6 Best String Trimmers, Tested and Reviewed

We've found a string trimmer for everyone, from the small property owner who trims once a month to professionals who use them all day long.

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June 14, 2024
Several String Trimmers on the Grass

Testing to Find the Best String Trimmer

To find the best string trimmer on the market, several different models were put to the test. Each model was used to trim grass along fence rows, on hillsides, sidewalks, and more.

Photo by: Kamron Sanders

Kamron Sanders

Our Top String Trimmer Picks

Tested by Kamron Sanders

Whether you call it a weed whacker, a weed eater or a string trimmer, a good string trimmer is a must-have tool for keeping your lawn in order. While a lawnmower does a great job cutting grass and weeds in wide open spaces, it has a limited reach, resulting in weeds along the edge of buildings, flower beds, sidewalks, fences and more. Plus, even the most capable mower can’t tackle steep hillsides, banks or ditches. Whether you're shopping for your first or replacing an old one, we've found the best string trimmer for every budget or property need.

How We Tested

To find the best string trimmer, we put nine popular models from various brands to the test on a large farm property. With everything from extensive rows of fencing to steep hillsides covered in thick weeds and woody saplings to manicured lawns with crisp sidewalk edges, this property had a little of everything to showcase each string trimmer’s strengths and weaknesses.

Edging a Sidewalk With a String Trimmer

Testing a String Trimmer to Edge a Sidewalk

To find the best string trimmer, different models were used to edge a sidewalk, which is a notoriously difficult task to do well.

Photo by: Kamron Sanders

Kamron Sanders

Both gas-powered and battery-powered string trimmers were tested. For electric models, the batteries were fully charged, and then the trimmers were used continuously until the battery died to see the true battery life. For models with multiple power modes, we used them on the highest power setting. Gas-powered models were topped with gas and continuously used until one tank of gas ran out.

Trimming Weeds Beneath a Fence Row

Testing a String Trimmer's Power

To find the most powerful string trimmer, each model was used to trim weeds beneath a barbed-wire fence.

Photo by: Kamron Sanders

Kamron Sanders

Each string trimmer was used in a variety of settings like fence rows, garden edges, sidewalks, buildings and more. Additionally, different levels of weed were cut, from thin grassy weeds common in everyday yards to thick, stemmy weeds on fence rows and along the edge of woods. Models with built-in edgers, mini-mowers or other special features were tested accordingly.

Photo By: Kamron Sanders
What We Like
  1. Very powerful
  2. Lightweight
  3. Auto line-loading
What We Don't Like
  1. Poor battery life

This was a close race, but the EGO Powerload Carbon Fiber string trimmer narrowly beat out some other great string trimmers to take the top spot on this list. The two factors that give this string trimmer the edge are its impressively light weight and Powerload head, which winds the trimmer line into the head at the touch of a button. At first, we were a little skeptical of this feature, as it was the first time we’d ever seen it on a string trimmer. However, after using it, we were sold. It saved a ton of time and frustration amid an already time-consuming, frustrating task. On top of this, the EGO was very powerful and rarely found a weed it couldn’t tackle.

Photo By: Kamron Sanders
What We Like
  1. Extremely powerful
  2. Attachment ready
  3. Feels durable
What We Don't Like
  1. Heavy
  2. Poor battery life

The DeWalt 60V string trimmer nearly took the top spot on this list. While it was more powerful than the EGO, it was nearly twice as heavy and a fair bit more expensive. Still, the DeWalt 60V string trimmer has a lot to love. It’s extremely powerful (as much or more than the gas-powered models we tested), it feels highly durable and it’s attachment capable. DeWalt makes several attachments for this powerhead, including a tiller, blower, hedge trimmer and pole saw, but you can also pair it with numerous universal attachments from other brands.

Photo By: Kamron Sanders
What We Like
  1. Great value
  2. Very capable
  3. Automatic line feed
What We Don't Like
  1. Poor battery life
  2. Poor power-to-weight ratio

It's hard to believe you can find a capable 40V string trimmer at just over $100, but the Greenworks is just that. While this trimmer isn't geared toward heavy-duty use, it's perfect for the average lawn with a mix of everyday weeds. The automatic line feed eliminates the need to bump the head against the ground, which prevents damage to your lawn. While this may not be everyone's preference, we enjoyed the undersized debris guard, as it made it considerably easier to get in tight spots like beneath playground equipment.

