To find the best weed eaters, editors looked to experts at ConsumerReports.org, Popular Mechanics, ProToolReviews.com and elsewhere to see which weed whackers excelled in hands on testing. These tests and reports narrow down the choices to the ones that perform best when used by experts that are familiar with weed whacker performance and have the breadth of expertise to know how a particular model stacks up against the competition.
Next, to see how well string trimmers performed in real-world conditions, we turned to user reviews. Sites such as HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com, Sears.com and Amazon.com were most helpful for that. Though there are certainly exceptions, users don't have experience with as many models as the pros, but they can often provide insight into the long term performance and satisfaction with specific weed whackers that they own.
The final step is boiling down the feedback from users and experts to find a consensus on which string trimmers meet or exceed expectations, and which ones fall a little -- or a lot -- short. Considering factors such as performance, safety, ease of use and more, the results of our research and analysis are our picks for the best string trimmers for anyone from a casual gardener to landscaping pro.