Greenworks STBA40B210 G-MAX 40V Cordless String Trimmer and Leaf Blower Combo
Best weed eater combo
This powerful string trimmer delivers gas-like power as well as multiple other advantages, and it comes with a leaf blower too.
1 Greenworks STBA40B210 Review
Homeowners looking for a reliable, eco-friendly weed eater for their mid-sized to large yard might find all they need in the Greenworks STBA40B210. Operated by an interchangeable 40V battery, it offers up to 45 minutes of runtime.
That’s more than enough for lawns of up to half an acre, while the 12-inch swath and 0.065-inch line will help you get your job done quickly and effortlessly.
Powerful and versatile, it also impresses with variable speed and cruise control. The former allows you to choose from extra time or extra power, while the latter enhances comfort during operation.
Cleaning the vegetal material after weeding or manicuring the lawn is easy, thanks to the dependable leaf blower included in the pack. It uses the same battery as the string trimmer and works well on both hard surfaces and grass, thanks to an air volume of 390 CFM and airspeed of 110mph.
Overall, this string trimmer is high-quality and — most importantly — a pro at evenly and effectively cutting down grass and weeds. Together with the leaf blower, it makes for a winning combo for professional and casual users alike.
WORX WG163 GT 12″ Cordless String Trimmer & Edger
Best 2-in-1 trimmer and edger
Seamless switching from trimmer to edger makes this versatile tool ideal for homeowners.
2 WORX WG163 Review
The WORX WG163 GT may not be the most powerful string trimmer out there, but it surely is one of the most versatile. It’s the most popular weed eater around for homeowners who want to save some bucks and invest in only one tool instead of two.
Thanks to its dual function, you can use it both to trim out weeds and edge your lawn around pathways and flowerbeds.
It’s powered by a 20V lithium battery and has a shorter runtime than our best-in-class pick. However, this model comes with two batteries, so it’s still perfect for yards of up to ½ acres.
It has a tool-free adjustable handle and telescopic shaft, and you can easily feed the single line by pressing a trigger instead of bumping the tool. Lightweight, balanced, and easy to use, this two-in-one trimmer brings true value for money.
Husqvarna 128LD Gas Straight Shaft String Trimmer
Best gas string trimmer
Large cutting swath and a powerful motor ensure commercial power and unlimited runtime.
3 Husqvarna 128LD Review
If you’re a landscaper or would like to become one, check out the Husqvarna 128LD. This powerful machine withstands commercial use, but it’s also ideal for anyone with a yard bigger than half an acre.
It’s powered by a 28cc engine and boasts 17 inches of cutting width, being ready to manicure your lawn in a breeze. Certainly, it’s heavier and noisier than a cordless string trimmer; but that is easily compensated by the unlimited runtime.
This commercial gas string trimmer provides unrivaled power, and it’s a great choice if you have stubborn weeds or a big lawn and don’t mind paying a few more dollars.
BLACK+DECKER LST300 Weed Whacker
Great for small backyards
An inexpensive string trimmer designed for smaller backyards.
4 BLACK+DECKER LST300 Review
Sharing a few common features with our best-value pick, the BLACK+DECKER LST300 is the best string trimmer for homeowners on a budget.
This is another versatile trimmer and edger machine that utilizes automatic feed spool technology. It has a 12-inch cutting swath and fits seamlessly in tighter or awkward spots.
Powered by a 20V lithium-ion battery, it also has a decent runtime. An adjustable handle and shaft make it ideal for most users, and the only thing that stopped us from making it our best-value pick is its shorter lifespan.
For the price, don’t expect it to last for a lifetime; but it has sufficient power to cut the weeds around the house. Undoubtedly, a great option for small yards.
Best Weed Eater 2021 Buying Guide
1. Weed wacker benefits
Weed wackers—also called string trimmers and weed eaters—are for smaller spaces and edges that a lawnmower can’t reach properly. They’re especially useful for:
- Brush or weeds that are too thick for a electric lawn mower or riding lawn mower to handle
- Trimming weeds and grass around gardens
- Getting those hard-to-reach spots around the edge of your home
- “Polishing” uneven work by a zero turn mower
However, there are a few different types of trimmers, and the best weed wacker for you will depend largely on how you intend to use it.
