In this guide we’ll take a look at the best garden strimmers for the UK market.
We’ve compared power, weight, cutting diameter and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Garden Strimmer?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
The BLACK+DECKER Lithium-Ion Cordless Electric Strimmer is a reliable, cable-free strimmer from a reputable company. It has exceptional battery life and is extremely powerful yet comfortable to use.
Things to Know Before Buying a Garden Strimmer
Garden strimmers are an excellent way to have neat grass and perfect borders with none of the back-breaking effort of doing it by hand.
If you don’t choose the best garden strimmer for you, you may find yourself not using it as regularly as you’d like. If the strimmer is easy to use and it’s comfortable – you’re more likely to use it.
When you’re in the market for a strimmer it’s worth considering a few factors before making a purchase. Check out the handy tips below to help you make an informed decision.
Garden strimmers don’t often use a blade. Instead, there is a cutting line inside the head of the strimmer which spins. The line spins so quickly that it becomes a cutter.
This means strimmers work using centrifugal force. The line is no good for cutting when at rest, but it becomes stiff and blade-like when it spins quickly.
You’ll need to replace the line as needed and remember that strimmers cut where the line is spinning, not at the centre of the machine.
Garden strimmers make light work of cutting grass and weeds, and some can even tackle brambles and undergrowth.
The biggest benefit of using a garden strimmer is the amount of time and energy you will save. They help you complete jobs which would have taken you hours to do manually more efficiently.
Garden strimmers also help improve the appearance of your garden. Cutting straight lawn edges has never been so easy! The best garden strimmer will come with a wheeled edging attachment – much easier than trying to get a straight line with edging shears!
Before you turn on a strimmer, make sure you’re away from the business end.
Battery- and electric-powered strimmers usually have a start button. Petrol strimmers use a pull-cord which may take a bit of practice – see the FAQs section for more detail.
If you have a strimmer with a mains cable, make sure the cable is well away from the cutting line before you press the ignition.
One side of the strimmer will host the cutting edge, and debris will shoot out from the other side. Experiment until you know which is which, otherwise you’ll walk against the cutting direction.
Go slowly with the strimmer regardless of whether it’s an edging job or tough brushwood affair.
Finally, look out for tripping hazards. Bricks, small fences, garden ornaments, cats, dogs and small children can all trip you up when you’re concentrating on a perfect line.
Both strimmers with a cord and cordless options are available.
Corded strimmers plug into the mains. They are powerful and you won’t need to worry about how long your job will take – there’s no battery to run down! However, corded strimmers can cause problems sometimes. Some people worry about cutting the cord with the strimmer, which is an understandable concern. This is one of the biggest advantages of a cordless option – no cord to accidentally cut!
Cordless strimmers tend to be battery powered, meaning that they have a limited amount of running time before you need to stop and charge them. However, the batteries generally last around 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the job, which is a fair amount of time. Cordless strimmers can be much easier to manoeuvre than their corded counterparts. Not only is there no potentially-hazardous cord, but there’s no cord restricting your movement either.
Petrol strimmers are generally more powerful than electric ones. They’re great tools if you’re looking to cut down some serious undergrowth or overgrown brambles. They tend to be heavier than electric strimmers, as well as louder and more polluting. As a result, you probably don’t need to use a petrol strimmer unless you need a heavy-duty tool for cutting into some hefty garden growth.
Electric strimmers are suitable for most garden jobs. They range in power and cutting ability; some are best reserved for cutting grass, whereas others can cope with thicker vegetation like weeds. It’s always a good idea to check reviews to see exactly what they’re capable of cutting. Also consider that some models, like the Black + Decker ST5530-GB, have specifically designed features to help them push through tougher shrubbery.
Here are a few things to look out for when choosing the best garden strimmer for you:
- Handles – an ergonomic handle is a great plus, and a second handle makes strimming much easier. They balance out the weight so you don’t end up with one aching arm.
- Telescopic shaft – Adjustable shafts help you find the perfect working position and save on backache. More powerful strimmers should have a longer reach so you can hold them away from your toes. (This is a good place to say you should never strim the lawn in flip flops. Always wear sturdy boots!)
