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Best grass trimmer 2021: Top grass trimmers for all budgets and uses

Trusted Reviews breaks down the best grass trimmers it's reviewed, including the top performers for long and short grass, tough terrain and handling

Choosing the right lawn mower will get you off the starting block when it comes to achieving the perfect lawn, but for a super-neat finish you’ll need to invest in one of our best grass trimmers (also known as a strimmer). Designed to be more manoeuvrable and flexible than a lawn mower, a strimmer can reach the parts of a garden that a lawn mower can’t.

A decent strimmer can be one of the most versatile garden tools you can buy, offering plenty of options when it comes to tidying up your garden. Use it to trim grass against fences, around furniture and against paths; a strimmer can tackle dense undergrowth and even weed whacking in plant pots.

We’ve reviewed cordless grass trimmers here, as they’re now at a point where they’re the best: more convenient than a plug-in model and cleaner to use than a petrol on.

How we test grass trimmers

We use the same tests for all of our grass trimmers, and use them all in real world settings. We first tell you how easy each strimmer is to use: how it feels in the hand, how light it is, and what the controls are like.

For our performance tests, we attack a variety of tasks, including regular trimming of grass, and tackling the edges of a lawn. We then try the grass trimmers out on thicker weeds to see what the performance is like.

Find out more in our guide to how we test lawnmowers and grass trimmers.

A well-priced and powerful cordless grass trimmer
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Pros

  • Very flexible
  • Powerful cutting
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons

  • Long(ish) charge times

The baby of Stihl’s grass trimmers, the FSA 45 is designed for smaller gardens and has an integrated, rather than interchangeable battery. Make no mistake, though, this product still has the hallmark qualities that we’ve come to expect of Stihl: excellent build quality and great performance.

Rather than using a line, this model uses blades that you clip into place. They’re a touch more expensive to replace, but easier to deal with and they make short work of grass and tougher weeds.

You get around 20 minutes of battery life out of a single charge, which is more than enough to deal with your average suburban garden. Recharging takes a few hours.

Comfort is excellent, too, with a neatly balanced body, adjustable handle and a rotating head that makes dealing with edges simple.

If you’ve got a larger garden a more powerful strimmer that uses a line may be better, but the Stihl FSA 45 is a great tool for those with less grass to deal with.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Stihl FSA 45 review

A fast and light battery-powered grass trimmer for larger areas
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Pros

  • Quiet and suitable for residential areas
  • Fast cutting
  • Intelligent battery means you can’t harm it

Cons

  • Noisy charger

If you want a cordless grass trimmer that can handle larger areas and a variety of grasses and weeds, the EGO ST 1300E Cordless Line Trimmer is a great choice.

With its bump-feed dual line, the ST 1300E can cut quickly and powerfully. We found that it coped well with grass and even managed to work its way though fibrous weeds that often cause problems for other strimmers.

We found that the ST-1300E occasionally clogged when cutting long, mature grass of the type you might find in an orchard. In these cases, the cordless grass trimmer would simply shut down until the grass was pulled out. Impressively, the ST-1300E works fast, letting you deal with large areas quickly.

The EGO ST-1300E Cordless Line Trimmer is often available online body-only, although you can easily add a range of batteries and chargers. We tested with the CH2100 E, and the 2.0Ah 56V Li-ion battery pack, which provides a reasonable 30 minutes of run-time under load and a 45-minute charge time.

If you have a big garden or paddock to deal with, the fast EGO ST-1300E Cordless Line Trimmer is a great choice.

Reviewer: Ian Bowden
Full review: EGO ST 1300E Cordless Line Trimmer review

A very powerful cordless strimmer that can handle the largest of lawns
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Pros

  • Powerful, clean cut
  • Highly adjustable for fit
  • Good run-times
  • Will handle 2mm trimmer line

Cons

  • Quite weighty
  • In-line charger

The Husqvarna 115iL Cordless Grass Trimmer is designed for grass and light weed trimming duties in larger gardens, with a powerful motor that makes short work of these tasks. It’s quite a chunky beast, but get past the physical size and there’s plenty to like.

