A well-manicured landscape is only complete after trimming around sidewalks and flowerbeds. String trimmers get as much use in the residential landscaper's portfolio of lawn tools as the lawn mower itself. Available in a variety of sizes and power options, there is a trimmer suited for every size yard and condition. Because of their power and unlimited range, gas-powered trimmers are the most popular with professional landscapers and homeowners. Electric- and battery-powered (cordless) trimmers, well suited for smaller jobs, are lightweight and produce near-zero emissions.
Corded Electric Trimmer -- Stihl FSE 60
One of the most recommended electric string trimmers for the occasional user is the Stihl FSE 60. Consumer Search and Consumer Reports rate this trimmer from good to excellent among similarly equipped trimmers. With the power of a gas trimmer, the Stihl works well with taller grass and weeds that normally give electric trimmers a problem.
2-Stroke Craftsman 79197 Gas Trimmer
The Craftsman 79197 ranks near the top of most categories. Among the attributes favoring this trimmer with reviewers: ease of use, most powerful in its class, easy string load and its ability to accommodate right- and left-handed users. Consumer Search calls the 79197 a top-rated, powerful trimmer.
4-Stroke Shindaiwa 2510-series Gas Trimmer
Roy Berendsohn of Popular Mechanics reported the Shindaiwa 2510 as "one of two trimmers for which no dislikes were noted, but it is expensive." A powerful trimmer of professional grade, Shindaiwa trimmers are in a class by themselves. Built with quality and usability in mind, the trimmer boasts improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and quiet operation.