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A well-manicured lawn catches the eye. Crisply cut grass without weeds encroaching on surrounding bushes and sidewalks gives every home curb appeal. Weed eaters make trimming weeds and landscaping easy and efficient.

With many styles to choose from, there is a weed eater for every homeowner and yard. For its lightweight power and reliability, the best weed eater is the Black and Decker 40-Volt Max String Trimmer.

What to know before you buy a weed eater

Get a lay of your land

The size and terrain of your lawn determine what kind of weed eater you need. Smaller lawns and those with mostly grass and very few weeds need less powerful intervention. If you have a large lawn or live in an area with lots of brush and thick weeds, a more powerful trimmer can handle the chore. How often you use a trimmer also plays a role since weekly use may require a more powerful motor built to last over a long, hot summer.

Corded or cordless?

Corded weed eaters work best for small yards with sparser weeds. They are lighter, start easier, and are friendlier for the environment. Cordless trimmers- powered by gas or batteries- can be noisy and heavy (even requiring a shoulder strap for some), and yet they go anywhere and can cut through much thicker overgrowth.

Be a creature of comfort

Using a weed eater should not be a strenuous endeavor. It should feel light and comfortable in your hands. Many trimmers come with adjustable shafts, heads and handles that give you the flexibility to find a comfortable fit.

What to look for in a quality weed eater

String feed

The most common mechanisms for feeding the trimmer line are auto-feed and bump feed. Auto feed extends the trimmer line as it wears down, while bump feed requires the user to tap the ground, which causes additional line to be released. A newer innovation is a push-button feed that allows the person to engage a button near their hand as line is running out.

Converted edger

Many weed eaters feature an adjustable head that pivots at a right angle to become an edger. It uses the same trimmer line but cuts vertically instead of horizontally. The cover turns to protect the person from the spinning line.

Extra batteries

Battery-operated trimmers usually have a one-time use life of 30 minutes or less. If your yard requires a longer duration, consider getting an extra battery that you can immediately insert so that you don’t have to wait on the original battery to recharge.

How much you can expect to spend on a weed eater

Basic corded and battery-powered weed eaters are priced between $30-$50, but they work best for small yards where you may only trim several times a year. Between $50-$100, weed eaters are built for regular use and trimming small to medium weeds. Taller brushes and longer-lasting battery charges are found in combination weed eaters and weed edgers priced between $100-$200. Above $200 are commercial-grade weed eaters with two- and four-stroke engines meant for heavy-duty use.

Weed eater FAQ

Does the thickness of the trimmer line matter?

A. Most trimmer line is 0.065 to 0.110 inches in width. The thicker line cuts heavier weeds. While most trimmer line is interchangeable, some thicker lines may not work in all types of weed eaters, and a thinner line can reduce power. Review your manufacturer’s recommendations for the correct size of trimmer line to feed through your spool.

What are the best ways to safely use a trimmer?

A. An important safety step is to wear gloves and clothing that covers your legs and arms. Shorts and T-shirts leave exposed skin that can be hit by the trimmer line or debris that ricochets while the line is spinning. Always wear closed-toe shoes since the trimmer will be very close to your feet during operation. Eye goggles also keep lawn bits from projecting into your eyes. For heavier, louder cordless trimmers, earplugs are a good investment to protect against hearing loss.

Do weed eaters have warranties?

A. Yes, weed eaters come with limited warranties that cover unexpected breakdowns during a set period. Check your manufacturer’s warranty specifications as each weed eater has a different warranty period, usually one to four years.

What’s the best weed eater to buy?

Top weed eater

Black+Decker 40V Max String Trimmer

Black and Decker 40V Max String Trimmer

What you need to know: From a trusted brand, this is a lightweight cordless string trimmer that also converts to an edger.

What you’ll love: Its transmission has increased torque for cutting through thick weeds. The trimmer line spool feeds continuously. The handle and height are adjustable. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery for extended use.

What you should consider: It goes through the trimmer line more quickly than other weed eaters.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top weed eater for the money

Greenworks 5.5-Amp 15-Inch Corded String Trimmer

Greenworks 5.5-Amp  15-Inch Corded String Trimmer

What you need to know: This affordable trimmer is excellent for medium-sized yards and starts easily.

What you’ll love: The trimmer weighs around 7 pounds and cuts a 15-inch swath. The head pivots 90 degrees to convert to an edger and has four adjustable positions. It comes with a trimmer line spool and extra cover.

What you should consider: The automatic feeder spool sometimes jams.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Worx 20V PowerShare String Trimmer

Worx 20V PowerShare String Trimmer

What you need to know: The trimmer is sturdy and affordable, and it is compatible with all the tools that comprise the Worx outdoor power equipment lineup.

What you’ll love: The head quickly converts to an edger for two-in-one functionality. The spool is fed by pushing a button, so you only get an extra line when you need it. The telescopic shaft and adjustable handle make it easy to hold.

What you should consider: The batteries stay charged for a maximum of 30 minutes and need to be frequently changed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

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

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