To maintain your lawn, you need to put in a consistent effort to mow it and make sure that it is kept free of weeds.
While a lawn mower can do most of the work, you’ll also need to use a device that can go where a traditional lawn mower can’t. You need something to keep the edges of your lawn neat and trim, as well as to get in and around any plants in your garden which you don’t want to damage.
An electric weed eater can do this for you and more. In fact, there is a considerably wide selection of weed eaters available that can make the upkeep of your yard so much easier. What’s also helpful is that many manufacturers today have designed multifunctional devices that can take on a wide range of tasks.
It can be tough to get your head around the intricacies of engines, strings, and different power sources but to explain it simply, weed eaters can be battery-powered, corded, or gas powered. In this article, we’ll focus on electric weed eaters.
All of the options are built to suit certain types of yards or different types of users. Simply put, it all depends on your unique requirements and how often you’re going to use the machine. There are pros and cons to each type as well as to all of the various makes and models available, so it’s important to do your research before purchasing.
To help you make sense of all of the different kinds of weed eaters available, here are a handful of reviews that cover a broad spectrum of devices:
Reviews Of Our Top 5 Best Electric Weed Eaters
The Worx WG163 GT 3.0 Cordless weed eater is a great option if you’re looking for a versatile device. The machine is battery operated which means that it’s well suited to smaller jobs. It also gives you the maneuverability you need to trim in and around your garden without needing to worry about managing an extension cable.
With dual-position wheels, you can also take on more precise grass trimming and edging. Furthermore, with easy to adjust settings you can easily switch from a trimmer to an in-line edger without having to use any tools.
As the device comes with two 20V lithium batteries, you also don’t have to worry about your battery running out. This is because you can charge one of the batteries while using the other.
Other features include a 12-inch cutting diameter which means that you can easily take on most kinds of garden vegetation. As the device has an Innovative Command Feed spool system too, you can also easily adjust the length of the string yourself (with the string itself extending up to 10 feet).
- Two 20V lithium batteries
- 12-inch cutting diameter
- Innovative Command Feed spool system
- 10 feet cutting line length
- Adjustable 90-degree tilting shaft
- 5.3 pounds in weight
- This weed eater is very lightweight, which means it’s easy to handle for the average user
- With two lithium batteries, you can operate the device for longer without having to wait for one battery to recharge
- The device has various features including an adjustable shaft and instant line feeding
- The machine’s batteries can be used across other 20V WORX Power Share tools
- While the two batteries do help make continuous trimming easier, they both still only have a limited amount of charge so you might need to switch them often
The DEWALT DCST920P1 has a brushless motor which means that it is built to be more efficient and durable.
With a bump feed, it’s easy to manage the length of the cutting string as all you have to do is “bump” the device against the ground to let out more string. This is very convenient, as it means you don’t have to interrupt your work for long periods of time to adjust the length of the cutting string.
The dual 0,080-inch line also means that you’re cutting grass and weeds with double the amount of strength compared with a single line model.
With a patented gear drive design and a trigger that lets you vary the speed of the device, you can easily manage the DEWALT DCST920P1 and optimize its usage according to your particular yard job.
The device is powered by a 20V lithium battery and comes with a charger included.
- 20V lithium-ion battery and charger
- Dual cutting string device with 0,080-inch line
- Patented engine design and variable speed settings
- Bump feed for cutting line adjustment
- The device weighs 8.5 pounds
- With a bump feed, the length of the cutting line is easy to adjust
- A brushless motor means the machine is designed to be more effective and to go for longer
- A patented engine design means that a lot of effort has gone into designing this device
- As with all battery operated devices, the charge will only last so long. So, unless you buy an additional battery you will need to pause your yard work to charge it or alternate with another
- Compared to other devices, this one is a little bit heavier. Therefore, people with physical limitations might prefer something more lightweight
The Greenworks 21212 is a corded electric device, making it perfectly suited to smaller yards where you can easily plug in an extension cord to work outside. With 4 amps of power you aren’t necessarily going to be able to cut through tough shrubs, however, for simple grass trimming, this device is perfect.
