String Trimmer Buyer's Guide
How to Pick the Perfect String Trimmer
Once you've finished mowing your lawn, you still have to cut down unruly grass and weeds in and around gardens, trees, fences, or other obstacles. You also might need to clear overgrown brush that's too much for a mower to handle.
Your solution? A string trimmer!
Without a string trimmer, you can finish only part of your yard work, leaving your lawn looking unfinished and untamed.
String trimmers (also called line trimmers and weed whackers) come in a few styles:
Electric String Trimmers
Electric string trimmers are a good choice for people who want to avoid working with gas and oil. Yet thanks to new strides made in manufacturing, they provide the same trimming power that gas-powered models do.
Electric trimmers offer a number of other benefits:
- Easy to maneuver
- Lower in maintenance
Electric string trimmers are powered in one of two ways. Corded electric string trimmers require extension cords, while cordless electric string trimmers run on battery power.
Gas-Powered String Trimmers
Gas-powered string trimmers are made for large lawns that need heavy trimming. They're capable of easily mowing down thick weeds and other brush, which makes them the top choice of landscaping professionals.
Some models can be outfitted with attachments that allow you to take on other tasks in addition to trimming:
- Edging sidewalks and driveways
- Pruning weeds
- Cultivating garden spaces
All gas trimmers are available with either 2-cycle or 4-cycle engines, which make them versatile enough to handle almost any job.
Walk-Behind (Wheeled) String Trimmers
When you’ve got a lot to trim and not much time, a walk-behind or wheeled string trimmer is the perfect solution. These machines use the following features to trim twice as fast in half the time, all while reducing fatigue:
- Large wheels to navigate uneven terrain
- Wide cutting widths to cover more ground quickly
- Powerful engines to cut back heavy overgrowth
Thanks to their pull-string recoil starts, these trimmers offer a lot of familiarities – many people find that they operate almost like lawnmowers. But walk-behind trimmers are built to tackle thick brush. All you need is plenty of replacement line on hand, and you’ll be trimming like the pros in no time.
Brush cutters are the big brother of string trimmers, sporting bigger engines, thicker line, and even powerful metal blades for cutting through thick brush and weeds.
They're available in three different versions, each made for areas of different size:
- Handheld brush cutters
- Walk-behind brush cutters
- Tow-behind brush cutters
If your string trimmer's been struggling to keep up with your workload, you might benefit from stepping up to a brush cutter.