7 Best Gas String Trimmers of 2021 [Reviews]

Gas string trimmer laying on a rock in a field

If you’re shopping for a new gas string trimmer, you don’t have to wade through hundreds of options alone. We’re here to help with this roundup of the best gas string trimmers for the money. 

We’ve collected detailed information on each product’s specifications, along with tips from customer reviews, to help you select the best gas string trimmer for your yard. 

String trimmers — or weed eaters, weed wackers, weed trimmers, grass trimmers, or whatever else you choose to call them — make it easy to cut grass and weeds in hard-to-reach or sensitive spots. 

Gas-powered models, though loud and bad for the environment, are really the only option if you need a high level of power coupled with high mobility. 

Check out our top picks for the best gas string trimmers of the year to find heavy-duty tools perfect for homeowners with lots of grass to trim. 

Top 7 Gas String Trimmers – Reviews

1. Ryobi RY253SS 25 cc 2-cycle straight shaft string trimmer

Ryobi RY253SS 25cc Straight Shaft 18" Lawn Grass Weed Trimmer 2 Cycle Gas Power

Our top pick, the RY253SS straight shaft model from Ryobi, is affordable, versatile, easy to use for a gas weed eater, and powerful enough for just about any residential yard work.

The machine’s 25 cc, 2-cycle engine features a full crankshaft, which essentially means the engine will last longer. Several users reported that the engine starts easily and reliably (though starting any gas engine can be difficult sometimes). 

One of the greatest benefits of this trimmer is that it’s compatible with Ryobi’s line of “Expand-It” products. By purchasing extra attachments, you can easily convert this one tool into many others, including an edger, blower, and tiller. If you need more than just a string trimmer to tidy up your lawn, you’ll save money and storage space with this Ryobi tool. 

Even if you only use the RY253SS as a weed eater, it’s worth the price you pay. The large 18-inch cutting swath lets you finish trimming faster, the long straight shaft helps you reach around obstacles, and the reel-easy string head makes threading a new line simple for the user. 

Specifications:

  • Engine power: 25 cc
  • Cutting swath: 18 inches
  • Line diameter: 0.095 inches
  • Weight: 12.2 lbs

Pros:

✓ Converts to other power tools with Ryobi attachments (sold separately)
✓ Large cutting swath
✓ Cheap

Cons:

✗ Some reviewers reported the cutting head coming unattached while in use
✗ Some users had to replace the carburetor after a short period of time

2. Husqvarna 128LD 2-cycle straight shaft string trimmer

Husqvarna 128LD 17" Cutting Path Detachable Gas String Trimmer

The Husqvarna 128LD trimmer combines power and convenience. This weed eater’s 28 cc, 2-cycle engine is among the most powerful on this list, so it’s great for tough yards with thick grass and lots of weeds.

The 128LD is also lightweight compared to many of our other picks, making it easier to carry for longer. 

Along with the big selling points (namely the strong engine and seal of approval from Husqvarna, one of the most trusted names in power tools), the 128LD has lots of little special features that make it easier to use. 

One is the “Tap ‘N Go” line release, which lets you release the trimmer line by simply tapping the cutting head against the grass. Loading a new line is easy, too, since the head has auto-feed.

If you’re nervous about starting a gas engine, Husqvarna’s SmartStart technology reduces resistance on the cord to make startups easier. 

Like Ryobi, Husqvarna has a line of additional attachments available that can turn this trimmer into other power tools, including an edger, tiller, and pole saw.

While most reviewers reported the machine working great, some noted that the 128LD is a little short for a straight shaft trimmer. Some users who are around 6 feet tall said they had to hunch over while using the tool. 

Specifications:

  • Engine power: 28 cc
  • Cutting swath: 17 inches
  • Line diameter: 0.095 inches
  • Weight: 11 lbs

Pros:

✓ Powerful engine
✓ Easy startup
✓ Lightweight
✓ Converts to other power tools with Husqvarna attachments (sold separately)

Cons:

✗ Expensive
✗ Short shaft makes it inconvenient to use if you are tall 
✗ Some reviewers reported that the engine will run only in short spurts after a year or less of use

3. Poulan Pro PR28SD 2-cycle straight shaft string trimmer

Poulan Pro PR28SD, 17 in. 28cc 2-Cycle Gas Straight Shaft String Trimmer

The PR28SD trimmer from Poulan Pro has many of the same features as the Husqvarna 128LD, but this model is significantly less expensive. This Poulan has a powerful 28 cc, 2-stroke engine like our Husqvarna pick, along with convenient perks like “Tap ‘N Go” line release and easy spring-assisted starting. 

