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String Trimmers: Expert and User Reviews

By: Carl Laron on April 02, 2018

String Trimmers: Ratings of Sources

Editors of Consumer Reports, Not dated

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.

Editors of OPE Reviews, As of April 2018

OPE Reviews covers all sorts of outdoor power equipment, including string trimmers. You can find a variety of in-depth, hands-on reviews of individual trimmers, though those are intermixed with briefer "preview" reviews as well as news items. An older comparative round up that covers 11 battery powered string trimmers, originally published at sister site, Pro Tool Reviews, includes several still-current models and remains relevant.

Doug Mahoney, April 24, 2017

Doug Mahoney and Wirecutter 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.

Roy Berendsohn, May 10, 2017

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."

Grant Morgan, March 30, 2018

Top Ten Reviews tests 10 gas-powered string trimmers on five lawns and a city park to find which one "was the most powerful and functional. A top choice emerges, along with a best value selection and one with good performance and low vibration.

Daniel Jackson, Jan. 16, 2018

Daniel Jackson researches string trimmers on line, then selects four to send to an avocado orchard in southern California for their autumn weeding season. After two months of use, a top pick for typical city lawns and gardens emerges, as does a better choice for heavy duty work.

Contributors to Amazon, As of April 2018

Amazon 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.

Contributors to Home Depot, As of April 2018

Home Depot is another top site for weed eater reviews. There are nearly 200 models listed, including gas, and corded and cordless electric string trimmers. Reviews for many models are as plentiful as at Amazon, 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 Home Depot users, some are also drawn from manufacturer sites and can be seen elsewhere as well.

Contributors to Lowe's, As of April 2018

Lowe's is much like Home Depot, but with far fewer string trimmers 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 Home Depot.

Contributors to Sears, As of April 2018

When it comes to positives and negatives, Sears stacks up similarly to other online retailers with one notable exception: it's the best destination to read reviews of Craftsman string trimmers, and some Craftsman models get significant feedback.

Dale Vogelsanger and contributors to String Trimmers Direct, As of April 2018

String Trimmers Direct is an online retailer of weed whackers, with more than 100 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.

Contributors to Stihl, As of April 2018

We don't normally include or evaluate owner reviews at manufacturer sites, however Stihl is a popular string trimmer brand, and the company's products are sold primarily through local dealers, so user feedback elsewhere is limited. Reviews look to be unfiltered, and both negative and positive feedback can be found. Several homeowner gas-powered models have attracted opinions from well over 100 users.

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