Tidying the borders around your lawn and gardens is easy with a good string trimmer. They can reach areas that a mower might struggle with. If you’re looking for the best corded electric string trimmer; you’ll find our top picks below.
Best Corded String Trimmer Top 5
- Greenworks 18-Inch 10 Amp Corded String Trimmer
- WORX WG116 4.0 Ah 12″ Electric String Trimmer & Edger
- BLACK+DECKER String Trimmer / Edger, 13-Inch, 5-Amp (ST8600)
- CRAFTSMAN CMESTA900 Electric Powered String Trimmer 13 in.
- Sun Joe TRJ13STE Trimmer Joe 13″ Automatic Feed Electric String Trimmer/Edger
What is a String Trimmer?
A string trimmer stays true to its name; it’s a trimmer that works by spinning a spool of ‘string’ at high speed to trim your lawn. They’re frequently confused with ‘edgers’, but edgers are used vertically to trim the space between your grass and your prized flowerbeds.
Why Use a String Trimmer?
At face value, a string trimmer might seem like a more inefficient way of mowing the lawn. In fact, it’s far better than a lawnmower for specific tasks, like cutting the grass close to obstacles, borders, or on steep inclines.
If you’ve mown the lawn before, you’ll know it’s impossible to cut close to a fence or rockery. You’ll end up with an untidy finish, or worse, damage the blades on your lawn mower. This is the niche filled by a string trimmer. I also find it much easier to mow my sloping garden with a trimmer rather than trying to push a heavy mower uphill.
But the best corded electric string trimmers can also be used as edgers. This means adjusting the setup to create a neat trim along the edges of your lawn. If nicely trimmed garden edges are important to you, make sure your trimmer can do both, as not all models can.
Electric or Gas Trimmer
I used to use gas-powered garden tools exclusively, until I got tired of filling up the tank every time I wanted to use them, and never having gas ready to go. My lawn twists, turns, and climbs steep inclines, so when I got sick of manoeuvring the mower like a go kart, I decided to pick up a string trimmer. After all, how much power can it really take to trim small patches of grass and edges?
It turns out that the answer is not very much. Electric trimmers are more than capable of chomping through the typical grass and weeds you’ll face in the garden, so power is no issue. They’re also much more lightweight without a heavy gas-powered motor and full fuel tank, meaning you can go for longer.
It goes without saying that electric trimmers will also save you a ton on fuel costs. The obvious drawback is the power cord that you’ll be trailing around behind you, but it’s honestly not an issue; cord retention systems mean you’ll barely even notice it’s there.
In a nutshell, I can’t really see any reason to pick a gas-powered string trimmer over an electric one.
Using Your String Trimmer Safely
With a string trimmer, all the action happens down below. Unlike a hedge trimmer, which poses a real risk to fingers and thumbs, your biggest risk is catching your feet, an ornament, or your favorite flower bed accidentally.
However, the built-in flower guards on pretty much all string trimmers negate this risk. Still, I’d recommend wearing durable footwear; even string can slice through skin at these speeds, so it’s a no to wearing flip flops.
Check out the video below from YouTube, which is a great how-to on using your new tool safely:
Best Corded Electric String Trimmer Reviews
This Greenworks trimmer fancies itself as a hedge trimmer, with a 10-Amp motor that’s almost excessive for the job at hand, but it’ll make short work of any roots or tough weeds hiding beneath your overgrown lawn. Though you might expect the beefy motor to bump up the price tag, it’s still in line with the cost of other trimmers on this list.
Unlike a bunch of other models I’ve seen, there’s a D-ring mounted on the body, meaning it’s easier to manoeuvre. But at 9.9 pounds, it’s also nearly double the weight of other trimmers I’ve looked at, so you’re going to need that handle to keep control. Annoyingly, even with the bolt tightened, it never feels completely secure.
