If you do your own yard work, a string trimmer is a must. Only through the use of one of these specialized machines will you be able to cut through the tall grass around the sidewalk, mailbox, and trees. Luckily, string trimmers aren’t expensive and are pretty straightforward to use.
We tested quite a few string trimmers to ensure that you only purchase the best. We considered each trimmer’s cost, durability, battery life, ease of use, power, and customer reviews.
After some deliberation, the Black+Decker LSTE523 Li-On String Trimmer rose to the top of our list. This trimmer can be converted to a wheeled edger for even more versatility. A power drive transition makes this driver very powerful and comes with 2-speed control for extended runtime. The easy-feed feature allows you to advance the line with the press of a button, so no bumping is required.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated String Trimmers
|Best Overall||Black+Decker LSTE523 Li-On String Trimmer||4.3|
|Best Gas-Powered String Trimmer||Husqvarna 128LD 17” Gas String Trimmer||4.2|
|Best Budget Buy||Black+Decker String Trimmer BESTA510||4.4|
|Best Curved Shaft String Trimmer||Husqvarna 128CD 17” Gas String Trimmer||4.3|
|Best Electric String Trimmer||WORX WG163 GT Cordless String Trimmer & Edger||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best String Trimmer Overall: Black+Decker LSTE523 Li-On String Trimmer
This string trimmer is the perfect option for most homeowners. It easily converts into a wheeled edger, which can make trimming certain areas of your yard much easier. The maximum initial battery voltage of this machine is 20 volts, while the average for string trimmers is usually around 18. In other words, this machine’s battery can release more power, which makes the machine more powerful in general.
It comes with a power drive transmission, giving it more power and torque. It comes with 2-speed control. This feature allows you to have better control of the machine and makes the battery last longer. If you keep the machine on a lower setting, it will last longer than if you keep it at full-blast during all the tasks. If you keep it at the lower setting for the majority of your lawn care, then it can last for up to 2 hours.
With the easy-feed system, you can advance your line with the press of a button with no bumping required. The length is adjustable, which allows you to use it no matter your height. The handle is also very comfortable and many customers reported that it prevented them from becoming fatigued during long hours of use.
Black+Decker LSTE523 Li-On String Trimmer Key Features:
- 20-volt battery
- Power-drive transmission
- Converts to trimmer to wheeled edger
Best Gas-Powered String Trimmer: Husqvarna 128LD 17” Gas String Trimmer
If you would rather have a string trimmer that runs off of gas, the Husqvarna 128LD 17” Gas String Trimmer is a suitable option. This trimmer runs on a mixture or unleaded gas and 2-cycle oil. You will have to mix the gas yourself, but a bottle and mixing instructions are included with your purchase. The trimmer head is 17”, which is a little bit longer than most. This allows you to cut a larger area at a time. You can quickly and easily release more line by tapping the trimmer head against the grass, activating the Tap ‘N Go line release feature. When it is time to replace the trimmer line, the process is very straightforward.
You can monitor the amount of fuel in the machine thanks to its translucent gas tank. You can also remove unwanted air from the carbonator using the air purge primer bulb, which is included for free with your purchase.
One of the best parts of this machine is its compatibility with other attachments. It can become an edger for keeping pathways and flower beds nice and neat, as well as a cultivator for tilling small areas of your lawn. You can also transform it into a pole saw with the proper attachment.
Husqvarna 128LD 17” Gas String Trimmer Key Features:
- Multiple attachments available
- Tap ‘N Go line release feature
- Air purge primer bulb included
- Easy to reload
Best Budget String Trimmer: Black+Decker String Trimmer BESTA510
For a truly budget option, you can’t beat the Black+Decker String Trimmer BESTA510. This trimmer is available at a fraction of the price of other string trimmers. It features a 14-inch reach. This makes it smaller than most other options, but should still be plenty for your average homeowner. It comes with a built-in edging wheel for cleaning up the edges around your yard’s paths and flower beds. It is electric, which means that it must stay plugged in. Depending on your home, this can be an issue. If a cord isn’t going to reach everywhere you need to use this machine, you may find yourself running into difficulties. With that said, this is a large reason why this string trimmer is so cheap compared to other options.
