Weed eaters are kind of like back-scrubbing loofahs—they reach places that regular loofahs (ahem, lawn care tools) just can’t. If you’ve been on the lookout for a new weed eater or are shopping around for your first one, you already know how intimidating this tool and its many variations can be.
Gas or electric? Straight shaft or curved? What are the most important features?
In this article, we’ll be focusing on the gas-powered weed eater variety. Stay tuned for some practical information on what to look for in a gas weed eater, how to maintain one, and which ones are worth a second glance.
Most Versatile: Husqvarna 17” Cutting Path Detachable Gas String Trimmer
Three attachment options make this lightweight gas string trimmer from Husqvarna extremely versatile.
Best for Semi-Professional Use: Husqvarna 4-Cycle 18” Cutting Path Gas String Trimmer
Featuring the only 4-cycle engine on our list, this gas string trimmer is ideal for both amateur and semi-professional use.
Sometimes no-frills is the way to go, and this gas weed eater from Remington proves it!
Why sacrifice power and versatility for affordability? Well, you won’t have to with this 2-in-1 power tool from Wild Badger Power.
Best Engine Size to Weight Ratio: HUYOSEN 51.7CC Straight Shaft Grass String Trimmer and Brush Cutter
This thing features a pretty massive engine while still remaining lightweight enough to use with ease.
Everything about this gas-powered weed eater from SALEM MASTER is geared toward user comfort and convenience.
Power, versatility, durability, and tons of useful add-ons make this 2-in-1 trimmer the best overall product on our list.
Pros and Cons of Gas Weed Eaters
Just like hedge trimmers, you’ll discover that there are a few different types of weed eaters out there: gas, electric, and battery. There is a lot of dispute out there concerning which type is better, and the truth is, this depends on two factors: your personal preferences and your intended use. To give you a better idea of what to expect from the gas-powered variety in particular, here’s a quick list of the pros and cons!
More power and strength.
Compared to electric- and battery-powered models, gas weed eaters tend to have more power and strength. This gives them the oomph they need to tear through thicker brush, weeds, or grass that other types of weed eaters cannot.
Long run time.
In order to keep a gas weed eater running, all you need to do is continue to replenish its fuel supply. This gives you the ability to use it for longer durations of time, especially compared to the battery-operated variety.
High level of mobility.
Despite being a bit on the heavier side, gas weed eaters are very mobile. First of all, they are not bound by the limits of a cord; secondly, most models feature ergonomic handle designs and support straps to make them easier to carry and maneuver.
Good for larger areas.
All of these factors make the gas-powered variety of weed eater ideal for large-scale trimming projects and use on larger areas of land. They have the power to trim through lots of thick brush, the run time to last through a big project, and the mobility required to make the job easy on the user.
Louder than other varieties.
One downside to using gas weed eaters is their sheer loudness. Because they have more power under the hood, it’s only natural that they would produce more noise while in action. It’s recommended to wear ear plugs or headphones while using a gas weed eater.
Tend to be on the heavier side.
As mentioned earlier, gas weed eaters do tend to be heavier than other types. Again, this is largely attributed to its more powerful engine. To combat the issues associated with heavy weed eaters, opt for a model that comes with a support strap or other ergonomic features.
Contribute to pollution.
Like all things that rely on gas and/or oil for fuel, gas weed eaters are not very eco-friendly. They release harmful fumes into the air while in use, though you can find certain models that have built-in safety measures to help reduce negative environmental impact—and save your lungs.
Require care in terms of fuel.
Depending on the type of gas weed eater you purchase, you’ll need to take special care when it comes to refueling or lubricating the device. 2-cycle weed eaters are the most common variety, and they require that you use a perfect mix of special oil and gasoline; if your ratio measurements are off, this could damage the weed eater or make it less effective. 4-cycle weed eaters are less fussy, but you’ll still have to remember to limit the ethanol content to 10% (though zero ethanol is best).
How to Choose a Gas Weed Eater for You
How can you tell if a specific gas weed eater model is right for you? To help you sift through the numerous options on the market, we’ve outlined a few features you need to consider before making your purchase.
