- Flowers & PlantsVegetablesLast updated: Nov 8, 2023We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products-learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
The Best Weed Whackers for Keeping Your Lawn SharpPublished 9:00 amExpert Contributions ByShow contentsComparing the Top Weed Whackers of 2023 in Detail
Finding Your Next Weed Whacker: A Buying Guide
- Greenworks Corded Weed Whacker - Best Overall
- WORX Weed Whacker - Most Effective
- BLACK+DECKER Weed Whacker - Versatile Pick
When it comes to keeping your lawn in great shape, trimming and mowing go hand in hand. Unfortunately, there are some parts of your garden that even lawnmowers can’t reach — that’s where a weed whacker comes in. Let’s face it: whether it’s a nook, cranny, fence lines, or a very particular way you’ve planted flower beds, thick weeds will sprout. Not only that, but they pop up in every possible part of your lawn you don’t want them to. This is why a string trimmer is a great tool to prune your yard and keep it in pristine condition.
Unlike chemical-based products that kill the ground and grassroots, our favorite weed hackers in 2023 use trimmer string to hack, chop and slice away those unsightly weeds, leaving nothing but a perfectly prim and proper yard behind. If you’re sick of the weeds ruining your flowers and foliage, here are some great string trimmers for your lawn. Let’s take a look!
Comparing the Top Weed Whackers of 2023 in Detail1– Best Overall
Weed eaters don’t have to be expensive, and Greenworks proves it again and again with low-cost, innovative lawn care products like this corded string trimmer. You get massive control and a wide-cutting path of 13 inches with this weed whacker. But, perhaps the best feature is the powerful, never-quit 4-amp motor, giving you extensive command over your lawn with powerful cutting power.
You’ll also get a telescoping pole to extend your reach, which is especially helpful if you’re a taller person who needs a little more support for your lower back while cutting. Lightweight as can be and fitted with an automatic line feed, this 7-pound trimmer will be the only weed whacker you will need for well over 10 years. Because of its lightweight yet powerful design and overall effectiveness, this weed whacker is easily the best on our list.2– Most Effective
WORX offers a powerful 20-volt operated string trimmer that flips into an edger in seconds and cuts at 7, 600 rotations per minute (rpm). With such efficiency, there’s no weed that you won’t be able to handle with this trimmer. But, aside from its effective design, there’s also this weed whacker’s superb results. Everyone wants a uniform look for their lawn, and this product helps you get there with 10 feet of line and a full 90-degree rotation. And, with its convenient stabilizer handle, you’ll be able to keep your grip when contending with even the harshest vibrations. Between the handle’s contoured grip and sturdy central construction, you can use this tool for well over a decade with proper care and regular line replacements.3– Versatile Pick
BLACK+DECKER is one of those consistent brands every homeowner is familiar with, and this weed whacker shows exactly why. This 40-volt trimmer offers great power to keep your yard clear, all while running off of a single lithium-ion battery pack. This means you’ll be able to edge the side of your driveway, keep the sidewalk looking sharp, and delicately slice weeds around your plants like a true professional landscaper.
Included with your purchase, you’re also going to get a leaf blower that runs off the same battery pack, meaning you won’t be juggling multiple batteries during yard work. Even more, the battery offers an impressive two-hour runtime and works with other BLACK+DECKER yard tools. So, clean up your lawn’s weeds, use the blower, and get your yard taken care of without having to kneel in the garden and pluck weeds manually.
Finding Your Next Weed Whacker: A Buying Guide
Weed whackers serve a simple and fairly basic purpose. So long as it cuts weeds (and doesn’t simply bend them), you’ll have plenty of leeway to focus on other elements. Look for products with comfortable handles, a good length, and a powerful motor to get the job done quickly without the battery running out. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a heavy-duty weed whacker; just be sure to purchase one that will fit your yard’s needs and can create sharp edges.
The good thing is that just about every string trimmer is relatively affordable and can help you (minorly) hack away low-hanging thin branches and leaves off of trees if it’s powerful enough. If you’re buying one for someone else, you’ll want to consider the size of their yard and how hands-on they are when it comes to landscaping. If they simply want a short lawn to comply with HOA guidelines and aren’t huge on having it in pristine condition, you can get away with a cheaper model.
Weed Whackers Explained
Created by a man named George Ballas in Houston, the weed eater, also known as a string trimmer or weed whacker, has come a long way since its inception. It is an all-encompassing trimmer designed to help manage irregular growths along a grassy surface (i.e., weeds). The idea is to ensure the robust monofilament lining can spin through the weed and thick grass and trim it down to the desired level. The entire tool includes a long shaft and handles that ensure precise trimming from start to finish.
