Black & Decker LST136
Black & Decker LST136

Best cordless grass trimmer

Black & Decker's cordless LST136 gets top ratings for smooth trimming and easy handling from pros and consumers alike. Users can adjust the trimmer's power level to conserve battery power, and the 13-inch head automatically advances the trim line and swivels for precise edging. At less than 8 pounds, the LST136 is one of the easiest string trimmers to use, reviewers say.
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GreenWorks 21142
GreenWorks 21142

Best electric string trimmer

The electric GreenWorks 21142 string trimmer offers a lot of bang for the buck, according to reviewers. Its dual, heavy-duty nylon lines can eat through tall grass and thick weeds, leaving a smooth finish on the lawn. An adjustable handle lets users maintain a balanced grip, and its four-year warranty is one of the longest in the industry.
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Husqvarna 223L
Husqvarna 223L

Best gas grass trimmer

Experts say the heavy-duty gas Husqvarna 223L string trimmer is a cut above the rest, reliably mowing down even the toughest grasses and weeds. Its two-stroke engine starts with a minimum of fuss, and reviewers say the 223L's excellent balance makes it comfortable to use for lengthy jobs. The 18-inch cutting head is both beefy and fast, with dual lines and a smooth bump-feed setup.
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Est. $250 Estimated Price
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See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

String Trimmers Runners Up:

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A top string trimmer is the secret to a perfectly manicured lawn

String trimmers leave a crisp edge along the driveway, cut grass growing beyond your lawn mower's reach and tidy up fence lines. Also called grass trimmers, weed whackers, lawn trimmers and weed eaters -- a brand name that has become a generic term -- the setup is the same: A power source rapidly turns a cutting head, using tough, nylon line to shear grass and weeds.

People generally mow first, then trim, so be sure to read our reports on the best lawn mower or lawn tractor to round out your lawn-care needs.

Grass trimmers may look simple, but they aren't benign, says Roy Berendsohn of Popular Mechanics. He says "the speed measured at the string's tip can run about 28,000 feet per minute," or strong enough to strip bark, mar a wood deck and fling debris up to 50 feet away. This makes safety equipment a must. Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes, ear protection if the noise of the trimmer is above 85 decibels, and keep the head of the tool angled away from your body. Long pants, sturdy shoes and a good pair of gloves are also recommended to protect against flying debris.

Finding the best string trimmer is a balance between power and handling. A smaller weed whacker is enough to manage trimming around flowerbeds and a walkway. Berendsohn recommends heavy-duty trimmers for the "rural homeowner with a long driveway, orchards, fence rows and outbuildings to keep neat." Durable machines like this are typically heavier and more expensive.

The best string trimmers are effortless to start and have well-located controls. A balanced trimmer will hang at the right angle for easy maneuvering, whether you're trimming flat or turning it to edge. Most trimmers automatically advance the trim line, although some require you to tap the trim head on the ground to do so; reviewers say either one is acceptable as long as it works smoothly. Reloading new trim line into the spool should also be uncomplicated.

ConsumerSearch.com analyzes expert tests and customer reviews to evaluate a number of string trimmers for safety, performance, ease of use and durability. The result is our picks for the best string trimmers for the casual gardener to the serious landscaper.

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