If you’re in the market for a new cordless weed eater, then you should check out my product reviews after hands-on testing the best cordless weed eaters for home and professional use.
This in-depth guide covers all aspects of these awesome power tools and aims to give you my insight into the products available and what they’re capable of. I’ve put them all through their paces and picked out my favorite weed eaters based on overall performance, the best pro-quality tool under $350, and the best lightweight weed eater under $200.
- Best Cordless Weed Eaters
- Choosing The Best Cordless Weed Eater
- Reviews: Best Battery Operated Weed Eaters
- 1. Makita 36V Cordless Battery Weed Eater 5.0Ah 15″
- 2. DeWALT FlexVolt 60V Max String Trimmer 15-Inch
- 3. WORX 40V Power Share 13″ GT String Trimmer
- 4. Milwaukee M18 Quik-Lok String Trimmer
- 5. EGO Power+ Weed Eater Combo 15-Inch
- 6. Greenworks Pro 80V 16 inch Cordless Trimmer
- 7. Greenworks Weed Wacker G-MAX 40V 12″
- 8. Ryobi 40-Volt Cordless Weed Eater
- How to use a Weed Eater
- Conclusion: Best Battery Operated Weed Eaters
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Cordless Weed Eaters
If you’re in a hurry then here are my recommended string trimmers from the professional quality Makita 36V unit with incredible battery life through the lightweight Worx string trimmer which is a great low-cost, yet high-performing tool, for home use.
Best Pro Weed Eater Under $350
Superb grip and comfort from this 60V trimmer. Two-speed function and 50mins of battery run-time.
Choosing The Best Cordless Weed Eater
Also referred to as string trimmers, strimmers, weed whackers, or weed eaters. These garden power tools are designed to cut down weeds and grasses or tidy lawn edging, keeping your yard looking neat throughout the year.
If you’ve got ample outdoor space that tends to get overgrown, then a weed eater is a no-brainer…and should form part of your garden maintenance tool kit.
But before you dive in and throw your hard-earned cash around, let me guide you through the complicated world of garden trimmers so you can make an informed decision in selecting the right tool for your garden.
Battery Vs Electric Vs Gas Weed Eater
We are talking here about a garden power tool, so let’s look at the three ways you can power this device; battery (cordless), electric (corded), and gas-powered. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons and will suit different types of jobs. So how about we run down the options…
Electric Weed Eaters
Electric (corded) weed eaters offer similar cutting power to battery-operated machines but come with some restrictions by the fact that they have you tethered with a power cord running to the mains electric.
You lose the ability to weave freely across the landscape as the cord has a length restriction and can get caught on objects or features around the yard. Then there’s the setup, which usually involves running extension cables across your yard, which sometimes can be prone to electrical risk from surprise rainfall.
They do, however, have their benefits, such as a constant flow of power, they don’t run out of juice. Once you are set up and ready to go, you won’t be interrupted. They also tend to be much lighter and cheaper than cordless strimmers, so if good value and a lightweight tool are high on your list of priorities then consider a corded model.
Gas Weed Eaters
Then, we have gas-powered weed eaters. These tools were once favored by professionals as they combine both power and flexibility allowing you to get rid of even the thickest of weeds without any cords holding you back.
Although they are both powerful and maneuverable, they do have some drawbacks. They are very expensive, loud, very heavy, and require a bit more muscle power to control. Gas-powered weed eaters are known for regular issues with start-up, as well as being messy and smelly. Refilling them with gas multiple times per job usually results in spillage or simply running out of fuel. Read Best Gas Weed Eaters.
Cordless Weed Eaters
Cordless weed eaters can offer great flexibility. The lack of cord means you can reach parts of your yard that you would struggle with a conventional electric strimmer, plus you don’t have to worry about trip or shock hazards from the electric cord laying on the ground.
Depending on the battery power, you may need to recharge them several times before the job is done or maintain several battery packs. They can sometimes lack the ultra-high power you can get from gas-fueled machines. However, rest assured the products on this list have been selected to get around the normal issues associated with cordless products. These are long-lasting and very powerful battery-powered Weed Eaters trusted and used by professionals.
