We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options. Looking to tidy up your yard without bringing out the heavy machinery? Make the chore a little easier with a string trimmer under 200$. These weed whackers will make light work of maintaining any yard, as they come in both gas and electric options with enough power for smaller home gardens as well as professional landscaping jobs.
1) Ryobi RY40202 40-Volt String Trimmer | 2) Tanaka TCG23ECPSL 22.5cc Shaft String Trimmer | 3) Troy-Bilt TB6042XP Straight Shaft String Trimmer | 4) WORX WG156 Li-Ion Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger | 5) Remington RM2700 Ranchero 27cc 2-Cycle Brushcutter | 6) Troy-Bilt CORE TB4200 Straight Shaft Cordless String Trimmer | 7) Homelite ZR33650 Straight Shaft Trimmer | 8) Poulan Pro 967105701 Straight Shaft Trimmer | 9) Poulan Pro 967105401 Shaft Trimmer | 10) Earthwise LST04012 Electric String Trimmer | 11) Hitachi CG23ECPSL Shaft String Trimmer | 12) GreenWorks ST40L210 Cordless String Trimmer | 13) GreenWorks Pro ST80L210 Cordless String Trimmer | 14) Factory Reconditioned Ryobi String Trimmer | 15) GreenWorks Pro Cordless String Trimmer | 16) EGO Power+ ST1500 String Trimmer Straight Shaft | 17) Earthwise LST05815 Cordless Straight Shaft String Trimmer | 18) ECHO CST-58VBT Cordless String Trimmer | 19) DEWALT DCST920P1 String Trimmer | 20) DEWALT DCST990B String Trimmer |
String trimmers are one of the more basic lawn tools for keeping-up a lawn well manicured or cutting back weeds and light brush from around poles, fences, buildings and what have you.
Before the advent of the string trimmer, which came about in the early 1970’s, the most effective way to trim grass and weeds were by using glorified hand-operated scissor trimmers. String trimmers literally revolutionized grass trimming overnight, and it is hard to believe there actually was a time when string trimmers didn’t exist.
Modern string trimmers are either gasoline powered by using a 2-cycle or 4-cycle power plant, or electrically powered through either a corded or battery pack. For a detailed description of what power plant is right for you, please see our lawn equipment power source buyer’s guide.
String Trimmer Types
Curved shaft trimmers are the most ergonomically correct, and therefore the most comfortable to use. The shaft near the head curves downward so you can literally stand straight and upright while trimming tall grass and weeds. This orientation allows for longer trimming without fatigue, and these trimmers are specifically targeted towards the weekend warrior homeowner.
With these models, manufacturers must use a flexible drive shaft from the motor down to the trimmer head. Although this makes it easier to trim, only light duty accessories (or none at all) are recommended.
Accessories may put more strain on the drive shaft and cause premature failure than what the original equipment intended. Many accessories will void the original warranty entirely, so curved shaft trimmers are best used as is from the factory for the purpose of trimming weeds or high grass.
Straight shaft trimmers are heavy-duty types, and accessories like larger trimming heads, blade attachments, and various other accessories can be used. Straight shaft trimmers come equipped with more powerful engines, because the shaft can handle more torque and horsepower without becoming damaged.
Some are literally equipped with bicycle-style handles and shoulder straps to distribute the weight evenly while allowing maximum control when cutting. These types of string trimmers are the heaviest and most powerful of them all, intended for heavy-duty jobs.
Although not as ergonomically friendly as curved shaft trimmers (and therefore not as suitable for extended trimming chores) they make up for this through their versatility. These trimmers allow greater reach under patio decks, bushes, and overhanging trees or shrubs; trimming weeds in these instances will be easier than using a curved shaft trimmer.
Straight shaft trimmers are also able to utilize accessories such as cutting blades which gives you the flexibility to slice through tougher weeds, like thistle or goldenrod, and you can even trim small branches on trees.
Split Shaft Trimmers
The “split shaft” is a term that means the shaft splits in two via a locking mechanism. These trimmers are made to be outfitted with special manufacturer made accessories. The lower shaft can be replaced with such things as cutting heads, blowers, tree trimming heads, edger blades and a host of other accessories. This makes them the most versatile trimmers available, but each add-on accessory may cost as much as the trimmer itself in some cases.