How to buy the best corded electric string trimmer

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in String Trimmers

String trimmers are an invaluable component of any power equipment toolshed.

They allow you to trim grasses and weeds in areas where lawn mowers cannot reach and edge your lawns to maintain the neat and manicured look.

Corded electric string trimmer units make it possible to trim neatly and quietly as long as you are near an electrical outlet.

Size and power of corded electric string trimmers

These machines run on electric motors and the motors are rated in terms of amps.

Generally, corded string trimmers have motors rated between about 2 and 7 amps. This will not give you the power of gasoline-powered models, but it will give you more strength than can typically be found in a cordless trimmer.

Electric string trimmers tend to be bottom-heavy in that the motors are usually located near the trimmer’s cutting head at the bottom end of the shaft.

As the motors are not very heavy, corded electric string trimmers are easy for most people to handle without much fatigue. In most cases, users can hold onto them comfortably at waist to chest-level without any problems.

Another factor that can influence a machine’s size is the cutting width. String trimmers can be found with cutting widths ranging from less than ten inches to near 20 inches.

A wider cutting area is generally favorable, but machines with a longer cutting line can be a bit harder to handle when using the trimmer for lawn edging.

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

Corded electric string trimmers operate in much the same way that cordless units and gas-powered models operate. Basically, the unit is held somewhat upright with the trimmer’s head near the ground. The trimmer uses plastic line to slice through vegetation in areas where other cutting tools cannot reach.

Corded and cordless string trimmers both run on electricity, but the corded model must be plugged into an electrical outlet at all times. The advantage of this is that you will always have operating power without worrying about keeping a battery charged. The disadvantage is that you must operate the machine within 100 feet of an electrical outlet.

Corded electric string trimmers are usually a bit more powerful than their cordless counterparts, but they are not nearly as powerful as gas-powered units.

Gas-powered models use powerful engines and they are capable of cutting through tougher vegetation. However, gas-powered string trimmers are also quite loud.

They also produce emissions which are considered to be harmful to the environment. Additionally, gas-powered string trimmers tend to be heavier and more cumbersome than corded electric models.

Features to look out for in corded electric string trimmers

One feature that can make life easier is the presence of an automatic feed trimmer head. This type of head unspools additional trimmer line whenever it is needed. This ensures that you always have the appropriate amount of line for your chores.

Another type of head is the semi automatic feed trimmer head. This type does not automatically unspool line, but it will do so when you tap the head lightly against the ground. Without automatic or semi automatic feed, you are required to manually unspool the line.

Best electric string trimmer: Greenworks 210152

Electric string trimmer with telescoping handle and rotating head: Greenworks 210152


Some string trimmers also have telescoping handles and rotating heads. These features enable you to adjust the machine to suit your height and to suit the job you are doing, for example by enabling you to get the head into hard to reach areas.

Another important feature is the presence of a cord locking apparatus. Because these machines need to remain plugged in to operate, they will shut down immediately in the event that the extension cord has become unplugged. With a cord locking mechanism, the extension cord will remain plugged in so that you can continue working.

Finally, you should choose a string trimmer that makes it easy for you to replace the line and change the trimmer head when necessary.

Some units are incredibly difficult to take apart for this purpose, while others are designed for quick changing of the cutting line and head. You can get your work done much more efficiently when you can easily replace the head, so make sure you take a good look at trimmer heads when you do your shopping.

Best uses for corded electric string trimmers

Since these machines must be tethered to an electrical outlet at all times, they are best suited for smaller properties with areas to be trimmed located near sources of power.

They are powerful enough to handle most trimming jobs around trees and along sidewalks, but they are not meant to handle the types of jobs more appropriate for gas-powered units, such as cutting tough vegetation or working on extensive properties.

Because they are quiet and do not release emissions, they are also terrific for more densely populated areas.

Summing up

String trimmers are great tools for taking care of the finishing touches on a yard. Gas-powered models are the most powerful and they offer the most versatility, but electric models can handle most homeowners’ moderate trimming jobs. Though corded models must be used near electrical outlets, they offer unlimited power and ease of use for most trimming applications.

Personally, I prefer to use a gas powered string trimmer for both the extra power and the versatility. I don’t know about you, but I always push my tools to their limits and you tend to find the limits of electric string trimmers quite quickly.

I’d also generally favor a cordless model over a corded one if I was going to choose electric, mainly because of the ease of use.

However, if you know that you’ll only need the tool for lawn edging and trimming light vegetation and that you need it to run longer than a cordless model can usually manage, then a corded electric string trimmer will be your tool of choice. The Greenworks 21212 13-Inch trimmer/edger With telescoping handle is a solid choice.

But bear in mind, if lawn edging is what you really want the tool for, it might be worth you looking for a specific edging tool and trying to identify the best lawn edger within your budget.

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About the Author

Martin Cole is editor and publisher of outdoorpowerbuddy.com, as well as a couple of other related websites. At heart he is a gardener, but appreciates the value of using the best power equipment.

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