We review 28 lawn trimmers, including petrol, electric and cordless battery-powered models, priced from $49 to $399.
Through our rigorous testing, we reveal which lawn trimmers:
- Perform the best at trimming horizontally and vertically.
- Perform the best at trimming long grass.
- Are the easiest to use.
On this page:
Last time CHOICE tested lawn trimmers (also known as whipper snippers and line trimmers), we found the electric and cordless battery-powered models perform averagely at best and very poorly at worst. However, we've seen since some improvement in electric models, with three good overall performers to recommend.
For more information on Lawnmowers, see Backyard.
Corded electric trimmers require dragging an extension cord behind you, which is potentially dangerous, so they’re only suitable for a small-sized backyard, as are the battery-powered cordless lawn trimmers. Despite their downsides, however, battery-powered and electric trimmers are easier to start than petrol models, and also quieter to use. The better-performing models in our test may be all you need if you have a small backyard.
The petrol lawn trimmers on test have a two-stroke engine (except the Honda, which is a four stroke and uses regular unleaded), so you’ll have to do some mixing of fuels. All the cordless lawn trimmers on test are powered by an 18V lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.
Models on test
- Black and Decker GL741-XE
- Black and Decker Cordless BST2018-XE (A)
- Bosch ART 26 LI
- Echo GT-22GES
- Echo GTE 350
- Flymo Contour 500XT
- Flymo Samurai 1000
- Gardener's Choice GCT-260 (A)
- Gardener's Choice N1E-SPK-500 (A)
- Homelite HLT25CS (A)
- Honda UMS425U
- Husqvarna 122LD
- Makita RST250
- McCulloch MT 250 LK
- Morrison BC260B
- Ozito Cordless Line Trimmer OZCLT18VA
- Rockwell RG8082
- Ryobi CLT1830LBC
- Ryobi RLTGM25CS
- Shindaiwa Home Pro 22F
- Shindaiwa Home Pro 22T
- Stihl FS 38
- Stihl FSE 41
- Stihl FSE 71
- Troy-Bilt TB80 EC
- Victa Tornado TTB2226
- Victa Envirotrimmer ETP5912B
- Worx WG151E.5
How we test
Performance Our tester, Peter Horvath, horizontally trims along fences, walls and trimming areas of lawn and trims vertically, with the cutting head perpendicular to the ground, along the edges of paths and garden borders. He also cuts long grass up to 45cm in length.
Ease of use Peter assesses how comfortable the trimmers are to use, taking into account their weight, balance, handles, angle of the cutting head and so on. Respooling the line, using controls, starting, using the line feed and vibration are also taken into account.