Black+Decker LST136W String Trimmer
The best cordless string trimmer & edger
Full of customization options, from handle length to power. Lightweight and precise, it can handle weeds of virtually any variety.
1 Black+Decker LST136W Review
There is something irresistible about a product that combines a mid-range price with high-end features — that also does what it says it will. The BLACK+DECKER LST136 is a powerful, versatile string trimmer that’s great for edging too.
It is more precise than many other trimmers with this amount of power, and is also lightweight enough for those with strength and mobility issues. The battery will likely last for a reliable 40-60 minutes, and it charges up again fairly quickly. However, if you have a larger yard, it may be worth it to buy a second battery.
One of the BLACK+DECKER’s best features is its convertible handle, which lets you turn your trimmer into a detail-oriented edger with just a twist. It’s also adjustable to fit your height or the length you need for your project, so there’s no need to strain to find a comfortable angle with this weed wacker.
It’s even got an adjustable power feature, so you can amp it up for particularly thick weeds or turn it down to keep the battery running longer. Overall, it’s a powerful weed wacker with excellent versatility at a great price, making it a sure-in as the best battery powered weed eater for homeowners.
WORX WG163 GT 3.0 20V PowerShare 12″ Cordless String Trimmer & Edger
Best value cordless weed eater
An affordable battery powered weed eater and edger designed for small yards and lawns.
2 WORX WG163 Review
If you like our best in class but would rather save a buck, know that the WORX WG163 brings similar advantages. Like the BLACK+DECKER LST136, the WG163 is a powerful string trimmer and edger designed for residential use.
The main difference between the two is the cutting swath. With a cutting swath of 12 inches, the WORX is best for smaller properties, although it can also work wonders on larger properties with lots of obstacles.
Two interchangeable, 20V batteries bring further value, as you can always charge one while you’re working with the other.
Comfort during operation is ensured by the adjustable shaft and handle, which are also foldable for easy storage. Comparable in many ways with our best in class but coming at a more affordable price, this is by far the best value battery powered weed eater on the market.
BLACK+DECKER LCC340C 40V Max Cordless Sweeper & String Trimmer Combo
Best weed eater and blower combo
This high-value combo is perfect for keeping your lawn manicured and your property tidy.
3 BLACK+DECKER LCC340C Review
Trimming grass and weeds, as well as edging, are essential for manicuring your property, but we all know the mess these operations leave behind. You could clean the debris in an old-fashioned way, with a rake and broom.
Or you could take advantage of this combo and sweep dead leaves and yard debris with a leaf blower.
The weed wacker is very similar to our best in class. It has a 13-inch swath and turns from string trimmer to edger in just seconds. The blower is quiet, lightweight, and well balanced. It impresses with an air velocity of 130mph, sufficient for cleaning up debris from hard surfaces.
A 40V Max interchangeable battery and charger are also included in the pack. Perhaps you won’t get top performance, but for the price, this combo is definitely worth every dime.
BLACK+DECKER LST300 Weed Whacker
Best cordless weed wacker for small yards
The power transmission drive delivers more torque and speed, helping you get the job done faster.
4 BLACK+DECKER LST300 Review
Homeowners with a small lawn and budget will surely love the BLACK+DECKER LST300. It’s not the most powerful tool, but it does deliver sufficient torque and speed to help you slash through grass blades and weeds without effort.
Powered by a 20V Max battery, it has a runtime of about half an hour, and like our best in class, it turns from string trimmer to edger in the blink of an eye.
Other highlights include a 12-inch cutting swath, automatic spool feed, and lightweight design. It’s easy to use, ergonomic, and affordable. Just what you need for a small property.
Best Cordless Weed Eater 2021 Buying Guide
Gas vs. battery powered weed eaters. What is the best string trimmer for my property?
Both gas and battery powered weed eaters offer the advantage of limitless mobility. But which is better for residential use?
Gas powered string trimmers
These models come with powerful motors that deliver sufficient torque and speed for trimming all types of grass and weeds, as well as underbrush. Most units are compatible with either nylon or aluminum line with a thickness between 0.060 and 0.110 inches, so you can match the performance with the task. Some gas weed wackers even accept blades, allowing you to use the tool as both a string trimmer and brush cutter.