20v Vs 40v Trimmer…or more
Power levels in battery strimmers come in various voltages, anywhere between 18v and 80v, but two of the most common power outputs range between 20 and 40-volts. This refers to the amount of power the motor can generate which basically dictates how many weeds can be eaten and how long it will take.
Unsurprisingly a 40v weed eater is a more powerful and more efficient tool than a 20v model and will handle a much bigger load and get the job done in less time.
However, 40v tools do have their downsides. Compared to a 20v model, they carry a heavier battery and are more typically expensive. So, if you’re just looking at getting rid of weeds around your backyard, a 20v weed eater should be enough. If you have a bigger area to tackle, think about investing in 40v or more.
Weed Eater batteries are the drive behind the machine, but their size and power level will determine how much power they kick out and how long they will last before draining. Batteries will usually be rated between 2.0 Ah and 5.0 Ah.
Amp Hour (Ah) is the rating for how long the battery can run. A tool that draws 2 amp of power will run for 60 minutes when powered with a 2.0 Ah battery. So you will get more power over more time with a higher Ah battery.
I recommend whenever you buy a strimmer or in fact, any battery-powered machine that you buy at least one spare battery and make sure you check what’s included in the package you buy. Some weed eaters have no battery supplied as standard, whilst others like the Makita below on my list come with 4 batteries included!
Personally, I have three or four and tend to use a few of the same brands across my various batter power tools. So, I have a strimmer, chainsaw and pole saw from DeWalt, so I use my set of batteries across all three machines. For most brands, the batteries and machines need to be the same voltage e.g. 40V.
Straight Shaft Vs Curved Shaft
There are two main types of shafts that weed eaters come in. Straight shafts and curved shafts both offer slightly different things and will benefit other people based on their weed-eating needs.
Straight Shaft Weed Eater
As a general rule of thumb, the straighter shafted strimmers are more durable, largely because when the shaft is curved so is the drive chain inside. Whilst perfectly fine for light to moderate use, heavy users will want to go for a straight shaft.
The overall design of the straight shaft is more functional. It’s longer so its reach is extended, and the lack of curvature results in much less vibration during use.
Curved Shaft Weed Eater
The curved shaft design results in a balanced and easy-to-use tool that can feel more comfortable in use. Due to the reduction in length, the overall weight is reduced, and the curve near the motor makes cutting back small areas easy.
Curved shafts are generally better suited to smaller areas.
String Trimmer Vs Edger
Although similar and sometimes available as a combi-tool, string trimmers and lawn edgers are designed for two different functions.
A string trimmer is the same as a weed eater. It is intended for cutting back large areas of weed or grasses across a broad surface area such as a border or lawn.
Edgers are intended for use to create a neatly defined edge to your lawn or grass areas. They make a clean-looking cut, making them a sort of a detailing tool.
Reviews: Best Battery Operated Weed Eaters
Here are the breakdowns of the best battery-operated weed eater on the market. From the power of the world-beating professional quality machines to low-cost, to the best lightweight weed eaters for small gardens.
The criteria I used to make this line-up includes comfort and balance when operating the tool, weight, and noise, as well as overall power and performance based on the segment the product was designed for. I group Pro-level tools, Mid-level home use, and Entry-level budget tools to create this list of top buys.
Overall Best Weed Eater
- Cut Path: 15”
- Line Diameter: 0.080” or 0.095”
- Run Time: 80 mins
- Weight: 11 lbs (with battery)
- Line Feed: Bump Feed
- Power: 2 x 18V 5.0Ah Battery
- Edger?: No
- Excellent cordless weed eater with exceptional battery performance
- Well balanced and easy to maneuver low vibration
- Three-speed settings topping out at 6,500 rpm
- Best battery operated weed eater money can buy
- One of the more expensive Cordless Weed Eaters
Makita is another big name in the power tool world so it’s no surprise it gets top marks and is widely acclaimed as one of the best battery-powered weed eaters money can buy. I tried out the XRU15Z which is one of the top-end professional-level weed whackers and I was super impressed.
Fitted out with 36V (2x 18V) battery configuration with an impressive 5.0 Ah of life, you’re always going to get the job done before the batteries run flat. But even if they do…just pull out the other two batteries and carry on. Yes, this thing comes with 4 batteries included. Bring it on!
