Best strimmer: top grass trimmers to keep your garden in check

The best strimmer is perfect for tackling those awkward tufts a lawn mower can't reach and much more. See our top grass trimmer picks for every budget

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Best strimmer
(Image credit: Future)

Looking for the best strimmer? Smart thinking. Ideal for tidying up those harder-to-reach spots in the lawn, a strimmer – also known as a grass trimmer or weed whacker – is a handy piece of kit. Sure, your backyard is looking great after a once-over with the lawn mower, but there are inevitably a few stubborn patches around the washing line, water features, trees and garden furniture. Perhaps, too, the grass blades adjacent to the hedge are looking a little shabby upon closer inspection. Well, with a strimmer, this problem is no more.

Leaving your garden with clean borders, a strimmer works by rotating a line at high speed, slicing the unsightly remainders. Unlike a lawn mower, a grass trimmer is relatively light and, rather than being pushed across the lawn, it is held and operated with a sweeping motion to clear brush and long grass that a mower can't handle.

When searching for the best strimmer, there are a few things to keep in mind, such as the weight of the strimmer, its power source, as well as its charge and run time. Most of our top options happen to be cordless, though there is an electric option for those with nearby sockets and petrol too for anyone wanting to be unhindered by battery life. Of course, with that in mind we have picked cordless options with supreme battery life (or a back-up battery to charge as you work). Some models on our list can also be adjusted for different jobs including lawn edging and brush-cutting.

To help you find the perfect option for your needs, we've drawn up a tight roster of strimmers we just know you'll love. Scroll down to learn more. Oh, and if your lawn mower needs a little TLC, too, check out our guide on the best lawn mower

The best strimmer 2021

Einhell AGILLO 18/200 Cordless ScytheGardeningetc Reviewed and Rated badge

(Image credit: Einhell)

1. Einhell AGILLO 18/200 Cordless Scythe

Best all-round strimmer: a hassle-free choice that can handle any tricky tuft

Power type: Cordless
Running time: 30mins (with 4.0Ah Li-ion battery)
Charging time: One hour (with 4.0Ah Li-ion battery)
Cutting width: 20cm (blade) / 30cm (spool)
Weight: 6.45kg
Reasons to buy
+Ergonomic design+Its battery can be used with other Einhell Power X-Change tools+Features both a spool and blade
Reasons to avoid
-Can't be used for edging-Set-up is not the quickest-Instructions are a little unclear

Quite the all-rounder, this model is suitable for strimming as well as brush cutting, meaning it can take down unwanted blades of grass as well as young trees, tough weeds and light undergrowth. 

A slightly heavier option, this model comes with a harness to lighten the load. User-friendly, once up and running, it has a trigger that can be squeezed to adjust the speed. In terms of running time, this is dependent on the battery you pick – 4.0Ah seems like a smart choice to us.

Worx 20V MAX Cordless GT3 Grass TrimmerGardeningetc Reviewed and Rated badge

(Image credit: Worx)

2. Worx 20V MAX Cordless GT3 Grass Trimmer

Best ergonomic strimmer: a versatile choice for edging, cropping and more

Power type: Cordless
Running time: 30–40mins
Charging time: Two or three hours
Cutting width: 30cm
Weight: 3.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Super easy to use+Sturdy and compact+Suitable for strimming and edging+Auto-feed wire is very convenient
Reasons to avoid
-A little noisy-Instructions are a little vague

A two-in-one tool, this design not only strims but edges, too. A durable product, it has a head that can tilt a full 90 degrees, meaning uneven areas of your lawn are easier to tackle. Oh, and because it's pretty lightweight, you shouldn't feel too fatigued using it. Plus, for the utmost traction when edging, it has rubberised wheels, which create professional lines.

Best garden strimmers

(Image credit: Bosch)

3. Bosch EasyGrassCut 18-26 Cordless 18 Volts Grass Trimmer

Best light trimmer: will easily protect what you don't want cut

Power: Cordless
Running time: 60mins
Charging time: One hour
Cutting width: 28cm
Weight: 2.1kg
Reasons to buy
+Very lightweight+Go anywhere in a large garden
Reasons to avoid
-A more expensive trimmer

You can move easily through garden with this Bosch model as there's no cord to extend or worry about. In case of a snapped line, a semi-automatic spool feeds it through whenever you release the trigger, so you can carry on neatening up the grass near your fence or path. An easy-edging function protects your plants as you tidy up the borders of your flowerbeds.

Best garden strimmers

(Image credit: Gtech)

4. Gtech Cordless Grass Trimmer GT 4.0

Best user-friendly model: impressively light for effortless and comfortable use

Power: Cordless
Running time: 30mins
Charging time: Four hours
Weight: 1.85kg
Reasons to buy
+Super light weight+Comfortable to handle
Reasons to avoid
-Short run time-A pricer trimmer

This is probably the most user-friendly trimmer thanks to an ergonomic handle and harness which balance its very light weight and puts less strain on your neck, back and shoulders. Powered by an 18V motor, it can quickly work through all the rough edges. It has plastic blades rather than nylon string, which are easy to fit when they need changing.

Best garden strimmers

(Image credit: Black + Decker)

5. Black+Decker 18V Cordless 28 cm String Grass Trimmer 2.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery

Best rotating head design: cut your lawn edges horizontally or vertically

Power : Cordless
Running time: 30mins
Charging time: Five hours
Cutting width: 28cm
Weight: 2.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable height and head+Lightweight and sturdy
Reasons to avoid
-Long charge time for short run time

This is ergonomically designed with a fast and powerful cutting speed. It says it can trim up to 2,500 metres in one charge so should be able to complete most tasks without needing a recharge. The Iine is automatically fed out from the spool when needed. And the cutting head can be rotated 90 degrees to work vertically or horizontally, trimming along lawn edges or up to walls.

