPOOL - AFS automatically feeds trimmer line as needed
Bestseller No. 7
BLACK+DECKER LCC340C 40V MAX Lithium String Trimmer/Sweeper Combo Kit
215 Reviews
BLACK+DECKER LCC340C 40V MAX Lithium String Trimmer/Sweeper Combo Kit
  • LST140 40V MAX String Trimmer/Edger with POWER DRIVE high-torque transmission for clean, fast cuts
  • AUTOMATIC FEED SPOOL - AFS automatically feeds trimmer line as needed
Bestseller No. 8
BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 20V MAX Lithium Easy Feed String Trimmer/Edger with 2 Batteries
689 Reviews
BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 20V MAX Lithium Easy Feed String Trimmer/Edger with 2 Batteries
  • Converts from trimmer to wheeled edger;Amp Hour : (2) 1.5 AH
  • Power Drive Transmission for increased torque
Bestseller No. 9
Worx WG184 40V (2.0Ah) 13' Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger with in-Line Edging, and Command Feed, 1 hr....
38 Reviews
Worx WG184 40V (2.0Ah) 13" Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger with in-Line Edging, and Command Feed, 1 hr....
  • Dual 20V batteries team up for 40V maximum power
  • Change from a trimming to inline wheeled edging in no time
Bestseller No. 10
GreenWorks STBA40B210 G-MAX 40V Cordless String Trimmer and Blower Combo Pack
199 Reviews
GreenWorks STBA40B210 G-MAX 40V Cordless String Trimmer and Blower Combo Pack
  • Up to 45 minutes of run time with fully charged 2.0AH Battery, battery and charger included
  • The innovative axial fan design delivers 110 MPH and 390 CFM to handle tough clearing jobs

Curved or Straight Shaft

String trimmers have either a straight shaft or a curved shaft, the latter of which is bent about halfway between the handle and the spinning trimmer head. A straight shaft is often better for taller users because it’s longer, and the design lets you trim without kneeling or bending to keep the trimmer head close to the ground.

Shorter users may prefer a curved shaft because it’s a little easier to hold and maneuver, and its design makes it more convenient to keep the cutting head perpendicular to the ground. If you’ve never used a string trimmer, try one of each at a home center or hardware store to see which feels more natural.

Power Source
A string trimmer can be powered by gasoline, by a battery, or with a traditional power cord plugged into an outdoor outlet. In our tests, we find that all three types can cut well, depending on the model.

Corded electrics are the cheapest but only a good option if you have an outdoor outlet and a long extension cord—you’ll rarely find an outdoor cord longer than 100 feet, so if you need to trim an area more than 100 feet from an outlet, choose another type.

Battery-powered models often cut as well as gas, start instantly, and run quietly. If you have a battery-powered lawn mower, the smart move is to buy a string trimmer from the same brand because you’ll be able to use the batteries interchangeably and always have one fully charged. Otherwise, expect to trim for about 30 minutes on a single charge.

Gas-powered string trimmers are the most common. They’re loud, so you’ll need hearing protection, but they can go anywhere and run indefinitely, provided you keep adding fuel. Models with a four-cycle engine run on regular gasoline, but be sure to add fuel stabilizer to the gas before prolonged storage—the ethanol in the gas can gum up the engine, making it difficult to start.

Two-cycle models are cheaper than most four-cycle models, but they emit more pollutants and require you to mix gas and oil in specific proportions, usually 40:1 or 50:1, before adding fuel to the tank. You can also buy cans of premixed gas and oil for string trimmers (and other outdoor power equipment) at the home center. It costs more than mixing fuel yourself, but a single $7 can is likely to last an entire season.

Other Considerations

Should You Buy a Powered Base?
With both gas- and battery-powered string trimmers, you’ll have the option of buying a stand-alone tool or a powered base. The latter is basically an engine or a motor designed to accept different attachments, and it’s typically sold with a string trimmer head. For most models, you can also get a hedge trimmer, pole saw edger, and brush cutter, and even a cultivator attachment. It’s a good option if you need a string trimmer and any or all of the additional tools, and you don’t have the space for multiple tools, or the money, to buy each separately.

Mind the Gap
Before you buy any string trimmer, look at the cutting head, where it meets the shaft of the trimmer. If there’s a large gap, be warned that tall grass will probably get wrapped around the shaft in that spot. Instead, look for a model with a minimal gap, or one with an easy-to-remove cutting head, so you can quickly pop the head off and get rid of weeds.

Safety First
String trimmers can easily break through the skin and send debris flying while they cut. They have a shield to deflect most debris, but even so, you’ll want to wear gloves, protective eyewear, boots, and long pants, in addition to hearing protection for gas models.

How to use a String Trimmer?

If you’ve never used a stringing trimmer before, there are some simple tips that will help you quickly master this easy-to-use yard tool. By following these steps, you’ll be able to get professional results while eliminating the risk of accidentally scraping or damaging your lawn. The first thing to consider is the style of your weed trimmer. While there are some trimmers that feature a curved-shaft, you’ll notice that the models featured in our list of the top grass trimmers on the market are mostly straight-shaft tools.

This is because a straight shaft gives you more control over the tool and allows you to easily navigate tight turns and get under bushes and trees. The next thing to look at is the spin direction of your trimmer. Using your trimmer the wrong way is going to decrease both the efficiency and the results that you get. A trimmer’s cutting line spins in a circular direction in a horizontal plane. As it cuts, the trimmer needs to shoot debris away from its cutting path.

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