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Best electric weed eaters 2021

Best electric weed eaters 2021
(Image credit: Getty)

The best electric weed eaters will clear unwanted shrubs from your lawn and yard pretty swiftly. These handy outdoor garden tools help keep pesky garden weeds at bay – no matter when and where they grow. To help you keep your lawn looking its best all year round, we’ve pulled together a list of the top rated electric weed eaters from brands like Ryobi, Greenworks, Black + Decker and more. 

Weed eaters can be powered in two different ways: either by electric or gas. An electric-powered weed eater is much more eco-friendly than a gas option. It’s also a lot quieter and less messy as you don’t have to top it up with gas to power it. The best electric weed eaters we’ve compiled below include a mix of corded and cordless options. Corded models are brilliant if you have a particularly large area that needs clearing as there is no end to their run time. It will motor on as long as you need it to. But cordless electric weed eaters have their pros too. Cordless options are ideal for those who need to travel further afield to rid stubborn garden weeds. It also means you don’t have to worry about the length of the cord and being plugged into a socket. 

When finding the best electric weed eaters, note how powerful your chosen gadget is. If you’ve got an extensive area of garden space that needs to be pruned you will want to make sure your weed eater has got the power to tackle it. Also pay attention to the cutting stance of your machine. The wider the cutting stance, the more weeds it can clip at any one time. 

For more outdoor power tools that will help tidy up your garden, discover our guide to the best robot lawn mowers and the best gas lawn mowers


1. RYOBI RY40204A: Best electric weed eater overall 

RYOBI RY40204A review

(Image credit: Walmart)

RYOBI RY40204A

The RYOBI RY40204A is a powerful electric weed eater with great battery run time.

Power: 40 volts | Weight: 5 pounds

Multiple speed options
You can alter the cutting width
No shoulder strap
Will need charging

It’s hard to find a negative about the RYOBI RY40204A and we think it’s the best cordless electric weed eater on the market. It’s powerful, without the limitations of being corded, the battery has enough power to keep you trimming for over an hour and it’s quick to recharge too. It’s also quite light, so it’s not going to put extra strain on your back or muscles.

It doesn’t have the same range of adjustability as other models on this list, so if you need to tailor your weed eater for height or mobility needs, the Black + Decker LST300 might be a better option. However, it does have edging capabilities so you can adjust the head for both trimming and edging your yard.

It also has some nice features you won’t find on any other model on this list. The adjustable cutting width allows you to choose whether to save battery power or quickly breeze over your lawn. The variable speed is also another nice feature that allows you to choose how to trim.


2. Greenworks 21142: Best corded electric weed eater 

Greenworks 21142 review

(Image credit: Walmart)

Greenworks 21142

The Greenworks 21142 is a durable electric weed eater and is a great green alternative to gas weed eaters.

Power: 10-Amps | Weight: 9.9 pounds

10-Amp motor 
No need to charge the battery
Cord length is restrictive
Shaft doesn't extend

If you’ve got some doubts as to whether an electric weed eater could ever measure up to a gas-powered one, then the Greenworks 21142 deserves a closer look. It is almost double the weight of most electric weed eaters, but that’s because it’s designed for power and durability.

It has an impressive 18-inch swath, so you can cover a greater area quickly, while the dual string means it easily dispatches even thick weeds. The lack of edging features is a bit of a disappointment and this is not a great option for small, hard-to-reach areas.

The Greenworks 21142 offers great value for money too. It’s not the cheapest on the market, but at around $70, it’s still very affordable, especially considering the cutting power it offers. A corded model may be inconvenient for some, but a battery-powered model with this much power would be more expensive.


3. Black + Decker LST300: Best electric weed eater for hard to reach spots 

Black + Decker LST300 review

(Image credit: Walmart)

Black + Decker LST300

The Black + Decker LST300 is a quiet electric weed eater that’s perfect for smaller yards.

Power: 20-volts | Weight: 5.7 pounds

Adjustable
Comfortable to use
Takes a long time to charge
More powerful options available

The Black + Decker LST300 Electric Weed Eater is a versatile trimmer and edger that’s designed to tackle small gardens and hard-to-reach spots with ease. While the battery power is good, there are better battery-powered options for larger areas, like the RYOBI RY40204A.

