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What Are the Different Types of Yard Trimmers?

By Kay Paddock
Updated May 16, 2024
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Weed trimmers are often a necessary part of yard maintenance, so choosing the right type can make lawn care easier. There are three basic types of yard trimmers: gas-powered, electric, and rechargeable. Gas-powered trimmers have a small gas tank built in. Electric trimmers must be plugged into an outlet or an extension cord. Rechargeable trimmers must be plugged in to allow the batteries in the unit to charge, and can only be used for a limited amount of time before the charge runs down. Trimmers can be hand-held or designed to roll on the ground like a lawn mower.

Yard trimmers that roll on the ground are often called yard edgers or edging tools. These are most often used when there is a large area to cover. Commercial landscaping companies sometimes use these types of yard edgers because they're less labor intensive that those that must be carried. They can be as large as a very small manual mower, so more storage space is necessary for this type of equipment. Edgers that roll are usually gas-powered and more expensive than carried versions.

Hand-held string trimmers are more commonly used by homeowners and come in a variety of sizes. Small, rechargeable models are designed for light use while larger trimmers can handle heavy-duty jobs. When choosing whether to opt for a gas, electric, or rechargeable yard trimmer, consider the size of the yard and the physical ability of the person who will use it.

Gas-powered yard trimmers are the heaviest type and usually the most expensive. The ongoing cost of purchasing gas should be considered, too. The weight of the small engine and its gas tank can make these trimmers hard to use for someone with back problems or physical limitations. Gas trimmers work best on large jobs because there's no need for a cord and they can run a long time.

Electric yard trimmers will run as long as they're plugged in, but they don't have as much power as gas models. These are often the least expensive type to purchase, and they cost very little to operate. As long as the area to be trimmed can be reached with an extension cord, an electric model may work well.

Rechargeable yard trimmers are also best for small areas. They typically only run for about 20 minutes on a single charge, which makes them unsuitable for large jobs. A rechargeable yard trimmer doesn't require a cord, but has less trimming power than a corded electric model. If the weeds are thick or very tall, even in a small area, a powerful gas trimmer is usually the best choice.

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