Giving your lawn the best care possible can be tricky work. It takes precision, attention, power, durability, and the right tools – which is why you should have the best string trimmer you can get your hands on. And while there are plenty of top-of-the-line gas-powered options available on the market, battery-powered models typically come with far less hassle and maintenance – no mixing gasoline solutions, no fumes, no smells, less noise, less weight – you get the idea. (Also, for whatever it’s worth, there have been movements this year in California to ban gas-powered lawn equipment.)
Whenever you have to deal with something that your mower can’t get to or need some fine trimming to freshen up the garden, a high-quality string trimmer is the most useful tool that you can have. If you want to have a lawn that isn’t just free of uneven grass and weeds, but has that polished, manicured look you see in commercials, you’re gonna need to find the best trimmer to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Don’t know what the best trimmer looks like? Don’t worry – that’s our job! Just carry on reading for a helpful guide on everything you need to know about buying the best battery-powered trimmer for you or click here to jump straight to our #1 option from Amazon.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Battery String Trimmer?
Criteria #1: Comfort – Taking great care of your lawn takes a while, and if it’s going to take a while, then you might as well be comfortable. Now, comfort means a lot of things for a trimmer. It means being light enough so you can lug it around up and down the yard all day without exhausting yourself. It means being balanced enough for it to be easy to maneuver. It means having a sound design, so you don’t have to deal with every shake, rattle, and, roll of its vibrations during operation, and all of those other tiny things that just make a tool feel right. The best tool for any job is the tool that you can use well, so it’s worth it to make a concession or two at the cost of getting yourself a trimmer that’s not just effective, but is easy to use.
Criteria #2: Power – Being comfortable and easy to use is important, but it isn’t everything. At the end of the day, you need to make sure you’re buying a tool that will get the job done. Even for normal residential yard maintenance, power is important. Most electric string trimmers are not as powerful as gas-powered trimmers, and although they’ll still likely have enough power for cutting through your lawn grass, you may have some deep roots or tall grass that need a little bit more “oomph.” “Strong enough” is fine, but “more than strong enough” is really nice.
Criterion #3: Battery – The best battery-powered string trimmer should have the best battery. A trimmer with a great battery and long run time will allow you to stay at work rather than going in and out of your house every few minutes to recharge or swap out the battery.
Criteria #4: Durability and Maintenance – As is true for any power tool, using a cordless string trimmer causes wear and tear. Buying the best trimmer in the world won’t do anybody a whole lot of good if they have to buy it again next week, or if the amount of time and energy it takes to keep the trimmer functioning is more work than reward.
Criteria #5: Price – This one is pretty self-explanatory. Everybody needs to eat, right? Nobody is suggesting you buy a horrible trimmer to save a few dollars, but we want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Battery String Trimmer
In order to make sure we could help you make the best decision possible, we sifted through video reviews, customer reviews, articles, and the featured description from the original manufacturer. We used this information in order to assess which string trimmers are the most popular, user-friendly, effective, and manageable options on the market. Here it is, neatly compiled for your reading pleasure.
#1: Ego Power+ ST1521S (Best Value – All-Purpose)
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This cordless string trimmer from Ego is all-around one of the best weed eaters on the market. It’s comfortable, it’s powerful, it has more battery power than you should need on a residential yard, and it has plenty of helpful features that go a long way.
Its carbon fiber shaft is light and durable, coming with an ergonomic flex handle. It’s very quiet, relatively speaking. Even though they’re much quieter than gas trimmers, no string trimmers are what most would call “quiet”. The design seems to do a very good job of minimizing vibrations (unlike the Ryobi cordless trimmer which will appear later in this article).
It’s extremely powerful for a cordless electric, or even for a gas trimmer, for that matter. Its brushless motor and 15-inch cutting swath are more than strong enough to cut through anything you might encounter on a normal lawn – and then some. The battery should last for about an hour of continuous run time – far more time than it should take to cover the average residential property. The lithium-ion battery is also compatible with all Ego Power power tools, so if you already have one of their products, you can swap the batteries when one is dead and work all day.
