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Best strimmers and grass trimmers 2024: Tried and tested electric, cordless and petrol models

A selection of the best strimmers against a blue background

Trim and edge your garden with my pick of the best strimmers and grass trimmers

A good-quality grass trimmer – often called a strimmer – is an essential piece of gardening equipment. As well as hacking down long grass or scything through undergrowth, the best grass trimmers allow you to get into those tight spaces that even the best lawn mowers can’t manage, such as around immovable garden furniture, toys, walls, raised flower beds or decking. Some can even be used for quick and effective edging.

To help find what you need, I’ve tested and reviewed over 20 grass trimmers since 2020, using my own back garden as the testing ground. Heavy duty and lightweight, petrol-, battery- and mains-powered; I’ve tested the lot and whittled my recommendations down to six of the best grass trimmers you can buy.

In my list below, you’ll find my recommendations based on the size, shape and topography of your garden – and of course, your buying budget. Take a look at the at-a-glance list below for a quick overview of my recommendations; or, if you need more information before you buy, head to the bottom of the page for my detailed buying guide.

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Best strimmers and grass trimmers: At a glance

Best value corded trimmerFlymo Contour 500E (~£55)Check price at Amazon
Best cordless trimmer for small gardens:Titan TTI821GGT (~£80)Check price at Screwfix
Best heavy-duty trimmer for big gardensBosch AdvancedGrassCut 36 (~£143)Check price at Amazon
Best cordless strimmer for tough jobsRyobi RY18LTX33A-0 (~£160)Check price at Ryobi

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How we test strimmers/grass trimmers

Testing a Flymo grass trimmer

When testing, I assemble each strimmer and run it through a gauntlet of grass-trimming trials. First, I use it to trim and edge small areas of my flat lawn, moving to a larger, sloping lawn with patches of rough and uneven grass, thick weeds and even brambles. This is where I find out how the trimmer performs with more challenging patches of green, assessing whether it’s up to some serious ground clearance.

During my tests, I also check how easy it is to adjust a tool’s handle, change the cutting angle, feed the line and replace the spool – and, with cordless models, I time how long the battery lasts during cutting, plus how long it takes to recharge via the supplied charger.

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The best strimmers and grass trimmers you can buy in 2024

1. Flymo Contour 500E: Best value trimmer for most people

Price when reviewed: £55 (corded) | Check price at Amazon

Orange and grey Flymo Contour 500E grass trimmer set against blue background

  • Great for… comfort and value
  • Not so great for… all the hassle of the cord

The addition of an adjustable handle and an extra 200W of power when compared to my previous budget favourite – the Flymo Contour XT – makes the Contour 500E a serious step up for around the same price, and the best-value option right now.

With more cutting power to handle rougher, tougher grass and weedy areas, the Flymo Contour 500E whizzed across my garden in testing. It also has some nice practical features, such as the large adjustable handle, which I found helped to alleviate arm and back strain during longer cutting periods, and a wire plant guard across the front of the cutting head, which helped protect my prized plants from utter destruction.

Sure, this Flymo doesn’t have the go-anywhere convenience of cordless models – for that, you’ll want something like the Titan TTI821GGT – but, for such a low price, this is a superb performer that will likely remain at the top of my list for quite some time.

Key specs – Power: 500W motor; Cutting width: 25cm; Line: 1.5mm; Mains cable: 10m; Weight: 3.1kg

2. Titan TTI821GGT: Best cordless trimmer for small gardens

Price when reviewed: £80 (with battery) | Check price at Screwfix

Grey and black Titan TTI821GGT grass trimmer set against blue background

  • Great for… cheap pricing and easy trimming
  • Not so great for… lack of spares if the spool wears out

The cordless Titan TTI821GGT is a bonafide bargain, coming complete with battery and charger for less than most cordless trimmers sold solo. It’s not just cheap either but exceptionally light and very easy to use. It’s well-balanced, with the battery acting as a counterweight on the handle, and very effective at cutting through thick grass and lighter weeds. It didn’t quite have the power or the thick cutting line to get through anything too fibrous or woody.

The battery took just under an hour to charge and lasted for 30 to 40 minutes in my tests. It switches between trimming and edging modes when you push a catch and twist the shaft, while a pull-out guard protects tender stems and tree trunks from unintended attacks. You will have to reload the spool with cable yourself, and Screwfix doesn’t sell a spare spool if you break your first one, which means it’s better suited to lighter work, smaller gardens and less heavy-handed users. If you’re looking for a cheap trimmer for lawn work and the odd bit of light clearing, it’s the perfect choice.

