Weed Eater Reviews – Choosing The Best Weed Wacker For Your Home Or Business

Are you looking for the best weed eater? Well, thanks to continual improvements to both electric weed eaters and gas powered models there’s never been a better time to take the plunge and buy one. But with so much choice on the market its now more important than ever to research which one is best for your needs.

That’s why I have made it my mission to bring you up to date reviews of the latest models so that you don’t end up wasting your hard earned cash. Because I’m a keen gardener, you will also find a bunch of maintenance and operational tips as well as some general gardening advice to help you get your backyard looking its best.

Ok, lets face facts, not all weed whackers are created equal. The best weed eater for you is largely defined by how often it will be used, the type of brush or weeds being trimmed and environmental considerations such as power source and noise.

Not only that, but there are big differences in electric versus gas that you should familiarize yourself with before choosing one model over another.

All brands and models function in essentially the same way in that they cut down and trim weeds and excess grass.  A motor powered either by gasoline, electricity or a battery spins a nylon filament at up to 10,000 RPM. On many models, a simple adjustment of the angle of the head makes the unit double as an edger or trimmer to help you get neat lines along your walkways and landscaping.

Once you’ve had a chance to read through some of my weed eater reviews and buyer’s guides, you’ll have a good appreciation of the different options available to you, including their pros and cons. Noise levels, power, safety features, and warranties are all things to consider and are covered in detail on this site. But before you make a final decision, you’ll want to make sure you are getting the best weed eater for your needs and budget.

So, without further ado, lets dig in….

Weed Eater Reviews 2019: Whether you call it a weed eater, a weed whacker or a string  trimmer, these landscaping tools are an absolute must-have when it comes to maintaining any lawn or garden.

The Best Weed Eaters In 2019

Black & Decker 20-Volt Trimmer/Edger

For just a few bucks more, you can upgrade to this 20-Volt battery-powered Black & Decker model. This cordless weed eater also features an automatic feeding spool and easy conversion from weed wacker to edger. Although its battery life is longer, this model weighs over a pound less than the 18-volt version, coming in at 5.2 lbs.

This made a significant difference in comfort and maneuverability. You still get two batteries, which seems to be a special perk with this brand, and a 30-foot pre-wound spool of string. The handle is fully adjustable in length and rotation for those hard to reach areas.

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Black & Decker 20-Volt Trimmer/Edger

For just a few bucks more, you can upgrade to this 20-Volt battery-powered Black & Decker model. This cordless weed eater also features an automatic feeding spool and easy conversion from weed wacker to edger. Although its battery life is longer, this model weighs over a pound less than the 18-volt version, coming in at 5.2 lbs.

This made a significant difference in comfort and maneuverability. You still get two batteries, which seems to be a special perk with this brand, and a 30-foot pre-wound spool of string. The handle is fully adjustable in length and rotation for those hard to reach areas.

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Earthwise 12 Inch Cordless Electric Weed Eater/Edger

The 18-volt battery on this unit lasts longer than many other models we tested. It also charges in 6 hours instead of the average 8 hours for this size of lithium ion battery. As far as performance, it’s top notch. The head adjusts at three different angles, and the shaft is adjustable from left to right and from short to long.

The handle rotates 360 degrees, so there really isn’t any angle you can’t achieve with this unit. Easy adjustment of the handle and head means it makes a great edger.

Because of the power on the motor, the automatically fed string did run out a bit sooner than other models. However, this is more than made up for by the fact that it powered through more weeds in less time. We didn’t have to hit any areas twice.

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Poulan Pro 17 inch Gas String Trimmer With Split Shaft

This Poulan Pro gas weed eater was incredibly powerful for its size. The 2-cycle, 1 horsepower engine is ample, but the weight of the unit is balanced with a straight shaft design. The head uses fixed strings at a hefty 0.095 size. Between the string diameter and the engine power, this one powered through everything in its path.

The gas tank is compact to help reduce the weight while still being large enough to finish a 400 square foot yard. You can swap out the head with other attachments.

The hedge trimmer attachment, which is sold separately, performed very well for a multi-purpose tool. Finally, the anti-vibration handle helped absorb some of the shock that usually leaves your hands tingly and sore.

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Husqvarna 17 Inch Gas Powered Weed Wacker/Brush Cutter with Detachable Shaft

This is a CARB compliant model that meets the standards set by the California Air Resources Board. The emissions are lower on this gas weed eater than on most other gas weed eaters, which means the smell is lessened, too. The unit weighs in at 10.8 pounds, but it includes a well-constructed harness to take the pressure off your back, shoulders and arms.

The 2-stroke engine is much more fuel efficient than other 4-stroke engines. The extra power of the gas engine and the 0.095 string means it can handle light brush without a problem.

With the right attachments it can even be used as a bush cutter that can tackle limbs up to an inch thick. If you register this model online using your unit’s serial number, Husqvarana will extend its standard 2-year warranty to a full 4 years. That’s hard to beat considering most brands make you pay for an extended warranty.

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What Are The Differences Between An Electric, Gas Powered, Or Cordless Weed Eater?

The Basics: Each of these options has its own pros and cons. A battery-powered unit (also known as a cordless weed eater) is lighter weight than gasoline-powered ones. They also have great portability, because they do not have a cord like an electric weed eater. However, the length of the battery life is a very crucial thing to consider. Some brands, like Black & Decker, have begun to include two batteries. This should give you enough battery life to power through most jobs, especially if you charge one while using the other. They’re easy to start, usually with just the push of a button. Battery-powered weed eaters are also much quieter than gas-powered.

