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Last updated: 28 July 2017

In our years of testing line trimmers (also known as whipper snippers, string trimmers, strimmers, lawn trimmers and weed eaters), we've found that petrol models are your best option for big yards. However, cordless battery-powered models are becoming an alternative to consider. Electric models should only be reserved for smaller yards. 

Read our buying guide to find out what to look for when you're shopping for a line trimmer and how to get the best out of the one you have. Our how we test article details how we go about putting line trimmers through their paces.

Note: The Makita ER2600L and Makita EM2600U that we've tested have been subject to a product recall

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Our interactive comparison tool will help you find the line trimmers that are:

  • the best performers at trimming short and long grass, and trimming vertically along lawn edges
  • the quietest
  • the easiest and most comfortable to use

We also list important specifications including each model's motor power, type of fuel needed, battery charge times and a lot more.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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Price is recommended retail as of July 2017, or the price we paid.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 60 and 947

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Type

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The type of motor: petrol (two-stroke or four-stroke), electric (corded) or cordless (battery powered).

Line feed

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Automatic: feeds out more line as needed. Bump: tap the head on the ground to feed out more cutting line. Manual: you have to feed out more line by hand when needed.

Performance score

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We test by horizontally trimming along fences, walls and areas of lawn and vertically, with the cutting head perpendicular to the ground, along the edges of paths and garden borders. We also cut long grass up to 45cm in length.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Ease of use score

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We assess 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.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Availability

Features

Shoulder harness

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Makes the trimmer easier to carry and use, especially for long jobs.

Telescopic handle

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Allows you to adjust the shaft length. Usually only available on electric or cordless models as their motor is in the head, so there's no drive shaft in the tube.

Edging guide

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A small projection – wire, metal or plastic – which helps you achieve a clean straight edge when trimming vertically. Usually acts as a tree guard in horizontal trimming.

Interchangeable heads

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Other heads that can replace the trimming head. These include hedge trimmers, power saws, soil cultivators and more, and are usually optional accessories not included with the trimmer. 

Specifications

Weight (kg)

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The weight of the trimmer in kg (for cordless models this includes the battery).

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 1.9 and 9.6

Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Performance score
  • Ease of use score
  • Vertical trimming score
  • Horizontal trimming score
  • Long grass score
  • Handle score
  • Shaft score
  • Weight score
  • Balance score
  • Edge score (ease)
  • Controls score
  • Vibration score
  • Starting score
  • Line feed score
  • Respooling score
  • Measured battery life under load
  • Noise at user's position and 7.5m
  • Fuel mix used
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Availability
  • Model
  • Type
  • Battery
  • Charge time
  • Shaft type
  • Line feed
  • Number of cutting lines
  • Line length limiting blade
  • Safety guard
  • Telescopic handle
  • Clutch
  • Lock off switch
  • Shoulder harness
  • Tree guard
  • Edging guide
  • Interchangeable heads
  • Rotating head
  • Motor size power
  • Fuel mix
  • Weight (kg)
  • Length (cm)
  • Cutting diameter
  • Diameter of cutting line (mm)
  • Items supplied
  • Other features and comments
  • Warranty (years)
  • Contact
  • Origin
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