It has three power levels ranging from 3,500-6,500 rpm, which of course I ignored and cranked the volume right up to max and still had 80 minutes of battery time to slash down thick grass and eat weeds. I didn’t test its full battery life on low power, but I expect you could get 2 hours or more from this set-up.
There is a notably high amount of torque with this weed eater. This is despite the 18v motor which is deceptively powerful, and it has low vibration and acceptably low noise levels.
The assembly out of the box is really straightforward. You simply have to throw out the packaging, fit the shaft, handles and blade together, and away you go (providing you have a fully charged battery).
This is an exceptional cordless weed eater that can replace a gas machine without any concern. Look…the truth is this beast is not cheap, but if you want to buy a premium high-performing power tool…start with this Makita weed eater available online here.
- Ultra high-quality build and superb soft grip handles
- Dual power delivery an impressive 6600 rpm and eats weeds
- A great product range to invest in and use the power packs across other power tools
- Batteries often sold separately
DeWALT FlexVolt 60V Max String Trimmer is an excellent machine, the design is very well balanced in your hand when operating due to the brushless motor being located in the head. The heavy-duty soft-grip features are really high quality and built to last, in my experience the best I have seen by a long way.
At 60V, this is one of the more powerful cordless weed eaters, and you can sure tell the difference. With a fully charged battery, it felt like I could fly through all of the overgrown weeds my backyard could throw at me.
The trimmer has two settings, low and high. I kept mine on the low setting for most of the time and only really had to squeeze the throttle slightly for it to have enough power. The two-speed function offers you 5500-6600 rpm of cutting speed but I ran it on low and used the variable speed throttle.
When holding the throttle down on the high setting, it felt like it had a similar amount of power as a gas weed eater without the noise.
This is a really well-made and sturdy trimmer, make no mistake about that. The only drawback is that it is slightly heavier than some others that made the shortlist. If you’re looking purely for a portable weed eater you can get around quickly with, there are lighter models out there. If, however, the extra weight doesn’t phase you too much, this is a real beast and the build quality is incredible…that’s why I have one…flex, GRRRR!
- A great choice for anyone looking for a nice entry point grass trimmer
- Low vibration, very low noise, and adjustable head
- Wheel guide included for use as an Edger
- Best lightweight battery operated weed eater
- Line feeds every time to press the throttle
- The battery pack could last a bit longer
Next up, we have the Worx WG184 40V Power Share 13″ Cordless String Trimmer & Edger. This cordless grass trimmer also includes an edger setting that allows you to keep your lawn looking neat by rotating the shaft and turning the cutting line to a 90-degree angle for edging the lawn.
This is a grass trimmer and I say that meaning it is a lightweight, user-friendly tool intended for trimming grass and light weed. It can tackle thick grass and tall weeds but the 2 x 20V batteries suffered and ran down pretty quick when working thicker areas of weed.
What it lacks in power it makes up for in comfort with low vibration, low noise, and is reasonably lightweight making it easy to maneuver. The variable throttle button is responsive and the product is fitted with dual safety buttons.
The trimmer head is fitted with an attachment point to add on a two-wheel axel to convert the trimmer into a simple rolling lawn edging tool. Inside the 13” cutting path sits a trimmer spool loaded with 20 feet of 0.08” nylon trimmer line that feeds a small amount of line each time you press the throttle. So this is a slight downside and potentially wasteful if you tend to stop-start your machine too frequently.
Check the Worx Weed Eater price here on Amazon.com
Overall this is a very nice home use tool at a good price. I would highly recommend this grass trimmer for anyone looking for a quiet, reliable, and comfortable power tool.
Best Multi-Tool Platform
- Cut Path: 14-16”
- Line Diameter: .080” or .095”
- Run Time: 60 minutes
- Weight: 12 lbs (including battery)
- Line Feed: Bump Feed
- Power: 18V M18 Battery
- Edger?: Add-On available
- A very powerful 6200 rpm head delivering professional results
- Versatile Combi product range with countless add-on tool heads
- Good battery life
- Professional price for a professional product
Milwaukee’s 2825-21ST Quik-Lok is another professional quality weed eater that holds bags of power and 6200 rpm. I would put it very close to the DeWalt FelxVolt on power but just slightly behind on balance, feel and flow. It glides a little bit less and I can’t ignore the handle quality on the DeWalt.