This string trimmer does come with an automatic feeder system, which eliminates to need for you to bump it for more string. Instead, the machine will automatically release more string when it needs to. Furthermore, it comes with a cord retention system that prevents the machine from accidentally disconnecting while you’re working. You can also take advantage of its 2-year limited warranty and 30-day, money-back guarantee.
Black+Decker String Trimmer BESTA510 Key Features:
- 8000 RPM
- Leaf collection bin add-on available
Best Curved Shaft String Trimmer: Husqvarna 128CD 17” Gas String Trimmer
The Husqvarna 128CD 17” Gas String Trimmer is very similar to our other top pick produced by Husqvarna. However, this once has a curved shaft instead of a straight one. This makes the weight more evenly distributed, allowing you to operate it for longer periods without fatiguing. If trimming your yard takes hours, then this is the trimmer you need. It is also the best option for professionals, though it also comes with a professional-level price tag.
It runs on a mixture of unleaded gas and 20cycle oil. Mixing instructions and a mixing bottle are included with your purchase. It is extremely easy to reload the trimmer with line and the translucent fuel tank allows you to easily see inside the gas tank to monitor fuel levels. An air purge primer bulb is also included to help you remove unwanted air from the carburetor and the fuel system.
There are plenty of optional attachments available as well. An optional edger allows you to make clearly defined edges around your lawn and a tilling attachment allows you to till smaller areas. A pole saw attachment is also available, allowing you to saw off hard-to-reach limbs. The trimmer is also backed by a 2-year warranty for residential use.
Husqvarna 128CD 17” Gas String Trimmer Key Features:
- Translucent fuel tank
- Multiple attachments available
- Curved shaft
- Optional attachments available
Best Electric String Trimmer: WORX WG163 GT Cordless String Trimmer & Edger
The WORX WG163 GT Cordless String Trimmer & Edger is electric and cordless. You can purchase it with a regular charger or a quick charger, depending on your needs. You can also purchase it with various attachments, such as a leaf blower, a drill, and a hedge trimmer. Of course, these add-ons come at an extra fee. However, they beat purchasing another whole tool for these jobs.
With a command feed spool system, you can instantly feed more line with the press of a button. Plus, this trimmer comes with free spools for life, which can be incredibly helpful if you run through line quickly. Two batteries are included, allowing you to charge one and use the other. Both batteries are 20V and lightweight, preventing fatigue. The batteries can also be used with other tools in the WORX PowerShare family. While the batteries are 20V, you can also use them to power 40V tools in this PowerShare family.
The head tilts a full 90-degrees so you can trim and edge sloped terrain and reach those tough-to-reach places. The wheels are rubberized to provide more accuracy while you’re edging for straighter and cleaner lines. There is also a spacer guard to prevent you from accidentally damaging plants and other landscape features.
WORX WG163 GT Cordless String Trimmer & Edger Key Features:
- Head tilt 90-degrees
- Instant line feed spool system
- Spacer guard
Who Should Buy a String Trimmer
If you do your own yard work, you simply must get a string trimmer. Lawnmowers cannot get close to larger objects like fences, trees, and lawn ornaments. Because of this, the grass up against those objects will continue to grow and grow, even if you’re mowing your yard regularly. To get to this hard-to-reach vegetation, a string trimmer is required. These machines are specifically designed to solve this problem and do it very well.
Plus, sting trimmers can also be used for other purposes. Many can convert into an edger, which is just a trimmer that is at a 90-degree angle with the ground. These tools are used to trim alongside paths, driveways, and pieces of landscaping. They ensure that your yard is full of nice, clean lines. Some also come with attachments that let them morph into everything from a leaf blower to a pole saw. In many cases, one of these machines can take the place of many.
For a more detailed trim, then you may want to try The Best Pruning Shears, and if you’re looking for more expansive, check out The Best Electric Lawn Mowers.
