The GreenWorks 21142 is one of the most powerful corded electric grass trimmers available. Experts say its performance is superb -- even cutting through thick vegetation -- with dual heavy-duty trim lines and a large 18-inch swath. For even more versatility, the 21142 can transform into a brush cutter, cultivator or blower with extra attachments, and is compatible with attachments from other brands. For the most part, it handles well with a few inconveniences.
Safe, with some quirks. Although it's quieter than gas string trimmers, the GreenWorks 21142 is louder than some electric models. An owner at Amazon.com says the trimmer is "a little noisier and heavier than I would like," and several others agree. Similar to other electric models, GreenWorks uses a lock-off switch to keep an accidental slip from starting the 21142's motor, but the switch is "a little too low, and engaging it repeatedly over an hour causes some fatigue on bare hands," posts an Amazon.com user.
More power than other electric trimmers. Experts say the GreenWorks 21142 does an excellent job of trimming and edging, with enough power to cut through tall grass and weeds. In comparison tests, it outperforms other electric models and keeps up with light-duty gas trimmers. The 21142 is strong enough to trim thistle and cut through ivy beds without bogging down, owners add, and its large 18-inch cutting head makes fast work of trimming chores. One user at Amazon.com says it's "easy to flip over and align for edging," and many reviewers call its edging skills superb with clean, smooth lines.
Versatile tool with a few inconveniences. Reviewers like the GreenWorks 21142's adjustable handle and find it to be well balanced. They say it handles pretty well overall, but some minor drawbacks make it less than perfect. Not only does the 21142 weigh in at almost 10 pounds, which is heavier than most corded lawn trimmers, but some owners say the main power switch can be difficult to hold down for long periods and the spool is adequate at best.
However, the 21142 is more versatile than other string trimmers in our report. With a quick-connect coupler, users can transform the 21142 into an edger, cultivator, blower or pole pruner, and it's compatible with attachments from five other brands.
Entry-level grade. Some owners find that a few materials on the GreenWorks 21142 are surprisingly light-duty, including a flimsy nut on the loop handle. However, there are no user posts that mention major failures or durability issues beyond installation, and most say they're happy with the trimmer's overall durability. "I have tried other electric trimmers and they just don't compare to the quality and ability of this one," says one at Amazon.com. GreenWork's four-year consumer warranty is above average for string trimmers.
Testers review about a dozen electric models as part of a large string trimmer report. Using identical trials, editors evaluate each weed whacker's ability to cut a typical lawn, long grass and thick weeds. Handling, operation and edging performance make up part of the overall score.
Review: String Trimmers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
The 21142 gets 4.4 stars out of 5 from more than 30 owners, although a couple of them give it poor marks for being on backorder. Users say it has plenty of torque to trim even thicker vegetation. Several mention minor problems, however, including its weight, some faulty components and few spool issues.
Review: GreenWorks 21142 10 Amp Corded 18" Top Mount Trimmer, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013
The GreenWorks 21142 makes this list of the five best electric string trimmers. It gets 4.25 stars out of 5 and is praised for its "power, ease of use" and large 18-inch cutting swath. The top spot goes to Black & Decker's ST1000.
Review: GreenWorks 21142 10 Amp Corded 18" Top Mount Trimmer Review, "Dale Y.", June 4, 2013