You must have seen people trying to mow a lawn with a yard trimmer. While yard trimmer works great, they aren’t the same as a lawn mower. Here is why.
You use a yard trimmer for trimming areas where the mower cannot reach. While both are used to cut grass and remove weeds, the trimmer goes an extra step in comparison to your lawn mower – it gives your lawn the perfect finished look. Because of its smaller structure, and the ability to be tilted, it can trim in difficult terrains, slopes and close to wall edges. This is important to know when you are planning to buy an electric yard trimmer!
To simply put the structure and working of a trimmer – when the string (line) attached to the rotating wheel rotates, it becomes stiff enough to have cutting properties. This rotating line cuts the grass.
This article is a guide to picking the best electric yard trimmer for you.
Features to Look for in an Electric Yard Trimmer
Run time is the time for which the trimmer can run once the battery is charged. This applies to battery-operated trimmers, not corded ones.
Once charged, the trimmer should be able to run for a decent amount of time, say an hour at least, because that is the usual amount of time you would spend in one go. You don’t want to be taking too many breaks to recharge batteries and resume work. Better the run time, the more convenient it is.
This is the total life duration of the battery (not the recharged run time). Lithium batteries last longer than NiCad, so invest in a yard trimmer that uses the former. These batteries have lifespans almost 3-5 times the NiCad batteries.
Auto Line Feed
While trimming on tough areas, it is possible that the line will break. The trimmer must have the automatic line feed system to feed line to replace the broken line. There should be a button to release the broken line.
The operation needs to be smooth that is, a press and release button to unwind the string. This way you can release the string while the machine is still running. Some trimmers use bump feed, in which one has to bump the head of the trimmer on ground to release the string.
These trimmers run on 18-20 volt batteries. It should be sufficient to get it going for a while, without having to recharge. More power means better cutting, but it could also mean that you would have to recharge it more often. So you need to look for something in between. Make you sure you check what the charging time is. The best of the trimmers will not take hours to charge.
Unlike the mower, the trimmer gives your lawn a fine look meaning you should be able to manoeuvre it to cut grass from all angles. You should be able to tilt the shaft of the trimmer so that you can trim on slopes and corners which are otherwise difficult to reach. If the head angle is adjustable, you will be able to reach corners and trim on uneven terrains without giving making the area untidy.
The main advantage and reason for using electric trimmers is that they are light in weight. They don’t have the weight of gasoline, unlike the gasoline-powered trimmers. Considering that you have to take the trimmer around for fine cutting, it has to be of manageable weight- something less than 10 pounds should be fine.
The most convenient trimmers are the ones that are without a cord. Cordless trimmers are not bound by distance, unlike the ones that are with a cord. It makes the process very convenient and enables you to cover all areas. However, while cordless has its advantages- the corded ones also do their job well.
What is the Best Electric Yard Trimmer?
Having mentioned the important features you need to pay attention to, let us check out individual products in detail. The following products are mentioned in descending order of their ranking...
BLACK+DECKER GH900 6.5-Amp String Trimmer/Edger, 14-Inch – Economical, with Sufficient Power
This is a recommended trimmer. Note that this is a corded trimmer but it is easy to assemble and light in weight.
This trimmer works with a 6.5 Amp motor. This, combined with its high torque transmission, gives superior performance. You will not have much problem dealing with tough grass and weeds.
It has Power Drive Transmission so that the machine is not slowed down when the grass is dense. Corded means that the area you can cover with it is limited, but you are not restricted by run time. It can go on as long as you want.
The height can be adjusted to your comfort. They have also taken care in positioning the handle to give maximum comfort.
It weighs around 7 lbs and almost anyone can handle it. It has the automatic feed system, which means that you don’t have to stop and unwind the line. There is no bumping, and hence the head of the trimmer stays safe and free from scratches.
Also, it is a 2-in-1 trimmer and edger. The Edger is important because it helps you give a finishing touch to the edge of the lawns, especially next to sidewalks.
