Walk-behind string trimmers are now flooding the market. There are more than enough positive reviews bragging about their superior performance in refining lawns and gardens.
But do they really deserve the title “the dream tool to work with”? We are going to review the best walk behind string trimmer options to find out the answer.
The popularity of walk-behind trimmers has been growing stronger than ever. Different options are coming to the market with different price tags.
Choosing the best one can then be a daunting task, especially for those with less prior experience in gardening. Stick around with us for the complete buying guide and detailed review.
Table of Contents
- Top 3 Best Walk Behind String Trimmers: Comparison Chart
- 7 Best Walk-Behind String Trimmers
- #1. Southland Outdoor SWFT15022 - Best outdoor field trimmer
- #2. BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Mower/ Trimmer/ Edger - Best Versatile Gardening Tool
- #3. Southland Outdoor SWSTM4317 - Best Flexible Trimming Angle
- #4. Remington RM1159 Gas Powered High-Wheel - Best Power-to-Size Trimmer
- #5. McLane 101-5.5GT-7 Lawn Edger/ Trimmer - Best Adjustable Lever Blade
- #6. Cub Cadet 22 In. 159 CC - Best Compact Design
- #7. Tazz One-Piece Green Mower/ Trimmer - Best Durable Engine
- Walk-Behind String Trimmer Buying Guide - 10 Factors To Consider
Top 3 Best Walk Behind String Trimmers: Comparison Chart
7 Best Walk-Behind String Trimmers
Southland Outdoor SWFT15022 is a great choice for open expanses with some tough bushes. With the 5.75 ft/lbs of torque engine, it's death to all the weeds and overgrown spots.
This walk behind string trimmer gets its go on sturdy 12-inch wheels attached closed and firmly to the machine body. This solid design increases maneuverability, saving you effort when running on a flat surface.
However, as the wheel’s width is quite small, you may not want to use this trimmer for terrains with many curved obstacles.
For field trimming that needs high cutting speed, Southland Outdoor SWFT15022 is hands down one of the best tools. Assembly is straightforward; you won’t need more than 20 minutes to get it going.
It also comes with a comprehensive and newbie-friendly manual. Even if you have no prior experience in walk behind trimming, that should not be a concern at all.
And as clearly stated from the instruction, this machine is CARB and EPA certified, so it doesn’t pollute as other competitive models on the market.
Even though Southland Outdoor SWFT15022 is cut out for open space and big fields, its cutting height (1.4 inches) is quite low. Some people may prefer a longer grass to give their garden a greener look.
- Wide cutting coverage
- Good maneuverability over the machine
- Easy to set up
- Detailed and easy-to-follow instruction
- Cutting is too close to the ground
- Not working smoothly on very rough terrains
This BLACK+DECKER is a mower, trimmer, and edger, all in one. This gardening tool gives you three functionalities in one compact design. It is an ideal choice for any landscape under 1,200 square feet. DIY homeowners are likely to be attracted by this versatile machine.
Its versatility can also be seen in the design of the cutting system. It is adjustable from 1.6 to 2.4 inches, giving you many different choices of finished grass height after cutting.
In order to preserve its flexibility, the BLACK+DECKER has to compromise a little bit of its power. Quite different from the other two models just mentioned, it is battery-powered. Still, it’s worth being one of the best self-propelled string trimmer options.
With the AFS automatic feed system, it can fill 60% of the battery after 2.5 hours of charging. The power drive transmission on the BLACK+DECKER also prevents itself from bogging down, giving you a consistent cutting performance throughout your session.
Being a very versatile walk behind string trimmer, the BLACK+DECKER is still not powerful enough for a huge yard or a garden with many tricky obstacles.
The engine walks behind other gas-powered models, and the grass blade is not quite thick enough. The grass still comes out even but quite swirly.
- Easily convertible from different tools
- Flexible cutting height
- AFS automatic feed system
- Quick charging time
- More suitable for small and not-too-tricky gardens
- Thin grass blade
Southland Outdoor SWSTM4317 offers great flexibility when it comes to steering through rugged terrain. It has a trimmer head bevel, which can adjust from 5 to 10 degrees, and the trimmer head swivel at the range of 20-30 degrees.
This trimmer head design allows for easy edging and trimming around the obstacles. And as compared to an ordinary 25cc handheld string trimmer, the Southland Outdoor SWSTM4317 provides 35% more torque.
But we can’t compare it with the Remington RM1159 because it is not designed for such heavy cutting.
With the durable thick wheels, you won’t feel much vibration when moving with it. Rough terrain won’t be a problem, but thick shrubbery will stand in the way because its engine is not strong enough to stomach.
Southland Outdoor SWSTM4317 gives you the options of edger and mower attachment. The attachments are available to purchase separately. But don’t worry about the compatibility, they are made for each other.
Another reason making Southland Outdoor SWSTM4317 a flexible walk behind string trimmer is its loop handle. It has a spring-loaded thumb to give more ergonomic feeling on hand and reduce user fatigue.