With 30 minutes of run-time per charge, the 115iL should cope with most jobs – although you can buy additional batteries of varying sizes and opt for an upgraded fast charger if you need to reduce the turnaround time.

The wide 33cm cutting head made short work of wet and dry grass, with the motor never slowing – even when dealing with thick clumps. The default, relatively thin, 1.5mm cutting cable is a little fragile for tougher scrub, although you can upgrade this for bigger jobs: we recommend trying the 2mm line.

At 4.2kg with a battery, the Husqvarna 115iL Cordless Grass Trimmer is rather large and heavy. If you can get past that, however, its solid cutting performance and long run-time make this a great grass trimmer for medium-sized lawns upwards.

Reviewer: Richard Stevenson
Full review: Husqvarna 115iL Cordless Grass Trimmer review

The most versatile garden tool that we’ve ever tested
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Pros

  • Superb power and run times
  • 45 minute charge time
  • 1-2 hour run duration
  • Versatile tool selection
  • Excellent build quality

Cons

  • Heavy and a bit cumbersome
  • Pole use only

The EGO Power Multi-Tool MHSC2002E isn’t just a garden trimmer: it’s a full system for managing your garden. With this fully loaded kit, you get get a line trimmer head, edge trimmer, brush cutter blade, pole saw and hedge trimmer, all of which fit onto the same body. With the quick changeover, you can turn the MHSC2002E into practically any tool that you need, giving a huge amount of versatility and reducing the total amount of storage space that you need. Alternatively, you can buy the power head and add attachments as you need them.

This model ships with a giant 5Ah battery, which gives an impressive 60 to 120-minutes of runtime, depending on the task at hand. That’s enough to tackle a large garden, and you can add an additional battery for continuous use: the charger takes the battery from zero to full in 45 minutes.

Impressively, the MHSC2002E is a great all-rounder: its massive 38cm cut-line trimmer and brush blade deliver excellent results, although the pole length makes operation a little unwieldy; good pole reach, and powerful chain saw and hedge trimmer deliver unrivalled cordless pole pruning.
If you’re looking for a single tool to tackle many jobs in your garden, look no further.

Reviewer: Richard Stevenson
Full review: EGO Power Multi-Tool MHSC2002E kit review

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FAQs

What type should I buy?

The main choice of strimmer comes down to the power type used. Plug-in, electric trimmers are the cheapest and will run for as long as you need them, but the cables can get in the way. Cordless models run on battery power, giving you greater freedom – but make sure you have a sufficient number of batteries to cover the area you want. Petrol models are also cordless and can be refilled to keep going, making them a better choice for large areas or professionals. For most homes, a cordless strimmer will be the best option, offering the right combination of power and flexibility, plus they don’t emit fumes in the way of petrol models.

Is cutting width important?

The cutting width indicates how much grass can be cut in one go. The wider the width, the quicker you can tackle jobs. More expensive, professional-level strimmers tend to have a wider cutting width. For small-to-medium gardens opt for between 220 and 280mm; larger gardens will need 330mm upwards.

What about the cutting type, should I go with blades or lines?

Line cutters are the traditional type of strimmer, using a line that spins at high speed to do the cutting. Lines can break when hitting something hard (and through use), but come on a spool so you can pull out more. Some models have an automatic feed, while others use a bump feed, where you bump the strimmer to extend more line.

The thickness of the line also plays its part. Lines are generally available between 1.3mm and 2mm, and you can often upgrade the thickness from the type with which you’re initially provided. The thicker the line, the thicker the weeds and grass you’ll be able to cut through. Typical gardens with long grass and a few weeds will do well with 1.6mm line, but upgrade to 2mm if your garden has thicker undergrowth.

Some trimmers use plastic blades, which are more expensive to replace but can cut through brambles and weeds with greater ease.

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Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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