Before you can decide which is the best weed eater for you, you first have to know what exactly this tool is. A weed eater is an essential tool for every DIY homeowner who likes to keep their lawns well-maintained and perfectly manicured. It can be used to trim and sculpture hedges, shape trees, and cut grass at the edges of lawns. If you have a small lawn but would rather not deal with a grass shear, a weed trimmer may be enough for your grass cutting needs.
Contrary to its name, weed eaters don’t “eat grass”. Rather, it trims or whacks off the top of tall weeds and grass. Of course, you would have to pull off weeds down to the root if you want to prevent it from growing back. Although there are weed eater reviews which feature brands and models that can make close cuts.
Weed eaters are also known as string trimmers, weed wackers, edge trimmers, and trimmers.
What is the Difference Between a Weed Eater and a Lawn Mower?
Before we talk about the difference between a weed eater and a lawn mower, let’s talk about their similarities.
The best string trimmer and a lawn mower pretty much do the same thing. They cut grass. Like a lawn mower, weed eaters can also be powered by electricity or gas, depending on your preference.
When it comes to lifespan, both types of equipment can last many years as long as you take care of them properly. A common notion among DIY homeowners is that lawn mowers are more sturdy because of their built. Thus, mowers will last longer. This is not the case especially if you purchase the best weed eater in the market.
|Image||Manufacturer||String Length (Inches)||Weight (Pounds)||Price||Rating|
|Black & Decker LST136W||13||10.3||$$$|
|Black and Decker LST420||12||5.7||$$|
|Black & Decker NST1118||10||6.4||$$|
|Black & Decker LCC420||12||6.3||$$$|
|Poulan Pro PP125||17||N/A||$$$|
|Black & Decker ST1000||9||3.2||$|
Weed eaters are used mainly to cut grass in areas lawn mowers can’t reach say, the edges of a flower bed or around trees. This gardening equipment is essential to homes with lawns that have been professionally landscaped.
Instead of blades, weed whackers are equipped with strings that rotates at high speeds when powered up. The speed gives the string the ability to cut through grass like a knife. While a the best weed trimmer can certainly be used to cut grass in small lawns, this is not advisable. It is important to note that weed eaters are hand-held. Thus, you would need to be very careful in keeping it at the right height at all times so the height of the grass is even. This can get very tiring in the long run because even the best weed wacker in the market carries a little bit of weight.
Lawn mowers are used to trim lawns with large areas of grass. They are equipped with sharp blades which rotate when powered up or pushed. Some models give the operator the option to lower or raise the blades so the grass can be cut to their preferred height.
There are two types of lawn mowers – push mowers and riding mowers.
As the name suggests, push mowers need to be pushed around the lawn. There are 3 types of push mowers available in the market – electric, gas, and reel mowers. Electric and gas mowers are undeniably easier to use because you only need to guide it around your lawn. However, these are not cost efficient and are not very “green”. Reel mowers, on the other hand, are great if you want to save money and maintain an eco-friendly home. Also, it’s a great option if you want to get in a bit of a workout as you mow your lawn.
Riding mowers are perfect for those who would rather not stress over something as simple mowing a lawn. This type of mower is driven around a lawn not pushed. Only electric and gas powered riding mowers are available in the market today. A set back owning this type of lawn mower is you need to have enough space in your shed to store it. For this reason, riding mowers are usually more suitable for commercial use or for those who have huge lawns.
What Type of String Trimmer Should I Purchase?
Your decision on which is the right weed eater to purchase will depend on a number of things. First however, let’s discuss the different types of string trimmers available in the market.
1. Cordless Weed Eaters / Trimmers
There are two types of cordless weed eaters – gas and battery powered.
Battery powered cordless weed eaters top the best string trimmer reviews because they are the most eco-friendly. These types of strimmers leave no carbon footprint. Battery cordless string trimmers are noiseless so you can tend to your lawn in the middle of the night without waking up the neighborhood. The fact that it is cordless also makes it very convenient as this eliminates the need for extension cords.
Another good thing about battery cordless weed eaters is the fact that they are very low maintenance. You only need to hose down the strings when you’re done using it and store it a dry place.
However, you would need to be very careful when choosing a battery cordless weed eater. The first thing you need to look for is the power output of the battery. You see, the amount of electricity produced is important in determining the rotating speed of the strings. The faster the strings rotate, the more effective it is in cutting grass.
The Black & Decker LST136W 40V Max Lithium String Trimmer is considered as the best weed trimmer in the battery powered cordless category. This particular model can be converted to an edger thus making it easier for users to trim lawn edges precisely because they have more control over the equipment. Most weed eater reviews have given this weed eater a 4.5 rating based on feedback from consumers.
Keep in mind that cordless weed eaters may be a little heavier than electric powered ones because of the battery or the gas tank. Make sure to “test drive” the model you are considering before you buy it to make sure you’re okay with the weight.
