Nobody enjoys having weeds and long grass choking out their lawn and sprouting around fences and walkways, but it can be difficult to get rid of them. Traditional lawn mowers are great for covering large areas, but they lack the finesse necessary to really get close to edges and eliminate dandelions, clover, and nettles from around gardens and driveways. When weeds are a problem, it’s a good idea to invest in a string trimmer.
String trimmers used the power of rapidly rotating strings to cut down weeds where they stand. But choosing the right one, especially when there are so many on the market, can be a difficult process. Luckily for you, we’ve eliminated the guesswork by identifying the three best options on the market and ranking their pros and cons. Which one will you prefer?
What Is a String Trimmer?
A string trimmer is a specific edging tool that consists of a long shaft, handle, small engine, and then a head that contains a spool of tough monofilament string. When turned on, the engine propels the string, which sticks out through two holes, and causes it to spin at high speeds. These strings produce enough force to slice through weeds and long grass and cut them down.
This tool wasn’t invented until the 1970s, when George Ballas of Houston, Texas developed a prototype using a fishing line to cut through pesky weeds. It worked well and was quickly picked up by other manufacturers.
String trimmers can vary considerably between manufacturers and go by a myriad of names. They have also been called weed whackers, weed eaters, line trimmers, and even weed whips. The monofilament can be a variety of materials, although the most common in the United States it sturdy and durable nylon. This string is meant to break down over time during regular use, and most trimmers will have a way to automatically dispense more line from an internal spool for simple and easy weed whacking.
These tools can be powered by electric batteries or a combustion engine. Combustion engines typically require a mixture of gasoline and oil to function. While the electric trimmer is more environmentally friendly, it tends to have less power than the gas version. For this reason, we’ve focused on gas trimmers to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
What to Know When Picking a String Trimmer
Not all gas string trimmers are the same. Some will have more power than others, and the sheer force of the vibrations produced by the engine varies. There is additionally a variety of starting mechanisms available, as well as different monofilament lengths, straight vs. curved shafts, adjustable heads, and whether or not the engine is near the top or bottom of the tool.
When it comes to picking the right string trimmer, there are a couple of beneficial characteristics for which to search. First and foremost is a reliable amount of power. How much you need will depend on your situation, but you typically want a trimmer capable of tearing through grass, dandelions, and other common weeds in your area.
You then need to figure out what style of trimmer you want. A model with a straight shaft will typically have an adjustable height, while curved shafts are easier to grip and maneuver. The length of the monofilament strings determines how large of an area you can trim at once, and big swathes are preferable to small ones. When it comes to adjustable heads, these are whether or not the trimmer head can be removed from the shaft and replaced with another tool like a blower or chainsaw. This is a useful feature for someone who has a lot of yard work, but useless for someone who just wants a weed eater.
The ideal trimmer is what you need and are comfortable using, but should be overall effective, efficient, and within budget.
Check Out These Powerful Prospects
This product stands out from the competition by having dimensions of 12.2 x 10.2 x 40 in. but weighing a mere 11 lbs., making it one of the most lightweight gas string trimmers currently on the market. The device is easy to hold and doesn’t suffer from extreme vibrations like other products, so user arms won’t wear out as quickly. A detachable shaft allows for easy transportation and storage, and the trimmer head has a broad cutting swathe of 17 in.
The Husqvarna 128LD features a 28cc, two-cycle engine that packs a punch despite its size. It runs on a mixture of oil and gasoline and includes a strong cable wire braided drive. There are multiple heads available to replace the string trimmer, including attachments for an edger, tiller, and pole saw.
- The heads are easy to install and remove
- A 2-year warranty is included
- This trimmer is lightweight
- Multiple sizes of monofilament line fit in the head
- Sometimes the carburetor screws need adjusting
- The staff is short for people around 6 ft. and taller
This string trimmer is one of the easiest to use because it utilizes a dual-line feed Tap’N Go head. With this style, all someone has to do is tap the trimmer head on the ground to release more monofilament line for weed whacking. The straight shaft is also easy to hold and features an effortless pull start that makes starting up the Poulan Pro PR25SD a breeze.
This model has five separate head attachments that can be used in place of the string trimmer, including a blower, edger, brush cutter, and tiller. The full product dimensions are 10.2 x 10 x 39.8 in. and each one weighs 14 lbs., which is the industry standard. This model features a SureFire 25cc 2-cycle gas engine and has a maximum cutting swathe of 17 in., which is quite generous.
- The heads are suitable for almost all yard work
- The bump head feature makes like replacement easy
- The trimmer has a wide cutting swathe
- Warranty information isn’t available
- The handle can wiggle loose
Unlike other gas string trimmers, this model combines the function of the trimmer with that of a brush cutter, allowing users to tear down all sorts of unwanted weeds and growths with ease. It features a powerful 52cc 2-cycle, full crankshaft engine and is easy to start. There is vibration suppression to help reduce how much the Sunseeker BCI52 shakes during operation, making it comfortable to hold.
The aluminum shaft is durable and the handles resemble those on a bicycle, making them easy to hold for the average individual. This is one of the longest gas string trimmers with dimensions of 12.2 x 12.2 x 75.2 in. It weighs around 23.9 lbs., which is much heavier than average but the Sunseeker BCI52 is far more powerful than the industry standard, making it great for people with large yards and durable weeds. This trimmer comes with an additional 2-year warranty to cover typical wear and tear and manufacturer error.
- Includes a powerful brushcutter as part of the trimmer
- Includes a vibration dampening mechanism
- Customer service is quick to respond to warranty claims
- This trimmer is quite heavy and more difficult to carry
Although all of these models are great, the best one is the Sunseeker BCI52 2-in-1 Straight Shaft Grass Trimmer. It is powerful, durable, and includes a couple of attachments capable of handling any type of yard work available. It also comes with a great warranty, good customer service, and helps offset its weight by including vibration dampening technology. Anyone interested in an excellent gas string trimmer definitely needs to check this one out.