When considering the engine on a gas weed eater, you should look at its size and how that will affect the unit’s weight.
The size is measured in cc (cubic centimeters). This refers to how much air and fuel the cylinders on the engine are capable of displacing. Gas weed eaters with a higher cc measurement are bound to weigh more than those with lower cc measurements.
Fuel Capacity and Efficiency
Fuel capacity refers to how much fuel the weed eater’s tank can hold, while fuel efficiency refers to how much of the fuel is used to power the engine versus how much is released into the air during use.
If you have bigger projects in mind and don’t mind a heavier device, opt for a unit with a large fuel capacity. And regardless of your project size, you’ll save money and help protect the environment by opting for a weed eater with a high level of efficiency.
The cutting width of a weed eater refers to how much grass or brush it’s able to trim through when held in one spot—in other words, the span of the blades when in use. While there’s no right or wrong cutting width here, many users find that longer cutting widths equal less work time.
Single or Dual Line
You’ll find gas weed eater models that have a single trim line or a dual line, and both are good options in their own right.
Single trim lines simplify the overall design of the weed eater and make the user’s life much easier when it comes time to change out the line. That said, they’re not as powerful or durable as their dual line counterparts.
Shaft (bent vs straight and length)
There are two things to consider when looking at the shaft of a weed eater:
You can find weed eater shafts in two main varieties: straight and curved. Both types have their pros and cons. Straight shafts have overall greater maneuverability and are better for tall individuals; in addition, this type makes it easier to trim underneath things (such as lawn chairs or benches). Curved shafts feature a slight curve close to the cutting end, which makes them easier to keep at the right angle; this type is ideal for trimming in tighter areas.
As for length, this really depends on you and how tall you are. Generally speaking, taller people should opt for longer shafts and shorter people should opt for shorter shafts.
Bump feed is a feature you’ll find in some gas weed eater models, and it makes the trim-feeding process much easier. For units that have a bump feed feature, all you need to do is hit the trimmer head on the ground while using it; this will automatically feed the head more trim.
Ergonomics (handle, straps)
When it comes to ergonomics, we recommend you look at three key features:
The handles of your gas weed eater should be designed for comfortable long-term handling. In other words, they should have a comfortable grip and a practical shape. Many models today feature U-shaped handles for greater comfort and maneuverability, as well as “easy grip”-type designs.
Some units have included shoulder straps. These are meant to ease the burden of carrying the weed eater around with you by distributing the weight more evenly across your body. This is a must if you plan on using the device for large projects or on a regular basis.
As mentioned earlier, gas weed eaters tend to be heavier than their electric counterparts. A heavier model usually means more power, but this tradeoff isn’t always necessary or practical. If you’re a smaller individual or someone who only needs a weed eater for casual use, opt for a lightweight model—trust us on this one!
Some gas weed eaters can be used with attachments, while others cannot. In addition, you can find models that come with attachments right out of the package, which can save you both time and money in the long run. These attachments allow the weed eater to perform additional functions, such as that of a hedge trimmer or brush cutter.
Tips for Using, Cleaning, and Storing Your Gas Weed Eater
After dishing out a considerable amount of dough on your new gas weed eater, you’ll want that baby that to last a long time. Here are a few tips on how to use, clean, and store your weed eater for the best results and a long product life.
The most important thing here is safety. This means wearing the appropriate PPE (with goggles being the most important) and reading the instruction manual that comes with your device before using it. Once you’re prepped for battle and have learned how to use your weapon:
- Fill the weed eater with gasoline or a gasoline-oil mixture, if needed.
- Add string if needed.
- Prime the engine by using the primer button or bulb.
- Turn it on with the “start” button.
- While holding the gas trigger, yank the cord a few times.
- Now set it to “run.”
While using the weed eater, try to keep it a healthy distance away from your body—you don’t want those blades catching on you or your clothing! (Remember Razor scooters? Weed eater blades are like that, but on steroids.)
There are several steps involved in the cleaning of your gas weed eater. For the sake of brevity, here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect:
- You’ll need to make sure the weed eater is completely powered off.
- Next, you’ll need to disconnect the air filter, spark plug, and fuel lines.
