Regardless of power source, weed eaters do the exact same thing… they chew up weeds for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; however, there are some key differences between them that you’ll need to hear about before picking one up for yourself.
In this article, I’ll be taking you through everything to do with these handy contraptions, and explaining how much of an impact the energy source really makes to your garden, your life, and even your relationships with neighbors. Let’s get cracking, shall we?
Weed Eaters: Machines With Many Names
To prevent confusion as you’re shopping around, you should know that weed eaters go by many names. You may come across any of the following during your search for one:
- Weed whipper
- Weed whacker
- String trimmer
- Line trimmer
- Grass trimmer
- Weed trimmer
- Whipper snipper
Cordless Weed Eater: Pros
As the name suggests, cordless weed eaters are, well… cordless. That means you won’t have to use a million extension cords or any industrial, long-line socket reels to use these things in the farthest reaches of your garden.
This makes them a lot safer to use, as there are no trip hazards, and you won’t accidentally damage or completely sever the weed eater cable if you lose focus part way through your yard mission.
With no cable holding you back, anchoring you to a wall in your home, you’re free to roam at will, chewing up all the unruly grass that gets in your way.
The absence of a cord also makes storing your weed eater a lot easier, so when your job is done, dust it off, set it aside, and that’s that — nice!
Cordless weed eaters are very discreet, meaning they keep your grass mulching business on the hush-hush.
With no complex gas engine churning away within the enclosure, they’re nowhere near as loud.
If you have touchy neighbors, family members trying to get a bit of shut-eye, or you just like to be as respectful as possible to those around you, a battery powered weed eater is absolutely the way to go.
Now, that’s not to say that they’re silent machines, as they are still pretty noisy, but listen to these kinds of weed eaters one after the other, and the volume difference will be crystal clear.
Battery powered weed eaters emit zero nasty fumes into the atmosphere or your lungs, which is always a bonus, so if you fancy yourself something of an eco-warrior, one of these should be your weapon of choice.
Without any complex machinery to look after, cordless weed eaters are exceedingly low maintenance. So, if you’re not too sure how to keep motors running clean, a battery powered unit will suit you best.
Cheaper To Run
It’s also worth noting that you won’t have to worry about gas or oil changes to keep it running, which will save you some pennies over the years.
Easy To Use
Cordless weed eaters are light weight and work at the push of a button.
This means that you can delegate yard work to your kids (if they’re old enough), giving them another way to earn their allowance, and you can supervise with a cold one.
Cheaper To Purchase
This may not be true across the entire market, but for the most part, a cordless weed eater will be more affordable than a gas powered unit.
Cordless Weed Eater: Cons
Batteries are great at first, but they’re bound to run out before long. If you have a large area to cover, this can be a real pain in the grass!
What’s more, as the battery starts to dwindle, the power output will also start to diminish, which can make dealing with tough or long grass a challenge.
I’d recommend investing in a few spare batteries so you can switch them out on the go and keep on trimmin’.
When the battery gives up the ghost, unless you have spares, you’re looking at a pretty steep recharge time, which isn’t ideal.
Cordless weed eaters rarely need much maintenance, but when they do, it can be tricky finding a shop that repairs them.
This kind of weed eater simply isn’t as powerful as their gas-guzzling counterparts, so if you have some truly dense grass to battle, it might not be for you.
Gas Weed Eater: Pros
If you’re looking for raw power, then gas is the only way to go. Gas weed eaters will churn through anything that comes in their way!
These are commercial-grade machines, and they give a commercial-grade performance every time.
Sure, gas does run out, but if you’ve got a full gas can, you can keep on trimming all day long.
This makes gas weed eaters perfect for those with larger yards, as you can get the job done in one sitting instead of waiting for batteries to recharge multiple times.
The Tool Of The Pros
If you want what the pros are using, then it’s gas, gas, gas — no questions asked!
Whereas battery powered units will start to fade towards the end of the charge, gas units will go until they simply stop running, ensuring you get maximum output from your fuel source.
There are many places you go to have your gas weed eater fixed up, so should it start misbehaving, it’s really no biggie!
It may not be in the name, but let’s not forget that gas weed eaters are also cordless, so there are no trip hazards and no chances of damaging a power cord.
Gas Weed Eater: Cons
Gas powered anything is of course not great for the environment, and with the eco crisis we’re currently facing, a gas yard tool isn’t really the most responsible purchase.
Gas motors may be super powerful, but they’re also deafeningly loud, so I’d highly recommend using some sort of ear protection and warning neighbors when you plan on whipping it out.
Gas systems require more maintenance and specialist knowledge to keep up and running, so if you’re not sure how to clean out a gummed up engine or how to mix fuel and stabilizer, you may want to settle for a cordless design.
Pull Start Panic
Pull starts can be tricky to work with, especially if you’re not built like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. If you’re worried about throwing your shoulder out, stick with cordless.
Final Thoughts: Which Is Right For You
Consider what we’ve discussed here today, and the answer to this question should be crystal clear, but if you’re still unsure, here are some pointers to help you figure things out.
- Large or multiple areas to cover? Go gas.
- Want to keep your neighbors happy? Go cordless
- Need to trim lots of long, tough grass? Go gas
- Want your kids to help? Go cordless
- Worried about repairs? Go gas
- Want to save the planet? Go cordless
And there you have it! Those weeds won’t know what hit ‘em!