Gardening Tools

10 Best Commercial String Trimmers 2020 Reviews

Picking the best commercial string trimmer to get your landscaping jobs done can be a very tricky ordeal if you have no idea what to look for.

A lot of products out there today are delicately engineered and crafted with top quality material, so it’s easy to go with the first one that catches your eye or settle for the security of a trusted neighbor’s recommendation.

On the other hand, plenty of handymen and professional landscapers might have had their fair share of testing different commercial string trimmers from different brands—so they’ll know their stuff.

In this article, we pinpoint exactly what makes a commercial string trimmer good, and which ones you should be looking out for.

Types of String Trimmers

Best Commercial String Trimmers

Before diving into what makes a string trimmer good, and which one to pick, you first have to acquaint yourself with which one suits your landscaping situation the best.

There are three types of string trimmers.

  • Gasoline-powered
  • Corded electric
  • Battery-powered

Each type of string trimmer has its own pros and cons and are more suitable for different situations.

1. Gasoline-powered

These string trimmers typically use a mixture of gasoline and oil and are better suited for bigger projects.

In other words, these are heavy duty string trimmers best used for jobs that last more than a couple of hours, dealing with thick foliage such as tall grass and weeds.

These are often the most powerful of the three types and will last about 10 years with proper maintenance. And, because the fuel resides in a gas tank, the mobility offered by these gas-powered machines is supreme.

The only downsides one may experience when using a gas-powered engine is that they are notoriously noisy and are not very eco-friendly because of their emissions.

Best used for

  • Large projects that take more than one or two hours
  • Edging & Trimming
  • Thick foliage

Pros

  • Very powerful
  • Durable
  • Mobile

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Noisy
  • Air pollution
  • Maintenance-heavy

Gasoline-powered string trimmers typically come with either of two engine types:

2-cycle engines

Also known as 2-stroke engines, these usually perform better for whatever yard work you’ll be doing. They’re generally more powerful, but usually noisier and produce more emissions. However, it’s a decent trade-off if you’re looking for results and efficiency.

4-cycle engines

Also known as 4-stroke engines, compared to 2-cycles, these are somewhat on the weaker side in terms of power. The advantage that they have is that they are typically easier to start (which means less downtime and more work), are quieter, and generally pollute less.

2. Battery-powered

Much like its gas-powered counterpart, battery-powered string trimmers are also mobile and thus offer more range to cover larger areas of land. On top of that, because these use electricity exclusively, there are zero emissions. They’re eco-friendly!

The best thing about these is that maintenance isn’t as big of an issue. Gas-powered string trimmers tend to be a bit problematic because they will need to be maintained regularly, and fuel mixture ratios have to be up to standard.

The only thing you’ll have to watch out for with battery-powered string trimmers is charging them regularly.

Best used for

  • Smaller jobs
  • Edging & Trimming

Pros

  • Mobile
  • Emission-free
  • Maintenance-free

Cons

  • Not ideal for big projects
  • Only last 3-5 years
  • Batteries can be expensive

3. Corded electrics

Corded electric string trimmers are great for longer projects. All that’s needed is a constant power source, and you can trim away without worrying about running out of fuel.

The downside to this is that, being corded, their range is severely limited. You can overcome this by using extension cords, but for very large projects, the limited range can be tremendously problematic.

Thankfully, their power can make up for their limited range.

Best used for

  • Smaller jobs
  • Edging & Trimming
  • Tall grass and weeds

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Emission-free
  • Maintenance-free
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Difficult to maneuver
  • Severely limited range

What Makes a Good Commercial String Trimmer?

10 Best Commercial String Trimmers

As is the case with any home improvement tool, you’re better off going with the best quality you can find. Chances are, you won’t be replacing your tools in the next couple of years, so might as well get the best bang for your buck!

So, what makes a commercial string trimmer good?

Easy-to-use

If you’re a professional landscaper, you probably know what to do with your machines. Maintenance is an everyday thing. Because of this, you won’t have trouble tuning your carb for optimal performance or loading additional line after exhausting your spool.

However, for the average Joe, the power mom, or your 8-year old child, this is all convoluted jargon.

You should look for a string trimmer that’s easy to use (e.g. has an auto loading mechanism, starts easily, detailed instruction manual)

Easy-to-handle

This won’t be too much of a problem for homeowners with small yards that only maintain their yards for an hour or two every season.

But for professional landscapers, a string trimmer that’s uncomfortable to hold, too heavy, or too short or long will cause serious shoulder and back problems in the long run.