Best Garden Strimmer

(Image credit: Argos McGregor)

6. McGregor 3-in-1 30cm Corded Grass Trimmer

Best 3-in-1 design: a trio of cutting options and no limit on work time

Power: Electric
Cable length: 8 metres
Cutting width: 30cm
Weight: 2.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Well priced with extra features+Adjustable shaft length to suit your height
Reasons to avoid
-Trimmer line can be prone to breaking

This model offers three types of cutting in one machine. You can change the angle of the cutting head to edge your lawn, trim your grass and reach under objects such as benches and trampolines. There is flower guard which lets you trim right up to the edge of your garden without chopping down your precious blooms. An auto feed spool system extends the cutting line if it snaps so you don’t have the fiddly job of adjusting it manually.

Best garden trimmer

(Image credit: B&Q)

7. B&Q L25A2 25cc 40cm Petrol Grass Trimmer

Best petrol trimmer: heavy-duty design that's able to deal with thicker growth

Power: Petrol
Engine size: 25cc
Cutting width: 40cm
Weight: 5.4kg
Reasons to buy
+Robust enough for regular use+Easy to take anywhere in the garden
Reasons to avoid
-Heavier than cordless or electric models-It's noisy – you’ll need ear defenders and goggles

This petrol strimmer can cut down stubborn growth in larger areas as well trimming and edging. Easy to assemble, it is robust enough to withstand regular use. The cutting head can be tilted either way to cut lawn edges with precision. It is economic to run on just half a litre of petrol.

Best garden strimmer

(Image credit: Karcher)

8. Kärcher LTR 18-30 Cordless Battery Powered Grass Trimmer in Yellow

Best for design features: lots of clever design ideas to protect parts of the garden you don't want cut

Power: Cordless
Running time: 30-60mins
Charging time: 44-83mins
Cutting width: 30cm
Weight: 2.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Automatic line feed for the ideal cutting length+Charger and rechargeable 18V 2.5Ah battery included
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for larger gardens-Battery can make it feel heavy

This has lots of clever design features, including a pivoting head, twisted cutting line and fold-out plant guard, that should protect the parts of your garden you don’t want trimmed or damaged. An edge-cutting function creates smooth lines along patios and paths while its two-handed grip offers comfort while you work. The line feed automatically adjusts to the ideal cutting length at all times.

How to buy the best strimmer 2021

When it comes to powering a grass strimmer, there are three options. Choose the one that best suits your needs.

Cordless: Battery powered, these give you the freedom to roam up and down unencumbered by the length of a plug-in cord, particularly useful if your garden is long and narrow. Cutting time is limited to how long the battery charge will last, unless you invest in a spare that you can switch easily.

Cable: This plugs into the socket so your run time is limitless. The cable style strimmers also tend to be a cheaper option. However, even if the cord is long enough to stretch to the end of the garden without an extension, movement can be limited as you flip it out of the way of the cutting head.

Petrol: These offer maximum power and freedom of movement, and you can tackle heavier growth than grass, such as shrubbery. Excellent if you have a large garden to work on. But they can be heavier, noisier and smellier. You will also have to factor in fuel and maintenance costs.

What to look for in a strimmer

Lightweight: Too heavy and it can make your arms ache and make it uncomfortable to work for long periods of time.

Ergonomic: You need a comfortable grip and to prevent strain on the neck, arms and shoulders. Adjustable shafts means you can get your trimmer to suit your height perfectly.

Convenience: Cordless and petrol offer more freedom of movement but corded means no limit on the time you can spend cutting.

Power: Look at the power output on an electric trimmer, battery voltage on a cordless and engine capacity on a petrol trimmer. The bigger the number, the heavier the work you can do.

Special features: Rotating and adjustable heads widen the scope of what you can do with your trimmer, allowing you to cut vertically and horizontally.

The best strimmer cutting tools

The grass used to be ‘strimmed’ with nylon string rotated at speed so it is taut. The string gradually wears down, though this can happen quicker if you are cutting thick weeds rather than grass, or if it is impacting against hard surfaces like patio slabs, rocks or walls. They range from 1.2mm up to 3mm in diameter; the thicker they are, the better they can deal with coarse undergrowth. Heavy duty work will require the maximum thickness.

Automatic feeds on strimmers release more of the string out as needed so you don’t have to do it manually, though you will have to replace the spool when it’s empty. Bump feeds mean you tap the base on the ground to release more string, which is more controllable than an automatic feed.

Some strimmers now use plastic blades to cut. These are easily clicked on and off and tend to be more durable than the thinner nylon string, so able to tackle thicker grass and tough foliage.

The bigger the cutting width, the more grass you trim away with each sweeping move and the less time you’ll spend on the task. They usually go from 20cm up to 35cm for household models, rather than those used by professional landscapers

Top tip: To prevent string breakages when cutting thick weeds, don’t force the head into the middle of them, instead move it slowly toward the area so the weeds and stems are being cut with the tip

Alison Jones
Alison Jones

Alison is Assistant Editor on Real Homes magazine. She previously worked on national newspapers, in later years as a film critic and has also written on property, fashion and lifestyle. Having recently purchased a Victorian property in severe need of some updating, much of her time is spent solving the usual issues renovators encounter. She is also currently chipping away at a back garden covered in crazy paving, ready to landscape it with a lawn and fruit and veg patch to mow and grow her own.