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Last updated: June 30, 2022
Also known as weed whackers and weed eaters, a string trimmer is a great tool to have on hand for maintaining the yard. It makes quick work of tall weeds and overgrown lawn, but can often also double as an edger for a picture-perfect finish.
Weed eaters come in different forms, but my personal preference is a corded electric weed eater. Finding the perfect electric weed eater that meets your needs can be hard considering the number of models available.
To help you narrow your search, I have tested and reviewed five of the best corded electric weed eaters on the market. Each of these tools meets our standards for quality and usability, while offering something a little different so you can find the perfect fit for the job at hand.
Top 5 Electric String Trimmers:
Top 5 Electric String Trimmers
Let’s have a closer look at these five corded electric weed eaters.
Not sure whether you need a string trimmer or perhaps a lawn edger? Read my string trimmer vs edger guide to learn more about the key differences between these two tools.
1. Black+Decker 14-Inch String Trimmer
For an all-around reliable and useful weed wacker, the Black+Decker 14-Inch String Trimmer is a great choice. This highly affordable trimmer has just the right amount of power to take on most backyard jobs and comes with plenty of extra features that make it a pleasure to use.
With a cutting width of 14 inches, this tool is tailored for medium to smaller yards and precision trimming. The 6.5 amp motor provides plenty of power to get through your typical overgrown weeds and grass. And at a top working speed of 8,000 RPM, this weed wacker makes quick work of any job without unnecessary stress to the strings.
In addition to a motor with well-balanced power, this string trimmer comes with some great features. The handle shaft is telescoping for quick height adjustment to match the user. And the spool features an automatic feed function for uninterrupted work.
This model also functions as an easy-to-use edger thanks to the attached wheel. Simply rotate the handle for vertical orientation and quickly shape your lawn along sidewalks and garden beds. Considering the modest price of this weed eater, the reliably powerful motor, and many useful features, this is one buy you don’t want to pass up.
2. Greenworks 18-Inch Corded String Trimmer
If you’re looking for a tool that can handle larger jobs but is still easy to use, the Greenworks 18-Inch Corded String Trimmer is the way to go. This trimmer will cost you more than the others on this list and it doesn’t come with as many extra features, but for raw power, you won’t find anything better.
This weed wacker has a large cutting area of 18 inches, allowing you to complete the job in fewer passes. The 10 amp motor provides more than enough power to back that wide coverage area up with plenty of torque to tackle thick weeds and wet grass.
The RPMs on this model are a little lower at 6,000, which also makes it a great choice for thicker jobs. Fewer rotations per minute mean you will have to work at a slower pace, but there will be less need for repeat passes.
The height of this trimmer is fixed and the weight is a little higher than some of our cheaper options at about 10 pounds. These features mean this wacker is best suited for taller homeowners who can handle a bit more weight.
Other users have reported that the powerful motor in the Greenworks trimmer tends to overheat if paired with higher gauge extension cords. For best performance, make sure you utilize a 10 or 12 gauge cord.
This weed eater doesn’t have a wheel for easy edging, but the pole features a quick connect coupler compatible with several other Greenworks tools. In fact, many electric yard tools from other brands can be used with this motor stock.
3. Powersmart 13-Inch Electric String Trimmer
For small yards in need of a quick clean-up, the Powersmart 13-Inch Electric String Trimmer is a worthy purchase. If all you need is a weed wacker to trim the grass your mower can’t get to, this is your best option.
This trimmer has a narrow cutting area of just 13 inches, making it perfect for small jobs and precision shaping. The amperage is also lower than other choices at only 4 amps. This restricts its use to cutting down grasses and thin weeds, but it also means it uses less power.
The Powersmart has a high 9,000 RPM rating which allows for quick work of light jobs. How fast it cuts almost makes up for the smaller cutting area. It also features an auto-feed spool for uninterrupted performance.
At 8.2 pounds, it is light enough for most homeowners to maneuver with ease. The handle is also adjustable for height, which makes operation more comfortable overall. The Powersmart also doubles as an edger thanks to a collapsible vertical leg. It isn’t as easy to use as options with a built-in wheel, but it works well enough for small jobs.
If you have thick weeds or a lot of ground to cover, this trimmer won’t provide enough power or coverage to get the job done quickly. But for small, light-duty jobs, this tool is one of the easiest to use.
4. Toro 14-Inch Corded Electric Trimmer
If weight is your biggest concern when shopping for a new weed whacker, the Toro 14-Inch Corded Electric Trimmer has you covered. This 14-inch trimmer weighs just 6.2 pounds, and the height is fully adjustable for more comfortable maneuvering by shorter users.
The lighter weight does mean this motor isn’t as powerful as other options. At 5 amps, it is optimized for burning through lightweight debris and thin weeds quickly. Put this trimmer against thick stalks or wet grass and it will struggle.
Part of the reason this trimmer is not a great choice for thicker jobs is because of its high RPM rating. The strings spin at upward of 10,000 RPMs. This makes quick work of tall grass but doesn’t have the torque behind it to carry that speed through thicker debris. Additionally, the string that comes with this tool is thin and prone to breaking. Even with lighter jobs, we recommend upgrading to a thicker string that can better handle the RPMs this thing puts out.
But for those smaller, light-duty jobs, you won’t find a more capable trimmer that weighs less. And the price is impressively affordable as well. Plus, the Toro also features a one-step switch to turn it into an edger. The small wheel, neatly tucked behind the string guard, makes edging even long sections of lawn super easy.
5. LawnMaster 16-Inch Electric String Trimmer
Another contender for the best weed wacker for thick debris is the LawnMaster 16-Inch Electric String Trimmer.
