Last Updated on November 29, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
As the human race advances technologically, so our advances have shifted from creating new products to improving on our current ones.
Adding to that there is a mighty drive going on for each of us to play our part in helping to save the planet by reducing emissions, and rightly so.
The lean towards more eco friendly power tools has meant that they are getting lighter and this includes weed wackers, some of which actually perform even better than the heavy gas weed trimmers of the past.
For us ‘weed wacker demons’, the dread of lugging that awkward and ridiculously heavy machine around the yard to tackle weeds and lawn edges is a thing of the past.
So isn’t it time for you to make the change too?
In a hurry?
Then here’s our Bovees Top Three at a Glance;
As weed eaters have reduced in price and become affordable for the average householder, so the industry has been flooded with different brands and models.
Unfortunately, this is a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to choosing which one of the many trimmers available is best suited to your own particular needs.
But don’t be put off! Help is at hand……..
The Bovees researchers are here to share with you the benefits of their investigations on types of weed eaters, and, accordingly, have come up with a shortlist of The Five Best Lightweight Weed Eaters, amongst which we’re convinced you will find the ideal weed wacker to suit your own personal needs.
If, alternatively, you’d like a bit more info before buying, then scroll down to our Bovees Best Buys in Detail for our in-depth reviews on all the trimmers that have made it onto our shortlist.
Then again, if you have the time and inclination to do some online research of your own, for the best lightweight weed eater, then scroll further to The Bovees Buyers Guide that our experts have put together. This should give you all the tips you need to make your own informed decision.
- In a hurry?
- Brushless Motors
- Other points to consider:
Bovees Best Buys In Detail
— Best Lightweight Weed Eater
1. Makita XRU02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless String Trimmer
Without a doubt, the Makita XRU02Z 18V LXT is the overall highest performing, as well as one of the lightest weed eaters on the market.
It offers a great level of power whilst still enabling the freedom of portability that comes from Li-ion weed eaters. It is also very low maintenance and produces very little vibration or noise.
This unit is very, very light, weighing in at only six and a half pounds, even with a battery attached. Although Makita have still thrown in a shoulder strap with the tool too.
Because of the low weight and the attention to ergonomics, this weed eater is extremely comfortable to wield.
So light that most users do not even need to attach the shoulder strap.
This is an 18 volt cordless weed eater, which normally are not known for being overly powerful.
The power drive transmission of the Makita, however, delivers a surprising amount of power and can deal with all but the most heavy-duty tasks, with ease.
Makita has decided to use a bump feeder in this model. Bump feeds may not be as simple to use as auto feeders, but they definitely save you from using as much line.
For a unit that is probably going to see less action than a gas-powered weed eater, we prefer this as it will save a good amount of money over its lifetime.
Makita power packs have a great reputation, and it shows.
Most users report they can get up to 45 minutes of use per battery. As well as lasting for good amounts of time, Makita batteries also charge very quickly.
One battery should be able to be charged from 0-100% in around 30 minutes. This means that with 2 batteries, you should never have to stop the tool running other than the time it takes to swap the batteries over.
The batteries have a very handy indicator which shows you the amount of charge left before recharging is required.
The edger on the Makita is excellent for cutting around flower beds etc. Simply rotate the head 180 degrees to convert it. If you have an awkward angle to tackle, the shaft design allows for 5 other angled positions you can set the head at.
The traditional metal guard isn’t perfect, but it performs well in protecting flowers in your flower beds and the telescopic shaft allows for adjustments for a range of heights.
If you have other Makita 18v power pack operated tools then this is definitely the weed whacker for you because you won’t need to fork out on batteries and charger which makes it very competitive compared to all four of the other models.
Although there are a few complaints about the manual being too complicated, if you have ever set up similar items, the assembly should be fairly straight forward.
If you are looking for a mid-range weed eater that can deal with any light-medium tasks, has a great power band, and has a range of different adjustments, then it is definitely worth considering.
Overall, the Makita XRU02Z 18V LXT comes with a huge range of benefits to make your life easier, as well as giving you peace of mind that you are investing in a tool that is going to last a long time.
Simply The King of Lightweight Weed Wackers!
- Great all-rounder.
- Dual purpose — two tools for the price of one!
- Very, very Lightweight tool — but still powerful.
- Fast 18-volt battery recharge.
- Great run time.
- Variable speed control — for extended battery life.
- Telescopic shaft — for ease of use no matter your height.
- Tap ‘n Go Line Feed — saves on line compared to auto feed models.
