Walk-behind string trimmers are very useful pieces of equipment for clearing overgrown fields or lawns and covering a large area of land in a short amount of time. Think of them like a giant version of a weed wacker. With powerful revolving strings, the walk-behind string trimmer features wheels that turn and a handle to push the machine across a large area of land. Even the thickest and tallest of weeds and grasses don’t stand a chance against a walk-behind string trimmer.
In this article, we are going to explore several different models and brands of string trimmers to help guide you in your buying experience and hopefully lead you to the one that is just right for you.
Carry on reading or jump straight to our number #1 pick on here.
Table of Contents
What Should I Look For When Buying a Walk Behind String Trimmer?
As with any major purchase, it is important to consider a variety of factors to ensure that the product you are choosing the buy will be the best choice for your specific needs and also be a valuable investment of your money.
Here we have put together a walk-behind string trimmer buyers guide to help take some of the guesswork out of the buying process for you and help you narrow down your search. There are several different criteria to consider, and it is always best to have a plan in place as well as an idea of what you need before you begin your search.
Where Will You Be Using Your String Trimmer?
String trimmers are primarily designed to mow large areas of land that are very overgrown. Before choosing a string trimmer to purchase, it is important to consider the type of land you will be using your trimmer on as well as the different types of grasses and weeds that are present in the area.
For larger pieces of land that are significantly overgrown, you will want to invest in a larger string trimmer with a thicker cutting line that will easily be able to take on thick grass and tough weeds.
If you are looking for a string trimmer to use on occasion in a variety of different areas with varying grass heights and uneven ground, a string trimmer with an adjustable base may be a good choice for you.
Comfort and Ease in Maneuverability
Walk-behind trimmers like the ones we are reviewing here are usually large, powerful pieces of machinery. They tend to be heavy and large in stature. This means that it is important to find a model that provides comfort during use and is user-friendly.
Wheeled string trimmers are among some of the most popular string trimmers on the market today because of their user-friendliness. These string trimmers allow the user to easily walk behind the machine (see also my article: How to Use String a Trimmer Successfully?) while the engine and the wheels do the work of pushing through thick brush and grass.
Finding a trimmer that has a comfortable and ergonomic handle is also a must. You will likely be holding on to the handle for an extended amount of time and applying steady pressure through it for the duration of its use. Finding a padded and non-slip handle can be a great asset in any string trimmer.
Handle Height and Foldability
To get the most out of your string trimmer, you want to make sure that the height of the handle is at an ideal level for you and anyone else that may be using it. Finding a machine with adjustable handle heights is ideal because it can be manipulated to the proper height depending on the user.
Having your wheeled string trimmer at the correct height will save you time and keep you from experiencing back pain in the long run.
Finding a string trimmer that also features a foldable handle is a great thing to look for. This will make the string trimmer much easy to both store and transport if needed. However, wheeled string trimmers tend to be quite heavy so portability is not their strong suit in the long run.
How Big an Area Will You Need to Cover?
Before purchasing the best walk behind string trimmer, ensure you know the area you cover, as bigger lawns need different equipment than small lawns.
If you have a larger lawn to cover, I suggest a string trimmer with a wider cutting swath with a powerful motor. Even though this machinery would come at a high price, the results would be worth the price tag.
But I suggest getting a lighter and less powerful model if your lawn is small. Because powerful string trimmers might be heavy and bulky to move around. For this reason, a lightweight and portable string trimmer would best suit your small lawn.
Weight and Dimensions
Weight and dimensions are also significant factors to consider when buying the best walk behind string trimmer. The lightweight trimmer is easy to maneuver, especially when using it for a long time. With that, you can also cover a large area in less time without getting tired.
Additionally, the dimensions also play an important role in determining how easy to use a walk-behind string trimmer is. The width and length of a trimmer will help you decide how to trim through crowded spaces or areas with obstacles.
If your lawn is small and compact, I suggest getting a string-behind trimmer that has a small footprint. However, those of you having a huge yard and no obstacles can get a large trimmer.
Plus, the more compact your walk behind string trimmer is, the easier time you will have storing it in storage. According to my experience, the best walk behind string trimmer is one that can be easily transported and is compact to store even in limited space.
Engine Power and Type
When selecting the best walk-behind string trimmer for your lawn care requirements, the engine size and type are also crucial factors. A powerful engine could cut through your lawn’s most stubborn and overgrown areas. However, a lighter engine might be unable to tackle these complex tasks.
You can usually find two different engine types in a walk behind string trimmer; one is gas-powered, while the other is electric powered. The gas-powered trimmers are, of course, turned on using fuel. On the other hand, an electric-powered trimmer will be operated using electricity from an electrical outlet or batteries.
