Best Cordless String Trimmer 2019: Buying Guide and Top 5
Lawn care used to be left entirely in the hands of the professionals. Professionals here means those companies that charged you exorbitant fees for cleaning your lawn and making it look like one of those picture-perfect well-manicured gardens commonly found in movie sets and expensive estates. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend huge amounts of money to get that professional-looking lawn. This is because you can do it yourself, using your own hands and your own equipment.
Once you’ve resolved to care for your own lawn, your next step is to look into the things you’d need to get started. Lawn Care 101’s shortlist of essential tools is likely to include a lawnmower, a leaf blower, sprinklers, and a string trimmer, to name a few. The lawnmower is the most obvious, but then you came to the string trimmer and probably got stumped. What on earth is a string trimmer, and do you really need it?
What is a String Trimmer?
A lawnmower is considered to be the basic tool in lawn care, but even the best lawnmower can do so much. There will be spots under trees, or right beside your house, that cannot be reached by the lawnmower. And, let’s face it, a lawnmower is hardly designed to do some advanced landscaping techniques, is it? For that, you will need a string trimmer.
You have probably wondered how those well-kept gardens and lawns with delicate landscaping that you see in photos and magazine spreads came about. If you want such a manicured look for your lawn, getting a string trimmer will get you halfway there.
A string trimmer is a handheld garden tool designed with a rotating monofilament line to cut grass without causing damage to other objects in proximity. Since they are handheld, they are usually cordless, for easier handling and portability.
We have to be clear about this, though: a string trimmer is not a lawnmower. Meaning, string trimmers cannot mow your lawn, so do not think that they are substitutes for lawnmowers. Think of the string trimmer as a backup providing support to your lawnmower.
So if we are to point out two main reasons why you should have a string trimmer, they would be (1) to clear up grass and weeds in areas that a lawnmower cannot reach, and (2) to give your yard or garden a clean, professional and pretty look that will turn your home into the talk of the town or, at least, your neighborhood.
String Trimmer vs. Lawn Edger
A string trimmer gets compared to a lawn edger a lot. That is mostly due to the fact that both tools are used to deal with hard to reach areas or patches that the lawnmower cannot reach. They have the same purpose, but they work differently.
A lawn edger makes use of a blade that cuts using a spinning vertical motion in cutting grass that hangs over edges of driveways, plant beds, fences, and other borders. A string trimmer, on the other hand, does not make use of a blade. Instead, the cutting is done through a rotating head with several cord pieces hanging out. These cords spin horizontally and cut the grass and weeds usually found in tight or cramped areas that lawnmowers are unable to reach.
Now, do you have to buy both tools? If you’re smart, you can actually use your string trimmer to work as a lawn edger. It’s just a matter of holding the string trimmer sideways, so the horizontal rotating motion will become vertical, and it will work as an edger would. Therefore, the conclusion is No, you do not have to buy a lawn edger and a string trimmer. Buying a cordless string trimmer will be enough, especially if you are on a tight budget.
What Types of String Trimmers Are There?
We can classify string trimmers into two general types: 2-stroke cycle and 4-stroke cycle string trimmers.
In a 2-cycle trimmer, you have to mix gas and oil. A 4-cycle trimmer, on the other hand, usually uses gasoline only, so no mixing required. Oil will still be used, but only for engine lubrication, and it has its separate reservoir.
The Top 5 Cordless String Trimmers of 2018
So you want to give your lawn and garden the best care it deserves. You may even have been inspired by those photos you saw and want to turn it into the most beautiful, well-manicured lawn in your neighborhood. Of course, that means you have to invest in the right tools, and you want to get the best string trimmer. You can choose among these top 5 cordless string trimmers.
5 DEWALT DCST920P1 Brushless String Trimmer
This string trimmer from DEWALT features a dual 0.080-inch line with bump feed and a 13-inch cutting swath, so you can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. And since it has a brushless motor, the reliability of motor performance is guaranteed.
In fact, the motor is so powerful that it can easily power through any tough overgrowth. Thanks to its variable trigger, there are no problems starting, stopping and controlling the trimmer. It even has speed control to grant you more flexibility while running it. It also helps that it is lightweight and compact, so it is much easier to store and handle.
4 Greenworks Cordless String Trimmer 21362
The brushless motor of this Greenworks string trimmer is tested to deliver higher torque and more power. The good news is, despite that, it actually quieter in operation than other similar models, and it does not use up as much battery life as competing models.
It requires 4Ah batteries, which have a runtime of up to 60 minutes. However, what makes this cordless string trimmer a real find is how it can serve multiple purposes, thanks to its capability to accept multiple attachments. Its attachment capability allows it to accept other implements such as a cyclone blower, a cultivator, a lawn edger, a disk blower, a hedge trimmer, and a pole saw, to name a few.
3 Greenworks 12-Inch 40V Cordless String Trimmer ST40B410
This cordless string trimmer from Greenworks has a .065 dual line and a 12-inch cutting swath. Its auto-feed head also works in speeding up the trimming process. Of course, you still call all the shots, since you can control how fast it will go, using the variable speed trigger.
