Can a cordless string trimmer replace a gas trimmer? If you get the best cordless string trimmer on the market then absolutely! We've reviewed the top 10 best cordless weed eaters for the money.
A few years back the battery technology just wasn’t good enough to give you decent power for a long time. The best cordless weed eater manufacturers have put a lot of time and money into developing their battery technology. It’s these batteries and high efficiency brushless motors that differentiate the best cordless trimmers from the rest.
The best battery powered weed eater models will give you the same power as a gas trimmer will while costing significantly less to buy and run.
Battery power with gas muscle? Sounds good to me. Check out the top 10 cordless trimmers that made the list in our battery powered weed eater reviews.
Best Battery Powered Weed Eater
Battery Life (minutes)
50 - 70
40 - 60
45 - 60
15 - 35
20 - 35
40 - 55
45 - 70
45 - 60
45 - 60
Best Cordless Trimmer Reviews
Our choice for best battery string trimmer has to go to the CGT400 CGTSD from CORE. The awesome power, long run time and reasonable pricing make it our top choice.
The battery voltage is only 21V but the specially designed motor delivers power you normally only get from higher voltage cordless trimmers.
The head spins up to a maximum of 7000 rpm or 5000 rpm if you’re looking to save the battery by using the dual power mode. Besides the high revs it also develops plenty of torque and will manage tough weeds better than some of the best commercial weed eater units we’ve seen.
The trimmer head is a dual line bump feed and uses 0.095” line. It comes supplied with a charger and a power cell that will give you up to 70 minutes of use which is about the best we’ve seen from a battery powered weed eater. Recharging the power cell takes around 3 hours so if you need more than an hour operation you may want to buy an extra battery.
The extremely light air-cooled motor combines with the high-energy power cell to provide an excellent power to weight ratio, with the weight very well balanced. It’s made in the USA and comes with a 5 year residential use warranty or a 2 year commercial use warranty.
We were so tempted to have this trimmer at the top of our best cordless weed eater list but the higher price tag pushed it into a close second.
This is one of the most powerful cordless trimmers we’ve seen. They’ve combined a high efficiency brushless motor with a 56V battery to deliver incredible power that will rival most of the 2-cycle trimmers you’ve tried.
No fumes, noise or fuss and plenty of power. It uses professional .095” dual twist line delivered via a bump feed head.
The 2.5Ah battery will easily give you 45 minutes of use with careful use of the variable speed. If you want longer operation between charging you could go for the 5Ah battery if you don’t mind the extra weight at the back.
The battery is interchangeable with other EGO products so you could also just buy the cordless trimmer if you’ve already got one of their batteries. The extended shaft and 15” cutting swath means you get the job done quickly.
This is easily one of the best battery powered string trimmers we’ve seen. The only problem with this cordless trimmer is that if we bought it then we’d be tempted to fill our garage with all the other EGO power products.
To get truly gas-equivalent power from a battery powered weed eater is a challenge. It’s a challenge that this 80V trimmer from GreenWorks meets with impressive power!
GreenWorks claim that the power output is equivalent to a 32cc gas trimmer and it’s a claim you quickly realize is true the first time that you pull the trigger.
It uses a brushless motor, which is more reliable than the electric motors used in cheap battery trimmers.
The trimmer comes supplied with a 2Ah battery and rapid charger. The battery will deliver up to 45 minutes of trimming time and the charger recharges the battery in impressive 30 minutes. If you want longer operating time then buy the optional 4Ah battery.
At 9.8 pounds this is one of the lighter trimmers we reviewed and the weight distribution makes it comfortable to use even for longer periods. It comes supplied with some thin gauge line but we’d rather replace it with some heavier duty stuff.
This trimmer is a lot cheaper than the others but its construction is a little lighter too. This means that it’s only really suitable for light to medium use. Don’t expect to get the best commercial weed eater level of durability or power for residential trimmer pricing.
This battery trimmer is aimed at the higher end, more professional user. As with all the best battery trimmers it uses a brushless motor and the build construction is really heavy duty.
