For several decades now, weed eaters, also known as weed or grass trimmers, have been a staple in the yard maintenance industry. These machines, which come in a variety of sizes, models and styles, can serve many purposes around your yard, such as keeping weeds at bay and putting a nice straight edge on your lawn.
There are essentially three general categories of weed trimmers from which you can choose: gas trimmers, battery-powered weed eaters, and electric weed trimmers, which rely on a cord that is plugged into a standard wall outlet.
In the following article we will review several products in this latter category – electric weed trimmers – and explain the pros and cons associated with each of the products we’ve reviewed. We have also included a “Weed Eater Buyer’s Guide” near the end of the article, in which we point out the various factors and features you should look for when purchasing an electric weed eater.
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1. Black and Decker GH900 String Trimmer
The Black and Decker GH900 String Trimmer is a great tool that features a powerful 6.5 Amp motor that can handle even the toughest-to-cut weeds and grasses in a single pass. Its “Automatic Feeding System (AFS)” translates to a continuous feed of cutting string without having to stop or bump it against the turf.
The Power Drive high-torque transmission prevents it from bogging down during even the toughest of jobs, and its easy-grip, ergonomic design provides maximum comfort and control.
The Black and Decker GH900 String Trimmer, which can be adjusted to different heights depending on the user, works great as a weed eater, but it is also designed to be used as an Edger. The trimmer is equipped with a 2-in-1, easy-conversion wheeled edging option. To use this option, simply rotate the cutter head from the trimmer to the edger position. From there, the product’s Smart Edge mode, which allows for greater control and accuracy, will enable you to put a clean, straight edge on any type of lawn.
- With 6.5 amps of power, this is the most powerful electric weed eater on our list.
- The Black and Decker GH900 can be quickly converted into a lawn edger for providing straight cuts along driveways, sidewalks and fences.
- The high-torque transmission on this model of weed eater keeps it from bogging down in thick or wet grasses and weeds.
- For an electric weed trimmer, the Black and Decker GH900 is fairly heavy compared to some of the other models we’ve reviewed here.
- Based on the MSRP, the Black and Decker GH900 is fairly pricey for a corded weed eater.
2. Greenworks Corded String Trimmer (21212)
The Greenworks Corded String Trimmer is an easy-start electric weed eater and a wonderful tool to have around the house. Best of all, it’s a tool that won’t bust your yard maintenance budget. At just 5.2 pounds the trimmer is very lightweight, making it perfect for seniors; and its 4-Amp motor has just enough power to handle those pesky weeds and grasses.
The Greenworks Corded String Trimmer boasts a 13-inch cutting path and an automatic feeding system that dispenses the .065 dual-purpose line without any hassle. Ergonomic in design and easy to manipulate, the trimmer has an adjustable auxiliary handle that makes it easy to reach into tight places.
As with all Greenworks products, the trimmer has NO carbon footprint whatsoever; it releases no carbon emissions that can potentially harm the environment.
The product comes with a four-year no-questions asked warranty, meaning that if anything goes wrong with the trimmer during that time span, the company will replace it free of charge or give you a complete refund.
- Very lightweight and easy to maneuver.
- Based on the MSRP, it is the best weed eater on our list for the money.
- Four-year warranty – compared to one or two year warranties of similar products.
- 4-Amp motor makes it one of the least powerful weed eaters on our list, which may make it difficult to tackle harder jobs.
- Reports of difficulties in dispensing line.
- 13-inch cutting path is smaller than some of the other weed eaters reviewed here.
3. Toro Corded Electric Trimmer/Edger (51480)
Corded and generating 5 Amps of job-tackling power, the Toro Corded Electric Trimmer/Edger is the perfect electric tool for small and large jobs around the house. Featuring a larger-than-average, 14-inch cutting head, every job is faster and easier with this Toro product. The weed eater features auto-feed dual cutting line that is tough and durable, and the powerful transmission helps it cut through even the most stubborn weeds and grasses.
The Toro Corded Electric Trimmer/Edger is like having two tools in one; in just a matter of seconds – and at just a simple push of a button – you can easily transform this versatile weed trimmer into a lawn edger – an edger with convenient wheel guides that allow the tool to make precision cuts over a long straight area, without any of the unsightly divots and miss-cuts associated with other weed trimmers in this class.
