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Now that summer’s here, you’ll want to enjoy some relaxing time outside. Barbecues with family and friends and even swinging from a hammock are great ways to get away from the grind of the office.
Before the fun, you’ll want to make sure that your lawn is looking sharp to keep yourself and your spouse happy.
To get a great looking, perfectly detailed lawn, using a string trimmer is a must. For most, spending all day hand pulling weeds and stray grass around features is not an option.
With so many options out there, it can be difficult choosing the best one. Lucky for you I’ve narrowed down a list of the best cordless electric string trimmers for the money, starting with my favorite , the Ego ST1500.
Top Cordless String Trimmers:
|EGO Power+ ST1500 15-Inch 56-Volt...||Check Price|
|BLACK+DECKER LSTE523 Li-On String...||Check Price|
|Greenworks 14-Inch 40V Cordless String...||Check Price|
What Makes a Great Electric String Trimmer?
String trimmer, weed eater, weed whacker, they go by many names. This a tool designed to clean up grass, weeds, and other foliage around the edges and in the tight spaces of lawns and gardens. As you would expect, to sufficiently tear down stray weeds and foliage you want to find something that is powerful. You want it to be easily maneuverable. It should use string efficiently and be easy to extend more string as it wears down. A good electric string trimmer will also be light and free of excessive vibration. Finally, it should have a run time long enough to finish the task at hand and a quick charge time.
Let’s see how the most popular offerings stack up to this.
Ego ST1501-S – Top Cordless Electric String Trimmer
- Dual-feed twist line with 0. 095 in. diameter
- Hi-efficiency brushless motor with variable speed
- Compatible with all EGO POWER+ Arc Lithium Batteries
- Weather-resistant construction
- Extended aluminum shaft with in-line grip
- Powered by an impressive 56-volt lithium-ion battery
- 15” cutting swath
- 7lbs weight
- Low operating noise
- 0Ah, 2.0Ah and 2.5Ah batteries available
- 5 year warranty
- Wide cutting swath
- Light weight
- Low vibration
- Low noise
- Ergonomic Handle
- Safety Lock Off Lever
- Easy to read manual
- Multiple mAh batteries available
- Up to a 1 hour run time depending on battery
- Batteries interchangeable with other Ego products
- Battery sold separately
- Refilling line could be easier
You might not notice it at first glance, but this tool packs some technology “under the hood” that will make your yard-work a breeze. With a 56-volt lithium-ion battery, it’s got power to spare. Also, the battery comes in different mAh configurations which you can chose based on how long you need to run it. The batteries are also interchangeable from other Ego equipment should you own them already.
Another plus of the ST1500 is that it has a 15” cutting swath. That extra cutting room makes it faster to use than many trimmers with a 12” swath.
Other features that you’ll like are the low weight along with ergonomic design such as the shape of the handle which will keep your hands from getting sore. The designers were able to keep vibrations and noise to a minimum, which is sure to please both you and your neighbors. They’ve also kept your safety in mind, adding in a lock-off lever which keeps you from accidentally starting the motor when you don’t mean to.
One feature that I really appreciated is “bumping.” This allows you to let out more cutting line simply by bumping the head on the ground. This way, you do your job quicker by reducing time spent on adjustments. This is something most gas trimmers have but early electric alternatives did not.
Another plus is one that you might not think about until you need it. The user manual is very user-friendly. When you open the box and are anxious to try out your new toy, you’ll appreciate being able to get up and running quickly with no hassles!
About the only con of the ST1500 is that the batteries aren’t included and the separate purchase drives the price up unless you already have another Ego tool and are willing to share batteries. Some have also complained of difficulty in loading the line but if you’re familiar with winding your typical weed eater you won’t have much problem.
For most of us looking to keep the yard looking like one on television, the Ego trimmer is an excellent option and I recommend it highly.
The Ego ST1501-S gives you an impressive price to performance ratio. It’s my first choice for the average consumer for personal, rather than professional, use.
Black & Decker POWERCOMMAND – Budget Alternative
- Converts from trimmer to wheeled edger; Line diameter 0.065...
- Power drive transmission for increased torque
- 2 speed control for more power or extended runtime. Maximum...
- Easy feed allows you to advance your line with the push of a...
- Part of the 20 Volt MAX System; 1 system endless tasks....
- 12” cutting swath
- 20V rechargeable interchangeable battery
- 2 speed control for more power or longer battery life
- Adjustable height and handle
- Includes edging wheel
- 6lb weight
- 2 year warranty
- Great price
- Dual power modes
- Compatible with other 20V Max System Tools
- Batteries and charger included
- Can be used as an edger
- Shorter run time of around 30 minutes
- Long charging time
Now, I know some of you reading are looking for a more affordable option. You may not need an hour long running time or quite as much power.
