Technology has come forward a lot in the recent years and we finally have achieved point where electric battery powered string trimmers (also known as weed wackers or weed eaters) are a better choice than gas powered ones. The best electric cordless string trimmers actually outperform their gas counterparts and offer other advantages over them – they are less noisy, more reliable, require less maintenance, start-up immediately and doesn’t emit harmful-to-breath fumes.
Today you will find which five string trimmers are the best ones you can buy in 2021 and we have also included 1 budget priced one in this list for those who want to save money.
#1 Makita XRU15Z 36V String Trimmer
Makita XRU15Z is a 36V cordless string trimmer with outer rotor brushless motor with direct-drive system. It has cutting swath of 15 inches and comes with pre-wound 0.080″ twisted quiet line but head is also compatible with 0.090” line.
Makita XRU15Z cuts exceptionally well. It’s one of the most powerful electric string trimmers you can buy today. It has 3 different speed setting: low (3,500 RPM), medium (5,300 RPM) and high (6,500 RPM). Even the lowest setting has plenty of power to cut through most stuff. Medium and high settings are mostly used for tougher stuff which they handle without any trouble.
If you don’t want to fiddle around the speed setting you can Automatic Torque Drive Technology feature which will choose the optimal setting depending on load. Most of the time it works fine but occasionally it doesn’t select the most appropriate setting.
Makita XRU15Z converts into edger and actually works pretty fine as one. Since it’s powerful it doesn’t slow down no matter what you hit. Another useful features is reverse speed in case something get tangled in the head.
Makita XRU15Z feels well made – just like other Makita tools.
Just like other Makita 36V tools XRU15Z also runs on two 18V batteries simultaneously.Batteries of different capacities are available with the most common being 5.0Ah. Run time depends on what kind of batteries and how you use your tool/what you cut but you can generally expect for 5.0Ah batteries to last anywhere from 40 to 90 minutes on full charge.
Makita batteries have indicator lights to show how much battery life is left so you don’t have to guess whether you are about to run out of juice or not.
Makita XRU15Z is is very well balances. On top of that it’s also relatively lightweight (from 8.6 to 10.0 lbs depending on what attachments and batteries you use, bare tools weighs 7.6 lbs) making it comfortable and easy to use.
Makita XRU15Z is powerful, well made, easy to use and holds charge well – those are the main things that makes it the best electric string trimmer in 2021.
#2 Milwaukee M18 2725-21HD 18V String Trimmer
Milwaukee M18 2725-21HD is another exceptionally powerful string trimmer. It has powerstate brushless motor and adjustable cutting swath from 14″ to 16″. It’s compatible with either 0.080″ or 0.095″. Even though it does cut better with 0.095″ line, 0.080″ handles overgrowths just fine.
Milwaukee M18 2725-21HD has two cutting speed – low (4,600 RPM) and high (5,800 RPM). Same as with XRU15Z the lower speed setting offers plenty of power for most jobs and will discharge battery slower leaving high speed mode for really tough stuff.
Milwaukee M18 2725-21HD features REDLINK PLUS intelligence system that allegedly improves performance and has overload protection.
Milwaukee M18 2725-21HD has bump feed system. Initially it’s a bit stiff but it gets better. It also works better with 0.095″ line as if you use 0.080″ it can be hard to hear “click” noise to confirm you have indeed cut line.
As previously mentioned Milwaukee M18 2725-21HD has adjustable cutting swath. To change cutting diameter remove battery pack and two screws that hold line cut-off blade. Then you can rotate blade by 180 degrees to change cutting swath. Once you are finished don’t forget to put screws back and tighten them securely.
Milwaukee M18 2725-21HD comes with 18V 9Ah battery. Full charge lasts about 35-40 minutes when tackling regular stuff, but will run out of juice in ~15 minutes if you cut through some thick overgrowths.
Milwaukee M18 2725-21HD weighs 9.9 lbs. It weighs neither too heavy nor too lightweight. Main handle is grippy and support handle is softer to reduce vibrations. Overall Milwaukee M18 2725-21HD is well balanced and easy to use.
Milwaukee M18 2725-21HD is another great string trimmer that doesn’t disappoint. Makita XRU15Z is a bit more comfortable to use though but both of them are remarkable string trimmers.
#3 CRAFTSMAN CMCST960E1 V60 Weed Wacker
CRAFTSMAN CMCST960E1 V60 is a slightly less expensive string trimmer for those who want something a bit cheaper.
It has brushless motor that revs up to 6,200 RPM. It’s equipped with dual string head and has cutting swath of 15 inches. CRAFTSMAN comes with 0.080″ string line but head is also compatible with 0.095” one. Factory string is a bit mediocre so cutting performance can be improved if you buy a better one.
CRAFTSMAN CMCST960E1 V60 will handle almost any type of job fine and only will struggle with the toughest stuff.
CRAFTSMAN CMCST960E1 V60 has two cutting speed – low (5,200 RPM) and high (6,200 RPM). Even though difference might seem miniscule on paper in practice difference between the two power settings is quite noticeable.
CRAFTSMAN CMCST960E1 V60 uses bumb feed system that works great. Changing string is also quick and simple due to quick spool head.
