Line trimmers

Keep your garden tidy and tackle long grass with a line trimmer.

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Power, performance and convenience are our main considerations when testing a line trimmer.

We’ve tested 26 line trimmers.

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Overall score breakdown

Our overall score comprises two equally weighted sub-scores:

Performance (50%)

Our performance scores are based on:

  • Horizontal trimming (with the head parallel to the ground) of short- to medium-length grass along fences, walls and areas of lawn.
  • Vertical trimming (with the head at right angles to the ground) along path and garden edges to assess whether they’re able to create razor-sharp lawn borders.
  • Cutting long, thick, weedy grass.

Ease of use (50%)

Our ease of use assessment looks at:

  • The general comfort and ergonomics of the line trimmer, including weight, balance, shaft length, visibility, and the ease of using the controls.
  • Ease of re-spooling the line.
  • Ease of starting.
  • Ease of feeding out line.
  • The level of vibration.

Our recommendation

We recommend petrol trimmers scoring above 85% overall. While the performance and ease-of-use of the best petrol trimmers in our tests has hovered at or above this level for a few years, battery-electric models continue to improve year on year.

We raised the bar for the performance of battery-powered trimmers to 80% after a batch of 7 cordless models returned impressive performance in our 2017 test.

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Line trimmers buying guide

Before you buy, check out our buying guide.

Read the guide