A newly manicured yard or lawn will increase the curb appeal of your home almost instantly. However, keeping your lawn in tiptop condition requires plenty of time, effort, and, most importantly, an investment in the right tools. A weed wacker is one such tool, which occasionally gets overlooked in favor of a lawnmower. When it comes to lawn maintenance, however, you need not neglect any tool—especially weed eaters. These tools, also known as an electric weed wacker, a string trimmer, and a weed trimmer, serve double duty, sometimes as a mini-mower, and other times as an edger or hedge trimmer.
Finding the right string trimmer isn’t difficult. You just have to be specific about what you’re looking for. Consider the size of the lawn as well as how fast and efficiently you want the trimmer to slice through grass and weeds.
Weed Wacker Buying Guide
Every gardener or homeowner would want tools that make his life easy. Few tools offer the kind of performance and convenience that a weed whacker does. Weed eaters have become a staple when it comes to taking care of yards and lawns. Currently, there are hundreds of different models on the market. So, how do you determine the best weed wacker for your needs? Here are a few aspects to help you narrow down that list of options.
The most important feature that you should be looking at when it comes to weed eaters is the type of engine. This is going to determine a lot of your decisions. The two main types of engines you will get are electric and gas-powered. With electric, the string trimmer is powered by a rechargeable battery or traditional cord that has to be plugged into an electric outlet. Conversely, gas-powered weed wackers tend to have more power, but they’re also bigger and suitable for heavy-duty projects. And since they run on fuel, maintaining gas string trimmers can be expensive.
The electric models do not have as much power as the gas-powered models. However, these electric weed eaters are fitted with different kinds of motors, which have varying torque and total output.
Perhaps the best option for those who want minimal maintenance is a battery-powered weed eater. It may need to be charged several times but it gives you the utmost mobility. The corded models are a bit limiting since one can only go as far as the cord allows you to.
There are two major types of feed systems. A feed system is a mechanism that determines just how much string gets fed out through the head. Originally, this mechanism was referred to as a bump feed since an individual was forced to press downward in a bumping motion so as to release more of the line.
Overall, this system gives users more control when it comes to the length of the line being used. Unfortunately, it also increases the risk of damaging the weed eater since one has to apply a great deal of force in smashing it to the ground.
The second variation of the feed system is known as an automatic feed. As you might have guessed, this mechanism works automatically in that the weed eater extends the feed line as you go. The greatest benefit of an automatic feed is that it does not require the use of any force. On the flipside, these mechanisms do not give users as much control and fixing them when they break is difficult.
Every weed wacker has a specific cutting width that is expressed in inches. The average width is between 12 and 14 inches. The cutting width is simply the space in which the weed eater cuts down grass without forcing the user to move an inch. That said, a bigger cutting width means that an individual can cover a large area using minimal effort, which makes them suitable for large yards. On the other hand, weed whackers that have a small cutting width are better suited for small yards.
This does not necessarily mean that a string trimmer with a bigger cutting width is better. Ultimately, your choice for a weed eater boils down to how efficient it is, how comfortable you are using it, your physical strength and the needs of your yard. Depending on the situation at hand, selecting a trimmer that is too big or too small could cause more problems for you.
Best Weed Wacker Reviews
When you compare all the different weed wackers on the market, what makes one stand out from the rest? Apart from providing a large cutting coverage, the best string trimmer is safe and easy to navigate. The Black+Decker ST8600 provides convenience, safety, and versatility and then some.
With this string trimmer, a user can slice through stubborn grass and tough weeds with ease. It’s fitted with a 5-amp motor, which makes it a pretty powerful machine. To sweeten the deal, this trimmer is one of the most affordable and it doubles up as an edger.
- Comes with a 5.0 amp motor and powerdrive transmission
- Uses automatic feed spool
- Serves as a string trimmer and edger
- 13-inch cutting width
- Has an adjustable height and pivoting handle to suit different people
- Boasts a cord retention system to prevent the occasional cord disconnection
- Precise edging
- The cord makes this string trimmer less maneuverable
Power cords can make it a faff to maneuver your weed eater around the garden. This makes battery-powered models like Worx WG160.4 quite appealing. This model runs on the high-capacity 4AH batteries, which help the unit to work for a long time. This way, you can work on your lawn without worrying that you’ll run out of juice.
Aside from the battery, this trimmer has an adjustable and telescopic shaft, making it suitable for different users. Furthermore, you can use it for mowing and edging.
- Uses hi-capacity 4.0Ah batteries, which last double the time of ordinary batteries
- Converts to an edger and mini-mower
- Uses automatic single line feed
- Weighs 7 lbs.
- Batteries and a charge are included
- Features a lightweight design that is easy to maneuver
- Fast charging time
- Not as powerful as gas-powered models
Even with all the perks of a battery-powered model, in some cases, a gas-powered string trimmer like the Husqvarna 128LD is an excellent option. With such a weed eater, you can clear vast amounts of grass, whether they’re on a steep hillside or a large property that does not provide easy access to a power outlet.
This string trimmer uses a 28cc engine and has a cutting width of 27 inches. Thanks to its large cutting width, you can clear more grass in a short amount of time. Also, this weed wacker weighs 11 pounds, which is much lighter than most gas-powered models.
- Powered by a 28cc engine
- 17-inch cutting width
- Compatible with attachments
- Straight shaft
- High performance as it’s gas-powered
- Large cutting width
- Easy to operate
- Runs more quietly than other gas-powered string trimmers
- Allows for several attachments
- The 2-cycle engine is not as powerful as a 4-cycle engine
- The Smart Starter feature is not reliable
The major setback of using a cordless weed wacker is that the battery will ultimately run out. Even though some models come with swappable batteries, charging the batteries can be tiring. This is where a plug-in string trimmer like the LawbMaster GT1313 comes in handy.
This trimmer has the same performance as that of an electric motor, thanks to the consistent supply of electricity. Another perk of this weed eater is that it runs very quietly. Its cutting head is fitted with a dual-string trimmer giving you a 13-inch cutting width.
- Equipped with a 4.2-amp motor
- Uses a dual line trimmer
- Built-in cord retainer
- 13-inch cutting width
- Weighs 5.8 lbs.
- The corded-electric trimmer is able to slice through tough weeds
- Has an adjustable handle, which is comfortable to hold
- The telescoping aluminum shaft can be adjusted to suit different body sizes
- Comes with a retractable guide which enables users to cut straight lines
- It does not have the best cutting width
If you prefer a string trimmer with a straight shaft, the DeWalt DCST920P1 makes a strong contender. This straight shape has a considerable impact on the trimmer’s performance. And even though curved string trimmers are more ergonomic, they compromise versatility and weight. A trimmer with a straight shaft is much easier to use when it comes to edging and mini-mowing.
What’s more, this weed eater has a variable speed trigger and Hi/Lo speed switch, allowing you to regulate its power and performance as you see fit.
- Comes with brushless motor
- Dual line bump feed
- Patented gear drive design
- 13-inch cutting width
- It’s a well-balanced weed eater with plenty of torque
- The brushless motor enables users to get rid of tough weeds and grass
- The dual line bump feed gives an individual ample control
- Uses a 20V max lithium ion battery, which is compatible with other DeWalt tools
- Due to its fixed head, edging can be a bit difficult
The Bottom Line
Weed whackers, also known as string trimmers, serve two main roles: to access those hard-to-reach areas of a garden that a lawnmower cannot—and to keep your edges looking tidy. There are three main variations of weed eaters: some are powered by batteries, by gas, or batteries. Regardless of the model, you decide to go for, ensure it provides sufficient power and a large cutting width to help you cover a large area within a short amount of time.