- A harness – If you have a weighty strimmer in mind that can cut through brush and undergrowth, look for a comfortable harness.
- Auto-feed spool – this makes it easier to release more line when the existing line gets worn. Other line-feed options include:
- Bump-feed spool: you need to bump the head of the strimmer on the ground to release more line.
- Manual spool: user pulls the line out
Protective clothing such as ear defenders for louder, powerful motors can be useful, particularly if the job is going to take a while.
Sturdy boots are a must, and avoid wearing loose trailing clothes that could get caught in the strimmer.
If you’re cutting overgrown areas, protective glasses are important because strimmers can throw up stones and other sharp objects.
It would be remiss not to mention the injuries strimmers can inflict on harmless wildlife.
They are great bits of kit, but use them mindfully to avoid inflicting unnecessary damage and pain.
Always rake through long grass or undergrowth first, before using a strimmer. This gives hedgehogs, frogs, toads, grass snakes, newts, mice and all our native wildlife a chance to escape. Bear in mind creatures like hedgehogs would rather curl up to avoid danger, so watch what you’re doing and never put a strimmer somewhere you can’t see the cutting line.
It might sound like a faff, but it’s less problematic than trying to find a wildlife rescue or vet that can take in the creature you’ve injured, and it avoids traumatising your kids too.
Everything We Recommend
More Detailed Garden Strimmer Reviews
BLACK+DECKER Lithium-Ion Cordless Electric Strimmer Review
Black and Decker often pull it out the bag when it comes to garden equipment, and this BLACK+DECKER Lithium-Ion Cordless Electric Strimmer is no exception! It wins first place for the best strimmer on the market.
It has no cable which may calm your concerns about cutting through the power supply. Instead, it uses a powerful 18 V lithium battery that can cut 2,500 linear metres in one charge. What does this mean in layman’s terms? Well, it’s great news for efficiency: unless your garden is a large field you can get it done it one go!
Lithium batteries are a great investment because they don’t need to run flat before recharging. This one will hold charge for a whopping 18 months so you don’t need to be put off by thoughts of needing to charge it before each use.
It’s a pretty powerful strimmer too, with a high-torque gear system that can whizz through rough and overgrown areas at 8500 rpm with a 28cm-wide cutting swathe.
But that doesn’t mean it’s heavy-handed on lighter jobs, thanks to its adjustable settings. You can choose ECO Mode which will give you a maximum run time and allow for low-key edging and trimming. Alternatively, there is a Turbo Mode for tackling heavier growth.
How well a strimmer handles can be make or break. The ergonomic design of this strimmer means the handle distributes the weight well; it doesn’t feel top heavy or unwieldy.
The primary handle has a non-slip grip and there’s an adjustable telescopic shaft to suit your height. This makes it easy to manoeuvre. It’s also pretty light at 2.6 kg.
An automatic feed means the line spools out automatically. There’s no annoying stop and bump action needed.
This is a great piece of kit which is comfortable to use and offers flexibility with good results. It’s my top recommendation for all strimming jobs except large brambles and tough roots.
Overall, the BLACK+DECKER Lithium-Ion Cordless Electric Strimmer is the best cordless strimmer available for the money.
Makita DUR181Z 18V Cordless Li-ion Garden Strimmer Review
The Makita DUR181Z 18V Body Only Cordless Li-ion Garden Strimmer is the best grass strimmer if you are looking for the versatility of a cordless machine in a tool that still offers plenty of power and is easy to use.
This trimmer is extremely versatile and can be adjusted to suit your height as well as the angle of cutting. The line is fed by simply bumping the bump feed against the ground, making this less of a hassle than many grass strimmers. The cordless technology makes this simple to use with no need for trailing cords or extension leads.
This strimmer is light and easy to use. It is precise enough to cut lawn edges and powerful enough to cut back tough weeds and vegetation. The battery, which is not included, lasts around 30 minutes per charge which is plenty for small to medium gardens.