- Remove the carburetor and clean it using either warm, soapy water (applied with a brush and NOT a hose or faucet) or a special carburetor-cleaning formula.
Before cleaning, also make sure to clear any excess debris off the weed eater (dirt, grass, etc.).
Before storing your gas weed eater, make sure it’s been thoroughly cleaned. Once that’s determined, you’ll also want to give the weed eater a general inspection to make sure everything is as it should be—especially if you’re going to be storing it long-term (such as during winter).
The best way to store your gas weed eater is to hang it vertically on the wall of your garage or shed; this gives the item a smaller footprint than if you were to store it horizontally. That said, either way is acceptable.
Make sure that the storage area is low-risk. This means that children will not have access to the device and that it’s not likely to catch fire.
Another thing: While getting your weed eater prepped for long-term storage, it’s recommended to either drain the engine of all gas/oil or to add a stabilizer to it. This will prevent the fuel from corroding.
One More Thing
Over the course of your gas weed eater’s life, it will require a good deal of maintenance. In addition to cleaning, you’ll need to change out air filters, spark plugs, and oil (for 4-cycle weed eaters), and more. Purchasing a weed eater is quite an investment, so make sure you’re ready for the responsibility of maintaining it!
The Best Gas Weed Eaters
With your newfound insight and knowledge, you’ll have a much easier time picking out your next gas weed eater. To help you narrow down your options a bit more, here’s some information about our top picks.
This handsome two-cycle string trimmer from Husqvarna features a 28cc engine, curved shaft, and a nice cutting width of 17 inches. Basics aside, this device was designed for simple and straightforward lawn maintenance—without sacrificing power or quality.
Such attributes as its clear fuel tank, air purge primer bulb, and T25 trimmer head make this one of the easiest gas-powered weed eaters to use for old-timers and newbies alike. You’ll also appreciate its detachable head and included attachments, as well as its included two-cycle oil—a few less purchases you’ll need to make down the line. This power tool is also one of the lightest on our list, weighing in at 11 pounds. Best of all, it comes with a 2-year limited warranty so you can rest assured your purchase is covered should something go wrong or not meet your expectations.
What do you get when you take the two-cycle, 17-inch cutter we just mentioned and…make it a little better? A higher price tag, yes. But also, a weed eater even better-suited to the needs of the average user and semi-professional alike.
This gas string trimmer from Husqvarna boasts many of the same features as its cousin but has an added inch of cutting width, a four-cycle design that makes fueling the engine a lot easier, and an even lighter weight at just over 5 pounds. The engine on this one is a bit smaller at 25cc, and it has a top speed of 7000 RPM for some powerful weed trimming action! This one also features a Tap ‘N Go (bump feed) method of releasing new line to make your job just a little easier. Like its cousin, this weed eater comes with a 2-year limited warranty.
Do you need an affordable gas weed eater for smaller jobs or occasional use? Then we recommend considering this one from Remington!
It features a 25cc two-cycle engine, decent cutting width of 16 inches, and a curved shaft for ease of use. Adding to its user-friendliness is its lightweight design (thirteen pounds), QuickStart technology for much easier engine start-ups, and a bump head design to make feeding the trimmer a lot simpler. Speaking of, this weed eater features a dual line design—this lends the line more strength and durability. And to give you added peace of mind, this device comes with a limited 2-year warranty. All in all, this string trimmer is one of the best options in terms of affordability and user-friendliness.
The 2-in-1 Straight Shaft Brush Cutter and Grass Trimmer from Wild Badger Power is another affordable option, though this one offers a bit more versatility than the previous trimmer from Remington. Its head is attachment-capable, featuring a universal attachment system constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum for longevity—it even comes with two attachments already! There’s the grass trimmer (perfect for detail work and precision jobs) and the brush cutter (ideal for chopping through the jungle you have growing in your backyard).
