If you’re on the hunt for the best weed eater for the 2023 mowing season, you’ve come to the right place! Since the mowing season never really ends here in Florida, it’s a great place to be testing year-round and we’re able to get our hands on the latest gas, cordless, and electric weed eater models.
Before we dive into our recommendations, let’s take care of a little contextual business. Technically, Weed Eater is a brand, not a tool. The tool we’re talking about is a string trimmer. Much like Kleenex is a tissue and Sawzall is a reciprocating saw, the brand name is synonymous with the tool type.
Weed Eater as a brand is part of the Husqvarna group and has a focus on the needs of homeowners. Likewise, the focus of this article is also on string trimmers specifically targeting the needs of homeowners. If you’d like to see what we recommend for professionals as well, check out the following articles:
Best String Trimmer
Best Battery-Powered String Trimmer
Table of Contents
- Best Gas Weed Eater
- Best Battery-Powered Weed Eater
- Best Corded Electric Weed Eater
- Best Value Weed Eater
- Best Weed Eater Brand
- More Recommendations from Brands We Trust
- What We Look For: Buying Guide
- Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews
Best Gas Weed Eater
Echo SRM-225 String Trimmer
Echo’s SRM-225 bridges the gap between homeowner needs and professional quality and performance. It has an easy-starting 21.2cc engine driving a 17-inch cutting swath. Line changes are easy out of the box thanks to a stock Speed Feed 400 head.
The 225 has been around for a long time—well over a decade. Some of the features have changed, (such as the starting system and head), but this is a field-proven model that consistently earns high praise from folks that use it.
While the price tag is on the high end of the residential range, the SRM-225 does have a 5-year consumer warranty.
Best Battery-Powered Weed Eater
EGO 56V PowerLoad String Trimmer with Line IQ
The creme de la creme in the battery-powered world this year is EGO”s latest model. Piling on the best of its technologies, it features a carbon fiber shaft, PowerLoad automatic line winding, and automatic line extending with LineIQ.
As is typical for EGO string trimmers, the 56V brushless motor is confident cutting through tall grass and the vibration levels are lower than most of its competition.
Price: Price: $219.00 bare, $299.00 with a 4.0Ah battery and charger
Best Corded Electric Weed Eater
Black + Decker GH900 String Trimmer
Black +Decker has a nice range of corded electric string trimmers to choose from. If the higher affordability and/or simplicity of corded if what you’re looking for, we recommend the GH900. It’s a 6.5-amp model with a 14-inch cutting swath that has more power than many of its competitors. It’s also a 2-in-1 mode with a wheel that makes flipping the trimmer to the side for edging duties easier.
This model has automatic line feeding. As long as there’s line on the spool, it feeds as necessary without you having to bump the head as you go.
Best Value Weed Eater
Skil PWRCore 40 Brushless String Trimmer Kit
If you’re shopping with a tighter budget, there are still quality weed eaters to choose from, including cordless models. Pulling together everything—performance, design, convenience, and price—we recommend the Skil PWRCore 40 15-inch brushless string trimmer as the best value.
It has better performance than you get from the 18V/20V Max class while keeping both its weight and price in check. Plus, it adds a quick-winding Smart Lond feature for line changes and Skil backs it with a 5-year warranty.
Price: $159.00 with 2.5Ah battery and charger
Best Weed Eater Brand
So when it all shakes out, what’s the best weed eater brand from top to bottom? That’s going to take some context. In our opinion, it has to be a brand with a broad range of options in both the gas and election categories, and that narrows the field significantly. While there are several quality brands in the mix, we believe Ryobi does the best job of bracketing the needs of homeowners.
There are several gas options and a corded model to choose from. Plus, there are budget-friendly entry-level options on the 18V One+ platform all the way to high-end 40V HP Brushless models, including one that earned our recommendation as the most powerful cordless string trimmer.