One of the things I like best is that you can attach other components to the end of the pole, even those from other brands. Between the hedge trimmer, blower, and edger attachments, this thing could potentially save you a lot of money – and storage space – in the long run.
- A safety trigger stops you from firing up the motor unintentionally.
- The 10-Amp motor nearly doubles the power of every other string trimmer I’ve listed here.
- A huge 18-inch cutting path practically turns this trimmer into a lawnmower on a pole.
- There’s a D-ring handle mounted on the telescopic pole, which makes it super-easy to swing around.
- A quick-connect coupler lets you swap out the string trimmer for a range of other garden tool attachments .
- As much as I love the D-ring handle, it isn’t as secure as it could be and it tends to move around a little.
- The price you pay for a durable steel shaft and 10-Amp motor is a trimmer that weighs 9.9 pounds.
- The trigger was stiffer than others I’ve used before. Not a problem at first, but try using it for an hour and you’ll see what I mean.
The WORX WG116 is powered by a 4-Amp motor and can be converted from a string trimmer to an edger in a single click. The flower guard stops you from catching any unintended targets, but can be folded back if it gets in your way. There’s also a dual-line auto-feed system underneath, which keeps string flowing.
The only thing I disliked about the dual-line feature was the speed that it ate through the first spool of string. Any good trimmer also comes with a cord retention system, and the WORX is no exception. Thankfully, it’s in the form of a hook; the slot-based designs are often too small to fit larger cables, but it’s not a problem here.
In terms of weight, it’s about average; 5.6 pounds is roughly the norm for trimmers of this size. With the exception of the Greenworks model, you don’t need to worry too much about weight from one model to the next. And of course, the lighter the tool, the easier you’ll be able to wield it. Thankfully, there’s a D-ring handle on this trimmer, which makes precision work straightforward.
- Flower guard folds back out of the way when not being used.
- Converts from a string trimmer to an edger in seconds, so you can pick off those overhanging blades of grass.
- Has a cord retention hook, rather than a slot, meaning no worrying about whether your cord will fit through.
- At 5.6 pounds, it’s half the weight of our top pick, the Greenworks trimmer, if you prefer your tools to be lightweight.
- You can’t hook up any extra attachments in the same way that you can with the Greenworks, above.
- The dual-line feature can easily eat through your string faster than you’d expect from a single-line.
- Installing a new spool of line can be difficult given the dual-line feature, which works a little differently.
- Though it has an adjustable height feature, there are no pivoting features for reaching tricky spots.
Black+Decker is one of those brands you immediately think of when somebody mentions power tools. As far as quality goes, this is a good trimmer; lightweight at 5.35 pounds, and fully adjustable for both height and positioning with the pivot handle.
There’s a real feel of durability when you’re swinging this thing around. Although, if you’re tall, like me, you might still find the highest setting to fall short of being entirely comfortable.
You’re going to have to build this one yourself, but it isn’t a complicated job. Once the various poles and guards are assembled, the 5-Amp motor can handle pretty much anything, including some smaller branches. Just bear in mind that this thing seems to eat through string like it’s going out of fashion, partly due to the hungry auto-feed system.
The only real issue I have with this string trimmer is that its main strength is also its weakness. The adjustable handles don’t always stay fixed in place when you’re trimming, which to me is a fairly worrying safety issue. It also suffers from a common problem with trimmers like these, which is a narrow cord retention slot.
- Assembly is pretty straightforward out of the box.
- Super lightweight at just 5.35 pounds, it’s a little below the norm for a trimmer of this size.
- There’s a pull-out guide that lets you keep a fixed distance from the surface you’re trimming.
- As well as being height-adjustable, there’s a pivot handle for reaching those tight, tricky spots.
- Getting some thicker extension cords through the cord retention slot isn’t always easy.
- The auto-feeder feature leads to you running out of string much more quickly than you otherwise would.
- I found that the adjustable handle kept moving out of place while I was using the trimmer.
- I’m over 6 foot and found that even at its most extended, I had to bend slightly to use this effectively.