Gas-powered string trimmers are extremely noisy. Even though they are powerful and can tackle large areas, their noise and unhealthy emissions are unbearable for some. Now if we talk about electric trimmers, they are light in weight, quiet, and suitable for smaller lawns.
The size of the area the trimmer can cut with each pass is called the cutting swath. A wider cutting swath might help you quickly cover more ground for larger lawns and more overgrown regions. A greater cutting swath, however, can also mean a heavier, less mobile trimmer.
A smaller cutting swath can be more appropriate for those with smaller lawns. A trimmer that is lighter and easier to maneuver may also have a smaller cutting swath. Also, take into account the trimmer’s variety of cutting heights. Specific models let you change the cutting height.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Walk Behind String Trimmer
Now that you have a little bit of background knowledge on the string trimmer and are equipped with the valuable information you need to choose a wheeled string trimmer that will be just right for you, let’s get into some of our top choices.
We choose each of these trimmers based on thorough research while also considering the criteria that we stated above. Several wheeled string trimmer reviews also helped guide us in our decisions. However, the most important thing to remember is that the best walk-behind string trimmer is the one that works best for you and fits your unique gardening needs.
1: Earthquake Walk-Behind String Trimmer (Best Value All-Purpose)
The Earthquake Walk-Behind Trimmer is in a class all of its own. Earthquake has perfected the art of string trimming and has brought everything a user needs in a trimmer to make it the ultimate trimming tool for even the biggest of jobs.
We have chosen the Earthquake trimmer to be our top choice and our best all-purpose choice. Walk-behind string trimmers do tend to be rather expensive and this model sits in the middle of the typical price range, leaning towards the most expensive side, however, it is not to be overlooked as the best value model because it is known by customers for its excellent longevity and durability which will make this unit pay for itself after years of high-quality use.
Let’s take a look at some of the specs of this particular unit and why it received our vote for the #1 pick.
Reason #1 – All-Terrain
The Earthquake walk-behind trimmer (see also: 8 Best-Selling Walk-Behind Leaf Blowers) is an excellent choice for users that are dealing with difficult terrain. This model features the largest wheel size of any of our choices and this allows it to maneuver easily across even the roughest and most unstable of terrain. Its 14-inch, ball-bearing wheels are designed to provide excellent maneuverability across all types of terrain.
The lightweight, plastic wheels easily lift over bumps in terrain such as rocks and they can carefully clear large and unexpected holes in the ground to make maneuvering a breeze on any type of terrain.
Reason #2 – Strength and Durability
Earthquake walk-behind trimmers such as this model are known for their strength and durability making them an excellent choice for users that have a large amount of land to trim as well as thick, long grass or weeds.
This model in particular included a body and handles that are made completely of high-quality steel making it extra strong and resistant to wear. This steel is also rust-resistant which gives this model great longevity and protection against wear and tear from extended use.
Even though the Earthquake trimmer is made of steel, it is surprisingly lightweight and its extra-large wheels support its weight perfectly, making it very easy to maneuver throughout small and hard-to-reach places such as fence lines.
Overall, the Earthquake would be a great choice for any lawn and garden enthusiast working to bring ease to a particularly large project. With this unit’s powerful, 163 cc Briggs and Stratton engine it is able to easily tackle even the toughest of jobs and trimmer a large field in no time at all.
This walk-behind string trimmer features a 22-inch cutting swath, which means it can cover a large area with every row, making quick work of a large area of land.
The swing-away handle also works great for storage. The only drawback to this model, however, is that it does not feature an adjustable handle height and the handle has been known by some customers to not be as comfortable as some of the other models we will mention below.
However, for strength and durability as well as long-term performance, the Earthquake trimmer is definitely the winner. It is known to outlast the traditional handheld trimmer and provides years of use season after season.
2 Generac Pro Trimmer (Best Overall)
The Generac Pro Trimmer is one of the most powerful and heavy-duty string trimmers on the market today. It exceeds the strength of many of our other top picks, so if you are looking for a machine with exceptional strength and durability to handle a particularly difficult job, the Generac is the way to go.
With this degree of power and strength, however, comes a pretty hefty price tag. If this trimmer’s price range is within your budget though, it is a great string mower that can perform several different tasks.
Known for this cutting strength and ability to trim through even the heaviest and tallest of grasses and weeds with ease, this model would make an excellent fit for those that have a large amount of land to maintain as well as those that have several large projects to tackle.
The Generac string mower includes a 22-inch cutting sheath which means it can take on much more grass and general area than handheld string trimmers can. It also comes with three different height adjustments ranging from 2-3.25 inches.
