Corded vs. Cordless String Trimmers: Which One is Right for You?

String trimmers, also known as weed eaters, are a handy tool in the lawn maintenance scene. They clean up those areas where your lawn mower can’t go, allowing you to create a beautiful, well-cut yard. But like most products, they come in a couple of types, each with advantages and disadvantages.

Key Points:

  • String trimmers are a useful tool for lawn maintenance, but there are two types: corded and cordless.
  • Corded trimmers have unlimited runtime, are more powerful, require less maintenance, and are more cost-effective. However, they are less mobile, cumbersome, and not suitable for larger properties.
  • Cordless trimmers are lightweight, portable, and convenient, but they have limited runtime, may require multiple batteries, and can be more expensive than corded models.

So, which is better: corded or cordless string trimmers?

Each has perks and drawbacks, which can be helpful in selecting the perfect fit based on your situation.

This article reviews each option, its advantages and disadvantages, and a few factors to consider, so continue reading to learn more!

Corded String Trimmers

BLACK+DECKER String Trimmer with Auto Feed, Electric, 6.5-Amp, 14-Inch (BESTA510)

As the name implies, corded string trimmers have a cord that plugs into an outlet. The outlet supplies the necessary power to run the trimmer, ensuring you don’t need to worry about battery life or forgetting to charge your battery.

Advantages of Corded String Trimmers

These string trimmers are a popular pick among homeowners and professionals alike, offering a few unique advantages over their cordless counterparts. Here are a few of their most notable perks:

  • Unlimited runtime: Unlike cordless trimmers, corded trimmers don’t rely on a battery for power. Instead, they pull power from an outlet, meaning there’s technically no runtime limit. While a battery will run out of juice after a while, your corded trimmer will continue to run as long as the outlet supplies it with power.
  • More powerful: In most cases, corded trimmers are more powerful than their cordless counterparts, as they don’t rely on a battery. This translates to better performance in heavy tasks, as they can handle more challenging jobs and blaze through thicker vegetation.
  • Less maintenance: Since these trimmers don’t have a battery, you won’t need to worry about constant maintenance. Of course, they still require upkeep to ensure they continue working correctly, but you won’t need to worry about charging or replacing batteries.
  • Cost-effective: Corded trimmers tend to be cheaper than cordless trimmers, as the battery often drives the cost of cordless models higher. Due to this, corded trimmers are an excellent choice for homeowners on a budget.

Disadvantages of Corded String Timmers

While corded string trimmers have undeniable advantages over their cordless comrades, there are a few areas where these machines fall short. Here are a few potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Less mobility: Since corded trimmers require an electrical outlet to function, they’re not quite as mobile as their cordless counterparts. Unless you enlist the help of an extension cord, they’ll only go as far as the cord will reach.
  • More cumbersome: The cord can be cumbersome, acting as an extra thing to worry about as you work. You’ll need to keep an eye on the cord and move it as you go, as you don’t want to catch the cord with the trimmer accidentally.
  • Not suitable for larger properties: If you have a massive yard requiring routine trimming for maintenance, a corded model might not be the best choice. These trimmers require power via an outlet, and if you’re quite a ways from the nearest outlet, you’ll probably need an extension cord. In some cases, one extension cord might not cut it, and more than one cord or an ultra-long cord can be a burden to drag around as you move.

Cordless String Trimmers

DEWALT 20V MAX* String Trimmer Kit, 5-Ah (DCST922P1)

These string trimmers are cordless, usually featuring a battery to power the motor. Unlike corded string trimmers, these models don’t require a nearby outlet to work, as they pull power from a removable, rechargeable battery.

Advantages of Cordless String Trimmers

Cordless string trimmers can be the perfect solution for homeowners seeking a model that doesn’t require a cord or gas. Given their cordless design, they feature a few advantages over corded models, including the following:

  • Lightweight and portable: Since you don’t need to drag an extension cord with you as you go and these units don’t hold any gas, they’re incredibly lightweight and portable, making them the perfect fit for those wanting to avoid the heavy, cumbersome models.
  • No cords or gas necessary: These trimmers operate using a rechargeable battery, so you won’t need to drag an extension cord around the yard with you or carefully mix gas before adding it to the fuel tank.
  • Better mobility: Without a cord to limit your work, you can go virtually anywhere in your yard with a cordless string trimmer. Need to head to the back corner of your yard to clear out some vegetation? No worries! Simply charge the battery, grab the trimmer, and head out to get the job done!
  • Quiet: Many cordless battery-powered string trimmers are relatively quiet, operating below 80 decibels. While somewhat noisy, this level doesn’t require ear protection during use. Of course, ear protection isn’t a bad idea, especially if you have a lot of trimming to do, as prolonged exposure to louder noises isn’t ideal.
  • Easy to start: Simply push the “on” button to start the trimmer. There isn’t any repeated yanking on a cord involved – just press a button and start trimming!

Disadvantages of Cordless String Trimmers

Of course, cordless string trimmers have a few disadvantages. So, as you consider your options, don’t forget to weigh the drawbacks, which include the following:

  • Short battery life: The battery in these trimmers only works for so long, and once it runs out, you’re out of luck until it recharges. This can become a complication if you have a larger yard or need to use the trimmer for an extended period.
  • Low power: Cordless battery-operated models are often less powerful than their corded or gas-powered comrades, so they’re not always suitable for heavier tasks like heavy-duty trimming or cutting.
  • Pricier: Cordless models are generally more expensive than corded models, as the cost of the battery and the charger tacks on additional fees to the final total. This makes them less than ideal for folks on a budget.
  • Inconvenient charging: Having to stop and charge the battery when it dies is inconvenient, especially if you’re working on a time crunch. While you might be able to buy a second battery and trade them out, having to remember to charge the batteries can be tricky.

Which One Should You Choose?

String Trimmer

Deciding between corded and cordless string trimmers can be tricky, as every scenario differs. Each option has its merits, but the disadvantages may cause you to second-guess your decision.

Ultimately, the best option for your home comes down to your personal preferences and needs, centering around factors specific to you.

Factors to Consider

If you’re stuck between the two, unsure which to choose, consider the factors specific to your situation. Here are a few factors to consider as you debate between corded and cordless string trimmers:

Outlet Location

One of the main concerns with corded trimmers is whether there’s a nearby outlet. They require an electrical outlet to power the system, so without a close outlet, they’re useless. So, if you have a couple of outlets around the exterior of your home, you should be fine.

However, it’s essential to consider whether the cord length will reach all of the areas you need to trim. If it won’t, you’ll need to enlist the help of an extension cord. If an extension cord won’t cut it, a corded model isn’t your best bet.

Yard Size

The size of your yard is another essential consideration. A cordless model might not be ideal if you have a larger yard, as you might run out of battery before you finish the job. That said, a corded model might demand an extension cord, which can also be a nuisance, so it’s up to you.

Cordless models are usually best suited to small yards, as they have plenty of power to get through those jobs. On the other hand, corded trimmers are suitable for medium to large lawns, as they won’t run out of power and will continue working as long as they’re connected to a viable power source.


The power requirements of your lawn will also help you decide which option is best for your home. Cordless trimmers tend to be less powerful than corded models, so a corded model is probably the best option if your lawn requires heavy-duty trimming capabilities.

They usually have more power, so they’re ideal for situations with thicker weeds, grass, and other vegetation.


Last but not least, don’t forget to consider your budget. Cordless models are usually pricier than corded models, as the battery and charger costs add to the final total. So, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the corded models are likely your better option.

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