Best Electric String Trimmers Reviews: Ultimate Guide for 2017

November 14th, 2017

Electric string trimmers used to have a bit of a mixed reputation when they were first introduced to the world.

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GreenWorks Pro ST80L210

GreenWorks Pro ST80L210

  • Huge 80-volt motor
  • 45-minute run time
  • 30-Minute charge time
  • Could be a little cheaper
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They were obviously initially compared to the older gas-powered strimmers which had been on the market for quite some time.

At first, they were seemingly inferior to the gas models in almost every way. They were less powerful, they ran out of battery quickly, and when they run out of charge you’d need to wait before you can keep on working (unless you have a spare battery).

However, things have come a long way since those early days of electric string trimmers. Motor power and efficiency have improved, and battery technology has made a quantum leap in capability. As such, the electric string trimmers of today bear little resemblance to the early models that tarnished their reputation.

These days they are arguably better than gas-powered strimmers for domestic usage and are undoubtedly the most popular kind in use today.
Today we are going to take a look at 5 of the best electric string trimmers on the market for your consideration. We’ll be looking at different products that will suit a wide range of requirements (and budgets), so there should be something here for you.

Let’s get started.

ELECTRIC STRING TRIMMERQUALITYPRICEOUR RATING
GreenWorks Pro ST80L210A+$$$
WORX WG163 GT 3.0 20VA$$
Black + Decker LST136WB+$$
Black + Decker LST300B$
GreenWorks 21342B$

GreenWorks Pro ST80L210

GreenWorks might not have the big brand name recognition that some of the other strimmers on this list do, but don’t let that put you off. This is a brand that makes some of the finest tools in the world, and their pro ST80L210 is no exception. It’s the most expensive product on our list, but it’s also one of the most powerful and fully featured options too.

The thing that immediately grabs your attention when you look at the specifications of the ST80L210 is the impressive 45 minutes of run time you can get on a single charge. GreenWorks are one of the only brands on this list that have openly stated how long their products run for in terms of battery life (the others like to hide it).We think that goes a long way to saying something about the kind of company you’re dealing with here.

Similarly, charging time on the ST80L210 is one of the quickest on the list. The included charger will charge the massive lithium-ion battery in a mere 30 minutes. That’s light speed compared to some of the products we are going to talk about today.

The best thing about this 30-minute charging period is when you take it in context with the 45 minute run time. If you have two batteries, you can literally strim for as long as you want without interruption. The flat battery in the charger will be ready to rock by the time the battery being used is depleted.

It’s not just the battery that makes this a great string strimmer, it’s got some serious power behind it too. The 80-volt motor will decimate absolutely anything that is unlucky enough to be in the path of the 16-inch string that is attached to it. GreenWorks say that the ST80L210 has the same power as a 32cc gas engine strimmer, and to be honest – we believe them.

We never experienced anything that required a second pass when we tried this out, it’s awesome.

ProsCons
Huge 80-volt motor
45-minute run time
30-Minute charge time
Could be a little cheaper

WORX WG163 GT 3.0 20V

Worx are a brand that has earned themselves a reputation for power, reliability, and quality among tradesmen. Their electric drills are ubiquitously found on construction sites up and down the country. So its safe to say they know a thing or two about making electric motors.

Worx only makes a handful of electric strimmers, but the ones they do make are the perfect balance of functionality and affordability. The WG163 is a mid-range strimmer that is priced on the lower end of the spectrum, making it one of the most affordable in the price bracket.

However, just because it’s affordable doesn’t mean its cheap.

Like most strimmers on this list, Worx doesn’t actually tell you how long the battery is going to last for – it sounds a little small when you see it in black and white. Anecdotally we can tell you that you can expect to get around 20 to 30 minutes of run time on a single charge. This is much less than the GreenWorx above (but it is roughly half the price).

However, Worx isn’t exactly new to the world of electrically powered tools. They know the limitations of battery technology, and they know the way around them is to provide customers with two batteries as standard. That is exactly what they have done with the WG163, and it’s a great solution to a problem that many strimmers on this list have.

The charging time, however, does leave a little bit to be desired. A 100% full charge will take around 3 hours, but you’ll be able to get around 80% full within 60 minutes or so. This does mean that you can’t continuously strim like you can with the GreenWorx above. But then again, it’s always nice to have an excuse to take a short break while enjoying the smell of freshly cut grass.

The 20-volt motor which powers the 12-inch string is a little on the weak side compared to some other more expensive trimmers on this list. It’s perfectly adequate for most domestic usages but you’re not going to be getting the raw power some of the other options provide.

But what the WG163 lacks in raw power it makes up for in versatility. We love the fact that it can convert from a strimmer into an inline edger within a matter of seconds (giving you two tools for the price of one).

ProsCons
It’s affordably priced
Dual functionality as a strimmer and a line edger
Two batteries and a charger are included
The 20-volt motor isn’t the largest in the world
The 20 / 30 minute run time isn’t brilliant
Charging time could be quicker

Black + Decker LST136W

Brands don’t really get much bigger in the strimmer world than Black + Decker. They are a household name that has been producing quality products for decades now. You don’t last long in this industry unless you can walk the walk, and this is a brand that has proven its worth time and time again.

The LST136W is a mid-range strimmer that is priced on the higher end of the price bracket. It’s around $50 more expensive than the Worx above, but it’s a more capable and fully featured machine.

The battery life again isn’t exactly openly advertised by Black + Decker, but anecdotal reports suggest you can easily get between 30 – 45 minutes out of a single charge. Considering the price point this is great value for money (and is comparable with the GreenWorx that we ranked number one in this list).