It’s important to note the traditional weed whacker was made to help maneuver around hard objects (i.e., decks, patios, sidewalks, fence lines) that traditional lawnmowers can’t get to without leaving a mess or missing a spot. This accurate gardening tool provides tremendous precision year-round and can work in tight corners without damaging anything along the way, thanks to the trimmer string. The combined powers of string trimmers and lawnmowers are sure to keep your yard in tip-top shape.
What To Look For in a Weed Whacker
When you’re in the market for a weed whacker, it’s best to focus on specific features that are necessary to make the tool even more useful. The market is flooded with various makes and models, and each one promises to be the finest thing since sliced bread. As a result, it’s important that users filter out bad options and find something worth their time and money.
To help you find something worthwhile, here are some of the key qualities to look for while on the hunt for a high-quality string trimmer.
A weed whacker’s power source is among the top things to look for. In our list, we’ve included nothing but electric weed eaters because gas string trimmers are falling out of popularity. This is because the cost of fuel for gas string trimmers adds up quickly, so they are not the ideal choice. This is where battery-powered string trimmers come in. They offer exceptional portability and convenience with their lightweight builds and lack of fuel requirements (aside from electricity or a battery, that is). That said, you also need to think about the trimmer’s battery life if you are going for a battery-powered option.
Your weed whacker may live for 10 years, but your battery will likely need to be replaced long before then. Look for warranties on the battery pack, but also pay note to how many volts it is in the first place. Battery solenoids will degrade over time and, on average, the more voltage your battery has, the longer it’s going to last (though you will see diminished battery life over time). Luckily, a new battery for your battery-powered weed whacker isn’t too expensive.
Cutting circumference and pole length
It’s important to consider a string trimmer’s overall cutting circumference and pole length. When using this tool, you want to cover more ground while remaining comfortable and supporting your lower lumbar. If you’re a taller person, look for a telescoping pole that’s no less than 36 inches in length from the handle to the string trimmer line.
Speaking of the string trimmer line, you should always opt for an automatic feed trimmer string line, so you don’t have to buy a pack of individual plastic blades and swap them out all the time. Auto feeds usually hold anywhere from 10 to 25 feet worth of string trimmer line at a time.
The power output refers to the amount of power generated by the weed eater’s motor as soon as it turns on. For example, some weed eaters can provide 400 to 1,200 watts, depending on the model. This motor is built into the overall design and used as a launching pad to spin the actual gears. Once these gears are in action, the monofilament line whirs into action and cuts through the excess weeds and thick grass.
The reason power output remains an important feature to look out for has to do with performance requirements. The more power a weed whacker offers, the more a user can do while working around their yard. Sometimes, certain growths are stubborn and can create quite a mess. This is where a high-powered gardening tool can push hard enough to cut right through the weed without unnecessary effort.
This is why more and more users are looking toward the weed whacker’s overall power production before investing in one. It’s become one of the keystone features of modern string trimmers.
To make sure a weed whacker does its job properly, manufacturers spend time assessing how “efficient” it is. This can relate to its power consumption metrics, power output (watts), durability, accuracy, or a combination of everything. Nowadays, more and more users are thinking about the overall efficiency of what’s being purchased. For example, is the weed whacker able to work well in all conditions? Will it do well on uneven hills?
Another factor that contributes to a string trimmer’s efficiency is variable speed control. A trimmer with variable speed control can be optimized to cut through any weeds or grass, no matter how thick. It will also optimize the weed whacker’s battery life because you can operate it at a lower speed for thin weeds, therefore decreasing the amount of energy needed.
In general, the average weed eater is made of robust gardening materials that are ideal for various environments, including drier conditions. This ensures that, whether it’s flat terrain or a hillside, everything is manageable as soon as trimming commences. The product should also be durable enough to last through regular use; if it isn’t able to hold up when trimming, it won’t be a valuable addition to your collection of gardening tools.
Durability also involves the line mechanism, which must be effective for the weed eater to function. If the line isn’t coming through as it is supposed to, the entire tool goes to waste and becomes unusable in the long run. This is why high standards are put on weed eaters to have robust line-feeding mechanisms from day one.
A weed whacker’s usability has to be taken into account while comparing options. This can include its weight, dimensions, ergonomics, and everything else associated with general usability. Some of the finest weed whackers on the market offer performance, durability, and usability, all wrapped into one reliable package. This is why they appeal to the masses and work in various situations without issue.
Usability can also refer to how well a weed whacker works in certain conditions. For example, if the trimmer only works well in dry conditions, it’s not going to be as easy to manage and may even get in the way of what’s being trimmed. This can become a major hassle, which is why it’s important to think about how usable something is before investing.
