The 8 Best Weed Whackers for a Tidy, Weed-Free Lawn

Top weed whacker models, like the Ego Power+ 15-Inch string trimmer, make it easy to keep your lawn looking trim.

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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you know it as a weed whacker, weed eater, weed trimmer, stringer, or string trimmer, this handy yard tool is a must for getting rid of weeds on and around your lawn. A weed whacker can cut weeds and tall grass in hard-to-reach areas along sidewalks, fencing, and landscaping beds.

We spoke to lawn experts at WWSC Environmental Services to get the lowdown on how to best use a weed whacker for weed removal and lawn health. "A good weed whacker is a great lawn maintenance tool to use in combination with a mower and weed killer to keep a lawn in top condition," says Ashley Platen-Mills, the director of WWSC Environmental Services.

We researched some of the best weed whackers on the market based on important factors like their power, price, shaft style and grip, and how much they weigh so as not to cause back strain or user fatigue. We also looked at how easy the string is to replace and safety features.

The Ego Power+ 15-Inch String Trimmer with Powerload was our overall best pick thanks to its superior power, long runtime, 15-inch swath capacity that allows it to cut more weeds in one pass, and the manufacturer's lifetime warranty.

Here are the best weed whackers.

What We Recommend

Best Overall: Ego Power+ 15-Inch String Trimmer with Powerload

EGO Power+ ST1521S 15 in. 56 V Battery String Trimmer Kit
Courtesy of Ace Hardware

Also available at Lowe's and Amazon

Why You Should Get It: With a durable construction and a lifetime warranty, this is one tool that will stay in your yard work toolkit for a long, long time.

Keep in Mind: As a cordless string trimmer, you can expect around 25 to 30 minutes of use out of it per charge, which, though considered good for a battery-powered weed whacker, might not be enough for larger properties.

Providing just as much cutting power as a gas model, but without the fumes and high maintenance requirements, the Ego Power+ 15-Inch String Trimmer is our choice for the best weed whacker. Manually replacing a string line on a weed whacker can be an arduous task, but this model has a feature that winds the trimmer automatically—all you have to do is feed the line into the trimmer's head and press a button.

The perks of this trimmer don't end there; it has one of the strongest shafts of any weed whacker currently on the market, and, thanks to its carbon fiber construction, it's incredibly lightweight so you won't tire as you carry it around your yard.

It features a large 15-inch cutting width to cover more area as well as variable speed control so you can customize your weed-whacking experience to your lawn's needs. In addition, it has a brushless motor, which is known to extend motor life as well as provide a longer running time than other cordless models. The company also provides a lifetime warranty, so you're guaranteed a strong, durable, and efficient yard work tool that will last forever.

Product Details:

  • Power: Cordless 2.5-amp hour 56-volt battery
  • Cutting width: 15 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Shaft length: 42 inches
  • Feed system: Bump

Best Gas-Powered: Echo 21.2 cc Gas 2-Stroke Cycle Straight Shaft Trimmer

Echo Gas 2-Stroke Cycle Straight Shaft Trimmer
Courtesy of The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: You can cover more ground with its 17-inch cutting swath, and there's no need to disassemble the head to add a new line.

Keep in Mind: It has a manual pull start (no electric start), so the weed whacker will need to be kept warm and dry in order to start on the first pull. You'll also need to add oil to the gas (2.6 ounces to every gallon for a 50:1 ratio).

Gas power tools are typically the preferred option for professional landscapers and gardeners, and this Echo 21.2cc Gas 2-Stroke Cycle Straight Shaft Trimmer makes it clear why. Providing 21.2cc of power, this machine is user-friendly for homeowners and comfortable to hold thanks to its cushioned ergonomic handles situated at the front and rear for better handling and grip.

Since this tool is gas-powered, it is ideal for use on larger properties. The anti-vibration design, along with its fairly low weight of just 11.5 pounds, allows you to use it for longer without getting tired.

The gas tank is see-through, so you can easily see when it's running low on fuel. There's also a shield to protect you from flying lawn debris. It has a long 59-inch shaft that provides extra reach for hard-to-access places, and the exhaust blows towards the back, which means it can be used comfortably by both left- and right-handed users.

Though it has a bump feed system, the "bump" required is more like a tap, which means you don't have to worry about breaking the tool every time you want to advance the line.

Product Details:

  • Power: Gas 21.2cc, 2-stroke engine
  • Cutting width: 17 inches
  • Weight: 11.5 pounds
  • Shaft length: 59 inches
  • Feed system: Bump

Best Corded Electric: Black+Decker 14-Inch Corded Electric String Trimmer

BLACK+DECKER String Trimmer, Electric
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: This 2-in-1 tool doubles up as a lawn edger, too.