2. Best string trimmer types
There are three primary types of weed eaters, and each is equipped with its own benefits and drawbacks.
Cordless or battery powered weed eaters
Cordless models are, predictably, battery-operated. They equip users with a variety of benefits, including:
- The ability to move freely, without the hindrance of a cord
- The option to do away with the added cost of gas
- Easy detail work, like edging around gardens
However, they’re not without their drawbacks. Namely:
- They’re heavier than corded models—the battery adds weight.
- They run out of juice faster—sometimes in less than 30 minutes.
- Cordless weed eaters are more expensive than corded ones.
Cordless string trimmers are the most popular choice for small detail work, like garden maintenance or trimming around your home, but may not be the right choice for those who need to complete large-scale jobs (a whole lawn) regularly.
While our recommendations will focus on the best cordless weed eaters, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the other options out there too.
Corded or electric weed eaters
In a similar class to the cordless trimmer is the corded, or electric, weed eater. This alternative may be ideal for some because it’s cheaper, lighter, and (potentially) quieter. That means they’re good for in-town operation (no unhappy neighbors).
However—and this is a big drawback for some—the power cord can severely limit your range and may prove to be a hazard. It may be all too easy for some to cut through it by accident or even trip over it while they work. For these reasons, corded weed eaters are best for those with smaller yards, who live in big towns, and who can stick close to home for their trimming.
Gas string trimmers (either handheld or walk behind) are another option for those who need greater range, extended use, or a high-powered machine. They’re ideal for heavier-duty tasks like cutting thick or large patches of weeds.
Of course, nothing good is without its drawbacks. Gas trimmers are also heavier, they create pollution, and they require regular gas purchases. They’re also heavier on the maintenance front than corded and cordless models, but are a great option for the heaviest of heavy-duty users (think professional-level use).
3. Weed eater shaft type
By now, you know which type of string trimmer is going to keep your weeds in line. So let’s get down to the features that can help you tailor your yard maintenance to your needs. First and foremost, there are a couple different shaft designs available for weed eaters.
This type of handle, predictably, has an arc to it. This makes the machine easier to control in tight spaces or for detailed edge work.
Oftentimes, models with a curved shaft are also lighter and easier to use in general.
Of course, the classic straight-shaft models come with their own set of benefits. In particular, they:
- Offer a longer reach—great for thick or hard-to-reach areas, such as under steps or benches.
- Are generally preferred by taller users.
Keep an eye out for versatility-enhancing options.
The best weed eater models also come with an adjustable shaft that can be either pivoted or extended and contracted. This allows users with a variety of needs to adjust the shaft to either the user’s height or the task at hand.
Consider string trimmer voltage
Battery-powered weed wackers—the ones we review here—will show you power measured in volts. While volts aren’t synonymous with power, the battery voltage you see listed generally correlates to a string trimmer’s power.
Available voltage is typically either 20, 40, or 80 volts on a weed wacker—and higher numbers denote a machine with the potential to tackle heavier-duty jobs more effectively.
4. Cutting swath
Beyond power, it’s also helpful to consider a string trimmer’s cutting swath. Like mowers and other garden devices, string trimmers have a cutting swath, which is the width of their cut. Frankly, this won’t matter much to most light (home) users with basic needs, but the basic breakdown is as follows:
- 10-13 inches (25-33 cm): Ideal for small-sized yards, light use, and edging.
- 14-16 inches (35-41 cm): Great for medium-sized yards and moderate use.
- 17 inches (43 cm) and higher: Best for heavy and professional use or large yards.
While this likely won’t be the deciding factor in your decision, if you’re looking at two models that are identical feature-wise but one has a larger cutting width than the other, it doesn’t hurt to bump up to the larger size for the sake of convenience and speed.