More Recommendations from Brands We Trust
There are A LOT of really good weed eaters on the market and while only one could fill each category above, here are some of our other top recommendations.
Best Craftsman String Trimmer – V20 RP Brushless 13-Inch String Trimmer
Craftsman covers corded, battery, and gas-powered string trimmers, giving you more than a dozen total choices. Of those, the V20 RP Brushless model is the way to go if you have a small yard or want a lightweight option. It’s also a good value—the kit is just $149.00 and that includes a 5.0Ah battery. When you consider some of the better corded models are around $100 and then add the cost of a quality 100-foot extension cord, cordless convenience isn’t too far out of reach.
Price: $149.00 with 5.0Ah battery and charger
Best Greenworks Weed Eater – 60V Pro 16-Inch Brushless String Trimmer
Greenworks’ Pro 60V line has a few options and the ST60L04 is one of the best you can get at the $200 price point. Its performance is characterized by confident cutting using 0.095-inch line and low vibration. Balancing that performance with an 11.2-pound weight (including the battery), it’s a very comfortable trimmer to work with. Plus, it includes an easy-loading Load N’ Go head that makes your line changes less frustrating.
Price: $199.99 with a 2.5Ah battery and charger
Best HART String Trimmer – 40V SuperCharge 15-Inch Brushless Carbon Fiber String Trimmer
HART is taking its next step forward with a big focus on performance and its 40V SuperCharge string trimmer is the way to go if you’re looking for the best the Walmart-exclusive brand has to offer. Using a brushless motor, it’s capable of overtaking 25cc gas models. It’s also an attachment-ready system. Just grab whichever HART or other universal connection accessories you like and turn this string trimmer into a lawn care multi-tool.
Price: $237.00 with a 4.0Ah battery and rapid charger
Best Husqvarna Weed Eater – 320iL 40V Weed Eater 16-Inch Brushless String Trimmer
Husqvarna has a very clean professional side and a nice selection of homeowner models you can conveniently get from Lowe’s. Launched in 2023, the 320iL is the first battery-powered string trimmer in Husqvarna’s line to carry the Weed Eater brand name and it’s a serious contender in the residential market.
Using a 40V power source and brushless motor, this 16-inch string trimmer is lightweight at just 10.1 with a 4.0Ah battery. Combined with Husqvarna’s characteristic low-vibration design, it’s a strong candidate for the most comfortable string trimmer to use. Plus, there’s a directional switch feature. It’s something we see on professional models from time to time, but they typically use it for just a few seconds to detangle grass that gets around the shaft. Husqvarna specifically designed this one to run full-time in either direction so you’re always sending clippings away from you.
Price: $169.00 bare, $299.00 with 4.0Ah battery and charger
Best Ridgid String Trimmer – 18V Brushless 14-Inch String Trimmer
2023 saw Ridgid enter the lawn care sector for the first time with a suite of products that are compatible with the same 18V batteries that run the beloved orange power tools. For the string trimmer, Ridgid decided to target a lighteight model. including a 4.0Ah battery, it’s less than 10 pounds. While the 14-inch max cutting swath isn’t what professionals are looking for, it’s just fine for homeowner needs.
Price: $189.00 bare, $249.00 with a 4.0Ah battery and charger
Best Ryobi Weed Eater – 40V HP Brushless 17-Inch Carbon Fiber String Trimmer
Ryobi has been in the lawn care game for a long time. Recently, the battery side of the business has brought impressive gains in both design and performance. The culmination of that advancement brings together a battery and brushless motor with stronger performance than its competition. You can use line up to 0.105-inch and you get a 17-inch cutting swath.
While this model is on the heavy side, its performance makes it a great choice for maintaining large areas or reclaiming overgrowth. On the other hand, its noise level doesn’t seem to match how strong it is. As part of Ryobi’s Whisper Series, this model runs some 60% quieter than gas models.
