Tips

Best Weed Eaters of 2017

By · May 11, 2017

A weed eater, or string trimmer, is a useful tool to help give your lawn the finishing touch.  They are typically used to trim back weeds and grass from sidewalks, but they can also get to hard-to-reach places that a mower can’t get to such as around trees, fences, mailboxes, and shrubs.

Overview

In the table below you’ll find the best weed eaters we’ve found for 2017.

Weed Eater
Our Rating
Weed Eater
Stihl FSE 60
  • 8.8 lbs
  • 14” cut
  • Corded electric, 5.3 amps
  • Dual line head
Our Rating
Weed Eater
Echo GT-225
  • 10.1 lbs
  • 16” cut
  • Gas, 21.1 cc, 2 cycle
  • Dual line head
Our Rating
Weed Eater
Ryobi RY40210
  • 13 lbs
  • 11-13” cut
  • Cordless electric, 40 volt
  • Single line head
Our Rating
Weed Eater
Husqvarna 324L
  • 11 lbs
  • 18” cut
  • Gas, 25 cc, 4-cycle
  • Dual line head
Our Rating
Weed Eater
Black and Decker LST136W
  • 7.8 lbs
  • 13” cut
  • Cordless electric, 40 volt
  • Single line head
Our Rating
Weed Eater
Homelite 2-cycle gas trimmer
  • 9.5 lbs
  • 17” cut
  • Gas, 26 cc, 2-cycle
  • Dual line head
Our Rating
Weed Eater
Troy Bilt TB575 EC
  • 11.7 lbs
  • 17” cut
  • Gas, 29 cc, 4-cycle
  • Dual line head
Our Rating
Weed Eater
Craftsman 79437
  • 10.5 lbs
  • 16” cut
  • Gas, 25 cc, 2-cycle
  • Dual line head
Our Rating
Weed Eater
Worx 32-Volt GT2.0
  • 6.2 lbs
  • 12” cut
  • Cordless electric, 32 volt
  • Single line head
Our Rating
Weed Eater
Toro 51480
  • 6.3 lbs
  • 14” cut
  • Corded electric, 5 amps
  • Dual line head
Our Rating
Weed Eater
Poulan Pro PP28LD
  • 10 lbs
  • 17” cut
  • Gas, 28 cc, 2-cycle
  • Dual line head
Our Rating

Selection Guide: What to look for in a weed eater

A string trimer is usually constructed of a long shaft with a handle at one end and a reel of plastic string at the other.  The string revolves with a high enough speed to cut through weeds and grass.  This is a great tool for a person with back problems.  You can eliminate weeds without the stress of constantly bending over to pull by hand.

Electric weed eater

Electric weed eaters do not have a battery or gasoline. They, instead, offer constant power through a power cord.  They typically aren’t as powerful as gas-powered and the maneuverability of the tool may be hampered by the power cord.  They are smaller, lighter in weight, and quieter than gas-powered while also producing zero emissions.  They are also the easiest the start.  All you have to do is press a button.

Gas weed eater

Gas-powered weed eaters have the most powerful motors available.  They can hold more string and cut more than electric and battery models.  Depending on the engine they may require a mix of oil and gas.  They are also heavier and louder than other types.  This is best for a larger yard with heavy growth.  They are typically started with a pull cord.  Look for a model with a translucent fuel tank so that you may easily identify when the fuel level is low.

Battery powered weed eater

A battery weed eater is powered by a battery and, as a result, is cordless.  They are typically the lowest in weight and also the quietest.  They are not restricted by a power cord, as a result the range is limitless.  You will need to pay attention to the battery as the life is not infinite.  Most models allow the battery to be removed to be charged so you may switch to a spare and continue with your tasks.  Look for a lithium-ion battery rated from 40-80 volts to get the most power and longest runtime.

Features

Check out the power output on the string trimmer before purchasing.  It will be measured in amps (A) on an electric trimmer, volts (V) on a battery trimmer, and cubic centimeters (cc) on a gas trimmer.

A gas trimmer will contain an engine that is either 2-cycle or 4-cycle.  A 2-cycle engine is lighter in weight and runs on a blend of oil and gas that you can mix yourself or purchase premixed.  A 4-cycle weed eater engine is more powerful and heavier and runs on gasoline alone.  It requires regular oil changes, but runs more smoothly and is easier to start.

