String Trimmers: Expert and User Reviews

In this report

String Trimmers: Ratings of Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org String Trimmers, ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
Credibility:
This is the most comprehensive professional comparison, with nearly 70 string trimmers included in the roundup. Models are grouped by category, including regular and light-duty gas, cordless and battery-operated weed whackers. Each is tested to evaluate performance, handling and ease of use. Editors focus on performance from new string trimmers, but don't report on long-range durability or lifespan.
2. Popular Mechanics The Best String Trimmers & Weed Wacker Reviews, Popular Mechanics, Feb. 1, 2015
Credibility:
While testing six heavy-duty, gas-powered string trimmers on a horse ranch, Roy Berendsohn initially finds little to set them apart. He then tests them along hundreds of yards of horse fence, eliminating them one at a time once the weed whacker loses effectiveness or starts to vibrate. One model is left standing at the end, but Berendsohn rates all of them, allowing that "not everyone has a horse farm to keep up." Additional, older string trimmer roundups can also be found at this site.
3. ProToolReviews.com Landscaping, ProToolReviews.com, As of April 2016
Credibility:
ProToolReviews.com has a number of reviews of string trimmers, all written by landscapers and other gardening professionals. The reviews vary a little in quality, but all are hands on and provide good insights. The reviews are scattered among those for other gardening tools, so you'll need to scroll or search to see if a weed whacker you are interested in is covered, but if it is, that is worth the effort.
4. Amazon.com String Trimmers, Amazon.com, As of April 2016
Credibility:
Amazon.com includes a large selection of string trimmers, with some models attracting hundreds and even thousands of user reviews. Electric weed whackers, both corded and cordless, are the most popular options. As is the case with most user reviews, comments are often short, but some reviews go into tons of detail -- more than you sometimes see from experts -- and provide valuable insights that can only be garnered after extended use.
5. HomeDepot.com String Trimmers, HomeDepot.com, As of April 2016
Credibility:
HomeDepot.com is another top site for weed eater reviews. There are over 120 models listed, including gas, and corded and cordless electric string trimmers. Reviews for many models are as plentiful as at Amazon.com, though are largely on the brief side. Owners can say whether or not they would recommend their weed whacker to a friend. Though lots of the reviews here are written by HomeDepot.com users, some are also drawn from manufacturer sites and can be seen elsewhere as well.
6. Lowes.com String Trimmers, Lowes.com, As of April 2016
Credibility:
Lowes.com is much like HomeDepot.com, but with fewer weed eaters listed. Many of the nearly 50 models have at least some feedback, and some models have hundreds of reviews, though totals are pumped up at times by pulling in reviews from the maker's sites -- the same reviews that can be found at HomeDepot.com.
7. Sears.com Line Trimmers, Sears.com,
Credibility:
When it comes to positives and negatives, Sears.com stacks up similarly to other online retailers with one notable exception: it's the best destination to read reviews of Craftsman string trimmers. Many Craftsman models get significant feedback.
8. StringTrimmersDirect.com String Trimmer Reviews, StringTrimmersDirect.com, As of April 2016
Credibility:
StringTrimmersDirect.com is an online retailer of weed whackers, with nearly 180 models listed. Though many models only have limited feedback, others have dozens of user-written reviews, and all feedback here looks to be from the site's users. Product expert Marissa Munoz also weighs in with her take on which string trimmers are recommended along with brief comments on pluses, but there's no indication of how those recommendations were reached and if any testing was done.
9. Mowing-Cow.com Trimmers, Mowing-Cow.com, As of April 2016
Credibility:
Site owner "Matt" is a gardening enthusiast that shares his take on garden equipment. While we normally don't give much weight to blogs of this type, the write ups here reflect hands-on use and offer some helpful insights. However, only three string trimmers -- two cordless, one corded -- have been reviewed as of our visit.
10. StihlUSA.com Trimmers & Brushcutters, StihlUSA.com,
Credibility:
We don't normally include evaluate owner reviews at manufacturer sites, however Stihl is a popular string trimmer brand, and the company's products are often sold only through local dealers and user feedback elsewhere is limited. Reviews look to be unfiltered, and both negative and positive feedback can be found. Several models have attracted opinions from over 100 users.