This is especially troubling if you’re a gentleman in your golden years just looking to get some yard work done. To know whether a string trimmer will be easy for you to handle, it should be:

  • Lightweight

The best commercial string trimmer for you will be lightweight. Otherwise, fixing on a shoulder strap will be able to fix a heavier than usual string trimmer.

  • Appropriate for your height

It should be the perfect length for your height. Short people will often have trouble with longer shaft models, as they will have to find a comfortable angle. On the contrary, taller people dealing with shorter shaft models will find themselves crouching to get work done.

  • Evenly balanced

Before purchasing a string trimmer, you should get a feel for whether the weight on the machine is distributed evenly. If not, it will strain your back.

Commercial String Trimmers

Durable

It’s unclear whether the machine you just bought will stand the test of time. Because, obviously, it takes time to see whether it will.

A good commercial string trimmer lasts up to about 10 years with proper use and maintenance. A great one will last the same amount of time with abuse and virtually zero maintenance.

Crazy, right? But some of the products in our list actually fit the bill.

Powerful

Most importantly, a good commercial string trimmer has to be powerful. This key factor determines how much work you’re going to get done and how quickly.

Not every piece of land is the same, and some patches of grass are taller and tougher than others. If you’re using your string trimmer for commercial purposes, you have to make sure it can pack a punch.

Dealing with tough, woody stems and pesky pebbles can be a problem, but a powerful string trimmer will make short work of it.

Useful Features to Look Out For

Not every string trimmer has the same features, and one that does the job perfectly for you won’t quite fit the bill in some departments.

Here are some convenient features you have to look out for in a string trimmer that will massively improve quality of life.

  • Shaft type

The type of shaft will have a direct effect on how comfortable you are when using your string trimmer.

Curved-shaft models will be lighter, easier to handle, and are more idea for smaller jobs. And, because of the curve, shorter people will have little trouble finding a comfortable angle to hold it in.

Straight-shaft models will have longer reach and are more suitable for taller people. Shorter people will sometimes struggle with a straight-shaft model especially if the model is long. In such a case, shorter people might have to find a comfortable angle to hold their string trimmer, which can be quite tricky.

  • Gas-powered models

If you’re using a gas-powered model, looking out for the following features can come in handy:

Exhaust deflectors are a small but convenient feature found in some gasoline models. These will aim gasses from your engine to the back rather than to the side.

Translucent gas tanks help you see immediately whether you’re low on gas.

Centrifugal clutch design lets the trimmer idle without spinning the line which keeps it safe and makes it easier for you to start.

Top 10 Best Commercial Stringers in 2020

ModelRating
WORX WG1634.7
BLACK+DECKER ST86004.6
DEWALT DCST920B4.8
Greenworks 211424.5
Tanaka TCG27EBSP4.4
Shindaiwa T2625.0
Husqvarna 129C4.4
Echo SRM-2620T4.3
Husqvarna 128LD4.5
Ryobi RY4CSS4.2

10. WORX WG163

The best model for small projects, the WG163 is the second lightest model on this list, weighing just 6 lbs.

It is also the only battery-powered model on this list. Its battery lasts long enough for two full uses for a typical suburban yard, making it extremely handy for home use.

The model’s instant line feed feature makes it so easy to feed line that even a child could do it. In fact, it’s so easy to use, that we personally recommend this for everyone who considers themselves “mechanically-challenged”.

WORX prides itself with using the same plastic in its products that is used in helmets, which speaks for the toughness and durability of this small but strong piece of metal. And, what it lacks in power, it makes up for with its maneuverability and precision.

In addition, WORX also rewards its users with a generous “free spools for life” benefit.

Overall, it’s not the best option for cleaning up a heavily neglected patch of land, but it’s excellent for maintenance.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use
  • Instant line feed feature
  • Great for small yards
  • No cord, free range
  • Very lightweight

Cons

  • 12-inch cutting swath, not ideal for larger jobs
  • More ideal for yard maintenance

Plastic used is the same plastic used on helmets. “Free spool refills for life”, Instant line feed, so easy to feed line that a child could do it, great for mechanically challenged people.

9. BLACK+DECKER ST8600

Weighing astonishingly low at 5.35 pounds, and the absolute lightest model on this list, the ST8600 still packs a punch. For its incredibly low price, this model is still very powerful.

Think of it as an adorably small and light raging bull. This thing will power through constant use and abuse like an absolute champ and will still be useful.

The light weight is also immensely convenient. String trimmers are notorious for their ability to strain your back, so the lighter, the better. In addition, its built-in edge guide, combined with its lightness, makes for supremely precise edging.

Because of this, this is our top pick for the elderly homeowner who’s just looking to get some yard work done.

