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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 (~£70)Check price at Screwfix
Best heavy-duty trimmer for big gardensBosch AdvancedGrassCut 36 (~£55)Check price at Amazon
Best battery lifeMakita DUR181RT (~£120)Check price at Toolstation

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: £50 (corded) | Check price at Amazon

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

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

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

Sure, the Flymo doesn’t have the go-anywhere convenience of cordless models – for that, you’ll want 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: £70 (with battery) | Check price at Screwfix

Grey and black Titan TTI821GGT grass trimmer set against blue background

The perfect choice for small gardens, 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 is 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, although in my tests it didn’t quite have the power or the thick cutting line to get through anything too fibrous or woody.

The battery takes just under an hour to charge and lasted for 30 to 40 minutes in our 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 unintentional 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. That 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, look no further.

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: £129 (tool only), £215 (with battery) | Check price at Amazon

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

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 distributed towards the cutting head, but the movable soft-grip handle and adjustable pole helped make use slightly easier on the 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. Makita DUR181RT: Best cordless trimmer for battery life

Price when reviewed: £120 (tool only) | Check price at ToolStation

Blue and grey Makita dur181rt grass trimmer set against blue background

Whether you go for the DUR181Z trimmer or the DUR181RT kit with battery and charger, you’re getting a solidly built trimmer that’s designed to trim a massive lawn. In fact, choose the kit with the 5A battery and you will run out of puff before it does; it ran for nearly 50 minutes before the battery lost its charge – and that’s despite it chomping through patches of long, thick grass and some fairly chunky weeds in an overgrown corner of my garden. You won’t have to wait an age while it recharges, either, because Makita’s fan-assisted fast charger will do it in just 45 minutes.

The DUR1818 is heavier than some trimmers, and has a more modest 26cm cutting width than the Bosch AdvancedGrassCut 36. Yet the design does a good job of reducing the workload on your shoulders, and Makita includes a strap for additional support. The shaft adjusts to give you a range of cutting heights and angles, and the only minor niggle is that the bump to activate the line feed doesn’t work the first time, every time. Still, if you’ve got a lot of grass to keep tidy, this versatile trimmer will comfortably do the job.

Key specs – Power: 18V; Battery: 5.0Ah Li-ion; Cutting width: 26cm; Line: 1.65mm; Weight: 3.1kg

Check price at ToolStation

5. Black & Decker GL7033: Best electric strimmer

Price when reviewed: £63 (corded) | Check price at Amazon

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

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 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 the one with the 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 improve the strimmer’s balance and keep the business end away from your feet. What’s more, the wheel edging guide helps it do a decent job of edging, too. Overkill for smaller gardens, the GL7033 is brilliant for bigger, more unruly plots.

It’s built for a heavier workload than others, but that works to its advantage. You will find yourself stopping far less often to untangle the line – or to use another tool to cut a thick stem. With the motor at the top of the shaft, you also don’t have a heavy cutting end to wave about, providing precision and control.

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: £98 (with battery) | Check price at Amazon

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

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; 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, and while the bundled 2Ah battery only lasts 25 to 30 minutes, it only took an hour to charge. What’s more, it’s the standard Power For All Alliance battery, so it’s easy to share batteries across multiple Bosch, Gardena and Flymo tools. It’s a little more expensive than the budget trimmers, but the extra money is definitely worth it.

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

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 there’s no doubt that it can handle even the toughest landscapes. And 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 – which I found incredibly useful.

The FS40 was easy to handle, with 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 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. In addition, if you’re covering a lot of ground then battery or petrol-powered trimmers might be more suitable. For bigger gardens, I recommend the Bosch AdvancedGrassCut 36, which costs £129 tool-only, or £215 with a battery and charger. And for petrol trimmers, you’ll want the Stihl FS40 (£228).

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