Grass grows in abundance, including times and in places where it’s not wanted. To manage that growth, people can choose from a wide variety of grass cutting machines like lawnmowers which come in various sizes. Still, grass cutting tasks require a bit of finesse that a lawnmower can’t deliver on, such as lawn edging. For those kinds of tasks, a gas string trimmer comes in handy.
A gas string trimmer, commonly known as a weed whacker or weed eater, works by spinning a monofilament line to cut grass, weeds, and other ground-covering plants. These machines are powered by a small gas motor that spins that line fast enough to cut any grass blades it comes into contact with. Unlike lawn mowers, whether they're electric lawn mowers or gas-powered mowers, the best gas string trimmers will make cutting grass around obstacles and uneven surfaces much easier.
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What Is A Gas String Trimmer?
A gas string trimmer is a gardening tool that’s used to cut grass. The string in the name refers to the monofilament line that spins fast enough to cut any grass blades or other plants that it comes into contact with.
String trimmers can be powered by gas or electric motors. Most weed trimmers use a two-stroke motor that requires a specific oil and gas mixture to function correctly. That motor is small and light enough to be worn on the body with a harness, or it might sit at the end of the shaft to be carried around the entire work area.
While lawnmowers help cut large swaths of grass, weed wackers are better suited for more delicate tasks like lawn edging or cutting small lawn sections.
9 Best Gas String Trimmers - Top Picks
1. Husqvarna 17" Cutting Path Detachable Gas String Trimmer
The Husqvarna 17" is a lightweight and multi-purpose trimmer with a 28cc 2-cycle engine. It weighs 11 pounds and has a cutting swath of 17 inches. The shaft and trimmer head can be easily detached, making this trimmer easy to move around and store safely after each use. This is also convenient when you want to clean it from dirt and debris or switch out the cutting head.
It comes with an incredibly versatile cutting guard that’s useful with both the grass blade and trimmer head for safety purposes.
This particular Husqvarna gas model offers features that make it start quickly whenever you need to use it. The Smart Start recoil system, air purge technology, and fuel system pump all work together to ensure the trimmer begins at a quick speed to get the job done faster.
Overall this top-of-the-line gas trimmer offers versatility that’s hard to find. It works well whether you’re just trying to cut the thick grass on a large-sized lawn or if you need to edge the outer perimeter of the yard. The lightweight feature allows you to work for long periods of time without having to stop to take a break.
All these features make the Husqvarna 17" one of the best gas string trimmers on the list.
2. Poulan Pro 17” in. 28cc 2-Cycle Gas Straight Shaft String Trimmer
The Poulan Pro trimmer has a 17-inch cutting width and is powered by a 28cc 2-cycle gas engine. It comes with a spring-assisted starting system and Poulan unique fuel delivery system, both of which ensure effortless pull starting so you can get straight to work without any delay and with a high fuel efficiency.
This weed trimmer is incredibly versatile, and Poulan Pro even includes six optional trimmer attachments. With this model, you can use it as an edger, blower, brush cutter, pole saw, hedge trimmer, and cultivator. While it can be used as an edger, it's still not as effective as one with edging being it's primary purpose. Still, much functionality means you get a massive bang for your buck. Plus, with the variable speed control you can manage at which speeds you wish to cut, from idle to full throttle.
There are many things to like about this gas weed eater. The cutting swatch of 17-inches makes it much easier to cut more extensive sections of grass in less time. Besides that, the exceptional functionality means this piece of garden equipment helps in many different situations, from bush cutting to tree pruning.
Having that much functionality means you’ll have to spend less on other tools to keep your yard looking at its best. Best of all, you won’t need any tools to add or remove any of those optional attachments. The gas trimmer is designed with Pro-Link, which allows you to attach or remove those items in a click-and-go manner.
3. Husqvarna 17" Cutting Path Gas String Trimmer
With this being the second Husqvarna weed trimmer, the most notable feature that separates it from the previous gas models is its curved shaft. With the curved shaft design, the overall weight of the trimmer is well-distributed, making it much more comfortable to use for extended periods.
Besides the additional comfort, this Husqvarna model also has a 17-inch cutting width and a 27.66cc, 2-cycle engine. Another unique feature here is that the engine has a translucent fuel tank, allowing you to visually monitor your fuel levels as you work. That way, you’ll know when it’s time for a refuel and can plan your work much more efficiently.
As we’ve seen from both models on this list, Husqvarna produces high-quality options. While both models are excellent, this one is better suited for people who know they’ll use the weed eater for more extensive jobs. Homeowners with larger yards will love this model as it’ll tire them out less frequently when using it to maintain their lawn.