Keep in Mind: You'll need an outdoor extension cord to use with it since it doesn't come with an electrical cord.

With no need to recharge batteries or refuel, the Black+Decker 14-Inch Corded Electric String Trimmer lets you focus on where to plug it in and which weeds to whack. This handy tool is not only economical, but it also doubles up as an edger with the simple flip of the unit, making it our choice for the best corded weed whacker.

The string trimmer can get to tight spots, like up against fencing and along your flower beds, where your lawnmower can't (or shouldn't) go, and the edger side can neatly trim all the lawn's edges along the driveway and sidewalk.

Its cord retention system ensures that the cord won't accidentally become unplugged or get in the way while you're working, and the weed whacker's adjustable shaft height means that you can customize it to a length that suits you and all members of the family. At only 5.3 pounds, this tool provides for easy trimming and is light enough to not cause user fatigue or strain.

If you're looking for an economical way to keep the lawn neat and tidy and don't mind having to be near an electrical outlet, this is the tool for you.

Product Details:

  • Power: Corded electric, 6.5-amp motor
  • Cutting width: 14 inches
  • Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Shaft length: 45.5 inches
  • Feed system: Automatic

Related: The 8 Best Lawn Mowers to Keep Your Yard Neat and Trim

Best Battery-Powered: Worx 20V Power Share GT Revolution 12-Inch String Trimmer

WORX POWER SHARE 20-volt 12-in Straight Cordless String Trimmer
Courtesy of Lowe's

Also available at Walmart, Target, and Amazon

Why You Should Get It: There's a spool holder on the weed whacker, so you can carry extra string with you.

Keep in Mind: The wheels don't swivel, which may make it harder to trim along a curved path.

The Worx 20V Power Share GT Revolution cordless string trimmer is not only lightweight at just 5.5 pounds, it also has two rubber support wheels to make it even easier to push along while weed whacking, trimming, edging, or even doing a little mowing (this tool is also a mini mower). Its 90-degree pivoting head allows you to get into your lawn's nooks and crannies easier, and it has an adjustable ergonomic handle that can change between seven positions for maximum comfort and easy handling.

This machine is impressively strong (with up to 100 pounds of tensile strength, according to the manufacturer) and has an aerodynamic design that has been made to reduce drag. It can run for 40 to 60 minutes on a fully-charged battery, which works out to about 20,000 feet of lawn edges. Keep in mind, though, that the wheels do not swivel, which may make it harder to edge along a curved path.

We also like that it has a handy extra string spool holder on the trimmer, so you'll always have string when you need it. Automatic feeds often mean that the line runs out quite quickly, but one of the best things about Worx trimmers is that the company provides free spools for life if you run out—all you have to do is pay for postage and processing.

Product Details:

  • Power: Cordless 4-amp hour 20-volt battery
  • Cutting width: 12 inches
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Shaft length: 48 inches
  • Feed system: Automatic

Related: The 10 Best Garden Hoses for Watering All Your Plants

Best Wheeled: Craftsman 159cc Wheeled String Trimmer

CRAFTSMAN Walk-Behind High-Wheeled String Trimmer
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This powerful machine can cut through just about anything and is great for shorter users who find stick-style weed whackers difficult to handle.

Keep in Mind: There is no on/off switch, electric start, or idle mode, and it turns off as soon as you release the bar, meaning you must start it again via the pull start. This does, however, save fuel.

More like a lawnmower than a weed whacker, both in appearance and use, this Craftsman 159cc Wheeled String Trimmer provides a different type of lawn trimming experience, one that is preferred by many over the usual types of weed trimmers on the market.

Since it's a walk-behind machine, you don't have to lift it in order to use it, which saves you backache and reduces user fatigue. Though it has a manual feed system, it's very easy to change out the string, so this shouldn't be a concern.

Its large 14-inch wheels make maneuverability a breeze, and it also has an impressively large cutting width of 22 inches, which allows you to cover more ground in less time. It can cut thick and unruly grass, weeds, and sticks on large properties, and it has six cutting heights to choose from, ranging from 2.4 to 4.4 inches.

While it is a pull-start machine, it has an auto choke system that means you don't have to prime the engine before starting it up. It also has a foldable handle that makes it easier to store neatly away.

