Ten yards at one try each and five models of battery powered string trimmers. We carefully selected, analyzed, and tested in order to find the best battery powered string trimmer. After all of our testing we can definitely recommend the GreenWorks G-MAX as the optimal weed whacking solution for the majority of people’s homes.
While not the most powerful of the ones that we looked at, this excellent trimmer from GreenWorks balances power, cost, and precision with ease. It’s 12” swath and 40V battery made it our favorite for the usual “at-home” conditions which we ran the majority of the trimmers under.
Table of Contents
How We Selected Products
When it came time to do this guide we had to carefully consider the options which were available. Unlike some of the other garden tools which we looked at we discovered that string trimmers really don’t need too much power and that comparatively a good battery powered option wasn’t completely dwarfed by the plug-in options.
Once we’d figured that out we asked a few landscapers what brands they’d recommend. Of the three, two recommended DeWalt and one mentioned the GreenWorks G-MAX.
So we picked up a DeWalt and the GreenWorks.
We took a look at online reviews to see what else was available and after some heated debate we decided to add the WORX 32-Volt GT2.0 to the list. It was multi-function and we wanted to see how it added up against the dedicated options in the field.
Lastly, we wanted a budget option. We decided on two this time, the no-frills VonHaus 40V Max Cordless String Trimmer/Edger looked pretty great as we read about it online. The BLACK+DECKER LST136W made out list easily. We often recommend their products for a budget option anyways and it’s battery is compatible with their entire 40V line.
Once we’d made our decision and had them on the way it was time to lay out some testing parameters.
How We Tested The Products
We decided that we would see what we could do about finding two yards to test each of our weed eaters on.
Our selection criteria was easy: we wanted one “normally maintained” yard and one heavily overgrown yard to see how they fared in various conditions. Our hopes weren’t particularly high for the overgrown yards as we’d been told that battery-operated whackers tended to fall short in this area.
There’s a bit more to it than just leveling out grass or breaking down small bushes, however, we decided to see how each would fare at the following tasks:
- Leveling Grass-Many people use cordless trimmers to handle relatively small yards by cutting their grass. Some of our reviewers groaned but we wanted to see how they’d fare.
- Smashing Weeds-On the overgrown yards our primary concern was how the trimmers fared against tougher weeds and small shrubs. We knew it would take more than one charge to cover the yard, but we wanted to know how feasible it was if you were willing to wait for a recharge or two.
- Edging-Edging was another big concern, since many people use their trimmers to clean up the grass alongside their driveways and patios.
- Recharge Time-If you’re having to bust through serious foliage then you need to know how long you’ll have to sit things out in between complete uses of the battery.
Afterwards, we inspected each model for any signs of damage in order to make sure that everything held together well.
It took us a few days, but in the end the results were in. For the purposes of our guide we had to resolve something, however, we had to figure out which model was best for homeowners since few people actually let their yards go as far as the overgrown testing yards we decided to raid.
The G-MAX ended up winning out in the end, we couldn’t justify the much-higher cost of the DeWalt for the average person who just needs to maintain their yard. If you’re looking to get some serious work done, however, then the DeWalt DCST90P1 actually delivered more power than any of the others we tested despite the smaller battery.
In the end, the others are relatively niche tools but they all held their own in the testing process, although the VonHaus 40V Max Cordless String Trimmer/Edger should probably be relegated only to light duty.
- The BLACK+DECKER LST136W delivered quite a bit of power, but the main advantage was the compatibility of the batteries. It’s a bit more expensive than our favorite, but if you already have a lot of BLACK+DECKER tools in your garage then it’s a solid choice.
- The WORX 32-Volt GT2.0 performed better than our real budget pick in it’s regular mode, but it’s real selling point is that it has a tilting head and can be used as an all-in-one solution for smaller yards.
- The VonHaus 40V Max Cordless String Trimmer/Edger was powerful, but just too small to be of a lot of use for our purposes. On the overgrown yard it performed poorly but when it came to leveling grass and edging it did a remarkably good job.
