Best Electric Corded String Trimmers in 2020: Best Value + Easy to Use

by | Jul 15, 2020 | Reviews and Buying Guides | 0 comments

Have a yard that is too small to warrant investing in a lawnmower, but too big to manually clip the whole thing? Tired of straining your back to stoop over and clip grass and weeds in hard to reach places?

An electric weed eater is a powerful ally when it comes to lawn maintenance. They are easy-to-use, inexpensive, eco-friendly, durable, and quiet. The best electric weed eaters eliminate the need to stop over and strain your back to manually clip grass and weeds in hard-to-reach spots. So do yourself a favor – save time, pain, and effort by choosing the right electric weed wacker.

We’ll show you what to look for when buying a string trimmer and show you our top recommendations out of the 47 electric corded string trimmer models we looked at.

Top Picks

What to Consider When Buying an Electric String Trimmer

The best electric weed eater is the one that’s a good match for your project needs. Consider how big an area you need to trim on a regular basis. Avoid a huge, 18-inch cutting head if you only want to trim in a small space, and similarly, if you’ve got a vast area to strim, avoid a small 13-inch head. Do you have to trim around a lot of other plants? If so, opt for a corded weed eater with a plant guard to stop you tearing down your prize plants!

Choosing a lightweight electric weed eater with an ergonomic design and comfortable handles ensures you can use it for long periods without discomfort. And remember to check the length of the cable – or at least make sure you’ve got a long outdoor extension cable so you’ve got plenty of maneuverability. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can find a top-rated corded string trimmer with moderate power and a strong line that will get the job done.

BLACK+DECKER String Trimmer ST8600

Best Electric Corded String Trimmer Overall

This versatile weed eater is our top choice because of its dual capabilities, great value, and lightweight, functional design. Acting as both an edger and a line trimmer, the Black+Decker corded weed eater is powerful but compact, with a 13-inch cutting head that’s ideal for small to medium spaces.

Lightweight and easy to use, this top-rated string trimmer weighs just 5.3 pounds, is height-adjustable and has pivoting, ergonomically shaped handles for comfortable use and greater control.

It offers plenty of additional features, too, such as an automatic feed spool that supplies fresh spool whenever necessary while you work, so you don’t have to stop and manually draw out more line. The cord retention feature ensures the cord doesn’t accidentally disconnect while you’re working for added safety and convenience.

I liked that it’s so easy to go from trimmer to edger – you just flip it round. And that the edger guard provides a nice, neat edge in edger mode and acts as a small plant guard in trimmer mode.

One notable issue is that the automatic line feed can misjudge when new line is required, emptying the spool faster when necessary. However, a little ductape over the feed hole is a great way to overcome this issue and put you back in control of your line feed.

What We Liked

  • Best value in terms of performance and features
  • LIghtweight and easy to use
  • Adjustable staff height and pivoting handles
  • Dual capabilities – trimming and edging

What We Didn’t Like

  • Power plug is very recessed
  • Spool can run out pretty quickly
  • Only a 2-year warranty

Get it on Amazon

Toro 51480 Corded 14-Inch Electric Trimmer/Edger

Best for Reliability

A little heavier than the Black+Decker, at 6.3 pounds, the Toro 51480 takes the second spot on our list because of its reliability, build quality, and great features. This is another dual-purpose edger and line trimmer, and you can switch between the two modes by pressing the button in the handle that moves the cutting head into the desired position.

When in edger mode there is a guide and a plastic wheel on the side to keep you on-track as you edge. The guide also acts as a plant guard when you’re in trimmer mode. And, when you need to get an extra-close cut, such as along a wall or raised bed, you can lift up the guard.

The auto-feed function on this line trimmer is controlled by you. When you need new line, you pull the trigger on the handle – and voila – new line appears. It’s comfortable to use for anyone, with a height-adjustable shaft and movable, ergnomically designed assist handle.

I liked the overall build quality of this corded line trimmer – it’s sturdy yet lightweight, and is comfortable enough for almost anyone to use, and the dual capability is great. It’s also a smart choice for small and medium-sized gardens with its 14-inch cutting swathe. The dual lines also ensure you get through the job quickly and efficiently.

One known issue is that, like with many line trimmers, the spool can get tangled. In which case the auto-feed trigger will stop working and you’ll need to remove the spool cover and untangle it.