5. How many lines does it have?
Most weed wackers have one of two line types: single-line or double-line. Two lines of string will cut more efficiently and effectively (cutting twice with each turn), so this trimmer type is better for thicker grass and larger jobs. Predictably, however, two-line weed wackers are typically also more expensive, so keep in mind that light work requires only one line.
Single line models are also (usually) easier to thread.
6. Weed wacker feed (or head) type
It wasn’t so long ago that you had to manually feed line into your trimmer (or direct it when to do so manually). However, there are now several different options available for feeding fresh string into your string trimmer as you cut.
- Auto-feed: This is the most “modern”, automated option. The string comes already loaded, and is designed to release on its own when the trimmer senses more string is necessary. This is great for those who prefer a more hands-off approach to maintenance.
- Fixed feed: This option lets users quickly load line without winding first, and is known for reducing tangles and jams. The downside is that you have to keep loading new, relatively small pieces of line manually.
- Bump feed or bump heads: These are the string trimmers that many people know. You “bump” the head of the machine on the ground when you want it to release more line. This model gives you greater control over how much line you use, but too hard of a bumping motion can damage your device.
7. What kind of attachments does it offer?
The best battery powered weed eater models come with, or are compatible with, a variety of bonus attachments. The function of these attachments is to save you from buying separate tools for every project. A few popular examples include:
- Hedger attachment: This add-on item is designed for—you guessed it—trimming hedges. They’re most useful when they can be locked in at different angles, and often look like a long rod covered in smaller blades.
- Edging attachment: Many trimmers are already capable of edging, but these are precision-oriented attachments that look like thin wheels. They help users cut in straight, precise lines, and are great for straight-shaft trimmers that are lacking in the precision department.
- Blower attachment: This clever addition lets you clear away recently-cut debris as you work for much cleaner, more attractive results.
8. Other string trimmer features to consider
String trimmers are pretty straightforward devices. But there are a few bonus features offered by some manufacturers that can take your string trimmer from “good” to the best weed eater around.
- Shoulder straps: These are primarily found on gas trimmers, but help users carry heavier weed wacker models with less strain.
- Anti-vibration feature: This handy bonus reduces vibration in the handle and shaft of the weed wacker, which makes the machine easier to hold.
- Adjustable power: While not necessary for functionality, this feature allows you to adjust the cutting power to the thickness of the weeds at hand. This is most often a trigger-style feature.
- Ergonomic handles: Sometimes called “comfort grip” handles, these are designed to be easier and more comfortable to grip.
- Head guard: Some newer weed eaters come with a guard to protect flowers or other areas that you don’t want to trim; this is particularly useful for edging and other close-quarters projects.
- Fast chargers for batteries: Many batteries can take three hours or more to charge fully. Some trimmers now offer fast-charging features that give you full power in an hour or less.
- Trimmer-to-edger conversion: String trimmers often accomplish this “multi-tool” conversion with a shaft-turning mechanism that makes it easy to switch from one task to another.
- Weather resistance: This is great for professionals and for those who still want to work when it’s wet out.
9. Buying tips
Of course, everyone has different budgets and needs when it comes to their ideal cordless weed eater. Use these tips to identify a great budget string trimmer, as well as the best mid-range and professional-level weed wackers on the market.
Must-haves for a good budget weed wacker
- A battery that packs at least 20 volts will tackle most light- to medium-duty projects.
- A single-line head will get the job done on most standard jobs.
- Look for a bump head or fixed-feed head if you don’t mind the cost-work tradeoff.
Good-to-have features for a stepped-up string trimmer
- Move up to a 40V battery to make sure you can tackle some thicker weeds.
- Prioritize getting an attachment-compatible model for greater versatility.
- Consider a curved or adjustable shaft if you anticipate edging work.
Great-to-have features for a professional string trimmer
- 80V batteries will often provide the most power and weed-wacking versatility.
- Go for the double-line head for the cleanest (and quickest) cut.
- An auto-feed trimmer takes the work out of loading your line.
- Features like adjustable speed and ergonomic handles allow for a personalized, comfortable experience.