The lawnmower is an indispensable piece of lawn care equipment. But it’s the string trimmer – or weed whacker – that keeps your lawn looking spotless and well-kept. It’s only with a string trimmer that you can cut the tall grass around steps, fences, trees, and flowerbeds.
What is a string trimmer? A string trimmer is basically a shaft with a motor on one end and a propeller on the other.
This piece of lawn care equipment puts the finishing touches on a mowed landscape. The motor-powered propeller cuts down tall grass and weeds in a way that a lawnmower cannot.
String trimmers are powered by either gas, electricity, or a battery. If you intend to buy one, you’ll find countless models available online.
Choosing a Battery-Powered String Trimmer
In most situations, a battery-powered string trimmer provides enough runtime and power for the average residential yard. This is especially true with the latest advances in lithium-ion battery technology.
Battery-powered trimmers emit no harmful fumes. They start instantly every time, without fussing over the choke, or yanking a pull-cord.
The one drawback here is that you’ll probably need a second battery. That’s just in case you run out of power while trimming.
We’ve compiled a shortlist of four of the best-reviewed battery-powered string trimmers below. We hope our insights into each will help you make a choice.
1. Ego ST1511T Power+ String Trimmer
We’ll start with what we and other experts think is the best premium string trimmer in the market today. Compared with other cordless trimmers, the Ego ST1511T Power+ String Trimmer is in a class all its own.
This machine is among the most powerful battery-powered string trimmers in the market. Wirecutter says “it will cut through 1-inch-thick Japanese knotweed as if it were grass.”
True enough, the Ego ST1511T did not disappoint during our tests. This trimmer cuts exceedingly well. We feel it’s a little less aggressive than other models, but it’s still more than enough for residential purposes.
In other respects, it has nice balance and comfortable front and rear handles – and it’s ruggedly built.
The battery packs sufficient run-time power for that purpose, too. We encountered no problems at all using the trimmer on our medium-sized test property. But you should consider purchasing an extra battery if you intend to use this tool on a larger lawn.
We also liked ST1511T’s telescoping carbon-fiber shaft and handle. They are easy to adjust, which made the tool quite comfortable to use, even for extended trimming chores.
But the feature that makes this machine unique is its powered string rewinding. EGO calls this functionality Powerload.
How does it work? You feed a precut length of string through the head. You then press the rewind button at the end of the shaft. The string zooms into the head in seconds.
Some have suggested that this is nothing more than a gimmick. That might be true. Still, it could prove useful for preventing misfeeds and other problems you might encounter while loading the line.
2. Worx WG170 GT Revolution 20V Grass Trimmer
The Worx WG170 GT Revolution 20V Grass Trimmer is among the highest-rated, bestselling string trimmers on Amazon. While we cannot say it’s as powerful as a gas-powered trimmer, it does pack a punch. This is especially true for trimming the average lawn and backyard.
The trimmer has a cutting swath of 12 inches and uses a 0.065″ line. You can transform the WG170 into an edger and mini-mower, too. It’s an excellent edger, but not a good mini-mower. Some might find this function useful, though.
The ergonomics of this tool are quite good. It weighs less than other cordless string trimmers at 6.6 pounds, too. The shaft is adjustable. The head tilts 90 degrees. You can adjust the auxiliary handle, and the wheels are removable
The Worx Command Feed system allows you to feed the string with a push of a button. But we found that – at least for our test unit – every time you push the button, the motor stops. That can be annoying.
Worx offers different kits of this model. The most popular kit comes with two 20V 2.0Ah batteries. Each 20V 2.0Ah battery lasts about 20 to 25 minutes on a full charge.
Charging will take hours on a standard charger. But Worx does offer a quick charger that will charge one battery in 25 minutes.
Overall, we’d say this is a good trimmer for the price it commands. Some might find it a bit underpowered. But we think it offers much in the way of functionality and value for your money.
3. Worx WG163 GT 3.0 20V Cordless String Trimmer
The Worx WG163 GT 3.0 20V Cordless String Trimmer is the number one bestselling trimmer on Amazon right now. It’s newer and more popular than its older brother, the WG170. It’s also much lighter at 5.3 pounds.
This tool boasts all the advantages of cordless weed whackers. You have complete freedom of movement. No messing with a cord. No switching outlets.
The trimmer is excellent for regular cutting, edging, and cleanup on small and medium-sized properties. You’ll have no trouble performing those tasks with the WG163. But don’t expect it to clear large areas or cut through some tougher weeds.
Like the WG170, the WG163 features the Worx Command Feed system, as well. Some customers like this system. Others claim it’s unnecessary and impractical.
Again, like the WG170, the WG163 comes with not only one but two batteries. Each will give you about 20 minutes of work. That’s should be enough to maintain a regular-sized suburban lawn.
Unlike the WG170, the WG163 does not have the puzzling mini-mower function. You cannot reposition the dual wheels on this model. But most of the other functions remain.
The shaft is telescopic so you can set its length. You can adjust the front handle, too, and tilt the trimming head 90 degrees to access hard-to-reach areas.
We think the latter feature makes the WG163 better for edging under bushes and planters than the heavier WG170. We quite comfortably cleared hard-to-reach edges and corners under stoops using the WG 163.
The bottom line? If you need an inexpensive trimmer with an edger function, the Worx WG163 GT 3.0 is an excellent choice. It’s lightweight, offers several useful adjustments, and boasts good battery time, as well.
4. Black and Decker LST300
The Black and Decker LST300 is another cordless trimmer for a small garden or the average suburban lawn. Like all battery-powered trimmers, there isn’t the hassle of an electric cord. You get complete freedom of movement.
Setup is simple. You just install the handle and guard and you’re ready to go. You can also adjust the length of the shaft and the angle of the grip, which makes handling comfortable.
As you would expect from a cordless tool, the LST 300 is lightweight and quiet. Of course, there is also no need to fuss over fuel mixing or maintenance routines typical of gas machines.
We like the LST 300. Many out there will find that it commands quite a reasonable price. That said, you cannot expect the features and power of a $200 gas weed whacker from this tool.
You cannot modify the cutting speed on the LST 300. You cannot cut down dense overgrowth with it, either.
This model is designed for trimming hard-to-reach areas after mowing and for edging along sidewalks and flower beds. Both of these it does rather well.
“I love it,” says one customer review. “It can tackle some tough stuff, is way lighter than the gas trimmers, and won’t kill your back and neck.”
To use the edging mode, you just unlock the shaft, turn it, and lock again. But there is no wheel to help you keep the desired distance from the ground. The small metal guard helps with that, instead.
The LST300 comes with a 2.0 amp-hour 20-Volt battery. The battery offers a decent working time. One charge is good for 20 to 30 minutes. Recharging does take a few hours, though. For a larger yard, we recommend you get your hands on a spare battery.
The battery slides in and is easy to release. You can use the same battery on other Black and Decker 20V tools. But be sure you snap the battery on correctly on the trimmer. Otherwise, the LST300 will falter.
Our verdict? If you need a reasonably-priced high-quality string trimmer, the Black and Decker LST300 is a good option.