Best Walk Behind String Trimmer - 2020 Reviews

Best Walk-Behind String Trimmers: 2020 Reviews and Buying Guide

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When it comes to keeping one’s lawn fresh and healthy-looking a walk behind string trimmer is a must-have. A normal heavy-duty lawn mower simply won’t do!

Walk behind trimmers look like a cross between a string trimmer and a lawn mower. They are powerful gardening tools that can easily cut through thick, stubborn weeds and grasses. Walk behind trimmers are also perfect for use in rugged terrain that can’t be handled with a regular lawnmower, or in spaces where the grass and shrubbery are too thick to be dealt with using standard string trimmers.

Walk behind string trimmers are catching on and filling the market. In fact, the inexperienced gardener may find it hard to choose the best one for their needs on their own. Luckily, we’ve put together a detailed guide on purchasing your first walk behind string trimmer and a few reviews of the best walk behind string trimmers in the market right now. Stick around until the end to see which trimmer we made our number one!

WALK-BEHIND STRING TRIMMER COMPARISON CHART

Common Features of Wheeled String Trimmers

Engines

Wheeled string trimmers are powered by 4-stroke engines that require oil changes as well some other maintenance to keep them working properly. Most wheeled string trimmers’ engines also come with recoil starters that have to be pulled by a starter rope that turns the engine over and gets it going. There really aren’t many battery-power string trimmers on the market, something that we hope will change soon.

Rugged Capability

There are many reasons why wheeled string trimmers are a great choice for thick brush and rough terrain. They are large (usually between 12 to 16 inches or even larger), which enables them to be more easily maneuverable on uneven ground. Since the wheels are composed of hard plastic or durable material, there is virtually no chance of a flat tire. The cutting width of walk behind string trimmers is usually a hefty 22 inches (though sometimes less), so a lot of ground can be covered at once.

Replacement Line

Since walk behind wheeled string trimmers are able to handle very tough brush, the line used to cut brush breaks more often as you work through the shrubbery. It’s a common maintenance issue. When you purchase a new line trimmer, it is a good idea to pack some replacement line. Trimmer line can come in several different lengths and diameters as per your trimmer and job requirement and are often very inexpensive.

Walk Behind Trimmer Buyer’s Guide

To begin with, you will want to buy a wheeled string trimmer that is durable and sturdy enough to handle the toughest brush growing in your backyard. Remember, skimping on the investment at first will eventually lead to a lot of frustration in the long run. It’s also worth remembering that high-quality (and more expensive) trimmers will require less maintenance and thus cost less throughout the life of the trimmer. You’ve got plenty of options to choose from, so make sure to pick the one that suits your particular needs!

Yard Size

Before you start shopping, you’ll need to take the size of your yard into account, as well as the kind of terrain you’ve got going on. Based upon the size and “type” of yard you have, you can decide on whether you need to buy a high powered walk behind string trimmer, or a lighter model that you’ll only use for tackling the occasional weed growth in your yard. Remember, skimping on the investment will almost always lead to a lot of frustration in the future. At the same time, you don’t need to spend a massive amount of money on a heavy-duty trimmer if you only have a tiny apartment or condo backyard.

Think Storage

Got a storage problem? Think about where you’ll be able to store your trimmer once you’ve purchased it. If you don’t have a lot of storage space, go for a walk behind trimmer that comes with a fold-down handle so you can easily tuck it away in your garage under other stuff.

Comfort and Ergonomics

Install an ergonomic harness on your walk behind weed trimmer to make it more efficient, comfortable, and easier to use. Or, you can simply buy a trimmer that has such a thing included with the model. The handlebar of the string trimmer must be angled against the shaft to prevent it from putting unnecessary strain on your back as you work in your yard.

Some type of foam padding should be used to reduce vibration in the handle. A trimmer with little to no vibration control can make your hands, arms, and shoulders feel tingly and uncomfortable for quite some time after you’ve stopped working. If your wheeled weed eater has vibration dampening, you can use it for longer periods of time without experiencing discomfort.

5 Walk Behind String Trimmer Reviews

Best Heavy-Duty Walk Behind String Trimmer

The first contender on our list is a heavy-duty model from Southland Outdoor. This well-built model boasts a 150cc engine, a 22 inch cutting swath, standard 12 inch wheels, a quad 0.155 inch diameter thread string trimmer head, and 5.75 ft/lbs torque. The unit’s manual recoil easy start fuel delivery system makes starting and stopping quite easy. If you’re susceptible to hand and arm discomfort from vibrations, this machine also features an anti-vibration foam grip. That foam grip is also collapsible, so this unit would be an excellent choice for those who don’t have much in the way of storage. The SWFT15022 field trimmer is also EPA certified and CARB compliant.

    Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SWFT15022 150cc Field Trimmer

    A top-tier heavy-duty line trimmer with manual recoil and a anti-vibration foam grip handle.

Most Durable Walk-Behind String Trimmer

Boasting the most powerful engine on our list, this Remington brand walk behind string trimmer is a durable beast when it comes to cutting down shrubbery. The RM1159 features a 159cc 4-cycle gas engine, a standard 22 inch cutting swath, and large 14-inch ball-bearings wheels. If you have a medium to large backyard or a serious brush problem, this is the model for you. Don’t be intimidated by the large size—despite being a fairly large trimmer, it also comes with a folding handle for easy transportation and storage. Not to mention, off-set trimmer head feature makes it possible to trim in difficult-to-reach spaces despite its large size.

