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Weed wackers, or more modernly known as string trimmers or weed eaters, are still a must-have for any residential or professional gardener or landscaper. They may cost more at first, compared to trimming or pulling by hand, but in the long run, they’ll save time, money, and your back, neck, and arms. Here’s what you should know about finding the best cordless string trimmer for yard work this season.
Weed Eater/String Trimmer Buying Guide
Battery: A 2 – 2.5 amp/hour battery will get you about 30 minutes of runtime, which is pretty good for a small- to medium-sized patch of lawn. But if you’ll be caring for a large patch of grass with lots of weeds, or purchasing one of these for a landscaping business, you’ll want either a longer-lasting battery, or at least multiple additional battery packs that you can keep charged and ready to go at any given time.
Body: A carbon fiber shaft is among the toughest and lightest, standing up to crushing damage while still being easy to lift and maneuver.
Safety: Though not as inherently dangerous as a bladed lawnmower, these can still do some serious damage if you, a child, or a pet get too close to the string in action. That’s why a safety trigger is crucial to have within reach at all times. Most models place them right in the middle of the shaft so your fingers naturally land on it, whether you’re left- or right-handed.
Speed: About 5600rpm is a strong spin for taking out weeds. The spin force also affects the vibrations of the body, and on lower-quality models this can make it difficult to hold and control as it shakes, especially if the body isn’t made from a strong and steady material.
Noise: You don’t need to be that neighbor waking up the whole block with your weed trimming. Modern string trimmers have gotten much quieter, especially the electric ones, and 80db is a safe bet if you’re looking for low noise.
Loading: Smacking down unwanted weeds is extremely satisfying, but loading up the line can be annoying and time-consuming. Luckily some of the newer models take this out of the equation completely: Simply feed the first few feet in, and it’ll do the rest. Different models hold different amounts of trimmer line too, so keep this in mind when shopping for yours.
Attachments: If your trimmer doesn’t already come with them, you can often buy additional attachments such as edgers, blowers, and pole saws.
The Best Cordless String Trimmers
We selected the top cordless weed wackers and string trimmers from brands like Greenworks and Black+Decker.
Black+Decker String Trimmer
Weighing in at 5.3 pounds, Black+Decker’s 20V trimmer is agile and light to use, and still provides some powerful torque to knock out weeds thanks to the Power Drive Transmission. The two-speed control gives you the choice of increased power or a lengthier runtime, and a wide 12-inch cutting swath covers enough area to get under bushes and tough-to-maneuver edges. Their Easy-Feed feature also lets you start putting in a line without hassle, and then handles the rest with the push of a button.
Greenworks Pro Cordless String Trimmer
Spinning at about 5500rpm, Greenworks’ professionally designed trimmer is fine-tuned to be a reliable tool for residential lawns. Assembly is simple right out of the box, and you’ll immediately notice how light it is compared to other models, leading to less muscle fatigue while working. The brushless motor delivers strong torque you can feel, and the 60V interchangeable battery will provide about an hour of continuous runtime.
The string itself cuts a 16-inch path with a visibility guard protecting it, and is simple to load up with the Load N Go spool head. A two-speed variable speed trigger is easy to operate while using, and includes a safety as well. Plus, the handle can be adjusted for maneuvering into tight crevices and corners.
Husqvarna Battery String Trimmer
You may know Swedish-based Husqvarna for its motorcycles, but the company makes top-quality landscaping gear as well. The 36V battery of this trimmer has a unique design, but it’s not just for aesthetics. Normally the battery on its own can get about 40 minutes, but this can also be paired up with a battery backpack for an even longer runtime, ideal for when weeding large lawns or areas.
The trigger comes with an extra step for safety, and the controls are well within the reach of your thumb. Husqvarna was also one of the few models out there that includes a reverse mode, a huge help when your string gets tangled up. And even with the battery installed, this still weighs in at under 10 pounds.
Ryobi Cordless Attachment Capable String Trimmer
There’s a good chance another Ryobi tool is in your house or garage somewhere already. The company makes all sorts of quality maintenance tools that we’ve reviewed over the years and have always been satisfied with, including this 40V 4Ah battery-powered string trimmer with a shaft made from carbon fiber. The cutting width can be adjusted from 13 up to 15 inches, with a lightweight trimmer head at under 3.5 pounds, and 10.6 pounds total for the entire unit. It’s also moderately quiet too, at around 87 decibels.