A trimmer with a curved shaft allows you to trim in tight spots and can be easier to control.  A straight shaft will allow you access under obstacles such as benches or shrubs.  They are better balanced and will last longer.  To allow you to change the height of the trimmer look for an adjustable shaft.

The width of the cutting area is indicated by the cutting swath.

For a multi-use tool look for a trimmer that is able to convert to an edger.  An edger-capable trimmer will convert from trimmer to edger while keep the handles and controls the same.

The line, or string, of the trimmer can either be single or dual-line.  A single-line head has only one string used for cutting.  They are easier to wind when installing a new line.  A dual-head used two lines of string to cut which increases the amount you are able to cut per revolution.

Different types of trimmer line is available to make your trimmer more efficient.  Standard-grade line is economical and best for low-intensity trimming and smaller yards.  Commercial-grade line is best for large yards with heavy patches of grass and weeds.  Keep an extra spool of thread so you are always prepared.

The spool of string is wound around a cap in the trimmer head.  The string sticks out through holes in the cap.  As the string wears out it will need to be advanced.  A bump head feeds the string when the head is tapped on the ground.  An automatic-feed head will advance the string automatically as needed using centrifugal force.  This eliminates tangles in the line and the need for winding.

Look for a model that has a fast-loading spool which lets you insert a new line and wind it without taking the spool apart.  You can also find models with a fixed-line head which instead of using a spool used precut pieces of line.

Models that offer variable speed allow you great control.  You will be able to provide different levels of power for a variety of cutting conditions.

What are the best weed eaters of 2017?

Stihl weed eater

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The corded electric weed eater by Stihl is a powerful model without the emissions.  It is lightweight, easy to start, and quiet.  It is appropriate for light to moderate yard work.

Pros

  • Noise level: 60 dB
  • Curved shaft
  • Controls on handle
  • Adjustable handle
  • Built-in cord retainer
  • Bump line

Cons

  • Bump head may not release the line sufficiently

Learn More

Echo weed eater

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The commercial-grade Echo string trimmer is powered by a gasoline engine.  The rapid-load trimmer head makes replacing the line quick and easy.

Pros

  • Fuel tank capacity: 14.9 oz
  • Bump feed
  • Curved shaft\
  • 48” long
  • Rapid feed line advance
  • Anti-vibration handle
  • Fixed line

Cons

  • String may break

Learn More

Ryobi weed eater

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The battery-powered cordless string trimmer by Ryobi is a weed eater as well as an edger.  The head pivots to easily convert from trimmer to edger.  The speed is variable to allow for more power or a longer battery life.

Pros

  • Adjustable cutting swath
  • 40-volt lithium battery
  • Battery recharged in 2 hours
  • Straight shaft\
  • 55” long
  • Automatic line advance system
  • 90-degree pivoting head converts from trimmer twalk-behind edger
  • Connextion Attachment System allows the trimmer taccept attachments tconvert it ta pole pruner\
  • hedge trimmer\
  • or edger
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Battery lasts for only 1 hr.

Learn More

Husqvarna weed eater

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The Husqvarna trimmer features a powerful 4-cycle engine with a Smart Start and air purge which removes air from the carburetor and fuel system to allow you to easily start the engine with minimal effort.  It is a great for homeowners looking for a model with commercial power and performance.

Pros

  • Runs on pure gasoline
  • Bump line feed
  • Straight shaft
  • Loop handle for maneuverability
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • No anti-vibration features

Learn More

Black and decker weed eater

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The Black and Decker electric weed eater is battery powered and features a Power Command System to allow you to adjust the motor power to adjust the power level and increase runtime.  It can covert from trimmer to edger easily with a quick turn of the shaft.

Pros

  • 40-volt lithium battery
  • Battery charges in one hour
  • Power drive transmission
  • Automatic feed spool\
  • nbumping
  • Spool speed: 6500-8500 RPM
  • Converts tedger without tools
  • Trimmer head rotates 180 degrees
  • Straight shaft

Cons

  • Consumes line quickly

Learn More

Homelite weed eater

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The gas-powered weed eater from Homelite features a clutched engine for easy starting and an easy-load, bump feed string head for convenience.