Various features make this product very easy to use. These include an adjustable telescopic shaft to cater to different user heights, as well as a cord locking device so that you don’t accidentally pull out the cord while working.
An auto line feed also means that you don’t have to worry about manually adjusting the line. This makes it a really convenient option for a first-time homeowner who just wants to press a button to keep things neat and tidy without having to worry about intensive maintenance.
As it’s a corded device, you don’t have to worry about recharging batteries or changing them, and can trim your lawn for as long as you please (without disturbing the neighbours of course!)
- Corded device
- 13-inch cut path
- 4 amp motor
- Device weighs 7 pounds
- Adjustable telescopic shaft
- Rotating trimmer shaft
- Auto feed dual line
- The device is lightweight and corded so it’s perfectly suited to anyone who wants to keep a small yard tidy
- Various adjustable features mean that you can switch between different lengths to accommodate different user heights
- Easily alternate between trimming and edging functionality
- An auto feed line means you don’t have to worry about manually adjusting the dual strings
- This device is one of the most inexpensive options available
- This device is designed for smaller gardens and so isn’t appropriate for larger yards where extension cable length might be an issue
- The power cord isn’t included so you’ll have to buy that separately
With a 40V MAX lithium battery-powered motor you’ll be able to take on a range of weeds and foliage using the Black and Decker LST136. Additionally, it has a proprietary PowerDrive Transmission which ensures greater power and increased runtime.
You also have the option to switch from using the machine at its maximum capacity, or to lessen the speed for increased operating time. This PowerCommand feature is convenient as it allows you to adjust the motor to different kinds of jobs, for example, from cutting a lawn to tackling slightly thicker weeds, or to switch between various kinds of grass.
Additional features like an automatic feed spool mean that you can focus on the job at hand without having to make too many manual adjustments when operating the machine. With a quick turn of the trimmer shaft you can also adjust the cutting end from trimming to edging, so you can also easily change between different kinds of tasks in variable terrain.
- 40V MAX lithium battery powered motor
- Proprietary PowerDrive Transmission
- A PowerCommand feature to adjust the intensity of the motor speed
- Automatic feed spool
- Quick adjustment from trimming to edging
- With rotatable trimmer shaft end, you can easily switch from trimming to edging with the help of a built-in guide to keep your edging straight
- The battery is compatible with other Black and Decker gardening devices which is convenient if you’re taking on a variety of tasks
- A three-year warranty and the option to buy replaceable parts makes this a good choice for a longer term investment
- As an established brand, Black and Decker has numerous support resources available on their website
- Even though you can adjust the speed of the motor to preserve the battery life, the battery life isn’t that extensive
As the last on this list of weed eaters, the Toro 51480 Trimmer/Edger is another option for those with smaller yards. This is because it is also a corded device which needs to be plugged into an extension cable.
The machine has all the features you’d be looking for in a trimmer/edger, including a powerful motor (5 amps), and an extra-wide 14-inch dual line cutting head. The cutting head on this model is wider than most of the devices reviewed above, which means you can perform cutting jobs quicker and more efficiently.
With the simple press of a button, you can switch between trimmer and edger capabilities. This makes it a great tool for tidying up an outside lawn, especially one that is visible from the street and needs precise edging.
This device also has a telescoping shaft and an adjustable handle, so you’re guaranteed to find the right fit for you no matter how tall you are.
In addition, an auto feed trim line means you don’t have to manually adjust the string length while using the device. That being said, other reviews caution users to reload the spool with care and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid tangling.
