Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s best cordless strimmers: Bosch, Black & Decker, Makita TESTED
This article was last updated on June 17th, 2022 at 10:38 pm
Cordless strimmers have rapidly evolved and improved since I first wrote this review in the UK. After testing the Ryobi, Makita, Bosch and the Terratek. I have to say I am a keen advocate of the Makita. It performed superbly on thistle, nettles, good old grass trimming, and I even gave it a whack on bramble – though that was pushing it a bit, simply because you need a strimmer with a blade for that, better known as a cordless brush cutter – or a professional petrol strimmer with blade attachment for any volume of heavy duty work. Here’s a little look at us testing the Makita cordless strimmer on some pretty thick nettles:
PRO TIP FROM TESTING: Cordless strimmers are now not far off as powerful as electric grass trimmers with a power lead. They don’t have the same revs, but what they lose in revs, results in less stress on the strimmer wire, and therefore end up being able to cut equally as powerfully. This in my opinion from extensive professional use, is one of the first tools alongside the cordless brush cutter that I prefer over petrol! You can see a test of what a cordless strimmer will do and just how quick it gets the job done at the link provided. Simply amazing!!
Though with that all said, it’s not a one tool fits all necessarily. What if you just want something lightweight for trimming and fine tuning? If you want a lawn to be jealous of, the two main tools that you are going to need are a great lawnmower and a top strimmer ( I would highly recommend looking at a cordless lawn mower as the batteries will be compatible with your cordless strimmer and save you a fortune!). The most popular type of strimmer these days are cordless models, due in no small part to their sensible cost when compared with petrol strimmers, and manoeuvrability that outshines corded models all day long, you only have to look at my corded electric strimmer tests to see these are chalk and cheese for practicality. Because of their popularity, all of the most well-known names in the garden tool manufacturing world have thrown their hat into the ring, and so, there are a ton of good products out there available at very competitive prices.
Best cordless strimmers in the UK – my top picks from testing:
Makita 18V Cordless line trimmer Best cordless strimmer for professionals [personally tested and proven]
Ryobi OLTT1832 18V ONE+ cordless strimmer best alternative to the Makita
Einhell GC-CT 18 Li Power X-Change 18V Cordless Strimmer – best on a budget
Von Haus 20V cordless strimmer Alternative budget
Bosch cordless grass strimmer Best grass trimmer [tested and proven]
Einhell GC-CT 18 Li Power X-Change 18V Cordless Strimmer
Worth a look:
Black & Decker 36V Cordless Strimmer – currently out of stock but I don’t want to remove it as it really is a great strimmer!
So with that overview, let’s get into these tests and reviews of the best cordless strimmers:
1. Makita 18V cordless line trimmer
Specification: Warranty: yes (1-3 year), Power: 18V, Cutting Width: 26cm, Speed: 800rpm, Weight: 3.1kg
I bought the Makita 18V cordless line trimmer two years ago and as usual not a lot has changed. It doesn’t have to. Makita just produce top quality first time without ever considering sending out a sub par item. The only time Makita in recent history have changed a model sharpish is the cordless chainsaw – to a tooless tightening chain. That is across hundreds of cordless tools. I’ve absolutely hammered mine for the last couple of years on grass, thistle, nettles, and even lightish brush, which it is totally not engineered for, and yet somehow it puts up with it. As you can see I am well sold with this tool but I have got a couple of little niggles to go through with you from these couple of years using and working and testing with this tool. To give you an idea yourself, here’s a quick look at what it can do:
As you can see my main concern is the line feed. It’s a bit pernickety but in line with usability of the other competitors in this review. Re-spooling isn’t particularly difficult either with it being single feed. Talking of line I forgot to mention in the video the line is 2mm so it’s no full heavy duty but as you see takes down a good few nettles. We did have to lengthen the line half a dozen times over that span of nettles – a small price to pay for not changing tool!
What I wrote then when I hadn’t tested it long:
Makita is well-known for being a brand that produces some of the most reliable and practical power tools you can buy and is a firm favourite of tradesmen nationwide. So, it should come as no real surprise that their cordless strimmer is topping our list here today especially after giving this a good go.