Important Feature to Consider
A string trimmer should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a string trimmer for your lawn:
- Durability. While string trimmers aren’t extremely expensive, they do take a decent chunk out of your wallet. No one wants to purchase a string trimmer multiple times if they don’t have to. To avoid this, it is essential that the trimmer you purchase is made of durable materials. Generally, the more expensive the trimmer, the more durable it is. You can also check the customer reviews for information on how long their specific machine lasted.
- Versatility. Many string trimmers today can transform into other lawn care tools like edgers and leaf blowers. The more machines a string trimmer can take the place of, the fewer things you’ll have to purchase to take good care of your yard. Many trimmers may require you to purchase optional add-ons to get these versatile options. However, they are often worth it when they prevent you from purchasing another whole tool.
- Power type. Trimmers come in multiple power types. Some run on batteries, some require an outlet, and others run off of gas. There are benefits for each of these types. Batteries don’t require you to mix your own gas, but you’ll have to keep them charged. Corded trimmers are often cheaper and ready to go at all times. However, you can only go as far as the cord will let you. You don’t have to wait for a gas trimmer to recharge, but you do have to remember to purchase gas for it and often have to mix the gas yourself.
- Line feed method. As you use the trimmer, you’ll need to release more line. Different trimmers approach this function differently. Some release line with the press of a button. Others require you to tap the trimmer on the ground. Some even do it automatically. In our experience, it really doesn’t matter what option you choose. Instead, it is mostly a matter of your personal preference.
- Shaft type. Trimmers come with two different shaft types: curved and straight. Straight are the most common and often cheaper. Curved shafts are really designed for professionals to prevent fatigue with extended use. Unless you’re outside using a trimmer all day, it doesn’t really matter what kind you get. However, for those with massive yards, a curved shaft is best.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a string trimmer and how does it work?
String trimmers are a small, lightweight outdoor tool that is designed to get rid of hard-to-reach grass and weeds. Basically, they have a line that spins very quickly, allowing the line to cut through the grass.
Which is better, gas or battery-powered string trimmer?
It really depends. Gas-powered string trimmers generally have more power than their electric counterparts. You can use them for however long you need to as long as you have enough gas. They are also somewhat more durable since there isn’t a battery or cord to break. However, you have to purchase fuel, which can add up over time, and they are quite noisy. Some also release dangerous emissions that you shouldn’t be exposed to for long periods.
Electric, battery-powered string trimmers must be charged, which can limit the length of time you can use them. However, they are often more environmentally friendly and are quiet to operate.
Why does my trimmer line keep breaking?
A common reason your line might be breaking is if you’re working through particularly hard and stiff weeds or woody plants. Hitting hard surfaces can also cause the line to break. The line could also be moving too fast, causing it to hit the weeds and grass to hard. In these cases, it is important to move the cutting head slowly towards what you want to cut so that you’re using the tip of the line. You should also ease off of the throttle.
Old line can become brittle and break easily as well. You should also aim to use the round line, as other types of line are prone to breaking more often.
How do you use a string trimmer like a pro?
Firstly, remember to always use the tip of the line for cutting. Otherwise, you may break your line or have difficulty getting anything cut at all.
You should also remember that the debris will eject in the direction that the cord is spinning. Eject the debris away from your cutting area using this information.
Finally, learn specialized techniques like tapering and scything. These techniques can give you a more manicured-looking yard and prevent your string from breaking unnecessarily.
Other String Trimmers We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other string trimmers. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best string trimmers list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Gas-Powered String Trimmers
- Electric String Trimmers
- Curved String Trimmers
- Cordless String Trimmers
Gas-Powered String Trimmers
With a straight shaft, this gas-powered string trimmer is a good choice for most homeowners. It has a multi-position handle and reduced vibrations to decrease fatigue.
- 4-cycle engine
- 17-inch cutting width
- No mixing gas required
This trimmer has a variable speed for extra control and added power. It is lightweight and ergonomic, making it a solid choice for most homeowners.
- 13” cutting swath
- Variable trigger
- Balanced design
With a spring-assisted starter system, this machine is very easy to start. It also comes with a SureFire Fuel Delivery system, which makes starting it even easier.