Price: $279.00 bare, $329.00 with 6.0Ah battery and rapid charger
Best Stihl String Trimmer – FSA 60 R 36V 14-Inch Brushless String Trimmer
Thanks to the quality of its products and the support of its servicing dealer network, Stihl enjoys a high reputation when it comes to string trimmers (and virtually everything else it makes). Shifting away from its excellent professional models, the homeowner side has both gas and battery models available. In our opinion, battery is the way to go for homeowners and the FSA 60 R is the one we’d go with.
It’s a sub-10-pound (with the battery) 14-inch brushless model using the AK battery system that targets homeowner needs. There’s a similar model on the AP system (the FSA 86 R), but it costs a bit more and unless you’re going to add other Stihl professional-level products, you shouldn’t need to jump up.
Price: $219.99 bare, $289.99 with 3.9Ah battery
What We Look For – Best Weed Eater Buying Guide
Gas, Battery-Powered, or Corded?
The power source you choose has a significant impact on several aspects of you string trimmer ownership experience.
Gas models give you the most power (but battery is getting really close). If you’re looking for a wide cutting swath with a high line size and possibly using a grass or brush cutter blade, it’s the best way to go. Keep in mind you have to mix your gas and oil, it’s the noisiest option, they tend to have more vibration, and there’s more maintenance to keep up with. Prices run the gamut from around $100 all the to around $250 for a high-end residential model.
Battery-powered weed eaters are now able to keep up with 25cc gas engine performance and even higher in some cases. Many use medium line sizes and a few can handle 0.105-inch line. They are highly convenient models to use. Just pop the battery in and go. One thing to keep in mind is that most of the batteries are good for 3 – 5 years, and they can be expensive to replace. They’re also some of the most expensive, starting over $100 and reaching the $300 mark. On the other hand, most folks we know that experience the convenience along with lower noise, no emissions, and no gas hassles of a good battery model never look back.
Corded electric weed eaters are the way to go if you’re on a tight budget. They tend to be smaller and lighter with less power and cutting swath than others. However, there’s almost no maintenance to worry about and you have the same low noise, no gas benefits of battery-powered models. The big trade-off is that you need to drag an extension cord wherever you’re working. On the plus side, the majority of corded models are under $100.
Cutting Swath and Line Size
As you increase the overall power of a string trimmer, you can increase the cutting swath and line diameter. For cutting swath, you can go as low as 12 inches or as high as 17 or 18 inches. The wider you go, the more grass you’re clearing, making it easier to trim back larger areas of overgrowth or give your mower more of a buffer.
Pro Tip: Avoid the temptation to remove the guard to get more line out. It may look like a good idea, but it puts more strain on the engine/motor than it was designed to handle and will shorten its overall service life.
Line diameter starts around 0.065 inches thick. We recommend at least 0.080-inch and prefer 0.095 for the best all-around cutting. 0.105-inch line is great if you’re clearing overgrowth, but it’s overkill for the regular cutting you do around your home. As you increase the line size, it has more mass and is able to drive through thicker and stalkier grasses easier.
Pro Tip: Similar to extending the cutting swath, loading line that’s thicker than your trimmer is rated for can put additional strain on the engine/motor that hurts it in the long run.
Vibration is simple—the less a weed eater has, the more pleasant it is to use. Electric and battery-powered models are the best, but they can still have quite a bit. Once you use a good low-vibration string trimmer, your entire outlook on trimming can change.
Weight and Length
Like vibration, the size and weight of a string trimmer contribute significantly to how fatiguing the chore is. Lower weight is better. However, beware of trimmers that are much longer or shorter than you can comfortably adjust to your height. Going too far in either direction is a recipe for back pain.
Price and Value
As with most products, the overall quality and performance of a weed eater generally increase with the price. That said, shop around and ask questions—at nearly every price point there’s going to be a model or two that give you a better overall experience than others.
Considering a couple of different ones and aren’t sure which way to go? Drop a comment below and we’ll let you know which one we recommend.
Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews
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