Let’s Find Your String Trimmer Today

We buy and test string trimmers (and lawn mowers and leaf blowers) so we can review and then recommend the best ones for you.

So far:

39 String trimmers researched and evaluated.

11String trimmers bought & tested. Which ones →

123Hours spent (so far) weed eating, cutting overgrowth and edging lawns. How we test →

Below is everything you need to know about string trimmers.

There are also links to in-depth guides of all the best string brands, types and styles.

Featured String Trimmer Reviews

The Best String Trimmer

  • Here are the all stars: The 4 best electric and 2 best gas string trimmers.
  • Save time and pick one of the proven best.
  • 1,182 people used this page last month to find theirs.

See 6 best string trimmers →

Choose String Trimmer By Type

Battery Electric Powered

  • Pros: Zero maintenance, zero emissions, quiet, light, compact, easy to store and no dealing with gasoline.
  • Cons: Battery runtime is limited (20 – 60 minutes) depending on battery size you use. Price is high and on par with gas powered trimmers when battery is included (cheaper if you already own the battery). Not as powerful as gas so not ideal if you often need to cut saplings, thick dense weeds and brush.
  • Best brands: EGO, Makita, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Worx.
  • Best for you if you are: Already bought-in to a battery ecosystem. Homeowner with up to basketball court sized lawn.

See battery electric string trimmer buying guide →

Gas Engine Powered

  • Pros: Powerful to cut through the toughest weeds and brush. Very portable with long runtime because all you need is a jerry can of gas to keep it running all day. Long lifetime because parts can be replaced and repaired.
  • Cons: Requires maintenance, heavier, emits fumes, is loud and will vibrate more than electric trimmers.
  • Best brands: Stihl, Echo, Husqvarna, Honda.
  • Best for you if you are: Acreage owner or professional landscaper who requires long run time and lots of grunt.

See gas string trimmer buying guide →

Corded Electric 

  • Pros: Zero maintenance, quiet, no emissions, compact and easy to store, extremely light in use and the most affordable string trimmer on the market.
  • Cons: You have to deal with electric cord. Not very mobile as you are tethered to an electric source (your house or a generator). They often use a universal electric motor (not as good as a brushless motor like used in battery electric trimmers) which has only 200 hours expected lifetime (4 years at 1hr/week).
  • Best brands: Greenworks, Black & Decker, Sun Joe.
  • Best for you if you are: Homeowner with small tennis court sized lawn and outdoor power plugs.

See corded electric string trimmer buying guide →

String Trimmer Best Brands

EGO: EGO is the outdoor power equipment brand of Chervon – a Chinese manufacturing company that makes tools for many large brands you know and love. After many years making other brands’ tools, Chervon decided to create their own brand and called it EGO. They focus on lawn mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers and other lawn and garden equipment. Everything they make is powered by their 56-volt battery ecosystem that is exploding in popularity. With long run-times and affordable costs – you will see EGO recommended throughout LawnManual.com.

See best EGO string trimmer →

Stihl: Stihl is a German company and the most popular brand among professional lawn care managers and landscapers. Their gas powered string trimmers and leaf blowers are the most used and recommended because they offer the best-of-the-best. And since professionals rely on their gear to earn a living they buy Stihl to get the results they need.

See best Stihl string trimmer →

DeWalt: DeWalt is a brand owned by tool behemoth Stanley Black & Decker. It is their professional offerring at medium to high price points. We have tested their lawn mower, string trimmers and leaf blowers and found them all to be above average performers.

See best DeWalt string trimmer →

Milwaukee: Milwaukee is a prosumer/professional brand of battery powered power tools and equipment currently owned and made by TTi (a Hong Kong based company with factories worldwide, but mainly China). Their entry to garden equipment is new and they only offer 1 string trimmer. If you already own Milwaukee tools then their string trimmer is a good option.

See best Milwaukee string trimmer →

ECHO: Echo is a trusted Japanese brand maker of garden power equipment. They focus on string trimmers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers and chainsaws. All their products come highly recommended by daily users and rank with Stihl as the most used professional lawn care equipment brand. They have 21 different models to choose from including 3 battery powered models.

See best Echo string trimmer →

Honda: Honda makes 3 different string trimmers. What sets them apart is they are 4-stroke engines and don’t require fuel mixing. If you are a die-hard Honda lover then check out the link to see what we thought when testing the Hondas.