Key specs – Power: 18V; Battery: 2Ah li-ion; Cutting width: 25cm; Line: 1.6mm; Weight: 2.2kg

Check price at Screwfix

3. Bosch AdvancedGrassCut 36: Best heavy-duty trimmer for big gardens

Price when reviewed: £143 (tool only), £204 (with battery) | Check price at Amazon

Green and black Bosch Advancedgrasscut 36 grass trimmer set against blue background

  • Great for… large gardens and tougher grass and weeds
  • Not so great for… anyone who doesn’t want a workout

If you have a larger, rougher garden but don’t want the hassle of a petrol trimmer, the Bosch AdvancedGrassCut 36 is my top pick. With a 36V battery, it has more power than your average cordless trimmer and, with a 30cm cutting width, it can tackle a big-sized plot – especially with a respectable 40 minutes of cutting time.

I have to say that a harness would have been a nice extra, particularly as most of the weight is towards the cutting head, but the movable soft-grip handle and adjustable pole helped make it slightly easier on my arms and shoulders. This is a heavyweight trimmer for heavyweight jobs, and you will struggle to find a cordless model with more raw grass-cutting and weed-chopping power.

Key specs – Power: 36V; Battery: 2.6Ah; Cutting width: 30cm; Line: 1.6mm; Weight: 4kg

4. Ryobi RY18LTX33A-0: Best cordless strimmer for tough jobs

Price when reviewed: £160 (tool only) | Check price at Ryobi

Ryobi RY18LTX33A review - standing up

  • Great for… performance, comfort and control in almost any garden
  • Not so great for… easy edging, or stamina when in fast mode

Thanks to its new brushless motor and great ergonomic design, the Ryobi RY18LYX33A-0 delivers the kind of performance you need to handle tougher grass and weeds without the weight – and subsequent threat of back or shoulder strain – of your typical heavy-duty grass trimmer. In fact, I found I could comfortably wield the Ryobi over a half-hour stretch without feeling tired or achy, even with its usual 2.5kg weight increased by the 730g 5A One+ battery. It has a clever trick where the controls rotate around the shaft for easy edging, plus a switchable speed setting that lets you shift between Slow, to prioritise battery life, and Fast, for maximum cutting power. When you throw in an analogue level that gives you even further control, you have a very versatile machine indeed.

This was backed up in my tests, where I found the RY18LTX33A-0 tackled light lawn trims with a sharp cut and more demanding patches of long grass and chunky weeds with no trouble. It jammed up occasionally on some clumps of really lengthy ryegrass, but that same patch has completely defeated lesser strimmers before. The RY18LTX33A-0 isn’t quite so effective as an edging tool – shorter strimmers with rotating heads tend to be more comfortable – but it will still manage the task and, depending on the speed setting and the grass or weeds being cut, you can get between 22 and 30 minutes of strimming from a single 5A One+ battery. It may not be the most powerful cordless strimmer I’ve tested, or as easy to use as some smaller, lighter models, but if you need one that can do it all without wearing you out, it’s a brilliant option.

Read our full Ryobi RY18LTX33A-0 review

Key specs – Power: 18V 2.0Ah to 5.0Ah One+ Li-ion battery; Cutting width: 33cm; Line: 1.65mm; Weight: 2.5kg

5. Black & Decker GL7033: Best electric strimmer

Price when reviewed: £65 (corded) | Check price at Amazon

Black and orange Black & Decker GL7033 grass trimmer set against blue background

  • Great for… weed-chopping power and heavy-duty line
  • Not so great for… aching arms and shoulders

Black & Decker’s 700W strimmer is built to handle heavier workloads, with a 33cm cutting width that’s ideal for tackling medium-sized and larger gardens, and a 2mm line that can hack through longer grass. Black & Decker’s E-Drive tech provided extra power when I needed it and, when it was time to break out the big guns, I could take out the main spool, slot in one with an extra heavy-duty line, and teach thick weeds and nettles some respect. The weight got a bit tiring on the arms after a while, but the mid-mounted motor and curved shaft improved the strimmer’s balance – keeping the business end away from my feet – and provided precision and control, since you don’t have such a heavy cutting end to wave about.

It’s built for a heavier workload than others, but that works to its advantage as you will find yourself stopping far less often to untangle the line, or to use another tool to cut through a thick stem. What’s more, the wheeled edging guide helps it do a decent job of edging too. It might be overkill for smaller gardens, but the GL7033 is brilliant for bigger, more unruly plots.

Key specs – Power: 700W; Cutting width: 33cm; Line: 2mm plus heavy-duty lines; Weight: 3.2kg

6. Bosch EasyGrassCut 18V 230: Best trimmer for ease-of-use and comfort

Price when reviewed: £78 (tool only) | Check price at Amazon

Green and black Bosch EasyGrassCut 18V 230 grass trimmer set against blue background

  • Great for… lightweight trimming with extra power when you need it
  • Not so great for… runs out of line fairly quickly

This lightweight Bosch trimmer makes trimming and edging a doddle. It comes in a surprisingly tiny box, with even the shaft requiring some assembly, but once you’ve fitted it together and charged the battery, you’re good to go. Bosch’s ultra-efficient motor did an impressive job of balancing motor power and battery life, providing me with enough strength to slice through anything bar thicker brambles and chunky thistles. There’s a wire guard on the front and you can switch from trimming to edging by pressing the orange button on the shaft and pivoting the head.

