Home landscaping and gardening has evolved much over the past 60+ years. Gone are the days of the old manual lawnmower, which required a firm push to slice up that front yard of grass and take a very large amount of your afternoon to complete, particularly if you had to do further cleaning of the yard trimmings to ensure that the area was clean.
Additionally, most of this technology a decade ago was not electronic, meaning that there were no electric weed eaters or anything of that nature. These days however, there are an abundance of automated and electrical gardening tools that will make light work of your front yard and provide a safer way for you to keep your home up to shape.
Weed eaters are an essential tool for any form of home landscaping or gardening and do require more thought and effort than you would initially think if you want to get the best weed eater that I most appropriate for your home. Even if you have a smaller home or one that is extensively big, you should be able to easily find the right piece of equipment to suit your situation and make your home look its best.
Your Ultimate Weed Eater Guide
What types of Weed Eaters are there?
Evolutions in technology have made the availability of choices much wider and more diverse, as it has been established that certain situations require more refinement, especially in lawn and gardening tools and equipment. When selecting the best weed eater for you there are three choices that you can pick from, in the form of a plug-in weed eater, a battery operated weed eater and a gas powered weed eater.
Exactly the same as the name suggests, the plug-in weed eater has a power cable that you need to plug into an electrical outlet in order to use it. One of the main defining points of the device is that it does not use any form of gas or oil, making it a great environment friendly alternative to the latter. It is considered an excellent choice for homes with a smaller front or back yard and smaller area that requires weed trimming.
On the downside there is the fact that the length of the power cable limits the device, although an extension cord can remedy this. Additionally, they are not as powerful as gas and oil operated weed eaters, although if you have a relatively small yard then the overgrowth should not be so much to warrant this.
When ordering your own plug-in weed eater, you should remember to verify the type of power outlet that you have the power cable of the device. You will want to get the exact same type so that you don’t have issues with using it from the start. If you’re certain you want a particular type but cannot find it with the same electrical outlet matchup as your location, you can seek help from an electrician who can convert the weed eater’s power cable or purchase a wall converter.
Another alternative to the gas operated weed eater that you should consider in your search for the best weed eater for your home is a battery operated one. These run on electricity all the same as the plug-in weed eater, except they are not restricted to the length of a power cable to determine how far they can be used. For the most part they are also light and produce less noise than the others. They can be taken anywhere and are useful for moments when you don’t have ready access to a power source.
Aside from this, they can be weaker than the gas and oil powered weed eater, in comparison. Additionally you won’t always get continuous days of use out of the battery, so you will want to ensure that you purchase addition so that you keep charged and ready to go in case you run out of battery life in the middle of a yard clean. You should investigate whether the battery powered weed eater you’re looking at is rechargeable or uses disposable batteries.
The final option is the gas powered weed eater, which is the most powerful of the options available and will help to make short work of any thick overgrown weeds or other types of growths in your yard. Benefits include the ability to cut more and hold more string in the spinning blade area than that of their counterparts, a definite positive if you’re trying to get rid of overgrowth.
Depending on the model of gas powered weed eater you use, a different mixture of gas and oil will be required, which can easily be bought from any hardware store or motor vehicle accessory store. Similar to the electrical weed eaters, the gas powered one can access a greater range of spaces. On the downside there is the obvious fact that the gas powered weed eater will require a lot more attention than the others because of the motor, which will need to be kept working efficiently and not left to rust or in an area where it can be affected by weather. Also, the gas powered weed eater is generally heavier and nosier than its counterparts because of the motor.
What features should you add in your Weed Eater?
As new types of Weed eaters are produced and improved, different features are added to make the chore of trimming the weeds a much easier and enjoyable experience. You should investigate whether the weed eater you’re looking at has these some of these mentioned options to ensure that you are getting the best weed eater that will help make all your tasks much easier.
Shoulder straps should come as a standard with your weed eater, especially if you purchase a gas powered one. It is a useful extra that can help to lessen the burden of weight on your arms as well as distribute the balance of the weed eater, allowing you to easily and more securely navigate it along the side of a pathway or fence and get the straight cut into the weeds.
Some weed eaters also have double “blades”, which provide two lengths of cord or cutting string instead of one. This double “blade” helps to improve the power of the cutting and allow for the weed eater take up less time and energy when trimming the weeds.
Anti-vibration function is a more recent innovation that can be found on some weed eaters, though in most cases you will only be able to get it on an electrical plug-in or battery operated weed eater.
The vibration caused by the rotating blades on the weed eater can be annoying when you’re working with a weed eater for a long time, so you should find out if it will affect you. If you have sensitivity in your hands or are not comfortable with it, purchasing a weed eater with anti-vibration function would be a wise choice.