Charging time again is better than the Worx and you can expect to get a full charge within an hour. This again means that you’re not going to be able to continuously strim for long periods without having to wait for a second battery to charge.

Unlike the Worx, the LST136W doesn’t include the second battery as standard. If you imagine yourself regularly needing to do more than 45 minutes of strimming at a time (without waiting for a recharge) this might not be the product for you.

Again the LST136W can instantly change from a strimmer into an edger giving you two tools for the price of one. The 40-volt motor that powers this strimmer is connected to a 13-inch string that packs quite a bit of punch behind it. That’s more than twice the power of the Worx with an additional inch of string.

And with strimmers, size matters.

Black + Decker have also included their powerdrive technology in the LST136W which allows more of the power created by the motor to be transferred to the string. Honestly, we can’t feel all that much difference between the LST136W and a 40 volt motor from another brand, so this may be just a marketing gimmick. But either way, it’s a darn good motor.

ProsCons
The 40-volt motor
The 1 hour charging time
The 45 minute run time
Including two batteries would have been better

Black + Decker LST300

The LST300 is the second product from Black + Decker on this list, and it’s also the cheapest. It’s important to set your expectations properly for the LST300, it’s going to seem weak compared to some of the products above. But if you just need something that will be used for light, infrequent work (and you’re on a budget), this could be the product you’re looking for.

The LST300 has a reasonably tiny 20-volt motor which isn’t exactly strong by anyone’s standards. However, this is the same power as the Worx we mentioned above and it’s more than enough for most domestic usages. You may need a couple of passes on particularly tough weeds or dense grasses, but it’ll get the job done – it just might take a little longer.

The motor on the LST300 has the same powerdrive technology we mentioned above for the LST136W. Again to be totally honest we couldn’t tell the difference between this and the Worx in terms of raw power (further cementing our belief that powerdrive is nothing more than a marketing gimmick).

However, despite the super low price of the LST300 it still retains the two in one functionality that allows it to be converted into a line edge trimmer. We’re really impressed that even down in the budget range this functionality is available.

As you’d expect, the battery life on this budget product leaves a little to be desired. Again there is no officially advertised run time, but anecdotally you can expect to receive around 20 to 25 minutes per charge. Charging time is around 1 hour per battery (and you only get one battery included with the strimmer).

However, despite all the gloomy news we have just given you about the LST300, we do think this is a great strimmer for the money. Sure the battery life is low, charging times are slow, and the motor is pretty weak. But for less than $70 you can get a fully functional strimmer that will do most light work reliably for many years to come.

It’s a bargain.

ProsCons
The most affordable strimmer on this list
Reasonably capable for light domestic use
The 20 minute run time
The 20-volt motor

GreenWorks 21342

The GreenWorks 21342 is a budget alternative to the Black + Decker above. The 21342 is only around $5 more expensive than the LST300 and is reasonably similar in almost every way.  Again it’s important to remember that this is a budget product and you should set your expectations accordingly.

The battery life is reasonably similar to the LST300 above and you can expect to get around 25 minutes on a full charge (GreenWorks are the only company on this list honest enough to advertise this). However, despite the similar running time the charging time between the two products differs with a full charge being possible in just 45 minutes.

The motor itself is a little bigger and more powerful than the LST300 at 24 volts (as opposed to 20 volts). To be honest, this is an insignificant difference, and while on paper it might look better, in reality, you’re not going to be able to tell. A small motor is a small motor.

It again has a 12-inch chain and can also be easily converted into an edge trimmer which works perfectly fine.

We couldn’t really decide if the 21342 or the LST300 should be 4th or 5th on our list. They are quite honestly very similar products in all regards. They are well made, well priced, and entry-level budget options.

The 21342 lasts for 5 more minutes, has 4 more watts (negligible), and charges 15 minutes quicker, but that’s all the difference you’ll notice.

In the end, we ranked them this way round, but honestly, it’s more like a tie in our opinion.

ProsCons
The 45 minute charge time
5 minutes more run time than the LST300
The 24-volt motor
Only one battery included
About $5 more expensive than the LST300

Buyers Guide

To end this article we are going to give you a brief rundown of what you should be paying attention to when shopping around for a strimmer. These 3 points are basically all you need to be aware of, everything else is secondary. We have ranked them in order of importance (starting from the most important).

Motor Power

Strimmer motors are ranked and rated in terms of volts. The more volts your motor uses, the more powerful it is. 20 volts is around the minimum you should be looking at for light domestic work, anything less is going to be annoyingly underpowered. Anything around 40 volts or more is going to be able to deal with anything you can throw at it.

Batteries And Charging

Battery life is super important with electric string trimmers. Smaller batteries can run for just 10 minutes or so before needing to be recharged (which makes the strimmer basically useless). Ensure you get a strimmer that has a minimum of 20 minutes runtime (at least). Charge times are less important with bigger batteries, but if you’re going for a smaller strimmer, then get the fastest charging one you can.

String Length

The length of the string that is attached to the motor determines how much surface area is going to be strimmed with a single pass. The bigger the string, the quicker you’ll get the job done. Bigger strings require bigger motors, and you don’t usually get much choice between different models of a similar motor size. But if all else is equal, get the model with the bigger string.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the top 5 battery powered string strimmers on the market. We have included something for everyone on this list, so regardless of your needs (or your budget) there is something here for you.

It’s important for us to point out that every single product on this list is a winner. We researched many different products while writing this article and these 5 were the best of the bunch.

Any one of them is more than worthy of your consideration.

Happy strimming!