One of the best features of the Toro Corded Electric Trimmer/Edger is its “telescoping shaft and adjustable assist handle.” Together these design specifics offer you an extended reach for trimming hard-to-get-to areas, and plenty of adjustable options to accommodate all users, providing comfort and balance throughout the job.
- At 5 Amps it is one of the most powerful weed eaters on our list.
- The telescoping handle is a great feature that makes it easy to tackle hard-to reach areas.
- The extra-wide 14-inch cutting deck allows you to cut more weeds in a single pass, which translates to faster jobs.
- The Toro Corded Electric Trimmer/Edger is not as lightweight as some of the other products, which may pose problems for older users.
4. Black and Decker (ST1000) Electric Grass Trimmer
The Black and Decker (ST1000) Electric Grass Trimmer has plenty of nice features to love, especially if the job you have in mind is a small one. The trimmer/weed eater offers 1.8 amps of corded (AC) power and a rotating head that tops out at 11,000 Revolutions per Minute (RPM).
The Black and Decker Electric Grass Trimmer is designed primarily for smaller yards, light-duty weed trimming and post-mowing clean up and maintenance. The trimmer is very lightweight by design, weighing just a shade less than 4 pounds, which makes it perfect for older individuals with basic clean up needs. The cutting line on this Black and Decker trimmer is released through a bump-feed spool, and 20 feet of line is included in the purchase price.
Completely electric, you never have to worry about start up issues with this Black and Decker trimmer, nor will you have to hassle with gas, oil and the maintenance required with gas-powered weed eaters of this sort. Its straight shaft allows you to stand further away from the area you are cutting, which keeps you safe from rocks and other debris that may pop up.
- At just less than 4 pounds, the Black and Decker ST1000 Electric Grass Trimmer is very lightweight and maneuverable.
- The straight shaft on this Black and Decker trimmer allows you to stand further back, which promotes safety.
- While this Black and Decker trimmer may be good for VERY light clean ups, with only 1.8 amps of power it is not recommended for larger or tougher jobs.
- The cutting line that comes with the Black and Decker ST1000 tends to be very fragile, breaking each time it makes contact with something solid.
- Bump-feed cutting line instead of the automatically-fed line found on the other three trimmers we’ve reviewed.
- Limited features/No edger attachment, no adjustable handle, etc.
Electric Weed Eater Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for When Shopping
When shopping for an electric weed eater, there are several things you should look for – and several things you should consider. Below we have outlined a few of these to help you get started:
Depending on the size of the job you plan to tackle, you may have to carry your weed eater for many hours at a time. For this reason, it’s important you look for a model that is light enough to comfortably handle.
While the curved-shaft weed eaters work well for trimming back weeds, the straight-shaft models tend to work better for lawn edging and are safer because you can stand further back. Once you decide how you primarily plan to use your weed eater, then you can decide on your preferred shape/design.
For large and tough jobs, you need a weed eater with at least 5 amps of power, but for light duty jobs you can get away with a lot less. The electric weed eater models we reviewed above supply between 1.8 Amps of power and 6.5 Amps of power.
Cutting Head Width
A larger cutting head – between 14 inches and 15 inches – will help you get the job done faster and with fewer passes.
Cutting Line/Line Feed
Cutting line comes in various widths. Naturally, for large or tough jobs, you will need a weed eater that can accept thicker and more durable line. Also, weed eaters with bump-style line feeders can be very frustrating and time-consuming. They also tend to break with overuse. Instead, try and look for a weed eater with an Automatic Line-Feed system. These systems help to avoid the dreaded “spool tangles” that can waste 30 minutes or more when working.
Although all weed eaters can be used for edging (if you know what you are doing), you will notice that some of the models reviewed here can literally be transformed into easy-to-use edgers with wheel guides for precision cutting. If edging is important to you, it pays to have this feature.
Some electric weed eaters come with a variety of features that can help make your work go smoother and safer. Some of these features include telescoping shafts for hard-to-reach areas; adjustable and pivoting handles; shoulder straps; and guards for keeping the electric cord away from the cutting line.