- Extra-wide 14-inch dual line cutting head
- Adjustable shaft and handle
- Auto feed trim line
- 5 amp motor
- The body of the product is made of aluminium so you don’t have to worry about it rusting
- Many additional features make this a user-friendly option that requires minimal maintenance
- 2-year warranty, which provides added credibility
- The spool needs to be reloaded carefully when you replace it
- The machine is designed for the average suburban user and won’t be able to take on any heavy duty weed whacking
Buying Guide: What to Look for When Buying a Weed Eater
While going through the reviews above you have no doubt started to form an idea of what kind of weed eater will work best for you. To help guide your buying decision even further, here are some features to look out for:
Power Source (cordless or corded)
As with any kind of household or outdoor device, it’s important to consider the power source needed to run it, as certain power sources work better in certain situations.
Electric weed eaters can be broken down into two categories: corded and cordless. Corded options need to be directly plugged into an extension cable, and cordless options use a rechargeable battery.
These kinds of weed eaters are more suited to smaller to medium sized yards, as corded versions will require an extension lead (which typically won’t extend very far). The batteries of cordless versions also only provide a limited amount of charge.
Design Of The Trimmer/Handling Ease
Weed eaters are designed to cut through grass and sometimes slightly thicker weeds. So, while using metal or plastic blades is an option, a more efficient trimmer design includes the use of a string or two strings which rotate at the base of the device.
Considering that whacking weeds with this kind of device can bring up a lot of debris, it’s important to have a good look at the design of the trimmer. This is done to make sure that there is a guard in place to prevent anything flying up into your face.
Another important point is to look out for is versatility in different functions so that you can switch between pure “weed whacking” and more precise trimming, known as edging.
This often happens by being able to rotate the head of the device to a 90-degree angle, so you don’t have to bend into awkward (and potentially dangerous) situations, to cut at a different angle.
In addition to the design of the trimmer itself, the device also needs to be easy to use and maneuver. This is because you might need to get in and around plant beds and other areas, and don’t want to be using an unwieldy device that is heavy to hold and tough to move around.
Shaft Type (Adjustable vs. Curved)
A user’s height and strength can vary considerably. Therefore, if you’re tall, it’s a good idea to look for a shaft that can adjust to suit your height as you don’t want to be bending down and hunching over while you’re doing your yard work. An adjustable shaft also gives you the length required to reach under bushes and other kinds of dense shrubs.
A curved shaft, on the other hand, is lighter and easier to handle. This makes it an appropriate option for those who are shorter, have physical limitations, or for people who don’t have yards that necessitate a longer or more adjustable shaft.
As mentioned above, holding a device for a while, especially one with a sizeable motor, can be tiring. Therefore it’s important to look at the weight of it when making a purchasing decision.
If you’re more of a rugged outdoor type, something heavy might not be a problem for you. On the other hand, if you have physical limitations then something that is lightweight and easy to use would be more suitable.
In the same breath, you also don’t need something that is too heavy if you’re just going to be trimming a small lawn. So, even though you might be able to hold a heavier device it might not even be necessary for your particular circumstances.
Unfortunately, most types of engines and moving devices do make a noise.
If you live in a remote area this might not be an issue, as you’ll be able to protect your own ears with safety equipment.
But if you live in a more populated area, like in the suburbs, a less noisy device is a more considerate option and will definitely be appreciated by your neighbours when you decide to trim your lawn early on a weekend morning.
Each device differs when it comes to noise. With this in mind, it’s important to check the device and its specific characteristics to get an idea of whether or not the noise it creates will be appropriate for you or your family members and neighbours.
The strings that rotate at the bottom of a weed eater don’t last indefinitely, so you’ll need to look at the way the string can be threaded into the device to make sure that they are always long enough to cut effectively.
There are different kinds of cutting line feed options. These include a bump feed where the string is released from a spool when the device is “bumped” onto the ground, a fixed line feed which you need to re-string manually, and an auto feed which automatically monitors and adjusts the string with a button to make sure that you always have the ideal length to trim and edge your lawn.
The thickness of the string also varies between different models. So always make sure you are using string that is designed for your particular device otherwise it can affect the proper functioning (if it’s too thick), or compromise your cutting ability (if it’s too thin).