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Best Strimmer

8 of the best strimmer’s available in the UK.

League Table By: Tony Dimmick

Last Checked: 2nd Apr 2020


Andrew Wilcox

Head Judge: Andrew Wilcox

Channel 4’s Head Judge & Founder of Shed of the Year Andrew Wilcox has worked to help design an impartial judging system for WhatShed. The judging system uses many different parameters to help give a large degree of impartiality to the way we select products for each of the league tables we do. You can read more about the system here.

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Lawn mowers can handle most of the grass in your garden, but along the edges and in those hard-to-reach areas, strimmers are the better tools for the job. Able to add the finishing touches to your lawn and leave it looking fabulous, the best strimmers are reliable, safe, easy to use, and powerful too. We spent 17 hours identifying eight of the best strimmers on the market.

Flymo 9669523-01 Contour XT Electric Grass Trimmer and Edger


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£45
Website:

One of the best strimmers on the market right now and one of the most bought and recommended models too, this electric trimmer and edger from Flymo comes with a 300W motor and offers a cutting width of 25cm. It’s perfect for trimming grass in all kinds of spots and edging along the sides of your lawn as well. It features a double auto feed mechanism, a soft grip handle, 12m of power cable, a clever cable hook underneath the handle, and an edging wheel too. It also comes with a clever plant guard to protect flowers and other plants from falling victim to the line, letting you cut the grass without any risks. 5 Reasons To Buy

  • Many people like the 2-in-1 functionality of this strimmer, appreciating how it can handle trimming and edging too
  • Lots of positive reviews noted the fact that this is a very lightweight and easy to manoeuvre strimmer
  • Several reviewers mentioned the fact that the top handle feels comfortable in the hands and the secondary steady handle offers extra control
  • Many people noted that they were pleasantly surprised at how quiet this strimmer is
  • Several positive reviews also pointed out the useful plant guard that helps to protect flowers and plants from being cut

2 Reasons Not To Buy

  • Some users were disappointed with the length of the power cable for this garden strimming model
  • Several reviewers noted that they felt a little tired and had aches in their arms after using this strimmer for a while

Bosch Home and Garden 06008C1J70 EasyGrassCut 26 Electric Grass Trimmer


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£29
Website:

Bosch is another of the most trusted brands in the gardening world, and this Bosch Home and Garden electric strimmer is widely regarded as one of the most reliable models around. It features a well-balanced and surprisingly lightweight design, so can be used for extended sessions without any discomfort for most users. It also features a powerful motor for dealing with tough, dense patches of grass, and a semi-automatic spool for easy adjustments that feeds fresh line from the spool every time you release the trigger. Designed with general comfort and convenience in mind, this semi-auto feed model features two-step assembly, so can be ready to go in a matter of minutes, and comfortable handles at the top for easy use. Buyers will get a three year warranty when opting for this model. 4 Reasons To Buy

  • Many positive reviews noted the sturdy, durable design of this model
  • Several users were impressed with the lightweight and comfortable design of this garden strimmer
  • Lots of people feel that thisamong the best gardening strimmers on the market in terms of value for money
  • Plenty of users also appreciate the semi-automatic spool feature and say it works well, reducing the need to bump the head or make manual changes

3 Reasons Not To Buy

  • Several negative reviews say that this isn’t the best strimmer in terms of durability
  • Some users have complained that the included line is too weak and needs to be replaced with a stronger alternative
  • Several users also feel that this strimmer feels a little cheap and lacking in quality

Bosch ART 30 Electric Grass Trimmer


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£62
Website:

This electric gardening strimmer from Bosch offers 30cm cutting width and comes with an automatic twin line feed for long, uninterrupted strimming sessions. It features a pretty powerful 550W motor too, helping to provide the high speeds and powerful performance you need to tackle tough patches of grass, and you can get variable height adjustments of the telescopic handle ranging from 80cm to 115cm. Thanks to all this, the Bosch ART 30 is among the best strimmer models for overall ease of use and general comfort, and it’s a heavy duty model too, ready to withstand knocks and bumps. In spite of its strength, it’s highly lightweight at under 3kg, so shouldn’t lead to any stress or aches in the arms or shoulders, and the primary and secondary handles feel comfortable in the hands, with a telescopic shaft letting you adjust the handle to various positions. This strimmer is also capable of edging, with a fully rotatable head. 5 Reasons To Buy