If you already have one or two battery-powered Black + Decker products then you might find their batteries are compatible with this weed eater too. As the weed eater only comes with one battery and has quite a long charge time, this would be particularly useful. 

The Black + Decker LST300 Electric Weed Eater is both lightweight and quiet, making it a pleasure to use. It also offers the ability to adjust the weed eater, so you can set it to a more comfortable setup for you.


4. Worx WG163: Best premium electric weed eater

Worx WG163 review

(Image credit: Walmart)

Worx WG163

This two-in-one trimmer and edger is a versatile weed eater that comes with free replacement spools for life.

Power: 20-volts | Weight: 5.3 pounds

Comes with two batteries
Comfortable to use
Takes a long time to charge
Expensive

The Worx WG163 is the priciest electric weed eater on this list, but it’s also an adaptable option that comes with a spare battery too. While it does take a while to recharge the batteries, you can keep one charging while the other is in use and swap them out if the first dies before you’ve finished.

The head is adjustable, moving through 90 degrees so it can adapt to a range of terrains. When using the Worx Weed Eater as an edging tool it becomes wheeled for extra ease of use too. 

The patented line-feeding system allows you to feed through more string with the push of a button. With the free replacement spools for life that come with this weed eater, you won’t need to worry about the cost of string replacement either. With the two-year warranty too, the Worx WG163 has been created with longevity in mind.


5. Sun Joe TRJ13STE: Best budget electric weed eater

Sun Joe TRJ13STE review

(Image credit: Walmart)

Sun Joe TRJ13STE

The Sun Joe is a budget corded model that’s lightweight and easy-to-use.

Power: 4-Amps | Weight: 5 pounds

Light
Good warranty
Need to replace spools regularly
Not as powerful as other models

At just $30, the Sun Joe TRJ13STE is a bargain electric weed eater. It does have less power than the other models on this list, so it’s not best-suited for tough weeds and overgrowth, but it is light and easy-to-use so perfect for lawn trimming. It does have a tendency to work through spools quickly, so it’s worth keeping in mind the cost of replacement spools when deciding whether this model is for you.

The four degrees of cutting is a nice feature that allows you to adjust the weed eater to the terrain you need to trim. The 13-inch swath is a good cutting swatch, but it is smaller than that of other models like the Greenworks Corded String Trimmer. The cord can be a bit inconvenient, but the cord hook is a nice little feature that helps keep it out of the way.

As a budget model, it’s not going to be especially powerful, but it still manages to offer a good range of features and a two-year warranty. It’s not a great option for anyone looking to take on a big yard clearing project, but it can trim across a variety of terrains with ease.


Looking for other gardening essentials? Don't miss our round up of the best gas lawn mowers, the best lawn edgers, and the best hedge trimmers

Gas vs. electric weed eaters

Professional landscapers usually prefer gas weed eaters for a few reasons: power and unlimited time and reach. In other words, gas models don’t limit you by the distance of a cord or battery life. Professional landscapers also need all the power they can get for jobs like clearing large fields of tough weeds and scrub. As such, gas weed whackers are often the best choice for serious yard work.

For most people though, an electric weed eater is more than up to the job. For a start, they’re easier to use than their gas counterparts, but have enough power to trim and edge a lawn and keep most weeds that spring up around the yard under control. Electric trimmers also create much less noise pollution and have zero emissions, which is a huge benefit to you, your neighbors, and the environment.

Cordless electric weed eaters vs. corded

Corded electric weed eaters provide you with constant and consistent power without having to recharge your machine. They are quite often a lot lighter too as they haven’t got the added weight of a battery. However corded weed eaters don’t give you as much flexibility in terms of reaching the furthest place in your garden. More often than not, corded models require the purchase of an extension lead – particularly if you have got a large and lengthy yard to clear. 

Cordless electric weed eaters give you more mobility. You can travel far and wide to rid your weeds with this type of battery-powered gadget because you aren’t limited by a cable. However cordless electric weed eaters can often be a bit heavier than their corded counterparts. That’s because they have the added weight of the rechargeable battery. Some cordless options also have lengthy battery charge times so watch out for that. Plus if you forget to recharge the battery before using your outdoor power tool, this can be a pain. Due to the fact you are running on battery – rather than mains power – you also have a limit to your cutting time. 