These tools can withstand heavy-duty residential and commercial applications alike, but they are rather heavy and particularly loud.
Furthermore, unless the motor is CARB-compliant, they could be banned from use in certain states and even in some residential areas across the country.
Battery powered weed eaters
They are not as powerful as the gas ones, but they are lighter, easier to use, and quieter. You won’t have to worry about gas emissions either, meaning that you can use such a tool in all states and residential areas.
Most battery powered string trimmers can use nylon line with a diameter between 0.060 and 0.090 inches. Typically, that’s more than enough for most urban and suburban yards. You should also know that most cordless weed eaters can turn into handheld lawn edgers.
Unless you live in the countryside and have to deal with thick underbrush and stubborn weeds, a battery power weed eater is undeniably your best choice.
Nickel-cadmium or lithium-ion battery?
While lithium-ion batteries are becoming the standard, you can still find cordless string trimmers powered by nickel-cadmium batteries.
Nickel-cadmium batteries (Ni-Cad), alongside their nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) counterparts, are known for their good performance – especially in lower temperatures – affordable price and long shelf life.
They come with a few downsides, though:
- Their main drawback is the so-called “memory effect” that reduces the performance if you charge the battery before it is fully drained. For this reason, you must wait until the battery discharges completely before charging it, which can be inconvenient sometimes. Furthermore, you may see a noticeable drop-off in power and performance as the battery discharges.
- These batteries are relatively heavy, and often compromise the balance of the tool.
- Cadmium is a toxic metal and can’t be disposed of in landfills. For this reason, you will have to arrange with your municipality for the special collection of all damaged nickel-cadmium batteries you might have.
Are the more technologically advanced alternative to the Ni-Cad and NiMH batteries. Their main downside is fragility, as they are easier to damage than nickel-cadmium batteries. They are also more expensive but come with a bunch of advantages that make them worth your money. In broad lines, lithium-ion batteries:
- Have no memory effect, which means that you don’t have to wait until they fully discharge to charge them. You can simply place the battery in the charger after a short weed trimming session, even if there is more than half load left in the battery.
- Can be up to 50% lighter than a Ni-Cad battery. As a result, they have little to no influence over your tool’s balance, making it easier to maneuver.
- Output consistent power throughout the entire cycle of use. In other words, you can enjoy the same performance regardless of how much or how little charge there is left in the battery.
- They have a longer lifespan than Ni-Cad batteries. Typically, a lithium-ion battery will last for about 5 years before it needs replacement.
Apart from these differences, nickel-cadmium and lithium-ion batteries have roughly equal performance. If you don’t mind the Ni-Cad drawbacks but would rather save some money, those batteries are a great choice. Considering that most battery powered weed eaters equipped with lithium-ion batteries are affordable, lighter, and come with more advantages, we recommend lithium-ion batteries, though.
What voltage should my weed eater battery have?
Power is determined by watts, not volts. In the case of cordless power tools, though, the voltage is a good indicator of the tool’s performance.
Cordless weed wackers are usually equipped with batteries between 18 and 82 volts. At the higher end of the spectrum, you’ll find a range of commercial string trimmers designed for heavy-duty use. They are the equivalent of gas-powered ones but are expensive.
More often than not, homeowners will do just fine with a 20V weed wacker, which outputs sufficient power for dealing with the most common types of grass and weeds.
The best battery weed eaters for home use come with 40V batteries and can cut through varieties of thick grass and stubborn weeds.
What about the amp-hours on string trimmers?
The battery capacity, expressed in amp-hours (Ah), is another important aspect to check before buying. This number doesn’t affect performance, but it determines the runtime. As a rule of thumb, the more amp-hours the battery has, the longer you’ll be able to trim the grass or weeds before running out of power.
However, considering that the more amp-hours the battery has, the more expensive it is, you should pick the right battery based on your needs.
