And the time has come to take a dive into finding the best weed eater around, quite a difficult quest, by any chance! If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the huge possibilities on the market and think about it for a minute: you have gas weed eaters and electric ones, you have corded or cordless electric weed eaters, you have 2-cycle or 4-cycle and…may more! Now, each powerful brand on the market has products in each of these categories.
They are conveniently cheap, at least compared to push mowers (I don’t even dare to speak about ride on mowers, ZTMs or tractors) so a lot of companies out there tried their hands on manufacturing such toys! Long story short? The market is full. To be honest I dare a new company to enter this market and second I dare the marketing department to find a differentiator for a new weed whacker! That would be a challenge!
|Husqvarna 28cc 2 Cycle Gas Powered String Trimmer | 128DJ||Gas||$$$||4.7 (77 Amazon ratings)|
|Black & Decker 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Trimmer/Edger||Cordless electric||$$$/*$$||4.2 (519 Amazon reviews)|
|Core CGT400 CGTSD Gasless Powered Trimmer, 3 Hour Charger, 1 Power Cell||Cordless electric||$$$||4.5 (65 Amazon reviews)|
|Earthwise LST10012 12-Inch 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger||Cordless electric||$$$||4.3 (63 Amazon reviews)|
|Toro 51486 Cordless 12-Inch 24-Volt Lithium-Ion Electric Trimmer/Edger||Cordless electric||$$$||4.3 (219 Amazon reviews)|
|Black & Decker NST2118 12-Inch 18-Volt Ni-Cd Cordless Electric GrassHog String Trimmer/Edger||Cordless electric||$$||4.0 (628 Amazon reviews)|
|Husqvarna 323R 24.5cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Straight Shaft Brushcutter||Gas||$$$||4.2 (8 Amazon reviews)|
Let’s cut to the chase and see what would be the criteria to judge the best weed eater by?
What’s the size of your garden?
Really, this is an external criteria but, man, it counts heavily since the size of the garden will direct you to buy one tool or another. And keep it in mind, we are speaking here about relatively small garden since for larger gardens a regular weed whacker won’t do the trick and you might need at least a push mower. But OK, let’s keep it for the moment in the area of relatively small gardens.
If the garden is pretty small, you could go with a corded electric weed eater since it will work forever, as long as it is plugged (go figure!) and it will be pretty quiet since electric engines are, of course, way quieter since gas powered ones. And because the garden is small, the cord length may not be an issue here!
Now, if the garden is larger, a corded weed whacker won’t do much good since you would need to mow further and the cord may not reach the furthest corners of your garden. Or if you do, well, it will still be unpleasant carrying such a long cable after you, paying attention not to damage it or worse. In this care, I would go with a cordless weed eater, it will be easier to use. However, cordless tools, generally speaking, rely on their batteries and batteries, no matter how good, will die at one moment and…recharging takes time, so you’d better pray for the garden to be finished when the battery dies.
Now, if your garden is large, then go with a gas powered tool! Even if it is way noisier, it will provide you power, autonomy and it can be easily refueled when needed.
So, now we know why the size of the garden is a first criteria. What next?
You could judge it considering the power but here it would be unfair for electric trimmers since gas powered tools are generally speaking more powerful. However, here, the criteria would be as powerful as possible, to cut the grass easily. So, in order to judge it correctly, we should split this article in two, gas powered and electric weed eaters. Until that moment, we’ll just say that you should go with the most powerful one.
Safety would be another factor to consider and here we could look for the (obvious) debris shield, which is one of the most important safety piece of any trimmer. The shield keeps small stones, pieces of wood and dirt (hit by the spinning string or blade) from damaging your eyes and feet. The fact is that when it comes to mowing, most accidents happen because something hits your feet or eyes. Unpleasant in any of these two situations, I would say. And if we speak about the string of the trimmer messing up with your feet, or worse the blade, it would be quite tragic! Of course, in this case, the shield is not enough and we recommend you that you use proper safety glasses and high rubber boots, to prevent such accidents.
How many string lines should this great weed whacker have?
1 or 2 opposite string lines? Very important since mowers with 2 string lines will be twice as efficient, I bet you can imagine why!
Does your trimmer have a trigger control? Not all have and in order to be qualified as the best weed eater, I’d say it should have one, to allow you to control the speed of the rotating head.
Does your weed eater have additional accessories, can it perform additional jobs? Most trimmers have, beside the string line, a brush blade and this is quite handy! Important! Not all of them have an additional brush blade, but some (ok, a lot of them), have! Others, more advanced, may provide additional heads/blades, turning the weed eater into a hedge trimmer, or into an edger, a cultivator etc. I’d say that if you plan to use it later for such additional jobs, you should consider looking for these features too.
Another feature to look at is the cutting width. Depending on what you want and need, you may appreciate better a 14 inches trimmer or a 16 inches one, or maybe a 17 inches one.
When looking for the best weed eater, you should also consider the weight since you’ll be carrying it around for a while, so you may at least think about it. 8 pounds? 12? 19 pounds? Well, it’s a matter of choice after all.
Do you want this fantastic weed whacker that you’re looking for, to have a 2-cycle or a 4-cycle engine?
Indeed, is the engine a 2-cycle or a 4-cycle engine? For example, 2-cycle engines need a mix of fuel and oil in the right proportion. If you put too much oil in the mix, the engine may not start or could easily stop. 4-cycle engines have the oil and fuel in separate chambers so you don’t need to mix them together, so there is no chance to do it wrong. Of course we are not speaking here about electric weed eaters, you realize it, right?
How about the warranty period? Some of the best weed whackers go up to 7 years warranty! Now, that’s a great thing I wish I had on my mower!
As a short conclusion, I could say we have now the proper criteria to find out which is the best weed eater around. It’s not an easy task since some criteria are objective, while some criteria may be subjective, like for example the cutting width which may be subject to personal preferences. However, at this point, as far as I see it, we have the tools to choose wisely. Am I right, or what?