A well-manicured lawn requires proper effort, planning, and the right tools for a job. Grass, roots, leaves, and flowers need to be tended to regularly so that they’re all growing — or not growing, in some cases — in their respective spaces.
A weed eater is a useful tool that can serve you throughout the season. Also known as a string trimmer, a weed eater eliminates weeds and helps you maintain boundaries throughout your lawn. You can use a weed eater to keep grass off your driveway, path, or sidewalk, as well as to prevent unwanted plants from encroaching on your beds and gardens.
DEWALT is one of the most popular names in home tools and hardware, and the company produces a selection of outdoor equipment, including weed eaters, that cater to most homeowner lifestyles. The products are light, efficient, and trustworthy. Our guide will take you through DEWALT’s weed eater offerings, explain how they differ from competitors, and show you why a DEWALT weed eater could be the best choice for you.
Register your product online with DEWALT upon purchase. You’ll be able to access the warranty and browse any necessary guides or instructions.
Weed eaters vs. string trimmers
Terminology matters when shopping for lawn care equipment because often, several names exist for the same or similar items. What’s more, not everyone uses the same term for the same thing.
Concerning DEWALT, and indeed most companies, the terms “weed eater” and “string trimmer” are used interchangeably. An alternative to the string trimmer is the bladed trimmer, which offers more power and durability but also requires more power and a higher degree of maintenance and energy to use. Bladed trimmers can also serve as edgers, which are designed to create boundaries. Some weed eaters can do this job, too, though they don’t have the same power or effectiveness on tough jobs.
Weed eaters may be gas-powered, electric, or manual. DEWALT, however, only makes electric weed eaters powered by battery. These are better for the environment and create less air and noise pollution than gas-powered weed eaters. They are lighter, smaller, and easier to store and transport. However, they aren’t ideal for large plots and may struggle with tough, dense weeds.
Notably, you will need to invest in a DEWALT battery and charger. The lithium ion battery can be used across various DEWALT products, provided the charge is the same.
Weed eaters are designed to help maintain boundaries in certain areas of your lawn and garden. However, they are not necessarily designed to manufacture those boundaries. That’s the job of an edger, which can dig several inches into the soil to create a barrier. While some companies offer dual trimmer-edger tools, DEWALT currently does not. That said, there are some hacks you can use, which we touch on elsewhere in this buying guide.
DEWALT’s weed eaters are two-handed pieces of equipment that are best used to cut back weeds and grass from flower beds, sidewalks, and driveways. They are useful in areas where a bulky lawn mower may not be able to reach, such as around mailboxes and under bushes.
Weed eaters trim grass with a nylon string that is housed in a spool at the base of the device. You can toggle how much of the string is exposed in order to adjust how much grass is cut. The nylon string will wear down over time and require a replacement spool. DEWALT offers a Quickload replacement spool designed for fast, easy use. DEWALT spools also extend, or “bump” the feed line as necessary when in use.
Most DEWALT string trimmers feature a cutting swath of 12 to 15 inches. While that may not seem like a big range, every inch makes a difference when it comes to tending your lawn. Shorter lengths offer a bit more control and precision. Longer lengths may offer more protection and distance from encroaching weeds.
One of the perks of DEWALT weed eaters is portability. Generally, these tools weigh under 10 pounds and are easy to hold and wield with two hands. Keep in mind that bigger jobs will require more energy and creating precision boundaries will call for steady handling of the machine.
While some companies offer a choice of a straight or curved shaft, DEWALT’s weed eaters only feature a straight shaft. Straight shafts generally offer more flexibility on the job and the ability to access hard-to-reach places. Curved shafts generally offer more precision and control, but they may have difficulty accessing hard-to-reach places.
Battery power is an important consideration when evaluating DEWALT weed eaters. We find out how long it takes to fully charge batteries as well as how long the machines can work before batteries must be recharged.
When shortlisting products, we factor in the weight of the weed eater to determine how easy it is to maneuver while trimming.
The ease with which the nylon string feeds off the spool determines how effective each DEWALT weed eater is at trimming. We explore this performance in our research.
We consider whether a battery and charger are included with purchase. Some DEWALT models include both, whereas others require the consumer to buy them separately.
We look for DEWALT weed eaters that excel at removing grass, weeds, and debris.
We find out a weed eater’s cutting swaths, which vary from 12 to 15 inches in DEWALT models.
Battery voltage is a key factor we keep in mind when recommending DEWALT weed eaters. These tools are available in 20-, 40-, and 60-volt models. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the weed eater.
We look at the speed settings offered by the tool. Some DEWALT models have various speeds for different trimming needs
We value DEWALT weed eaters that deliver dependable power, performance, and longevity.
DEWALT offers 60-volt batteries that are backward compatible and can work on devices using 20-volt batteries. This is especially useful if you need a powerful weed eater but own other DEWALT items that only require 20-volt batteries.