Also like our other top picks, the PR28SD can convert to an edger, cultivator, brush cutter, and other power tools with extra attachments. 

One major difference in the Poulan Pro model is its weight. At 14 pounds, it’s on the heavier side and may be difficult for some homeowners to carry for a long time.

Some users also reported that starting the trimmer can be difficult at times, so this may not be the best option for someone inexperienced with gas engines. 

Those inconveniences aside, the PR28SD is a great value for its price. While it isn’t quite as reliable or easy to use as the Husqvarna 128LD, you can save some bucks with the Poulan Pro model while getting a similar gas string trimmer. 

Specifications:

  • Engine power: 28 cc
  • Cutting swath: 17 inches
  • Line diameter: 0.095 inches
  • Weight: 14 lbs

Pros:

✓ Powerful engine
✓ Cheap
✓ Converts to other power tools with Poulan Pro attachments (sold separately)

Cons:

✗ On the heavier side
✗ Starting isn’t always as easy as it should be 

4. CRAFTSMAN WS205 2-cycle straight shaft string trimmer

Craftsman WS205 25cc 2-Cycle 17-Inch Straight Shaft Gas Powered String Trimmer and Brushcutter Handheld Weed Wacker with Attachment Capabilities for Lawn Care, Liberty Red

With the CRAFTSMAN WS205, you can save even more money and still get a high-quality weed eater.

This CRAFTSMAN’s 25 cc, 2-cycle engine isn’t the most powerful, but it should be sufficient for residential use. This model isn’t super light in weight but it isn’t too heavy either, and the adjustable handle lets you find a working position that’s comfortable and ergonomic for you. 

The main appeal of the CRAFTSMAN WS205 is that it’s affordable. It doesn’t come with as many bells and whistles as some of our other top picks, but it is compatible with TrimmerPlus brand attachments that can convert your trimmer into other lawn care tools. 

Unfortunately, there is a level of risk that comes with purchasing this model. While many users were satisfied with its performance and said it trimmed thick grass and weeds well, others reported that their trimmer malfunctioned to the point that they couldn’t use it after only six months to a year. 

Those that had issues also had a hard time getting in touch with the brand’s customer service. So, the WS205 will save you money, but you may end up in the (albeit minority) group to receive an unreliable product. 

Specifications:

  • Engine power: 25 cc
  • Cutting swath: 17 inches
  • Line diameter: 0.095 inches
  • Weight: 13 lbs

Pros:

✓ Cheap
✓ Converts to other power tools with TrimmerPlus attachments (sold separately)

Cons:

✗ Some users reported the product having a short life

5. Remington RM25S 2-cycle straight shaft string trimmer

Remington RM25S 25cc 2-Cycle 16-Inch Straight Shaft Gas Powered String Trimmer/Brushcutter-Lighweight Weed Wacker for Lawn Care, Orange

The Remington RM25S is a true budget pick. It’s a bit of a contradiction, since it’s heavy (more than 15 pounds), it has the smallest cutting width of all the trimmers on this list, and it has only a 25 cc, 2-cycle engine. For the price, though, it’s a solid weed eater and brush cutter for residential use. 

Even though it’s heavy, this model has some convenient features that make it easy to use, including Remington’s QuickStart technology and a bump head, which releases string when you press it against a hard surface. The ergonomic handle is adjustable for right-handed and left-handed users.

Users reported that the RM25S starts smoothly, works well, and is worth the money. However, it can be difficult to restring and may not work as well after you restring it. 

Specifications:

  • Engine power: 25 cc
  • Cutting swath: 16 inches
  • Line diameter: 0.095 inches
  • Weight: 15.4 lbs

Pros:

✓ Cheap
✓ Easy to use for the most part

Cons:

✗ Heavy
✗ Small cutting swath
✗ Difficult to restring

6. Husqvarna 324L 4-cycle straight shaft string trimmer

Husqvarna 324L 4-Cycle 18" Cutting Path Gas String Trimmer

Unlike the picks we’ve listed so far, the Husqvarna 324L has a 4-cycle engine, which means it runs on straight gasoline and doesn’t require mixing fuel. Because of the high-quality Honda 4-stroke engine, the 324L is by far the most expensive trimmer on our list.