2. Electric Weed Eaters / Trimmers
Next in our list of weed trimmer reviews….. Electric weed eaters are another favorite in weed wacker reviews. These types of string trimmers need to be plugged in when in use. Although they do make a some noise, it’s nothing compared to gas powered ones.
The best thing about electric weed eaters is they are lighter compared to gas or battery powered strimmers. They are also the cheapest type of weed eater in the market. The biggest drawback to owning an electric weed eater is the inconvenience brought about by lugging an extension cord around as you trim your lawn. If you have an extension cord long enough to go around you lawn, then good because your mobility won’t be limited. But if you don’t, you would need to purchase one and this translates to an added expense.
Power won’t be a problem when it comes to electric weed eaters because it will depend on the output of your electric outlet. Bear in mind though that you would still need to ask about the power efficiency of the model you are looking to buy as it will add to your electricity bill.
Electric weed eaters are easy to use and very low maintenance. They can be powered up a push of a button and they don’t need to be tuned up from time to time. This makes it a great choice for women who love to garden.
The GreenWorks 21272 5.5 Amp 15″ Corded String Trimmer is the most rated weed eater in weed wacker reviews. It is multi-functional, easy to use, and ergonomic.
3. Gas Powered Weed Eaters / Trimmers
Gas powered weed eaters are the best choice for gardeners who are looking through weed trimmer reviews looking for trimmers that can handle heavy duty work. These types of machines are among the best string trimmers and are available in two types of variants – 2 stroke and 4 stroke. Despite its faults, a lot of gardeners still prefer gas powered weed eaters. Here’s why:
- Gas powered weed eaters provide more power compared to electric strimmers. They can handle cutting tall grass, weeds, and even small branches.
- They’re more convenient to use. You won’t need to set up extension cords. You don’t have to worry about your trimmer’s battery running out in the middle of a job. All you need to do is fill up the tank with gas and you’re good to go.
- Since gas powered trimmers are more powerful than electric weed eaters, you can get more done in a shorter period of time. Thus, they are considered on of the top rated weed eater for the money by professional gardeners.
If you are thinking of purchasing a gas powered weed eater, it is important to also know the disadvantages of owning one.
- Gas powered weed eaters are by no means cost-effective. Since they give out more power, they also consume a lot of gas. And these days, gas prices seem to hike up every day.
- They are not eco-friendly. These types of strimmers emit fumes that are harmful to both the environment and your health. Needless to say, gas strimmers may not be the best weed wackers for environmentally conscious homeowners.
- They require a bit of maintenance because gas strimmers have a lot of moving parts that need to be checked and tuned up to ensure smooth function of the equipment.
- Gas powered weed eaters need to be pulled in order to start. This can be a hassle to some people, especially women.
- According to many reviews, gas strimmers are very, very noisy. One review writer even said her husband could hear her trimming their lawn from a block away. If you have neighbors who are sensitive to noise, this is definitely not the type of weed eater for you.
4. Battery Powered Weed Eaters / Trimmers
Battery powered weed eaters are the top choice of homeowners who take care of their lawns on their own. They do not emit harmful fumes thus making them very eco-friendly. They also don’t make any noise. If you live in a neighborhood with strict zoning laws, this may not be the best weed whacker for you.
Modern technologies have enabled manufacturers to produce battery powered weed eaters that can handle many hours of use. Some models can even handle as much work as one tank of on a gas powered string trimmer. This gives it a big advantage over gas strimmers.
Most battery powered weed eaters come with adjustable shafts and can be converted to an edger. For this reason, professional gardeners also purchase battery powered weed eaters despite the fact that it is not really recommended for commercial use. After all, it is always good to have back up equipment in case their primary tool fails in the middle of a project.
The power of battery run string trimmers still doesn’t match up to gas weed eaters. Therefore, they are only recommended for homeowners who have small or medium sized lawns. While it is capable of trimming thick grass and weeds, the cut won’t be even. Thus, you will be left with a lawn that looks patchy. Also, battery powered weed eaters take a very long time to charge. This makes it inconvenient for professional gardeners because if the battery runs out in the middle of the day, half of the day will be lost because it will take that long to charge. However, it has enough power to use on small jobs such as merely trimming lawn and flower bed edges.
5. 4-Cycle String Trimmers
4-cycle string trimmers are gas operated. 2-cycle strimmers function on a mixture of oil and gas. 4-cycle string strimmers on the other hand, run only on gas. This makes it more convenient to use because you won’t have to mix the right ratio of oil and gas like you would if you had a 2-cycle string trimmer. This saves users a lot of time and the risk of messing up the engine because of the use of poorly measured gas-oil mixture.
