- Why Buy a 4-Stroke Weed Eater?
- Reviews of the Best 4-Stroke Weed Eaters
- How to Choose a Weed Eater – Buying Guide
- Wrap Up
If you grew up with weekly chores that consisted of cutting grass and whacking weeds, the most likely tool that you used was a 2-cycle weed eater. To work optimally, this trimmer requires mixing of gas and oil.
But if you’ve shopped in your local stores or browsed online recently, then you may have a come across a new technology that is making waves in the industry, that of the 4-stroke string trimmer. So, why are people preferring the 4-stroke weed eater to the traditional 2-stroke model? This article tries to answer this question. It also recommends the best 4-stroke string trimmers.
Why Buy a 4-Stroke Weed Eater?
Also known as a weed wacker and a weed trimmer, a 4-cycle weed eater is better than the 2-stroke model in several ways:
- Operates more quietly – wouldn’t it be nice if you could get an early start of tending lawn without waking your neighbors up? This is what the 4-stroke weed eater offers: a powerful performance with less noisy operation.
- Convenience – since the 4-stroke weed eater runs on either diesel or gasoline, it saves you from having to keep a separate can of gas for your mower in addition to the oil container. Another way in which this string trimmer is convenient is the fact that it’s easier to start. Most of these tools have Smart Start technology that makes them easy to start.
- Lower emissions – producing fewer exhaust fumes is not just a luxury of a weed eater, but it’s quickly becoming a law in many states. In some areas, every tool must be CARB compliant.
Reviews of the Best 4-Stroke Weed Eaters
HONDA UMC435LAAT 4-Stroke Multi Tool
With a 4-stroke engine and 35cc of displacement power, the Honda UMC435LAAT is light, quiet and easier to operate than most gas trimmers in its class. This weed eater has sufficient power for both residential and commercial trimming needs and it chops through grass very easily.
The Honda UMC435LAAT has a straight shaft, which enables you to maneuver it in hard-to-reach areas. You’ll be able to get rid of weeds from under porches, steps, and around playground equipment.
- Engine capacity of 35cc
- Has a 17-inch semi-matic head with a quiet line
- Fitted with the standard flex shaft
- Comes with a new deflector design
- 17-inch cutting width
- Weighs 13 lbs.
- Has a padded handle to increase user comfort
- Runs very quietly
- Lighter than most 4-stroke gas trimmers
- Only has a few attachments
Troy-Bilt TB575 EC 4-Cycle Trimmer
For a gas weed eater that will provide you with consistent trimming performance from one season to the next, the Try-Bilt TB575 is an excellent option. Overall, this trimmer measures 12.4” x 11.25” x 41.8” with a weight of 13 lbs. Since it’s a 4-cycle gas trimmer, the Troy Bilt is pretty lightweight, which makes its navigation much easier.
The trimmer uses a 4-cycle 29cc engine, meaning that you don’t have to bother mixing any gas or oil. Plus, it has unique JumpStart technology, which eliminates the need for pulling cords to start it. Another aspect you will love about this trimmer is the dual line bump head that eases the task of loading more string to it.
- Powered by a 29cc engine
- Has JumpStart technology to provide a hassle-free starting
- Comes with at least 10 attachments
- Straight shaft
- Has a lightweight design for easy maneuverability
- Serves multiple functions
- The automatic loading guarantees consistency
- Does not come with an engine starter
Makita EM2652LHN 4-Stroke String Trimmer
The Makita EM2652LHN may be one of the heaviest string trimmers in our review, but that does not make it any less efficient. One of the key highlights of this trimmer is the anti-vibration handle that it’s fitted with. Thanks to this technology, you don’t have to worry about getting HAVS, which comes about from the extended use of vibrating machines.
Furthermore, starting this 4-stroke weed eater is a cinch. This is made possible by the automatic decompression of the engine. Also, this trimmer boasts a multiple position lubrication system that provides non-stop operation.
- Has a 4-stroke 25.4 cc engine
- A multi-position lubrication system
- 17-inch cutting width
- Straight shaft that is 57 inches
- Weighs 20 lbs.
- This trimmer uses a replaceable dual-stage air filter for optimal efficiency
- The automatic engine decompression provides a quick and easy start
- The fact that the engine can be inclined to any angle facilitates a continuous operation
- Heavier than most 4-stroke weed eaters, making its navigation difficult
Husqvarna 967055801 4-Stroke Gas String Trimmer
Husqvarna is one of the most renowned brands of tools around—and for good reason. The company is known for making high-quality, durable, and multi-functional pieces of equipment and the Husqvarna gas string trimmer is no exception.
This weed eater is designed for semi-professionals and homeowners who love maintaining their yards properly. However, it may not be the best fit for commercial use. It comes with a Smart Start feature that makes starting the machine incredibly easy. This way, even those who lack upper body strength can operate it with little effort.
Also, this trimmer has an adjustable handle, which users can adjust to their liking. The handle constitutes a soft grip to prevent one from getting fatigued after holding it for an extended period.