This is a great cordless grass trimmer that makes taking care of lawn edges and overgrown areas fuss free.
Ryobi OLT1832 ONE+ Cordless Grass Strimmer, 18 V Review
The Ryobi OLT1832 ONE+ Cordless Grass Strimmer is powerful yet versatile.
It runs off an 18 V battery which gives plenty of power for all your grass-trimming needs, while offering the flexibility of cordless technology. The unit is powerful enough to cope with overgrown vegetation and does a neat job of lawn edging too.
The head has a 25-30 cm adjustable cutting width and pivots easily to make light work of awkward corners. This is a great feature as you are not limited to one width size. The cutting line adjusts automatically by simply easing off the power when necessary.
It is easy to adjust between trimming and edging within seconds. The unit is light and fully adjustable, with a telescopic handle, making it comfortable to use. The battery is not included, but Ryobi have created their flexible ONE range: if you own any other tool from this range, the battery is helpfully transferrable between all products.
This strimmer is light and easy to use and does a great job on lawn edges as well as overgrown vegetation.
ParkerBrand 52CC Petrol Grass Strimmer Review
Petrol heads rejoice – a petrol strimmer has made it onto my recommendation list!
I’ve found this ParkerBrand 52CC Petrol Strimmer to be the best petrol strimmer on the market.
Petrol strimmers are usually more powerful than electric strimmers. This makes them more suitable for heavy work such as overgrown gardens and allotments.
The powerful engine can really pack a punch. You won’t have to worry about getting through those tough stingers, dock leaves or brambles. It’s not as noisy as some petrol strimmers either, although if you’re going to use it for some time earplugs are recommended.
There’s no auto-feed spool BUT it has a bump-feed spool that actually works well.
One of the best features on this strimmer, aside from its power, is the brush-cutter attachment.
Brush cutters are more like lawnmower blades than the traditional strimmer ‘line’, but way more adaptable. Instead of line, triangular plates made of metal or hardened plastic are used. Brush cutters are used for heavy jobs such as roots and thick brambles and undergrowth. These would snap a standard strimmer line.
This strimmer is on the heavy side at 10.8 kg. This is something to bear in mind if you’ve got a large garden – it may become heavy work! That said, it has a sturdy harness to take the weight from your arms. Considering this is a petrol strimmer, it is actually quite a reasonable and average weight for such a powerful tool.
The handle isn’t telescopic, so it can’t be adjusted to your height, but it is long. The strimmer easily reaches over obstacles, and the length is counterbalanced by a second handle.
This is the best garden strimmer to choose if you’re in the market for a petrol model. It has power and will work wonders on tough undergrowth. The starter cord even has a large plastic handle to make firing it up easier.
Bosch ART 23 SL Electric Grass Trimmer Review
The Bosch ART 23 SL Electric Grass Trimmer is an excellent garden strimmer brought to you by a reputable brand.
It has a 280 w motor which is more than enough to trim borders and tidy up hard-to-reach spots which the lawnmower can’t reach. However, it can’t tackle brambles – you’ll need something more heavyweight for tough growth.
This is the best garden strimmer if you’re looking for something really lightweight: it only weighs 1.7 kg – you’ll be hard pressed to find anything lighter.
It has a 100 cm shaft which is a practical length for most people, and double grip handles for ease of use. The semi-automatic spool line means you can get on with the job without worrying about manually fussing with the spool.
The mains connection cable is on the short side at only 2 m long, but at this price an extension lead won’t break the bank.
If you have a small lawn, you can use this instead of a lawn mower as it has a cutting width of 23 cm. This is a great tactic if you’re only looking to cut grass as it will save you shed space and money. Ideal!
If you’re looking for the best strimmer on a budget this is just the ticket. It’s cheap, small and quiet. Perfect for getting little jobs done without wasting power and money.
BLACK+DECKER ST5530-GB Corded Grass Strimmer Review
This BLACK+DECKER ST5530-GB Corded Grass Strimmer is less powerful than its cordless counterpart but still does a great job tidying up the garden.