With weed whackers, there’s also a small concern with the line-feeding mechanism. In cases where it is manually set up, this can be an additional hassle the user has to deal with from time to time. All of these details need to be accounted for well in advance!
While it doesn’t hold the same weight as power, durability, or even usability, for many people, price is often the most important factor in the end. This has much to do with budgeting, and the world of string trimmers is truly diverse. This means there are small, cheap options available right alongside some of the most expensive trimmers. It’s all about finding one that is in your price range while still getting the features that matter most.
Remember, simply having a high price tag doesn’t mean a weed whacker is good! Several cost-efficient models do the same thing and offer better price tags. It always comes down to what you need.
In general, a high-quality weed whacker isn’t going to pose too many issues along the way, but it’s important to have a safety net just in case. This is where a good warranty plan goes a long way. Many string trimmers come with a set warranty that’s meant to help protect users from a faulty purchase.
The average weed eater will come with a more traditional one-year warranty (parts and labor). That being said, certain brands do go above and beyond with this aspect, some even offering up to two to three years.
A string trimmer’s weight isn’t going to be the first thing users think about, but it does matter. In essence, trimmers are made of several different parts, and each weighs differently. It’s not only about the overall weight but also how it’s spread out from top to bottom.
A lightweight weed whacker is ideal, especially if you have a large yard with thick weeds. It may start to feel heavy after using it for a while, so opt for a lightweight one if you want to make cleaning up your yard an easier job.
Sometimes, however, a lightweight string trimmer can feel heavier because of weight distribution issues (i.e., it’s heavily weighted towards the head). This is why it’s best to look into how the trimmer is designed and how heavy it is in the hands. This is a key point for larger yards since no one wants to lug around a heavy weed whacker all day long.
Electric vs. Battery-operated vs. Gas
The string trimmer is more than a singular design that’s sold across the planet. In fact, it’s a diverse category with numerous styles, intricacies, and features — this includes how the motor is powered. In general, you will see three different options: electric-powered, battery-operated, and gas-powered motors.
Each type of trimmer has its pros and cons, which is why it’s best to weigh each before making a decision. Before going through these pros and cons, it’s important to note that each option has merits in the right situation, and it always comes down to preference. That said, we recommend staying away from gas string trimmers. They are quickly becoming outdated as their environmentally-friendly competitors become more efficient. Gas string trimmers also have a higher cost over time since you’ll have to continuously buy fuel for the motor.
An electric weed whacker is designed to work with a cord, which runs from the electric-powered trimmer straight into a valid outlet. The electricity can power the motor as long as the cord is attached to the outlet. In general, these trimmers settle in the 400 to 1,200-watt range and are useful for small yards/lawns.
- Pros: Easy to start, ideal for smaller jobs, consistent power generation
- Cons: Limited range, unhelpful for industrial projects
Battery-operated trimmers are ideal for small-level tasks where a simple weed whacker can help speed up things compared to manual alternatives. The battery can vary in size and output but is often harnessed next to the motor. This can be ideal for users looking for a simple, easy-to-use solution.
- Pros: Great range, lightweight
- Cons: Inconsistent, very dependent on the battery’s quality
This is regarded as the most powerful kind of string trimmer and is often spotted around construction sites. Gas-powered trimmers are reliant on the use of fuel to help power the motor and, as long as there is fuel, work very well. There are several versions of this type of trimmer and it is regarded as a great option. That said, these weed whackers rely upon fuel to work, which also increases their overall cost over time. So, if that’s a concern, gas string trimmers may not be for you.
- Pros: Ideal for industrial use, tremendous power output, consistent power generation, long range
- Cons: Complicated startup, increased wear and tear, reliant on fuel to work
It’s important to note that each variation brings something unique to the table, so your final choice is always going to depend on your needs. For some, the industry-grade qualities of a gas-powered weed eater will stand out, while others may want a residential-friendly electric-powered version instead. This is why it’s important to look through each kind and select one based on your preferences.
Performance and Function
A weed whacker needs to perform well. This is because it’s reliant on the motor successfully powering the monofilament line and efficiently spinning through the excess weeds.
Along with cutting through weeds efficiently, everything needs to be done consistently and safely, which is why the handles are generally ergonomically constructed. With a well-balanced handle and shaft, everything is kept manageable, whether it’s cutting through large weeds or simply rounding out the corners along a winding pathway.
Features You May Find in Weed Whackers
There are a handful of specific features that differentiate weed eaters from each other. As such, it’s recommended to weigh each feature based on your requirements before making a purchase. This will depend on the type of weeds being trimmed, range requirements, weight, and more. Everything has to fit, and this begins with the right selection of features.
