How to buy the best cordless string trimmer

If you like to keep your lawn manicured, but you currently do so using hand tools, then it might be time to purchase a string trimmer.

These machines are easy to operate, and they can cut your yard work time down considerably.

For maximum portability and easy of use, you may want to look at cordless string trimmer units, which can help you keep your lawn looking nice without straining your body or your pocketbook.

Size and power of cordless electric string trimmers

Because these machines use battery operated electric motors, their power is measured in volts.

At the bottom end of the spectrum are 12 volt units which offer minimum power but maximum ease of use. On the top end are cordless string trimmers featuring 36 volts of power. These bigger models are more powerful than others, but they are also heavier and more unwieldy.

Compared to other types of string trimmers, cordless models are lighter and easier for most users to handle. They are certainly not as powerful as gas-powered trimmers, but they are only slightly less powerful than corded electric models.

How do cordless string trimmers compare to corded electric, gas powered and walk-behind string trimmers?

Like corded electric trimmers, cordless models run on electricity. This makes them very quiet and friendly to the environment.

These machines use a battery to store electricity that powers the motor. This means that they are highly portable, unlike their corded counterparts, but they can only run for as long as they can hold a charge.

Cordless electric string trimmers are similar to gas-powered string trimmers as far as portability is concerned, but they are quite different in other ways.

Once charged, cordless trimmers are operated with the touch of a button, while gas-powered trimmers need to be primed and choked prior to starting with a recoil cord. Though both machines are portable, a cordless unit’s battery charge will not last as long as a full fuel tank on a gas-powered machine. On the other hand, a cordless trimmer is much lighter and easier to operate than a gas-powered string trimmer.

Features to look out for in cordless electric string trimmers

Like most cordless, electrically powered lawn and garden equipment, the type of battery is extremely important to the unit’s operation.

If you are purchasing a cordless string trimmer, you should seek out a machine featuring a Lithium Ion (LI-ON) battery .

Lithium Ion batteries are last longer than traditional batteries, such as Nickel Cadmium ones. They give you more consistent power while operating your machinery, meaning that your trimmer will operate at the same speed when it is about to run out of juice as it does with a full charge.

Although machines containing Lithium Ion batteries are more expensive, the extra investment is definitely worth it, especially considering the relatively low cost of cordless string trimmers.
Best cordless string trimmer: swivel head for edging
Another thing to look for is the type of trimmer head found on the unit. Some heads are designed to release line automatically, or semi automatically. Other heads require you to un-spool line manually.

Though it is not hard to pull line from the spool, you must shut down the machine in order to do so, which can cut into your productivity.

Some trimmers, like the Black & Decker LST220 (pictured above and right), have heads that swivel so as to enable you to switch easily from trimming to edging. In a way this makes them two tools in one

Best uses for cordless electric string trimmers

If you have a large area with numerous trees and structures to trim around, a cordless electric string trimmer will not be ideal for you.

If, however, you have a smaller yard that you can trim in less than an hour, a cordless trimmer should be perfect for your needs. These machines are light and very easy to use, plus they require very little maintenance.

Additionally, they are less expensive than other trimmers, making them ideal for those on a budget.

Summing up

Compared to other lawn and garden equipment, cordless string trimmers are incredibly easy to operate, though they are powerful enough to get most trimming jobs done effectively. They are light and extremely portable, as well, which makes them great for most homeowners, especially if they have limited space.

If you are interested in a string trimmer to keep your small to average sized property manicured, you should consider one of the cordless models for their ease of use, light weight, and low cost.

Quick recommendations

These are probably the leading cordless string trimmers. All have plenty of positive feedback from buyers and feature Lithium Ion batteries:

Black & Decker NST2018 Grass Hog 12-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Electric String Trimmer with 2 Batteries

Greenworks 21602 20-Volt Lithium Ion 12-Inch Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger with 6 Amp/Hour Extended Run-Time Lithium Ion Battery & Charger

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