After only a few weeks of leaving your lawn unattended, grass and weeds would probably take over some parts of your previously pristine lawn. Overgrown grass and weeds would be an unattractive look. This would also worsen the health of the established plants on your lawn. Weeds steal nutrients and make the area more habitable for various pests.
Usually, a lawnmower or tractor would be enough to solve this issue. They help you keep a neat, polished lawn by cutting huge chunks of grass in one go. However, there are certain areas that a lawnmower cannot reach properly. There are narrow or hard-to-reach areas like the perimeter of a tree or in between fence posts or shrubs. To trim grass in such areas, you would need a weed eater. This lawn tool is really useful and versatile. In addition to cutting overgrown grass on a flat surface, you can use it to do some finishing touches. Trimming or shaping hedges and polishing the edge of your lawn now get easy. All of which are too tedious to be done manually and can’t be done via lawnmowers. Keep reading to learn more about the best battery weed eaters & cordless string trimmers, including their reviews.
WHAT ARE THEY?
Most people confuse a weed eater with a lawnmower or garden tractor. Although both function primarily as cutters or trimmers of grass, these two are very different tools. A lawn tractor is significantly larger and more heavy-duty than a weed eater. This tool comes in various designs and sizes. Some lawn mowers are portable and require manual maneuvering, like a pushcart. Some models can be driven around the lawn while resembling a golf cart. Garden mowers and lawn tractors use rotating blades to cut the grass, fueled by a motor. It can be powered by electricity or gas. You can also get battery-powered ones.
A weed eater is a slim, portable tool. This machine has various names like “weed wacker” and “string trimmer.” It gets it from its mode of action. It has a rapidly spinning string whack with a sharp, forceful blow. It goes down. Most of them resemble each other, although these come in different types. To maximize the benefits of having one, you have to choose the best for the money among the different types!
There are a couple of main types based on their power source, including gas-powered and corded ones. Of course, there are the electricity-powered and cordless or battery-powered ones. Further classification of these products is commonly based on their model. It depends on what kind of engine they have or how many strings are used.
|Types to know about|
1. Corded Electric
An electric model is a perfect tool for small-sized lawns. Among all three, this type is the most lightweight and compact in size. It’s because it does not carry the load of gasoline or battery. The good thing about electric options is that there is no limit to their runtime! As long as it’s plugged in, you can trim your lawn. Use it without worrying about running out of fuel. However, this feature is a double-edged sword. It does offer unlimited runtime, but it also limits mobility.
Since it is plugged in, the range of your mobility is limited to the length of the cord. To remedy this, you can buy an extension cord to extend your area of reach. Bear in mind that you should buy the proper type and size of an extension cord because they consume quite a lot of power. Not all cords can carry the same amount of current. If something goes amiss, accidents can happen. It includes things such as short-circuiting and appliance damage. You can also experience electricity power-induced fires. There are some sizing guides for wires that you can use to avoid trouble. This guide on gauge wire can help you make sure you choose the right one. Lastly, always remember to move the cord away from your path to avoid accidents and injuries.
If you can’t be bothered with cords, then you can opt for a gas-powered one. Maybe you don’t have a nearby plug to power up an electric model! With this tool, your movements are no longer limited by the length of a cord. You can cover a lot more space due to the added mobility and range. As long as you have gas, you’re free to trim grass anywhere. Go up until the edge of your lawn, far away from the electric plug!
Gas-powered ones usually have sturdier builds and more powerful engines. They are considered to be the power string trimmer among all three. These can be used for commercial spaces. Many areas must be tended to and thus would need a powerful tool that can run for hours. Like how MIG uses different welding gas cylinders, weed eaters may have different fuel types and ratio requirements. It’s based on their respective model or unit type. Their engine runs on gasoline and engine oil, typically a 40:1 ratio. It’s the equivalent mix of 1 gallon of unleaded gasoline and 3.2 ounces of engine oil. For tools powered by some type of gas, you should only use the recommended fuel type and ratio suited to the model. Ensure safety and seamless operation with the right type of fuel. Furthermore, make sure to get the engine checked now and then.
One of the downsides of having a powerful engine is that it can get quite noisy when it’s running. To remedy this, you can wear earplugs for protection. It is bulkier and heavier than the electric ones due to the built-in engine and gasoline load. It might be taxing to the body if you operate it for hours. Lastly, it’s important to note that gas-powered ones emit toxic fumes as the engine uses up the fuel. This poses harm to both yourself and the environment. It is why I do not recommend this type of tool if you’re suffering from health issues.