See best Honda string trimmer →

Greenworks Tools: As the name suggests, Greenworks makes only electric powered lawn and garden equipment. They have popular battery and corded electric models of string trimmer, leaf blower and lawn mower.

See best Greenworks string trimmer →

Other Trimmer Styles:

The 2 main types of string trimmer are gas or electric powered. Then within electric you have either battery or corded.

The main style of trimmer is handheld with a fixed  turning head holding the spool of string line.

We also consider there to be 2 more styles: power head with detachable string trimmer and walk behind wheeled trimmer.

Let’s have a look at each.

Power Head String Trimmers

A power head string trimmer is a string trimmer attachment for a single power head tool. The power head tool has the brushless motor and battery and a half length pole. You can attach pole saw, string trimmer, edger and various other tool attachment to the power head. It is a multi-tool.

  • Pros: You can own 5+ tool attachments and only need the 1 power head. Less storage area needed. More affordable than buying all the tools separate.
  • Cons: Since it is not specialized for each attachment some can be uncomfortable to use. For example the pole saw feels unbalanced.
  • Best brands: Stihl, Ego.
  • Best for you if you are: Homeowner that needs all the tools but doesn’t want to buy each separate.

Walk-behind Weed Eaters

A walk-behind grass trimmer is one with wheels. You push it instead of holding in your arms.

  • Pros: More powerful. Easier to use for long periods.
  • Cons: More expensive. Bulkier and harder to find room to store.
  • Best brands: Earthquake, Dr. Pro.
  • Best for you if you are: Professional who does grass trimming for many hours daily.

Things We Consider in Our Line Trimmer Reviews

Terms you need to know:

  • String/line: This is the cutting material wound inside the trimmer head. It is made of hard plastic and comes in different diameters and cross sections.
  • Bump feed: This is a type of trimmer head where you bump the trimmer head on the ground to let more string line out. Each time you bump it on the ground while the string is rotating a few inches of line will be let out. Other trimmer head types require you to stop work and manually turn more string line out of the head.
  • Spool: This is the component inside the trimmer head where you wind up a long length of string line ready to bump it out when needed.

9 features to know about: 

  1. Curved or straight shaft – Straight shaft is more popular and more comfortable to use for most people.
    • Straight shaft allows you to reach under benches and low branches to trim weeds and grass without having to bend over. Straight shaft is safer because the trimmer head is further away. Straight shaft weed eater allows you to flip the trimmer on its side to edge your lawn. You can get different attachment blades like rotary scissors or brushcutter blades for a straight shaft string trimmer but not a curved shaft.
    • Curved shaft you have to adjust the trimmer head angle and it’s awkward but they tend to be lighter. Also the string in these rotate counter-clockwise.
  2. Handle style and comfort – Most weed wackers have adjustable lower handles you grip with 1 hand or a bicycle style you hold with 2.
    • Single arm handle. This is the common handle which comes stock on all homeowner and prosumer models. Professional models come with the handlebar style handle. You can adjust them up and down the string trimmer shaft to make it more comfortable for your strength and arm length. The closer the lower handle to the motor/engine the more you will feel tired in the arms, bicep and forearm. The further you move the lower handle down the shaft the more you will feel it in the shoulder muscle. You can adjust while in use to even it out or you can find some position in the middle.
    • Handlebar handle. If you are weed eating for extended periods you will want a bicyle handlebar style lower handle. This allows for holding the trimmer weight with both hands (and a shoulder strap) and much more control of side to side movement.
  3. Trimmer head type (fixed/manual/bump/auto) – Trimmer head type refers to how the line advances when it breaks from cutting thick roots or grass.
    • A fixed head doesn’t have any way to advance the line – you simply have to replace the line with the correct length of line when it breaks.
    • A manual head you have all the string spooled but you need to manually turn the head to advance more line.
    • A bump feed head type allows you to bump the head onto the surface/grass and that bump initiates the line to advance by a set amount.
    • An auto trimmer head has a sensor on the guard that auto senses how long the string is as it passes with each rotation. When it senses the line is too short it will let out more string.
    • Pros/cons. All these types have pros and cons. The most popular is the bump feed type because it is the quickest and most dependable. The auto trimmer head doesn’t always work the best and doesn’t allow customisation.
  4. Engine/motor type and size (2-stroke/4-stroke; brushless/universal) – There are 2 types of gas engine and 2 types of electric motor used in weedwackers.
    • Gas. 2-stroke engines are more common on string trimmers because they offer similar torque/power to a 4-stroke but are lighter, more compact, less maintenance and vibrate less. However, Honda string trimmers are 4-stroke which means you don’t have to mix the oil and gasoline 50:1.
    • Electric. In terms of electric motors in string trimmers the brushless motors are the most common. Compared to brushed/universal motors which are still used on the corded weed eaters, brushless are more efficient, more compact, longer lasting and higher performance (due to being computer smarts controlled).
  5. Runtime (battery longevity/fuel economy)
    • Battery powered string trimmers get 15 – 70 minutes of runtime depending on the size of battery you are using. Then it takes 30 – 90 minutes to recharge that same battery.
    • Our gas engine powered string trimmer with a 1 litre gas tank gets 2 – 3 hours of continuous runtime and then only takes 1 minute to refill.
    • A corded electric has endless runtime as long as it is plugged in.
  6. Weight – String trimmers are seemingly light: 5 – 15 lbs. But they start to feel heavy fast when in use. Battery trimmers can weigh as much as gas ones when you use a large battery. Corded electric ones are about half the weight. Using a shoulder strap greatly reduces the load on your arms, shoulders and lower back.
  7. Attachments – Some string trimmers allow you to use different blade attachments (that look like a rotary saw blade) for cutting thicker brush. EGO, Ryobi and Milwaukee have a power head option where the string trimmer is just 1 of many tools you can attach – along with hedge trimmer and pole saw attachments.
  8. Shoulder harness – We use our string trimmers with a shoulder strap no matter how small the job or light the trimmer. There are aftermarket straps if yours doesn’t include one.
  9. Deflector/guard – An important feature on string trimmers is the material, size and location of the deflector guard. This guards you from flying debris and if too small or not in the correct location will be useless. Most guards are made of hard plastic light what kayaks and motorbike helmets are made from. Be sure to have a look at the orientation and length of the guard on the trimmer you are interested in.