The high / low power adjustment allows you to get a bit more out of your battery or up the revs for tougher weeds. The 4Ah battery will give you a good hour of use If you need more uptime then get the 6Ah battery but it’ll make the trimmer a little unbalanced on the rear.
This battery trimmer has some serious power and a fast trigger response. You don’t get any fancy adaptors or edging wheels but you do get a solidly built trimmer with plenty of power. If you’re going to be trimming more than grass then this is a good choice.
The dual line trimmer head comes supplied with 0.08” line. It uses a bump line advance that works really well and respooling is pretty easily done. You can go up to 0.095” line if you get tired of the line breaking.
The padded grip is comfortable to hold and the trimmer is well balanced. We liked how the overall length of the trimmer allowed for comfortable use without having to bend over. If you’re looking for a replacement for your gas trimmer without sacrificing power this is a good bet.
If you’re looking for a light duty, cheap battery string trimmer then this is a great choice. The pricing on this unit is tough to beat but it does come with some disclaimers.
This trimmer is perfect if you have a small yard that only requires some light trimming. There’s no need to spend a lot of money if that’s the case. It does a great job of trimming lawn grasses and moderate weeds.
On the higher power setting you’ll get 8,500 rpm and 10 - 15 minutes use and on the lower settings you’ll get over half an hour at 6,500 rpm. That’s not a whole lot so if you have a larger yard then we’d advise getting the 6Ah battery instead of the 4Ah one. The price difference isn’t that much and you’ll get a 50% improvement in usage time.
While it may not have the power of some of the other battery trimmers, it’s light so it’s easy to maneuver with precision and holding it for 20 or 30 minutes is easily managed.
We like that pre-wound spools are available for this trimmer. No more fussing with re-spooling. Also, the automatic line feed is a lot easier than having to bump the head.
The head of the trimmer swivels 180-degrees which makes it simple to switch between edging and trimming. This trimmer won’t be up to heavy trimming but for regular residential garden use the performance it offers makes it difficult to justify spending more.
If you like the idea of having one tool for a number of different jobs then you’ll love the WORX GT2.0. You get a battery trimmer, edger and mini-mower all in one.
Everything on this trimmer is adjustable. The length of the shaft can be adjusted as well as the handle position. The trimmer head has a locking mechanism that, once disengaged, allows you to adjust the trimmer head into the edging or mini-mower position.
The battery only lasts around 30 minutes but for a small to medium yard that should be plenty. The charger isn’t the quickest so be prepared to be patient.
If you’re tired of cutting down your flowers then the built-in flower guard will come in handy. It keeps the trimming line a safe distance from your flowers or fence without you needing to be extra careful.
The trimmer comes supplied with 3 pre-loaded spools and they’ll supply you free replacement spools for life. All you have to pay for is the shipping.
At just over 6 pounds this is the lightest battery trimmer we reviewed. The low price tag also makes this the cheapest battery trimmer we reviewed. It’s not going to cope with thick brush but if you want a versatile battery trimmer at a low price then get this one.
GreenWorks have a battery powered garden tool for every job. This great battery weed eater is attachment capable and offers great versatility in that it’ll accept most gas attachments.
It comes with either a 2Ah or 4Ah battery but we’d recommend going with the 4Ah one because it’ll give you about an hour of trimming on a single charge.
The battery pack will fit any of the other GreenWorks tools so it’s worth considering standardizing on some of their equipment.
They’ve used a great brushless motor in this trimmer. It delivers plenty of torque and gas comparable power with half the noise and vibration.
At 13 pounds it’s not the lightest weed eater we’ve used but that’s the price you pay for a long lasting battery and a powerful motor and trimmer head. It comes with a shoulder strap and you’re better off using it.
The bump feed works really well and the line it comes supplied with makes short work of grass or thicker brush. It would have been great if it came with an edging wheel but that’s about all we could complain about with this great trimmer.