Product Details:

  • Power: Gas, 159cc 4-cycle overhead valve engine
  • Cutting width: 22 inches
  • Weight: 78.7 pounds
  • Length: 34.6 inches
  • Feed system: Manual

Related: The 9 Best Wheelbarrows for All of Your Home and Gardening Needs

Best for Large Yards: Husqvarna 336FR Forestry Clearing Saw

Husqvarna 336FR 966604702 Bike Handle Pro Brushcutter
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This tool is one of the most powerful weed whackers available and is built to last. It's ideal for anyone with a very large yard with thick grasses and weeds to get rid of.

Keep in Mind: This is a professional-grade tool and might be a little overkill for anyone with a small yard with standard grass and weeds to tend to.

Though technically not classed as a weed whacker, this Husqvarna brush cutter can do everything a weed whacker can and more. Thanks to its much thicker trimmer line, grass blade, and saw blade, it is capable of getting through the thickest grasses, reeds, stalks, and even small trees. It's the optimal tool for working on larger yards and overgrown parts of your property, but you won't need this much power if you have a small yard.

Though it's a gas power tool, it has been designed to use less fuel and emit fewer exhaust emissions.

Since this tool is a little heavier than other weed whacker models, it comes with a body harness that is worn by the user and strapped to the tool to distribute its weight evenly, making it much easier to lift and maneuver, without causing back pain or user fatigue. It also has a bike-style soft-grip handlebar for more user comfort and ease of use.

While it does technically have a bump feed system, it needs nothing more than a small tap on the ground to activate the line change, making it less likely to damage the unit.

Product Details:

  • Power: Gas, 1.9 horsepower, 34.6cc engine
  • Cutting width: 18.5 inches
  • Weight: 15.4 pounds
  • Length: 58.4 inches
  • Feed system: Bump

Best Lightweight: Ryobi One+ 18V 10-Inch Cordless Battery String Trimmer and Edger

Ryobi ONE+ 18V 10 in. Cordless Battery String Trimmer and Edger
Courtesy of The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: It's not only extremely lightweight allowing comfortable one-handed use, but it's also an edging tool.

Keep in Mind: Its smaller cutting swath and run time of just eight to 10 minutes on one charge make it better suited to smaller properties.

At just 4 pounds, this Ryobi string trimmer and edger is so light that it almost feels like a toy to handle, but that's not to say that it lacks in performance. On the contrary, this weed whacker and edger is tough on weeds, cutting them down in just one pass. It features a rotatable shaft that shifts the tool from weed trimmer to edger, and its grip is ergonomic, making it even easier to handle.

Though it provides a rather short run time of around 10 minutes, charging the battery fully only takes an hour, and if you have a second battery handy, you can easily get through a small- to medium-sized yard without any issues. It has an easy auto-feed system that advances the line every time you let go of the trigger, and it comes with a three-year warranty, too.

Product Details:

  • Power: Cordless, 1.3-amp hour 18-volt battery
  • Cutting width: 10 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Shaft length: 42 inches
  • Feed system: Automatic

Related: The 13 Best Outdoor Storage Essentials for Your Backyard

Best Budget: Greenworks 5.5 Amp 15-Inch Corded Electric String Trimmer

Greenworks 5.5 Amp 15 inch String Trimmer
Courtesy of Walmart

Also available at Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This economical weed whacker proves that there's no need to break the bank in order to keep the corners and edges of your lawn looking spick and span.

Keep in Mind: Though lightweight, the motor is in the cutting head, making the swing weight feel a bit heavier than you'd expect.

For residential use on a smaller-sized lawn, you don't need to shell out hundreds on a high-end weed whacker when a budget option, like this 5.5-amp string trimmer from Greenworks, will clean up your yard easily and effectively in very little time.

Simple to use with an automatic line feed system, this unit has a 90-degree rotating and pivoting head that can be adjusted to four different positions for getting into every hard-to-reach corner of your yard and provide a nice clean line along the edge.

The handy wheels on the edger side make trimming along driveways, pathways, and sidewalks practically effortless, and, to change the device into an edger, all you have to do is press a button. There's not a guard on the edger side, so it is a little messier when it comes to flying lawn clippings than when using the trimming side, but that's a small price to pay for its economical cost, light weight, and constant flow of corded electric power.

Product Details:

  • Power: Corded electric, 5.5-amp
  • Cutting width: 15 inches
  • Weight: 7.3 pounds
  • Shaft length: 41 inches
  • Feed system: Automatic

Related: The 8 Best Weeding Tools on Amazon for a Flourishing Garden

The Bottom Line

The super-strong and durable Ego Power+ 15-Inch String Trimmer with Powerload was our overall top pick of the best weed whackers due to its sturdy carbon fiber shaft, 30-minute runtime (considered good for a cordless weed whacker), large 15-inch cutting swath, and easy automatic string feed system. What's more, it has a lifetime warranty that, in effect, guarantees you a tool that could potentially last forever.