Some trimmers, like the Sun Joe TRJ13STE, don’t have adjustable handles. If you’re above or below average in height, it can tire out your back or arms more quickly. But the Craftsman CMESTA900 can be adjusted for different people, so you’ll be able to offload your gardening onto a family member when the weather is bad.
Powered by a 5-Amp motor, which is slightly above average for budget trimmers, you won’t struggle in longer grass. Yet it’s deceptively quiet despite the increased power under the hood. There’s also a rotating head that can be repositioned for when you’re edging around the flowerbeds. Or, if you don’t have any flowers to protect, you can rotate it towards you to keep your toes attached instead.
Trust me when I say that one of the most common incidents with string trimmers or hedge trimmers is the ease with which you can swipe the blade straight through your extension cord. Thankfully, there’s a cord retention system on this model, which makes it far less likely to happen. You’ll need a 2-prong extension for this, which isn’t included out of the box, but they come cheap.
- A cable grip mounted behind the handle stops you from trimming your extension cable instead of the grass.
- You can adjust the length of the handle. When the kids complain that they can’t do the trimming for you, you’ll have an answer for them.
- Deceptively quiet, especially when compared to gas-powered trimmers.
- The head rotates for fine-tuned edging around your flower bed borders.
- With a 5-Amp motor, it’s the second most powerful string trimmer I’ve looked at here.
- At just shy of 7 pounds, it’s not the lightest option.
- Only supports 2-prong extensions, which are a little harder to come by than the usual 3-prong type.
- Doesn’t come pre-assembled, and while I found it easy, some people struggle more with self-build tasks.
- Chews through string faster than it chews through grass, so for bigger gardens you’ll need to keep an extra spool handy.
Sun Joe is a great brand; in fact, they took 2nd place on our list of the best corded electric hedge trimmers. This one has a 4-Amp motor under the hood, with a cutting area of 13-inches, though you can also pick up a smaller model with a reduced cutting swatch. It’ll hack through both grass and weeds with ease.
A flower guard wraps 180-degrees around one side of the trimmer, which stops you from butchering your flowers while you trim the edge of your lawn. This is literally the only component you’ll need to put together when you pull this out of the box, as it comes pre-built. There’ll also be no sudden interruptions to your cutting, as the auto-feed feature keeps your string at the right length, feeding it directly from the spool.
Between its lightweight telescopic pole and an overall weight of 5.07 pounds, it’s pretty small compared to other trimmers. But while this means the cutting path is smaller, it’s a lot easier to lug around the garden. Just be wary that the construction is fairly flimsy; it probably won’t fall apart in your hands, but there’s a 2-year warranty if it does.
- Comes with a 2-year warranty included by default.
- At 5.07 pounds, it’s the lightest high-quality string trimmer that I could find at this price point.
- Aside from trimming the grass, this tool also works as an edger to trim the line between your lawn and the soil.
- A wraparound flower guard protects the areas you don’t want to trim while you’re tidying up the lawn borders.
- An auto-feed system keeps the string at the right length to consistently achieve the 13-inch cutting radius.
- Some extension cords – such as a 14-gauge – won’t fit through the upper grip handle.
- Lightweight design means that this power tool feels pretty flimsy.
- Has a smaller cutting swatch than some other budget string trimmer options.
- I didn’t like that the shaft doesn’t adjust for different heights.
- The string is quite thin so it can wear out more quickly than others.
Our Best Corded String Trimmer
When it comes to picking a clear winner, the Greenworks 18-Inch 10 Amp Corded String Trimmer easily takes the crown. Its 10-Amp motor is beyond anything offered by the competitors, while the attachment system is just too good to pass up. Done trimming your lawn’s borders? Why not affix a hedge trimmer attachment and move onto the hedges.
The WORX Electric String Trimmer & Edger came a close second. But with a 4-Amp motor, it just couldn’t match the sheer power of the Greenworks.