For instance, if you have a small lawn that usually requires less than half an hour to get the job done, a smaller capacity battery (around 2.5Ah) will suffice.
For larger lawns, it is recommended to go for a battery with a capacity of at least 4.5Ah.
Does the weed eater line thickness and shape affect performance?
In a nutshell, yes. To elaborate the answer, the thicker the line is, the faster the battery will discharge. This happens because a thicker line requires more power to cut the grass efficiently.
Typically, most cordless weed wackers work with 0.060 or 0.065 line. Some may also work well with a line up to 0.090 inches, but you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to make sure your string trimmer works at peak performance.
As far as the line shape is concerned, know that you can use any type of line without impacting the performance of the battery. However, round nylon line – which is the most common type available – usually doesn’t have the capacity to cut grass and weeds, it rather rips it.
For better results, go for twisted or serrated line. It might be more expensive, but you’ll get higher quality results and a healthier lawn.
What is the average runtime of a battery powered weed wacker?
While the actual runtime can vary widely from battery to battery and from manufacturer to manufacturer, most cordless string trimmers for home use deliver about 30 minutes of runtime.
Typically, this is more than enough to get through all your trimming duties if you have a small to mid-sized property. If your property is larger than half an acre, you should go for a battery with a runtime of 45-60 minutes.
Should I buy a cordless string trimmer or a powerhead?
One of the main dilemmas you may have when looking for a battery weed eater is whether you should get a standalone tool or a powerhead.
The main difference between the two is that cordless string trimmers come with the cutting head fixed to the shaft that leads to the motor and battery pack. As a result, you can typically use the same battery with various power tools, but each tool will have to come with its own powerhead.
Most powerheads come with a string trimmer attachment – thus, you’ll still get the tool you need. However, since the actual cutting head is an attachment, you can use the same powerhead for various other attachments, including pole saws, hedge trimmers, lawn edgers, leaf blowers, etc.
- Considering that most cordless weed eaters can convert into lawn edgers, you should go for a standalone tool if you mainly need a string trimmer to manicure your lawn, but don’t really need any of the other tools a powerhead might be compatible with. You will still be able to use the battery on different other tools should you want to.
- If you’re looking for an all-round yard and garden maintenance solution, buying a powerhead and the needed attachments is usually cheaper.
What string trimmer cutting swath should I look for?
Many people make the mistake of thinking that a larger cutting swath will help them get over with their duties faster. When using a string trimmer, working on smaller patches at a time usually delivers better results. To find out the best battery powered weed eater for you, check out the table below:
¼ – ½ acres
½ – 1 acre
1 acre or more
A lower cutting swath is also desirable if you have a mid-sized to large lawn that has a lot of obstacles or awkward corners.
Is a variable speed weed eater worth it?
Typically, it shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes to get over with your trimming duties for lawns smaller than half an acre. Since the operation is quite quick on its own, a variable speed weed eater is rather a treat than a necessity.
However, a tool with variable speed control will allow you to reduce the speed and gain runtime, a feature that might come in handy if you have a larger lawn.
Features to look for when buying a battery powered weed eater
Apart from all the considerations above, you should also check out the following features to make sure the tool you want to buy really is the best battery powered weed eater for you:
- Weight: The lighter the string trimmer, the easier it will be to operate. Some of the best cordless weed eaters weigh as little as 3 pounds and are very easy to maneuver, even by people with impairments.
- Adjustable shaft length: This feature will allow you to match the shaft length with your height for more comfortable operation. Some of the best battery weed wackers also have adjustable handles.
- Head guard: Often underrated, this component prevents small rocks and debris from injuring you. It is essential to get a string trimmer with quality head guard that won’t crack or break after the first use.
- Auto-feed spool: Saves you the hassle of bumping the head to feed new line. Most of the best cordless weed eaters have this feature.
- Fast charger: Another underrated feature regards the battery charger. While most batteries require around 3-4 hours to recharge, a fast charger can fill it up with juice in an hour or less. Definitely something to consider if you want to use the battery with multiple tools or if you have a bigger lawn and don’t want to invest in multiple batteries.