Power isn’t everything, and this strimmer still has the oomph where you need it most.
Its adjustable settings are a great feature. This strimmer has auto-select technology which allows you to choose a setting that matches the job in hand. Choosing ‘string trimming’ or ‘edging’ adjusts the motor for spot-on precision that perfectly suits your job.
It also has features at the forefront of technology. The ‘E-drive technology’, with a high torque gear system, helps push through overgrown areas.
The motor is pretty good too with 550 w of power. It strims at 7500 rpm with cutting width of 37 cm; you won’t have trim the same area over again.
One drawback is the cable length; this strimmer only has a 6 m long cord. You may need to use it with an extension lead, but that’s a small price to pay given that this is one of the better-value strimmers.
Black + Decker always go the extra mile when thinking about user comfort. This strimmer is very comfortable to use. It has a telescopic shaft, which is easily adjusted to suit your height, and a second handle for an even, safe grip.
The strimmer is easy to manoeuvre and conveniently light – weighing just 2.5 kg it’s one of the lightest recommendations on my list.
It’s got the all important auto-feed spool too which pushes out new line when you need it – no bumping required!
There’s also a helpful wheeled edge-guide to quickly zoom along those flower borders too, which is a nice touch.
To conclude, this is a great corded strimmer which makes life easier with the availability of different settings. It’s also comfortable and lightweight – surprisingly so considering it can cut through more overgrown areas.
NETTA Cordless Grass Strimmer with 18V Battery & Charger Review
The NETTA Cordless Grass Strimmer is light to use, yet still efficient at trimming lawn edges and overgrown areas.
It runs on an 18 V battery which comes included. This offers plenty of strimming power and last for ages – up to 45 minutes on light jobs.
The unit itself is lightweight at just 2.3 kg, making it easy to use for extended periods without getting tired. The shaft is adjustable, from 58 to 90 cm, meaning it’s comfortable to use no matter your height. And the soft-grip handles make it comfortable to use, even for long periods.
What’s more, this strimmer has an adjustable strimmer head, making it extremely versatile and practical. It can be adjusted through 180 degrees allowing you to edge lawns with ease.
The line is easy to fit and adjust and the safety guard is strong and durable.
This grass strimmer does a great job on lawn edges and can cope with longer grass and light weeds. Considering cordless strimmers tend to be a bit on the pricy side, this one also offers great value for money.
XCEED EX18CGT 18V 25cm Cordless Grass Strimmer Review
The XCEED EX18CGT 18V 25cm Cordless Grass Strimmer offers the perfect solution to pristine lawn.
It comes with a wheeled lawn-edging feature which makes cutting a straight border edge easy and efficient.
This grass strimmer is very versatile. As well as being the perfect tool for edging lawns, it is also adjustable to allow you to trim under shrubs and furniture. The head can be angled to deal, meaning it’s possible to cut beneath shrubs and also cut grass evenly on sloped ground.
It comes with an 18 V Samsung battery and lasts for around half an hour between charges. The battery recharges quickly; it fully recharges in around one hour.
The strimmer has an auto-feed line and comes with a guard that protects your flowers from accidental beheading. The unit is also adjustable meaning you can alter it to suit your preferred working height; this is great for avoiding working in an uncomfortable position.
This strimmer is light and easy to use. It has a great design and in my opinion it’s the best garden strimmer for creating perfectly neat lawn edges.
Garden Gear Cordless Telescopic Strimmer Review
The Garden Gear Cordless Strimmer includes a powerful 20 V lithium-ion battery. It is cordless and fully adjustable, making it comfortable and versatile to use.
This cordless strimmer powers through long grass with ease, making light work of small weeds such as nettles and couch grass as well. The 26 cm cutting width gives a professional finish on grass and is small enough to get into difficult corners. The unit also comes with an edge guide and detachable wheel to make it easy to create neat lawn edges.
The battery lasts around 35 minutes on short grass and about 25 minutes on tougher jobs; a pretty good amount of time to get plenty done.