If you’re not impressed with the limited mobility of corded models and the toxic emissions, there’s another way. You may not want the things that accompany gas-powered ones and their noisy operation. Battery-operated models will surely win over your heart.
Also known as a cordless weed wacker, it is powered by rechargeable batteries instead of relying on being plugged in. Because it’s battery-operated and does not rely on burning fuel, it does not release toxic fumes. It eliminates the risk of health issues and other detrimental effects on the environment. What’s even greater is that it’s equipped with a machine that has a low-noise operation. It is something that a gas-powered one won’t be able to achieve. So, feel free to put those earplugs back in your drawer!
Since it is cordless and does not carry a hefty gasoline load. It is highly portable and easy to carry around. You can use it anywhere, provided that you have the batteries with you. The only downside of using a battery-powered tool is that you have to charge it when the power runs out. It will happen after a couple of hours of operation. Depending on the capacity and type of battery you have, charging time ranges from 1-2 hours.
But don’t worry because you can get around this by buying spare batteries. You can let the drained battery charge and cool down. At the same time, you use a fully-charged one. It’s a nifty trick that extends both the runtime and lengthens the lifespan of your batteries!
However, some models do not have removable batteries. You have to settle with resting for an hour or two while your machine is charging up. It is not always a bad thing, to be honest.
ARE CORDLESS OPTIONS ANY GOOD?
The features of cordless grass trimmers combine the pros and eliminate the cons of using electric and gas-powered ones. They do not emit gas fumes that can damage your health or the environment like electric ones. And like cordless, gas-powered models offer mobility and portability.
But unlike gas-powered models, electric ones do not require the tedious and messy task of mixing and loading fuel. Nor do they need frequent engine maintenance. Furthermore, they have higher portability due to their lightweight design. Lastly, rechargeable batteries will save you money in the long run compared to buying gasoline and engine oil.
Getting a cordless option is worth it! Not only is it convenient, being highly portable and offers mobility. It’s also eco-friendly and safer to use because you’re not releasing toxic fumes. You can reuse the batteries because they’re rechargeable.
BRANDS THAT MAKE THE ONES
There are a lot of brands out there that are worth mentioning, but diving into all of them would take eons. To streamline your choosing process, I’ve narrowed the long list down into two.
EGO VS. RYOBI
Ego and Ryobi came out at the top as two of the leading providers of lawnmowers and trimmers upon careful consideration. Some of the factors we looked at include quality and durability. Reliability and reviews were also important to us. Lastly, we wanted companies with significant sales. It ensures they’ll be around when you need their support. Both are renowned for high-quality manufacturing tools perfect for your lawn upkeep needs.
EGO (Ego Power +)
Chervon created Ego Power Plus in 2012 to bring forth battery-operated machines to replace gas-powered ones. Ego is centered on creating outdoor power equipment with highly-efficient motors or engines that rely on EGO Lithium™ batteries. They promise powerful performance that rivals gas engines’ output while being more portable, with less carbon or toxic emissions. They also wanted reduced overall costs. Their OPE product line includes chainsaws and mowers. You’ll also find it, including riding mowers and blowers, as well as snow blowers and hedge trimmers. And the list doesn’t end there. Basically, they now produce everything from edgers to multi-head systems and other useful accessories.
The company has an innovative line of battery-operated models equipped with POWERLOAD™. It allows the self-winding of the string into the tool. This is the feature that I find most convenient and battery-powered. It makes the process of replacing the string line of an Ego model much easier. It entails feeding the string into the head of the trimmer and pressing a button. You’ll be done within a minute!
The EGO POWER+ 15” POWERLOAD™ is a famous, high-quality product they manufacture. Among the units under this product line, ST1521S is one of the most popular. It has a 15” cutting swath and is equipped with the self-winding feature. It runs on a 56V lithium battery, and you can pick a certain battery amp ranging from 2.5 to 5 amp from their website. Here are some more of its specs for your review:
- carbon fiber shaft
- adjustable handle
- brushless motor
- variable speed control
- dual-feed spiral twist 0.095 inches line
- foldable and straight shaft options
- 50-minute charging time via a 56V charger
- 20-minute charging time via EGO POWER+ rapid charger
This Ego product is highly rated on both the official website and Amazon, with an overall 4.7-star rating. With over 5,000 reviews and 372 ratings on Amazon, it says a lot. It’s a favorite of many because it’s very slim and well-balanced. It prevents arm fatigue even when the user isn’t wearing a strap. The carbon fiber shaft is more durable than standard ones, which is extremely important for handheld tools. Lastly, many users noticed that the string from Ego is thicker and stronger than regular ones. It decreases the intervals between string replacements. You can get this trimmer as a kit, complete with a lithium battery. You can also buy the trimmer by itself. It’s also great to note that Ego provides a 5-year tool warranty and a 3-year battery warranty, which says a lot.