For the extra money, you also get a large 18-inch cutting width, SmartStart technology, the “Tap ‘N Go” line release feature, and Husqvarna’s T25 trimmer head, which is easy to restring. 

The most incredible thing about the Husqvarna 324L? It’s extremely lightweight at just a little over 5 pounds. With this model, you get a heavy-duty, professional-grade 4-stroke engine in a gas weed eater that’s as easy to carry as most electric options.

Most users reported complete satisfaction with the 324L, but there are some minor complaints you should be aware of. To achieve the tool’s impressively light weight, the gas tank is small, which means it runs out of gas quickly, which can be an inconvenience.

Another significant disadvantage is that, unlike our other Husqvarna pick, this model is not compatible with attachments that let it do the work of multiple power tools. 

Specifications:

  • Engine power: 25 cc
  • Cutting swath: 18 inches
  • Line diameter: 0.095 inches
  • Weight: 5.1 lbs

Pros:

✓ Don’t have to mix fuel for 4-stroke engine
✓ Super lightweight
✓ Large cutting swath

Cons:

✗ Expensive
✗ Small fuel tank
✗ Not compatible with other Husqvarna attachments 

7. Craftsman CMXGTAMD30SA 4-cycle straight shaft string trimmer

Craftsman CMXGTAMD30SA 30cc 4-Cycle 17-Inch Straight Shaft Gas Powered String Trimmer and Brushcutter-Weed Wacker with Attachment Capability for Lawn Care, Liberty Red

This trimmer from CRAFTSMAN is another option with a 4-cycle engine, but this one is even more powerful than the Husqvarna 324L. In fact, this is the most powerful trimmer on our list with an impressive 30 cc engine. For extra tough grass and commercial-grade jobs, the CRAFTSMAN CMXGTAMD30SA might be the best choice. 

In addition to being powerful, this CRAFTSMAN model is also easy to use, with a two-step prime and pull starting system and an easy-winding bump head that can hold a spool of up to 20 feet of line.

Fair warning: This trimmer’s powerful engine makes the tool heavy (about 18 pounds), so it might not be easy for all homeowners to use. 

The good news is that, unlike our other 4-stroke pick, this trimmer is compatible with many attachments, so you can convert it into other lawn care tools. The CRAFTSMAN option is also much more affordable than the Husqvarna 324L. 

Specifications:

  • Engine power: 30 cc
  • Cutting swath: 17 inches
  • Line diameter: 0.095 inches
  • Weight: 18 pounds

Pros:

✓ Extra powerful engine 
✓ Converts to other power tools with TrimmerPlus attachments (sold separately)
✓ Don’t have to mix fuel for 4-stroke engine 

Cons:

✗ Very heavy
✗ Some reviewers reported having to replace the cutting head after only a few uses

Buying Guide

What is a string trimmer?

Even if you aren’t familiar with the term “string trimmer,” you’re probably familiar with the tool itself. These tools go by many names, including weed eater, weed wacker, grass trimmer, and weed trimmer. Don’t worry too much about which name to use — they’re all the same thing. 

Basically, you use a string trimmer to cut grass and weeds in areas that lawn mowers won’t reach. That includes tight spots and sensitive areas you don’t want to damage, like the grass around your flower beds or hardscapes. 

Instead of a blade, string trimmers use a string (or “line”) to slice through foliage. String trimmers consist of a long shaft with a cutting head, also known as a trimmer head, on one end. The cutting head is the part of the tool where you load the string, and it’s the part that does the cutting (thus the name). 

Is a gas string trimmer right for you?

Aside from gas string trimmers (like the ones on this list), there are also many high-quality corded electric and cordless battery-powered string trimmers on the market.

In general, electric options are quieter, easier to use, and better for the environment than their gas counterparts since they don’t produce emissions. Electric motors also take a lot less maintenance than gas engines. 

So, what are the advantages of a gas string trimmer? The biggest one is power. Gas weed eaters are almost always more powerful than their electric counterparts.

The other major benefit is that gas engines aren’t limited by either an extension cord or a battery’s run time. If a gas trimmer runs out of juice in the middle of a job, all you have to do is fill up the tank and keep working. You don’t have to wait for a battery to recharge. 

