How To Buy The Perfect Cordless Grass Trimmer
I have a confession to make.
I hate cutting grass.
You don’t understand. I REALLY hate cutting my lawn. If it’s a choice between going to the dentist for a cleaning or cutting grass, I’m picking the big comfy chair with the blinding light and the nice lady scraping my gums with a sharp metal pick.
Maybe it’s because of my childhood. I have 2 younger brothers, but it was always me out there on a Saturday morning sweating through my tank top pushing the mower while my father watched me and my brothers watched wrestling. As an adult, I’d do anything to get someone else to cut my lawn.
My neighbor has 2 strapping teenagers. One of them has a girlfriend. Surely he needs extra cash, right?
I see my poor neighbor coming home from work late in the evening, racing to cut his lawn as the last flickers of daylight peek over the horizon. If he can’t get his 15 year old to work, what chance do I have?
The trimming is the worst. I’ll sprint around with the mower if I absolutely have to, but good gravy the fenceline is driving me mad! The grass is 9 inches high around the fence, deck, steps, patio, raised bed garden and the gates to the backyard. The front yard has a ash tree and a juniper and an insane amount of bees on the flowers. And the longest extension cord can’t quite make it work with a traditional electric trimmer with the fishline strimmer.
The maintenance lawn care companies in my village charge $40 and up. Sure they have those giant gas-powered industrial trimmers that can behead a moose with it’s raw power. But when I decided to buy my own cordless trimmer instead, I had a heck of a choice to make. What’s the best cordless trimmer to cut my grass around my shed, fence and decking?
I looked online at Amazon, plus made trips to Home Depot, Lowes, Canadian Tire and Walmart. I made a list of questions when I was doing research.
How To Pick Your Next Trimmer
- do I want a 20 volt or 24 volt battery?
- is the string always fish line or can I get something else?
- is the lithium ion battery and charger included or an extra?
- how much do replacement spools cost?
- what’s the warranty with the trimmer?
- why are some of them dual line?
- how heavy are these bad boys?
- are the sub $100 trimmers too cheap or a great value?
My first list was nearly 2 dozen models and brands. I spent the time to read a couple hundred reviews on Amazon, and quickly realized that sure I could get a cheap trimmer and then have to get an extra battery and a charger. Make sure it’s lithium ion and NOT niCd. If you’re buying online, make darn sure that both are included with yours. The 4 and 5 star ratings made is easy to whittle the list down to a top 10.
Here are my top 5 cordless trimmer picks for you. You’ll notice a fairly wide price range. If your yard is massive or if your teenager is going to actually do some work cutting neighbors’ lawns you’ll want the higher end. If you’re a suburban village dweller like me the choice will be between bells and whistles and the budget.
If you click on the corresponding images of each model it will take you to Amazon so you can read the reviews, see if you qualify for discount shipping, and find out if you can participate in any specials or deals they’re running.
Choice #1 – Black and Decker LST420 20-volt Max Lithium High Performance Trimmer and Edger, 12-Inch
You and I know the brand. World famous. Looking a little deeper you’ll find that you get 2 batteries included in this package. Both are 2.0 amp lithium ion. If you have a huge space to cut, or you like to go slow and meticulously then having the extra battery will save your sanity. There’s a power saver mode that will give you up to an hour of battery life. What’s super cool about Black and Decker is their battery setup is interchangeable among their tool suite. You’ll be able to use your trimmer battery in your power drill!
The string spool is self-adjusting. Do you remember the old K-Tel infomercial for the 3 blade spools with the guy banging his trimmer on the ground trying to get the string to extend? This model is a no-bang model, what they call “automatic feed”. The string will always be at the perfect length to cut nearly a 12 inch swath.
It’s not too heavy, less than 6 pounds. Depending on your fitness level and the dimensions of your yard, this might be almost perfect for a teenager weak from playing too many video games in a dark basement. Cutting grass gives them Vitamin D, which growing boys need.
This is obviously my top pick for anyone who doesn’t live on a farm and has their own normal sized lawn. In Texas they might laugh at you, but in the rest of the world this is a fine grass trimmer.