It also comes with large durable wheels which makes maneuvering across rough terrain much easier. It even comes with a special holding compartment for replacement string so that you can always have some on hand while you are out on the job.
Overall, the Generac is a trimmer that can do just about any job, making trimming a large field or overgrown area easy and quick. If you have a large amount of land that needs some tender, loving care, the Generac may be exactly what you need to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
3: Southland Outdoor Power Equipment Field Trimmer (Most Environmentally Friendly)
Maintaining a certain level of environmental friendliness throughout our daily lives is an important part of being a good steward of the natural resources given to us on earth. With all of the industrial factories and gas-powered machines that are in our world today, this can be a difficult task, so any effort no matter how small makes a difference.
That is why the Southland Outdoor Power Equipment company strives to make its equipment and machinery as environmentally friendly as possible. Their field trimmer is both EPA and CARB certified which means you can feel good about the environmental impact that this purchase will have.
The Southland SWSTM4317 features a 43cc engine, which provides incredible speed and strength, as well as the ability to cut easily through both fresh and dry grasses and weeds. While this engine is on the smaller side compared to some of our other models, its precision and unique ability to easily reach tight spaces will quickly overshadow this fact.
The Southland’s unique shape makes trimming in small and hard-to-reach places much easier than other models due to its offset trimmer head. This trimmer includes a 20-inch swivel and adjustable trimmer head that is positioned away from the larger body of the trimmer itself. This allows the trimmer to reach tight spaces, unlike any other model, giving it the best of both a walk-behind trimmer and a handheld trimmer all in one.
With 35% more torque and 3 times longer string life than traditional handheld string trimmers, this model will outperform and outlast any handheld string trimmer by far.
12-inch wheels make maneuvering this large piece of equipment, across all types of terrain easy and almost effortless. An onboard string storage compartment provides the ultimate convenience to easy string replacements while on the job.
This trimmer also comes with a fully adjustable, ergonomic loop handle which is equipped with spring-loaded, thumb throttle control that is both comfortable and convenient for the user.
Overall, the Southland push trimmer is an excellent option for users that have hard-to-reach spaces and need a tool that provides the excellent cutting ability in tight corners and along fence lines. The environmental-friendly aspect of this trimmer can also make you feel good while using it.
4: Legend Force Trimmer (Best Low Cost)
The Legend Force gas-powered weed eater is an excellent walk-behind trimmer for both heavy types of grass and brush.
Its 173cc OHV engine is powerful, yet gentle and provides just the right amount of power needed to cut through those thick grasses that traditional lawnmowers cannot handle.
With manual recoil and easy start ignition, the Legend Force is guaranteed to start every time and be easy to use and maneuver throughout rugged terrain.
With a double-cutting line, this trimmer can easily clear brush and long grass. It also features adjustable cutting heights which allows you to tailor your machine specifically to the type of field you will be clearing. This allows for maximum efficiency and power usage.
14-inch wheels make maneuvering and turning in tight spaces a breeze, and the 22-inch cutting swath will cover a wide range of land.
The cutting head of this walk-behind string trimmer allows users to carefully and easily trim close to fences and posts without causing damage to either the fence or the machine itself.
5: Cub Cadet Walk Behind Trimmer (Most Height Versatility)
Cub Cadet is a well-known brand name, known for manufacturing high-quality riding and push lawnmowers. Cub Cadet also makes an excellent wheeled string trimmer which we are featuring here as our most height-versatile choice.
The Cub Cadet features a 159cc, powerful engine with auto choke technology. This specific type of engine takes a mixture of both gas and oil, which is important to remember when you are getting ready to use this product.
With a 22-inch cutting width, this strong walk-behind trimmer can chew up thousands of weeds and grasses in a single pass. Most likely, the best feature of this unit is its impressive array of adjustable cutting heights. This trimmer possesses the ability to adjust to 7 different cutting heights ranging from 1.75 inches to 4 inches which gives users a lot of versatility on where and how they can use this trimmer.
The entire trimmer head is also made up of rust-resistant material which makes the entire unit as a whole long-lasting and dependable.
Reviewers of this product loved the height versatility that this unit offered, however, some expressed some disappointment over the small gas tank size. This trimmer gas tank can only hold up to 0.25 gallons which means that it isn’t able to cover an acre of land with one tank. This can be a drawback for users that have larger pieces of land and will need to be using their Cub Cadet for a longer period.
So if you are looking for a trimmer with the ability to cover a large amount of land in a single tank of gas, the Cub Cadet may not be suited for you. Rather is best suited for smaller yards and pieces of land.