One note before using Southland Outdoor SWSTM4317 - Maintenance may take quite a while. Sometimes the brass bolt attaching the grass shield binds tightly, making it hard to unscrew.
- Precise edge trimming
- Ergonomic loop handle
- Space-saving attachment
- Heavy-duty wheels
- Not easy to maintain
- Not suitable for very thick bushes
Remington RM1159 Gas Powered High-Wheeled cannot be missed in any top list of the best walk-behind string trimmers. Even if your yard looks like an untamed jungle, you can rely on this machine.
Most trimmers with 150cc are considered as high-power machines. But with the Remington RM1159, you will have a beast built under a 159cc OHV gas engine.
If it’s a real pain for you when weed whacking with a brush cutter blade, then this string trimmer is the alternative you should be eyeballing by now.
Besides a Herculean engine, Remington RM1159 is packed with a 22-inch cutting swath that can destroy everything in its way.
And it’s not just strong, the Remington-quality cutting shape allows for easy trimming around tricky areas such as garden beds, fences, and landscaping borders.
Despite having a powerful engine, the Remington RM1159 won’t take you much time to start. It cranks up just about every time you pull, and you may not even need to use the extra cutter cord.
The handle grip is also designed to be ergonomic and vibration-soothing when the machine is running. You can fold the handle for convenient storing after use.
But if there is one thing to quibble about the handle, it’s the adjustability. It should be a bit improved for taller operators.
Another downside of this walk behind string trimmer is the gas tank’s location. It is too close to the motor, generating unnecessary heat when in operation. With that being said, Remington RM1159 still deserves to be on top of the list.
- Powerful trimming performance
- Unique cutting swath shape
- Easy to crank up
- Ability to cut low
- Comfortable handle grip
- An adjustable handle is a little bit limited
- Increasing heat when running for a long time
Producing garden equipment since 1946, McLane has gained so much popularity in the industry. McLane 101-5.5GT-7 is one of the most favored trimmers from the product line.
It is actually more than just a trimmer, with the same lever blade clutch, you can adjust the depth control to turn it into an edger.
The blade height adjusting handle is sturdy and quite hard to control at first. But after a few uses, adjusting is just a breeze.
The frame and wheels are robust, holding up the engine very well. You won’t see any idle issue for at least a few years.
The motor on McLane 101-5.5GT-7 is designed to ride on curbs while still giving a clean cut. With the adjustable trimmer head, it’s easy to use this trimmer to create a cut in both vertical and horizontal directions.
Thanks to the wide rubber tires and ball bearing wheels, you can tilt the blade at any angle and trim at many different heights.
The McLane 101-5.5GT-7 is quite a learning curve; it takes a few practices before getting the hang of it. The engine also works best on full power; you will need to keep an eye on the gas tank to see it’s not going to bog down.
- Versatile lever blade clutch
- Easy to adjust the blade height
- Cut precisely both vertically and horizontally
- Clean edging
- Only cut well on full power
- Not easy to assemble
If you are looking for a lightweight easy-to-use walk behind string trimmer to touch up your garden now and then, the Cub Cadet 22 In. 159 CC is one of the best choices.
This trimmer weighs just around 70 pounds - a perfect tool for those who don’t enjoy getting sore feet and arms pushing the machine.
Everything from the frame, engine, wheels are all minimal; there’s no need to force your way in the garden when pushing the machine.
As there aren’t any moving parts, the maintenance is also minimal. If you are not too demanding on the heavy-duty feature but instead focus more on the ease of use, this trimmer should be the go-to gardening tool.
While putting side by side with other walk-behind trimmers on the list, the Cub Cadet 22 In. 159 CC can be just as powerful.
But the best thing about this trimmer is that it offers great affordability. It can be your first tool to introduce you to string trimming for small to medium projects.
Cub Cadet is not known for its durability; as the frame and the engine are minimized, it should not be your long-term buddy when it comes to trimming and edging.
The ball skid is reported to be easily worn out, and it’s advisable to meticulously check all the parts before running the machine.
- Lightweight design
- Easy to push
- Easy to maintain
- Affordable and suitable for irregular trimming tasks
- Easily worn-out ball skid
- Not durable frame
The Tazz One-Piece is known as the never-kill engine. And unlike its competitors, the machine still runs even when the cutting head is disassembled. With this feature, you can easily remove the obstacle without having to restart the trimmer.
Many people want to make their trimmer a one-time investment, buy one tool, and expect to use it for the rest of their gardening life. The Tazz One-Piece Trimmer/ Mower brings out a similar concept.
It builds a 150cc engine that can stand the test of time, and even thick foliage won’t be much of a challenge.
Tazz One-Piece Trimmer is packed with the heavy-duty deck and line; its one-piece steel gives satisfaction in reducing vibration and maintaining the machine for long life.
Besides the 22-inch cutting swath like any other trimming beast, Tazz One-Piece has large wheels of 14 inches. You can float on the rugged terrain with this machine and make your way through the densest of vegetation.
Even though the handlebar is also fold-able for easy storage, it does not offer an ergonomic feeling. The grip is quite thin, making it quite difficult to control and maneuver. If you don’t mind having to grab the handle a bit tighter than usual, it’s just going to be a minor inconvenience.