In addition to just being an excellent electric string trimmer, this model boasts the easiest to change trimmer line out there. Just insert the cutting line into the cutting head, press the button, and let the auto-feed wind the line for you – no difficult feeds for you to navigate, no removing the trimmer head or cutting swath. Just insert the line into one hole and press a button. It’s easier than reading this article.
This trimmer was clearly designed with ease of use in mind. It’s light and gentle on the user and has a variable speed trigger, if you need to use a little more finesse. It’s pretty pricey, at least relative to the other residential models, but you’ll know where your money is going.
Reviewers loved the lightweight design and the lack of vibrations. Some people found it to be a little bit shaky on full power, but that variable speed trigger is there for a reason. Bottom line, this string trimmer is one of the best you can find.
#2: Ryobi 40v Brushless String Trimmer (Best Machine)
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If comfort and ease of use aren’t your biggest concern, and you just need something that you know will be able to take care of absolutely any job you need taking care of, then you might want to consider this electric string trimmer from Ryobi. It’s not as comfortable as the Ego Power+ (you’ll feel much more of those pesky vibrations), but it has quite a bit to offer in its own right.
Reason #1 to Pick This Product: Bump Feed
The Ryobi cordless string trimmer is – give-or-take – just as powerful as the model from Ego Power, and its lithium-ion battery lasts a good amount longer. It even has an almost-as-easy-to-use automatic string line changer. The only real sacrifice you’re making here when compared to the Ego trimmer is the comfort. Comfort is a big deal to a lot of people, which is why the Ego trimmer is so popular, but Ryobi’s bump feed feature is great for people with tricky jobs that need taking care of. If your line starts to fray as you’re working, this great feature allows you to take care of the problem without slowing down on the job. Just tap the little button that hangs under the trimmer head onto the ground, and the bump feed will trigger the cutting swath to release more string while even cutting it to size.
Reason #2 to Pick This Product: Expanded Capabilities
This is the real selling point of the Ryobi string trimmer. The Ryobi weed eater is truly the Swiss Army Knife of power tools. The trimmer head is removable and can be replaced with the head of a snowblower, leaf blower, chainsaw, or pretty much anything else. If Ryobi makes it, then it can probably be attached to this weed eater. So if you already have other Ryobi products, then that’s a pretty great incentive to give this one its due diligence. Save a ton of space with one tool with a bunch of attachments rather than dozens of tools filling up your garage. You can also save money buying attachment heads instead of full machines, especially since it even fits with the heads of a bunch of power tools designed by third-party manufacturers.
This immensely valuable and convenient feature can easily be the difference-maker for many consumers. If you need to get the job done, the Ego Power+ is probably the best battery-powered string trimmer out there, but if you need to get any job done, you can’t go wrong with the Ryobi 40v.
#3: Makita XRU18 X2 (Best For Specialty Tasks)
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This trimmer is seriously heavy duty. Almost all cordless string trimmers are less powerful than gas-powered string trimmers, but this battery-powered one might be the exception. The kit comes with two batteries (lithium-ion, of course), as it uses two batteries to function. If for some reason those don’t give you enough run time (they’re good for about an hour and a half, more than twice as long as the two cordless string trimmers above), Makita offers a backpack attachment allowing you to hook the trimmer up to four extra batteries. It’s an absolute beast of a machine that offers more power than most people need, but if you need something that can handle plenty of work and plenty of difficult work, then this trimmer is a gem.
You’ll have a very hard time finding a cordless string trimmer with as much power as this one. This brushless motor weed eater has three speeds, topping out at 6,000 RPM. (The Ryobi gets about 3,700. The Ego gets a little under 3,000.) It also has a 17-inch cutting swath on the trimmer head, so not only are you cutting through more with less effort due to the power, you’re covering more ground at a quicker rate. Simply in terms of raw cutting power, this thing flat-out has the other electric string trimmers beat.
In addition to the immense power and wide range mentioned in the previous paragraph, this trimmer has two extremely helpful features. First, it has an automatic feature, which monitors the speed and adjusts as necessary when you need more power to cut through tougher grass. This is great for handling large plots of land without having to worry too much about every change in the terrain. Second, it has a great timed reverse feature, which unwinds the string line if it gets hooked or tangled. Both features compound on each other to make a battery-powered trimmer that can handle even the largest and most complicated plots of land.