You can also get additional attachments for your weed eater that will make it function more than a trimmer or edger. Attachments are bought separately and depend per model. While some have provisions for it, some don’t. The attachments you can buy can make your machine function 6-in-1: trimmer, edger, blower, cultivator, brush cutter, or pole pruner.
Reviews of the best Weed Eaters
GreenWorks Corded String Trimmer
- Authorized Distributor Includes All Documentation and Support.
This corded string trimmer comes in three types: 10 Amp with 18” cutting path, 4 Amp with 13” cutting patch, and 5.5 Amp with 15” cutting path. Depending on the size of your yard, the frequency, and amount of time you want to spend trimming, you might need a bigger one. Preferably, get the one with the widest cutting diameter as it makes you finish your job faster.
Pros: This weed eater is extremely light to hold and has very little vibration, making it a breeze to wield. It also allows for non-stop usage because the string never gets tangled or cut off. Users have reported working on their lawn for hours without having to stop for maintenance checks and string replacements. Starting it up is easy; you don’t need several hard pulls for the motor to start. Despite it’s smaller motor than a gas-powered one, users consider this weed eater powerful and enough to do the job.
Cons: This weed eater is corded so some users find their movement very limited. If you’re going to use it for your front or back yard, or a small lawn, you won’t have major problems because you can easily use it through an extension cord. But if you’re planning on taking it to farther places, this weed eater may not be what you’re looking for. There are other weed eaters that are battery or gas-powered, which are more mobile.
Main features: Users appreciate the telescoping handle because they can easily adjust it to their desired height. It also has double strings that enables for faster whacking of undesirable weeds and tall grass. Also, because it uses a cord connected to an electric supply, having an extension cord is necessary if you want to reach more areas. The plug has an attachment to keep your mind at ease that it won’t get off the power supply.
Toro Co 14-Inch Electric String Trimmer
- Corded 14-inch electric trimmer/edger with a powerful 5 amp motor
- Extra-wide 14-inch dual-line cutting head gets the job done faster; auto-feed trim line
- One-step walk-behind edging--switch from a trimmer to an edger in seconds
This trimmer is a corded electric trimmer with a powerful 5 Amp motor. At its cheap price, you’ll be able to get a 14-Inch dual-line cutting head that enables you to finish the job quickly, giving you more time to do other important tasks. You can also use this as an edger with just one push of a button.
Pros: Users claim that this weed eater is a beast of a machine capable of tackling deep weeds, vines, overgrown grass, etc. It is very powerful and good at cutting that one pass is enough, enabling you to finish the job at a lesser time. You’re also getting an edger with built-in wheels, adjustable comfortable handle, and powerful motor, all at a very reasonable price.
Cons: Some may consider this weed eater heavy at 7.5 pounds because other models in this range can be as light as 5 pounds. The difference is minimal though, so it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Another con is the limited area you can reach because of the cord. If you want to cover more area, you need a long extension cord. Otherwise, you might be better off by using a battery or gas-powered model.
Main features: This weed eater features an aluminum shaft that can be adjusted according to your desired height. Because of its material, the shaft is tough and durable to endure the changing weathers as well as the stresses during trimming. Converting it to an edger is quick and easy. The edger comes with a built-in wheel for easy navigation. For added comfort and balance, this Toro weed eater has an assist handle.
Black & Decker 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Trimmer/Edger
- Easily converts from trimmer to edger with a quick turn of the shaft
- Powered by 20-volt MAX lithium-ion battery, with longer lifespan and charge retention than NiCad batteries
- PowerDrive Transmission delivers more power from the motor to the cutting string
This cordless weed eater allows you to cover more places that can’t be reached by a corded electric weed eater. Basically, this is your gas-powered counterpart, without the smoke and added heaviness, making it an eco-friendly choice. Black & Decker is also known for its durable products as they have established a good reputation in the industry. Not to mention, their noteworthy customer service.
Pros: The 20-Volt MAX lithium-ion battery has longer lifespan and charge retention than the NiCad battery, giving you more time to finish trimming your weekly chore. One of the best aspects of this weed eater is its 5-pound weight that is very easy to use and wield as well as its portability.
Cons: If the portability caused by the battery is its greatest pro, the battery life is considered as the greatest con. Users have shared that in reality, the two batteries only last about 20 minutes each, giving you only about 40 minutes of work each day. Charging time takes up to nine hours. However, as some users have said, 40 minutes of trimming may be enough as no one wants to stay under the heat more than that.