- Three-Year warranty — saves you stress!
- Makita brand — renowned quality and Excellent customer service record.
- Batteries interchangeable with other Makita models.
- Not the cheapest! — But then quality comes at a price.
2. Worx WG162 20V 12” Cordless Straight Shaft String Trimmer/Edger
— Our Bovees Best Budget Buy
As a lightweight and cheap option for those who need both a trimmer and an edger, although not outstanding in either, for the price, it performs well enough at both.
Obviously, if you are looking for the best budget lightweight weed eater, you know it is isn’t going to be the most powerful option on the market and this is not the weed eater you want to purchase if you need to do some heavy-duty trimming.
However, as a decent workhorse, it can be used in a variety of different situations, and most importantly is lightweight and easy to use, which could be your greatest consideration.
When In edger mode, this unit has a new dual wheel setting which makes it a really effective edger, we have some tips on how to use a lawn edger here.
The handle is telescopic, which makes it great for any height, and the angle of the front handle can be adjusted to make it comfortable when tackling those harder to reach areas.
This unit has some really convenient features too. The automatic line feeder, in particular, really makes life easier.
Using a simple push-button system to release additional string when pressed, you will save on trimmer line by not having to manually release extra feed.
This unit comes with 2 batteries too, which is awesome. They both give you around 25 minutes of use, which is around the middle ground compared to its competitors.
To charge both 20v max batteries up to full, you are looking at around 2 hours.
There are some negatives, as there always are to this unit.
Firstly, it only uses 10 ft (3.05 m) line spools, which are smaller than the usual 30 ft (9.14 m), which means that you have to change the spools a little more often.
The quality of the line that is included can be a bit low, too, with users reporting that it breaks fairly often. Then again, when it’s time to buy replacement line you can always opt to buy a better quality one — see our reviews on the best weed eater string here.
Secondly, the recharge time on the batteries is longer than we would like, but then again, you could always invest in additional battery packs. Worx Battery Packs — Check Price on Amazon.
- VERY competitive price — not a reflection on the quality — rather to do with the fact that Worx are a relatively new kid on the block.
- Very lightweight — the lightest of our picks
- 12 inch (30.48 cm) cutting swathe
- Decent run time
- Adjustable Handle
- 20V max Batteries interchangeable with other Worx models.
- 3-year warranty
- Long battery recharge time
- Uses 10 ft (3.05 m) spools for its feed spool system
3. WORX WG191 56V 13″ String Trimmer & Edger
– Our Bovees Best Domestic Buy
The bigger, meaner brother to the WG162 (Best Budget Buy) is the WG191!
Using 56 volts, this trimmer comes with power that is mean and aggressive, and hot on the heels of its gas-operated friends.
This lightweight weed eater has three different settings to choose from and uses a single spool feed line that adjusts automatically to ravage tough weeds and grass alike.
The telescopic pole offers adjustability for all height ranges too.
Although the 13-inch cutting diameter is slightly smaller than the Husqvarna’s 14″, it is still wider than the other three of our Bovees Best Five Lightweight Weed Eaters. Plus the power easily makes up for it.
Said power is fed to the cutting head from a motor that is mounted just above the cutting area. This is a similar line up to gas models, but thanks to the fact that electric motors weigh so much less, you do not get the top-heavy feel that you get on a gas model.
The comparative lightness means that you get a good powerful weed eater that is really easy to handle, without the fumes and noise that are unleashed by a gas-operated tool.
The fact that this 56v weed eater produces nearly as much power as a gas weed eater is quite remarkable.
The carefully thought through edge guard, which also protects you from debris and fly off, is designed to help you keep track of your cuts and you can also use it to protect plants that you don’t want to risk damaging.
When you need extra precise cuts, you can switch easily to edger mode to give you even better control of the tool.
The battery for this bad boy will run for a whopping 50 minutes, which places this tool amongst the very top when it comes to the life of the battery plus it doesn’t drop in power as it discharges either.
There is also a battery indicator to let you know when you are starting to run low.
This unit takes a 20-foot spool, which is double the size of its little brother the WG162 20V (Bovees Best Budget Grass Trimmer), but unfortunately still not the 30-foot spools that the likes of the other big dogs use.
Changing the spools is really easy though, the tool-less design really makes spool swaps a piece of cake.
Assembly is as simple as they come too, all you need is a screwdriver and 5 minutes of your time. The instructions are easy, and everything fits together logically and simply.