Pros

  • Most affordable
  • Most lightweight
  • Less downtime with auto-feed system
  • Can cut well through tough grass
  • Great for edging

Cons

  • 13-inch cutting swath, not ideal for larger jobs
  • Corded, limited range

8. DEWALT DCST920B

The DCST920B is as silent as it is powerful. An impressive unit, this model can perform just as well as some gas-powered units.

The high setting is just right for most jobs unless you’re working on super thin grass. Otherwise, the normal setting does perfect.

Some downsides to this unit would be that it goes through batteries like they’re nothing. In the long run, it might be cheaper to just go for a gas-powered unit, as repeatedly buying batteries will end up being more costly.

Other than that, the blade guard is very small, which makes it unsafe when there’s a lot of non-grass debris around.

Nonetheless, this model is still a good alternative to corded or gas and is very easy for even kids to operate.

Pros

  • As tough as some gas-powered models
  • Anti-overheating mechanism
  • Very well-balanced
  • Very quiet

Cons

  • 13-inch cutting swath, not ideal for larger jobs
  • Blade guard’s design is lacking
  • Heavy for an electric model
  • Drains batteries quickly
  • Corded, limited range

7. Greenworks 21142

At 120V and 10amps, the motor is effectively a 1200-watt motor (1.6 hp). Adding to that, it sports a cutting width of a whopping 18 inches. This makes the 21142 the most powerful electric string trimmer on this list.

This beast of a unit is capable of slashing through any kind of grass or weed with zero hesitation. It even comes with a shoulder strap to help you support its already decent weight of 9.9 lbs.

However, the high power of the motor also implies rapid consumption of line, especially if you’re careless with avoiding solid objects. It also isn’t very quiet.

Pros

  • Most powerful electric model
  • Massive 18-inch cutting swath
  • Great for large projects
  • Decent weight

Cons

  • Consumes a lot of line
  • Startlingly loud noise

6. Tanaka TCG27EBSP

The first gas-powered unit on this list, the TCG27EBSP is perfect for longer sessions that last 3-4 hours straight, allowing for little downtime.

Despite being pricier than many others on this list, this unit guarantees both power and quality. It’s relatively lightweight at 11.2 lbs and has negligible vibration which makes it more comfortable even for longer sessions.

The best part about this is its warranty. For commercial use, there’s a decent 2-year warranty, but for residential use, its warranty lasts 7 years. Even so, it’s made well enough to outlast its generously long warranty.

Pros

  • Best residential-use warranty (7 years)
  • Durable enough to outlast warranty
  • Minimal vibration, no hand fatigue
  • Lightweight for a gas model
  • Quiet despite being 2-cycle
  • Great for large projects

Cons

  • Consumes a lot of line
  • Startlingly loud noise
  • Very pricey

5. Shindaiwa T262

Despite being a bit pricey, the T262 is probably the most durable model on this list.

Even through constant abuse and improper maintenance, the T262 doesn’t fail to impress. Even after 10 years, it’s so well made that it can still start on the first or second pull. On the job, it can run up to 55 minutes straight.

Furthermore, a 20-inch cutting swath (the largest on this list) makes it absolutely perfect for commercial use. It gets the job done quickly and covers a lot of ground.

At 18.6 lbs, it’s also the heaviest on this list, so remember that when you purchase this. But the vibration dampening and the good balance on this unit can make up for the few extra pounds.

Pros

  • Most durable
  • Minimal vibration, well-balanced
  • Perfect length for tall people
  • Largest cutting swath, 20”
  • Great for commercial use

Cons

  • Consumes a lot of line
  • Startlingly loud noise
  • Heaviest model
  • Very pricey

4. Husqvarna 129C

The 129C is the most affordable gas-powered unit on this list. But its more attractive price doesn’t imply lower quality.

At 10 lbs, this makes it the lightest gas-powered unit on this list. It has a well-made, curved shaft which makes it suitable for shorter people who might struggle with longer, straight-shaft models.

It also sports a translucent fuel tank which makes it easier for you to visually monitor how much fuel you’re working with.

Despite being exceptionally lightweight, it can still pack a punch. You wouldn’t think it could, but the 129C will butcher tall grass and weeds without hesitation. You’ll be impressed by its power.

Overall, the 129C is light enough for any aspiring garden guardian, but heavy-duty enough to get some much-needed work done.

Pros

  • Lightest gas model
  • Curved shaft, more comfortable and less stiff
  • Great for commercial use
  • Most affordable gas model
  • Translucent fuel tank
  • Impressive power

Cons

  •   Somewhat noisy

3. Echo SRM-2620T

With the Echo SRM-2620T, speed is the name of the game.

