When you search for ‘weed eaters’ you may expect to see some form of hobbit creature going heavy on a bag of dandelions. In reality, weed eaters are some of the best equipment on the market for snatching up the weeds from your garden with relative ease. The best electric weed eaters on the market can be hard to pick. With such a wide selection to choose from, you can feel a little overwhelmed as a customer.
Over 117 million people gardening in the last 12 months in the US, there is no shortage of green-fingered people who are fighting weeds and battling their yard overgrowth by themselves.
With so many options to choose from, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to put together this article which will be your saving grace. We will break down the top 5 best electric weed eaters of 2018. By the end, you’ll be ready to make your decision.
Why Do You Need An Electric Weed Eater?
When it comes to wanting to keep your garden perfect, you’re not alone. More Americans than ever are growing food in their gardens, and gardening regularly. In fact, 35% of all American households are growing food at home or in a community garden. That’s a 17% increase compared to five years ago.
That’s a big increase, and with the average spend on the backyard hitting $401 per household, there are more and more people investing in equipment for their garden. But if you’re only spending $400, why should you put the money towards an electric weed eater?
Well for one, compared to gas and oil options of yesteryear, they are incredibly easy to start, and you don’t have to mix your own gas and oil combination. They’re also less noisy, so your neighbors will thank you.
There also a lot less fuss to maintain, not to mention being economically friendly. So whether you want to invest in a ride on lawn mower, or one of those fancy robot lawn mowers, you better think carefully about how you’re going to spend your $400 this year.
Features of the Electric Weed Eater
When you’re picking out the best cordless weed eater for your yard, there are a few important things you should consider before buying.
Read through these features, and determine which are the most important to you before making your final purchase.
Wireless or Corded
There are a lot of great corded options for electric weed eaters that are going to give you a longer run-time, and you won’t have to worry about charging a battery between uses. However, a cordless weed eater gives you more range of motion, and might be more suitable for some properties. Dancing with an extension cord may not be something you want to deal with.
When you’re swinging your weed eater around your garden, the last thing you want is a hard to use handle or a trailing cable around the place. Most modern weed eaters will be cordless. The most lightweight models will usually have just a single handle, while the bigger and heavier pieces of equipment will fashion two handles.
It’s important to check measurements of the weed eaters shaft; a movable shaft is even better so you can adjust the length to how tall you are. This is important to make sure you’re not hurting yourself if you have a large yard to cover.
Don’t forget that it’s you that is going to have to lug this piece of equipment around the garden. It may be tempting to go for the biggest model with all the bells and whistles, but if it’s too heavy, you’ll be the one paying for it. It’s generally better to go for the most lightweight option available. It’s also at this point that you should consider the merit of corded weed eaters. Corded weed eaters don’t need a battery so will usually weigh a lot less.
Noise levels of an electric weed eater are going to be a lot less than that of the gas counterpart. You should still try and get one that is as quiet as possible so as not to annoy the neighbors or your significant other.
You’ll find a lot of weed cutters will make use of a nylon string that attaches to a spinning head. This cuts the grass and weeds. However, some models do feature metallic or plastic blades. The string weed eaters work on the understanding that expects you to supplant the line each time you use it.
Weed eaters with knock feed heads, is where the line is on a spool that is inside the weed eaters head. The line then advances every time you knock the instrument onto the ground. You’ll also find some electric weed eaters that use an automatic bolster head.
These use a spool that is similar to the knock heads; however, the line naturally progresses, and you don’t need to do anything to make it happen.
5 Best Electric Weed Eaters of 2018
Now that you know what to look for in your electric weed eater, it’s time to break down some of the best models available in the market for 2018. Check out our electric weed eater reviews to find out all you need to know to get your shopping done!
Let’s get started, shall we?
Best Cordless Weed Eater
We save the best cordless weed eater for first, and many consider the Black and Decker LST136 to be one of the best weed eaters on the market. It’s incredibly versatile, and it’s also heavily customizable. This allows you to change the model to suit your needs. You can adjust both the length of the shaft and the power settings, making it perfect for a yard that has a variety of different terrains and different weeds.
It’s also a feature heavy model with a ton of useful features. The device features a dedicated edging position and a helpful edging guide that makes it very simple to cut a clean straight line on the first pass. The cutting path is 13″ wide which will do the job for most tasks. A lot of electric weed cutters have at least that width, and some can go up to 18 inches. The Black and Decker Electric Weed Eater pushes out 40 volts of power which is one of the highest outputs of all the models reviewed.
There are a couple of downsides. At 7.8 pounds, this model is on the heavier side, but it’s compensated by having excellent balance, and it’s a breeze to handle. You’ll find the battery is on the shorter side, lasting only 25 minutes taking around an hour to get fully juiced up again. Your warranty from Black and Decker is three years on this model which is about average for most weed cutters.