Ryobi was formerly known as Ryobi Seisakusho Co. It was first launched in 1943 in Japan. Before, the focus of its production was on die-cast products. They later expanded to manufacturing offset printing presses and power tools in the 1960s. After years of work, success came to the company. It became well-known in many countries with its new brand name, RYOBI. The brand has numerous facilities across different countries. Techtronic Industries licenses it alongside other OEM equipment or home appliances brands like Milwaukee and Homelite.
Since they have been around a lot longer, it has a wider range of products than Ego. Their product line includes over 175 products, which are all high-quality power tools and outdoor or lawn & garden tools. Ryobi’s power tools include inflators and compressors. You can also find metalworking tools and woodworking tools, and many more. On the other hand, their lawn & garden tools include chargers and blowers. You’ll find everything from chain saws to hedge trimmers.
They are well-known for their RYOBI 18V ONE+ System and 40V System. It allows cordless tools to reach maximum performance and fade-free runtime. It’s run by brushless motors and powered by premium lithium-ion batteries. Moreover, the head of the tools has the REEL EASY technology. It allows the user to finish setting up a new string with just two easy steps. Feed the line through the head and twist it to wrap the string, and you’re done!
One example of their models that are best for the money is the RYOBI RY40220. What’s amazing is that it can also double as an edger. Here are some of its specs for your review:
- Ryobi 40V trimmer model
- carbon fiber shaft
- 13-15” cutting swath
- EXPAND-IT™ Attachment
- Includes RYOBI 40V System and GAS-LIKE POWER™ technologies
What’s good about Ryobi is that it’s accessible across the US and the UK. In addition to being sold online on various platforms, Ryobi products are also sold in physical stores of Home Depot. They’re also available in mid-to small-sized hardware stores. It’s very easy to buy other head attachments and batteries when you need them. When you lose the charger, there’s a solution. Unlike other brands that can only be purchased online, Ryobi can be bought in stores. You may not want to wait for shipping.
You can also easily read customers’ reviews online on Amazon and Ryobi websites if you want to be reassured of their quality. I have read nothing but praises from customers. It is not surprising since their tools are mostly rated 4 to 5 stars on Amazon. Like most customers, I’m impressed with how Ryobi tools combine functions into one with their EXPAND-IT™ Attachment. However, many of their models can already be used for both edging and trimming even without replacing the attachments. A great example is this Ryobi RLT1825 ONE+ 18V Line.
Other noteworthy brands
If Ego and Ryobi ones aren’t available in any stores near you, you can get a weed eater from a different brand. It’s still important to get the model with the best quality and durability for the money you can offer. I’ve only included the ones that deserve some honorable mention.
- Black + Decker – They are also known as “Black and Decker.” This brand produces multifunction models that can be used as trimmers or edgers. These tools also have EASYFEED™, which enables easy string removal and refeeding. You should check out LSTE523, a 20V battery-powered cordless convertible trimmer and edger. It has a cutting swath of 12 inches and two-speed settings.
- ECHO – Echo trimmers are commercial-grade grass models that have an ergonomic, lightweight design. They do not fall back on performance. ECHO produces both fuel- and battery-powered weed eaters.
- Worx – This brand has an innovative line of products and lawn edgers called Worx GT Revolution. It boasts a fully adjustable shaft with a 7-position auxiliary handle. With it comes a 6-position pivoting head. The top-rated cordless models include the Worx GT Revolution WG170 and Worx WG163.
- Dewalt – The 60V Flexvolt trimmer is worth a try, given its extreme power and super lightweight design. It has a cutting swath of 15 inches and retails under $350.
- Black max
What to do when the plastic strings become dull
Dulling of strings is inevitable for these machines. Don’t be alarmed if it loses its efficiency in cutting down grass as time goes by. Since they use relatively thin strings to produce powerful cuts against grass, these get worn down after a few uses. If you notice the line getting dull, replace them immediately to avoid exhausting the power of the tool’s engine or battery. Buying new ones is more affordable in the long run. Try to find a more durable product than the previous ones you had. The brands often offer upgraded strings of the same size but with higher durability.