  • Many users appreciate the lightweight and compact nature of this model
  • The adjustable telescopic handle of this strimmer gives it more widespread appeal and allows for users of different heights to use it comfortably
  • Many positive reviews mentioned the hassle-free line system of this model that reduces the need to manage and adjust the trimmer line
  • A lot of people like the fact that this strimmer is capable of both trimming and edging
  • Many people enjoy how easy to use this strimmer is in general

3 Reasons Not To Buy

  • Some users feel that the power cable isn’t long enough and risks getting in the way while using the strimmer
  • Several users have stated that the trimmer line tends to snap quite a lot and can be time-consuming to reset
  • Some users say that the spool size isn’t the best

BLACK+DECKER 18V Cordless 28 cm String Grass Trimmer


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£96
Website:

If you’re looking for the best cordless grass strimmer, this model from Black & Decker may be what you need. Powered by a 2.0Ah lithium ion battery, it can cut up to 2,500 linear metres on a single charge and even comes with variable power settings, allowing you to use less energy for light cutting tasks and then increase the power as needed for denser patches of grass. Very convenient to use thanks to the absence of any power cords, this cordless strimmer offers 28cm of cutting diameter for speedy trimming across large areas of lawn. If features an automatic single line feed system to save time, and when not in use, it requires about five hours to charge the battery back up to maximum. You can also use this Black + Decker garden strimmer for edging, with a built-in wheel for your convenience. 5 Reasons To Buy

  • Many people like the fact that this Black + Decker model is battery-powered, classing it among the best grass strimmers on the market
  • A lot of users are impressed by the E-Drive high torque system that allows the strimmer to blaze through tough patches of grass with ease
  • Several positive reviews commented on the handy variable power settings that help to save battery life and extend run time
  • Many users appreciate how lightweight and comfortable this strimmer is to use A lot of people like the fact that the battery lasts for a long time too
  • The impressive cutting width of this model helps it handle long grass quickly and efficiently

3 Reasons Not To Buy

  • Some users stated that parts of this strimmer are made from quite basic plastic, so it needs to be handled with care
  • Certain users felt that the high power setting wears out the battery life too quickly
  • Some users with large lawns complained that the battery life just isn’t long enough

Ryobi OLT1832 18V ONE+ Cordless Grass Trimmer


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£56
Website:

If you’re on the lookout for the best cordless strimmer to plow through overgrown patches of grass all over your garden, this model from Ryobi has a lot to offer. It’s fully cordless and battery-powered, so you don’t need to worry about being limited by the length of the power cord or get tied up with extension cables all over the garden, but you are limited to however long the battery life lasts. The Ryobi OLT1832 comes with a three-position pivoting string head for total control over your trimming and you’ve got an adjustable handle with this model too, able to change the length to suit your height, with 25 to 30cm cutting diameter, depending on your needs. You also get EasyEdge technology with this model, letting you switch from trimming to edging as required, and it works well in both modes. 5 Reasons To Buy

  • Many people appreciate the cordless and easy to use nature of this model
  • Lots of positive reviews mention how light, portable, and easy to carry this strimmer is
  • Many positive reviews also point out how this model offers variable cutting width, which isn’t available on many rival strimmers
  • A large percentage of users were impressed by the versatility of this model
  • Several users have mentioned how this strimmer is able to access difficult spots and cut in hard-to-reach areas

3 Reasons Not To Buy

  • Some users were disappointed by the fact that this model comes without a battery or any accessories, so you have to buy them on the side
  • Some users noted that, even on a full charge, the battery life can be a little lacking
  • Certain reviewers felt that this strimmer was too weak to handle long grass or weeds

STANLEY SPS-1400A Brush Cutter, Grass Trimmer


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£132
Website:

Anyone in need of a heavy duty strimmer that can offer a little extra strength and power than many rival models will find a lot to like about the Stanley SPS-1400A. It’s technically a brush cutter, fitted with a 52CC motor and able to blast through tough weeds and long grasses with astonishing ease. Even dense patches of overgrowth can be cleared out with this strimmer, and JETForce3 engine offers incredible power and performance levels, despite using relatively small amounts of fuel and producing low amounts of emissions too. The anti-vibration system with this strimmer helps to keep it reasonably quiet and reduce strain and stress on the user, while the cutting circle offers 430mm of cutting size in total. You’ll find a 5m spool in the head and a three-tooth cutting blade in brush cutter mode, as well as a 0.46 litre capacity fuel tank too. When you switch over to the lawn trimmer head, you’ll get high-grade plastic trimmer line of 2mm in diameter, ready to blast through grass of varying thicknesses and lengths with speed and ease. 5 Reasons To Buy

  • Many people like the fact this strimmer is multifunctional, able to serve as both a lawn trimmer and a brush cutter
  • Lots of users appreciate the efficiency of this model and like how long it lasts on a single tank
  • Many positive reviewers noted that this strimmer is much more powerful than many electric alternatives
  • Several reviewers mentioned that this strimmer is durable and long-lasting, able to used time after time with minimal wear and tear
  • Many users also enjoy the value for money you get with this strimmer, as well as its overall ease of use

3 Reasons Not To Buy

  • Several reviewers of this strimmer say that the instructions provided aren’t very clear
  • Due to the complicated instructions, assembling and using this strimmer for the first time can be a little tricky
  • Some users found this strimmer a little difficult to start up

McCulloch TRIMMAC Trimmer


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£114
Website:

The next entry on our list of best strimmers is one of the pricier models, but it justifies the added cost with stronger power and wider working width than many of its counterparts. It’s also one of the best petrol strimmer options you can buy. You get 40cm of cutting width with this strimmer from McCullock, along with a power output of 0.6KW and a strong petrol engine. It’s able to take on dense, overgrown patches of grass quite easily and conveniently, and its clever Tap ‘n’ Go double thread tracking system makes it really easy to use; a tap of the head on the ground automatically feeds out more trimmer line for extended cutting sessions. The carry strap on this petrol strimmer makes it convenient to carry around without any aches or discomfort, and the ergonomic, fully adjustable handle helps out with this too. It’s also a very easy petrol strimmer to maintain, as you can remove the air filter cap without even having to use a single tool. 5 Reasons To Buy

  • Many people rate this is as the best petrol strimmer around
  • Several reviews also rank this model among the best in terms of its lightweight, portable nature
  • A lot of users like how long this strimmer can last on a full tank of petrol
  • This strimmer is said to be really easy to assemble
  • Several users noted how easy to handle and comfortable to use this strimmer is

3 Reasons Not To Buy

  • Some users found it a little difficult to start this strimmer up at times
  • A few users noted that the engine on this strimmer could get a little noisy
  • A few users mentioned the fact that the shaft is slightly short, which can unbalance certain users

ParkerBrand 52cc Petrol Garden Brush Cutter Grass Trimmer


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£
Website:

If you’re willing to pay a little extra for a multifunctional, high powered cutting and trimming device, this model from ParkerBrand is easily among the best strimmer options you can buy. It may come at a higher cost than some of the others, but it’s able to do much more. Fitted with a 52CC two stroke petrol engine, this strimmer can handle brush, weeds, and grass. It outputs 2.2KW of power to achieve top speeds of 7,500 RPM, and it comes with separate brush cutter and grass trimming attachments to suit every job. You also get a harness for easy, comfortable control, a fuel mixing bottle, and a tool kit packed in with this strimmer too, so it gives you all you need to get started except the fuel itself. Like many others, this strimmer features an automatic bump feed, so you’ll have to push the head into the ground to feed more line out. 5 Reasons To Buy