For more casual users, I recommend the Black & Decker LSTE523 20V Max Lithium POWERCOMMAND Easy Feed String Trimmer/Edger.
This unit is priced around $79.99. Compared to the Ego trimmer, the price is much easier on the wallet. The downside is that you don’t get as high performance. Depending on what you need, it could still be the one for you.
Unlike most weed eaters, the Black and Decker features the ability to automatically feed additional cutting line with a simple push of a button. This is great for usability. Combine this feature with the light 6lb weight and this would make a great trimmer for young adults or senior citizens as well.
It has two running modes, one for more power and one with less power but which lets you use it for longer periods of time. This lets you take care of those nasty weeds when needed and scale back the power to save energy.
The trimmer is compatible with the Black and Decker 20V Max System, making it compatible with the same battery and battery pack for other Black and Decker tools such as drills and hand-held saws.
Drawbacks of the LSTE523 20V are the 20V battery, which doesn’t offer as much power as the Ego. Also, the cutting swath is 12”, so it will take you longer to get your work done than with a trimmer with a 15” cutting swath.
Despite these more modest features compared to the Ego trimmer, the Black and Decker is a lot more affordable. Depending how much power you need, and how big your yard is, it could still be the best pick for you. I recommend it for those who want to save a bit of money and who have smaller lawns.
The Black and Decker LSTE523 20V Max Lithium POWERCOMMAND trimmer is a good option for people looking to save a buck and who have a smaller yard.
Greenworks 2100702 DigiPro G-MAX 40V – Cheaper Alternative
- Attachment capable, accepts most gas attachments to provide...
- Brushless motor delivers greater torque, quieter operation...
- Starts within seconds with gas comparable performance,...
- Compatible GreenWorks Replacement bulk string, Model...
- Battery and Charger include. Compatible with battery models...
- 12 lbs.
- 14” cutting swath
- 56” length
- 40 V battery
- Battery is interchangeable with a variety of Greenwork products
- Variable speed trigger
- 4 year warranty
- Batteries compatible with other Greenworks products
- Variable speed trigger
- Low vibration
- Low noise
- Compatible with many different head attachments
- Heavier weight
- Moderate runtime of 30 minutes with 4mAh battery
An interesting option that competes more directly with the Ego ST1501-S than the Black and Decker is the Greenworks 2100702 DigiPro G-MAX 40V.
Available with or without the battery and charger it’s priced between $95 and $170 which makes it an attractive option for people who may already own other Greenworks products or are thinking of buying some.
The company is known for featuring zero-emission products, and the batteries for this trimmer are compatible with a wide variety of the company’s garden and yard tools.
The DigiPro G-Max 40V has a 40V battery. The cutting swath is a little bit smaller that the Ego trimmer at 14”, but that is adequate for a lot of users. It also has a variable speed trigger for more power or for saving energy.
Several additional attachments are available for sale under the Ryobi Expand-it, Poulan Pro, and Trimmer Plus brands.
One drawback is the hefty weight, at 13.5 lbs., which is quite a bit heavier than many of its competitors.
This Greenworks trimmer is an option to consider for people that have Greenwork tools or are considering other products from the company, as the battery is compatible with a wide variety of their tools. Also, the company is a pioneer of sorts, offering all zero-emission products so you can have a smaller environmental footprint.
Trimmers That Didn’t Make the List
There are many trimmers to choose from. I’ll briefly list some of those that didn’t make it on my recommendations list.
- Greenworks GST80321 DigiPro 80V – To me this trimmer is overkill for the general consumer and the price is quite high. I could only recommend this to landscape professionals.
- Toro 51467 Cordless 8-Inch 12-Volt Electric Trimmer – On the other edge of the price spectrum is this trimmer from Toro. Although the price is low, the specifications match. My feeling is why buy something like this, only to be frustrated with the performance and buy another trimmer later on?
- MLG Tools ET1101 18-Volt – This trimmer gets low rated reviews with many people saying that their unit broke after a small amount of use.
Wrapping Up the Wonderful World of Cordless Electric String Trimmers
I hope that this article didn’t take you away from the summer fun for too long! Also, I hope you found the information helpful in your quest to find the perfect trimmer to meet your needs.
Let’s finish up with the main points:
- My overall favorite is the Ego ST1500, at around $179.99 it’s a great bang for your buck, featuring lots of power, ease of assembly and use, the bumping feature and 15” cutting swath to speed things up. Definitely check this one out at Amazon if you haven’t yet.
- Those looking for a more affordable alternative to meet modest needs should check out the Black & Decker LSTE523 20V Max Lithium POWERCOMMAND priced around $79.99 including battery and charger.
- The Greenworks 2100702 DigiPro G-MAX 40V at around $117.99 without battery is an option for users of other Greenworks products or those looking to support a company selling zero-emission products.
- Most importantly, don’t forget to be safe out there by following all manufacturer recommended safety precautions.