The lightweight aluminium shaft is adjustable from 95 to 115 cm which can really make your life a lot easier. There’s nothing worse than getting a sore back from crouching over a strimmer! The strimmer head is adjustable up to an angle of 90 degrees which makes it easy to use in awkward areas and on slopes.
This product is part of a range of items from Garden Gear that can share a battery; just another reason that this is a great value garden tool!
Overall, this is a great garden strimmer. The battery comes included which isn’t the case for all cordless strimmers, and it has a little more power than most on this list. It will neatly cut grass and light weeds, as well as smarten up lawn edges.
Garden Strimmer FAQ
It’s not difficult to replace the strimmer line, but it can be fiddly and annoying. Eventually you’ll have to replace it even with the utmost avoidance of rocks, stones and roots, so don’t be shy – get stuck in.
- Firstly, make sure the strimmer is unplugged or turned off.
- Next get out your spare strimmer line.
- Remove the casing and place the new strimmer line on the spool’s starter hole, winding it around the directional arrows.
- It’s worth taking your time to make sure it’s neatly done, otherwise the strimmer may jam and you’ll have to start again. When you reach maximum capacity, or come to the end of your strimmer line, cut it with around six inches to spare and fix the end into the spool’s eyelets.
- Then you’ll need to put the spool back in, making sure the strimmer line matches up with any outer eyelets.
- Finally replace the strimmer casing by lining up the tabs and pressing until it clicks.
It may take some time to figure this out as it can vary between strimmers, so always retain the instruction booklet. There are some helpful videos online too.
Two-stroke petrol strimmers need the right mix of fuel to work. Read the manufacturer’s manual before you fill the tank; generally tanks should be filled to about 2/3 full. Then make sure the cap is firmly in position.
Now, getting it started for the first time may require some patience, but these steps will help:
- Press the priming bulb so fuel enters. You may have to do this up to eight times. Once fuel is spotted, flick the ‘on’ button.
- Next, the choke. If you have a cold strimmer, put the choke into the start position.
- Place your strimmer on the ground so the cord faces upward. Make sure the cutting line isn’t touching anything, then hold the neck of the strimmer and pull the cord. Go slowly until you feel resistance then give it a quick hard tug.
- It may take a couple of pulls until the engine fires up, don’t worry if you can’t get it right away, there is knack just keep at it (it literally took me all morning to get my first petrol strimmer started!).
- Once the engine is running open the choke and let for a short while to warm up.
If it just won’t start check your fuel mixture, or if you’ve pulled the cord many times you could have flooded the engine. Look for the spark plug (it’ll be under the casing) and if it’s damp allow the fuel to dry off before starting again.
There are a few reasons this can happen:
- You’ve run out of fuel! It sounds obvious, but sometimes we just don’t realise how much petrol we’ve run through!
- The fuel mix is incorrect. Two-stroke engines need the right mix of petrol and two-stroke oil. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual to find the right ratio for your machine. Always mix the fuel in a suitable container rather than the engine itself, to mix the liquids properly.
- There might be a blockage. If no fuel appears in the priming bulb then the tank might be blocked by its filter. You can adjust that by removing the casing and easing the filter into the right spot.
- It could have overheated. If you’ve put on another attachment, such as a brush-cutter head and its shaking or vibrating, then the strimmer may have overheated. Leave it to cool down and try using it without the attachment to see if it runs better.
If these tips don’t solve your problem find someone who can service your strimmer.
- BLACK+DECKER Lithium-Ion Cordless Electric Strimmer
- Makita DUR181Z 18V Cordless Li-ion Garden Strimmer
- Ryobi OLT1832 ONE+ Cordless Grass Strimmer, 18 V
- ParkerBrand 52CC Petrol Grass Strimmer
- Bosch ART 23 SL Electric Grass Trimmer
- BLACK+DECKER ST5530-GB Corded Grass Strimmer
- NETTA Cordless Grass Strimmer with 18V Battery & Charger
- VonHaus 550W Grass Strimmer With Adjustable Telescopic Pole
- Garden Gear Cordless Telescopic Strimmer