These small lawn care power equipment devices are known as the best weed eaters, string trimmers, or weed wackers (or whackers), and do wonderful trimming and edging. Any of these names are the same appliance for trimming and making the yard neat to include trimming close to sidewalks.
They do not have blades to cut. They use a flexible monofilament line that looks like a thick fishing line, or ‘string’ to cut grass and weeds close to things. Using these devices eliminates the laborious effort and back pain pulling weeds out by hand.
They are handy on slopes, hills, around tree trunks, and banks where a lawn mower would be dangerous or impossible to use. The monofilament comes in specific diameters for the machine it fits.
Table of Contents
- Best Weed Eater Reviews of Each Type
- FAQs About Weed Eaters and Trimmers
- 1. Recharging Batteries
- 2. Can Fuel Be Left in the Tank?
- 3. What Grade of Gasoline Should Be Used for Weed Eater/Trimmers?
- 4. Can I Use Alcohol-Blended Fuels?
- 5. Can the Trimmer Line Break?
- 6. Can the Trimmer Line Be Changed if It Breaks?
- 7. Is the Spark Plug Needed in Order to Make the Weed Eater Work?
- 8. Will the Weed Trimmer Have a Fuel Filter?
- 9. How Often Do I Change the Air Cleaner?
- 10. How Do You Remove the Fuel Filter?
- 11. Warranty
- 12. Is Trimming Easy to Do?
- 13. Why Will The Engine Not Start?
- 14. How Do I Lubricate a Straight Shaft Unit?
- 15. Why Use the Fuel/Oil Mixture?
- Safety Tips
The unit has a long shaft and a cutting head where the monofilament ‘string’ comes out. They can have a strap known as a harness to place around one shoulder and some are equipped with one or more handles.
Weed eaters come in three types: corded electric weed eater, cordless battery powered weed eater, and gas powered weed eater and each will be discussed here to help you evaluate and understand what to buy.
Best Weed Eater Reviews of Each Type
Black & Decker® has been making power tools, outdoor yard care equipment, and accessories since 1910. They have grown and advanced from their first portable electric drill to be a world famous manufacturer of remarkable products. They are located in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and are a respected company for tools and home improvement products.
The #1 best seller on Amazon, the Black & Decker® Max model LST136W 40V comes with its POWERDRIVE™ transmission and has the power and drive to get the weeds out and the lawn trimmed. Its energized 40-Volt MAX lithium ion battery with charge indicator and the power string trimmer has all the strength to save yours when attacking tough stubborn weeds and an abundance of grass at sidewalks between property lines, around flower beds and borders, under and near fences.
This trimmer converts to a 180-degree edger with a twist of the shaft. The Automatic Feed Spool AFS® guarantees nonstop work without needing to bump the head for a continued flow in using—the trimmer line is always coming out.
The POWERCOMMAND® dial lets you select the max power to handle those thick weeds and a maximum runtime for staying with it longer. The Black & Decker® fast charger unit is included so that you can take a rest for 2 hours or less while it is charging. Without a load, the initial maximum voltage of the battery is 40-Volts. The minimal power is 36-Volts. The pre-wound spool of line slips in and takes only a few minutes to do. The extender handle lets tall people use this with no slumping over to have sore back muscles at the end of the day.
The cutting swath is 13-inches, the line is 0.065-inches, it runs at between 6500-8500 RPM, and it weighs 7.8 pounds. The replacement AF-100-3ZP 30-feet 0.065-inch line string is available on Amazon. The power is a 40-Volt lithium battery. The dimensions are 9.6 x 4.4 x 43.9 inches and it weighs 9.9 pounds.
In the box is one each Black & Decker® LST136 40V MAX lithium cordless trimmer/edger; one LBXR36 40V MAX high performance lithium ion battery; the LCS36 fast charger; one AF-100 spool; the guard; and auxiliary handle. Included are the User’s Manual and a 3-year Limited Warranty. The unit is made in China and only ships within the USA.
The GreenWorks™ model 21142 10-Amp 18-inch corded string trimmer is electric and offers gas attachment capability. It is also available at 4-Amp with a 13-inch cutting swath for under $30, and at 5.5-Amp with a 15-inch cutting swath for under $50. The unit has a straight shaft with circular handle and uses 0.080 dual lines and the head is bump feed to advance quickly the line as you work.