  1. Weight 12 lbs.
  2. Power Source Battery
  3. Voltage 40
  4. Battery Amp Hours 2
Photo By: Kamron Sanders
What We Like
  1. Lightweight
  2. Inexpensive
  3. 3-in-1 tool (edger, mini-mower, trimmer)
What We Don't Like
  1. Lacks power
  2. Small size makes it awkward for taller people to hold

The Worx GT Revolution is full of clever features. The swiveling, adjustable head changes positions to become a wheeled edger that allows even newbies to crisply edge a sidewalk. Once you're finished, move the wheels and adjust the head once more to turn it into a mini-mower.

At first, I wasn't sure I'd utilize this feature much, but I found myself reaching for the Worx GT to mow between the rows in my garden and along the rock pack, both places where standard mowers and string trimmers struggle. Plus, the integrated guard made it possible to trim weeds right against my flower stems without cutting them. Last but not least, the trimmer holds an additional spool of line on the handle, which saves you a trip to the shed when you run out of line.

Is it going to replace the heavy-duty string trimmers on this list? No, but it's an all-in-one package that's perfect for a small suburban lawn.

Photo By: Kamron Sanders
What We Like
  1. Extremely powerful
  2. A tank of gas lasted over one hour in testing
  3. Good price point
  4. Attachment-ready
What We Don't Like
  1. Heavy
  2. Gas engine requires more maintenance than battery-powered models

There's no stopping the Husqvarna 128LD string trimmer. With a 28 cc gas engine and a 17-inch cutting swath, you can quickly tame a lot of overgrowth. With immense power and the lengthy run time of gas power, this Husqvarna is a must-have for large properties or heavy-duty trimming needs. Plus, this trimmer is attachment-ready like the DeWalt and available at nearly half the price of the other gas-powered trimmer we tested.

  1. Weight 12.7 lbs.
  2. Power Source Gas
  3. Engine 28 cc
Photo By: Kamron Sanders
What We Like
  1. Great power-to-weight ratio
  2. Durable
  3. Accessible engine
What We Don't Like
  1. Expensive

Whether you're a professional landscaper or simply want the best for your tools, look no further than the ECHO X Series string trimmer. This gas-powered string trimmer is geared toward commercial use and you can tell just by looking at it that it's built to last. At a steep price point of $400, this model is overkill for most homeowners, but its great power-to-weight ratio made it a joy to use during testing. Plus, I enjoyed the longer design, which made hard-to-reach areas like banks and ditches more accessible. Lastly, the engine is easily accessible and not covered in plastic, which makes routine maintenance much easier.

  1. Weight 12.5 lbs.
  2. Power Source Gas
  3. Engine 25.4 cc

What to Consider When Shopping for a String Trimmer

String trimmers aren’t one-size-fits-all tools. In fact, the first thing you should consider when shopping for a string trimmer is your property’s needs. If you have a small yard with a few thin weeds around your sidewalk and mulch beds, you don’t need a $400 gas-powered string trimmer. Instead, an inexpensive battery-powered option is all it takes. On the other hand, if you have an expansive property with fences, steep banks, ditches, and other areas with heavy-duty trimming needs, you’ll be kicking yourself if you choose a light-duty homeowner model.

Power Source: Gas and electric string trimmers each have their place, so how do you decide which is best for you? If you have extensive trimming needs, such as a lawn care professional or large property owner, an electric string trimmer is not going to be able to keep up unless you buy multiple additional batteries, which will cost several hundred dollars.

Gas String Trimmer Starting Procedure

String Trimmer Test: Comparing Gas and Electric Trimmers

Beyond the fuel source, the biggest difference between gas and electric string trimmers is the start-up procedure, which takes considerably longer on gas-powered models.