For a power comparison, however, we borrowed a Husqvarna 967055801 which has a 25cc gasoline engine and… well there really is no comparison. If you have to clear a ton of serious brush then take the leap and get something with real power.
Even the best cordless models are quite a bit weaker, run for a shorter amount of time, and really aren’t designed for the heavy duty bushwacking that we engaged in during the second portion of our test.
Top 5 Battery Powered String Trimmers
|GreenWorks G-MAX||40V||12”||Check Price|
|DEWALT DCST920P1 20V MAX||20V||13”||Check Price|
|WORX 32-Volt GT2.0||32V||12”||Check Price|
|BLACK+DECKER LST136W||40V||13”||Check Price|
|VonHaus 40V Max Cordless String Trimmer/Edger||40V||9.8”||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Battery Powered String Trimmer
GreenWorks 2101602 G-MAX 40V
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
If you’re willing to put up with a little bit more weight in exchange for a whole lot more power, then this trimmer from GreenWorks has you covered. With a 40V Li-ion battery you won’t be short on power, and a 12” cutting area will let you handle things in short order.
Of course, the cost of the heavy duty motor comes in weight, the trimmer weighs in at a hefty 9.2lbs which is enough to leave even a hardened gardener a bit sore by the time the power has run out.
The head rotates as well allowing you to edge easily with the powerful motor, although you might want to go a bit light on the trigger to avoid using excessive amounts of string.
In the field we found that it made short work of most things we threw at it, although it seemed to have a bit more trouble than the DeWalt when it came to woody shrubs and other particularly tough weeds.
For the average homeowner, however, taking down the stuff which we attacked in the second phase of our testing isn’t going to be much of an issue.
We also found it surprisingly easy to use despite the heavy weight. Running it until it was out was a bit strenuous but it wasn’t backbreaking work by any means.
This is a balanced trimmer, allowing you a ton of power and utility at a great cost. Those who get sore easily may want to find something a bit lighter however.
- 13” cutting swathe
- 40V 2.0 mAh battery included
- Converts to edger
- Automatic feed
- Suitable for medium duty
- Shaft is a bit long
2. Most Powerful Cordless String Trimmer
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
For the maximum power available in a cordless trimmer, one option stands head and shoulders above the rest. This battery powered string trimmer from DeWalt will make short work of all but the toughest bushes and weeds and it’s compatible with any other 20V DeWalt tools.
Of course, this comes with some cost. The brushless motor makes the whole thing weigh in at 14lbs which… look, it’s pretty heavy. Our reviewer noted they had to take a break twice before running the battery all the way down.
Included in the pack is a 20V 5.0 mAh battery which will keep things going for a long time, enough to finish off almost any yard you’d want to tackle with a string trimmer. You can get about 60 minutes of continuous power if you keep it on the lower setting.
Unfortunately, the guard isn’t increased in size. With that much power behind it, you’ll definitely want to be wearing long pants since it has a tendency to “spit” anything it hits at a high velocity. Rocks, wood chips, branches, they all go flying when the overpowered string hits them.
We think it’s a bit much for taking care of a lawn, to be honest, but if you’re able to handle the bulk and you’ve got some rough stuff ahead of you then it’s probably a good option. We also know quite a few people with a lot of DeWalt tools in their garage and it may be a good choice for them.
If you’re looking for the most power you’ll be able to get out of a string trimmer and a long life to handle your yard, this DeWalt trimmer is what you’re looking for. It’s a bit much for the average homeowner however.
- High powered
- Long battery life
- Reliable and durable
- Compatible with DeWalt 20V tools
- Rapid charging
- Small guard
- No edging capabilities
3. Best Multifunction Cordless String Trimmer
WORX 32-Volt GT2.0
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
If you’re planning on relying on one tool to handle your entire yard, the WORX 32 VOLT GT2.0 is a 3-in-1 trimmer that will allow you to make short work of almost any small yard.
The included wheels allow it to act as a precise mower to keep your lawn level, you can convert it to an edger, and the powerful motor works as a string trimmer should. All of this is powered by a long lasting battery.
