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Some of the latest electric trimmers perform better than ever. But gas models are still tops overall for tall grass and weeds.
A string trimmer can pick up where a lawn mower leaves off. It provides the finishing touches, slicing through tufts of grass around trees and flowerbeds, straightening uneven edges along a driveway, and trimming stretches of lawn your mower or tractor can't reach. While capable trimming and edging has required spending $100 or more for a gasoline-powered model, several plug-in trimmers provide both for less.
Edging is an especially demanding job that involves slicing vertically into the ground. Dual cutting lines like the ones on most gas-powered trimmers helped the best electrics edge and trim shorter grass about as well as the best gas models. But even the best plug-in trimmers can't match the best gas models in tall grass and weeds.
Faster starts, fewer tangles, and easier handling are among the string-trimmer features you'll find as manufacturers improve these tools. Some gas models from Echo, Stihl, and Troy-Bilt use a spring-assist system that makes pulling easier. More gas models also offer simplified 1-2-3 starting: Push the primer bulb, flip the choke lever, and pull the cord. Models that use it …