The best weed whackers for keeping your garden tidy

It’s all about the edges.

Lawn mowers are so closely correlated with cutting grass that it’s easy to forget about the frequently unsung yet equally important string trimmer. A string trimmer—commonly referred to as the “weed whacker”—is a touch-up tool of sorts that is just as capable at clearing large swaths of overgrowth as it is tackling the most delicate touch-ups around fences and posts. To put it simply, string trimmers go where lawn mowers can’t, and if you’re getting serious about putting a clean finishing touch on your lawn and garden maintenance, it’s one tool you shouldn’t go without.

Take a look at some of our favorite string trimmers currently on the market.

Flip it over and use it as a wheeled edger. Amazon

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This Black+Decker string trimmer comes with a 20-volt, 3-amp hour battery and operates at two different speeds, allowing flexibility depending on what type of vegetation you’re looking to clear. It’s easy to use and set apart by its easy-feed function, which allows you to advance the trimming line as needed with a simple press of a button. It cuts a 12-inch swath and has a height-adjustable handle for maximum flexibility. For the price and functionality, this is a great bet for the most common gardening needs.

Built with a brushless motor for higher torque. Amazon

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This string trimmer from Craftsman excels at bigger projects like clearing lots of tall brush and weeds thanks to its large 15-inch cutting swath. It comes with a 2.5-amp hour battery and offers two operating speeds, which—when combined with the brushless motor—make for a very power- and time-efficient string trimmer. This unit also allows for quick replacement of twisted, unusable strings thanks to its unique winding spool system. Storage is also a breeze if you add-on Craftsman’s separate Versatrack system, which is helpful for an irregularly-shaped item like this.

Two speeds and a 13-inch cutting swath. Amazon

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DeWalt offers this string trimmer that’s lightweight, ergonomic, and easy to maneuver, making it a good choice for navigating small spaces or taking from one landscaping site to another. It comes with a 4.0-amp hour battery that ensures sustained performance between charges and it uses a gear-driven transmission that allows it to run with enough torque to mow through dense brush. It’s also part of DeWalt’s 20V Max series, which means that it operates on the same batteries as most other DeWalt products.

The adjustable spacer guard keeps your flowers safe. Amazon

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This option from Worx is a great way to introduce a string trimmer into your tool set without breaking the bank. It converts from a string trimmer to an edger with a quick swivel using its rubberized wheels, and the trimmer head tilts up to 90 degrees to allow for trimming even on hills and uneven terrain. It includes two 20-volt batteries as well as a charger, so your jobs never go unfinished, and the quick-feed function allows new string to be summoned at a moment’s notice.