Here are some of the most important features to look for when on the search for a weed whacker:
The “auto-feed” trimmer refers to the automated process associated with trimming. As soon as trimming begins, the line will continue to be fed forward to ensure it cuts through the weeds as intended. This is a unique process that eliminates the need for manual corrections to the actual trimming during your session.
As soon as the line starts to shorten, the trimmer knows it’s time to extend its line. This keeps things straightforward for the average user. That said, it’s important to note that the advancing mechanism can be halted and/or ruined by damaging the front of the trimmer (i.e., slamming it against the curb).
The fixed-line weed whacker is a straightforward setup. It is designed to have a fixed amount of lime available to the user during their trimming session. This is ideal for those who don’t want to deal with potential tangles associated with traditional line mechanisms.
The “bump feed” weed whacker is a unique variation that uses force or “bumps” to ensure the line continues to pop forward as soon as it runs out. For example, let’s imagine that while you’re trimming, all of a sudden, the line comes to an end as naturally expected. In this case, a gentle bump on the front-facing head will push the line forward and make it available again. This process continues until the overall line runs out and there’s nothing left to push forward.
A good example to illustrate this would be a soap dispenser. Imagine the line to be liquid soap. You press the small button to get a small amount of soap, but there eventually comes a point when it runs out. This is when you refill the dispenser.
The Different Parts of a String Trimmer
The shaft is used to reach forward and get to those crevices around your yard without bending. Instead of manual processes where you would bend down to take out weeds, this ensures everything is done while standing. The shaft is long enough to reach those tight spots in seconds while maintaining full control.
This is where the action takes place, and it’s the most important part of a modern weed whacker. The head is where the motor, as well as the monofilament line, is housed. It ensures everything is functional and working the way it is supposed to while you’re removing weeds. This is also the part that will come in contact with the weeds when it’s time to trim away. While each string trimmer will have its own set of features, the head remains an integral part of how it works.
Maintaining Your Weed Whacker
As with any gardening tool, maintaining your weed whacker is important. A well-maintained weed whacker can be the difference between a sharp, attention-grabbing lawn and a forgettable one. According to Lindsey Hyland, founder of UrbanOrganicYield.com, some important maintenance steps include “cleaning the air filter every 25 hours of use and replacing it after 100 hours; draining old fuel from the tank and adding fresh, ethanol-free fuel; checking the spark plug regularly and replacing as needed; changing engine oil every 50 hours of use; sharpening or replacing the string at least once a year; checking all bolts and screws regularly to ensure they are tightened securely; and covering or storing the machine when not in use.” By following these simple but essential care instructions, your weed whacker will keep your lawn looking its best for years to come.
Safety is an essential part of any gardening tool, and this is no different for weed whackers. In fact, several high-grade safety features are integrated into the designs of these tools. For example, the front end often has a safety lock that will keep users safe if they press against the wrong item.
People Also AskQ: Can I use a weed whacker in wet weather conditions?
A: It is not advisable to use your corded or cordless weed whacker in wet weather conditions due to the risk of injury.Q: How much does a weed whacker cost?
A: A weed whacker can cost anywhere between $100 and $600. It’s important to note, however, that this is a general estimate as some of the newer models can cost more than $1,000.Q: Is a cordless string trimmer better than a corded one?
A: Both cordless and corded string trimmers use electricity to operate, so the main difference between them is their power source. A corded weed eater will need a continuous electricity supply and are more suitable for large yards. Cordless ones are battery-operated and, as a result, are more portable.Q: Is using a weed whacker difficult?
A: Despite how difficult it may sound to use and control a weed whacker, these products are surprisingly intuitive. Provided you're handling it properly and have taken the appropriate precautions, using one isn't that hard.Q: Should I weed whack before or after mowing?
A: While this does really depend on your preferences, it's good to keep in mind that weed whacking first will keep your lawn a little cleaner. This is because you'll be able to mow up whatever debris the weed-whacking process may have left behind.Check Out:The Best Weed Killers to Keep Your Yard HealthyWorking on your lawn or garden is a therapeutic hobby. Sadly, there are external factors that hinder you from enjoying it to the fullest. Anyone who has a green thumb…The Best Leaf Blower for Cleaning Out Your YardIt soon will be that time of the year again when leaves begin to change color and fall. As beautiful as these colorful leaves look, they always end up leaving…The Best Insect Repellents to Ward Off Scary PestsWhen spending time outdoors, you're always prone to insect bites and bad bugs that are swarming around. While the instant pain of a bug bite is a piece of cake,…