Best Electric String Trimmers of 2024 - Consumer Reports (2024)

There are many reasons to opt for a string trimmer that’s electric as opposed to gas-powered: Electric string trimmers start instantly, require minimal maintenance, and are, as our tests on dozens of models have found, far better for the Earth. In addition, electric string trimmers—whether battery or corded—perform on a par with gas-powered models, and, in some cases, even better. As a group, electric string trimmers are also more reliable, so they’re less likely to end up in landfills.

In this article

  • Best Battery String Trimmers
  • Best Electric Corded String Trimmers
  • How to Choose an Electric String Trimmer
  • How CR Tests String Trimmers

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“Electric trimmers really rival gas in cutting performance,” says Misha Kollontai, who oversees string trimmer testing for Consumer Reports.In fact, more than 90 percent of the battery string trimmers in our current ratings get above-average or top marks for both trimming and edging, giving them a slight edge over gas models in those two tests.

Electric corded models don’t fare quite as well as the battery kind, though three of the four models currently in our ratings still earn above-average marks in those tests. In general, it’s the battery string trimmers that have become especially better over time. That’s in part because brands are making big investments in these models, and you don’t need an outdoor outlet to use one.

We’re just finishing up testing and scoring our annual crop of string trimmers, including plenty of electric varieties. You can check back throughout the season for details on the newest models, but there are plenty of top performers we can recommend right now, including those from brands like Ego, Makita, and Ryobi. CR members can also see our complete string trimmer ratings for even more options. Need additional help making a decision? Consult our string trimmer buying guide before you shop.

Best Battery String Trimmers

See our ratings of battery string trimmers.

Best Electric Corded String Trimmers

See our ratings of electric corded string trimmers.

How to Choose an Electric String Trimmer

Shopping for an electric string trimmer is different from shopping for a gas model. To maximize savings and efficiency, take the following approach:

  • If you have a small yard and an outdoor outlet, consider corded models. These can cost less than half the price of battery models. While the trimmers themselves have very short cords, they can be used with an outdoor-rated extension cord, which typically can let you reach about 100 feet.
  • For larger yards, you might want to spend a bit more and invest in a cordless string trimmer, Kollontai says. Just make sure you have a second battery ready to go if you’re clearing weeds and high grass for 30-plus minutes at a clip. (Otherwise, you might want to consider a gas string trimmer, typically reserved for larger properties where you might need to trim for longer stretches.)
  • You can save money with cordless electric string trimmers by purchasing your lawn tools, such as a chainsaw and lawn mower, from the same brand, Kollontai says. That way, you don’t need to buy a battery for every tool. Simply purchase two batteries(so that you can use one while the other is charging) to power up your whole collection. That’s typically a 30 percent savings for each tool purchased without a battery. Take note: Some brands use different battery sizes, or platforms, for different tools. Make sure the batteries you choose are compatible with all the tools you plan to buy from that brand.

How CR Tests String Trimmers

We test all our string trimmers, whether they’re gas or electric, at two sites: a property in upstate New York that’s overrun with weeds, high grass, and dense brush; or a dedicated section of our lawn-mower testing site in Florida. This way, we can test the newest models each year in one of the only parts of the country warm enough to grow high grass in winter; and it also lets us put models through their paces in the torturous late-summer growth in the Northeast. We note and time how long each model takes to clear a defined path. We also test each model’s edging—its ability to create a neat and straight line along a walkway. And we look at how easy each trimmer is to hold, maneuver, and operate, while also noting how difficult it is to start up or feed extra line through the cutting head.

Best Electric String Trimmers of 2024 - Consumer Reports (1)

Paul Hope

Paul Hope is a senior multimedia content creator at Consumer Reports and a trained chef. He covers ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens, as well as grills, drills, outdoor power tools, decking, and wood stains. Before joining CR in 2016, he tested kitchen products at Good Housekeeping and covered tools and remodeling for This Old House magazine. You’ll typically find him in his old fixer-upper, engrossed in a DIY project or trying out a new recipe.

Best Electric String Trimmers of 2024 - Consumer Reports (2024)


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