What to Know About Weed Whackers Before Shopping

Power Source

In terms of power, weed whackers typically come in two main varieties: gas and electric. A gas version offers more power, while an electric model is quieter, more lightweight, and generally easier to use. Electric battery-powered trimmers are a good option for home use because they're more maneuverable than gas options or corded electric models.

Corded electric weed whackers offer continuous power without needing to charge batteries, but you'll be limited to the area your extension cord can reach.

As with all gas-powered tools, a gas weed whacker requires you to handle fuel and put up with the fumes it emits. Yearly maintenance by a professional is also a must, but if you're confident enough, you can do it yourself with a good YouTube tutorial.

Weight

These tools come in varying sizes and weights, but thankfully, modern weed whackers are much lighter than their predecessors, making them easier to use by just about anyone. A gas weed whacker is typically a little heavier than its electric counterpart since you have to factor in the fuel weight, too, but on average, you'll find that the best weed whackers weigh around 5 to 10 pounds.

Shaft Style

You can also choose between a curved or straight shaft. The curved shafts can feel better-balanced and easier to use but may have less torque, while the straight ones will have a longer reach and can more easily double up as edging tools. A straight shaft also puts less strain on the interior mechanisms of the weed whacker and is more likely to be able to handle different attachments.

Feed System

A feed system releases the cutting string—the line the tool uses to cut the weeds down—to the head of a weed whacker. The string, which is typically made of plastic, needs to be advanced every few yards or so since it gets considerably worn down. Old weed whackers required the string to be changed manually by hand, but most trimmers nowadays have much easier feed systems, the main two for residential use being a bump feed and an automatic feed.

  • Bump feed: These systems are fully user-controlled and will only release more line when you bump the weed whacker on the ground. This is a straightforward system, but you do have to be careful not to damage the tool while bumping it.
  • Automatic feed: An auto-feed system is more intuitive and will release more line when it detects that it is time for new string. Though auto-feed systems give you one less thing to worry about, they are often a little more expensive than bump-feed systems in terms of buying price and repairs. You may also find that it goes through spools of string faster than a model with a bump feed system.

Your Questions, Answered

When should you use a weed whacker?

From springtime onwards, best practice is to use your weed whacker in conjunction with a lawn mower every time you mow the lawn, which could be once a week. A lawn mower isn't able to trim the grass and weeds along the edges of sidewalks and driveways or get into corners, nooks, or the bases of sharp inclines, which is why a weed whacker is necessary. "You can use a weed whacker all year round for the best lawn maintenance," Platen-Mills says. "However, weekly use, along with your lawn mower, will be required during the growing season, which is typically March through October."

You'll also want to use a weed whacker near delicate flower beds instead of taking the mower right up to them. While a weed whacker is the tool of choice for hard-to-reach areas, be careful not to cut grass against trees as this can cause severe damage to the bark and tree in general. "Remember to keep it 2 inches off the grass when trimming and go over the lawn with a weed whacker first before using the mower," Platen-Mills says. This way, the lawn mower will chop the clippings, too, and either bag them or mulch them, depending on the type of mower you have.

Can you use a weed whacker on wet grass?

While you can use a weed whacker on wet grass, it isn't advisable. "Using a trimmer on wet grass will more than likely end up ripping the grass rather than cutting it cleanly," Platen-Mills says. "This can lead to scalping and bald patches." Scalping is when too much grass is removed at once, resulting in unsightly stubbly brown patches. "It's better to use the string trimmer when the lawn is dry in the areas where you can't take a lawn mower, and then use the lawnmower to go over and collect the trimmings."

How do you clean a weed whacker?

There's no need to give these tools a detail clean or wash them off with water. "Straight after use, wipe the weed whacker down well with a stiff brush to get rid of any lawn clippings and soil," Platen-Mills recommends. In addition to keeping the tool generally clean, yearly maintenance of gas models is necessary in order to check the fuel, oil, engine, spark plugs, and the blade on weed whacker-mower combo models.

Who We Are

This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over 10 years of commerce-writing experience. Kat is also the Commerce Editor-at-Large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S .online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this best weed whacker article, Kat reviewed and tested multiple weed whackers, spoke to lawn maintenance experts at WWSC Environmental Services, and researched and considered factors such as each weed whacker's power, cutting swath, shaft length and style, durability, as well as value for money.

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