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Seven of the best strimmers in 2022

Need a new strimmer? Tackle long grass and tricky corners with our pick of the very best cordless and corded models.

Strimmers are a great tool for tidying up straggly grass, as well as areas a lawn mower can’t reach, such as path and flower bed edges, and around the base of trees. They can also help clear overgrowth if you’re starting a new garden, and trim vegetation on steep slopes.

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We put a range of strimmers to the test, using them in different areas of the garden to see how they coped with trimming long grass and awkward areas. As we evaluated each one, we assigned them scores, and the models that topped the test were awarded BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buys. Each review has a detailed list of pros and cons for clarity and has been rated according to ease of use, handling, performance, and value for money. Only the stand-out strimmers have made our list, so you can buy with confidence.


Best strimmers at a glance

In every review we award outstanding products our coveted Best Buy award. To see these and the others we recommend, browse our pick of the best strimmers below.


For more lawn tool reviews, check out our reviews of the best lawn mowers, particularly our tests of the best cordless lawn mowers. For more cutting, trimming, or pruning help, see our reviews of the best garden shears, the best hedge trimmers, the best secateurs and the best loppers.


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What’s a strimmer used for?

Strimmers cut the long grass and weeds that a mower can’t reach. They’re great for cutting in tricky places, such as around the base of a tree, the corner of a lawn, or on steep slopes. Depending on their power and their blade material, they can also tackle woodier growth like ivy, brambles, and stinging nettles. Many strimmers can also be used to tidy up along the edges of a lawn by adjusting the angle of the cutting head.

What’s the difference between a strimmer and a trimmer?

There’s no difference between a ‘strimmer’ and a ‘trimmer’, they’re the same tool. ‘Strimmer’ is an old trademark name that caught on, as you might say ‘hoover’ for any vacuum cleaner or ‘coke’ for any cola.

What’s the difference between a strimmer and a brush cutter?

A brush cutter is a more powerful tool, usually with metal blades, designed to tackle thick vegetation, rough grass, and weeds. It’s more commonly used by professional gardeners.


What are the types of strimmer?

  • Line (or string) strimmers. These strimmers cut by spinning a plastic or nylon cord at high speed. This cord wears down gradually over time, and is either replaced automatically (automatic feed) or has a button on the bottom of the strimmer you can bump on the ground to reel out more cord (bump feed). They are either single-line, using one line of cord, or double-line, which uses two lines of cord. Generally, the line is designed to wear down gradually rather than completely break, but if the cord catches a rock and snaps, just reel out more cord. However, these fragments of plastic aren’t good for the environment, and once you run out of cord, the spools can be fiddly to replace. Although powerful enough to cut long grass and weeds, line strimmers aren’t as strong as blade strimmers, and are therefore less effective on tough, woody material.
  • Blade strimmers. These strimmers cut using two blades, which on domestic models are usually plastic. This makes them more effective on woodier material than some line alternatives, but if they catch on a rock or tough bark the blades can snap and get lost in the grass, which can damage the mower next time you cut the grass. Strimmers with metal blades avoid this problem, but they’re more expensive and not as widely available.
  • Petrol strimmers. Powered by petrol these typically have steer handles – explained in more detail below – and a curved, angled shaft. Because they use fuel, they’re often more powerful than corded and cordless strimmers, but petrol is polluting and messy to store and use. They’re also heavy, noisy and need regular servicing. Thanks to the rise of cordless batteries, they’re less common nowadays, particularly for home use.
  • Electric corded strimmers. Corded strimmers use a power cable connected to mains electricity. Depending on the length of the cable, these strimmers are more suitable for smaller gardens, but you can expand their reach with an extension lead. They’re also more dangerous than cordless strimmers because you run the risk of accidentally cutting the cable.
  • Electric cordless strimmers. Cordless strimmers are powered by lithium-ion batteries rather than mains electricity. Because of this, you can use them anywhere in the garden, but you’re restricted by run time and how long the battery takes to charge. They also tend to be less powerful and more expensive than corded strimmers, but they can be excellent value if their batteries are part of a cordless system and can be used in other power tools.
The key thing is to always check before you strim. Use a broom or rake to sweep the grass before you start, taking care to look out for small critters like frogs and slow worms, but also larger animals like hedgehogs.

Can I use a strimmer to mow the lawn or trim hedges?

Hypothetically, you could use a strimmer to cut a lawn, but it would take a long time. Strimmers are much less efficient at this task than lawn mowers, and it’s more difficult to get an even cut.

Strimmers aren’t designed to trim hedges, as their woody growth is too thick to be cut with plastic blades or nylon cord, and it would be very dangerous. Instead, use a hedge trimmer, or for more precise work, shears, a pruning saw, or pair of secateurs.

