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Best electric weed eaters 2021

Best electric weed eaters 2021
(Image credit: Getty)

The best electric weed eaters help you create a beautifully kept garden that’s healthy and free of pesky weeds. Not only do weeds look unsightly, they can also prevent other flowers from growing as they block out sunlight, steal water and take those all-important nutrients plants need to flourish. Which is exactly the reason why investing in a good electric weed eater is key to maintaining a pristine-looking backyard. 

To help you find the best electric weed eaters money can buy, we’ve compiled a list of the top-rated models from big garden brands, including Black + Decker, Worx and Ryobi. All of the models we have included come with brilliant weed-eating qualities – like having a high power output, a wide cutting stance and a high number of revolutions per minute. 

Weed eaters are powered in two ways: you can either buy electric weed eaters or gas weed eaters. The difference? The best electric weed eaters are quieter, more eco-friendly and you don’t have to top them up with gas. You can also get corded or cordless electric weed eaters. Gas weed eaters offer more power but they aren’t as good for the environment. 

For more outdoor power tools, check out our guide to the best gas lawn mowers and the best electric lawn mowers.

1. RYOBI RY40204A: Best electric weed eater overall 

Best electric weed eaters: RYOBI RY40204A review

(Image credit: Walmart)

A powerful electric weed eater with great battery run time

Power: 40 volts
Weight: 5lbs
Reasons to buy
+Multiple speed options+You can alter the cutting width
Reasons to avoid
-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 

Best electric weed eaters: Greenworks 21142 review

(Image credit: Walmart)

A durable and eco-friendly alternative to gas weed eaters

Power: 10-Amps
Weight: 9.9lbs
Reasons to buy
+10-Amp motor +No need to charge the battery
Reasons to avoid
-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 

Best electric weed eaters: Black + Decker LST300 review

(Image credit: Walmart)

This quiet electric weed eater is perfect for smaller yards

Power: 20-volts
Weight: 5.7lbs
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable+Comfortable to use
Reasons to avoid
-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

Best electric weed eaters: Worx WG163 review

(Image credit: Walmart)

Two-in-one weed eater that comes with free replacement spools for life

Power: 20-volts
Weight: 5.3lbs
Reasons to buy
+Comes with two batteries+Comfortable to use
Reasons to avoid
-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

Best electric weed eaters: Sun Joe TRJ13STE review

(Image credit: Walmart)

Sun Joe's budget corded weed eater is lightweight and easy-to-use

Power: 4-Amps
Weight: 5lbs
Reasons to buy
+Light+Good warranty
Reasons to avoid
-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.

Are electric weed eaters any good?

It’s a yes from us. We all know that electric is the future, and the most-up-to-date electric weed eaters are jam-packed with power. Some of the most powerful electric weed eaters come with 40 volts – which should give you enough power to trim your weeds for about an hour.

Plus, along with having enough power to clear your lawn of unsightly weeds, electric weed eaters are generally more easy to use, as they are lightweight. On average, these types of machines weigh in at about 5lbs. That’s because they haven’t got a tank of fuel attached to them. 

Talking of fuel,  electric weed eaters are better for the environment because they don’t use any fossil fuels for power. Another  reason why we believe electric weed eaters to be a brilliant investment is because they are more affordable than their gas counterparts. Some of the best electric weed eaters in our guide will set you back around $70. These types of tools are also quieter than gas-powered options. 

Gas vs electric weed eaters

In the professional gardening world, landscapers will usually use gas weed eaters. That’s due to the advanced power of gas models, as well as their unlimited running time and reach, as they’ll be using this tool all day every day. Professional landscapers are also likely to be working on larger gardens, filled with weeds that are hard to manage, and have grown unruly. 

For everyday use at home, for the opposite of the reasons above, we think electric weed eaters are more than suited to the job. You can operate them with ease, and you don’t have to top up on gas at any point. Your neighbors will also thank you for choosing an electric trimmer, as they’re much quieter, as well as having zero emissions. 

Electric weed eaters vs gas weed eaters

Electric weed eaters
These types of weed eaters are quieter than a gas-powered weed eater. They are also a lot more easier to use, and less messy too because you don’t have to top them up with gas. Plus, electric weed eaters models come in a corded or cordless version. 

The former allows you to keep trimming as long as you require your weed eater to do so. While the latter means you can move it around easily. However, no matter how powerful modern day technology has made electric weed eaters, they are still nowhere near as powerful as gas models.

Gas weed eaters
Typically speaking, gas weed eaters are heavier. That’s because they have a motor attached to it that requires gas to power it. As we’ve touched on before, gas weed eaters are the most powerful weed eaters available on the market right now, however that’s where the list of pros stops. 

Gas weed eaters are more harmful to the environment. They are also more expensive and require the additional price of topping it up with gas. 

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. 

What to look for in an electric weed eater 

There are plenty of options when it comes to purchasing a good electric weed eater, but it’s crucial to decide on a model that’s suitable for you. That includes looking at the design and working out if it’s lightweight enough for you to carry around for as long as you’d like, especially if you have any issues that might impact your strength. 

You’ll also want to decide on power options depending on how big your garden is, and amp up the power if your garden is larger. Warranty is another thing to bear in mind, as though an electric weed eater won’t break the bank, you don’t want to be lumbered with a model you can’t replace or get help with.

Electric weed eater 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.

Maintaining your electric weed wacker

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.

Stevie Keen

Stevie is a freelance digital consultant, copywriter and photographer. She's worked for brands like the Radio Times and Wallpaper*, and has also written for Amateur Photographer, Clash Magazine and Flash Pack, amongst others.