These types of strimmers are easier to start and maintain as 4-cyle engines have less movable parts. Also, 4-cycle string trimmers are relatively quieter and exhaust less toxic fumes. This
However, it can also get more expensive in the long run as you would be using more gas. According to weed wacker reviews, owners of 4-cyle weed eaters needed to fill their strimmers up with a lot of gas before it would actually start. This may not seem like a big deal but it may cause unnecessary frustration in the long run. For instance, if the level of gas falls low, it may stop functioning and then you’ll be left with an unfinished project. For this reason, you always have to have an extra gallon or two of gas in your shed to if you decide to own a 4-cycle weed eater.
Professional gardeners prefer to stick to 2-cycle string trimmers because it is much more cost-effective. Then again, they handle these types of tools on a daily basis so things like mixing gas and oil, the noise, and maintenance are not things they worry about. But if you are a simple homeowner who wants to DIY your garden, a 4-cyle weed eater may be a more convenient choice.
6. Commercial Weed Eaters/Trimmers
Commercial weed eaters need to be high powered and durable because they will be handling heavy workloads. Commercial weed eaters are usually gas or corded electric stimmers. Among the two however, gas powered strimmers are more popular among professional gardeners.
The main reason why professional gardeners prefer gas powered weed eaters is unlimited mobility. Say for example you will be landscaping a 1,000 square meter lawn. If you will be working with a corded weed eater, you would need to have an extension cord that is long enough to go around that big of a lawn. What if you get a project that doesn’t have an electrical outlet? If you own a gas powered string trimmer, you won’t have to worry about these things. This is why commercial gardeners tend to stick to gas powered weed eaters.
Additionally, gas powered weed eaters are more heavy duty in general. This is not to say that there is no risk of overheating because there is. The thing is though, these types of strimmers only need about half an hour of rest and they’re good to go again. Corded electric strimmers take a little more time to recover thus making it a little inconvenient for commercial gardeners.
Before you purchase a weed eater, make sure to let the sales assistant know that it will be intended for commercial use. This way, only tried and tested strimmers will be presented to you.
The Husqvarna 224L 17-Inch 25cc 4-Stroke Professional Straight Shaft String Trimmer comes highly recommended in commercial string trimmer review sites. Unlike most gas powered string trimmers, this model comes with smart start technology thus making it easier and faster to start up. It weighs about 12 pounds with a full tank of gas. This makes it easy to carry around on big projects.
7. Corded String Trimmers
Corded string trimmers are great for homes with small to medium sized lawns. Due to the fact that it does not have a gas tank or a battery, it is the lightest type of weed eater among the bunch. It does not make too much of a noise and leaves no carbon footprint.
A problem with this type of strimmer is limited mobility. This is why it is not recommended for those with large lawns. Unless of course, you don’t mind the inconvenience of having a long extension cord behind you as you work on your lawn. However, it is important to keep in mind that an extension cord may be an added expense if you don’t already own one. If you are thinking of buying a corded string trimmer because it is cheaper than a battery operated one, consider the cost of buying an extension cord along with the strimmer. In the end, it may be wise to stick to a battery powered weed eater if the costs are even.
A corded electric string trimmer has its strong points as well. For one thing, it has more power than the ones that come with a battery. Another is the fact that you won’t have to wait for it to charge up before you can use it. Lastly, it is the lightest type of string trimmer in the market. Corded weed eaters only weigh about 5 to 7lbs. There are even models that weigh less than that. This makes it easier to use and wield.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Weed Wacker for Your Needs
Now that you know the different types of weed eaters available, it’s time to make your decision. Here are some of the things you would need to consider before you head to the store to buy one.
The Size of Your Lawn
The size of your lawn plays a big factor in determining whether or not you can get a corded weed eater or not. If your lawn is big, you would be better off with a battery or a gas powered string trimmer. If you have a small or medium sized lawn, a corded weed eater will suffice.
Will your weed eater be for personal use or are a professional gardener? If you are the latter, it is highly recommended that you go for a gas operated string trimmer because they have high-powered and very durable.
If you want a string trimmer that can get the job done fast, it is highly recommended that you get a high powered strimmer. Also, keep in mind that some models will require maintenance. If you don’t have the time to regularly maintain your equipment, choose a zero-maintenance weed eater.
String trimmer prices range from $70 to as much as $500. It is important that you establish a budget before you head to the store to buy one because it is easy to get sucked into buying an expensive model “just because”. Keep in mind that an expensive weed eater does not necessarily mean that it is the most efficient. Do your research and list down the brands and models of string trimmers that meet your requirements.
Weed Eaters in a Nutshell
Now that we have discussed the different types of weed eaters, it will be a little easier for you to decide which one would be suitable for your needs. There are plenty of available information on this website which can help you make a final decision. Furthermore, you can read through string trimmer reviews so you know what other are saying about the a specific weed eater brand and model.