This unit will need an extension cord in the same wire gauge. Depending on the length of the extension cord will also determine this. It is a 2-prong female receptacle on the unit plug end. You will need a 2-prong male extension cord to attach to it. A 14-gauge for 50-feet and a 10-gauge for 100-feet of extension cord should work.
The electric start method is a convenience and there is no mixing of oil and gas so it has no fumes and no maintenance for you. The cord-locking device keeps the cord from under your feet and out of the way for safety. The trimmer is lightweight and whisper-quiet when compared to gas units. The cushioned over-mold grip handles are designed for your comfort with an auxiliary handle that will give you better control when trimming.
This trimmer has two trim lines make the cutting twice as fast with the line lasting longer. The GreenWorks™ trimmer line automatically advances by releasing the ‘on’ trigger for about 2 seconds where you will hear it click. Trimming around rocks and concrete will of course use the line faster from the friction.
The included attachment capability accepts most gas attachments to provide multiple functions for specific tasks. The coupler is universal so will accept many gas attachments such as RYOBI®, TrimmerPlus®, Yardworks®, and more. The straight shaft split boom grass trimmer attachment is provided for you as an additional featured item. When you run out of line, Greenworks™ provides the replacement ordering part number 296224 prewound or in bulk to wind yourself available on Amazon. There are 2 tabs at 90-degrees to where the line comes out, push both tabs in, and the spool cover can be pulled off for an easy reload of the disk with line.
The trimmer is 12-Amps and 120-Volts weighing 9.9 pounds and is CSA certified.
In the box is one each GreenWorks™ power head, an 18-inch straight split boom string trimmer attachment, auxiliary handle and the unit is easy to assemble in about 10 minutes. An Owner’s Manual and a 4-year warranty are included. The trimmer is made in China.
The Husqvarna® model 128DJx 17-inch, 28cc, 2-stroke gas powered straight shaft string trimmer and grass/brush blade cutter with detachable shaft tackles the hard jobs for professionals or home owners with its hedge trimmer, edger, pruner, and blade kit attachments. The combo-trimmer is quality built with you in mind for excellent performance and easy operation for small to medium yards whether flat, uphill, downhill, or fenced. It does a superb job trimming around borders, sidewalks, and trees. For the line to release, simply bump or tap the feeder on the bottom end.
The soft grip J-handle and harness is comfortable and adjustable for your height and relaxed working considerations so not exert yourself.è
The detachable shaft requires no tools to slide out to separate for storage and moving about.
With its Smart Start® recoil system designed fuel pump, engine, and starter, you will have no problem with quick starts using less energy having no ropes to pull. Its mode of always-on automatic return stop switch assures you of starting hassle-free every time. The semi-automatic metal blade trimmer head is easy to attach. The triangular-shaped cut guard provides the Husqvarna® with its E-TECH engine for decreased emissions into the environment. It is CARB Compliant, the California Air Resources Board for air quality.
The unit does not rotate 90-degrees to trim, so tilt the entire machine. The 2-cycle engine runs upside down with no problem to reach the tops of hedges and thin skinny trees.
Husqvarna® part number 639005102 Titanium Force String Trimmer Line 0.095-inch by 1/2-pound donut contains 140-feet of line for about $12 on Amazon. The commercial grade copolymer trimmer line is a silver color and provides long life and great performance reducing fuel consumption with its innovative technology. The trimmer will run quieter as well. A free line cutter comes with the spool of line.
The dimensions are 11.2-inches long x 9.6-inches wide x 72-inches high and weighs 10.8 pounds. The engine cylinder displacement is 28 cm3 and 1 HP, 0.75 kW power.
The Husqvarna® trimmer comes with an Owner’s Manual and a 1-year warranty. The trimmer is made in Sweden.
|Black & Decker LST136W 40V Max Lithium String Trimmer and Replacement Spool 3-Pack Bundle*||$150.71 from $67.11||Buy on Amazon|
|Greenworks 18-Inch 10 Amp Corded String Trimmer (Attachment Capable) 21142*||$33.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Husqvarna Gas Straight Shaft String Trimmer 128LD*||$219.95 $212.44||Buy on Amazon|
FAQs About Weed Eaters and Trimmers
1. Recharging Batteries
Be sure to read your instruction manual. It will state in bold print to recharge discharged batteries as soon as possible after each use or the battery life may be critically reduced.