DEWALT weed eaters are battery operated, but not all units come with the battery. You may want to purchase a bundle that includes a battery and charger. Buying these items together should be cheaper than buying them separately. That said, you may want to forgo the bundle if you already have a battery and charger for another DEWALT device.
Select models of DEWALT weed eaters feature a folding shaft. The shaft locks into place when in use without sacrificing durability, but it can also be folded for easy storage and transport.
"Consider the weather when you’re working outside. You may want to wear a hat, sunscreen, and UV-protective clothing. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated."
Lawn mower: Greenworks 20-Inch Corded Electric Lawn Mower
The first step to creating a beautifully manicured lawn is cutting the grass. We like this environmentally friendly electric lawn mower from Greenworks.
Hedge trimmer: BLACK+DECKER 40V Hedge Trimmer
While string trimmers keep grass and weeds at bay, hedge trimmers maintain the shape and appearance of your bushes. We recommend his battery-powered option from BLACK+DECKER.
Electric tiller: BLACK+DECKER Bare Max Garden Cultivator
For those ready to garden, a tiller and cultivator will help create the proper soil condition for growth. This BLACK+DECKER option is versatile while easy to use and store.
Leaf blower: Worx Corded Electric Leaf Blower
Taking care of your lawn in the fall will lead to a healthy spring season. Clear away leaves with this relatively quiet and lightweight blower from Worx.
DEWALT weed eater prices
Inexpensive: The least-expensive weed eaters from DEWALT start around $100. These tools have smaller cutting swaths and are best for small areas.
Mid-range: For between $100 and $150, you can find DEWALT weed eaters with more power. These tools are suitable for small and medium-size jobs.
Expensive: For $150 and up, you’ll be able to buy bundles or kits that include the DEWALT weed eater as well as a battery, charger, and even additional string spools.
- Cut the grass before trimming. Your lawn mower is a powerful device that can make trimming easier. Mow grass and weeds first. Then, use the weed eater for a more accurate trim.
- Assess the weed eater’s direction. The direction your weed eater rotates indicates the trajectory of cut grass and weeds. Keep that in mind when you’re walking so the grass goes where you want it to.
- Survey the area. Before you begin work, check the area for rocks, pebbles, roots, and other debris. Some items could damage the weed eater, while others could be projected toward you or others.
- Remember to charge. Get into the habit of charging your battery after use. A powerless battery quickly deters any outdoor maintenance plans. DEWALT weed eater batteries can take one to two hours to fully charge.
If the soil is soft, you can turn the weed eater on its side and work it as an edger, digging straight down. Hold the device securely and make sure you’re not hitting anything hard or rocky under the surface.
Q. How do I best maintain my weed eater?
A. After using your weed eater, remove dirt, soil, and other debris from the head so it doesn’t harden and disrupt future use. Store the weed eater in a cool, dry place away from moisture and heat. The battery and charger should be kept in a similar space. Over time, you will need to replace the spool, but otherwise, a DEWALT electric weed eater should require little to no maintenance.
Q. How safe are weed eaters to use?
A. Like most outdoor tools, weed eaters are relatively safe provided you understand how they work and take proper precautions. Even with a guard on the head, however, they can still fling dirt, pebbles, and other debris. Protect your eyes, hands, wrists, feet, and ankles, as these are the most sensitive or vulnerable areas of the body. Gloves, in particular, can help prevent your hands from getting sore.
As DEWALT weed eaters are battery-powered, you needn’t worry about cords tangling up, but it’s best to keep pets and children away while you’re working.
Q. What are the best ways to prolong battery life?
A. DEWALT advises you to avoid running the battery down completely. Turn off your device when you notice it weakening. You can leave the battery in the charger indefinitely, as the charger’s maintenance mode prevents damage from occurring. However, you should avoid charging the battery if it is warm or hot. Instead, leave it at room temperature for an hour or so first.
Prior to the off-season, fully charge your DEWALT weed eater battery before storing it. Once the battery is dead, it can be recycled.
Runtime. With a 17-inch cutting swath and excellent power, runtime is a trade-off we expect to make. Running in high gear and under no-load, we got just over 31 minutes of runtime with the 3.0/9.0Ah battery that comes in the kit.
The DEWALT 20V String Trimmer is packaged with a 5.0Ah battery. At full charge this battery tested to deliver 26 minutes of continuous runtime on HI setting under no load.
Gas trimmers are a smart choice if you have a lot of acreage and thick grass that requires more power and runtime. However, gas weed eaters are typically heavier, requiring more energy to handle than an electric or battery-powered trimmer. If you value ease of use, electric trimmers are a smart choice.
DeWalt. The well-known power tool brand DeWalt was founded by Raymond E DeWalt, the inventor of the radial arm saw. The company began in Pennsylvania in 1922 – and remains a US company. They're now owned by another big American name (Stanley Black & Decker) and have seven factories across the States.