The price is in the middle range of our Bovees Best Buys, but we’d say the quality is rather higher than the price might indicate. Again, Worx is a relatively new company which is probably what reflects the relatively low price.
With a three-year warranty, solid construction, and a high level of power, this is definitely a lightweight weed eater with a lithium-ion power source that can hold its own around gas-operated competitors.
- Very powerful — 8300 rpm (the highest of the other four is the Makita at 7800 rpm)
- 56 volt battery & charger included (2 × 18 volt)
- Variable Speed control
- 0.08 line diameter
- 13 inch (33.02 cm) cutting diameter — our second biggest — handy to get the job done more quickly
- Pivoting head
- Dual purpose — trimming and edging
- Adjustable handle
- On demand line feed
- 3-year warranty
- Uses 20 ft (6.1 m) spools for its feed spool system
4. Husqvarna Battery Straight Shaft String Trimmer 115iL
Husqvarna is known for their exceedingly high quality tools, made from the highest grade materials and packed full of innovation and technology.
Because of these innovations, not only does it provide the most power of the best battery-operated weed eaters that we have reviewed, it is also the quietest and is the easiest to control.
Running at only 77 decibels, you do not need to worry about waking the neighbors here!
The 36.5v battery provides a huge amount of power and swaps effortlessly between other Husqvarna products.
It takes around 50 minutes to charge, which is great because that gives you a whole hour of weed whacking time. This gives the Husqvarna 115il batteries the longest life of all the weed eaters we have reviewed.
Brushless motors are the future of the hand tool industry, and they enable the motor to produce more power in a more efficient way than a gas engine.
Husqvarna’s brushless motors paired with their excellent batteries allow you to have a tool that lasts longer with a higher amount of power than its competitors.
As a bonus… the power produced is such that the airflow from the trimmer line can even be used to remove cut grass from an area by holding it above and parallel with the ground and applying full throttle.
In addition, the 14-inch cutting swath is the widest of our top five best lightweight weed eaters, enabling you to cover ground and finish the job in the fastest time possible.
This weed trimmer also comes with a wide range of adjustability.
You can rotate it to 90 degrees to give you the extra control you need in harder to deal with spaces, and there is an edger attachment if you need better control than that.
All in all a perfect complement to your lawn mower.
The 115il comes with the Husqvarna Smart Start® centrifugal clutch, which makes starting your trimmer a very simple task indeed. No longer do you have to put your back out on cold mornings, trying to get the pull-start to work.
Also, when you are tackling lighter jobs, you can switch the 115iL into savE™ mode, which lowers the battery usage.
Some users have reported batteries lasting up to 100 minutes using this setting, and even on the savE™ setting the 115iL still cuts better than some other tools on the market do in full power mode.
Husqvarna also understand the importance of anti-vibration technology.
They have also installed the LowVib system that they use in chainsaws into the 115iL, and this means that even after long periods of usage, you do not feel the usual fatigue you get from other tools.
Because you do not get fatigued, you can maintain the quality of your cuts, keeping them neat and tidy right up until the last.
Husqvarna is known for its quality and excellent customer service. This is why they back most of their tools with a 3-year warranty.
The warranty itself is also one of the best in the tool industry, Husqvarna customer service is simply world-class, so if you ever have a problem with their products, they are very quick to help.
As long as you aren’t a heavy commercial user or have a garden the size of a shopping mall, this weed eater should be able to cope with anything you can throw at it.
It is second only to the Makita XRU02Z when it comes to the best power pack lightweight weed eater on the market and the only reason it ranks 4th on our picks is because of the relatively high price.
- Brushless X-Torq® Motor — myriad money & labor saving benefits
- 36.5 Volt Battery (Li Ion) and charger included
- Batteries interchangeable with other Husqvarna models
- 14” Cutting swath — gets the job done quicker.
- Telescopic Shaft — for ease of use no matter your height
- Tap ‘n Go Line Feed
- Dual purpose — trimming and edging — grass and weeds
- savE™ Power Save Mode — choose between Max Power or Max Run Time
- Very low sound and vibration output — saves you upsetting the neighbors!
- Smart Start® easy start system — minimizes risk of injury to your back and shoulders.
- Some users have reported problems with the battery not charging.
5. BLACK+DECKER LST300 20 volt Weed Wacker
If you are looking for a tool that performs much better than the price range would suggest, but is still from a reputable manufacturer then the Black + Decker 20 volt Weed Wacker / Grass Trimmer is the trimmer and wheeled edger for you.