4. Remington 25cc 2-Cycle 16-Inch Straight Shaft Gas-Powered String Trimmer
This straight-shaft gas string trimmer by Remington offers a 16-inch cutting width and an adjustable handle. You can adjust the handle anytime you want to maximize comfort as you work continuously.
The shaft is lightweight with a curved end, making it easy to maneuver around obstacles and slopes for a more thorough trimming experience.
Like most other models in this list, it’s powered by a 25cc 2-stroke engine equipped with QuickStart technology for much better pull-starts. However, despite its high-power output, the powerful engine is compact and designed specifically to perform gardening tasks like trimming and edging. It also only weighs 14 pounds.
If you’re looking for a no-frills, highly reliable choice, then this Remington model is one of the best gas weed eaters. The adjustable handle and shaft with a curved end combine to make it easy to use, no matter if you’re a gardening veteran or a newbie.
The Remington string trimmer has no complicated extras that might be confusing to use. Instead, using it is incredibly intuitive, requiring very little practice beforehand. Just pull the string to start the engine, and off you go!
5. LawnMaster No-Pull Gas String Trimmer with Electric Start 25cc 2 Cycle,17-Inch
LawnMaster joins this list with their no-pull gas string trimmer. What makes this model incredibly unique is that it includes an electric starter. When fully charged, that electric starter can quickly help you start the trimmer up to 150 times without having to pull anything at all.
This LawnMaster trimmer is both adjustable and ergonomically designed to ensure maximum comfort during use. That means you can adjust the length to whatever length is most comfortable for you while working on your yard and the ergonomic handle provides added comfort.
Unlike some other models, this trimmer is also designed with a multi-tool attachment system. The split shaft can be converted to several different yard tools, allowing you to use it for a wide range of other garden maintenance tasks.
What we like the most about this weed trimmer is that it comes with a push-to-start feature. Unlike most conventional choices, you won’t have to waste any time pulling on the string to get the motor started. The built-in electric starter makes that completely unnecessary.
Besides the convenient start function, the overall design does an excellent job at providing comfort for use during extended working periods.
6. Huyosen 51.7CC Grass String Trimmers
Most of the models mentioned so far have engine sizes of around 28cc’s. This Huyosen string trimmer almost doubles that with its 51.7cc engine. Weighing 18 pounds, this one comes with a telescoping aluminum shaft that’s ergonomic and provides plenty of comfort despite its high-power output.
The trimmer features an adjustable double-handle design with a trigger to help control the trimmer’s power for easier control. Meanwhile, the motor can also be worn with a sling over your shoulder, helping to distribute the weight even more.
Overall, this trimmer packs plenty of cutting power suitable for a wide range of applications. Whether you’re trimming your lawn at home or using it in a professional setting, you’ll find this yard and garden tool helpful.
It packs almost double the usual power of a standard string trimmer in a relatively small package. Weighing in at 18 pounds makes it slightly heavier than most models, but that’s a very fair tradeoff for the additional power that it delivers.
The ergonomic double handle and unique trigger design make it much easier to control, even in areas with much thicker grass, weeds, or other ground covers that require trimming.
7. Craftsman V20 String Trimmer
The Craftsman V20 String Trimmer is another example of a string trimmer that offers plenty of control. For starters, it has two different speed settings you can choose from, depending on your needs. Choose a higher speed for thicker sections, or use a slower one for more extended use.
The string trimmer is also highly adjustable. For example, the shaft can be adjusted to suit your height more comfortably, while the end can be adjusted for trimming and edging very quickly.
Extending the line is also incredibly easy with the push-button feed. Unlike bump-feed systems, all you need to do is push the button at the handle to extend the line without interrupting your workflow.
Another unique feature is its compatibility with the VERSATRACK wall organization system. If you already own that system, you’ll have a much easier time storing and organizing it. The 13-inch cutting width is not the largest on the market, but it’s an ideal size if you’re working on smaller areas that require more delicate trimming or tight spaces.
Like many other ones, this Craftsman model is pleasant to use and delivers plenty of power — but where it truly stands out is in its convenience. The trimmer end can be rotated very quickly to switch between trimming and edging, while the line can be extended at any moment with just the push of a button.
8. Beyond by BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX String Trimmer / Edger, 12-Inch
This power tool from the beyond series by BLACK+DECKER can cut to 12-inches, making it suitable for lawn maintenance tasks that require a finer touch, like edging or trimming smaller sections of thick grass.
One of the most convenient features of this weed trimmer is its two-speed settings. You can switch it up to a higher speed for more demanding cutting jobs or keep it to a lower rate for slow and steady trimming.