#4: Greenworks 60V Pro Trimmer (Best Low Cost)
This is probably the best cordless option for your money. This brushless motor string trimmer costs less than $200 with the battery and charger, and, truth be told, you’re not sacrificing that much compared to the other high-end weed eaters.
It definitely doesn’t have all of the comforts of the Ego, but it still does a great job of keeping the vibrations down. It’s weaker than the other lines we’ve covered here, with only a .080 line that will probably still be strong enough for your typical residential work, but might become an issue if you go into more heavy-duty tasks.
At the end of the day it still has enough power, functionality, and battery life to compete with the best cordless trimmers out there, and even comes with a four-year warranty on both the machine and the battery.
#5: Dewalt 20v Max Folding Trimmer (On-the-Go or Multitasking)
This is a pretty niche trimmer, but it’s one of those things that if you need it, you need it. As far as the meaningful specs go (comfort, power, battery life, durability, versatility, etc.), it’s pretty much your garden variety, brushless motor, battery-powered, string trimmer. Certainly not the best battery powered string trimmer, but it’s as good as it needs to be in every aspect – no more, no less.
What really makes it worth writing home about is the simple fact that it folds in half. If you’re often on the go and don’t have space to spare for packing, or if trimming is just one job on the long list of things you need to tackle, then Dewalt’s weed eater might be the one for you. In addition to folding in half, its design is already pretty sleek to begin with, and the battery pack is visibly smaller than most competitors. If convenience is what you need, then there’s no other option.
Best Budget Options
Looking for a string trimmer on a budget? Here are two options to consider:
#1 Best Budget: WORX wg163 Cordless Trimmer
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As far as budget options go, coming across one that checks every box the way this one does is pretty rare. This is as effective a weed eater that you can get while spending as little as possible. It comes with two batteries, and you’re sacrificing only the bare minimum in functionality. What you see is what you get – a super light, a comfortable battery-powered trimmer that’s as affordable as you could hope for. You’re sacrificing battery life and power by picking this over Greenworks cordless trimmer, so if you have a spacious yard, then it’s probably not the tool for the job. Still, a high-quality string trimmer at $100 or less is hard to say no to.
#2 Best Budget: Black & Decker LST522
The Black & Decker trimmer costs even less than the WORX trimmer does, and is just as light and versatile. It’s comfortable and practical, but you’ll see similar complaints regarding power and battery life. Additionally, rather than the dual-line which is included with all of the other models we’ve reviewed, it has a single line trimmer head that really takes some time to get the job done. If the price is your main issue, then this trimmer is your best option.
Verdict: Your Best Battery String Trimmer
If reading all of that made your head spin like a string trimmer, don’t worry. We summarized everything to make your life easier.
If you want the most effective, user-friendly trimmer, pick the Ego Power+ ST1521S.
This machine is just absolutely lovely to use. It’s light, ergonomic, effective, quiet, and most of all, easy on the body. The harmonic design is flawless and does an excellent job of minimizing those rough vibrations coursing through your body.
If getting the most out of your dollar is important to you, pick the Greenworks 60V Pro.
This trimmer is a consumer’s dream. Its price isn’t too far below its competitors, but that four-year warranty will make sure your cents go far.
If you need power and sustainability, pick the Makita XRU 18 x2.
The Makita is a certified workhorse. It has a ton of battery life, a ton of power, and some useful tricks up its sleeve to eliminate downtime and make sure you stay working rather than fiddling with your tool. If you need to handle a great deal of land and don’t want to stop, this might be the best tool out there.
If you need a tool that can take care of virtually any job, pick the Ryobi 40V Brushless String Trimmer.
This is one of the most compelling products you’ll find anywhere. Its expanded capabilities feature, which allows you to swap the head of the trimmer with the head of almost any other power tool, is life-changing. Also, the battery can be easily swapped with the battery of almost any Ryobi product, to help you cut down on time waiting for the battery to charge.
The bottom line is, if you have a brushless motor, cordless trimmer that doesn’t saddle you with all of the clunkiness and noise and maintenance of a gas-powered model, then you’re probably in good shape. But if “probably” isn’t good enough, then we did the extra work to make sure you get exactly what you want!