You want a clean looking garden of which your neighbors will be jealous. But you’re stuck with unwanted weeds. A weed eater will help you get a nice looking garden. But, the process of finding the perfect weed eater can be tricky. With so many different brands, types, sizes and a wide price range. It might be a difficult job to pick the correct one. Look no further! This article will guide you through the process of finding the best weed eater.
Ultimate Weed Eater Guide
Type: Corded, battery and Gas
What is a weed eater?
A weed eater is a tool used for gardening. It’s used to get rid of grass and weeds on places which aren’t easily accessed with a lawn mower. These could be: around trees, the corners of your lawn, around flowerbeds, next to paths, etc.. A weed eater has a lot of alternative names such as: weed whacker, string trimmer, whippers snippers, wheed whips, etc..
It uses a flexible monofilament line instead of a blade. It typically has a long shaft with a handle and cutting head which is protected with a safety shield.
Normally it isn’t attached to harness. But for the heavier duty machines, who are typically heavier and vibrate a harder this normally is the case. This will make the weed cutting process more comfortable for the user.
The most important factors in picking a weed eater:
What we believe the most important factors for picking the best weed eater are: the freedom you want combined with the size of your garden, your budget and the strength of the machine. All of them will be explained further on.
Adjustable height: This is especially important if more the one person is planning on using it.
Weight: This depends on the strength of the user and the time handling the machine. Look for one with a maximum weight of 14-16 lbs.
Cutting width: Here you need to take into account the result you’re looking for. If you’ll be doing a lot of weeding in narrow areas (between for example: flower beds) you’ll be looking for a smaller one. If it’s for regular usage try to go for at least 14 inches.
The type: This will be explained further on.
Types of weed eaters
There are 2 main types of weed eaters: corded and obviously not corded.
The type you’ll need is determined by the size of the garden and the user comfort. Corded units are typically cheaper and lighter but the users freedom is quite limited. If you are using your weed eater just once a year, have a pretty small area to cover, and don’t mind hassling with a lot of cables. This might be the right fit for you.
If you on the other hand want more freedom and have a pretty big area to cover. You’ll be better of with a cordless unit. There are two different types of them: electric and gas powered weed eaters.
Battery powered weed eaters
If the area you have to cover isn’t too big, an electric weed eater might be the perfect fit. They are usually lighter, vibrate less, aren’t as noisy as a gas powered one, and are easier to handle. The battery of these electric weed eaters doesn’t last that long. It varies between 30 min up to more than one hour depending on the brand and model. An option is to buy a spare battery if you’re afraid of running out of power before finishing the job. The price range for a spare battery varies from $30 up to $120 depending on the brand and model of your unit.
Gas powered: 2 stroke vs 4 stroke weed eaters
Your other option is to look for a gas powered weed eater. The size of the area you need to cover isn’t a big problem anymore. You’ll be able to refill the string trimmer whenever you need. These are definitely the right choice if you want ultimate freedom and cutting power.
There are 2 different types of gas powered machines: 2 stroke and 4 stroke weed eaters.
The biggest difference is that a 4 stroke weed eater doesn’t recuire you to ad oil to the fuel mixture which is the case with a 2 stroke engine. The 4 cycle engine will operate on gas alone. Other notable differences are:
4 stroke engines produce less smoke and thus produce less air pollution
They make less noise and vibration
They have more power
A 4 stroke weed eater is more expensive, but you’ll be able to save some money on the oil
2 cycle machines have less moving parts which might result in a longer lifespan
There are three different types of shafts which cause a little difference in terms of their functionality. The main characteristics are discussed below.
Straight shaft – Length of Reach
Those with straight shafts can pretty much trim any area in your lawn. It’s really easy to trim underneath decks and behind trees when using the straight shaft model. The length of the shaft is also an advantage for tall people, but might create some problems for small people in terms of comfort.
Curved Shaft – Control of unit
The curved shaft model brings a lot of balance and control to the user. They are generally lighter and often have extra features like low-vibration mounts. The curved shaft makes it easy to trim weeds from areas around fences.
Split shaft – Removable head
The best feature of this type of shaft is the possibility to remove the head. This gives you the freedom of attaching other tools. Existing attachments are: leaf blowers, edgers, hedge trimmers, pole saws, pruners, etc.. They are an investment but they will be able to help you with a lot of gardening problems. This might be a cheaper option if you’re looking for a couple of outdoor tools. They are often sold in a package.
Short overview of the top three
Black & Decker 13-Inch Lithium Ion Cordless High Performance String Trimmer
This weed eater is the Black & Decker top performer. It’s an absolute lightweight, it has an adjustable handle, automatic line feed and a head that swivels into an edger. One of it’s biggest advantages is the adjustable power level. You can adjust the cutting power and make the battery last longer.
The downside is it’s battery life. This depends on the speed and the heaviness of the work you’ll use it for. It typically varies from 15 to 30 minutes. The battery takes about 75 minutes to recharge. So when buying this black & decker you might consider buying a spare battery.
Overall: If you like an easy to handle top quality weed eater this is it.
Husqvarna 224L 18-Inch 25cc 4-Stroke Professional Straight Shaft String Trimmer
The Husqvarna 224L uses the four stroke technology. Although this normally means that the machine is heavier and has a strong vibration, with the Husqvarna 224L this is not the case. It’s fairly lightweight and has a low vibration. This comes hand in had with the fact that it’s relatively quiet for a four stroke weed eater and that it’s easy to handle.
If you want value for your money this is absolutely the one to go for. It’s quite expensive but you pretty much only have the advantages of a 4 stroke weed eater and no disadvantages.
Core CGT400 CGTSD Gasless Powered Trimmer, 3 Hour Charger, 1 Power Cell
The Core CGT400 is known to have the power of a gas trimmer although it’s an electric one. This results in a quiet machine and clean cutting. It has an output of only 57 decibels which is pretty much nothing. The battery lasts about 45 to 60 minutes.
It’s perfect for those who are looking for a battery powered weed eater and those who need to have thougher jobs done and have a bigger garden.