Lawn trimmers, also called weed whackers or weed eaters, are one of the most basic types of lawn care maintenance equipment every homeowner should own. In the decades since the first Weed Eater was introduced, many different types of trimmers have hit the market, and it can become a bit confusing if you’re in the market for a suitable trimmer that will serve your needs dependably and with little fuss.
In this article, the reader will become acquainted with the three distinct types of weed whackers that are ideal for residential use. The first section will be a helpful guide to the pros and cons of each type of weed whacker, these being gasoline/oil powered and the two electric powered options, corded and cordless. The reader will then be presented with reviews of three top-rated lawn trimmer models, one for each of these three types.
First, a few words on the similarities that all of the best residential-grade weed whackers share. They are as light-weight as possible, with that weight being evenly distributed for easier operation. They all use a flexible plastic or wire line contained within a spool at the business-end of the trimmer that can be easily fed out as needed. And of course, all trimmers – gas, corded or battery powered – allow the user to access and cut down moderately thick weeds and unwanted grasses that lawn mowers or traditional edgers cannot reach.
First up, gas-powered trimmers will be considered.
The benefits of a gas-powered trimmer include increased raw power, an important factor when the job calls for cutting down particularly thick or woody plants. Another advantage is their almost unlimited range and operation time, provided of course the user has enough gasoline and oil mixture at hand. Commercial-grade weed eaters are typically four-stroke and run on gasoline alone, but featured here are two-stroke engine trimmers, which are very common in the residential-use market and often need 2.6 ounces of specifically made oil for every gallon of gas used.
The drawbacks of gas-powered trimmers are their cuttingly loud operating noises and the relatively higher maintenance needs and increased operation costs owing to the needed gasoline and oil fuel. As these tools have more moving parts, the possibility of parts needing to be fixed or replaced is another factor. Gas-powered weed whackers are heavier as well.
Next up, the pros and cons of corded and battery powered versions will be looked at. Though similar in many ways — such as in their far quieter operation, lighter weight, lessened maintenance requirements and their suitability to smaller jobs – there are a few key differences that could sway one’s decision.
A battery powered trimmer is limited in its operation time – one fully charged lithium-ion battery usually lasts about 25-45 minutes. And an extension-corded trimmer is very limited in physical range, safely maxing out at around 200 feet.
With a corded model that depends on a power outlet, users will have to purchase appropriate extension cords. Lithium-ion batteries are an expense as well, although there is the intriguing possibility here to purchase other power tools that use the same battery, meaning one may only need to buy one or two extra batteries for all one’s electric power tools.
Corded weed whackers are more energy-efficient and have a lighter weight due to the lack of a battery.
Battery powered trimmers don’t have messy cords to get in your way or pose a trip hazard and of course have a technically unlimited range.
The next section will detail three top-rated residential-grade trimmers representing the above three categories.
- Provides a great value; quick to assemble; simple to use; quality build material.
- The shaft is not extendable; head doesn’t rotate; relatively heavy for a corded weed whacker at just under 10 lbs.
Although this corded trimmer is firmly in the budget category, it delivers by being a solid and well-built power tool. The dual-line, .08″ string is bump-fed and the shaft is rather on the long side, making this pick best suited for tall or medium-sized users.
For non-demanding jobs and smaller yards with lots of open spaces, this trimmer is a great corded option that will allow users to get work done fast. If one has lots of tricky corners or niches with little room to maneuver, this probably isn’t the best option.
- Durable; the 28cc engine can handle heavy workloads with ease; moderately lightweight for a gas-powered at about 11 lbs; .095 string is easy to refill; good value.
- Can fail if any ethanol or other non-gasoline fuel is used; continual maintenance efforts are needed to keep it running reliably.
This Husqvarna trimmer is a great multi-purpose gas-powered trimmer that can power through weeds. It has a reliable and durable engine which also boasts a high-efficiency rating while at the same time spewing lower levels of emissions. This product features Husqvarna’s Smart Start technology which makes starting the machine easy and quick.
Overall, this is likely to be a good choice for those with larger lawns or who need to cut down bigger or thicker weeds.
Finally, a look at a top-rated cordless battery-powered lawn trimmer perfect for lighter workloads, the Black &
- Lightweight that is well-balanced; powerful enough to deal with unwanted grass and moderate weeds; can use it to precisely attack weeds in flower and vegetable beds and around small trees.
- Relatively short battery life making two or even three batteries necessary for moderately sized lawns or gardens; trimmer only features single string configuration.
For those looking for all of the benefits of a cordless trimmer, the LST136W is a great choice. It offers all of the advantages of going gasless, plus sweetens the deal with variable power settings and an effortless line feed feature.