  • A lot of people enjoy how easy to assemble and dismantle this strimmer is, making it highly portable and easy to lend to friends
  • Several positive reviewers appreciated the multifunctional nature of this model and how it’s able to deal with all kinds of grass, weeds, and more
  • Lots of users appreciate that this strimmer typically starts up first time, with minimal fuss
  • A large percentage of reviewers say this is the best strimmer you can buy in terms of value for money
  • The auto feed bump system on this strimmer is said to work very efficiently, with minimal need for manual adjustments

3 Reasons Not To Buy

  • This is one of the more expensive models on the market
  • If you don’t necessarily need to do any brush cutting, the brush cutter features and attachments may not be of much use to you
  • Some users had technical issues with this model and found it difficult to deal with the brand’s customer service

How does a strimmer work?

The precise functionality of each strimmer can differ slightly from one model to the next, but they all work in mostly similar ways. They feature motors, which can be powered electronically or using a fuel source like petrol in cordless models. Once activated, the motor makes the strimmer’s head spin around, just like in a lawn mower.

Inside the head, you’ve got a spool of trimmer line or pre-cut pieces of line. As they spin at very high speeds, these pieces of line are able to cut through blades of grass. The user can move the strimmer over patches of grass to cut it, lifting it up and down, as well as moving it at various angles in order to get the desired cut.

Some models may require you to bump the head into the ground to feed more trimmer line out, while others are able to do this automatically. When the strimmer runs out of line, you may need to re-spool it and replace it with fresh line.

Some models also feature little blades, instead of trimmer line, and the blades need to be gradually replaced over time as they wear down or if they snap under pressure.

If you’re considering whether or not you need a strimmer, Ideal Home advises you to take a look at your garden and ask yourself questions like “Do you have areas of your garden where there is grass that you can’t easily cut with your lawn mower?” If so, you probably need a strimmer. (1)

Are strimmers with plastic blades any good?

When choosing a garden strimmer, you can opt for models with trimmer line, which are the most common, or models with little plastic blades. These bladed models work in a similar way, but if you take a look at the head, you won’t see a spool of trimmer line or thread.

Instead, you’ll be able to attach little plastic blades to the head that spin around once the strimmer’s motor is powered up. As the blades spin at high speeds, they’re able to cut through grass and potentially weeds too.

Are there any advantages to this? Well, Which points out that trimmer line systems can cause a lot of frustration to users as the line often breaks while in use, leading to lots of manual adjustments and the purchasing of additional lines and spools. There tend to be fewer complaints about plastic blade models as the blades are a lot stronger in general. (2)

Thanks to the added strength and durability of the blades, you won’t need to check your strim over as often, freeing you up to simply use the strimmer for longer periods of time without constant adjustments. Blades are able to tackle damp grass and quite thick patches of grass too, as well as weeds, so if you have a lot of overgrowth in your garden, a bladed model might be the answer.

Overall then, bladed strimmers are easier to use and may be more dependable than those with line. However, they’re often a little more expensive and tend to be harder to find, as the vast majority of strimmers feature lines instead.

How do I stop my strimmer line coming out?

While garden strimmers can be so useful in so many situations, many users tend to have a few difficulties with the line. There are all kinds of potential line feed problems, such as the line coming out too far, the line breaking too often, or the spool getting stuck and not releasing additional line when required.

Flymo, a leading manufacturer of lawn equipment like mowers and strimmers, notes that incorrect parts, improper use, or general wear and tear can all be responsible for these line feed issues, and one of the best ways to keep your strimmer in tip top condition is to make sure you keep it clean. (3)

Over time, it’s easy for dirt, debris, and cuttings to infiltrate your strimmer, clogging up the head and interfering with the line feed mechanism. This can cause feed issues, such as the line coming out too far or too quickly.

WhatShed Top Tip – Strimmers with just one line are generally easier to use and maintain than those with two

It’s also recommended to ensure that the head has plenty of excess line, as well as wrapping it carefully. If you find that too much line keeps coming out, it might be because the line you’re using is too thin and lightweight for your strimmer, so you might want to buy a thicker variety.