I loved the battery on this thing, it gave me a good hour of cutting time at full throttle. Make no mistake this tool will shred any grass and weeds in your yard without breaking a sweat.
Where this tool stands out above the DeWalt is with the ‘Quik-Lok Platform’…the Milwaukee Powerhead and battery have a bunch of tools you can use with it, hence the name Quik-Lok. Simply split the shaft and add on any number of tool heads; hedge trimmer, pole saw, edger, and a whole bunch more. If I was to buy again and wanted a combi tool then I would go for this one.
Overall a fantastic tool that I would not hesitate to recommend. If you want a combi tool or to invest in a tool series with interchangeable powerheads, then Milwaukee is definitely the way to go. You can find the Milwaukee Weed Wacker online here.
- Well balanced machine with great handling with a 5-year warranty
- Powerful, made easy work of strimming weeds and light brush
- Outstanding run time using a 5.0 Ah battery
- This powerful unit maybe a little bulky for some users
The Ego weed eater was a machine that I have been keen to get my hands on for some time. The EGO Power+ MST1501 has a reputation for being a really solid option and a great challenger to the more established tool brands.
The multi combo kit is available to purchase in several configurations, but I recommend opting for the String Trimmer & Power Head Kit which includes a Lithium Battery, with the option to upgrade to include an Edger Head and Straight Shaft add-on. You can even add on a Pole Saw to have a 3-in-1 power tool using a single powerhead and handle (which I have not tested).
The head power unit is powered by a 5.0 Ah Arc 56V Lithium battery which is charged in just under 50 minutes, This drives a 15” string trimmer head, featuring Rapid Reload to make reloading the nylon line quick and easy. Simply press the reload button on the handle and it pushes out a new length of trimmer line.
Designed to take a 0.095 trimmer line, this tool feels and performs at the top end of the competition. Built to be water-resistant and carrying a 5-year domestic use warranty (3-year professional use).
- Cut Path: 16”
- Line Diameter: 0.080”
- Run Time: 40 mins
- Weight: 13.7 lbs (without battery)
- Line Feed: Bump Feed
- Power: 2.0 Ah 80V Battery
- Edger?: Optional Add-On
- Comfortable cushion grip handle
- Good battery life and very fast charging
- Can be tricky to get started
The Greenworks PRO 80V 16 inch Cordless String Trimmer GST80321 is another high-quality cordless strimmer. Featuring a brushless digital motor and the capability to attach inter-changeable tools to the powerhead, such as Pole Saw, Rototiller or Edger makes this a versatile product.
The 80V motor is up there with the most powerful on our list and when we power up the trimmer it takes around 3 seconds to get the head up to full speed. You have a level of control with a variable speed throttle whilst maintaining a relatively quiet motor.
Next, is the battery. Despite this product having some really nice features and a good ergonomic feel when in use, the battery is good, but not outstanding. I got 40 minutes out of the machine which was enough to do the job in hand with some juice left in the battery. Plus on the upside, the lithium battery recharges ridiculously fast.
- Cut Path: 12”
- Line Diameter: 0.065”
- Run Time: 35 mins
- Weight: 7.8 lbs (with battery)
- Line Feed: Auto Feed
- Power: 2.0 Ah 40V Battery
- Edger?: No
- A lightweight, low-cost trimmer that is ideal for small to medium gardens
- Optional 4.0 Ah battery upgrade is great value
- Don’t expect a robust or rugged power tool.
The Greenworks G-Max Weed Wacker model no. 2101602 is a nice machine for anyone looking for a good-value weed wacker. For under $150 you’re not going to get the rock-solid construction on the more expensive models, but that’s okay as long as you are prepared for that.
A 12” cutting path loaded with a 0.065” nylon line does a good job of trimming soft foliage weeds and grasses. The 2.0 Ah battery lasted around 35 minutes in the trial, but it’s worth mentioning a 4.0 Ah upgrade is available for about an extra $30.
Weighing 7.8lb it’s light enough to pull out of the shed or garage and shoot around a small to medium size lawn in a flash and move on to the next thing.