Pros

  • Fuel tank capacity: 12.8 oz
  • Curved shaft
  • Fast-loading head
  • Bump feed
  • Clutched engine
  • Ntools required treplace string
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Low string RPMs

Learn More

Troy bilt weed eater

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The Troy Bilt TB575 EC straight shaft trimmer is a powered by a 4-cycle engine for maximum torque and constant power.  It includes Spring Assist technology and Jump Start capability for an easy and simple start.

Pros

  • Runs on pure gasoline
  • Straight shaft
  • Auto-load head can be loaded with up t20 feet of line
  • Bump feed
  • Jump Start (sold separately) capable eliminates pull cord start
  • Spring Assist helps with pull cord
  • Attachment-capable design allows engine tpower 10 different attachments (sold separately)

Cons

  • Speed not variable

Learn More

Craftsman weed eater

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The Craftsman 79437 weed eater is lightweight and features a 2-cycle gas engine and curved shaft.  The bump-n-go cutting head gives new line when you need for an efficient use of time.

Pros

  • Fuel tank capacity: 9.92 fl oz
  • Curved shaft
  • Pull cord start
  • Bump line feed
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Shaft a bit short

Learn More

Worx weed eater

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The Worx GT2.0 is string trimmer, precision edger, and mini-mower all in one.  The weed eater lawn mower is lightweight and battery-powered and coverts from trimer to edger to mower in seconds without tools.

Pros

  • 32-volt battery
  • Comes with 3 pre-loaded spools
  • Free spools for the life of the trimmer
  • Dual-positioned in-wheels for easy edging
  • Wheels can be positioned tbe used as a mower
  • Tool-free adjustments between trimmer\
  • edger\
  • mower
  • Automatic line advancement
  • Adjustable spacer guard tprevent accidental cutting
  • Adjustable handle

Cons

  • Battery charges in 3 hours

Learn More

Toro weed eater

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The corded weed eater by Toro is powerful enough to make yard work effortless. It can be converted to an edger in seconds and starts with the push of a button.

Pros

  • Telescoping shaft
  • Adjustable handle
  • Automatic feed line
  • Converts from trimmer tedger in seconds
  • Aluminum shaft\
  • 48” long
  • Shield wheel guides the edger
  • Push start
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Speed not variable

Learn More

Poulan weed eater

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The Poulan Pro string trimmer features a gas motor and dual line head.  It is designed to accept 6 optional attachments so the motor can be used for blowing, tilling, hedge trimming, edging, brush cutting, and tree pruning.

Pros

  • Straight shaft
  • Bump head
  • Compatible with 6 attachments
  • Spring assisted start

Cons

  • No anti-vibration features

Learn More

Our Choice

The Black and Decker is a 2-in-1 machine that is easy to convert, and easy to operate.  It is light weight and maneuverable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find weed eater parts?

Parts and accessories for your weed eater can be purchased from most online and in-store retailers.

What kind of weed eater string should I use?

Use standard-grade line for small yards and lighter trimming.  Use commercial-grade line for large yards and heavier patches of grass or weeds.

What kind of weed eater attachments can I add?

Depending on your weed eater and what it is compatible with it may be able to convert to an edger, hedge trimmer, pole trimmer, blower, or brush cutter.  Make sure the model you are interested in is capable of using attachments.

What is the fuel-oil mix?

For 2-cycle gasoline engines you will need to use a mixture of gasoline and oil to fuel the motor.  This helps keep the engine lubricated.  You will need a ratio of 40:1 which you can achieve by mixing 3.2 oz. of engine oil with one gallon of gasoline.  You can also purchase premixed fuel.

What do I need to do to maintain my weed eater?

  • Before you start any sort of maintenance on your weed eater be sure the power is off. If it is a gas-powered model be sure the fuel tank is empty.  A battery-powered model should have the battery removed, and a corded-model unplugged.  Disconnect the spark plug.
  • Clean your trimmer once a season with a mixture of water and dish soap. Scrub lightly to remove dirt, grease, and debris.
  • The string will need to be replaced periodically. Start by removing the disk and dispose of any leftover string.  Restring,
  • Replace the air filter every 90 days.
  • Check the spark plug every three to four months. If it is black it needs to be replaced.
  • At the end of the season empty the fuel tank and dispose of any extra fuel.
  • Check as fastenings and tighten as needed before storing it for the season. Do not leave fuel in your weed eater from loner than 30 days.

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