Walk-behind string trimmers are a great tool to provide ease and convenience in caring for overgrown land or brush, however, these gas-powered machines can often be on the more expensive side.
Fortunately, there are many trimmer models on the market today that are combined with different tools and yard equipment to bring a reduced price and more versatility in the product itself, making it a great choice for homeowners with an average-sized yard.
Here we will explore some of these budget-friendly picks so that you can find an option that will work best with your budget and fit your specific needs.
The Swisher is a great little trimmer that is self-propelled which means that you will mostly provide the steering power, while the trimmer will propel itself forward with little to no effort from you as the user.
With a 160cc Honda engine, this little trimmer can get the job done quickly and efficiently. A unique feature of the Swisher trimmer is that the user can adjust the trimmer head from the handle. This allows you to engage and disengage the trimmer head all from the handle of the trimmer itself.
A 22-inch cutting width will cover a large area, while 4 strings used to make up the 8 cutting lines will precisely cut through even the thickest of overgrowth. This trimmer also includes an adjustable cutting head with height adjustments that can be made from 1.5 to 3.5 inches.
“Needed something for a shaded lawn where the grass grows thin and bendy. Tried different lawnmowers and they would push the grass down without cutting. This cuts it. Double string cartridge is not as common to find but it’s no problem to wind your own strings and you save $$. The motor seems plenty strong. Cutter unhooks easily from the wheeled base and takes up a lot less room than other lawnmowers. Took off 1 star, instructions were a bit thin, and screws for the string guard were missing (common sheet metal screws worked fine).”
The Earthwise 2-in-1 trimmer and mower combination is an electric string trimmer and mower that provides gas-like power and efficiency. This small, yet mighty, machine features a 14-inch cutting deck and three different height variations that can easily be adjusted by the user.
Both the trimmer and the mower easily convert and provide excellent ease of use. The trimmer also features a unique auto-feed trimmer line function which will take the guesswork out of trimmer line replacement for you, allowing you to place your entire focus on the task at hand.
At an amazing price, you can get this 2-in-1 trimmer/mower combination for under $100. However, it is important to remember that this particular model is best suited for small yards and lawns. It will not be able to withstand heavy weed trimming and tall grass mowing that is often seen on larger pieces of property.
“We have a really small yard. I didn’t feel the need to buy a full lawn mower and a trimmer and an edger and for about $100 (at the time of purchase) this was the most cost-effective purchase for our needs. So if you have a small patch of grass in an urban setting with some sidewalks and areas that need a little trimming, this will do the trick and take up very little room in storage.”
For the ultimate all-in-one, lawn maintenance experience, turn to the Black & Decker 3-in-1. This amazing machine takes the best parts of a string trimmer, edger, and mower and places them all into one, versatile machine.
Each of the three functions of this machine can be activated simply through the push of a foot pedal. The entire device can easily be transformed into exactly what you need it to be for the task at hand.
With a 6.5 amp motor, this machine can slice through the grass like butter, and the corded design will ensure that you never run out of power, as long as you are connected to a power source. The corded design of this trimmer can be a drawback for some, however, as it is not ideal for large yards or pieces of land.
Another great feature that this trimmer possesses is an automatic feed spool which automatically feeds a new trimmer line into the trimmer as needed between uses. This adds a great sense of convenience and time-saving capability for the user.
The best part is that all of these features in one machine come at a great price! However, this particular model will not have the same level of longevity as some of our larger and more expensive models.
Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Models
When buying the best walk-behind trimmer, the saying, “You get what you pay for,” is perfectly right. While cheaper models might tempt you, they may not provide you with the right quality and performance compared to high-end models.
The thing with cheaper models is that they are made with cheap components that may wear too soon. As a result, the lifespan of the machinery will be shorter, and you might end up paying every now and then for repairs and replacements.
Apart from quality, cheaper models would also lack many essential features, such as adjustable cutting heights and wider cutting swaths. Because of this reason, the machinery might not be able to tackle larger lawns or rugged terrains.
Now if I compare the high-end models, they will be of high-quality material and durable. Plus, such models will have tons of adjustable features, larger fuel tanks, and of course, huge cutting swaths. Additionally, the investment will be a lifetime one, so you won’t have to spend money on replacements occasionally.
Maintenance and Safety Tips for Walk-Behind String Trimmers
Here are some valuable tips that helped me put my best walk behind string trimmer to good use.
- Read Through the User’s Manual: Before operating a string trimmer, ensure you have read the user’s manual. Every machinery has different requirements and comes with varying operating mechanisms. To remain safer, it is always a good idea to understand the equipment before starting it.
