The 5 Best String Trimmers of 2022

Our pick

Ego ST1511T Power+ String Trimmer with Powerload

Ego’s ST1511T far outperformed the other brands in run time and power. Its telescoping shaft and handle are easy to adjust and make the tool very comfortable to use, even for extended trimming sessions.

Compared with other cordless trimmers, the Ego ST1511T Power+ String Trimmer with Powerload is on a different level. This trimmer cut through 1-inch-thick Japanese knotweed as if it were grass, while most of the others pathetically slapped their strings against the thick stalks. Considering all that power, you’d expect this trimmer to be noisy. But it was the quietest tool we tested, with a hair-dryer-like hum that sounded more pleasant than the whine of its competitors. This model, the latest in a long line of successful Ego trimmers, distinguishes itself with an easily adjustable telescoping shaft and a quick adjustment for the secondary handle. This allows it to work for a wide variety of heights and body types.

The Ego ST1511T is just as powerful and affordable as a gas tool—but without the messy fuel, smelly exhaust, or time-consuming maintenance. It was also among the most capable cordless trimmers we found, with enough run time to cut a 1-foot-wide strip of grass almost two-thirds of a mile long on a single battery charge. The Ego comes with a push-button line-load system, which eliminates the typically tedious process of putting a new line on the spool head. There are a variety of systems that do this, but the Ego’s is the easiest we’ve tested. It wasn’t the lightest trimmer we tried, but its excellent balance and handle adjustments made it one of the simplest to swing around and maneuver in tight spots. This model replaces our previous top pick, the Ego ST1521S, which is almost identical except that it lacks the telescoping shaft and the easy handle adjustment.

Runner-up

If the Ego ST1511T is not available, we also like the Ego ST1521S Power+ String Trimmer with Powerload. This is the previous generation of Ego string trimmer, and it shares much of what makes the ST1511T such a success: long battery life, excellent power, and the easy line change. The significant differences are that it doesn’t have the telescoping shaft or the quick adjustment on the handle, so it’s not as flexible for varying body heights. The two trimmers are typically sold for around the same price, so we recommend choosing this model only if the ST1511T is out of stock and you can’t wait for it.

Also great

If you’re looking for a trimmer that can double as an all-purpose lawn tool, we also like the Ryobi RY40270 40V Brushless Expand-It String Trimmer. Though it can’t cut tall and very thick weeds with the ease of the Ego models, it still has the strength to slice through dense grass and the run time to handle a large property. Unlike the Egos, however, it comes attachment-ready. So you can remove the trimmer head and replace it with any number of other yard tools, like a pole saw, a brush cutter, or a mini cultivator (each sold separately). The Ryobi typically sells for about the same as the Ego ST1511T. But, again, the Ryobi isn’t as effective on the thick stuff. It’s also heavier and much louder, and it doesn’t have the ergonomic ease of the telescoping shaft or on-the-fly handle adjustment. The Ryobi uses a hand-crank reel mechanism, which makes line loading easier than with the older models, but it’s not as good as the push-button system on our main pick.

Also great

If you have only minimal trimming needs, we like the Worx WG170.2 GT Revolution 20V PowerShare String Trimmer and Edger. It’s much smaller than the Ego ST1511T and nowhere near as powerful, but it’s great on grass. And it has some ergonomic adjustments not found on competing models that make it comfortable for people with various body types. This model comes with a small set of wheels, which adjust to convert the trimmer into an edger and even a very small mini-mower. We found that the Worx was quieter than its competitors. And it’s priced in the middle range of what similar models cost.

Also great

If your trimming needs include taking down a large grassy area, like an LA hillside or maybe a spot that’s not quite lawn, but also not quite woods, consider bringing a scythe into your life, specifically, the Lee Valley Traditional Austrian Scythe Set. The scythe is an ancient tool, discarded by our modern culture, yet wildly effective at cutting grass. In addition to its cutting abilities, it offers a tranquil mental and physical experience, accompanied only by the whooshing swish of the blade against the grass. In a lot of ways, it’s the anti-string trimmer. Cutting grass with a scythe has a learning curve, and knowing how to sharpen the blade is essential, but these are both learnable skills and not as physically demanding as you may think. There’s no question you’ll look out of place and people might whisper when you’re not looking, but that’s okay because your eye-rolling neighbors probably don’t understand what an enjoyable, peaceful time you’re having. But those same neighbors should also appreciate the fact that you’re using a silent tool and not a squealing string trimmer. The Lee Valley Scythe Set delivers everything you need to get started on your scything journey. If the Lee Valley Set is sold out, the individual pieces (blade, handle, sharpening stone, and holster) can be purchased separately for roughly the same cost.