Why Buy a String Trimmer?

Gets hard to reach areas. Deals with overgrowth easy. Affordable.

A weed eater is the perfect compliment to a lawn mower.

Your lawn mower quickly cuts 21″ lanes of grass in open areas of your lawn but will have trouble in tight corners, up close to garden beds and structures and on really steep hills.

Enter your string trimmer which easily takes care of tight spaces, close edges and steep hills with its millimetre precision and easily to control cutting head.

Cut grass and weeds in areas your mower can’t.

The main reason you need a string trimmer in your garden shed is because there are areas your lawn mower can not mow.

  • Tree roots. Every tried mowing in, around, over tree roots? Your mower blades will get dull and damaged quick – and the grass won’t get cut. Trimming grass around tree roots is quick work for a string trimmer and exactly what they are designed to do.
  • Walkway, building and fence edges. Lawn mowers can’t get to the last inch of grass up close to buildings, fences and walkways. The very nature of a lawn mower design is that the mower blade is inside the cutting deck and wheelbase. You can get close but there is always a small area of grass that needs to be taken care of with a string trimmer.
  • Steep hills. The steeper the hill the easier the job will be with a string trimmer compared to a lawn mower. Whether you try mowing up and down or along the hill it will still be easier with a string trimmer. A trimmer is light and easy to move side to side. And with all the weight off the ground you won’t fall like you may  trying to control where the mower is going. Most pros will start at the bottom and trim upwards. This way if you fall you fall into the hill and not down it.

Trim ridiculous overgrowth with ease.

A gas powered string trimmer is especially good at trimming ridiculous unkept grass to get it down to a height where the mower can takeover.

A mower engine/motor has to turn a much heavier blade (or 2) than a string trimmer engine/motor, which only turns a light plastic line.

Why not? They are affordable.

String trimmers for homeowners are $100 – $250 and endlessly useful if you have a lawn.

Buying one is really more about why not than why.

Helpful String Trimmer Tips & Tricks

  • How to edge with a string trimmer. New.
  • How to replace string line on an EGO weed eater. Updated.
  • How to change string line on a Stihl string trimmer. New.
  • How to advance string on (separate articles): a Ryobi trimmer, Stihl weed eater. New.
  • What is a brushless string trimmer? Updated.
  • How to mix gas and oil for a 2-stroke engine. New.

About your guide: Jamey Kramar is a certified Lawn Care Manager (NALP) and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about outdoor power equipment for 11 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, HowStuffWorks, iFixit, Realtor.com, and more. He spends his spare time disassembling things and also building an off-grid cabin at his 200-acre property.