What We Liked

  • Wide dual-line cutting swathe
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Easy switch from cutting to edging
  • Trigger-controlled feed

What We Didn’t Like

  • Spool sometimes tabgles
  • Warranty is only 2 years

Get it on Amazon

Greenworks 18-Inch 10 Amp Corded String Trimmer 21142

Best Heavy-Duty String Trimmer

If you have a larger lawn, or notably stubborn weeds and grass, this is the electric weed whacker for you.

The Greenworks corded string trimmer, model 21142, is a sturdy, heavy-duty dual-line trimmer with a powerful 10-amp motor. It’s great for larger spaces and overgrown areas.

The dual trimmer lines and large motor ensures this corded strimmer can tackle tough overgrowth without any problems. The 18-inch cutting swathe lets you quickly and efficiently clear large areas. While it’s awesome for larger areas, this same generous cutting path makes it unsuitable for small gardens or tight areas where precision is more important than clearing a big, open area.

Because of the increased power and the long shaft, this top-rated line trimmer is heavier than other models in our lineup, weighing in at just under 10 pounds. The length of the shaft also makes this best-suited to those of average height and above.

This Greenworks weed whacker has a bump line feed, so you simply bump the head against the ground to get fresh line, so you don’t get any wasted line, unlike some trimmers with an auto-feed.

One thing I was disappointed in was the lack of a plant guard – without this, it’s all too easy to accidentally decimate plants you really wanted to keep. Additionally, it doesn’t have any edging features. There’s no movable head position, wheel, or guide to make edging easier.

This is a very budget-friendly heavy-duty weed eater, and it doesn’t have any frills, but we still think it’s the best choice for clearing large areas. It’s designed for doing one thing really, really well – clearing large swathes of grass, scrub, and weeds. If that’s what you need, I can’t recommend this corded dual-line trimmer enough. However, if you want something with more finesse, choose a smaller model.

What We Liked

  • Powerful 10 amp motor
  • 18-inch cutting path
  • Great value
  • Easy to use
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Impressive 4-year warranty

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not suitable for tight areas
  • No plant guard
  • No edging features
  • Not suitable for shorter than average users
  • Heavier than smaller models

Get it on Amazon

WORX WG119 15-inch Electric String Trimmer

Best Value String Trimmer

With a 5.5-amp motor, this Worx yard trimmer isn’t the best option for heavy-duty jobs, but it delivers more than enough power for everyday tasks around the yard. It’s reasonably light weight at just 6.5 pounds, has dual lines with auto-feed, and is only $49.99, so it definitely offers good value.

The head is adjustable, with 4 positions. The pivoting head lets you easily trim sloping terrain or you can turn this yard trimmer into an efficient edger that’s great for borders, tight areas, and along curbs and pathways. And the moveable guide acts as a guide for neat edging and, in trimmer mode, as a plant guard that stops you accidentally mowing down your favorite foliage.

This versatile little corded weed whacker has a telescopic shaft, although if you’re particularly tall, you may still find that, even at its longest, this isn’t the most comfortable unit. Ergonomic, position-adjustable handles provide added comfort.

The 15-inch cutting swathe is a good compromise between taming large areas and working in tight quarters and tiny yards, making this WORX trimmer a good option if you want a single tool and you’re working with a tight budget.

Do remember though, that you get what you pay for and, while this model has a 3-year warranty, it’s not the most robust option and a few people have reported that the motor can overheat if you try to use it for too long. Look, this is a budget model and the build quality is representative of that – I wouldn’t advise dropping it! But it makes my list of best electric string trimmers because it is good value for money – it’s versatile, lightweight, and easy to use.

What I Liked:

  • Lightweight
  • Moderate 15-inch cutting swathe
  • 3-year warranty
  • Budget-friendly
  • Versatile
  • Good value

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Not great for tall people
  • Not the most robust build
  • Motor can overheat with prolonged use

Get it on Amazon

Scotts Outdoor Power Tools Electric Corded String Trimmer ST00213S

Best Light-Duty String Trimmer

The Scotts ST00213S string trimmer takes the last spot on our list because of its low price tag (it’s less than $40), lightweight functionality, and impressive customizability.