- Never-kill engine
- Heavy-duty deck and line
- High durability
- Large wheels
- Not easy-to-grip handlebar
- Low maneuverability
Walk-Behind String Trimmer Buying Guide - 10 Factors To Consider
Most string trimmers, whether handheld or walk-behind, either come with a 4-stroke or 2-stroke engine. 2-stroke engines are more powerful, more lightweight, generally cheaper, and have fewer parts to maintain.
However, the 4-cycle does beat the 2-cycle in some aspects. They are more fuel-efficient, more eco-friendly, easier to lubricate, and less noisy.
2. Power Source
Besides the 2-cycle and 4-cycle gas trimmers, you also have the option for electric trimmers. However, an electric weed eater cannot generate as much power as a gas-powered tool.
Choosing an electric trimmer is synonymous with sacrificing power for convenience.
As a rule of thumb, bigger wheels do better at moving on rugged terrain. The tires should also be a concern; they should be durable enough to tackle the tough surface.
But at the same time, they should not be too large, which will compromise the balance of your movements.
4. Cutting Area
For a wheeled string trimmer to perform a decent task, the cutting swath should be 17 inches or 22 inches.
We all expect the swath to be wide enough and low enough to cut grass and weed thoroughly and save your time operating the machine. For this reason, the cutting height should also be somewhere around 1.5 - 3.5 inches.
5. Replacement Line
As a walk behind string trimmer is normally used to handle tough shrubbery, their line will break a long time performing heavy-duty tasks.
It’s thus a good idea to have some replacement line within the box so that you can save you money from the aftermarket alternatives.
6. Handle Grip
You probably don’t want a string trimmer that generates pathetic vibration when running. A quality handle grip will prevent this from happening. It provides an ergonomic feeling and better control over the machine.
If the handlebar is angled against the shaft, it can remove the redundant strain on your shoulders, arms, hands, and back. In addition to the handle grip, we all want a trimmer with as many vibration dampening features as possible.
7. Trimming Space Features
When it comes to choosing the best walk behind string trimmer, it’s important to make sure it is the right fit for your yard.
You will need to look at the yard size, terrain, obstacles to find out which weed eater provides enough power and flexibility.
For example, if you have an uneven surface, you will need a trimmer with relatively high wheels. If there are many irregular-shaped obstacles, the trimmer should have a beveled edge.
If you don’t have much space for the storage, it’d be better to have a string trimmer with a compact design or a fold-down handle. Check out its dimension, if it is a tight fit inside your garage, that’s a good one.
All trimmers need a space to rest, even the best rust-resistant ones. You won’t find any trimmer that is completely weather-proof.
9. Pollution Levels
It’s inevitable to have noise and contaminants coming from the machine. Still, you want to keep them as low as possible.
Specifically, the tolerable noise range is from 60 to 90 decibels. Regarding the emissions, the 4-stroke engine burns fuel cleaner, so it’s a better choice considering the environmental aspect.
10. Price And Warranty
Price is always an important factor. Generally, it’s the engine that most contributes to the price tag.
In the end, the crucial are your own preferences in choosing a highly affordable trimmer with a decent performance or a powerful tool that can be quite a workout for your spouse.
Also, a quality walk-behind trimmer should have a clear warranty policy covering the defects from the manufacturer.
All of our recommendations above come with positive brand reputations, so the warranty should not be a worry.
Can You Insert Blade in a Walk Behind String Trimmer?
Yes, but beware of its compatibility to the trimmer head. It should be a direct fit; otherwise, it will be a huge risk when operating them together.
It’s highly advisable to check whether the blade is cut out for your trimmer model at where you are going to purchase it.
Walk-behind String Trimmer Vs. Push Mower: Which One is Better?
Push mowers definitely beat walk-behind string trimmer when it comes to affordability.
However, if you really want a heavy-duty tool to tackle rough terrain in your garden, walk behind string trimmer is the undisputed champion.
Who Makes the Best Walk Behind String Trimmer?
Some brands have been on the market for so long that their products defined the quality of the best walk behind string trimmer.
The most worth-noticing names are Remington, Poulan, Husqvarna, and Southland.
We’ve all experienced the frustration when dealing with overgrown bushes and thick foliages. But with the right horticulture weapon, getting the weeds down to size will be quick and easy. That’s why we just went through the seven best walk behind string trimmer options for your consideration.
If you want a set answer, we would love to recommend the Southland Outdoor SWFT15022.
- Heavy duty 5.75 ft./lbs torque, 150 cc engine
- Manual recoil easy start fuel delivery system
- Quad 0.155" diameter line trimmer head
- 12" wheels for increased maneuverability
- Folding anti-vibration foam grip handle for comfort and compact storage
It does an excellent job of what it is designed for, with a quality that will stay around for a long time. Powerful engine, ease of use, comfort handlebar, and highly adjustable cutting height, all the boxes are checked.
Thank you for reading, and we hope you now had the answer to your own!