Aside from its incredible versatility, this weed eater features a 26cc two-cycle engine, a string trimmer spool that uses a simple Twist-n-Load feeding technology, and an auto-on kill switch for further ease of use. This tool is also eco-friendly and easy on the lungs, with a fuel-efficient design that keeps excessive harmful emissions at bay. As for ergonomics, you can look forward to a soft-grip handle that reduces vibration, a harness for more even weight distribution, a light 12-pound weight. Throw in its incredible limited warranty—6 years for homeowners and 3 years for commercial use—and you have a steal of a deal!
The Straight Shaft Grass String Trimmer and Brush Cutter from HUYOSEN has a big engine designed for big jobs. At 51.7cc, the two-cycle engine—when used in conjunction with its 3T blade or dual line attachments—can handle just about anything with ease! This lean mean landscaping machine also includes a wide safety guard for increased user safety as well as a shoulder harness to make the load a little lighter. If you’re in need of a weed eater with a powerful engine and versatile attachment capabilities, look no further.
Okay. So right off the bat, you can tell by looking at this thing that it’s just designed for comfort and ease of use. Its rubberized handles are a sight to behold, their wide U shape makes the device a breeze to operate and maneuver, and you can easily turn on the weed eater using a switch located right on the handle. Yes, please!
This weed eater from SALEM MASTER is not only ergonomic in every sense of the word, but also strong enough to take on heavy-duty trimming jobs with its 3T and dual line attachments. And don’t let its large 51.7cc two-cycle engine intimidate you—the handles are designed for shock absorption to make the entire process less of a hassle for you. It also comes with a shoulder harness (and emergency release button) for greater ease of use.
Now add in its Snap-On air filter, clear fuel tank, wide safety guard, and a baffle that’s easy to remove as needed. Doesn’t that look like a heck of a deal?
The 2-in-1 Extreme Duty Gas Dual Line Trimmer and Brush Cutter from PROYAMA is on the pricier side…but really, it’s still a steal when you consider its numerous features and add-ons.
First of all, let’s talk about the engine. This large beast of an engine—at 42.7cc—is not only powerful, but EPA-certified. In other words, it gets the job done without causing significant harm to the environment. The ultimate win-win, no?
As for its other features, this gas weed eater/brush cutter combo features a wide U-shaped handle design with rubberized grips and vibration reduction. You’ll find the ignition switch right on one of the handles for ease of operation, and its double shoulder strap will make the entire experience a lot more comfortable. Its 3T and 40T blade attachments, as well as its trimmer line, possess more than enough strength to get a variety of jobs done. This power tool is easy to store due to its split shaft design, your purchase comes with additional items such as safety gloves, and there’s a 1-year warranty in place. What more could you possibly want in a line trimmer?
Frequently Asked Questions
Have you decided to explore gas weed eater options, but still have some questions you want answered? To give you a head start, here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about gas weed eaters.
How much gas will a gas weed eater use?
This depends on two factors: the engine type and fuel efficiency of the weed eater you purchase.
- Engine Type
There are two main types of engines: 2-cycle and 4-cycle.
A 2-cycle engine requires you to use a combination of gas and oil to keep the internal parts well-lubricated. This lessens the amount of gas you’ll need, but is also less convenient.
A 4-cycle engine, on the other hand, uses only gasoline. This is much easier for the user, but will require more gas per session.
- Fuel Efficiency
Fuel efficiency refers to how efficiently the engine uses the gas you feed it. A less efficient engine will burn more gasoline per session than a more efficient model. If you want to save money—and the environment—opt for a more fuel-efficient weed eater.
Can you convert a gas weed eater to an electric one?
Anything is possible if you apply yourself and put your heart in it.
Okay, next question… Just kidding.
It is possible to convert a gas weed eater to an electric one, but this is not a task for newbies or those who are afraid to get their hands dirty. It will require replacing the engine and making additional design modifications to get it working.
What type of gas do I use in my weed eater?
While there is no one type of gas suitable for weed eaters, it’s highly recommended that the gas you use is…
- …87 octane.
- …mixed with no more than 10% alcohol (also called ethanol).
There’s a lot hanging on the line when it comes to your next gas weed eater purchase. We hope that our article gave you the information you need to find the best model for you, and that one (or more!) of our picks caught your eye. In any case, we wish you the best of luck with your upcoming yardwork projects!