How to string one
Although models have advanced technologies, conventional heads require some time and effort to reload the line properly. Here’s how you do it:
STEP 1: Consult the user manual & find out the requirements
- Just like how wires and cords come in different sizes, there are numerous sizes of trimmer lines. It’s important to find out which one is compatible with the certain model that you have.
- Make sure to get the right size! Never experiment with different sizes, or else you’ll just have a broken trimmer in your hands. The lines are usually measured in inches, but some brands or shops may present the sizes in different units. You can use this SAE to metric conversion size chart, so you can easily convert from one unit of measurement to another as you shop.
- Lastly, check if it requires two strings or not. Some models work with one, while some models require two.
STEP 2: Cut it into an appropriate length
- Match the length to the length of your machine. Don’t cut it too short! You can always snip off a few inches if you cut it too long. You won’t be able to connect two strings together if you cut it too short. To be sure, check the length recommendation in the user manual.
- If it requires two strings, prepare two accordingly. Make sure that both are uniform in length.
STEP 3: Release the spool and feed the replacement into it
- Release the spool gently so you can feed the line into it.
- If you can’t release the spool, this means that you have to remove the head. You can do this by unscrewing the head. Consult the user manual on how to remove the head properly if you can’t find the nuts.
- Look for a small hole located at the center of the spool. Feed the string line into it, about half an inch. There should be something inside the hole that grabs onto the string. Once the string catches, it means that the string is ready for winding.
- If you can’t feel any grip, just grab one end of the string so you can load the rest of it into the spool.
- If you’re working with two strings, load one at a time!
STEP 4: Wind the string in the right direction
- Most models have arrows guides at the spool to indicate which direction you must wind it. Following the guide, wind it from side to side. Continue this until you complete the first layer.
- If you need to have a second layer, simply overlap it to prevent the strings from tangling.
STEP 5: Clip the string in place and reattach the spool
- Once it is fully wound, secure it by clipping it into the notch. It is located at the edge of the spool. Make sure it is indeed properly fixed in place by the notch.
- Place the spool back into the hub and pull the loose end through the eyelets or exit holes.
- Screw the nuts back tightly to secure the head, if applicable.
And you’re done! Take the tool out for a quick test run to ensure that everything’s in place and working properly.
As of late, Husqvarna’s 17″ cutting path weed eater is trending in the market. It is the strongest because it can handle many commercial jobs. Suppose you’ve got a pole saw and other attachments like an edger and cultivator. In that case, you’ll be able to use all these attachments on this machine.
If you’re looking for a small-yard weed eater, then Black Decker is your best bet. It’s battery-run and has a two-year limited warranty on residential use. If you’re looking for something more heavy-duty, you should go with the 22cc Husqvarna line.
There are several factors to consider. The first is whether you prefer a gas or electric-type weed eater. The gas type is more powerful, while the electric is more comfortable and lightweight. Battery-powered are great for those who don’t want to be limited by a cord. Other factors include the brand and the ease of replacing the blade. Other features to look out for include vibration control, bump feed, and so on.
Yes, Troy-Bilt weed eaters are certainly making news in the market. This is largely due to their versatile attachment system and fewer-reloads-necessary trimmer line. Although it is a gas-fueled trimmer, it doesn’t have the weight to show for it. More and more say that Troy-Bilt weed eaters are worth the money.
It might seem like an easy task when you see someone do it, but it’s no child’s play to run a weed eater machine. Here’s how to use one.
How to use a weed eater?
- Get your safety on!
Wear goggles and gloves. Have your guard on to avoid any damage to decorative materials in the garden. Wear some sturdy jeans or lower ones to avoid scratches on your bottom half.
- Start the whacker.
Pull out around 6 inches of the string and turn the whacker on. In a gas-fueled machine, you’ll need to crank the start cord. In an electric tool, you can press the start button.
- Position your hands.
Position your left hand on the trigger and your right hand on the handle. Get comfortable with the position and wear the shoulder strap if there is any.
- Level the whacker correctly.
The trimmer should be 1 inch above the ground level. Move it side to side in an area of 1 foot in the direction of its spin. Make sure to keep the level the same everywhere to avoid uneven trimming. Try walking in the opposite direction to which the spinner is rotating. This will prevent any dirt and grass from being thrown into your face and legs.
- Edge around the hard surfaces.
Learn to tilt the whacker to 90 degrees to edge around the hard surfaces. You’ll eventually learn this with practice.