It has a quiet running motor as well, so you won’t have to deal with the irritating blaring that some of these tools produce. You can also change the length of the shaft so it’s perfect for your height.
There are two unfortunate drawbacks, the unit feels “cheap” in your hands although it’s still quite sturdy and the WORX line which is included has a tendency to cause problems. If you can avoid dropping it and pick up a spool of quality line, however, you’re in good hands.
However, despite the cheap feel of it we found that it didn’t take any damage when we dragged it through serious brush. It was just a bit underpowered and we switched out the string almost immediately.
For the regular yard maintenance tasks in our first round of testing the words “awesome” and “it does everything” were thrown around. Think of it as a miniature mower/edger/weed wacker and you’re on the right track.
This WORX trimmer is best suited for those who want an all-in-one system to handle a normal sized lawn on a regular basis. It feels cheap but it held up during testing and the three-in-one functions make it awesome for those with limited storage space.
- Long battery life
- Telescoping shaft
- Comes with cheap string
- Middling build quality
4. Best Budget Cordless String Trimmer
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
The Black+Decker LST136W is an advanced battery powered trimmer which costs a premium but has some serious power and capabilities. It’s powered by a 40V Li-Ion battery with a long life and some serious power behind its 13” swathe.
The two speed trigger allows you to pick between conserving battery and delivering more power to the auto-feed head while you’re working. Keep it set to the lower option to conserve battery and handle errant grass and turn it up to make short work of burlier weeds at your discretion.
With a quick twist of your hand, you can also convert it to an edger in order to clean up the edges of your yard and along fences. It’s also fairly light, weighing in at 6.8lbs, which will allow most people to wield it and get the precision they need.
In practice we found it to be powerful and relatively versatile, although the angling feature left some to be desired. Most people are able to use their string trimmers to edge even without needing the tilt so it’s not that big of a deal.
Like most of the new BLACK+DECKER devices you can tell it’s not built up to industrial standards, but it should hold up for a long time under average use around the home even if you’re breaking up some rougher brush and scrub.
The only real drawbacks are the finicky safety trigger and the fact that the spools can get rather expensive. If you avoid scraping off all your string on rocks and concrete, however, you should be good to go.
It’s a bit cheaper than most, and it shows in the build-quality, but for someone who just needs a trimmer or who has a lot of BLACK+DECKER tools built already you’ll find that it’s more than serviceable under regular-to-light use.
- Long battery life
- Edger conversion
- Auto-feed head
- Power dial
- Safety can be annoying
- Spools are expensive
5. Best All-in-One System
VonHaus 40V Max Cordless String Trimmer/Edger
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
We really wanted to like the VonHaus 40V Cordless String Trimmer/Edger but we’re convinced it’s too small for many people. It only has a 9.8” cutting swathe, which… it’s really small.
In practice it works great for small yards and it’s got a surprising amount of power delivered. We made it through some really rough scrub and wood without it slowing down whatsoever, the 40V battery really puts some power down.
It also seemed to be high quality for the most part.
Our main issue is the size. It’s lightweight, powerful, and we were able to put it through even heavier stuff than the WORX model which tended to fail on really woody brush but it’s limited.
As a nice touch, however, the edger feature works great. Think of it as a miniature version of our favorites and you’ll be in good hands, the 20% size reduction from the second smallest is just too much for us to recommend it for anything but niche use however.
If you’re looking for a lightweight trimmer for edging and occasional maintenance or if you just have a tiny yard then the VonHaus 40V Max Cordless String Trimmer/Edger is the optimal solution. For most of us the small size simply outweighs the benefits of comparably priced trimmers.
- Edging capabilities
- Telescoping shaft
- Bump feeding
- Too small for even average yards
- Suitable for light duty only
Is a Battery Powered String Trimmer Right for Me?
Not every yard is a good for a battery powered trimmer, they do have some disadvantages that come along with their increased maneuverability. They’re recommended for those with a small yard that can be gone over quickly.
