The 5 Best Electric String Trimmers in 2020
Weeds and grass are difficult to pull out by hand and look unkempt when allowed to grow. The best electric string trimmer cuts through weeds and grass using centrifugal force to cut through those pesky areas of a lawn that lawn mowers can’t reach.
You can use a weed eater to trim grass and weeds along your:
- Flower beds
A lot of the leading models that you’ll find have rotating heads that allow you to use electric string trimmers for edging.
String trimmers provide:
- Ease cutting areas that lawn mowers cannot
- Versatility to cut weeds growing out of sidewalks
- Compact size for easy yard trimming
But due to their small swath size of 12” to 16” (depending on the model), you would not want to cut your entire yard with an electric trimmer.
We’ve put together a list of the best string trimmers on the market to help keep your lawn healthy and looking it’s best.
Editor’s Note: Our writer’s research and recommend the best products for your home, farm, and garden. Links to these products are included in this article where you can learn more about each product. We may receive commissions on purchases made through these links.
Table of Contents
- 5 Best Electric String Trimmer Reviews
- 1. Best Overall: Greenworks 13-inch 40V Cordless String Trimmer
- 2.Best Feed: WORX WG163 GT 3.0 20V PowerShare 12″
- 3. Best Bare Tool: DEWALT DCST920B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion XR Brushless 13″
- 4. Best Budget: BLACK+DECKER String Trimmer with Auto Feed
- 5. Best Corded Model: Greenworks 18-Inch 10 Amp Corded String Trimmer
- How to Choose the Best Electric String Trimmers for Your Yard
- Safety Considerations When Using a String Trimmer
5 Best Electric String Trimmer Reviews
1. Best Overall: Greenworks 13-inch 40V Cordless String Trimmer
Greenworks offers a 13-inch string trimmer that is cordless and has no-load speeds of 0 to 9,000 RPM. Runtime on a full battery charge is up to 60 minutes covering a space of up to ½-acre. The unit’s defining features include high speeds, an edging wheel for precise lines, a pivoting head, and a cordless design.
The speed range allows for greater ease cutting through thicker patches of grass or foliage.
- Manufacturer: Greenworks
- Model: 21302
- Dimensions: 60” x 14” x 45”
- Weight: 9.3 lbs.
Quick and efficient, this model’s pivoting head makes it easy to weed in corners and also has a telescoping shaft. The telescoping shaft allows you to change the trimmer’s height to better match your height.
An auto feeder is present, but you will need to pause operation while the feed is corrected.
Why We Like It
- Cordless operation of up to one hour
- Head pivots for easy cutting and edging
- Push button start makes starting quick and easy
- Smooth, quiet operation.
Greenworks offers a powerful, efficient cordless string trimmer that has a 13-inch swath and provides up to an hour of operation per charge.
The GT3.0 comes with cordless operation, a patented line feeding system, and it is battery-powered for ease of use. Two batteries are included and the unit also doubles as a wheeled edger.
WORX features a 12” cutting swath which is smaller in size, but combined with the spacer guard, the small size allows for easier cutting around landscaping.
The WG163 GT3.0 comes with two batteries allowing for longer operation time and a lightweight design. The adjustable space allows you to work around flowers or other landscape without interruption.
And with a 90-degree head, you’re able to edge your yard, too.
The command feed requires only a push of a button when you need more line. GT provides free spools for life, so you never have to worry about long-term spool expenses.
- Manufacturer: WORX
- Model: WG163
- Dimensions: 36.3” x 7.5” x 5.5”
- Weight: 5.3 lbs.
Why We Like It
- Patented instant line feed with push button control
- Runs for 20 – 40 minutes per battery
- Spacer guard to protect flowers and landscaping
WORX makes edging and weeding fast and efficient. Push-button controls allows for more refined line feed than other automatic models.
3. Best Bare Tool: DEWALT DCST920B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion XR Brushless 13″
DEWALT is an industry leader, and this cordless model has a 13” swath and is promoted as being a bare tool. When tools are bare, this is a simple way of saying that you have to purchase your own battery – it doesn’t come with one.
Bump feed operation and no pull cords make using and starting the string trimmer simple and easy.
DEWALT’s bare bones model requires you to purchase the 20V 5.0Ah battery which is long-lasting and powerful. The tool comes in two pieces and will need to be assembled. Operating speeds are controlled with a variable trigger speed which allows speed adjustments between 0 and 6,000 rpm.
A brushless motor and cordless design allow for maximum cutting capacity without being limited by an electrical cord.
The unit has low noise production and is low maintenance. Electric models do not require spark plugs, air filters or carburetors.
- Manufacturer: DEWALT
- Model: DCST920B
- Dimensions: 35.63” x 10.75” x 12.5”
- Weight: 12.13 lbs.
Why We Like It
- High-powered operation cuts through thick weeds
- Precision speed control for thicker weeds and foliage
- 0.080” line bump for greater control over your cutting
DEWALT’s 20V max is cordless, bare and comes with precision controls for anyone that wants a more customized weed eater.
4. Best Budget: BLACK+DECKER String Trimmer with Auto Feed
BLACK+DECKER provides our best budget string trimmer featuring 6.5A and has a 14” of swath. This is the first corded model on our list and it doubles as an electric trimmer and edger. An automatic feed spool eliminates the need to bump the line, and there’s a two-year limited warranty offered.
Speeds range from 0 to 8,000 rpm to allow you all the power your need to properly landscape your yard or garden.