Main features: This weed eater comes with a PowerDrive transmission that allows the motor to deliver more power onto the string, allowing it to cut through weeds and grass efficiently. The automatic feed spool also ensures continuous work without bumping. It features a 12-inch cutting diameter so it covers more ground.
Earthwise 18-Volt 12-Inch Cordless String Trimmer
- 12" cutting width and 3-position adjustable angle
- Flip down edge guard
- 18V/1.7aH NiCad battery and charger included
As its name speaks, this weed eater is an eco-friendly machine because it steers away from the use of gas as fuel, which may be harmful to the environment. It also saves you money, as it is cheaper than constant refueling. This weed eater has an 18-Volt motor and 18-Volt NiCad battery.
Pros: This weed eater is very lightweight and easy to operate. Users recommend it for use in a small sized yard. The battery only lasts about 20 to 30 minutes, which is considered enough for minimal use. Some use it as additional help after mowing, mainly for post-mowing maintenance purposes.
Cons: The battery only lasts about 20 minutes, which can be a con if you have a mid-sized lawn to trim. The Earthwise weed eater is recommended only for very light trimming as many users have mentioned that it’s not very effective at whacking tall grass and thick weeds. Users have also complained about the battery wearing out quickly, causing you to shed more to buy extra.
Main features: It has a rotating telescopic handle that enables you to adjust it according to your preferred height. For added comfort, it has an auxiliary handle that can be adjusted. These handles are padded with rubber for reduced vibration on your hands.
Poulan Pro 17-Inch 25cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered String Trimmer
- Auto return stop switch automatically resets to the ON position for easier starting
- Air purge removes air from carburetor and fuel system for easy starting
- Detachable shaft for easy transport and storage
This trimmer is a gas-fueled trimmer that is very powerful and built for heavy-duty use. Unlike the previously reviewed machines, this one is built for hours of usage. It can easily tackle thick weeds, tall grass, thistles, etc. Gas-powered trimmers can be taken anywhere you wish but are quite heavy.
Pros: The SureFire 25cc 2-cycle gas engine is powerful at its price and can take out major weeds in your lawn. Putting it together is also fairly easy; by following the manual, you’ll be able to complete assembly in mere minutes. You can also buy attachments for your trimmer that will add more function to it, aside from the usual trimmer and edger.
Cons: This weed eater is heavy, weighs about 15.8 pounds. You have to purchase an accompanying strap for it to make it easier to handle and carry, especially if you are going to use it for prolonged periods. Otherwise, you’ll experience strained arms and back. Also, this weed eater has some stalling problems, according to users, making it difficult to restart. They have also complained of it suddenly choking and dying. In case of this instances happening, you need to ask the manufacturer for checkup and repair.
Main features: Optional attachments allow it to be used as 6-tools-in-1: trimmer, edger, blower, cultivator, brush cutter, or pole pruner. The 2-cycle gas-power recycles fuel so it will be used twice, instead of only once, lessening the emission. It has a wide 17-inch cutting width for you to be able to finish your work in a jiffy. This tool also includes a durachrome cylinder for extended engine life, and heavy-duty automatic clutch.
Design and Ease of Use: As previously mentioned, the best weed eater for you should be chosen based on your yard. The first step is to analyze your yard and take stock of it. Are there fences to trim around? Are there any fixtures like a shed, paved areas, gardens or large trees?
These specifications will help to determine whether a stronger weed eater is necessary or one of the lighter ones would be best. Generally speaking, if there is not much except for an open grass field in your yard then a smaller and less powerful weed eater would be the bet.
If you will have to fight against large trees, weeds climbing up fence posts and getting in between cracks in the pavement then the stronger type is the most suitable.
Ease of use is another important feature, because when it comes down to it you want a weed eater that is comfortable and not difficult to use. If you make the unfortunate purchase of a weed eater that is cumbersome and not user friendly then you’ll be less likely to use it.
Three starting mechanisms help to determine the ease of use, with the difficulty in starting mechanism, spool replacement, and long weeds that wind up the shaft. For the most efficient tool, try to purchase one that ticks all the boxes by providing easy start, easy spool replacement and strength against the toughest of weeds.
The same as with all products, there are many choices when selecting the best weed eater. There are no stand out better than the rest choices, as that is ultimately determined by you circumstances and intended use, and a lot of thought should go into that.
Regardless, having a weed eater will make the process of clearing your yard much easier, and that it something that you should put the most thought into. Do I want to make my time quick and painless or do I want to try and do it without an essential tool? Make the decision to purchase a weed eater and you’ll be thanking yourself with time saved and relaxation earned.