Best String Trimmers of 2021
CR's tests show you don't have to pay a lot to get a capable model
Along fences, rock walls, and garden beds, you can let grass do its thing—or easily cut it down to size with a string trimmer.
These tools get into those tight spots around your property where a mower just can’t go.
CR’s lawn experts have tested dozens of string trimmers, including gas, corded, and battery versions. To learn more about the types, start with our string trimmer buying guide. CR members can jump right into our string trimmer ratings to compare models. Below, we’ve highlighted the best string trimmers in each configuration.
How CR Tests String Trimmers
We use each trimmer to tackle typical yard weeds and high grass as well as dense brush, noting and timing how long each model takes to clear a defined path. We also test each model at edging, or its ability to create a neat and straight line along a walkway. And we look at how easy each model is to hold, maneuver, and operate, noting how difficult it is to start up or feed extra line through the cutting head.
We test gas and electric models with curved and straight shafts. If you’ve never used a string trimmer, try out curved-shaft and straight-shaft models in a home center or hardware store to see which feels better. In general, tall users may favor straight-shaft models because they have a longer reach. Shorter users may prefer curved-shaft models because they can be a bit easier to control.
CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of six standout models from our tests, the top performer and best value in each configuration.