BLACK+DECKER’s corded string trimmer comes with an automatic feed spool technology and a retention system that prevents accidental disconnection while working. The unit’s swath and edging wheel allow for quick and easy trimming.
The unit runs on a 0.065in line and complies with all local, federal and state laws. Assembly is quick and easy, and while this unit is inexpensive, they’re not cheap. The motor is rated around ½ horsepower.
Slowly move the unit into the patch of grass or foliage to work through thicker patches.
- Manufacturer: BLACK+DECKER
- Model: BESTA510
- Dimensions: 8.5” x 4.88” x 37.6”
- Weight: 5.3 lbs.
Why We Like It
- Safety guard allows for protection of your flowers and landscaping
- Speeds range from 0 to 8,000 rpm to work through thicker foliage
- Edging wheel allows for precision edging of your lawn
BLACK+DECKER offers a great budget electric trimmer that is powerful, efficient and affordable.
5. Best Corded Model: Greenworks 18-Inch 10 Amp Corded String Trimmer
Greenwork’s corded model is the most powerful corded model on our list. Offering an 18” swath, the string trimmer can quickly trim larger yards. Boasting 10Amp of power, you’ll be able to quickly cut through thicker patches of grass and brush.
A 0.080” line and dual line bump are featured for greater line strength.
The 21142 has a large swath and offers a variable trigger speed to allow for the precise trimming. An attachment feature is present that allows you to attach multiple attachments from different brands to enhance your string trimmer further.
An auxiliary handle provides greater control and adds to the user’s comfort when trimming their yard. The dual line bump feed provides smooth operation and with no charging or batteries, you can work through your entire yard without interruption.
- Manufacturer: Greenworks
- Model: 21142
- Dimensions: 12.99” x 31.5” x 5.12”
- Weight: 9.9 lbs.
Why We Like It
- Larger swath ideal for larger spaces
- Variable trigger speed for greater control
- Cushioned grip and auxiliary handle for added comfort
Greenworks is our list’s best corded string trimmer with a 10Amp motor and allows for greater versatility thanks to the attachment coupler.
How to Choose the Best Electric String Trimmers for Your Yard
Gardening requires a lot of work, and your string trimmer should be able to reduce your workload. When you first start shopping around for a string trimmer, you’ll find that there are a lot of options:
- Edging models
- Swath sizes
And those are just a few of the different options that are available. Let’s take a deeper look at the key features to consider when buying a gas or electric string trimmer.
Corded vs Cordless
Corded options offer unlimited usage. If you have a vast space that you’ll be working on, corded models will allow you to work on these spaces without interruption. But you also have to deal with a cord that needs to be attached at all times.
While you’ll have unlimited operation, you’ll be limited in distance and be reliant on an electrical outlet.
Cordless models also exist.
With a cordless model, you gain:
Yet, you also must rely on the battery or gas running the weed eater. You’ll need to consider the overall battery life and how large of a space you’ll be working on. If you have to stop and recharge or refuel, it can be a very big inconvenience.
Feed Spool System
Feed spool systems rely heavily on automatic and bump feeds. Since a string is used, the string needs to be advanced to cut through weeds. There are two main feed spool systems:
- Automatic which advances the line for you. There is no need to bump the head of the unit on the ground, and they allow for much faster trimming. The only downside is that a motor is used and can break over time.
- Bump feeds are operated by pressing the head of the trimmer on a flat surface. You gain a lot of control with a bump feed, but you can also easily break the head of your trimmer.
Most models will be automatic because they’re easier to use. If you want to have more control over your feed, the bump feed is a great option. Both models work great, but the bump feed requires a little more finesse.
Speed control is a nice option to have, but it’s not a necessity. When you have control over the speed, you can slow the speed down to cut through thicker foliage and weeds. High speeds can cause breakage or make it impossible to cut through thicker weeds.
Swath size is easily overlooked because a lot of consumers do not believe it’s important. But swath size is very important and relates directly to how much surface area you can trim. If you need to work in smaller spaces, a 12” to 13” model may be best for you.
While most swath sizes are between 12” and 16”, you will notice a few on our list that have larger swath areas.
If you have more space to trim, you may want to consider a larger swath size to speed up your trimming.
Weed eaters can be three pounds or they can be nine or more pounds. Batteries in the cordless models make them much heavier. You may be able to pick up nine pounds easily, but you’ll fatigue faster with heavier models.
If you have a large space to weed or edge, you’ll want to pay close attention to the weight of the unit before purchase.
The models with the lightest weights are often corded because they lack a battery.
Safety Considerations When Using a String Trimmer
A weed eater is like any powered gardening equipment: they can be used safely or unsafely. But since a string trimmer is powered by gas or electric, they can be dangerous with sharp blades and flying debris.
If you use a string trimmer safely, you’ll reduce your risk of injuries.
String trimmers should be used with:
- Safety glasses / goggles
- Long pants
- Boots or sturdy footwear
- Start gas trimmers outdoors
- Inspect the unit and work area
- Maintain the trimmer often
- Keep the cutting head below the waist
Annually, some 11,000 people are injured when using grass trimmers. Rocks and grass, among other debris, can shoot out of the unit causing eye injuries and skin injuries. The most common injuries caused are:
- Eye injuries
Operator inexperience or inattentiveness are two of the leading causes of injury. If you adhere to safety rules and pay close attention to what you’re doing, you’ll reduce your risks of injury significantly.
If you have a yard and like to keep it picture perfect, you need the best electric string trimmer to cut through the areas of grass and weeds that a lawn mower cannot reach. All these string trimmer reviews point to products that are well made, powerful and can work for any yard, garden or space.