Which battery-powered weed eater is best?

Weed eaters make quick work out of choking invasive plants that threaten the landscaping around your house. They are also great for keeping sidewalks and driveways neat and tidy. Quiet operation and ease of use make a battery-powered weed eater a good choice. There are no cords to fumble with and no complicated gas and oil mixtures.

The Black and Decker Max 2-In-1 Cordless String Trimmer/Edger With Powercommand Kit is the best battery-powered weed eater no matter the trimming or edging task.

What to know before you buy a battery-powered weed eater

Type of feed

For most weed eaters, a specially shaped string spins around underneath a protective housing at the end of a long shaft with the speed and power controls close to your hand.  As you trim, the string will eventually get shorter and need to be lengthened for best results. The string can be fed through the head of the weed eater in three different ways.

  • Bump feed: The user bumps the head of the weed eater on the ground to feed out more string.
  • Fixed line: There is no way to change the length of the line. It is of a fixed length and needs to be swapped out as needed.
  • Auto feed: The easiest of the three — it spools out automatically as you need it.

Ergonomics

Especially for those who suffer from hand, arm, shoulder or back pain, the ergonomics of a weed eater matter. You’ll want something that’s comfortable in your hands and does not require you to bend over to use. 

A straight shaft may be more powerful and sturdy, but a curved shaft is easier on the body. It puts the cutting area of the weed eater where you need it, with no strange contortions or reaching.

Purpose

A weed eater is only as good as its ability to power through fibrous grasses and thick weeds, but its purpose can change depending on the homeowner. Some want a small, efficient machine that can keep stray grass and weeds out of sidewalk cracks, while others need more clearing power and versatility. 

There’s no sense in buying a more powerful, expensive machine when all you really want to do is keep the edges of a small yard tidy.

What to look for in a quality battery-powered weed eater

Easy start

An easy on-off switch means no complicated starting procedures. Just pick up the weed eater, push the button and go. 

Long-lasting battery

A battery that runs out in the middle of putting the finishing touches on your yard is literally not going to get the job done. High-quality battery-powered weed eaters feature a rechargeable, long-lasting battery. Look for lithium ion batteries for fast charging, too. 

Different brush heads

Some battery-powered weed eaters come not only with a standard string trimmer head but also a brush head. This lets you easily cut through thick brush, including some stems up to a quarter-inch or more in diameter. 

Padded grips

Padded grips are more comfortable when you use your weed eater for long periods. They’re easy to grip, and they absorb vibrations that occur as you trim. 

How much you can expect to spend on a battery-powered weed eater

It’s tough to find a good battery-powered weed eater for less than $50. Expect to spend $100-$200 on one that lasts.

Battery-powered weed eater FAQ

Are there safety precautions you need to take when using a weed eater?

A.  Yes. Because the motion of the string can send grass and debris flying, it’s important to wear long pants, long sleeves and goggles. Battery-powered weed eaters tend to be quieter than gas-powered ones, but you may want hearing protection, too.

Also consider only using weed eaters for short periods of time, with breaks in between. The machine’s vibrations  can cause nerve damage in the hands, arms and shoulders with long-term prolonged use.

How do you change the string on a weed eater?

A. Because each weed eater is different, follow the manufacturer’s directions. This will ensure that it is safely loaded and will operate as it is intended.

What’s the best battery-powered weed eater to buy?

Top battery-powered weed eater

Black And Decker Max 2-In-1 Cordless String Trimmer-Edger With Powercommand Kit

Black and Decker Max 2-In-1 Cordless String Trimmer/Edger With Powercommand Kit

What you need to know: It’s lightweight and perfect for trimming and edging small or medium-sized yards. 

What you’ll love: It has an automatic string feeder for easy operation. The 13-inch head covers a lot of ground. Even with a battery on one end, it feels balanced and is easy to operate.

What you should consider: It uses a lot of string — more than other models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top battery-powered weed eater for the money

Worx 20-Volt PowerShare Cordless String Trimmer and Edger

Worx 20-Volt PowerShare Cordless String Trimmer and Edger

What you need to know: This is an affordable, entry-level trimmer for homeowners with small jobs. 

What you’ll love: It comes with two batteries and converts easily to an edger by simply twisting the head. The shaft telescopes to accommodate people of various heights. Operation is quiet and comfortable, and the push-button spool releases trimming string as you need it. 

What you should consider: You will need the two batteries, even for small yards. Each only lasts around 20 minutes. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Craftsman V20 String Trimmer-Edger

Craftsman V20 String Trimmer/Edger

What you need to know: This is a great mid-price model that trims and edges with ease.

What you’ll love: It has two speeds that let you choose between fast operation and long battery life. The battery lasts up to 50 minutes on a single charge. The shaft is adjustable for taller users. It features an easy push-button feed and comes with a three-year limited warranty.

What you should consider: The automatic-feed button is flimsy. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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