The kit includes the trimmer, AF-100 spool, auxiliary handle and guard.
Overall, for the price, the product is decent. The weight is manageable, and the design is ergonomic.
Toro 51480 Corded 14-Inch Electric Trimmer/Edger- Corded – Convenient Two-in-One Trimmer & Edger
Next in line is the electric trimmer by Toro. As mentioned, it is corded which means that it cannot be taken too far away from the power source. So you can use this trimmer on smaller areas.
It runs on a 5Amp motor, which is fair enough for the area it covers. It is powerful enough to cut through thick grass and has a 14-inch dual line cutting head.
You can adjust its height according to yours with the help of a telescopic shaft and an adjustable assist handle. The assist handle gives you balance while doing the job. The telescopic shaft is made of rust-free aluminium, reducing maintenance effort.
The difference between this and the ones mentioned above is that it uses bump feed system. This means that you need to bump the head of the trimmer on the ground to advance the string. Though many do not prefer this system, it is efficient because it lets you control the amount of line you use. It is also easy to repair.
The trimmer can be converted into an edger in seconds with a simple button. The edger is required to give clean edges to the lawn that is next to sidewalks.
The good thing is that it comes with the spool, so there is no chance of getting the wrong spool. It weighs 6.3 pounds and comes with a 2 year warranty.
Overall, for a corded trimmer, this is a decent buy. It is quite reasonable and a good option if you are not covering too much area.
BLACK+DECKER LCC300 20V MAX Lithium Ion String Trimmer and Sweeper Combo Kit – Two-in-One Trimmer & Edger
This is another of our recommended trimmers. The trimmer can be easily converted into an edger. With this feature, you can give clean edges to your lawn. Generally, without the edger, the grass on the sideways can have ugly edges. So for a perfectly manicured look, the edger is handy.
The trimmer runs on a lithium battery of 20v max. With this, it can retain 5 times more charge than NiCad batteries. This means that it has a longer lifespan. So in spite of the regular use, you don’t have to replace the battery as frequently.
The kit comes with a sweeper. This is a very handy tool because you can use it to remove debris after trimming. It is light in weight and quite powerful.
The machine has an automatic feed spool. So when the line breaks off during the trimming, it can be automatically replaced without stopping the machine. It also has Gear Drive transmission, meaning more cutting power. So you can get the work done faster. The weight of the item is 11 pounds.
Though it has a longer lifespan, the run time of the battery may not be much. However, it depends on how you use it. If you are using the sweeper also, then the run time will go further down.
The kit comes with the trimmer, sweeper, charger, guard, and battery pack. It has a 2-year warranty.
Its pros are its combo kit of sweeper and trimmer, two-in-one trimmer and edger, and long battery life. The con is that the run time is less compared to some other trimmers available in the market.
This trimmer is quite affordable, considering that it includes everything that you need to get this tool going.
DEWALT DCST920B 20V Lithium Ion XR Brushless String Trimmer (Baretool) – Easy Maintenance
This is another cordless trimmer that we want to mention. It has a brushless motor.
As mentioned earlier too, the brushless motor has a longer life and is easy to clean. It has a 13-inch cutting swath and uses a dual 0.08” line. It has a bump feed system and a patented gear drive design which provides torque so that the trimmer does not get stuck at tough grass.
It weighs around 8 pounds, which is not very difficult to manage. You can also choose speed – High or Low-as per the kind of grass. At low speed, you can get run time less than an hour. High power is great, but it will drain the battery sooner.
The kit does not come with a battery, which means you need to separately buy it. There is a 3 year- warranty, but be careful to check the warranty details before you purchase it.
Black & Decker ST1000 9-Inch 1.8 Amp Electric Grass Trimmer – Perfect for Small Yards
This trimmer is perfect for small areas. So if you have a small yard, don’t look around much. What we like is that they are very clear on where this trimmer is to be used. The trimmer runs on a 1.8 Amp motor. For small areas and post-mowing maintenance, this works fine. It has a cord retention system so that the cord remains in place and does not get detached while working.