Besides that, this one also goes above and beyond with its automatic feed spool. Traditionally, string trimmers use a bump feed spool that requires you to bump it on the ground to release more string. However, this model releases more string entirely automatically without you having to stop.
We like this trimmer because it has several cutting-edge features. Firstly, having multiple speed settings provides the user with much more control over the trimmer’s output, depending on what the situation might call for. That is not a feature that’s commonly found on most options.
Besides that, the automatic feed spool is also cutting edge compared to more traditional bump spools that others use. This model stands out because of its advantages in control and convenience.
9. Honda 25cc Gas 17 in. Straight Shaft String Trimmer/Edger
Honda, most commonly known for producing Japanese cars, also has a line of weed eaters. This 25cc model comes with a 17-inch cutting width and runs on a mini 4-stroke engine.
The straight shaft trimmer runs on straight, unleaded gas. According to the manufacturer, it requires no mixing at all, which means you won’t have to worry about the fuel-oil ratio like you would with most of the other choices.
This Honda model is another example of a straightforward and reliable gas string trimmer that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that many others do. The shaft is adjustable, making it easy to customize based on your height and whatever you find most comfortable. The shaft comes with a lifetime warranty by Honda, which gives more confidence in its durability.
Overall this gas powered weed eater is popular for its simplicity in that it’s highly reliable and will help you get the job done. We also appreciate the lifetime warranty that Honda offers for the durable flex shaft. That provides plenty of peace of mind, especially knowing that you won’t have to pay for a replacement if the shaft breaks unexpectedly.
Gas String Trimmer Buying Guide
At first glance, it might seem like all are alike. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Some trimmers might be more suitable for you than others, which is why you’ll want to consider the following when choosing one:
Weight - Unlike some other gardening tools, the weight of this product is carried entirely on your body. The motor is worn on your back with a harness, while the handles and shaft are held in your hands. You’ll be carrying these parts on your body for extended periods, so they’ll tire you out very quickly if they’re heavy. Ideally, you should choose a gas weed eater that’s at a comfortable weight for you to carry around the yard until the job is done. For some options, you can also add shoulder straps to lighten it's weight.
Noisy Output - They are loud pieces of equipment, and there’s no getting around that. Still, some of these power tools are noisier than others. If you’d like to minimize any disturbances to your neighbors or the other occupants in your home, then it’s best to compare models and get the one that generates the least noise.
Vibration - One factor that most people overlook is the vibration generated by the weed eater. Remember that you’ll be holding the handle the entire time you’re using the trimmer. Those vibrations will flow through your hands continuously, tiring the muscles in your hands and arms. All of them feature vibration, but the gas string trimmer will have a low level of vibration.
Safety Features and Attachments - Generally, these trimmers are safe machines to use. But there are times when the spinning string could send small bits of debris flying at you or at other things around your yard. That’s why safety features on a trimmer are things you should consider. Similarly, it might come with different cutting head attachments for a specific use. Some cutting heads are specifically used for weeds while others are used for just grass. The best gas string trimmers will also have comfortability features like an ergonomic handle.
The top options to choose from are the ones that have additional safety features and attachments like shields, cutting guards, and more. Having these will ensure a more pleasant experience when using them.
Gas String Trimmers FAQ
Why Does The String Line On A Trimmer Break?
The monofilament line or string line on a trimmer breaks because of what’s called line crowding. That means the line has hit something hard like a rock, brick, or other hard surfaces. You can prevent that problem by extending the line fully. Sometimes it’s also possible that the string line you’re using isn’t suitable for the type of trimmer. This is more likely if you bought it used as opposed to purchasing a new one.
What Is The Fuel-Oil Mix Ratio On Gas String Trimmers?
The motors on gas weed eaters are not like engines with separate gas and oil reservoirs. Therefore, the gas that’s filled into the tank must be a mixture of fuel and oil at the correct ratios. Without that mixture, the gas will damage the motor internally and also reduce fuel efficiency. Please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to know the exact percentage of fuel and air.
Can You Leave Fuel Stored In The Gas String Trimmer Motor?
No, you can’t leave fuel stored in the motor. Doing so will result in deposits forming on the inside of the gas engines. Although you could add a fuel stabilizer and buy certain products that are suitable for storage, it’s just overall a more reliable option to empty any fuel.
Straight Shafts Vs Curved Shafts
When it comes to weed trimmers, there are two types of styles — curved shafts and straight shafts. Each has its own pros and cons, and usually its up to you to decide which one is more suitable. The benefits of straight shafts are that since they're longer, you can reach farther. Straight shafts also yield more torque. The benefits of curved shafts are that they weight less so they're easier to carry for a longer time.