What are the key features to look out for?

Before you buy think about the following :

  • Cutting head. The cutting head is the most important feature on a strimmer. It should be adjustable, so you can change the angle of the cut to cope with inclines and fiddly jobs. In most models, the head turns 90°, so you can trim along the edges of paths and flowerbeds. In the very best models, the cutting head also has wheels to help guide along edges and support the weight of the strimmer.
  • Adjustable shaft. The best strimmers have a telescopic shaft, so you change the height to suit you. In some models, the shaft is angled rather than straight to help you manoeuvre into tricky spots. If space is an issue, it’s also helpful if you can break down the shaft and cutting head after use for storage.
  • Line feed and blade replacements. It’s useful if a blade strimmer comes with spare blades, so you don’t run out if one breaks in the middle of a job. You should be able to get a new spool of line for a line strimmer or replace the whole head. With both types it’s helpful if the spare blades or line can be stored on the tool.
  • Handle types. There are two types of strimmer handles. The most common is a round, circular handle on the shaft of the strimmer, called a loop handle. It makes the strimmer easy and comfortable to control, and on the best models, it can be slid up and down the shaft, so you can adjust it to your height. Alternatively, there are ‘steer’ handles – two handles rather than a loop. These offer more control and let you use a comfortable scything motion when you cut, but they take up room, and can be a little more expensive. They’re also far more common on brushcutters and petrol strimmers than electric or cordless strimmers, so you might not find steer handles on many domestic models.
  • Straps and safety harnesses. A shoulder strap or safety harness is an excellent bonus feature. It takes some of the weight of the tool, making it more comfortable to use, and also helps balance it, for better manoeuvrability and a more precise cut.
  • Bump guard. Some strimmers have metal guards on the head, called bump guards, which prevent the strimmer from cutting beyond a certain point. This protects your garden, as it stops you from nicking a tree or garden furniture but it also protects your strimmer line or blades by preventing them from catching on a fence or wall and breaking. The best bump guards can be adjusted, so you can control how closely you cut.

Kate’s Wildlife Warning

Our wildlife editor, Kate Bradbury, has some advice on using a strimmer responsibly.

The key thing is to always​ check before you strim. Use a broom or rake to sweep the grass before you start, taking care to look out for small critters like frogs and slow worms, but also larger animals like hedgehogs. Hedgehogs frequently sleep in long grass during the day and can suffer terribly from strimmer injuries, so it pays to check before you strim.”

Kate Bradbury

Seven of the best strimmers to buy in 2022

Best Buy strimmers

1

Powerbase 550W Electric Grass Trimmer

RRP: £50

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Powerbase 550W Electric Grass Trimmer

Pros:

  • Great cut
  • Both trimming and edging function
  • Wheels to help edging
  • Comfortable, soft-grip handle
  • Spare spool and storage on the machine
  • 30cm cutting width
  • Good value

Cons:

  • Short 10m black power cable is hard to see in the grass
  • Heavy to use
  • Stiff to switch between trimming and edging modes

This corded trimmer won a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award for the best budget strimmer. A double line trimmer, it gives a fantastic cut, and thanks to its generous 30cm cutting width, tackles the job quickly and efficiently. It’s particularly good when edging due to wheels that help take the strain, so you can achieve a precise cut. The soft-grip loop handles on its telescopic shaft are comfortable and there’s a helpful loop for tucking the cable away when you’re moving around. It has an automatic feed and we love that there’s a storage compartment on the shaft for the spare spool, so it’s close-at-hand when it needs replacing. However, gardeners with limited mobility should note that this strimmer weighs 3.1kg, which is over a kilo more than the lightest machine on test, the Gtech GT50, and it doesn’t come with a strap to help take the weight. The black power cable is only 10m, so you’ll need an extension cord if you plan to strim further from a power source, and it’s tricky to see it in the grass. It also requires some heft to move between the strimming and edging modes as the mechanism is stiff. That said, it’s good value, gives a great cut, and comes with a generous three-year warranty.