If you’re going to have to handle a larger yard it’s a good idea to invest in an extra battery or two so you can make sure you get everything done in one clean pass. As long as you’ve got the juice they’ll make short work of weeds and grasses without you needing to fuss.
Battery powered trimmers lack the power to cut down heavy brush. It’s an unfortunate reality, but if you were planning on using one to clear up hedges or other thick plants then you’ve got another thing coming.
In our testing we were actually surprised at how far the technology has come, but if you’re covering serious acreage then we strongly suggest looking for a gasoline powered model since the power differential is incredible.
For a small to medium sized yard populated only by grass and weeds, however, they’re probably the best way to edge and trim without having to deal with bulky extension cords or figuring out the right oil and gas mixture to run a two-cycle engine with.
If you elect to go with one of these they’re also an economical choice. They’re lower maintenance than gas trimmers as well, and you won’t have to worry about running to the nearest gas station if you run out of power.
What to Look For in a Battery Powered Trimmer
It can seem like there’s not a whole lot to differentiate battery operated string trimmers from each other, but nothing could be further from the truth. Small, seemingly cosmetic features can make for a pretty big difference when it comes time to actually get down to beating back the weeds.
For the most part, they’ll be similar in power but keep an eye out for the following features.
The shape of the shaft can make a big difference when you’re weeding. The main difference is going to be in whether it’s curved or not.
Curved shafts are great if you need to get around fences or other hard features in your yard. The curve will allow you to nimbly move around these and get close to them without snapping off any excess line. They’re particularly useful in confined areas.
Straight shafts are good for getting under objects. Whether it’s a deck or a table, they’ll allow you to trim under objects much more easily than with a curved shaft.
Overall, you’ll have to decide which the best for your yard is.
The cutting swath of the trimmer tells you how wide it will be able to cut. For the most part, a cordless will have a smaller cutting area than options with more high power, but the larger the area you’re intending to cut is, the bigger you’ll want.
Smaller swaths still have their use. If you have a lot of hardscape in your yard, like rocks and fencing, you can get around them more easily with a smaller line.
Variable Speed Trigger
While often overlooked, being able to control the speed of your trimmer with the trigger has a number of uses. A simple on/off switch will simply have your trimmer constantly running at the highest speed the motor can handle, which will also drain the limited battery quite quickly.
With a variable speed trigger you can extend the life of your battery by using it lightly in open areas with grass and pulling a bit harder if you hit denser patches of weeds. If you’re planning on a bigger yard with a lot of open area, it’s an indispensable feature.
While pretty much any trimmer will let you clean up the lines around the edge of your yard, some make it easier than others. The best for this purpose will have a straight shaft and a rolling section on the head to allow you to roll it along the edge.
You’re not out of luck entirely if you don’t have these, but if you’ve got a long driveway to edge you’ll be thankful for the extra precision by the time you’re done.
While most battery powered string trimmers will have you working with light line, there’s another factor to take into account.
Bump loading strings are the most common, when the spool needs to allow more line to come out, you simply “bump” the head of the weed eater into the ground to release more line. It’s fairly easy, but they can become problematic for some people.
Automatic string advance trimmers continuously release the line which means you don’t have to spend nearly as much time thinking about it. There’s really no disadvantage here, it just makes the process easier and might cost a bit more.
Individual loading strings allow you to quickly and easily place short lengths of trimmer line into the head and replace them. This has the obvious advantage that you don’t have to mess with changing or winding reels, which is one of the main problems people run into when using these tools.
The handle and any anti-vibration features are usually a welcome relief for the user of a trimmer. You’ll be out in the sun for a good amount of time using it, and a bad handle can make for an unwieldy and difficult to use tool. This might be the most important factor as long as it runs, if your trimmer is a pain to use you’ll be using it less.
Once you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be glad that you’ve added a trimmer to your collection of garden tools. Whether you just need one to bust back an infection of overgrown dandelions or you’ve decided to level out all the grass in the yard they really can be a gardener’s best friend.