It has a bump feed system, which means you need to bump the head to unwind the string. At times the bump feed system can be harmful to the head because it can cause scratches and with the small weight, you need to be careful.
The product weighs just 3.2 lbs. Obviously, because of its limited capacity, it is quite reasonably priced. However, the height is not adjustable, and the power is not that great. It works fine for small spaces.
Makita XRU07PT 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless String Trimmer – Great Run Time, Sufficient Power & Speed
Starting with the most important point to note about this trimmer, it has a runtime of an hour on low setting. This means that you can trim for a full hour without the need for charging. It uses two 18v Lithium batteries, which gives the trimmer sufficient power.
Also, lithium batteries have a longer life as compared to NiCad batteries. Its brushless motor can give 50% longer runtime per battery charge as compared to others. The trimmer also stays cool because of the brushless motor.
This means you don’t have to take frequent breaks to let the machine cool before you start working again. It has electronic controls to monitor the energy used as per varied applications, and the noise created is less.
Amongst other features, it has two speed options. It weighs close to 10 pounds, which many would find as heavy. However, that is compensated by the power and run time it offers. The head is pretty light, allowing easy manoeuvre. It is easy to clean too.
The kit includes the trimmer, two 18v Lithium batteries, and a dual port charger.
This trimmer comes with a warranty of three years. The only thing that may make you think twice is the weight and price. Both are a little more on the higher side than you would like, but then it is packed with useful features and the kit includes the battery and charger.
Remington RM115ST Lasso 5.5 Amp Electric 2-in-1 14-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer/ Edger – Economical with 2-in-1 Trimmer & Edger
This 2-in-1 machine, weighing 8.5 lbs, is a good tool for small yards and quick shape-ups. The trimmer runs on a 5.5 Amp electric engine. Because of the combined trimmer and edger, you can give clean cuts to the edges of the lawns too. The height of the telescopic shaft can be adjusted to your comfort.
It has a 14-inch dual line auto release head that uses a 0.065” line that gives superior coverage and faster trimming actions. It is also convenient to trim grass and weeds which can grow easily fences, as well as clean the driveways and flower beds. The price is quite reasonable, but problems have been noted in its automatic line feed.
The product comes with a 2-year warranty. Overall, it gives you just facilities in the given price.
EGO 15 in. 56-Volt Lithium-ion Electric Cordless String Trimmer with Rapid Reload Head
This trimmer is cordless and comes with a 2.5Ah Arc Lithium battery. 56 volts means it is packed with power and will be able to tackle tough grass and weed. It uses the bump feed system.
The brushless motor is easier to maintain. You also have speed options, which can be handy when the texture of the grass varies. It has a 15-inch cutting swath, which is wide enough, and uses a dual feed spiral-twist 0.095-inch line.
It weighs 17 pounds. It’s true that for this much power the weight is justified, but you need to think about the weight before you buy. Many would find it difficult to manoeuvre this weight.
Ivation 20V 2.0AH Cordless Grass String Trimmer & Edger – Good for Tough Trimming Angles
This is a cordless 2-in-1 trimmer and edger. In terms of power, it needs a 20v battery. The kit includes 2 batteries so that one can be used as a backup. Another advantage of this trimmer is that you don’t have to worry about run time.
Why this trimmer stands out is because it has 4 different trimmer head angles available to trim the tough areas. The head can be placed horizontally as well as vertically, maximising functionality.
The height can be adjusted as per your comfort (up to 12 inches). This means that anyone in your family can adjust the height and use it. It has an assist handle that can be adjusted. Overall, it is ergonomically designed. It also has an automatic feed system.
The trimmer weighs 5 pounds. It might take 3-5 hours to charge the battery, which is not convenient at times.