If you are looking for a low-cost, light convenient strimmer then check out the Greenworks 40V Trimmer price here on Amazon.
- Cut Path: 14-16”
- Line Diameter: .080”
- Run Time: 40 minutes
- Weight: 13 lbs (including battery)
- Line Feed: Bump Feed
- Power: 40V Battery
- Edger?: No
- Really neat free-hand edging when held at 90 degrees
- Powerful enough for home use
- Heavier and louder than most other comparable weed eaters
Another great option to keep your yard clear is the Ryobi Electric Weed Eater. It’s a highly versatile piece of kit that can be used alongside Ryobi’s expand-it attachments. This means when buying add-ons you’ll be able to use them as things like a pole saw and hedge trimmer.
Overall the power was good. It ran up to about 40 minutes of cutting when I tested, although it was only with a relatively light workload. But the noise, wow…that was a surprise, it is LOUD.
It felt sturdy enough for a home-use model, but nothing compared to the DeWalt or Milwaukee. One thing I noticed was that the handle was slanted and seemed very biased towards a right-handed user. As a lefty, it would make things a bit awkward, but nothing too serious to overcome.
A 13 lbs, this was one of the heavier whackers we tested. But despite this, it still felt nimble, although if you’re after a super lightweight model, there are better options elsewhere on the list.
All in all the Ryobi is a great choice for tackling the weeds and grass in your yard, particularly if you don’t want to have to buy loads of other tools, like a pole saw, as the attachments work well.
If you are prepared to spend the $250-ish then I would suggest one of my other recommendations unless you’re really into the Ryobi Multi-Tool line.
How to use a Weed Eater
There are several things you need to know about how to use your new weed eater safely and effectively.
1. Make sure you have the necessary protective equipment
Wear long-sleeved pants with a shirt that covers your arms. You’ll also need closed-toe shoes, gloves, and safety glasses
2. Watch out for objects around you
Things like rocks and solid walls will damage your weed eater if it comes into contact with them. Be wary of your surroundings
3. Make sure you know how to shut it off
Some models will have a throttle, some will have a kill switch. Make sure you know exactly which you’re using and where it is in the event you need to turn it off quickly
4. Set the wire length
With the power turned off, pull the plastic cutting string out on the head of the tool (usually about 6-inches.
5. Hold with two hands and start
Once you are ready to begin, hold the weed eater with two hands and start the motor, being careful to have the head facing the ground
6. Hover the head 1-inch above the ground and cut
Keeping the head slightly off the ground, move the weed eater from side to side over the area that you’re working on
How To Use Bump Feed Trimmer
Bump feed trimmers are great, they release more trimmer lines by a bump or tap of the head on the ground. If you’ve used a standard trimmer you’ll know how annoying it can be to have to stop and manually pull more line through the trimmer head.
All you have to do is ‘bump’ the trimmer head on the ground or any hard surface and the string release mechanism will feed more line through automatically. This allows you to carry on strimming without having to stop.
Be careful though, this feature can be temperamental. Don’t bash your weed eater too hard or you risk damaging it.
How To Edge With A Weed Eater
Some weed eaters have a built-in edger or an edger tool attachment, which allows you to neaten up the edges of your lawn and keep it looking pristine.
If your trimmer doesn’t have this feature then no problem, you can make do. Tilt your trimmer 90 degrees so that you are effectively cutting downwards. Then, slowly move the trimmer head along the edge of your lawn to trim off the overhanging strands of grass and create a beautifully clean-cut lawn edge.
Conclusion: Best Battery Operated Weed Eaters
So, there you have my shortlist of the best battery-operated weed eaters based on my own practical user experience.
When choosing your new weed eater just bear in mind the needs of your yard. If you’ve got a large area of land and a thirst for the best in class, then I would recommend looking at the Makita Cordless Weed Wacker or the DeWALT FlexVolt 60V which strikes a great balance between power, portability, and durability.
Best Pro Quality Weed Eater Under $350
Superb grip and comfort from this 60V trimmer. Two-speed function and 50mins of battery run-time.
If, on the other hand, you’re seeking the best lightweight weed eater for under $200 then check out WORX 40V Power Share, a great buy for general home use.