For these reasons, gas string trimmers are usually the best option for people with large properties or thick growth to cut through. For small, well-kept yards, you might be better off with an electric model. 

2-stroke vs. 4-stroke engine

When it comes to gas engines for power tools, you have two basic options: 2-stroke (aka 2-cycle) or 4-stroke (aka 4-cycle). The difference between the two lies in how the engine works and how many strokes of the piston it takes to generate power. But what does that actually mean for you? Here are the basics. 

For a 2-stroke engine, you’ll have to either mix gasoline and oil or buy a premixed fuel blend. While this can seem like an inconvenience, it also means that you won’t have to perform regular oil changes.

Note: 2-stroke engines tend to produce more power than their 4-stroke counterparts. As you may have noticed from our top picks, 2-stroke trimmers are usually less expensive than 4-stroke weed eaters. 

A 4-stroke engine runs on straight gasoline, so you won’t have to mix fuel. String trimmers with 4-stroke engines are typically quieter and have better fuel efficiency than 2-stroke weed eaters. These benefits are what makes 4-cycle trimmers cost more. However, these also require more maintenance, since these tools need regular oil changes.

What to look for 

Once you know what kind of string trimmer you’re looking for, you’ll have to compare the many specific options on the market. Here are the factors we used to determine the best gas string trimmers available today, along with information on what these specifications mean for you. 

Engine power: For the engines used in gas string trimmers, we measure power in cc (cubic centimeters). The measurement is technically not related to power itself but engine size.

In simple terms, the larger the engine (the higher cc rating), the more power output. You’ll need more power for tougher jobs, such as trimming through thick growth or wet grass.

Since you’ll usually pay more for a more powerful engine, you have to decide if your lawn needs the extra power enough to justify paying for it. 

Cutting swath: A string trimmer’s cutting swath (or cutting width), measured in inches, relates to the size of the cutting head. This is how you determine the area of grass you can trim at once.

With a larger cutting head and cutting swath, you’ll be able to finish trimming your yard faster than you would with a smaller one.

On the other hand, if your yard has a lot of tight spaces to maneuver around, you might be better off with a smaller cutting head. 

Line diameter: Line diameter tells you the thickness of the string a weed eater can hold. Thicker string is usually more durable and can cut through thicker grass.

All of our top picks hold a 0.095-inch string, which is recommended for professional use and should be more than enough to meet your needs around the house. 

Weight: When you’re using a string trimmer, you have to carry it. It’s important to pay attention to how much a trimmer weighs before you buy one so you don’t choose one that’s too heavy for you.

Would you wear yourself out carrying more than 10 pounds for an extended period of time? If that’s the case, you may be better off with an electric string trimmer, since gas models tend to be significantly heavier.

To lighten the load, some string trimmers can attach to shoulder straps (almost always sold separately). 

Price: Gas string trimmers can cost less than $200 or more than $400, so set your budget before you start shopping to narrow down your selection. You’ll typically pay more for things like more powerful engines, larger cutting swaths, and special features.

With our top picks, we made price the most important ranking factor to show you the models that will give you the most bang for your buck.

FAQs About Gas String Trimmers

1. What is the best gas string trimmer?

The Ryobi RY253SS is the best gas string trimmer for the money. See our review above to find out why. 

2. What is the lightest gas string trimmer?

Of our top picks, the Husqvarna 324L is by far the lightest at only 5.1 pounds. That’s even light for an electric string trimmer. 

3. Is a straight or curved shaft string trimmer better?

That depends on your specific needs. Trimmers with curved shafts are usually shorter, lighter, and cheaper. Straight shafts are longer, so they can reach a wider radius, and these trimmers typically produce more torque. You’ll notice all of our top picks have straight shafts. 

Conclusion 

For a well-manicured yard, a lawn mower isn’t enough — you need a string trimmer (aka weed wacker, grass trimmer, weed trimmer, weed eater, etc). If you want a trimmer with high power that can move freely around your property and run for as long as you need it to, a gas weed eater is for you.

Considering price point, power, size, and weight, these top picks represent your best options on the market today. 

Main Photo Credit: Michael (a.k.a. moik) McCullough / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin is a writer and indoor plant enthusiast hailing from Florida. She enjoys reading fantasy novels, cuddling with her bulldog, and collecting succulents (because they’re so hard for her to kill).