    Remington RM1159 159cc 4-Cycle Gas Powered Walk-Behind High-Wheeled String Trimmer

    A trimmer with a unique body shape that makes trimming around hard-to-reach areas a breeze.

Best Walk-Behind String Trimmer for Regular Use

Another standard walk behind trimmer with a 150cc 4-cycle engine and a 22 inch cutting swath, the EARTHQUAKE 28463 M205 Trimmer still manages to stand on its own in terms of value. This unit is strong but surprisingly quiet, and its large 14 inch wheels are dynamic and allow for a smooth trimming experience. When it comes to durability, this trimmer really takes the cake. It features a single-piece steel deck that provides strength as well as stability while reducing overall vibration—there’s no need to outfit this trimmer with foam handle padding. That five-year warranty is also quite attractive as well, especially for high-quality units like this that tend to be on the pricey side. If you hate assembly, don’t worry—this unit requires virtually no setup and is almost ready to go straight out of the box. It doesn’t get much better than that.

    EARTHQUAKE 28463 M205 Trimmer with 150cc 4-Cycle Viper Engine Walk Behind String Mower

    Save on gas with this trimmer's never-kill engine that makes dislodging sticks from the cutting head safe and easy.

Best Walk-Behind String Trimmer for Brush

We’ve included quite a few standard trimmers on this list (22 inch cutting height, 14 inch wheels, 150cc 4-cycle gas engine, etc.) but this standard unit from TAZZ also has its own unique features that some consumers might be interested in. Complete with a single-piece steel deck that reduces vibration and wear-and-tear similar to the EARTHQUAKE 28463 M205, the TAZZ 35258 model also boasts a very handy never-kill engine. This engine is able to stay on while the cutting head is disengaged. This makes it substantially easier to remove stick, branches, or other debris from the cutting line or trim head without having to turn your unit on and off. Constantly turning the engine on and off will lead to more wear-and-tear as well as less time spent actually trimming. This feature is perfect for professional landscapers who want to be able to trim tall grass as quickly as possible with minimal interruption.

    TAZZ One-Piece Steel Deck, 22” Cutting Swath, Never Kill, Fold Down Handlebars 35258 Walk-Behind String Mower/Trimmer

    A lightweight and easy to store compact trimmer for small to medium-sized backyards.

Eco-Friendliest Walk-Behind String Trimmer

While SuperHandy’s signature walk behind string trimmer is definitely the lightweight on the list, it does have its own unique use cases. This unit features a 79cc 2-stroke gas engine, a 21-inch line cutting diameter, and 12 inch wheels. It’s EPA certified and CARB compliant, meaning that in addition to using less gas it is also more ecologically friendly than other similar trimmers. If you have very little storage space or a backyard space that’s quite small, this is an excellent trimmer for you. And if safety is a concern, this product features a low oil sensor that automatically shuts down the engine when oil reaches an unsafe level.

    SuperHandy String Walk Behind 21 Trimmer

    A great little trimmer for small and hard-to-reach spaces.

Bottom Line

It’s no surprise that the heftiest walk behind string trimmer made it to our number one spot! Not only is the Remington RM1159 machine extremely powerful and durable enough to take on large or intense backyard spaces, but the off-set trimmer head feature makes it possible to get small or hard-to-reach spaces as well. To put it simply, this is a great trimmer to have for virtually any size backyard.

Remington also produces parts such as trimmer line, spark plugs, and air filters that are easily found at most home improvement stores, making maintenance a breeze for the Remington RM1159. The foldable handle makes for easy storage, too. What more could you ask for in a walk behind string trimmer? While this model can be a bit on the pricey side, it’s absolutely worth what you get in terms of power, durability, flexibility, and quality. Remember, investing a little more money initially to get a quality product will save you from a lot of headache and maintenance costs in the long run. High-quality trimmers like the ones on our list require fairly minimal maintenance, so that initial cost will absolutely be worth it!

How was our guide to buying the best walk behind trimmers out there? Tell us what you think in the comments and don’t forget to visit Backyard Boss for more great home improvement reviews!

9 thoughts on “Best Walk-Behind String Trimmers: 2020 Reviews and Buying Guide”

  1. Very good reviews. I will do research to find out if the Field Edge M220 can be seen at a dealer instead of ordering
    on line without hands.
    I am surprised there was no review on any of the Dr. Equip. string mowers. I live on a 20 foot lope on my property.
    Not sure if I would want to “hand push” the mower. Dr. does offer a self propelled but very pricy.

    Thank you Mr. Moore for all your research. I like the idea of not having to sharpen a blade. I do have a commercial Echo weed trimmer home residential use. But wow my arms and hands “vibrate” for a long time after use, but it does a good job. It also was interesting about you pointing out the “non-vibration” mower trimmers that are offered.
    Thanks again Rick

    Reply
  2. I’m trying to find an electric start high-wheel field trimmer. My rotator cuffs are shot and I can no longer pull start the Southland trimmer I have now.
    Do you have any recommendations?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • I don’t know why he didn’t mention the Dr Trimmer. I have one and love it (I’m a woman in my 60’s and not particularly strong). It does have an electric start and is self propelled. I have an extremely large yard and lots of weedy areas, this cleans them like a champ!

      Reply
  3. The Southland has “14 inch rear wheels for enhanced maneuverability” yet the Swisher’s “14 inch wheels can be hard to push.” What am I missing? Thanks for the review.

    Reply
  4. Yes I have been doing research for the best durable walk behind mower for a large parcel with blackberries and star thistle with a rocky terrain. My problem is, I live in California and get the ones that I want due to the e rules and regulations. So what do u recommend for my needs in California?

    Reply

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