Let me be clear: it’s only got a 4-amp motor, so this cheap string trimmer is not the right choice for any type of high-medium or heavy-duty task – it just won’t be strong enough. But where it shines is light-duty tasks like edging and cutting neatly around plants and in tight spaces. Plus, it only weighs 4.3 pounds, so it’s super lightweight.

It’s pretty versatile, too, with an adjustable cutting length of 11 – 13 inches. This gives you a wider swathe if you’re needing to trim open areas or a much smaller cutting path for trimming in tight areas or around delicate plants.

This lightweight Scotts weed whacker has a 3-position adjustable head so you can also use it as an edger, complete with guide, which can also be used in trimmer mode as a plant guard. It’s got a simple bump feed, so you control how much line you use, and a cord retention hook so you don’t accidentally disconnect.

The adjustable handle gives you more comfort and better control when you change the head position, and the telescoping shaft lets you customize the weed eater to your height. However, it’s not ideal for taller people, as the shaft doesn’t extend far.

What I Liked:

  • Super lightweight
  • Versatile
  • Inexpensive
  • Variable cutting swathe

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Not suited to heavy-duty tasks
  • Not good for tall people

Get it on Amazon

Which is better: straight or curved shaft trimmer?

It depends on the purpose. For home use, a curved shaft is more common and, in my opinion, better. Curved shafts are more versatile for the home use, making the strimmer shorter and easier to use. They are also easier to control and maneuver, which is particularly useful in the yard where precision is often required.
Curved shaft trimmers turn easily for edging and they tend to be shorter.
Straight shaft trimmers are for heavy-duty applications and are usually the choice of professionals. As such, they tend to be more expensive, and they’re heavier, longer, and harder to control. While you might gain a bit of power and a larger cutting swathe, you sacrifice precision and maneuverability.

What is the best electric string trimmer?

The best electric string trimmer for you depends on what you want it for. If you’re looking for the best all-rounder, go for the Black+Decker ST8600, but if you need something that’s more robust and can handle heavy-duty tasks, choose the Greenworks 21142. If you want something small, super lightweight and easy to use that offers precision control for light tasks, the Scotts ST00213S is the best corded weed eater for you.
Before you make your purchase, take the time to consider what you need the trimmer for, how hard it has to work, how much you want to spend, whether you want extra features like edging capability, and how lightweight it needs to be.

Which trimmer is better, corded or cordless?

Again, it really depends on your needs. Corded weed whackers are the best option if you want a cheap, effective tool for your yard. Yes, you are restricted in movement by the length of the cable, but that’s not necessarily a deal-breaker. After all, you can just get an outdoor extension cable to give yourself a better range of movement. Corded trimmers are usually as powerful or more powerful than their cordless counterparts, and they’re environmentally friendly and convenient, as there’s no waiting around for batteries to charge and no battery to dispose of at the end of its lifespan.
Cordless trimmers are a smart option if you’re working off-site, away from a mains hookup. But remember, what you gain in freedom of movement, you sacrifice in weight. Naturally, a unit with a battery pack weighs more than one without. And, of course, you have to wait for the battery pack to charge between uses, unless you have a spare.

Are gas or electric string trimmers better?

Corded trimmers are better for general home use. They’re lighter, significantly less expensive, and better for the environment. Electric corded trimmers also require minimal maintenance when compared to a gas model. 

Gas weed eaters are best for professional use, for homesteaders, or home users with vast areas to tame. They are considerably larger and heavier than corded models, and often much more robust and able to tackle heavy-duty tasks that lighter electric models can’t manage.

Wrapping Up

An electric weed whacker is a smart investment for your yard. The right line trimmer helps you keep your yard neat and tidy and limits how much back-breaking work you have to do with manual tools. For all-around performance and value, we think the Black+Decker ST8600 is the best option, but if you need something with more power, go for the Greenworks 21142. And don’t forget to grab a spool or two of replacement trimmer line.

To get the most from your equipment, find out how to care for your garden tools properly.

Katy Willis

Written by James Leen

James has a busy modern homestead where he and his wife raise their young family and are working toward being as self-sufficient as possible. The Leen family raise chickens, ducks, and goats, grow crops, forage, and help others learn how to be self-reliant. James' favorite project so far has been building his chicken coop castle.

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