A gas weed eater is usually more powerful, but there are some things you should keep in mind. Gas trimmers require you to keep a canister of gasoline on hand. If you happen to run out, this can be a minor inconvenience that forces you run to the gas station. Most models also require you to add oil to the gasoline, so this is another item you’ll need to have on hand. Gas-powered weed eaters also tend to be heavier, and they produce an exhaust smell, just like a gas lawn mower. Getting it started with the pull cord can also be a challenge, especially if you have limited mobility or arthritis. Also remember that a gasoline engine is much louder than an electric or battery/cordless unit.

Finally, we have the electric weed eater. These are a lot like the battery-powered ones, but they have a cord. They must remain plugged in. While this can mean slightly more power than one run on battery, it also can be a safety hazard. You want to avoid connecting too many extension cords together, which can cause a fire. Extension cords can also be a tripping hazard, and when you’re holding a running power tool, that’s the last thing you want.

Trimmer, Edger, Thick Brush – What To Expect From Your New Weed Wacker

Consider what you need your weed wacker to do. Many models have adjustable heads that allow you to use the tool as an edger for neat lines along your landscaping, walkways and driveway. Using your weed eater as an edger sometimes requires you to snap an accessory part onto the head. Most other models simply have a rotatable head. A few models even let you attach bush-trimming accessories that can go through thicker branches.

Straight or Curved Shaft Models – Which Is better?

This question is somewhat a matter of personal preference and comfort. A straight shaft will kick debris farther away, but a curved shaft tends to do better for edging purposes. A straight shaft also tends to be easier for taller people and for those who need to do a lot of work under bushes.

Curved shafts can be easier for shorter people to use. There is some concern that curved shafts lead to more stress on the trimmer head, but most brands, like Black & Decker, do not have any problems due to the quality of the materials and construction.

Fixed or Feeding String Replacement

This option refers to the method used to replace the weed trimmer’s string. A fixed head uses two short pre-cut strings, usually about 8 inches long. These strings tend to be thicker, and therefore can cut through heavier brush. The downfall is that you have to stop, turn the machine over and physically replace the strings when they wear down.

However, because the string is heavier, it won’t need to be replaced as often. A feeding head is constantly replacing the thinner string it uses. If it’s automatic, you won’t even notice the string being replaced. If it’s bump-fed, you’ll have to stop and activate the spool to get more string.

 

 

Bump Feed or Auto Feed Options For Trimmer Line replacement?

Bump feed weed eaters require you to gently bump the head of the machine to advance the string. Bumping the head triggers a spring that allows the string to feed through using centrifugal force. This spring will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Although it’s rare, some people report having accidentally bumped too hard and damaged the head.

Automatic string-feeding is more convenient and can save you time. The machine advances the string as needed, so there’s no stop-and-go to manually advance it. However, automatic feeders can sometimes jam, and that can cause the motor to freeze up. If this happens, you may be looking at repair or replace, depending on your warranty.

Pre-Wound or Self-Wound Options

These options apply only to feeding heads. Pre-wound spools are certainly convenient, but as with most convenience items, there’s a premium. Winding your own spool can save you money, but you have to be careful. Incorrect winding can jam the head. Once you get the hang of it, though, it’s pretty easy. Always make sure to consult the owner’s manual to make sure you purchase the correct gauge of string.

Maintenance Requirements

In addition to rewinding or replacing string, your weed eater may need other routine maintenance. For most models, this can be as simple as keeping the head clean and the air filter free of debris. You can also do a quick check to make sure all the nuts and bolts are tightly in place.

Gas weed eaters can require a little more work. They use spark plugs that need regular maintenance and/or replacement. If you’ll be storing a gas weed eater for a long period of time, say over the winter season, the tank needs to be emptied to avoid corrosion. That means, for legal and environmental reasons, any leftover fuel needs to be disposed of at a hazardous waste center.

Comfort, Ergonomics And Ease Of Use

If you’ll be using your weed wacker often, or if you have a large yard, you’ll want to pay attention to the ergonomics of the different models. The best weed eater will have rubber cushioning on the handle, and most offer a second handle to allow a better grip. Rotating handles are also becoming more popular, especially on units that double as an edger.

You’ll also find some have a telescoping pole. Weed eater reviews from actual customers feel this is an important feature if different people will be operating the trimmer. This can be useful when you have multiple people of different heights using the trimmer, or when you need extra reach for bushes and other obstacles.

Some models come with a harness or have it available for purchase separately. These are great for back support and ease of use, especially on heavier gas weed whackers. You might also find an anti-vibration feature on occasion that helps reduce hand, wrist and arm fatigue.

Warranty

Double check the warranty that comes with your brand and model. Most offer at least one year of warranty for free. You may be able to purchase an extended warranty. Some brands, like Husqvarna, offer you a free extension if you register your serial number online. This is a very simple process, and they’ll extent the warranty from 2 to 4 years.

Selecting the best weed eater is a balance of comfort and performance. The models we’ve selected and our weed eater reviews are based on these two primary parameters. We also wanted to give you options for gas- and battery-powered models as well. We hope our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you find the best weed wacker for you.