Choice #2 – WORX WG156 Li-Ion Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger with 2 20-volt Batteries and Manual Handle, 10-Inch
This is a sweet little unit. The handle is telescoping, so it can adjust for someone barely 5 feet tall up to a 6 foot 6 Hulk Hogan type. Yes, the battery is definitely lithium ion, 2 of the 20-volts are included.
What I like about the Worx is the replacement string spools. On Amazon you can grab a 6-pack of spools with 10 feet of cord on each for less than fifteen bucks. If you check you might qualify for their free string for life program, which is a nice deal through the manufacturer. The spool is automatically fed, so no banging your trimmer on the patio or side walk to feed more string ever again.
The battery charger is included along with some extra spools. The Worx brand is very well known in the construction community and is reputable and dependable.
This trimmer is slightly less in weight than the Black and Decker. If you’re smaller in stature this would be an excellent choice to minimize arm and back fatigue.
Choice #3 – DEWALT DCST920P1 20V MAX 5.0 Ah Lithium Ion XR Brushless String Trimmer
Look at this bad boy, all serious in black and yellow. Yes, this is a little more pricey than the Black and Decker. But it’s also a step up in power. It’s a dual line with a bigger swath. You might feel inspired to trim around your neighbor’s fence with this one!
The heft is a touch more, just under 9 pounds with a 13-inch cut. You’ll notice the motor is larger and has more torque. Do you have a weed or thistle issue? This will handle it. No you won’t be cutting bush trails through the forest, but you can take down a sunflower patch or some raspberry canes.
The handle adjusts up to 41 inches long, perfect if you’re a giant or want to trim halfway up a tree. The battery is a solid 5 amp hours, a big boy that can juice a Dewalt power drill. I like how these top line companies now have batteries that can swap out into their other tools. Of course as long as you are loyal to their brand. You can quick charge this in about an hour, and off you go. No more electric cord or smelly gas.
Dewalt is a serious brand of tools with a long and solid reputation. This unit is solid, can be handled by a woman or teenager without worry, and will last a long time. This is one of the best cordless grass trimmers on the market.
Choice #4 – GreenWorks 21332 G-MAX 40V 13-Inch Cordless String trimmer – Battery and Charger Not Included
You’re probably wondering why I put this one in here. I wanted to give you the best option for budget-conscious buyers. You can pick up a battery and charger from Amazon and still be under the price of the Dewalt. If you have a Greenworks electric mower you can use the battery from that, they all swap and interchange the 40 volt 2 ah.
This cuts an impressive 13 inch swath, and has a built in edge wheel for precision edging. It’s less than 6 pounds so anyone can handle it. You could get your 13 year old earning their allowance. But this trimmer is fun so you’ll probably want to do it yourself. Add a pound for the battery.
Unlike a gas trimmer, the spool automatically feeds the line. The handle is static on the pole, but the fore grip is adjustable. It’s a single feed line.
This model is a great choice for a city-dweller with a small backyard who wants simple lawn care. If you live in Montana and have mountain lions and 5 foot tall thistles to cut, get the Dewalt.
Choice #5 – Toro 51480 Corded 14-Inch Electric Trimmer/Edger
I know, I know. You’re saying “Dave, what the heck? Electric trimmer?”
This is my original trimmer from way back in the day. Sub $50! Sure you need a long extension cord. But it has a 5 amp motor. It can handle any grass length. It cuts a big 14-inch swath. And the handle telescopes for taller people. It weighs under 6.5 pounds.
But this is WHY you and I want the cordless trimmers. You will be constantly pulling and adjusting the extension cord behind you. It will be tangling on lawn furniture and creating carnage in the flower beds and garden.
A sub $50 trimmer sounds great until you look at the $100 Black and Decker or the $150 Dewalt. For the price of 5 large pizzas you can get rid of the electric cord for ever. No more giant snake waves snapping the cord to get it to behave behind you. Ultimate lawn care. No more tangled mess.
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If you live on a postage stamp in a big city, yes, this will work just fine. My first home on a 80 foot lot I made it work. I used to attach two extension cords together, and there was still a patch near the back corner fence that I could never reach. Like I said, I hate cutting grass.
But having the best cordless trimmer makes the job a whole lot more bearable!