The last thing we thought could be potentially a little frustrating is the lack of additional batteries. One isn’t long enough for the average yard, so you might want to look into purchasing a second battery to be able to rotate it in and finish the job in one sweep.
Runner Up: Best Cordless Weed Eater
If you’re thinking of only pulling out the weed eater on sunny weekends, the Ryobi might be right up your street. This little model comes in a close second on our list, and has all the features you’ll find in the Black and Decker but with less power, and less strain on your wallet. Ryobi makes high quality electric weed eaters at a more suitable price for the casual user.
While it may sound counter-intuitive to go for less power, your battery will thank you for it. On a full battery you can expect to pull 40 minutes of trimming time out of the Ryobi Electric Weed Eater. It only comes with one battery as standard. However, with the cost savings compared to many other electric weed eaters, you can invest in an extra battery if you really need it. This means you can have one in the charger while using the other one in the yard.
The Ryobi is also lighter than the Black and Decker model, coming in at 6.5 pounds. The weight is a little under average for the models we’ve looked at. It also means it’s lightweight enough that just about anyone can use it comfortably. One of the reasons the Ryobi made our best electric weed eaters list, is it’s ease of maneuver and balance. Combining this feature with the reduced weight makes this a score for pretty much anyone.
The Ryobi also features a 12-inch cutting path, which is one of the smallest we reviewed compared to the widest coming in at 18-inches. While this can be good for tight spaces it might not be good for a larger property. It can leave you wanting something more heavy duty.
With it coming in at less than half the price of the Black and Decker, even with its reduced power, it’s an incredible value.
Kobalt’s 40-Volt Max is an interesting addition to the weed eater market due to its incredible warranty. A long warranty is the manufacturer’s way of telling you that they trust their product won’t let you down.
With Kobalt having so much confidence in its electric weed eater that it can slap on a five-year warranty, you can be pretty sure this product is well made and will last well. In comparison, the average warranty we’ve seen across our weed eater selection was around three years. With the shortest one coming in at two years.
Kobalt should be happy to give this model such a great warranty. Its power output is the same as the Black and Decker, pushing out an impressive 40-volts. Combining that with a rather impressive 45-minute battery life makes the Kobalt a serious competitor to the Black and Decker. Even though it outshone both the Black and Decker and Ryobi on battery life, there are a few downfalls and missing features.
For starters, the Kobalt doesn’t feature a dedicated edging position. Instead it features an edging guide you can use for straight line cutting. The shaft is adjustable for different users, but the weight is on the heavy side.
You also can’t download the owners manual from their website, which is a small oversight but could leave some new owners with questions.
Best Electric String Trimmer
The Toro corded trimmer is the first selection in our lineup to not feature a dedicated battery. Don’t let this put you off though. The Toro has a wide variety of features at your disposal. It’s easily one of the best electric string trimmers for residential use. It sits in the middle to high range of electric trimmers in our list. It’s powered by a cord rather than a battery, which usually means a reduction in the weight. But the Toro still came in at 7.5lbs putting it above average in comparison of many other electric weed eaters.
The Toro Corded Electric Weed Eater utilizes an auto feed line system which is a nice addition, meaning your line will automatically dispense when you run out. You’ll also see this model coming with a button switch. This button switch helps you to easily switch between a trimmer and an edger, adding to the overall convenience.
Because it is corded, the motor is able to feature a higher powered motor without shortening the life of a battery. Our only criticism is that it can feel particularly heavily compared to the other trimmers and lacks a cordless option. If you’re not one for trusting batteries, however, it can be a nice alternative to wireless weed eaters.
Next up in our selection is the WORX WG117 Weed Eater. This model is an interesting addition to the lineup due to it’s 2 in 1 functionality. Rather than focusing on trimming or edging, this design allows you to swap between the two functions easily. This is particularly handy when you want to clean up the lines around a fence or sidewalk.
You can change modes by simply flipping the head and rotating the handle, turning it into an edger. WORX trimmer features a nice safety guard. You don’t end up damaging any plants or trees while cutting up the weeds. Its a powerful tool that comes in at just 6.17lbs in weight. The motor is slightly more powerful than the Black and Decker model, with the manufacturer rating it at 5.5 amps of output.
It also has some handy wheels for transporting it, pretty nifty. Like the Toro, the string is fed through an auto-feeder. There are still a few downsides to the model, however. You’ll find the Worx to be a little pricier than the competition, and its battery life was about the same as the Black and Decker when testing. I typically lasted around 22 minutes.
It also features a lot more parts than some of the other models; this can leave us worried that there are more opportunities for the model to malfunction.
Which Weed Eater Is Right For You?
With such a wide selection of the best electric weed eaters on the market, you might find it overwhelming. Take a look at all of our options and the features section of our article before making your final decision. Luckily, any of these five options should leave you feeling well equipped to handle any weed problems that crop up. If you want to find out even more tips on how to get the best out of your patio, garden or lawn, check out our other articles.