For some consumers, a string trimmer represents a pretty significant purchase as it is used dozens of times per year over a sprawling landscape. For others, spending $300-$400 on a weed whipper just isn’t feasible for a number of reasons – they may have minimal areas around their home to trim, they may live in a dry climate or an area surrounded by trees that prevents growing, they may hire a lawn service, or they may be on a tight budget.
Either way, there is a growing line of cheap weed eaters out there that could be a great short term weed whacking solution.
Reviews of Cheap String Trimmers on the Market
Inexpensive string trimmers are manufactured in gas powered, electric, and battery operated units. Consumers need to remember that ‘you get what you pay for’ is a common denominator with these hard working, yet cost-effective weed whippers.
GreenWorks 21212 4 Amp 13″ Corded String Trimmer
Corded trimmers definitely have some limitations and can be frustrating to work with, but for a $30 to $50 retail price it’s hard to beat the Greenworks 21212.
Greenworks has taken some of that anguish out of using a cord by integrating a cord lock system that prevents the device from disconnecting.
Other than that, convenience is the name of the game from a rotating handle that flips 180 degrees for edging, a telescopic shaft that adjusts for taller users, and an auto line feed that distributes string on the fly.
The 4 amp motor provides plenty of punch for thick weeds but also makes the unit weigh a somewhat heavy 7 pounds.
Another benefit of a corded trimmer is that the unit is quieter and doesn’t release exhaust into the atmosphere.
In addition, GreenWorks has sweetened the pot with a 4-year warranty that is double the industry standard for similar models.
People who have purchased the GreenWorks 21212 are generally satisfied after the first couple uses. The unit starts easily and has adequate power but reviews are mixed on the auto line feeding system.
That being said, the durability of this specific model of product comes in question. A few consumers report the motor overheating and burning out on the first couple uses and others claim that the product dies completely within less than a month.
The 4-year warranty offers replacement devices but continually sending the trimmer back and forth to the manufacturer can get old.
Toro 51467 12V 8-Inch Cordless Grass Trimmer
The 51467 model from Toro is a compact, battery-operated unit that weighs about 6 pounds.
The string trimmer is designed for very small weed whacking jobs but is convenient in the sense that the Toro battery is universal for other products from the company such as a similarly sized leaf blower.
This weed whipper features the very popular bump-feed line advancing system that doesn’t require any tools to put in replacement string. The 51467 also features a somewhat unique top handle that makes cutting and navigating even simpler.
The item lists for around $50 and features a 2-year warranty for manufacturer defects.
One of the main gripes about the Toro 51467 is that it only features an 8” cutting width. This is the main sentiment that makes the product only recommended for small trimming jobs, otherwise consumers report that the battery lasts 30 minutes or more, something very rare in the world of cordless weed whackers.
People who bought the 51467 also noted that the string was very easy to replace, which can be an experience for those not familiar with re-spooling techniques. Consumers also report that older models of this string trimmer are much heavier than they expected but more modern units seem to have tightened up the assembly and are lighter.
Another thing that makes the Toro 51467 adequate for only small jobs is that the inexpensive model lacks for power with it’s 12V battery and is only recommended for light trimming. Other than that, the Toro name is one that can be trusted and many purchasers report using the unit multiple summers with no problems.
WeedEater 967184401 W25CFK Curved Shaft Gas Trimmer
When it comes to inexpensive string trimmers, gas powered units are seemingly out of the picture.
The WeedEater 967184401 is very affordable though, retailing for around $90.
The unit is a beast with a 25cc motor and whopping 15” cutting path. The motor is 2-cycle which means a mixture of gas and oil needs to be used and exhaust fumes are more prevalent. Also the 25cc motor features more reverberation and noise, making it less convenient for the user to operate.
The WeedEater 967184401 unit is also heavier, weighing in at roughly 14 pounds which could limit the consumer base that could comfortably operate it. The string installs in a fixed format, which reactions are mixed on in the world of weed whipping.
One thing a consumer looks for in a powerful string trimmer is durability and longevity but customers are mixed on if the WeedEater model provides that.
Almost unanimously people are pleased with the 967184401 out of the box as it assembles and starts easily the first few times it is used. That being said, after week 3 or 4 of heavy use, the unit seems to start to break down. It could be operator hardship but more than a few purchasers have reported inconsistent starts and stops and a cheaper than imagined plastic designed.
Almost uniformly the reviewers reported the problems are due to a bad carburetor and possibly switched up fill and return fuel lines. These are easy fixes but an $80 investment is enough that it should come fully functional off the manufacturer’s production lines.
Cheap String Trimmers Wrap-Up
In the end, consumers shouldn’t expect much from an inexpensive weed whacker. They’re generally only recommended for very small yards and for light trimming. That being said if that’s the only reason you need a weed whacker than an investment of $20 to $40 is more than worth it.
It’s important to know that cheaper string trimmers almost need to be ‘babied’ or used with extreme care but that’s a quality that should be adapted for all lawn care equipment.
One of the main things hurting the inexpensive string trimmer market is that upgrades to more durable products are a short leap away. For an extra $25 or so consumers can get a longer lasting, more powerful device with a longer warranty and it’s really the route that should be taken for anything more than minimal weed whipping.