9.75
/ 10
9.45
/ 10
9.33
/ 10
9.30
/ 10
9.28
/ 10
9.05
/ 10
8.63
/ 10
8.20
/ 10
8.13
/ 10
8.05
/ 10

Functionality

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Weight
95%
85%
80%
85%
90%
95%
100%
80%
100%
100%
Balance
90%
95%
95%
70%
85%
90%
75%
80%
70%
100%
Vibration
96%
96%
100%
85%
96%
96%
43%
74%
43%
64%
Cutting
100%
100%
100%
80%
85%
90%
75%
90%
60%
65%
Sound
92%
85%
99%
98%
99%
99%
98%
99%
100%
75%
Weed Whacker Review: We researched, tested and ranked the 10 best weed whackers on the market today. We have reviewed this category for more than five years.
Find a weed whacker to help you maintain hidden corners, edges and other areas of your yard the lawn mower can't reach. Here's what you need to know about functionality, design and string features.

Design

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Weight (pounds)
10.3
12
12.5
12.2
12
11
10.5
12.4
10.4
10.5
Shaft Length (inches)
60
40
44
40
41
21
55
41
39
52
Cutting Path (inches)
15
17
18
18
17
17
17
17
15
16
Sound Level (dB)
100
105
97
97.1
96.8
96.8
97.3
97
96.3
108
Fuel Capacity (ounces)
14.5
N/A
18
12
N/A
10
12.8
10
N/A
9.92
Engine Displacement
22.5cc
25cc
25.4cc
25cc
27cc
25cc
26cc
25cc
25cc
25cc
Debris Shield
Anti-Vibration
Attachment Capable
Shoulder Strap Included

String Features

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Line Feed Type
Semi-Automatic
Bump
Bump
Bump
Bump
Bump
Bump
Bump
Manual
Bump
Line Feed Capacity (feet)
13
25
25
20
25
8
20
12
25
N/A
Line Diameter (inches)
0.095
0.095
0.095
0.095
0.095
0.095
0.08
0.095
0.095
0.11
Dual-Line Exit

Warranty & Support

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Warranty
7 Years
2 Years
3 Years
3 Years
3 Years
2 Years
2 Years
2 Years
2 Years
2 Years
Drive Shaft Warranty
Lifetime
2 Years
3 Years
3 Years
3 Years
2 Years
2 Years
2 Years
2 Years
10 Years
Service Centers
Online Manual
Phone
Email

Weed Whacker Review

Why Buy a Gas-Powered Weed Whacker?

The Hitachi Gas Trimmer is the best weed whacker you can buy. It strikes the delicate balance between functionality, design and features to give you a smooth experience. Our reviewers could use this weed whacker for much longer than the other products in our review. It also cut through dense brush without stalling or staggering. In addition, it has the longest warranty of all the machines on our lineup.   

The Poulan Pro Gas Trimmer also received high marks from our team of reviewers. It quickly tore through grass and weeds, no matter how thick they were. It has a cutting path of 17 inches, so you can reach through thick bushes and other foliage to keep your lawn looking trim and handsome.  

The Toro Gas Trimmer performed well in our series of tests. It’s a couple of pounds heavier than some of the other weed whackers we reviewed, but it more than makes up for that with a wide cutting swath, large fuel capacity and relatively quiet performance.

Why Buy a Gas-Powered Weed Whacker?

Caring for your lawn may seem like a simple task – at first. You keep it watered and fertilized and then watch as the lush, green grass starts to fill in. Once it gets too long, you mow it, but you may find that some persistent and pesky weeds pop up in areas that a lawnmower simply cannot reach. Adding a gas-powered weed whacker to your arsenal can help you tame the wilderness that is your yard.

A well-made, balanced weed eater is a great investment if you have a vast yard overgrown with tall grasses and weeds. The best gas trimmers can hack through the weeds and reach areas that a lawnmower cannot. A straight-shaft trimmer allows you to trim along fences, under bushes and near trees.

The gas-powered models featured in our review are ideal because there are no cords to trip you up. Our weed trimmer reviews focus on tools with two-stroke engines. Weed whackers with this type of engine have some advantages over those with four-stroke engines. First, they are more powerful than electric models. Second, they are easier to handle because they are lightweight, and third, they are more affordable.

When you purchase a weed eater, you're also buying a guarantee, though it’s limited. The best trimmers include at least a two-year warranty that covers parts and labor should anything go wrong.

There are several brands of string trimmers similar to those on our lineup; however, we omitted them for a variety of reasons, including engine power and price. For example, to offer you a list of the best weed whackers under $200, we omitted models by Honda and Tanaka. Each trimmer we tested for our top 10 list is gas-powered, so they are all suitable for small and big yards alike. We only included models with two-cycle engines to create a fair comparison.

If you have a smaller yard or you don't do yard work weekly, an electric string trimmer may be a good fit for you. And if you want to fill your tool shed, be sure to also check out our reviews for the top 10 gas lawn mowers as well as these eco-friendly electric lawn mowers.

Weed Whackers: What We Tested, What We Found

The two most important aspects of a weed whacker are functionality and design. A trimmer should be powerful enough to cut through the thick brush in your yard with only a few passes and quick enough that you can be back on your porch enjoying the fruits of your labor in no time at all. We tested each trimmer in a controlled environment to determine which one performed the best.

For design, we measured how much noise each trimmer produced while running at full throttle so you know if certain precautions, such as hearing protection, are needed when using it. We also measured the shaft length, the cutting path and the weight. To make sure we catered to users of all body types, we enlisted the help of several testers of varying height, weight and strength to determine how balanced and heavy each weed whacker feels. Exposure to vibrations for long periods of time can be potentially damaging, so we also asked the testers to rate the level of vibration they experienced while using the weed whackers.

After several of these tests, we were able to determine which tool works best for tall, strong users; which trimmer was the most comfortable to use and didn't leave us feeling shaky; and which tool is best for those of smaller stature with smaller hands. Our tests also revealed which models struggle to eradicate thicker weeds but might work well for your yard if it doesn't require a powerful engine to cut through dense brush.

What Else Is Important When Selecting a Weed Whacker?

Below are some other considerations to keep in mind:

String Features: How Easy Is It to Replace the String & How Long Does It Last?

All weed whackers use some variation of a wound-up spool of string, which is enclosed in a case inside the trimmer, to knock down tough grass and weeds in your yard. This string wears out and needs to be replaced, often several times in one session.

String reloads from the case a few distinct ways: Semi-automatic models have string that adjusts on its own. Most models require a bump, meaning you need to knock the bottom of the weed trimmer against the ground to activate a button that feeds out additional string. Manual-feed models require that you stop trimming, turn the unit over and pull the string out with your hands.

You'll want to pay attention to the amount of string the case holds. The more feet of string you have, the longer the weed whacker can go before you need to purchase replacement string, which can be expensive. A case that holds a short length of string could end up costing more in the long run.

Warranty & Support: What Guarantees & Support Do Manufacturers Provide?

It's important to know how long your weed whacker is covered by a warranty. Also, you should be able to download a manual from the manufacturer's website in the event you lose the physical one.

Support is necessary if you have any questions about the warranty, and customer service representatives can help walk you through the operation of your weed whacker. They can also suggest a nearby service center if you need your trimmer repaired.

You can find many more available features on our product comparison chart, which can help you choose the weed whacker that is right for your needs.

All the weed whackers on our lineup are good choices, depending on your needs, so be sure to read through our comparison chart and the reviews to find the gas-powered, straight-shaft weed whacker that works you.

Contributing Reviewer: Danny Chadwick