It’s also recommended to take breaks during long trimming sessions, as the spool can start to get quite hot the longer you use it, which, once again, might be a contributing factor to any feed issues you’re experiencing.

Why has my strimmer stopped working?

There are various reasons why your strimmer might stop working, and a simple way to narrow down the possibilities is to think about what type of strimmer you actually have. As the folks over at Argos point out, there are lots of different types of strimmers available, from cordless, battery-powered models to big petrol-powered strimmers designed for massive gardens. (4)

Each of these types can have their own technical issues. A battery-powered strimmer that stops working, for example, might just have run out of battery power and need a new charge, or perhaps the battery itself has failed and needs to be replaced. There may also be other electrical issues with your strimmer, like perhaps it needs a new fuse.

When you’re working with a petrol mower, it’s possible that there’s not enough fuel left in the tank, or maybe the oil/petrol balance isn’t quite right. If you’ve left your strimmer in a shed or garage for a few months without using it and then suddenly try starting it up, you might have some issues with the fuel having been sat around for too long and could need to clean it out.

Speaking of cleaning, it’s also possible that dirt and debris might have gotten into the head of your strimmer and caused some issues, so it’s wise to turn off the strimmer, ensure that it’s not plugged in if you have an electric model, and then taking a look at the head to clean out any messes.

Ultimately, if you aren’t able to fix your strimmer on your own, you should check to see if it’s still under warranty. If so, you may be able to send it back to the manufacturer for repairs, or you can at least contact the manufacturer and ask for assistance in identifying the issue.

How long should you use a strimmer for?

This may depend a lot on your own levels of physical fitness and strength, as well as the type of strimmer you’re working with. If you’re using a very lightweight electrical model, for instance, you can probably go for a little longer than you would with a heavier petrol strimmer. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the weight of any strimmers you buy.

Heavier models may lead to fatigue and aches in the arms and shoulders, as well as the back, and as you start to get more tired and worn out, it becomes easier for little accidents to occur. For this reason, many experts only recommend using a strimmer for about 30 minutes at a time, with small breaks in between if you need to go longer.

WhatShed Top Tip – Opt for a model with ergonomic, adjustable handles for maximum comfort

You may also be limited by the power source of your strimmer. If you opt for a cordless, battery-powered model, for instance, you may find that the battery runs out after half an hour of use, so you’ll have to make the most of that time to get your work done before putting the unit back on charge. Similarly, petrol models can run out of fuel over time and need to be filled back up.

In general, the key is to pay attention to your body. If you feel that you’re getting tired or aching, turn the device off and take a breather before starting back up again.

Can you use a strimmer to cut weeds?

In general, these machines are designed to be used for cutting grass. They’re often used for cleaning up the edges of your lawn or getting into those hard-to-reach spots where lawn mowers might not be able to access. But are they able to handle anything tougher, like weeds and overgrown areas?

Well, the simple answer is ‘it depends’. It really depends on the model you buy. As B&Q points out, petrol grass strimmers and brush cutters tend to be the most recommended options when it comes to dealing with weeds and slightly thicker foliage, as they’re able to offer more power and stronger levels of performance overall. (5)

If you opt for something with a little less strength, like a simple cordless strimmer or electrical option designed for small gardens, it might not quite be tough enough to tackle weeds. Reading user reviews can help you find the best strimmer for any occasion.

If you have a lot of weeds in your garden, other options that kill them at the roots may be better than simply cutting them from above, as they’ll usually just keep coming back.

References

  1. https://www.idealhome.co.uk/buying-guide-reviews/best-strimmers-248151
  2. https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/grass-trimmers-and-strimmers/article/how-to-avoid-line-feed-problems
  3. https://www.flymo.com/uk/content/hints-tips/lawn-care/how-to-use-a-grass-trimmer-top-tips
  4. https://www.argos.co.uk/features/our-guide-to-grass-trimmers
  5. https://www.diy.com/ideas-advice/grass-trimmer-brushcutter-buying-guide/PROD_npcart_100372.art