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.
Our interactive comparison tool will help you find the line trimmers that are:
We also list important specifications including each model's motor power, type of fuel needed, battery charge times and a lot more.
List of brands we tested in this review.
Price is recommended retail as of July 2017, or the price we paid.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 60 and 947
We recommend petrol line trimmers that score at least 85% overall, and electric and cordless models that score at least 80% overall.
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The type of motor: petrol (two-stroke or four-stroke), electric (corded) or cordless (battery powered).
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.
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.
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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.
A Similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as "Not Tested" in the Compare tables.
A Tested model refers to a model that is still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
These models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second hand websites, or in second hand dealers. Test methods may change over time, so criteria which can't be directly compared will contain an N/A.
An Identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
These are models we haven't yet tested but that are available.
Makes the trimmer easier to carry and use, especially for long jobs.
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.
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.
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.
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