This cordless trimmer delivers some of the longest battery life we’ve seen from a 2Ah battery. The 58V battery and the brushless motor delivers plenty of power.
The variable speed trigger will let you operate the trimmer between 5,100 and 6000 rpm. With some battery trimmers you only find out that the battery is flat when it stops working.
This trimmer has a great feature that gives you an indication of how much charge is left in the battery with a simple press of a button.
The charger it comes supplied with will have the battery fully charged again in less than an hour.
The assembly process is really quick and simple, although respooling was a little challenging. We didn’t like that it doesn’t have an edger mode and the vibrations were a bit more than we’d like. Other than that, the power output, long battery life and reasonable pricing make this a great choice.
Ryobi make pretty good tools for your common garden variety home owner. They may not be up to commercial use but they’re pretty solid for anything around the home. At this price point you’re getting some decent power and a respectable battery life.
The trimmer comes with a charger and it takes around 90 minutes to charge the battery. The cutting swath can be adjusted to between 11” and 13”.
Stepping on the little pedal allows you to easily flip the head to turn the trimmer into a handy edger. It’s got an edging wheel that means you don’t need to try and hold it at that perfect height.
It’s a single line trimmer with an auto feed that lets out about a quarter inch of line every time you release the power trigger. This means you’ll want to keep your finger on the trigger to keep it running or you’ll burn through the line pretty quickly.
Respooling this trimmer is a pain. We’d recommend just buying the replacement spools.
The battery is pretty bulky but it is balanced really well with the trimmer head. The adjustable handle is a nice touch to get your best feel.
For the price and the trimmer / edger combo option this cordless trimmer represents good value. The construction uses a lot of plastic so long term quality may be a concern.
If you’re looking for a cheap battery weed eater but still want something half decent then the Toro is worth a look. The price is a lot lower than some of the other battery operated weed eaters we reviewed above but it still gets the job done.
This trimmer is really only suited for light grass trimming and edging around the house.
We like the handy trimming guide which will keep your flowers and fence safe while you trim the grass.
It doesn’t have a smart high / low power control like some of the other trimmers above do. The “power saver adjust” is really just a knob that you turn on the head to reduce the trimming line from 12” to 10” to save some battery power.
The trimmer head rotates easily into edging position and the wheel makes edging a breeze.
While it may not make the top of our list as the best battery powered string trimmer it certainly is one of the cheapest battery weed eater models that actually work. If you’re on a budget and just need to trim your lawn then it’s a solid choice.
Cordless String Trimmer Buying Guide
If you're looking to buy a battery powered weed eater then make sure you take the following points into consideration before making your purchase.
Battery Powered Weed Eater - Pros and Cons
There are some great reasons to invest in the best cordless string trimmer for the money but there are also some drawbacks to be aware of:
- Lightweight - A battery powered weed eater is lighter than a gas trimmer. This means you can easily trim a large lawn in one go without having to take a break. Wearing a harness still isn’t a bad idea though.
- Less Noise - Because it doesn’t use a gas engine a cordless string trimmer is a lot quieter than its gas counterpart. It’s not going to be completely silent but it will be at least half as loud as a gas engine. With most cordless weed eaters you’d be fine without hearing protection.
- No Emissions - No combustion engine means no fumes. While the process to produce a battery does lead to some emissions, when you’re using the cordless weed eater you’re adding no further emissions into the environment.
- Cordless - While you get the same benefits above from a regular electric weed eater you’ve got to drag that cord around with you. With a battery powered weed eater you get true cordless performance without the problems you get from a gas unit.
- Low running costs - No fuel means lower operating costs, no mixing of oil and gas and no dirty, oily parts to clean.
- Easy start - As long as the battery is charged you press a button and you’ve got action. No more pulling on a starter cord hoping and praying that it’ll start soon.
- Simple Maintenance - Battery operated string trimmers may need a little more maintenance than a standard electric trimmer but a lot less than a gas unit.
- Power - While the best cordless string trimmers have plenty of power most don’t manage to get up to the kinds of power you get from a top end 2-cycle gas trimmer.