2. Can Fuel Be Left in the Tank?
No. Do not leave fuel in the tank for more than 30 days to ward off gum deposits developing in the fuel system. Drain the gas tank, retighten the gas cap, and then start the engine until it uses the residual gas/oil mixture inside on a 2-cycle engine. Be sure to do this at the end of the season for winter as well.
3. What Grade of Gasoline Should Be Used for Weed Eater/Trimmers?
Use regular 87 octane unleaded gas. A 10% blend of alcohol can be used. Do not use E85 or diesel fuel. Always use fresh gas and mix it with 2-cycle engine oil if you have that type unit reading the instructions for the ratio.
4. Can I Use Alcohol-Blended Fuels?
Alcohol blended fuel known as gasohol is the name used when ethanol or methanol is used in gasoline and the alcohol can be 10%. Never store your unit with this mixture in the tank. The alcohol blend attracts moisture and will develop acids that will damage your fuel system forever. Engine power is reduced when using over 10% alcohol. Your engine will run unreliably, inconsistently, and irregularly. Only use 87 unleaded octane gasoline and not higher octanes.
5. Can the Trimmer Line Break?
Yes. The line usually breaks because the line is too tight or overlapped on the spool, wound too tightly, or wound the wrong way. Bricks, rocks, cement, fences, and wood can break the line. Maintain a full line extension so that the line is not crowded to minimize it breaking. Old line can become brittle and break and high humidity can make it sticky and not slide properly.
6. Can the Trimmer Line Be Changed if It Breaks?
Yes. Check it first to be sure it is wound properly on the spool without too much tension and the strands are side by side not overlapping. It winds smoothly similar to a spool of thread. New trimmer line spools can be attached or you can buy the line in bulk and wind it yourself.
7. Is the Spark Plug Needed in Order to Make the Weed Eater Work?
Yes. Without a spark plug that generates electric current from the ignition system (starter) your unit will not work. It creates combustion in the gas engine. A car cannot start without spark plugs. Electric units do not use spark plugs. They use electricity plugged into a receptacle.
8. Will the Weed Trimmer Have a Fuel Filter?
Yes. All gasoline driven engines have a fuel filter. They should be changed each year or when operating in dusty conditions.
9. How Often Do I Change the Air Cleaner?
Most air cleaners (filters) should be changed after each 5 hours of use. Consult your User’s Manual for recommendations.
10. How Do You Remove the Fuel Filter?
Consult your User’s Manual for where the fuel filter is located and remove the way the manual suggests and follow any pictures or graphics for visual understanding. The fuel filter will be at the end of the fuel line in the gas tank. Be sure to drain any fuel inside the tank. Follow the instructions in your manual because not all brands are the same.
Each manufacturer provides a warranty against manufacturers defects when used for household purposes. Warranty times can be different from one manufacturer to another.
12. Is Trimming Easy to Do?
Yes. Turn on the unit and go. Read the instructions that came with your unit for any tips for easy use.
13. Why Will The Engine Not Start?
There can be several reasons the engine is hard to start or will not start.
14. How Do I Lubricate a Straight Shaft Unit?
Remove the gearbox from the lower end of the shaft removing the screws as shown in your instructions. Pull the shaft from the bottom and lubricate as shown in the instructions for your unit. Curved shaft units are not discussed in this review.
15. Why Use the Fuel/Oil Mixture?
Two-cycle engines, including weed eaters, need oil to be added to the gas. They do not have separate oil and gasoline tanks or reservoirs. This type engine requires a mixture to keep the engine lubricated. Do not use gasoline alone in a 2-cycle engine because it will ruin the engine within minutes.
Wear long pants, socks, and sturdy shoes to keep rocks and debris from cutting you up. Always wear safety glasses. Wear them over your regular glasses as well to protect your eyes and glasses. The ones with the side shields are best. Never go barefoot and never wear shorts.
Keep your cell phone in your pocket in case of an emergency and wear a sweatband if perspiration drips from your hair and face. A hat can create heat while being a safety element. Earplugs will reduce the chances of long-term hearing loss. Leather gloves will prevent your hands from getting blisters.
These tips are for women as well as men. These units are not toys; keep away from pets and youngsters.