But it isn’t just the price tag that makes this trimmer a good deal.
Black and Decker are known for producing high-quality products, so when they offer one of their products at a price this low, we are extremely keen to review it.
Built using Black & Decker’s amazing innovative power pack system, the Black Decker LST300 weed eater is a tool that is built to perform. With a great run time and a few extra features thrown in, this budget trimmer performs at a level way higher than the price tag suggests.
This unit comes ready to rock with dual purposes, and it can change from a trimmer to an edger in seconds.
To do this, you just have to pop the shaft of the weed eater and turn it, then lock it again. The only downside here is the lack of a wheel for judging the distance. It also has a great telescopic handle, which makes it practical for people with differing heights.
The fact you can use the batteries that you already have for other Black and Decker tools is a bonus too.
The ergonomics of the whole unit are surprisingly good too, the plastic molded grip is comfortable, and the whole thing is well-balanced. This means that you can use it for long periods of time without issue.
Weighing in at only 5.7 pounds (2.59 kg) this is the second lightest weed wacker of our top 5 picks.
The out-of-the-box assembly is simple too, just clip the handle into the main body and curved shaft then pop the guard on and you are good to go.
Off one charge, most users report that you will get around half an hours’ worth of use, which isn’t brilliant.
If your needs are going to require longer cutting times, you may have to look at the higher priced models above.
All in all, this is the perfect tool for those who want a great weed eater for a small to medium-sized yard and don’t want to spend a large sum of money and you haven’t got heavy trimming to do.
- Lightweight — second lightest weed trimmer of our picks
- Good run time
- 20 volt battery
- No speed settings
- Can feel under powered
We hope that our reviews have helped you make a decision as to what lightweight weed eater is right for you and your yard. However, if you’re still making up your mind, then keep reading as we look at what factors you need to consider.
If you’re looking for a lightweight weed eater, then the weight is clearly important to you (and that is understandable, especially if you currently have a gas string trimmer and, like myself, are getting on a bit in years!)
The less it weighs, the less energy needed from you to get jobs done in your yard.
All the units on our list are lighter than 10lbs, so if you choose from our list, then you can rest assured that your weed eater will be light as well as high quality.
The Bovees’ Best Lightweight Weedeaters are all light because their power source is modern li-ion batteries.
Not all cordless models on the market have lithium batteries. Although less inconvenient than a corded weed eater, heavier competitors are usually made from cheap, nicad batteries.
They’re not only heavier but also hold less charge and deteriorate quickly.
Just because it is cordless does not mean that it’s light, therefore be sure to check the weight in the product description before you buy.
For a long time, people avoided light-weight weed eaters as they believed that they would not be powerful enough to get the job done compared to a gas string trimmer. However, advancement in technology means that this is no longer the case.
As mentioned above, you need to choose a weed eater that runs on li-ion batteries and preferably with a brushless motor as well which requires less power to produce higher output power.
The battery size is usually measured in volts. Most commonly, 20v and 40v. The higher the voltage, the higher the power output.
For the occasional small job, 20v is probably enough.
Furthermore, increased power tends to result in shorter life for the batteries. You need to decide what is the most important factor to you, power, or the life of the power pack itself.
On the other hand, you always have the option of buying a 40v device and some spare batteries, if both are important.
The benefits of brushless motors are numerous;
- Energy efficient — will save you money on fuel
- Higher speed due to less friction from brushes — will help you get the job done quicker
- More torque & power — will cover you for both light duty and heavy-duty yard jobs
- Longer Lasting — saves you money — good long term investment
- Less maintenance — saves you time and aggravation — not a spark plug in sight!
Power Pack Life
Lithium-Ion batteries beat older systems in durability, power, and how long they hold power. They have easily become the best option, not to mention freedom from the extension cord!
With that in mind, we can then focus on comparing li-ion batteries as some are better than others. Low-quality li-ion batteries will not keep charge for as long and will degrade quickly.
All the brands we have listed are industry leaders and have high reputations in the industry. Makita, Worx, Black, Decker, and Husqvarna are all of high quality.
The average life of the batteries for lightweight weed eaters is just 45-60 minutes.
However, they do come at a higher price. And even with these high-end brands, you may need to consider buying spare batteries so you can change the battery without having to stop working whilst you wait for one to charge.
Another thing to consider is how long the batteries take to charge.
Some will fully charge in less than 30 minutes. This would mean that you would only need two batteries, which you could swap between and keep working consistently.
