A number of factors go into determining the top selling string trimmer in any given year. Some consumers only buy 4-cycle trimmers to lower the impact on the environment from smoke pollution while others buy the lightest, least expensive unit they find in any home improvement store. Still, perhaps the biggest factor that contributes to a weed whacker sale is simply the name on the engine housing.
Brand loyalty is alive and well in the string trimmer world.
Some consumers buy a Black and Decker weed whipper solely because they’re familiar with the name from their toaster, cordless drill, or juicer. Stihl and John Deere have enjoyed record trimmer sales if only out of convenience that an owner can take their weed whacker to get maintenance at the sae time as their chain saw and lawn tractor.
Potential weed whacker purchasers should be aware that there are major players in the game other than just the big names, with each manufacturer bringing something unique to the table whether it be a super-lightweight unit, a low-pollution model, a super-quiet motor, an unbeatable warranty, or the best prices in the industry.
An individual look at some top weed eater brands
Poulan Pro started offering string trimmers in much of the same way as their competitors – by first building a solid garden tractor reputation. The Poulan Pro line of zero-turn mowers and commercial and residential lawn tractors has spawned a product line to include chainsaws, tillers, snow blowers, and of course weed whackers.
The particular line of string trimmers they market are powerful, sporting only two engine sizes, 25cc and 33cc. The manufacturer offers eight product models in their inventory, one of which is a highly rated wheeled model powered by a Briggs & Stratton engine. Because of the large engine displacement, Poulan Pro trimmers are typically recommended for commercial uses or on large acreage plots of land.
The powerful design almost ensures that the user needs to wear pants to battle the rocks and debris that evade the cover and to have a healthy supply of trimmer line available.
The eight models in the Poulan Pro line all mirror each other, utilizing a two-stroke engine and a pre-cut string loading design instead of the tap-feed system that most manufacturers do.
Poulan Pro offers a standard 2-year warranty on their 8 string trimmers that all retail in the $100 – $200 range.
Worx started off with a simple business mantra – to make yard work easier.
This includes manufacturing equipment that is ergonomically comfortable and versatile to change without using tools.
The company expanded that corporate agenda to start developing products that were environmentally sound as indicated in their tagline of ‘on a mission for no emission’.
The company makes lawn mowers, chain saws, blowers, snow throwers, and hedge trimmers that are all electric or battery operated.
Of course the string trimmers in their line all run on batteries too, in power ranging from 20V up to 40V.
Some of the specific ergonomic advantages that Worx integrates into their trimmer line is an adjustable shaft to alter height, a 90 degree rotating head for hard to reach places, wheel support for the edger and mini mower attachment and units weighing as little as 2 pounds.
Worx stands by their products as well, offering customers a no-hassle 30 day money back guarantee and a 3-year warranty on all product components beside the battery packs.
Worx also has contracts with all the major big block stores such as Sears, Lowe’s, Menard’s, and Ace Hardware making their products easy to find and get serviced.
Husqvarna is one of the most recognizable names in lawn care accessories as they should be – dubbing themselves the world’s largest producer of outdoor power products. Husqvarna products are sold by retailers and individual dealers in over 100 countries around the globe.
One of the biggest advantages of being such a large scale manufacturer is the ability to offer variety.
In the string trimmer line for instance units are available in either 2-cycle or 4-cycle engines with straight or curved shafts and in engine sizes as low as 24 cc all the way up to 34 cc.
Husqvarna has yet to manufacture an electric model, but their environmentally friendly policies all but eliminate the need for a corded or battery operated addition to their weed whacker line.
In addition to low emission 4-cycle engines, Husqvarna has developed a carburetor unit that is certified CARB compliant, meaning it meets the emission requirements for pollution strict states such as California.
Since Husqvarna manufactures such an expansive weed whacker product line, they offer both commercial and residential warranties on units that can retail for up to $400.
Black and Decker is a familiar name if anything because of their common household appliances such as vacuums, coffee makers, and power tools.
The Black and Decker company actually serves as an umbrella to a number of other brands in its family tree including DeWalt, Porter-Cable, and DustBuster just to name a few.
Black and Decker has been producing outdoor lawn products since the 60’s which includes their very popular string trimmer line. There are over a dozen models in the Black and Decker trimmer line, all of which are electric or battery operated.
The main manufacturing points that B&D stresses are ease of use via flip-up head technology, one-button start, and an automatic feed spool.
Another benefit of being such a big name in the industry is having an engineering team to develop technologies specific to their product which in the string trimmer line includes a PowerDrive transmission which streamlines power from the motor to the cutting string and PowerCommand which enables a boost in power for thick jobs.
The name Toro is synonymous with snow throwers and winter products, but the company offers a full product inventory of spring and summer outdoor lawn tools.
In fact the brand Lawn Boy is a company ran under the Toro name as is the popular DIY watering system supplier Lawn Genie.
Toro is one of the few string trimmer producers that manufacture both gas and electric weed whackers.
The string trimmer product line from the Toro Company evolved from the company’s early history as a golf course and irrigation product supplier. To this day some of those early traits are still in place in producing grass trimmers for commercial and residential use.
All of the gas trimmers that Toro markets are 2-cycle, but their electric versions are available in corded and cordless, most commonly in 24V battery power.
One of the major advantages that Toro offers as a manufacturer is easy part supply, with dozens of dealers in each State in the U.S.
For being a large brand name, Toro prices fall reasonably in line with their competitors as electric trimmers usually retail for around $59 while their gas counterparts go in the $150 + range.
Consumers really need to walk a fine line when selecting the weed whacker that’s right for them.
On one hand you want a recognizable brand name because of parts availability and to know they won’t close up shop.
On the other hand, some lesser known manufacturers produce string trimmers that consistently outperform their rivals in field tests.
Either way availability, price, and usage requirements will always play a factor in finding a string trimmer brand you can hitch your wagon to for life.