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Line trimmer reviews

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Last updated: 06 September 2019


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

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 usually your best option for big yards. However, cordless battery-powered models are also now a serious option for most homes. 

We aren't testing electric corded models any more as they are a relatively small part of the market, and have mostly been superseded by cordless models. 

  • 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 put line trimmers through their paces.
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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.

Note that we changed our test method in 2019 (we moved the test to a new property with different grass and terrain) so results from past years are not comparable to the 2019 results. Use the "Year" filter at left, or the dropdown sorting options, to sort by year of testing.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    Price is recommended retail as of July 2019, or the price we paid. Includes battery and charger for cordless models.

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

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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 i between 44 and 100

        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 i between 61 and 86


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        The year we tested this model. Tests from 2019 and onward are not comparable to earlier tests, due to a change in the test site.

          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
          • Controls score
          • Vibration score
          • Starting score
          • Line feed score
          • Respooling score
          • Measured battery life under load (min)
          • Noise at user's position and 7.5m (dB)
          • Fuel mix used
          • Good points
          • Bad points
          • Year
          • Price
          • Brand
          • Availability
          • Model
          • Type
          • Battery
          • Charge time (minutes)
          • 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 (recommended)
          • Weight (kg)
          • Length (cm)
          • Cutting diameter (cm)
          • Diameter of cutting line (mm)
          • Items supplied
          • Other features and comments
          • Warranty (years)
          • Contact
          • Origin

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