String Theory: The 7 Best Weed Eaters

Aug 6, 2015

Category: Gear

Weeds. They come into your yard, leave gaping holes in your lawn, choke your azalea bushes, and make lewd comments about your girlfriend. They’re a scourge. A blight on right-thinking people who are just trying to put a little more green into the world. Every last one of them deserves to be cut down in the line of fire. Since it is highly unlikely that Seal Team 6 will come to your home just to get rid of some ragweed, it falls to you to pull out your weed wacker and do it yourself.

Weed eaters, weed wackers, weed trimmers, whatever you want to call them, they are the primary weapon against the weed menace. You can get them in electric or gas, with string or without. Hand-held, cordless, or even those you can push along, leaving death in their wake. Whether you like saving the environment even as you cut down parts of it or like to rev up an engine to let slip the dogs of war, we’ve got your 7 best picks right here, son.

Black Decker LST136 String Trimmer

Black & Decker LST136 String Trimmer

Best Cordless Electric for Home: If you are going to get a battery-powered electric one for personal use, don’t waste your money anywhere else. This uses a 36-Volt lithium battery that gives you both more power and longer life than anything else. Though, if you find yourself needing to change the output, it has a PowerCommand knob so that you can switch between 6500 rpms or 8500 to get more run time or more cutting power. The 13″ radius is clean and controlled so you won’t get uneven slop. A twist of the shaft turns it from trimmer to edger without breaking stride. The line feed is no bump and its speed charger gets it back to the slaughter in about an hour. Inexpensive and still the best. Stop reading, buy it. [Purchase: $125]

Core CGT403 String Trimmer

Core CGT403 String Trimmer

Best Commercial Gasless: B&D did a great job making a cordless one for home users, but it just won’t pass muster for commercial use. The CGT403 is a garden care system for eco-friendly pros. The run time is as high as 70 minutes, which is what you’d get out of a tank of gas on a typical gas trimmer. It uses the standard dual-line bump feed, offers a clear debris shield so you can see your work, and gives you 7,000 rpms of speed or 5,000 rpms of torque which can handle tougher cutting. It will easily outclass any dual-cycle gasbag model that is made today. It also offers a dial system when you want to crank up the damage or improve your work time. Best of all, it only weighs 11 pounds when it is carrying a power pack so use isn’t tiring. Great for the pro who needs a power cutter that is whisper quiet. [Purchase: $440]

GreenWorks 21142 String Trimmer

GreenWorks 21142 String Trimmer

Best Corded Electric: Really kickin’ it old school eh? Then you need one that has a nice long cord attached to it. No shame in that. GreenWorks has cornered the market on really good corded options, mostly because everyone else seems to have left the field. This model uses a 10 amp motor, but you can also get smaller 4 or 5.5 amp models to really reduce your power draw. Each model comes with its own cutting radius. The largest being an 18-inch cutting head that handles whatever your average yard can throw at it. GreenWorks has sweetened the pot with the ability to turn this into a blower, edger, pole saw, or a tiller, so you’ll get a lot of use from it. [Purchase: $84]

Husqvarna 224L String Trimmer

Husqvarna 224L String Trimmer

Best Gas for Control Freaks: The biggest issue with gas weed eaters is they give you a lot of power, but the combustion usually gives you some shake, rattle, and roll that can give you an uneven cut. Not so with the 224L. It runs almost as smooth as an electric. It has a 25cc 4-Stroke engine that handles not only standard weeds but stubborn brambles, branches, and also whatever coax cables you might encounter. The shield is top notch and protects you from nearly all flying debris. The 17-inch cutting radius is generous, but you’ll get as clean a finish as if you were using a 13 incher. The clutch that can keep the engine purring but stop the head rotation is also much appreciated. [Purchase: $349]

Remington RM2520 String Trimmer

Remington RM2520 String Trimmer

Best Budget Gas: You might not want your gas weed wacker to have a straight arm. Well buddy, that’s between you and God. You might not also want to drop 3+ bills just to cut some damn weeds. Understandable. That’s why the RM2520 was created. It is a quaint little 25cc 2-cycle engine with a 17-inch cutting radius that uses dual string outputs to slash your cutting time in half. It starts up quick every time and has minimal jiggle to reduce user fatigue. Even better, Remington offers plenty of attachments so even though you are paying less, you can use it to blow leaves or trim branches. [Purchase: $105]

Sun Joe SB601E Sharper Blade

Sun Joe SB601E Sharper Blade

Best Bladed: Not many people hate their toes enough to go with a stringless, bladed trimmer. There aren’t even many on the market. When you’re looking to limp away from some serious slashing, this 4.5 amp, hand-held merchant of death is going to be your best choice. It’s 5-and-a-half pounds which let’s you seamlessly swap from trimming to edging as you work. The blades change out as quickly as drill bits utilizing a screw cap head. It’s a corded electric model, but the cord feed contraption keeps it well away from the blade. It’s a dual blade model that goes through any job you give it quickly and with deadly efficiency. [Purchase: $53]

Husqvarna HU625HWT

Husqvarna HU625HWT

Best Walk-Behind: Not looking for a trimmer so much as a lawnmower hybrid for clearing off brush in rugged terrain? Then Husqvarna’s got you covered. It has a huge 22-inch cutting area and a powerhouse 190cc Briggs & Stratton 675 motor to back it up. The wheels are a foot high which will let you get over anything in your path. It uses standard line measurements and spools so no need to buy anything fancy. The adjustable trimmer head gives you as much range as the best lawnmowers. You can swap out line without tools which saves on carrying extra equipment out on the range. Synopsis: A serious brush cutter. [Purchase: $350]

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