This well-built weed eater has a coverage area of 16 inches and a powerful 10 amp motor. Like our other top choice for power, the RPMs of this tool run at a lower 6,650 to provide extra torque to reduce the need for repeat passes.
The LawnMaster weighs a decent amount at 10.5 pounds and the height is less adjustable than other options. But, it does feature one of the more comfortable grip setups that we tested. Instead of a wrap-around handle and trigger at the top, the main grip is positioned below the motor. When paired with the included shoulder strap, this setup takes much of the weight out of your control hand for more precise maneuvering
Like other powerful weed eaters we looked at, this one is light on extra features. It can be used as an edger, but there is no wheel or leg for easy height control. But considering the power you get and its usability for heavy-duty jobs, it’s hard to beat the price of the LawnMaster.
As you can see from our list above, there are a number of different features available on string trimmers. Understanding how each contributes to the tool’s overall performance is key to helping you find the right trimmer for your needs.
To help you narrow your options, we put together this handy string trimmer buyers guide:
- Electric vs gas powered
- Cutting width
- Motor and power rating
- Size and ergonomics
1. Electric vs Gas Powered
One of the first things you need to decide on is whether a gas or electric (corded or battery) weed wacker would be best for your needs. Each has its benefits and restrictions that play into what situations each is optimized for.
Gas weed eaters are good when you need power or have a lot of land to cover. They aren’t restricted by cords, can run as long as needed, and also typically offer the most power.
But they are stinky, loud, and take some additional maintenance. They typically require a special blend of gas and oil to run properly, and they are not environmentally friendly.
Have a look at my gas powered string trimmers buying guide for reviews of a few good-quality and affordable options.
Corded mowers plug into an outlet and use electricity to run. They are much quieter than gas trimmers and don’t put off any noxious fumes or odors. They also take less maintenance to upkeep.
However, they are restricted in the size of the job they can take on because they must be plugged into your house or outbuilding, and as such are more suitable for smaller yards and lawns.
The power output of corded trimmers also tends to be lower than gas models. Some are capable of taking on thick debris but most are better suited to lightweight jobs.
As mentioned above, a corded electric weed eater is my preferred tool.
Electric battery powered string trimmers have many of the same benefits as corded but without the tether that reduces their use.
With improved battery technology in recent years, battery powered options offer good power and compete with their corded electric and gas-powered models in that regard. Most battery weed eaters are optimized for lighter-duty jobs though.
Note though that battery-powered options can be quite expensive, and also tend to be a bit heavier than corded models.
2. Cutting Width
The cutting width of a string trimmer refers to the diameter of the area contacted by the strings as they spin.
Trimmers with large cutting widths, around 18 inches, are great for large jobs. Because they cover more ground with each pass, it will take less time to get the job done. But these tools are more cumbersome for precision work and tend to be heavier.
Weed eaters with narrow cutting widths, around 13 inches, are great for precision work and getting into those small areas that your mower can’t reach. But if you try to use a tool this size for a larger job, expect to have to do multiple passes to get everything even. On the plus side, though, they tend to be fairly lightweight.
If you need your trimmer to do both precision work and cover some ground, look for one with a mid-range cutting width.
3. Motor and Power Rating
The two most common power ratings you’ll see on corded weed trimmers are Amps (Amperes) and RPMs (rotations per minute).
The Amperage will tell you how powerful a weed wacker is. This number generally translates to how well a model is equipped to take on thick debris like hard-stemmed weeds and wet grass.
Most high Amp trimmers have lower RPMs as much of the power from the motor goes into creating torque not speed. Low Amp trimmers tend to have higher RPMs because it takes less power to create speed than to create torque.
A low Amp trimmer with high RPMs will spin fast enough to get lightweight jobs done quicker. But, if a thick weed gets in the way, these tools lack the torque to push the string through it on a single pass. A high Amp trimmer with low RPMs requires slower passes but is less likely to leave any debris uncut.
For combination jobs or large jobs with some thicker and thinner debris, try to find a trimmer that balances RPMs and Amperage for the best of both worlds. Something like the Black+Decker 14-Inch String Trimmer would be perfect for these situations.
4. Size and Ergonomics
In general, the power output of a weed wacker is directly related to its total weight. Meaning, that if you want a very lightweight unit that’s easy to maneuver, you will have to settle for a less powerful model. But, for corded units, even the most powerful generally weigh in at less than 11 pounds.
In terms of height, many models, like the Toro 14-Inch Corded Electric Trimmer, feature telescopic poles so the height can be easily adjusted. Fixed height trimmers are usually best suited for males of average height.
The handle type and position should also play a role in your final decision. All trimmers feature a main grip, which will be positioned right above or right below the motor, and an extended grip to help with maneuvering. Some may also include a shoulder strap to relieve the pressure on your hands.
The right weed eater is key to getting your yard looking its best without having to put in too much extra labor.
For yards that need more than a little taming, the Greenworks 18-Inch Corded String Trimmer is the way to go. This wide trimmer covers a ton of ground with each pass and is powerful enough to cut through thick weeds without skipping a beat.
If your yard just needs a little touch-up after each mow, the Powersmart 13-Inch Electric String Trimmer is a great choice. The narrow head is perfect for precision work and the high RPMs will allow you to get the job done faster.
Or, if you’re like most homeowners with a yard that needs a lot of work of varying degrees of thickness, the Black+Decker 14-Inch String Trimmer might be the best choice. This trimmer is powerful enough to take on most backyard debris but also balanced enough to get the job done quickly.