- Battery life - The best battery powered weed eater will give you over an hour of use but the cheap cordless string trimmers will only work for 15 minutes or so.
- Battery recharging - If your tank runs empty on a gas trimmer you just refill it and get going again. With a battery powered string trimmer you either need to have a backup battery or wait for around 30 minutes to an hour for it to recharge.
- Battery replacement - Eventually your battery won’t hold charge and will need to be replaced.
Cordless Weed Eater Maintenance
Your cordless trimmer won’t need nearly as much maintenance as a gas one will. You’ll still need to do a few things to keep it trimming beyond the warranty period. Probably the most important thing to do is to keep it clean. The motor can get pretty hot so you want to keep any venting from getting impacted with grass trimmings.
Check your user manual for any lubrication that the motor might require and do this periodically.
The heart of your cordless trimmer is the battery. Make sure that you don’t store the battery anywhere that it will experience extreme hot or cold. That’s a sure way to shorten its lifespan. Also, when charging the battery don’t leave the battery in the charger once it’s fully charged.
Cordless Weed Eater Battery
Ni-Cad vs Li-Io?
If you’re looking for a battery powered weed eater you’ll need to choose between either Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad) or Lithium Ion (Li-Io) batteries. If you want a cheap cordless trimmer then it will come with a Ni-Cad battery while the best battery powered weed eater will always have a Li-Io battery.
Ni-Cad batteries are less expensive but they are heavier, have a shorter lifespan, take longer to recharge and will need to be replaced sooner than the Li-Io batteries. As a Ni-Cad battery discharges you’ll also notice reduced output power from your cordless string trimmer. Li-Io batteries are a lot lighter, charge quicker, last longer and don’t suffer from the same reduced power output as they discharge.
Cordless String Trimmer Battery Voltage and Capacity
The battery in a cordless string trimmer will be rated according to its voltage and capacity. The higher the voltage, the higher the cutting power you’re going to get. Of course your trimmer motor has a lot to do with this factor as well. The capacity of the battery refers to how much charge it can store. This is normally quoted in Amp Hours (Ah). The higher this figure is, the longer the battery will last during use.
What’s the best voltage for my cordless string trimmer battery?
You’ll notice that different cordless weed eaters come with different voltage ratings for their motors. This is one of those situations where more is generally better if you’re looking for power. That's not to say that a higher battery voltage always results in the most powerful trimmer. A lower voltage battery coupled with a high torque motor will give you more power than a higher voltage battery and a cheap motor. Here’s a general guide to choosing the voltage that will suit your needs:
Cordless Trimmer Battery Voltages
- 12V - If you have a smaller lawn with thin grass then 12V will be fine.
- 18V to 20V - For residential use but with thicker grass 18V to 20V is fine for most applications.
- 36V or higher - If you have a larger garden with thick grass and weeds or if you’re using it for commercial use then aim for 36V or higher.
Cordless Weed Eater Battery Charger
The majority of battery powered string trimmers will have removable batteries that need to be charged in a separate charger. If you’re considering this kind of cordless string trimmer then be sure to check if the purchase price includes the charger. Not all of them do.
Some battery operated weed eaters will have an integrated battery which is charged by plugging the trimmer directly into a power outlet. It’s convenient because you don’t have to mess around with external chargers but it removes the flexibility of being able to use a spare battery when you want longer trimming time.
How Long Will A Weed Eater Battery Last?
Don’t expect to be able to get hours of use from your cordless string trimmer. On the bottom end of the scale you can expect to get 15 or 20 minutes use. The best battery powered weed eater models will give you up to an hour or maybe just over that before you need to switch batteries. For most residential jobs this is plenty and it’s about the same as you’d get from a gas trimmer.
If you need more up time then keep your backup battery charging while you use the first one and then swap them once the first one starts to get low. Wise use of the variable speed option will help you get more trimming time from your battery. To make your cordless weed eater battery last longer do the following:
- Charge battery completely before use.