Photo by: Kamron Sanders

Kamron Sanders

In our testing, the gas models doubled even the longest-lasting cordless string trimmer run time. Plus, some batteries took several hours to recharge, whereas the gas string trimmers could be immediately refilled and used. However, if you have a small property and don’t want to fool with the hassle and slower startup of a gas string trimmer, a cordless string trimmer is the way to go.

Power Needs: Regardless of your yard’s size, if you have tall grass and thick weeds, an underpowered string trimmer won’t cut it. This doesn’t mean you have to buy a gas-powered string trimmer. Many battery-powered trimmers we tested, such as the DeWalt model we recommend, with its massive 60-volt battery, were just as powerful as the gas-powered models.

Two String Trimmers

Comparing String Trimmer Sizes

The biggest difference between different models of string trimmers is the size and shape, which will determine how comfortable they are to use.

Photo by: Kamron Sanders

Kamron Sanders

Size: Trimming weeds is by no means a comfortable job, but choosing the right string trimmer can be all the difference. String trimmers come in various sizes and shapes. Just because one is comfortable for one individual, doesn’t mean it will be for the next. Choosing a string trimmer that is too big, too small, too heavy, too short, etc. will prove problematic after a few minutes of operation.

Vibration Level: Gas-powered string trimmers tend to vibrate more than battery-powered options. After several minutes of operation, it can leave your arms and hands tingling and numb. If this concerns you, look for models with anti-vibration technology.

An Auto-loading Head on a String Trimmer

String Trimmer Test: Powerload Head

Some string trimmers feature auto-loading heads, which load the line into the head at the touch of a button.

Photo by: Kamron Sanders

Kamron Sanders

Line Installation: How you load the trimmer line continues to evolve with each new model. The EGO models we tested both featured Powerload heads, which wind the line on the spool with the touch of a button. While this seemed a little gimmicky at first, we were sold after the first use, as it saved considerable time and frustration.

Line Feeding: While traditional string trimmers utilize a bump-feed mechanism in the head, which feeds the line when you bump the head against the ground, many new cordless models feature a button to feed the line. Some models even feed the line automatically. While bump-feed heads work well, they tend to do damage to the yard wherever you bump them.

Safety Features: The main safety feature you should be concerned with on a string trimmer is the guard, which minimizes the amount of debris that gets flung toward the operator. While these are effective, you should always wear eye protection or a face shield, plus closed-toe shoes and long pants when operating a string trimmer.

Attachment Capability: You can save space and money by buying a string trimmer with attachment capability. This allows you to swap the string trimmer head for attachments like blowers, tillers, pole saws, hedge trimmers and more.

Accessories and Features: A standard string trimmer can do a lot of jobs in the hands of a skilled user. However, some accessories and features exist to make these jobs easier for anyone to accomplish, even those new to string trimmers. Look for options like edger wheels, mini-mowers, line spool holders, auto-loading heads, automatic line feed and more.

Noise Output: Most string trimmers are designed to not pose a threat to the user's hearing when operated properly. However, if the noise level concerns you, we recommend utilizing hearing protection whenever you're operating. If you're more concerned with being considerate to your neighbors, consider a battery-powered string trimmer, which will be quieter than a gas-powered model.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who makes the most reliable string trimmer?

You can’t go wrong with most big-name tool brands when buying a string trimmer. Options from Husqvarna, DeWalt and Echo are top contenders that will be reliable if properly cared for.

Is a straight or curved string trimmer better?

Traditionally, straight-shaft string trimmers have been considered professional models, while curved-shaft string trimmers are geared toward residential use. Curved shafts are ergonomic, lightweight and effective for light-duty applications such as trimming around a small yard. Straight-shaft trimmers are typically heavier but have more power output and make certain tasks easier, such as trimming in hard-to-reach places and edging.

Are gas or electric string trimmers better?

Cordless tool technology has come a long way in recent years and many cordless string trimmers can contend with gas string trimmers from a power perspective. However, a tank of gas typically outlasts a battery and can be immediately refilled, whereas a battery must be recharged. This makes gas a better option for someone with a lot of trimming needs or a professional who uses one all day long.

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