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Best Electric Weed Eater

By: Carl Laron on April 02, 2018

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Best electric string trimmer

Black & Decker GH3000

Corded electric weed whackers are inexpensive

Corded electric string trimers are the least expensive type you can buy. However, as a class, they tend to get poorer user reviews than most cordless string trimmers or gas-powered string trimmers. Expert feedback is limited as well, as few sites bother to test this type of weed whacker.

On the plus side, corded weed whackers require no gas, have no batteries to replace and are low-maintenance. Corded string trimmers also have no limits on runtime.

However, corded trimmers keep you tied to an outlet. You can use up to a 200-foot extension cord, depending on model, but wrangling that can be a challenge. Most makers specify the use of heavy-gauge extension cords only, which are bulky and heavy, and make sure that it's one that's rated for outdoor use. Those recommendations should be strictly followed as light-duty extension cords can't carry the electric load safely, and using one increases the likelihood of burning out the trimmer's motor. Because of the challenges of working with the cord, reviewers say electric string trimmers are best for yards with few tall elements; trees and swing sets can be difficult to trim around without tangling.

While expert testing-based feedback for corded string trimmers is scant, Consumer Reports continues to rate a handful of models, and that includes the Black & Decker GH3000 (Est. $70). This 7.5 amp, 14 inch weed eater with a curved shaft is the top-rated corded string trimmer there and emerges with a Recommended rating. Despite having only a single cutting line (experts say that the best models have two), it scores Very Good across the board in all areas that are evaluated, including cutting tall grass and weeds.

Owners, on the other hand, don't give it particularly good grades, but that's true of pretty much any corded model with more than a couple of dozen user reviews. All that we spotted, including the GH3000, earn grades that bounce around between 3.7 and 4 stars, depending on the review source.

As for the GH3000 specifically, many of the negative reviews involve excessive line usage. Some happier owners post information on workarounds and other fixes to minimize that. Several note that they like the inclusion of a wheel that makes it easier to use this model as an edger. It's covered by a two-year warranty

If you're needs and budget are more modest, a different Black & Decker corded weed whacker could be a worth considering. User feedback for the Black & Decker GH900 (Est. $50), sits at the top of the range of corded string trimmers with lots of reviews. That includes a 4 star rating at Amazon based on more than 1,200 reviews, and a 4 star rating at Lowe's based on nearly 250 reviews. Reviews at Home Depot are positive little lower, however -- 3.8 stars based on more than 575 reviews.

This corded string trimmer has the same cutting path as the GH3000, but a less powerful 6.5 amp motor, which means that the going can get to be quite a slog if you are dealing with heavy growth. It uses a straight shaft design, and like the GH3000 has a wheel to make edging easier, but only a single cutting line.

The key to satisfaction with the GH900 is keeping expectations reasonable. Many users caution that both power and build quality limit this model to light-duty use only. Run it for too long, especially though growth that is too heavy, and you risk burning out the motor or having other components fail, they say. That said, the most common complaint we saw is that the GH900 can go through cutting line very rapidly.

On the plus side, owners that have realistic expectations seem very happy with both performance and value. The string trimmer is also covered by a two year warranty, and while feedback isn't uniform on this point, many say that Black & Decker does a good job of standing by its equipment.

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