- Don’t use full power unless you absolutely have to.
- Use shorter string - The longer the string, the more power needs to be delivered to the motor to spin it.
- Don’t use the cordless trimmer until the battery runs flat completely. Use it until you get down to around 15% or 20% and then recharge it. This will extend the life of the battery.
Cordless Weed Eater Features
Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. While having a wider cutting width does mean you’ll cover more ground in less time, it does make it difficult to get into tighter spots. If you’ve got wide open spaces or a large lawn then go for a wide cutting width.
If you need to trim in between plants or in some tighter spots then go for a medium or smaller cutting width. Some battery operated weed eaters allow for adjustable cutting width which gives you the best of both worlds. Remember that the wider the cutting swath is, the harder the motor needs to work to spin the cutting line and this will drain your battery faster.
Some cordless string trimmers have the ability to rotate the trimmer head so that you can turn your cordless weed eater into a cordless edger. If your battery powered weed eater has a dedicated edging position it will be a lot easier to give your sidewalk a neat edge. Having an edger wheel also makes edging a whole lot easier. It keeps the head at a consistent height above the lawn without you having to keep the trimmer steady.
Bump Feed vs Auto Feed Spool
Even the best trimmer string wears down eventually. Having a bump feed line makes it easy to control how much string you let out. Simply bumping the trimmer head on the ground causes a little more string to be deployed.
Some battery operated weed eaters will have an auto feed spool. This option is very convenient because you don’t need to worry about whether or not your string is long enough. The convenience does come at a cost though as you’ll burn through string faster than you would with a bump feed head. Automatic feed spool systems can also be a little fiddly and require more maintenance.
Typically the auto feed head will dispense a little line each time you take your finger off the trigger. If you want your line to last longer then just keep your finger on the trigger while you walk from one spot to the next instead of releasing it.
Battery Trimmer Motor
Make sure that you choose a battery powered weed eater that has a brushless motor. These brushless motors will deliver more torque, will run quieter, are more efficient and are also a lot more reliable than brushed motors.
Variable Speed / Power Adjust
Some of the best cordless trimmer products will have the option to run at variable speeds or will have a high power and low power mode. Some manufacturers refer to this feature as “Power Command”. This feature gives you the option to use lower revs for shorter, thinner grass while getting more operation time from your battery. If you’re looking to trim longer grass or thick weeds and you want to do it quickly then you can switch up to the higher revs but this will drain the battery faster.
Best Cordless Trimmer Shaft Options
As with other weed eaters the cordless trimmers come with a variety of shaft options. Your main choices are between curved shaft, straight shaft, telescopic shaft. Curved shafts are fine for open areas but it you want a longer reach and the ability to operate in tighter spots then a straight shaft is always a better bet.
The straight shaft also makes it easier to see what you’re trimming and also puts more distance between you and the business end where stones and other debris will be flying. A telescopic shaft gives you the option of having a shorter shaft for tight spots and a longer shaft when you want a wider sweep.
Cordless Trimmer Weight
While you may want the lightest weed eater you can find, it’s important to remember that the lighter it is, the less battery and motor it’s going to have in it. Weight is important but it’s more important to see how they’ve distributed that weight. A well balanced cordless trimmer with a comfortable shaft can feel lighter than a poorly designed one that may actually weigh less.
If you’re going to be using your battery powered weed eater for long periods then you could always attach a harness if it starts to get a little heavy. Don’t just look at the weight that the manufacturer claims. Read cordless string trimmer reviews to see how others experienced the weight distribution and comfort.
Also, if you’re opting for the optional higher capacity battery then understand that this is going to mess with the overall balance of the trimmer as it will now be heavier at the rear than it would be with the standard battery.