Buy the Powerbase 550W Electric Grass Trimmer from Homebase


2

Stiga GT 500e Cordless Grass Trimmer

RRP: £139 (£301 including battery and charger)

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Stiga GT 500e Battery Lawn Trimmer

Pros:

  • Telescopic shaft, which separates in two for storage
  • Both strimming and edging function
  • Support wheels for vertical edge cut
  • 50 minute fast charge
  • Battery level indicator lights
  • Powerful performance
  • Part of the Stiga ePower cordless range

Cons:

  • Heavy to use
  • Guard is awkward to attach
  • Battery and charger must be bought separately
  • Comparatively expensive

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for performance, this trimmer has a generous 30cm cutting width, and the durable nylon double line automatic feed keeps working, so you don’t have to bump line out. The head is easy to rotate for use as an edge trimmer and the wheels help to support the weight of the body, ensuring it cuts at a consistent height. However, as it doesn’t come with a support strap, it’s eventually tiring to use. It’s powered by a large 2Ah 48V lithium-ion battery, which along with the charger is sold separately, making this significantly more expensive than other models in the test. That said, after a fast 50 minute charge it runs for 20 minutes, cutting powerfully and efficiently. It copes well with large patches of long grass, as well as hard to reach areas, and cuts lawn edges cleanly. Light indicators on the battery let you know how much time you have left to finish the job, the telescopic shaft separates in two for easy storage and it comes with a two year warranty.

Buy the Stiga GT 500e from Stiga


3

Worx WG184E Dual Battery (x2 18V battery) Cordless Grass Trimmer

RRP: £199.99 (including battery and charger)

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

WORX WG184E Dual Battery (x2 18V battery) Cordless Grass Trimmer

Pros:

  • Telescopic shaft, which separates in two for storage
  • Both strimming and edging function
  • Comfortable handle
  • Variable speeds
  • Support wheels for vertical edge cut
  • Automatic feed
  • Battery level indicator on the shaft
  • Part of the Worx 20V Powershare tool system
  • Three year warranty

Cons:

  • Weighs 3.9kg, the heaviest in the test
  • No support strap

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for features, the Worx WG184E grass trimmer includes variable speed settings, an adjustable handle and shaft, an automatic feed and wheels. Powered by two 20V lithium-ion batteries, it has a 20-minute run time from a one hour charge, and there’s a battery level indicator on the shaft, so you can see how much power you have while you’re using the strimmer. The cutting head rotates to convert to an edger, and the wheels provide support and ensure a neat, consistent cut along an edge. We like the different speed settings, so you can boost power for longer grass, or reduce it to conserve the battery life if you’re just neatening up edges. The 33cm cutting width makes this the widest model in the test. That said, at 3.9kg it’s also the heaviest in our test, but the telescopic shaft and adjustable loop handle help to balance this strimmer and make it comfortable to hold and manoeuvre. However, it doesn’t come with a strap for additional support and becomes tiring after use in the strimmer mode. It comes with a generous three year warranty.

Buy the WORX WG184E from Very and Amazon


4

Gtech Grass Trimmer GT50

RRP: £129.99 (including battery and charger)

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Gtech Grass Trimmer GT50

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Both trimming and edging function
  • Adjustable loop handle
  • Ergonomic harness
  • Battery level indicator
  • Safety switch
  • Good value

Cons:

  • Long four-hour charge
  • Battery only compatible with 2 other Gtech tools

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for ease of use, the Gtech grass trimmer GT50 is a well-designed tool. It includes a safety switch, an ergonomic harness, an adjustable loop handle, a swivel head to change from trimmer to edger, and easy-to-fit plastic blades. Weighing just 1.8kg, it’s the lightest in the group we tested, but has a relatively narrow 23cm cutting width, so it takes longer to cover ground than the Worx, with its generous 33cm head. On test it tackled long grass and thin woody weeds on uneven terrain, as well as leaving lawn edges looking neat. However, you’ll need to plan ahead for strimming sessions as the 18V lithium-ion battery takes a lengthy four hours to charge to give 30 minutes of power, though there are helpful indicator lights on the battery to keep track of how much time you have left. As it includes a battery and charger, it’s comparatively cheaper than some other cordless trimmers, but the battery is only compatible with two other Gtech cordless tools, the HT50 hedge trimmer and SLM50 lawn mower , which doesn’t represent the best value for money. Other cordless systems have more battery-sharing tools available. It comes with a two year warranty.

Buy the Gtech GT50 from Gtech, Amazon, and Robert Dyas


The best of the rest

Although some models didn’t quite achieve a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award, they still have great features that make them worth recommending. Browse our pick of the best of the rest on test.