- Clean the Trimmer After Every Use: To extend the lifespan of your walk behind string trimmer, clean it after every use. Dirt and debris can get stuck in the trimmer, making them not work up to the mark.
- Change Oil and Filter on Time: If you use a gas-powered walk-behind string trimmer, change its oil and filter after using it for a long time. Suppose you are storing the machinery for winter; use a fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from going bad.
- Sharpen the Blades: String trimmer, after extensive use, can end up with dull blades. To make the blades remain sharp, have them filed as soon as you notice the trimmer is not cutting through the grass.
- Check the Spark Plugs: Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the engine. Any damage or crack in these plugs would not let the machinery work. Check the spark plugs after every use to ensure they are in working condition.
- Wear Appropriate Gear: Before operating machinery, wear protective overalls, gloves, and eye covers. This will help you avoid thin cuttings coming your way as your string trimmer walks by.
- Have the Guard On Every walk-behind string trimmer comes with a guard. Have this guard on while using the trimmer in the lawn to avoid thin grass cuttings.
- Avoid Using a Trimmer With Pets or Kids on the Lawn: Walk behind the trimmer must not be operated on any lawn where there is a risk of children or pets running. There are chances of the trimmer getting out of control and causing injuries to living beings in the surrounding area. Therefore avoid running them in such conditions.
- Turn off the Engine When Not in Use: Whenever the trimmer is not in use, turn off the engine. This will help save on fuel and protect you from mishaps.
- Use Both Hands to Operate Machinery: To use a walk behind string trimmer, carefully use both hands.
Verdict: Your Best Walk Behind String Trimmer
Here we are going to briefly summarize our overall findings so that you can have a clear and concise list to use as you set off on your journey to find the perfect walk-behind trimmer for you.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the Earthquake Trimmer. This trimmer has all of the features you need to handle a large amount of overgrown land. Its powerful engine and extra-large wheels will make maneuvering across all terrain easy.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the Craftsman String Trimmer. This trimmer has all of the features you need to handle a large amount of overgrown land. Its powerful engine and unique design will allow you to trim precisely around fences and other hard-to-reach areas.
If you need this specific height versatility, pick the Cub Cadet which features a whopping 7 different height adjustments that you can make.
If you want to keep the price under $200, pick any of our budget-friendly choices listed above. Several of these models offer different tools and features in one machine which makes it a great bang for your buck.
Now you can confidently begin your buyer’s journey toward the best walk-behind string trimmer for you and your specific needs. As with any major purchase, identifying what you need in your purchase and what features are most important to you will help to narrow down the search and lead you to the option that is just right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are walk-behind string trimmers worth it?
The true answer to this question depends mainly on the size and type of land you are planning to manage with your string trimmer. Many people think that handheld string trimmers could do the job of a walk-behind string trimmer just as well and for a fraction of the cost.
However, for those with large pieces of land to maintain with a wide variety of weeds and grasses to manage, the standard handheld string trimmer will not be able to hold its weight and will likely fail within the first few hundred feet of cutting.
When it comes to large land and tough weeds and grasses, you need the thicker string and the powerful engine of a walk-behind string trimmer to truly get the job done right and save you both time and money in the long run.
What Safety Precautions Should I Take When Using a Walk-Behind String Trimmer?
While using a walk-behind string trimmer, use a protective shield with safety glasses. Dirt and debris might often hit your face using a string trimmer; it is better to take precautionary measures beforehand to stay safe.
How Often Should I Perform Routine Maintenance on My Walk-Behind String Trimmer?
You should perform routine maintenance on your walk behind string trimmer once a season. Additionally, change the filter and oil every 90 days, depending on your use and the area you are covering.
What Are Some Common Problems and Troubleshooting Tips for Walk-Behind String Trimmers?
One common problem of a walk behind string trimmer is the engine not starting. This can often be due to worn-out spark plugs or insufficient fuel in the tank. To avoid landing in such a situation, maintain the spark plugs and check for signs of wear and tear. Also, ensure the tank has the right amount of fuel.
How Do I Properly Store My Walk-Behind String Trimmer During the Off-Season?
To store your walk behind string trimmer during the off-season, clean it using a soft cloth. Remove the dirt and debris from the trimmer blades using a brush wire. If the gas tank has fuel, add a fuel stabiliser. Lastly, store the trimmer in a shaded corner by covering it with a protective tarp.
How Do I Clean and Inspect My Walk-Behind String Trimmer After Each Use?
Clean the walk-behind string trimmer of dirt and debris using washing detergent. Check the air filter every 90 days to ensure it is clean. Lastly, clean the trimmer blades of grass clippings using a brush wire.
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