Important features to consider when choosing an electric weed eater 

When looking for a new string trimmer, pay attention to the design, power options, string features and warranty. For instance, most of the trimmers we reviewed are cordless, and batteries are a nice convenience but they don’t last forever. A corded trimmer may be a good fit for a small yard. The following considerations will help you select the best electric string trimmer for your lawn.

Trimmer design

Because you will be carrying around the weed eater, its overall weight is an important consideration. We compared how heavy the grass trimmers are, as well as if they have an adjustable shaft length for extra, customizable comfort. A dedicated edging position makes it easier to get a precise cut against sidewalks without having to hold your trimmer at an odd, uncomfortable angle.

Straight-shaft weed trimmers let you stand further away from what you are cutting, which keeps you safer. Safety is important, so we also looked to see if the trimmers we reviewed include devices that keep cords from getting in the way, as well as if the starter switch is protected from accidentally starting.

Power and battery

One of the most important things to consider when purchasing an electric string trimmer is if it has the power you need to accomplish the type of work you do. We looked for weed whackers that have high amps for corded models and high-voltage batteries for cordless ones. The more power a weed trimmer has, the tougher the grass and weeds it can tackle. We evaluated and compared cordless and corded electric string trimmers and found that regardless of the power source, if you choose a trimmer with enough power, you can trim efficiently.

When choosing between a corded and cordless weed eater, consider the type of work you need the trimmer to do and the size of your yard. Buying a trimmer that requires an extension cord limits your mobility, but that may not be a problem if you have a small yard. The advantage of using a cord is you don’t have to worry about the battery eventually dying and needing to be replaced. However, a cordless trimmer gives you limitless mobility, so it’s likely the best option if you have a large yard or need to trim in a remote location.

String features

We looked for trimmers that are easy to restring and have great line-feed capabilities. The width of the cutting path is also important to consider when you choose an electric trimmer. Look for a grass trimmer with a cutting path wide enough to clear large areas with each sweep, yet narrow enough for you to use in tight spaces. The average cutting path is 13.5 inches wide.

Warranty and support

The industry-standard warranty for electric string trimmers is one year. We looked for trimmers that met or exceeded this standard. The manufacturers of the best electric string trimmers also provide repair or service center locations and phone or email support. A downloadable owner manual comes in handy if you happen to lose your print copy and need to look up a part or procedure.

Are electric weed wackers any good? 

We believe so. Electric weed wackers are a lot more cost-effective than their gas counterparts as once you have purchased the machine, you don’t have to worry about buying gas to top it up with. The lack of gas also makes electric weed wackers a lot less messy to deal with and a lot more environmentally friendly – which is always a plus. Electric weed wackers are known for being quieter, with many operating at around 80-90-dB. This is the similar sound of a lawn mower. Many of the best electric weed wackers available on the market today might look small, but they pack a punch. These handy pieces of gardening kit do have their limitations though. It’s worth noting that gas weed wackers will always be more powerful because they come with an engine. This gives you endurance for tackling the most mammoth of garden tasks. And, depending on whether you choose a cordless or corded options, you will be limited to either your reach or cutting time.  

Maintaining your electric weed eater

While electric trimmers don’t require nearly as much maintenance as their gas counterparts, there are things you can do on a regular basis to keep them running well for an extended period. Kristi Howard, of Black & Decker Outdoor Products, says that a common problem with electric string trimmers involves people using the wrong gauge of extension cord to power them. Howard says you should be sure to use an extension cord that is heavy enough to carry the current your product will draw.

“An undersized cord will cause a drop in line voltage resulting in loss of power and overheating,” Howard explains. “When in doubt, use the next heavier gauge.” She says the letters WA on the cord jacket indicate a cord that is suitable for outdoor use. Regarding corded versus cordless trimmers, Howard feels they are comparable in terms of power. Corded trimmers are generally less expensive than battery-operated trimmers and are easy to maintain, but they have less mobility. 

To properly maintain an electric trimmer, Howard suggests checking for damaged parts and cleaning off the air intake slots before each use to avoid overheating. She says you should never immerse an electric string trimmer in water or clean it with a pressure washer, and you should store it indoors, out of reach of children. “Keeping your trimmer regularly maintained should minimize your need for larger repairs,” Howard adds.