5

Makita DUR181RT 18V String Trimmer

RRP: £178.00 (including battery and charger)

Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

Makita DUR181RT 18V String Trimmer

Pros:

  • Quietest on test at 88.5dB
  • Both trimming and edging function
  • Adjustable bump guard
  • Charges quickly
  • Includes shoulder strap
  • Rotating head
  • Battery compatible with more than 100 other Makita tools

Cons:

  • Loud charger, which can be annoying
  • No spare line included
  • No charge indicator on battery

This single-line cordless model from Makita is easy to set up thanks to clear instructions. It has several adjustable features, so you can alter the length of the shaft from 115 to 133cm, change the angle of the trimmer head, and rotate this head to trim the edges of the lawn. Even the bump guard is adjustable with a screwdriver, so if you have a variety of obstacles to trim around you can get the distance exactly right. There’s a safety button, which must be pressed to turn it on, and at 88.5dB this was the quietest strimmer on test, compared to the Powerbase strimmer, which was the loudest at 95dB. It cuts quickly and efficiently despite a small cutting width of 26cm, and comes with a shoulder strap, so it feels light and manoeuvrable despite weighing nearly 3kg. However, the charger for the 18V, 5.0Ah lithium-ion battery emits a high pitched whine, which would be annoying if you have to charge it in the house, rather than in the garage or shed. It also doesn’t come with any spare line, and unlike some of other battery powered strimmers, there is no indication of the battery level as you work. As with all Makita tools, it comes with a generous three-year warranty, and the battery is compatible with a wide range of other Makita garden and power tools.

Buy the Makita DUR181RT from Amazon


6

Mac Allister 18V LI 280mm Cordless Grass Trimmer

RRP: £79.99 (includes battery and charger)

Our rating: 4 out of 5

Mac Allister 18V LI 280mm Cordless Grass Trimmer

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Both strimming and edging function
  • Cuts well
  • Comfortable to use when edging

Cons:

  • Stiff to switch between modes
  • Stiff bump guard
  • Loud
  • Part of a cordless system, but only 6 other tools available

At just under 2kg, this strimmer feels lightweight and easy to move around the garden and it achieves a fast, efficient cut. It’s especially comfortable to hold when edging, has a simple automatic feed, and a relatively generous 28cm cutting width – the widest in the test was the Worx WG184E with 33cm. The 18V, 2.0Ah lithium-ion battery charges in 75 minutes and covers 250 square meters on a single charge. However, we found all its parts stiff to adjust – particularly lifting the bump guard up and down – and it’s fiddly to switch between the strimming and edging modes and to extend the telescopic shaft. Furthermore, the noise level is one of the loudest at 96dB, and this noise is noticeably high-pitched. It has a two-year warranty, and though it’s part of a cordless system, only six other tools are available.

Buy the Mac Allister 18V LI 280mm Cordless Grass Trimmer from B&Q


7

Vonhaus F-Series Cordless Grass Trimmer

RRP: £44.99

Our rating: 4 out of 5

Vonhaus F-Series Cordless Grass Trimmer

Pros:

  • Cuts well and quickly
  • Great value
  • Blade storage

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable handles
  • No edging function
  • Loudest machine on test
  • Battery compatible with only three other tools

Despite its narrow 21cm cutting width, this strimmer gives an excellent cut. The plastic blades tackle grass and woodier material well, and the 30-minute run time is one of the longest in our test. We like the storage feature under the handle for the included spare plastic blades, which are bright pink and easy to spot if they snap off into the grass. However, while it’s efficient, this machine is the loudest on the test at 98dB, and the handles are uncomfortable too. It also takes an hour and a half to charge, which though less than the 4 hours of the Gtech model, is much longer than the 45 minutes of the Makita DUR181RT and Mac Allister 18V LI 18V 280mm. The 12V, 2.0Ah F-Series lithium-ion battery is compatible with just three other Vonhaus tools – a hedge trimmer, garden saw, and handheld hedge and grass trimmer – which can save you money if you buy these in the future, but is limited compared to other cordless systems such as the dozens of compatible tools in the Worx PowerShare cordless system. Crucially, this strimmer also has no edging function, so if you’re after neat lawn edges you should look elsewhere. Because it’s just 12V, the battery is less powerful than others on test, but if you need to tidy up a small garden on a budget, it will do the job well, and comes with a two-year warranty.

Buy the Vonhaus F-Series Grass Trimmer from Amazon and Vonhaus


How We Tested

We tested a range of strimmers, putting them through their paces on lawn edges, sloped areas and big and small gardens. They were assessed according to the following criteria with equal marks attributed to each:

  • Preparation. Assessed how easy the strimmers were to assemble, how long this took and if any extra tools were needed, and how easy the instructions are to use. We also looked at how easy and quick it was to charge the batteries and store the strimmers. 
  • Handling. Looked at comfort, weight, balance and grip, including features like a safety button, the runtime, and noise.
  • Performance. Focused on blade shape and material, cutting width and efficiency, and smoothness and precision of cut. We also assessed power and any extra functionality.
  • Value for Money. Considered all of the above plus any special features, RRP and warranty.

For more information on our testing process, see How We Review.


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This review was last updated in April 2022. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.