Its power is impressive. It’ll cut through the thickest, toughest blades of grass in record time. And, because of its 2:1 gear reduction, you can expect more torque than your usual trimmer. You’ll have no trouble at all dealing with thick, dense ground cover.

The blade guard is designed perfectly which makes for hassle-free edging work. Other commercial string trimmers will give you some trouble when edging as they can be somewhat intrusive, but the SRM-2620T makes reading the line of sight easier than ever.

Unfortunately, the price tag isn’t the most attractive. It’s the most expensive model on this list, so it’s not exactly ideal if you only maintain your yard on a seasonal basis.

Pros

  • Tremendous cutting speed
  • Well-designed blade guard, great for edging
  • Great for large projects
  • Excellent power

Cons

  • Most expensive

2. Husqvarna 128LD

The 128LD is a 2-cycle, straight-shafted powerhouse that can make short work of any yard. Sporting a 28-cc motor, this model will breeze through thick grass and overgrowth. If you’re working on some heavy trimming, the 128LD will do the job with pleasure.

However, we’ve found that this model is more suitable for seasoned landscapers. It takes some adjusting to use it at its full potential. The default settings aren’t the best, but, after adjustment, it’s ready to butcher some greens.

Sometimes, with other trimmers, long grass tends to wrap around the head, but the 128LD is strong enough to completely overcome this issue. The head is designed in such a way that tall grass can’t wrap it in such a way that it slows down.

It’s also very efficient in the way it consumes line. It doesn’t eat up line as much as other trimmers and it’s even easier to feed line into.

It can run fairly smoke-free because of its catalytic muffler, and the dampening is quite light and smooth. Normally, 2-cycle engines are known to be noisy, but the 128LD is quieter than some 4-cycle trimmers. All of these make for a superior user experience.

Pros

  • Most powerful
  • Minimal noise, vibration, and pollution despite being 2-cycle
  • Great for large projects
  • Starts immediately
  • Line-efficient

Cons

  • Carburetor needs to be adjusted first
  • Consumes a lot of fuel
  • A bit short for taller people

1. Ryobi RY4CSS

Taking the number one spot, the Ryobi RY4CSS provides the absolute best value out of every trimmer on this list.

More powerful trimmers will make short work of the thickest, toughest blades of grass and the woodiest stems. But they’ll just as easily exhaust your fuel reserves.

For very large, long projects, power is important; that’s just the truth. But a powerful trimmer may not last as long as one that is fuel efficient. The only downside to the RY4CSS is it’s a bit short, which can be awkward for taller people.

Nonetheless, the Ryobi RY4CSS is the most fuel-efficient model out of everything else on this list and easily takes the cake.

Pros

  • Best value
  • Most fuel efficient
  • Auto-loading mechanism
  • Excellent cutting power
  • Attachment-capable
  • Decent price tag
  • Line-efficient

Cons

  • Might need a shoulder strap
  • A bit short for taller people
  • 4-cycle, lots of vibration

top 10 Best Commercial String Trimmers

Gas-powered, Battery-powered, or Corded?

Battery-powered models are likely your best choice if you have a small space. It’s easier to maneuver because of the free range, and you don’t have to waste time fuddling with a long extension cord.

For larger lawns, you’ll find it more convenient to have a constant power source, which makes using a corded model preferable. Electric models are typically more ideal for most people since they’re lightweight and manageable.

If, however, you’re dealing with some especially rugged areas with heavy grass and tough stems, and an outlet is nowhere in sight, you’ll have to settle for the noisier gas-powered models. Gas-powered models just have more torque, which is ideal for tougher jobs that need more power.

Straight- or Curved-shaft?

Generally, curved-shaft is ideal for shorter people, otherwise, straight-shaft is more convenient.

In the end, it all depends on the length. A shorter person dealing with a long trimmer shaft will feel awkward and will usually struggle before finding a comfortable angle to hold their trimmer.

On the contrary, taller people will find it awkward using a short trimmer shaft and will tend to crouch a lot to get any cutting done.

Otherwise, straight-shaft models are pretty good at reaching hard-to-reach places such as underneath the edge of your deck.

Ideal Cutting Width?

For households, a cutting width of 12” – 14” should be enough. For commercial use, wider cutting swaths upwards of 16” tend to get more done and are more efficient.

Cutting widths for each trimmer typically range from 10” – 20”, and choosing a cutting size really only becomes important if you have to squeeze through some awkward spaces or work at awkward angles to cut.

Conclusion

Choosing the best commercial string trimmer for your landscaping needs can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be—that’s why this list exist!

At Gardenmega, we publish free guides and reviews on all things gardening on our website.

Other than that, you can check out our shop for beautiful gardening products that work—ones that we carefully curated ourselves!

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