CRAFTSMAN CMCST960E1 V60 comes with 2.5Ah battery which typically lasts 30 to 45 minutes on full charge. It takes about 1 hour to recharge it.
Even though handle is adjustable in height CRAFTSMAN CMCST960E1 V60 is less comfortable to use than other string trimmers if you are of shorter height. It’s not an issue if you are around 6 feet tall but those who are under 5’6” should perhaps look for a different weed wacker.
Another deficiency is that guard is small in size and won’t always protect you from flying debris.
Without a battery CRAFTSMAN CMCST960E1 weighs 7.6 lbs and together with the included 2.5Ah one it weighs 10.2 lbs.
CRAFTSMAN CMCST960E1 does have some flaws but it cuts well and is less expensive than some of the other top rated string trimmers.
#4 Greenworks 21362 14-Inch 40V Cordless Weed Wacker
Greenworks 21362 is a 40V weed wacker with brushless motor. It has cutting swath of 14 inches and uses 0.080” dual string line.
It has adequate power. It’s not quite the most powerful electric string trimmer on the market but it’s more powerful than significant majority and will be powerful enough for most consumers. It has 2 speeds settings – low speed for light duty work and high speed for thick stuff.
Factory string trimmer line this unit comes with is not good. It doesn’t cut well and on top of that wears quickly and breaks easily so if you decide to buy this weed wacker then you should also order good quality line while at that.
Greenworks 21362 has bump feed head which works fine. Greenworks 21362 weed wacker is also attachment friendly and is compatible with many from other manufacturers.
You can buy Greenworks 21362 with either 2.0Ah or 4.0Ah battery. The latter lasts about an hour on low speed setting while cutting lighter stuff and 20-30 minutes on high speed cutting thick weeds.
Greenworks 21362 is the heaviest weed wacker among the best ones – it weighs 15 lbs (6.8 kg). Because of this it’s less comfortable to use and causes more muscle fatigue.
Greenworks 21362 40V offers good cutting performance for the money but it’s heavy and comes with mediocre string line.
#5 DEWALT DCST970B FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Weed Eater
DEWALT DCST970B is a battery powered weed eater with 15-inch cutting swath. It comes with pre-wounded 0.080″ dual line in quick load spool. It’s also compatible with 0.095” line and cuts better with one.
DEWALT DCST970B is powerful and able to handle pretty much anything you throw at it. It has 2 speed settings – Low (0 to 5,600 RPM) and High (0 to 6,600 RPM). Lower speed setting cuts well enough that you might not ever find a need to use the high one.
DEWALT DCST970B has bump feed head but it’s a bit finicky and often don’t feed line properly. You can purchase Husqvarna 537388101 Universal T35 Straight Shaft String Trimmer Head which works great and comes prewounded with 0.095″ line.
DEWALT DCST970B weed eater can be bought as a bare tool or with different capacity batteries including 3.0Ah, 6.0Ah or 9.0Ah battery (you can also buy 12.0Ah one separately). It’s recommended you get the latter because the byproduct of all the power DEWALT has is it runs out of juice fast. 9.0Ah battery lasts around 25 minutes (or less if you cut through thick stuff) on full charge.
You also have option of purchasing your DEWALT with either regular or fast charger. It takes a bit over 1 hour to recharge 9.0Ah battery with fast charger and about twice as long with regular one.
DEWALT DCST970B fits well taller folks which is not the case with most weed eaters and is well balanced. It weighs 12 lbs without a battery and a bit over 15 lbs with either 9.0Ah or 12.0Ah battery. It’s heavier than other weed eaters in this list so it will cause more muscle fatigue and make you tired faster.
Another flaw is that deflector is too small and flying debris will be hitting you constantly.
Even though DEWALT DCST970B only comes #5 in this list it’s still a great weed eater. Being fifth best among hundreds of different weed eater is still a great achievement despite some of the flaws DCST970B has.
#6 Budget Option: BLACK+DECKER LSTE525
BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 doesn’t cut as well as the other 5. It’s not even really the sixth best electric cordless weed eater you can buy. It’s however a decent budget option if you want to save as much money as possible.
BLACK and DECKER LSTE525 has 12-inch cutting swath and uses 0.065” string line.
As you might expect from budget priced weed eater it doesn’t cut anywhere near as good as the other 5 but it can be sufficient for some jobs. It can handle light duty fine reasonably well but will struggle with thicker weeds.
BLACK and DECKER LSTE525 has two speed modes: low (5,500 RPM) and high (7,200 RPM). It can also be turned into edger and works surprisingly well as one.
BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 has a button to advance string (so called EasyFeed system) but it also seems to do it every time you release trigger. So if you are trigger-happy you will find yourself wasting a lot of line.
BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 comes with LBXR2520 2.5Ah 20V battery. It typically lasts 15 to 25 minutes on full charge.
BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 weed eater weighs just 5.7 lbs (2.59 kg) making it one of the lightest weed wackers you can buy. It’s also pretty well balanced. Only issue is that it’s a bit short so you might find yourself slouching a lot when using it which can cause back pain or discomfort.
BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 is definitely not as good as the other 5 weed wackers in this list however it’s less expensive and can handle lighter duty jobs reasonably well.