Another thing you may want to consider is if you already have yard tools with the same batteries for any of the listed brands.
If you already have a rechargeable battery that will fit one of these models and you can buy the unit without the battery(ies), then it might make sense to stick with that. Thus, removing the expense of buying extra batteries.
For most DIY uses, battery life is probably less important. 45-60 minutes should be enough for you to get a good amount of work done. And for some people, this may be as much as they want to do at one time, where people with larger yards may need more batteries.
Therefore, you may want to opt for a high-powered tool of 40v or higher, but that has a shorter battery life. Opting for a shorter battery life will save you some money.
If you do not particularly need high power or long battery life, then go for the budget items from the list. All of the Bovees Best Picks will perform well in most jobs.
Just keep in mind, that for those really heavy-duty jobs, gas weed whackers are still going to be superior. The lightweight option is always a balance between power and weight.
Spacer Guard Quality & Shaft Attributes
The quality of the adjustable spacer guard should also be a high consideration. Modern lightweight weed eaters are powerful and the head spins at over 5000 revolutions per minute. If you catch a pebble, you do not want it shooting off and causing injury or damaging any of your property. A decent guard should prevent accidents such as this.
However, a bigger, more effective space guard also results in a heavier device. If your goal is to find a device that is as light as possible, you may have to settle on less protection.
It is probably worth the extra weight to ensure the safety of yourself as well as anything else which might be nearby, such as your car, house windows, or plant pots.
Furthermore, if you are opting for the ultimate in lightweight 2 in 1 string trimmers, with a 2 in one trimmer and edger, the guard will not work so well in edge mode. We always recommend that safety comes first when it comes to power tools.
This is why we ensure that all the devices on our list are of good quality and from reputable brands.
So far as the shaft is concerned it depends on whether the user of the tool is of average height as to whether you should go for an adjustable shaft. To be sure, mark on a stick to decide how long you would need it and then take a measurement.
Feed Loading Mechanism
Anyone who has previously had a traditional gas-operated weed eater, understands the perils of trying to feed string onto the feed spool. A horrible and time-consuming task.
Fortunately, most modern, lightweight weed eaters have come up with better designs of line feed to relieve us from this task. Whilst some still use old methods where you have to feed extra line by hand, all of the models on our list use more innovative feed spool solutions most of them with an automatic feed spool.
This saves you time and hassle and will perhaps prevent you from procrastinating over your weed whacking.
Many models will have an automatic feed spool which automatically detects when extra line is needed and feeds it through. Others require you to assess when extra is needed and bump the head onto a hard surface which results in extra line being ejected from the feed spool.
So Which Lightweight Weed Whacker Is Right for Me?
There are many things to take into consideration, and it may seem like a daunting task. You need to figure out what your needs are and which one of the many string trimmers available will best meet them.
Key points to consider;
How often will you use string trimmer?
How long will you usually use one for on any given occasion?
How powerful do you need your string trimmer to be?
How stubborn and how numerous are those weeds which you will be using it for?
How big is your yard?
Having considered all of the above, you should be able to confidently remove many options from your selection purely based on the power output and power pack life.
Other points to consider:
How important guard safety is to you?
Do you want to take away the hassle of manually feeding the line.
We did the initial trawling through reviews to bring you a shortlist of string trimmers, so you know that whichever you choose you will be getting a good device that will do the jobs you need it to do in your yard.
At this point you’re probably not left with many options of weed eater to choose from and your final decision probably comes down to whether you want the best on the market or the cheapest.
Spending more money now may result in saving you money down the line.
But that depends entirely on how long you want the device to last.
Batteries are the key to making our everyday power tools lighter and therefore easier to handle.
As experts improve the technology around power packs and brushless motors, manufacturers are able to provide string trimmer models with the same power as their gas-operated ancestors, at a fraction of the weight.
Deciding to buy a lightweight weed eater is also a great way to be more environmentally friendly, as tools powered by Li-ion produce little to no emissions.
They are also a lot better when it comes to noise and vibration, and this means that you do not need to worry as much about vibration related health issues, which are becoming more and more common in the older generations who have used a gas trimmer for years in their yard with no knowledge of the health risks.
There are hundreds of variants on the market, all of whom would love to be featured here, but at Bovees we say it the way it is, not the way the manufacturers would like us to say it.
We hope our efforts to define the best weed eaters have helped you today…..
And that your hours spent with gas trimmers are over!
Thanks for reading!