The best part is that it is approximately ten times quieter than other gas string trimmers, and also produces less vibration, so you won’t have too much of a hard time handling it. Not that you’d have a hard time, really, since it boasts an ergonomic design to ensure superior balance and guarantee convenient operation.
2 DEWALT DCST970X1 Flexvolt 60V Max Cordless String Trimmer
No one can deny the power that the DeWalt Flexvolt delivers. One look at the gear drive design and you can tell that it is capable of powering through tough overgrowth, using its highly efficient brushless motor. It has a cutting swath of 15 inches with a 0.080-inch line, although a 0.095-inch line will also work well with it.
Aside from a basic variable speed trigger, it also comes with a Hi/Lo speed control for greater flexibility. It is lightweight and easy to maneuver, and you won’t have to worry about straining your arms when using it.
1 BLACK+DECKER LSTE523 20V Max Lithium String Trimmer
Enjoy greater torque, thanks to this unit’s Power Drive Transmission. The BLACK+DECKER LSTE523 offers great convenience in operation, thanks to its 2-speed control and EASYFEED technology, which allows you to advance your line without bumping. All you need to do is push a button, and the line advances.
For additional comfort during use, you can also adjust its height and handle. But what makes this a top pick is its versatility. For the price of one, you can get two tools out of it, since it easily converts from a string trimmer to a wheeled lawn edger.
A Buyer’s Guide to Choosing a Cordless String Trimmer
Prior to purchasing one, you may already have specific requirements and expectations of what the ideal cordless string trimmer is. If we’re going to get down to it, as long as the string trimmer does its job of cutting and whacking weeds and grass, then it’s definitely worth buying. But wait, don’t be hasty. There are several considerations to be made before you can make an informed decision on which string trimmer to buy.
Yard Size or Area
Look out your window, or walk out the door, and take a look at the area you are planning to use a string trimmer on. Bigger areas definitely call for cordless string trimmers, so choose one with greater mobility. Large landscapes also require a string trimmer with considerably more power to handle heavier cutting jobs. Basically, the yard size will dictate the power that you need in a string trimmer.
Aside from the area, however, you also have to consider the terrain. Is it wholly flat or your entire yard is a lawn, or are there slopes and rocky areas? Knowing what you’re going to deal with will definitely help point you in the right direction when shopping for a string trimmer.
Your Vision for your Yard
What do you want to do with your yard? Is it just a matter of cleaning and clearing your yard and driveway of saplings, weeds, and wayward grasses, or are you planning on turning it into a showpiece of your home? There are string trimmers that specialize in clearing vegetation, while there are string trimmers that will come in handy when you want to make your yard or driveway pretty.
Look for a string trimmer that offers faster starts and fewer tangles. You don’t want to get frustrated when your new string trimmer is giving you a difficult time even before you even start trimming. For that, you want one with a reliable motor that also offers high efficiency. The quality of the batteries (in the case of battery-operated string trimmers) will also affect the performance, so you might want to look into what type of batteries are used, how many, and what’s the corresponding runtime that the battery will provide.
While most cordless string trimmers are battery-operated, there are also gas-powered ones and, more recently, several brands came out with cordless electric string trimmers. Choose which one is most convenient for you. You may also want to consider the impact on the environment, as gas-powered string trimmers are just like your gas-powered car when it comes to fumes.
The concerns usually encountered among users of battery-operated string trimmers include the number of batteries and the frequency with which you’d have to recharge them. Also, there is the battery life or runtime. Some provide a runtime of 30 minutes while some may reach up to an hour. Again, depending on the length of time or period that you expect to use the string trimmer, the battery aspect should also be looked into. If you have a wide yard and you don’t want the hassle of recharging the battery in intervals, then choose one with long-life batteries that will allow you to finish the task in one go before needing to be charged.
String Trimmer Design
Specifically, we are referring to the shape of the shaft. You have a choice between a string trimmer with a straight shaft and a string trimmer with a curved shaft. There is a preference for straight shafts because they generally have a longer reach, making them ideal for reaching underneath shrubs, bushes, and hedges. However, the reason why some users prefer a string trimmer with a curved shaft is that it is generally more lightweight and, therefore, easier to wield.
If you can get your hands on a string trimmer that can be “turned” into other tools, then you should consider giving it serious thought. Sure, it might be pricier than your average string trimmer, but if you actually need, say, a lawn edger or a pole saw, then you can hit two or three (or more!) birds with one stone. Attachment-capable string trimmers are definitely good investments that are worth looking into since they are sure to bring you more value for your money.
Ease of Handling
For this, the best way to go about it would be to do a “test drive,” so to speak. It’s not enough to be satisfied with a string trimmer that is lightweight. You have to test how it feels and how it operates in your hands. One of the most vital points to look at is the balance, which is why you have to test how well or how easy it is to adjust the front handle so that the weight would be distributed evenly.
In addition, it would be a good idea if the controls are easy to reach and actually smooth and easy to manipulate. Buttons that are not sensitive enough or are difficult to push are definitely a no-no. Settings should be easy to access and manipulate, so you won’t have a hard time handling the machine. Comfortable handles are also much appreciated, so you won’t have to deal with aching hands later on.
There are several models that also come with a harness you can wear around your shoulder, for easier mobility. They are available in the heavier models which, without the harness, are likely to cause a strain on your arms.