- Dual-line feeder
- Air purge feature
PowerSmart PS451 Gas String Trimmer
This gas-powered engine doesn’t require you to mix gas and oil. It is powerful and runs quieter than most other gas machines.
- 3-teeth blade included
- 2-cycle engine
This trimmer is designed to be easy to use. It has a straight shaft and does not require you to mix gas and oil.
- String trimmer
- Straight shaft
- 4-cycle engine
Electric String Trimmers
Greenworks 15-Inch Corded String Trimmer
This trimmer is extremely lightweight at only 7.05 pounds. It has a 15-inch cutting path and an edging wheel for paths.
- Ideal for small yards
- Edging wheel
Greenworks 18-inch 10 AMP Corded String Trimmer
This lightweight and simple trimmer is suitable for small to medium yards. It has a large cutting path of 18” and a cushion grip.
- Quick-connect coupler
- Over-mold grip
- Compatible with GreenWorks spools
Scotts Outdoor Power Tools ST00213S
A powerful, 4-amp motor allows this trimmer to tackle thick grass and weeds. It is corded electric and requires no gas or oil mixing.
- 3-position flip-and-edge feature
- Powerful 4-amp motor
- Built-in cord retention
At an extremely inexpensive price, you can purchase this string trimmer. It is great for smaller yards and townhouse lots and comes in multiple color options.
- Powerful 2.5-amp motor
- 10-inch cutting path
- Ergonomic handle
Toro 51480 Corded Electric Trimmer
This trimmer comes with 5-amp motor and 14-inch cutting path to make quick work of any weeds or grasses. It has a telescoping shaft and adjustable assist handle.
- Telescoping shaft
- 2-year warranty
- 14-inch dual-line cutting head
Curved String Trimmers
This string trimmer is designed for commercial use, with features and a price tag to match. It does require you to mix oil and gas for use.
- 5-year warranty on most parts
- Lifetime warranty on coil
- Easy start
Because of its spin start feature, this string trimmer reduces resistance on the starter cord by up to 40%. The fuel pump is also designed for easy starting.
- Spin start
Makita ER400MO Curved String Trimmer
With a 17” cutting path, this bump and feed shaft attachment is a good choice for homeowners with large yards. It weighs less than most machines to prevent fatigue.
- Fits most shaft arbor
- Bump and feed system
Remington RM2519 Rustler 25cc 2-cycle
Quickstart technology makes it very easy to start up this trimmer and a curved shaft helps reduce fatigue. It comes with thicker line for more durability as well.
- 25CC Gas Engine
- 2-year limited warranty
- Thicker line
While this is technically an edger, it also converts into a string trimmer. It does both jobs very well and is a great two-in-one tool.
- Ergonomic front handle
- 100% line feeder
- Rotating head
Cordless String Trimmer
This high-performance string trimmer comes with a 40V battery for maximum power and a power drive transmission. It can convert into an edger very quickly for some extra versatility as well.
- 3-year limited warranty
- Automatic feed spool
- High-torque transmission
Greenworks 12-inch Cordless String Trimmer
This string trimmer comes with a large 40V battery system that is compatible with 25 different tools. It has an auto-feed head system that can trim very quickly.
- Variable speed trigger
- 40V battery
Greenworks 14-inch Cordless String Trimmer
This cordless string trimmer is electric and uses a 4.0 AH battery. It is smaller than the corded trimmer made by the same company.
- Attachments available
- Brushless motor
- Battery and charger included
Makita XRU11M1 18V String Trimmer Kit
With a brushless motor, this string trimmer kit can run for up to 30 minutes at a time and comes with a 4.0Ah battery. It also comes with variable speed options.
- 3-speed options
- 11-3/4” cutting swath
- BL Brushless motor
WORX WG16.8 GT Trimmer and Edger
This string trimmer can also morph into an edger. The handle can be adjusted into different positions to ensure that you can stay comfortable.
- Head pivots 90 degrees
- Push-button spool release system