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When it comes to lawn and yard maintenance, the right tool makes a big difference. While lawn mowers help to maintain the height of grass, a good weed trimmer will keep the lawn looking properly trimmed at the same time. Better still, many trimmers can pull double duty as edgers and mini-mowers at the same time.
If you're looking to upgrade your current model, or you're buying one for the first time, here are the top options to check out.
Best Overall: Ryobi 25cc 2-Cycle Attachment Capable Full Crank Straight Gas Shaft String Trimmer
Out of all the different options for good weed eaters, what makes the best ones stand out? Beyond giving you a large cutting area, the best is safe and easy to set up and use, especially if you have not used an eater much before. This choice gives you convenience and safety with the addition of versatility in the form of a few extra tools and uses you normally do not find on other weed eating options.
The Ryobi Gas Powered weed whacker is a tool that has a few tricks up the sleeve in addition to giving lawns a refreshed look. The base product uses a 25cc 2-cycle engine that can handle most common trimming tasks. Using Ryobi’s Expand-It Universal attachments, you can easily expand the weed eater’s usefulness with select accessories, such as a blower, edger, tiller, and more.
Best Budget: BLACK+DECKER Weed Whacker
If you have a small area to cut and maintain, a small, budget-friendly weed eater is the smarter buy since you will not need the extra power and features more expensive versions have. At the most basic level, budget options give you a smaller cutting area and a simple battery to keep recharged between trimmings.
The Black+Decker LST300 is a 12-inch trimmer and edger combination that runs on Black+Decker’s 20-volt battery system for cordless, gasless use. The batteries are quick and easy to swap out for continued use. An automatic feed spool makes it easy to keep the trimmer string at the best length while in use. The shaft adjusts in length so you can have the best reach and a comfortable grip at the same time.
Best Gas-Powered: Husqvarna Cutting Path Detachable Gas String Trimmer
For the most in power and performance, many professionals and hardcore landscapists turn to gas-powered weed eaters for larger projects. Sporting large engines in the 25cc-30cc range, these options can handle larger tasks without hanging up. If you have a large yard or have not kept up with the garden maintenance lately, gas just might be the way to go.
The Husqvarna 28CC Gas Powered Weed Eater has a large 17-inch cutting swath to cover more ground in less time during normal use. The straight shaft design offers easy operation when trimming around the lawn while the 28cc engine features a simple starter to get up and running quickly. At just under 11 pounds, the weed whacker is also comfortable to hold and use for long periods of time.
Best Plug-in: LawnMaster 13-Inch Electric Grass Trimmer
The main downside of cordless weed eaters is the fact that batteries eventually run out. Even though many cordless weed eaters come with swappable, high capacity batteries, it can still be a chore to keep batteries charged. Plug-in weed eaters, however, give you the same performance of an electric motor with the constant supply of electricity you can plug into any outlet.
The LawnMaster GT1313 manages to balance the quiet operation of battery weed eaters with the long-term use of gas engines using a simple plugin, 4.2-amp motor. The cutting head uses a dual string trimmer with a 13-inch cutting area and rotating handle for quick edging. Retractable guides and a flower guard help to protect the things you do not want to cut while trimming everything else.
Best Straight: DEWALT DCST920P1 Brushless Trimmer
The simple shape of a weed eater’s shaft has a large effect on its overall performance and comfort. While curved weed eaters are more ergonomic and comfortable, they make some sacrifices in versatility and weight. Straight handle weed whackers are easier to use for edging and mini-mowing, and often come in weighing less on the scales since their components are less complicated.
Offering the greater functionality of most straight shaft weed eaters, the DeWalt DCST920P1 takes the utility up a notch with a variable speed trigger and Hi/Lo speed switch so you can maximize power and performance anytime you want. The brushless motor runs with greater torque due to the electrically-powered design and can handle thick grass/foliage when tackling larger projects.
Best Curved: Ryobi ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Electric Cordless String Trimmer and Edger
Curved weed eaters are the ultimate solution in comfortable trimming around the yard or garden. The curved shaft keeps you and your hands in a more ergonomic position, maximizing comfort and control over the weed eater no matter how long you stay out. This top choice in the curved weed eater category is also more versatile than other options thanks to Ryobi’s intelligent design.
The Ryobi One+ is all about comfort and versatility. The curved shaft keeps the weed eater lightweight and comfortable in the hands. An ergonomic front grip also makes it easy to finesse the eater around obstacles. For different types of cuts, the shaft can pivot to an edger in mere seconds. Using an 18 volt battery that is compatible with any Ryobi power tool, the weed eater can be recharged in just an hour.
What to Look for in a Weed Eater
Like many yard tools, weed eaters come in outlet-powered, battery-powered, and gas-powered varieties. Gas powered weed eaters are more powerful, but require you to have gas on hand and may be more difficult to start up. Electric options are less powerful, but can be easily recharged or plugged in for lighter jobs.
Some weed eaters can also be rotated to serve as edgers, which cut perpendicular to the ground, rather than parallel to it. That feature means you can clean up areas around your sidewalk or driveway without buying another yard tool.
If you anticipate multiple members of your household might be using the weed eater, look for one with an adjustable shaft that can be made longer or shorter, depending on the height of the user.