If you are interested in purchasing a a new string trimmer you should be aware of the 3 different types you can get. There are units with gas powered engines, corded electric motors, and cordless electric battery powered versions. Gas powered models are the most powerful and provide the most range, but are also the noisiest and the most expensive. They work great for home owners with large yards and fields or professionals.
For small to medium sized yards you might look at either electric trimmer version. Corded electric units are limited by the length of the extension cord you use with it, but they are very cheap and quiet and will work great for those of you with a small yard. Cordless models powered by a battery are a good choice for small to medium sized yards since you still don’t have to deal with gas, but give you more freedom to reach farther distances from power. They are priced in between corded and gas engine versions and still provide decent power.
We already took a look at gas powered string trimmers here so go there if you are interested in that type. However, below we review the top 5 best electric string trimmers and the top 5 best cordless string trimmers.
We chose the $99 Ryobi RY41133 as the best corded electric string trimmer. Users on HomeDepot.com rated it a 4.7 out 5 stars which was much higher that any other electric model. It has a 10 amp motor with a straight shaft and a bump line-feed that cuts a large 18 inch diameter path. It weighs 10 pounds which is a bit heavy compared to other electric versions, but has as much or more power than any other one as well. There are also Ryobi Expand-It attachments available to convert it into a edger or hedge trimmer.
We highly recommend the Ryobi RY41133 for the home user with a small yard that you can reach with an extension cord.
The Greenworks 21142 was rated as a Best Buy for light duty electric trimmers by the leading consumer magazine and sells for about $80. It also has a 10 amp motor with a straight shaft and an 18 inch diameter cutting path. Weighing 9.7 pounds it has enough power to cut through tall grass and weeds, although while decent, it does not excel at edging. The Greenworks 21142 is another corded electric model that we highly recommend for home users with a small sized yard.
At $50 the Black & Decker GH900 is actually one of the top rated electric models available on Amazon with a 4.3 star average. It has a 6.5 amp motor, straight shaft, 14 inch cutting path, and weighs just 7 pounds. It has less power that the top 2 choices on our list and won’t be able to handle very thick grass and weeds. However, it is very lightweight and easy to use. So if you have a small yard where you primarily will just be trimming the edges of the grass before it gets too out-of-control, then this Black & Decker model will be a good choice for you.
Another model which sells for right around $50 is the Toro 51480. It has a 5 amp motor with a straight shaft that cuts a 14 inch swath. It weighs 7.5 pounds and has just a bit less power than the B&D GH900. Two features we like are the automatic line feed and guide wheel to assist you in edging, however sometimes the line feed doesn’t quite work right.
The GreenWorks 21212 is the best selling string trimmer on Amazon which sells for about $30. It only has a 4 amp motor which is not very powerful and cuts a 13 inch swath. The main advantage of this unit besides the price is the weight – it is the lightest trimmer you can buy at just 5.2 pounds.
Because of the low power, we only recommend the Greenworks 21212 for home users with very small yards. It is a good buy for those users since it is the cheapest and lightest you can get.
Cordless Battery Powered
We picked the Ryobi RY40220 as the best cordless string trimmer which sells for about $180. It was also the top rated Best Buy light duty battery trimmer from the leading consumer magazine. Powered by a 40v lithium-ion battery this thing has the power to handle almost any job and can cut through most grass and weeds with ease. The battery will last approximately 45 minutes and takes 90 minutes to recharge. It is easy to use, although at 11.4 pounds it is a bit heavier than other cordless and electric models. It features a straight shaft with an adjustable 13-15 inch diameter cutting path.
We recommend the Ryobi 40220 for home owners with mid-sized yards up to 1 acre.
The Toro 51488 is another good choice for a battery powered unit with a price tag of about $190. It uses a 48v lithium-ion battery and, depending on which power setting you use, you can can get between 30-60 minutes of run-time and it takes about 60 minutes to recharge the battery. It weighs in at 8.5 pounds, has a 13 inch cutting swath, and has an automatic line feed. Overall it can handle standard mid-sized yards quite well and we would not hesitate to recommend it for those home users.
Among the top rated and best selling cordless weed eaters on Amazon is the Black & Decker LST136W which sells for about $140 and has an average user rating of 4.5 stars. The LST136W is powered by a 40v lithium-ion battery which will last between 20-45 minutes depending on your power setting and can recharge in about 30 minutes. It is lightweight and easy to use at just 7.8 lbs and cuts a 13-inch swath. This is another model that we would recommend for small to medium sized yards.
The Worx WG175 which sells for $150 is actually the highest rated battery powered trimmer on HomeDepot.com with a 4.6 overall rating. It is very lightweight at just 6.2 pounds which makes it very easy to manage and maneuver. Part of what makes it lighter is a short 37-inch shaft and only a 12-inch cutting diameter. The battery is a 32v lithium-ion which will last about 25-55 minutes depending on how much power you use, but it takes up to 2 hours to recharge. It does have some other nice features like the 3-in-1 function rolling wheels for trimming, edging, or mowing. It also switches very fast from trimming to edging.
We recommend the Worx WG175 for someone with a small yard who needs a lightweight trimmer/edger.
The GreenWorks 21302 sells for $150 with a 2AH 40v battery and almost $200 with a 4AH 40v battery. The 2AH battery will last approximately 20-40 minutes and charges in about an hour while the 4AH battery should last about twice that long. It only has a single line, instead of dual, which cuts down on its capabilities and cuts a 13 inch swath. It is also the lightest cordless string strimmer on our list at just 5.6 pounds.
We only recommend the GreenWorks 21302 for small yards without a lot of thick or tall grass and weeds.