Weed trimmers make quick work of hard-to-reach vegetation, like grass growing against a fence or flower bed that can't be easily accessed with a bulky lawn mower. Not all weed trimmers are made alike. To help you narrow your choices, "Consumer Reports" magazine reviewed dozens of weed trimmers in May 2010 to pinpoint the models that stood out.
Stihl FS 45
"Consumer Reports" called the budget-friendly Stihl FS 45 a "Best Buy" because it packs a lot of features into a relatively low-price package. The reviewers liked its light weight---Stihl says it's the lightest model in its line---and its curved shaft, which the magazine says is helpful for trimming underneath shrubs. The trimmer's head sports two strings and is specifically designed for trimming grass and near fences or walls.
Echo GT 225
The Echo GT 225 made the "Recommended" list by "Consumer Reports," one of the highest labels given to products tested by the magazine. The trimmer includes several features designed to make landscape maintenance easier, including a transparent fuel tank so you can easily gauge when you need to refill it; a simpler starting system that Echo says reduces starting effort by up to 30 percent; and an easy-to-reload trimmer head that quickly snaps in and out for fast string replacement.
Stihl FSE 60
The FSE 60 was one of Stihl's only models to earn the "Recommended" award by "Consumer Reports." The appliance is powered by an electric motor with a simple push starter (you no longer need to struggle with a starter string) and a curved shaft for easier control of your trimming. Its electric motor lets the tool run quieter than its gas-powered counterparts, and it emits no air-polluting exhaust.
Black & Decker GH1000
"Consumer Reports" reviewers recommended the Black & Decker GH1000, saying it was one of the lighter models tested and provided "more value" for the money. Its heavy-duty spooling system can handle thick stands of grass or vines, all powered by an electric motor that provides quiet power. Its trim guard can be flipped with a single touch to switch between edging and trimming.