Cordless Weed Eater Brands
If you’re planning on buying a cordless trimmer and also want to buy other cordless garden tools then it’s a good idea to settle on a single brand. Cordless garden tool manufacturers will often standardize some of their batteries so that they can be used interchangeably between their tools. This means that, in some cases, you can buy a cordless string trimmer and then use that same battery in your cordless leaf blower or cordless hedge trimmer. Here are a few of the best cordless weed eater brands:
This American company has a heritage that stretches back over a hundred years. Black+Decker, now Stanley Black & Decker, specialize in a wide variety of power tools and equipment. Their research and development in the field of small electric motors has led to a reputation for producing good quality tools that you’ll find in most workshops today. Their range of cordless weed eaters is focused on the home user rather than higher end, more powerful trimmers.
While the name may sound German at first, this is actually an American brand that is now owned by Black & Decker. They use this brand for their higher end and more powerful equipment. If you’re looking for the best cordless weed eater then this brand is a good place to look.
Milwaukee Tool have been around for over 85 years and they focus on higher end, professional power tools. They do a lot of research into Lithium Ion technology which is reflected in their wide range of battery powered tools. They’ve started producing cordless weed eaters but they’re not as widely available as some of the other better known weed eater brands.
EGO have only been around for about 20 years but they make a great range of garden power tools. They’ve taken an innovative approach in developing a common power platform that can be used on any of their tools. This gives you the option of buying multiple tools while only needing one battery pack. Their battery powered weed eater is one of the best we’ve seen and is a pound for pound gas replacement when it comes to trimming power.
Craftsman is yet another American company that has recently been bought by Black & Decker. They’ve built up a well earned reputation for quality power equipment. Most of these products are manufactured in the US with some of the lower end products made overseas.
Core Outdoor Power
Core have been around since 2001 but in that short time have introduced great technology in the fields of high energy lithium ion power packs and high torque, compact electric motors. If you’re looking for long battery life and plenty of torque in a lightweight package then Core Outdoor Power will be hard to beat.
Ryobi is a very well known Japanese company but the Ryobi Tools brand in the US is owned by a Hong Kong company. They produce a massive range of tools and other components. Their power tools are focused very much on light residential use. They manufacture in about six different countries with a small amount of their tools made in the USA. If you’re looking for a cheap cordless trimmer that will still get the job done then this is a good place to look.
Stihl is a German company that is probably better known for their chainsaws. They have a great range of products including high end lawn trimmers and blowers. While the quality of their products is really good their distribution model makes it difficult to buy their products from you usual online retailers like Amazon.
Toro is an American company that produces equipment focused on lawn maintenance. They manufacture some of the best ride on mowers and best zero turn mower products but also have a range of trimmers. They focus mainly on cheap cordless weed eaters that are more suited for light residential use rather than tougher commercial use. These are a good bet if you want a cheap battery powered weed eater.
Worx is an American company that makes a wide range of DIY tools. They’ve developed some power packs that are interchangeable between their range of power and garden tools. Their products are probably best described as mid range and their pricing is very competitive. The main advantage of their tools is the interchangeability of their battery packs and fittings.
Kobalt make decent quality tools and power tools for the more serious home DIY guy. Besides hand tools they also make pneumatic and battery powered tools. They’ve started to branch out into garden tools now as well with a limited offering as far as cordless weed eaters go. They distribute their goods mainly through Lowes and may be worth a try if you’re looking for something simple and cheap to use around the house.
GreenWorks have their headquarters in the USA but manufacture in their plant in China. They produce a range of power tools but are more focused on garden equipment. What stands out about them is that they produce the individual components that make up their products. Their end to end approach means you get well designed products with quality built in from the start. If you’re looking for the best battery powered weed eater then GreenWorks is one of the better brands.
While cordless trimmers in the past were more hype than performance that’s no longer true today. If you’re looking for a true gas replacement then buying one of the best cordless trimmer options we reviewed above is a solid bet. Just make sure that the battery voltage and motor power output suit the kind of trimming you’ll be doing. Also, make sure that the battery capacity will allow you the trimming time you need to get the job done. As with most garden equipment of this type, you get what you pay for. Be prepared to invest in the best cordless weed eater for the money and you’ll be a far happier weekend gardener.
Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com