String Trimmers: Ratings of Sources
This is the most comprehensive professional comparison, with nearly 70 string trimmers included in the roundup. Models are grouped by category, including curved- and straight-shaft 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.
Kenny Koehler of ProToolReviews.com compares 11 battery powered string trimmers. Nearly every aspect of performance, operation and convenience are looked at. Most, but not all, have been tested, by site editors in recent years, with links leading to those original in-depth reviews; those vary a little in quality, but all are hands on and provide good insights. Finally, the 11 string trimmers are ranked from worst to first.
Doug Mahoney and TheSweethome.com take a whack at weed whackers in this hands on test. Mahoney uses seven string trimmers to cut down nearly 12,600 square feet of overgrown field and trim along 6,000 feet of walls and fences. A top string trimmer is named, as well as ones that provide good value, are fine for smaller properties, and a good choice for those with lots of property to maintain.
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." While some of the weed eaters in this older review are discontinued, the top rated one is still current.
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.
HomeDepot.com is another top site for weed eater reviews. There are over 160 models listed, including gas, and corded and cordless electric string trimmers. Reviews for many models are as plentiful as at Amazon.com, though tend to be briefer. 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.
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.
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.
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 Dale Vogelsanger also weighs in with his 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.
Site owner "Matt" is a gardening enthusiast who 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 four string trimmers -- two cordless, two corded -- have been reviewed as of our visit.
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, so 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.