- Its 4-stroke engine runs on pure gas
- Comes with an air purge for removing air from fuel system
- Smart Start engine for easy starting with minimal effort
- Has a weight of 17 lbs.
- Operates very quietly
- The straight shaft helps users to access tricky areas
- Its repair parts are readily available
- Does not with additional parts for attaching edgers and blowers
- Quite heavy
- Requires a frequent change of oil
Poulan Pro 966774301 4-Cycle Gas String Trimmer
The Poulan Pro 966774301 is a solid piece of gardening equipment that guarantees a second-to-none trimming performance. Measuring 68.8” x 9” x 11”, this trimmer is also quite compact. Plus, it weighs just 13 pounds, which makes it easy to navigate.
This weed whacker is powered by a 28cc gas engine that provides a consistent performance. It has a spring-assisted start mechanism, enabling you to start it with just one pull of the cord. Since it’s a 4-cycle machine, it does not need any mixing of oil and gas. Overall, it’s easy to operate, it is efficient, and it is compatible with an array of attachments.
- 17-inch cutting width
- Uses 40cycle 28cc engine
- Has a Tap-N-Go dual exit head
- Weighs 13 lbs.
- Generates output of 18 volts
- Has a split straight boom shaft
- ProLink attachment system
- One of the easiest gas trimmers to start
- Easy to carry around because of its lightweight design
- Compatible with different attachments
- Lacks anti-vibration technology
- The throttle modulation is not smooth
How to Choose a Weed Eater – Buying Guide
To make the most out of your shopping experience, it’s wise to know what all those specs mean. Below, you’ll find some of the jargon explained.
2 Cycle vs. 4 Cycle
The number of cycles (or strokes), refers to how many strokes the piston needs to make to produce power. As their names suggest, 2-cycle weed eaters generate power every two strokes, while 4-cycle weed eaters require 4 strokes.
This can have unexpected results on their performance. For example, 2-cycle trimmers generate more power and noise. They’re also lighter and simpler machines.
4-cycle trimmers are heavier and more complex. They don’t generate as much power, but they’re quiet, and they use energy more efficiently.
If the trimmer runs on a mix of lubricating oil and fuel, the 4-cycle trimmer can keep them in separate compartments, while the 2-cycle trimmer requires you to mix them in a specific ratio.
Although 4-cycle trimmers (or 4 stroke weed eaters) are heavier and more expensive. We recommend them because they’re quieter, more efficient, and better for the environment.
There are three main ways to power your weed eater. The first one is fossil fuel (gas is typically used). The other two are electric; one is corded, the other makes use of a battery.
Gas-Powered Weed Eater
This type of weed eaters uses gas only, or a mixture of gas and oil. These weed trimmers have been around for over 50 years. They’re the oldest type available.
Gas-powered weed eaters give you maximum mobility and a long runtime. They have a bulkier construction, which makes them durable, but difficult to move around.
This type is great for large yards, as they can handle more work effectively. Unfortunately, that means they also require more maintenance.
As you may have guessed already, this type also emits fumes.
Corded Electric Weed Eater
If you have a smaller yard, you can opt for a corded weed eater. Those need to be constantly plugged in to work, so you need to have a power outlet nearby.
This type is the lightest, as it doesn’t carry around a large tank or battery. It’s also clean as it doesn’t generate any fumes.
These weed eaters aren’t powerful, and are therefore quiet.
Battery-Powered Weed Eater
Battery-powered weed eaters are clean, quiet, and you can move them around without having to worry about a cord. The only real downside is that they may not run for long and would need a while to recharge.
Weed eaters weigh between 5 lbs and 15 lbs, with some being heavier or lighter. The lighter varieties are typically corded, while the heavier ones are gas-operated.
Heavyweight is typically a sign of a more durable machine, but it may be difficult to carry around.
The cutting width refers to the space in which you can cut the grass without having to move the trimmer. It can range between 12 and 19 inches for most weed eaters.
If you have a large yard, choosing a higher cutting width value may be more efficient. However, bigger doesn’t always equal better. Sometimes you need the trimmer to get into tighter spaces, in which case the extra width can be a hindrance.
Straight vs. Curved Shaft
The shaft is what connects the motor to the cutting head. It can be either curved or straight.
The straight shaft ensures that the cable inside doesn’t move around as much, which makes it less prone to breakage. This is only noticeable with intense use.
Straight shafts are more practical in the sense that they have a longer reach, and are more likely to have different attachments available. They also fit into tighter areas such as under furniture. Straight shafts are preferred for taller folks.
A curved shaft is usually shorter, which makes it lighter and easier to maneuver. It’s recommended for shorter people and smaller yards. It’s also the cheaper between the two.
Four-stroke weed eaters have surpassed their 2-stroke counterparts by far. These machines not only offer a quieter performance but they also have lower emissions. If you’re planning to purchase a weed eater, we recommend going for one of the top-rated four-stroke models in our review.