It’s not all plain sailing though as the semi-auto line feed adds more line every time you release the trigger, so if you stop and start a lot, you can run through a spool fairly quickly. However, I found the EasyGrassCut especially light and well-balanced, making it less tiring during long stretches of trimming. The 2Ah battery I tested the EasyGrassCut with lasted for 25 to 30 minutes and it only took an hour to charge. What’s more, since it’s the standard Power For All Alliance battery, it’s easy to share batteries across multiple Bosch, Gardena and Flymo tools. It’s a little more expensive than the budget trimmers, especially if you need to price in a battery and charger, but you’re getting an excellent trimmer at what’s still a relatively low cost.

Key specs – Power: 18V; Battery: 2Ah li-ion; Cutting width: 23cm; Line: 1.6mm; Weight: 2.2kg

7. Stihl FS40: Best petrol trimmer

Price when reviewed: £228 (petrol) | Check price at Travis Perkins

Grey and orange Stihl FS40 grass trimmer set against blue background

  • Great for… robust pro-grade construction and awesome weed-whacking skills
  • Not so great for… too big and heavy for some users

Some gardens need a petrol trimmer and the Stihl FS40 is a great, affordable example from one of the biggest names in the business. The two-stroke engine provided plenty of power for my overgrown garden, so I’ve no doubt it can handle even the toughest landscapes. Plus, if the 2mm line can’t get through the weeds, you can fit an optional three-tooth, poly-cut head to get through thicker undergrowth and brush – something I found incredibly useful.

The FS40 was easy to handle and has a simple bump-feed mechanism where you bump the head on the ground to release more line. It’s easier to start than most petrol trimmers too. However, at 2.9kg, and with the motor placed right at the end of the stalk, it’s not going to be manageable for everyone. Still, this is the kind of rock-solid, heavy-duty trimmer that will last for years.

Key specs – Engine: 2 stroke; Tank: 0.34l tank; Cutting width: 38cm; Line: 2mm; Weight: 2.9kg

Check price at Travis Perkins

How to choose the best strimmer/grass trimmer for you

What type of grass trimmer do I need?

Cordless trimmers
Pros: Freedom of movement | Cons: Batteries can cost extra, may lack power

These are the most convenient. Models with fast-charging, long-lasting lithium-ion batteries are now the norm, and trimming gets a whole lot easier when you don’t have to think about the cord. Just bear in mind that not all cordless trimmers come with a battery or a charger, so you could end up forking out more than you expect – unless you own other tools that use the same battery pack, that is.

Jump to our favourite cordless trimmer

Electric trimmers
Pros: More powerful, cheaper | Cons: Require plug socket, limited range

These are often cheap and easy to handle, and usually more powerful than all but the biggest cordless models. The only problem is the cord, which makes a lengthy extension cable a must-have in medium-sized or larger gardens. You need to take real care not to cut the cable, so make sure you’re using a circuit breaker – either integrated into the extension cable, or a standalone socket-type version.

Jump to our favourite electric trimmer

Petrol trimmers
Pros: Very powerful, ideal for thick grass | Cons: Very noisy, generally heavier

Petrol trimmers are the best option for massive gardens with a lot of thick undergrowth. However, they’re usually noisy and bigger, heavier and harder to manage and maintain.

Jump to our favourite petrol trimmer

What do the grass trimmer power ratings mean?

Electric strimmers will have a rating of between 250W and 600W. The bottom line is that the higher the figure, the more punch it will pack. When it comes to battery-powered strimmers, it’s the voltage that makes a difference. You will see 12V, 18V or 24V on many boxes – again, the higher the number, the more capable the trimmer will likely be.

With petrol-powered strimmers, engine capacity – measured in cubic centimetres (cc) – is what matters when assessing power.

How important is a grass trimmer’s cutting width?

Simply put, the bigger the trimming width, the more grass you trim away with each sweeping move and – theoretically – the less time you will spend on the job. Trimmers generally range from 20cm up to 35cm.

Generally speaking, the more power you have and the bigger the swathe, the heavier and more expensive the trimmer is going to be. However, I’ve found that the extra cost and weight can often be worth it; you will be able to tackle a larger plot in much less time, using less electricity or fuel as you go.

How much do I need to spend?

The amount you spend will largely depend on the size of your garden and how much you will likely use a grass trimmer. A cheap, lightweight corded strimmer should suffice for a small garden for getting into tight corners, and to trim and edge. Many such models are wieldy, compact for storing in the garden shed, and could cost as low as £55 – such as the Flymo Contour 500E, my top budget recommendation.

For larger gardens, especially those with grass or weeds that grow quickly, you might want a model with extra power. Plus, if you’re covering a lot of ground then ditching the cord for a battery or petrol-powered trimmer might be more suitable. For bigger gardens, I recommend the Bosch AdvancedGrassCut 36, which costs £143 tool-only, or £204 with a battery and charger. Or, for petrol trimmers, you’ll want the Stihl FS40 (£228).

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