The Makita cordless grass strimmer can be found on Amazon at the time of writing for a bit more money than the Ryobi which I feel is it’s direct competitor in this review. However, this price is for the body of the tool only and doesn’t include the battery. When you consider that a Makita battery can set you back anything from £50 to £100 pounds including a charger, the overall cost of this tool increases quite substantially, but if you look into this range, there are hundreds of tools and they are all compatible with the battery so the bare tool becomes a steal.
The Makita grass strimmer comes with an easily adjustable telescopic shaft. The secondary handle is also adjustable to assist with comfort. The battery placement under the handle creates a well-balanced product making it easier to hold and therefore finding yourself less fatigued on the larger garden works. This is also helped by the strimmer weighing 3.1 kgs with the battery installed, which is easily manageable by most people.
The head of the Makita is pivoting and can be transitioned into 5 different positions making it easier to cut those awkward, tight, and often annoying areas of the lawn. Another great feature of this garden strimmer is being able to convert the strimmer into an edger, by simply rotating the head 180 degrees, giving you a second tool to create professionally cut edges around your garden.
While the cost might put some bargain hunters off a little, I do have to stress that this tool is definitely worth paying the extra for. It is simply a cut above when it comes to build quality, durability, and robustness, with everything just feeling more solid and better put together when compared with cheaper cordless strimmers. There are little details too, like the end cap of the spool being made from metal instead of plastic, and in a bump feed design like this, that will no doubt prolong the working life of the tool. And that’s now been proven with two years of daily use – nothing is broken – it’s as good as new and the engine still feels tight. Talking of which:
Delivering cutting speeds of 7800RPM, the Makita cordless line trimmer is certainly no slouch and will cut through really thick grass and weeds with relative ease, and the excellent motor never sounds or feels like it is being overworked or laboured. If you haven’t already watched the video it’s worth a look.
On a fully charged battery, you get around 30 minutes of continuous use. That might not sound a lot, but with the excellent cutting performance of the tool, it should be more than enough time to trim off the edges of your garden path, patio, etc. Makita batteries are well-known for charging quickly anyway, and it’ll only take another half an hour in the charging dock before you can go again.
2. Ryobi One+ cordless strimmer
Specification: Warranty: yes (1 year), Power: 18V, Cutting Width: 25cm or 30cm, Weight: 2.3kg
The Ryobi ONE+ battery system is extremely handy when you already have other Ryobi tools in your arsenal. This technology allows all Ryobi products to be powered by the same battery. The Ryobi ONE + system boasts over 100 tools that the battery can be used with. If you already use Ryobi or you are thinking of investing in some other products, then the ONE+ battery system is certainly something to think about before buying.
The cutting power of the Ryobi grass trimmer is excellent, it does a great job cutting through grass and weeds with decent power .While under operation, the vibration of the Ryobi garden strimmer was measurable, but not anything to worry about if you aren’t going to use the strimmer for commercial jobs, for tinkering about at home it’s a solid pick.
The easy edge adjustable head allows for speedy transitions between different trimming angles, so you can get right under those bushes and shrubs to really give your lawn that perfect, professional finish.
Another great feature was being able to change the cutting width from either 25 cm to 30 cm. On the 25cm setting, you will find that the battery lasts longer, whereas the larger 35mm setting will allow you to get the job done faster. It’s a nice feature, and I’m always happy to have choices of settings like these.
Unlike many petrol-powered strimmers that use bump feed line feeders, the Ryobi cordless model has an automatic feed, and this certainly saves you time on the job that would usually be wasted finding a solid surface to bump out some more line on. This auto-feed is activated through presses of the trigger on the hand controls and is, in my opinion, an excellent feature.
The Ryobi isn’t just a cordless strimmer either. With a simple press of a button found on the shaft, the head rotates and turns into an edging tool. Again, this is an extra feature that I thought was fantastic, and Ryobi is quickly becoming one of my favourite brands for their innovations.
Assembly is easy and straight forwards with this tool and once built, the ergonomic design of the handles and adjustable shaft ensure that this tool is very comfortable to hold for long periods, and its extremely lightweight nature only reinforces this.
Sold as a base unit, with no battery the Ryobi is very affordable, however when you factor in the cost of the battery and charger to be purchased separately, the overall price does increase by a fair old bit, and it is no longer a cheap product, much like the Makita. Even with that being said, I still think this is a top-class cordless strimmer and definitely worth its high place on our list of best products.
3. Einhell GC-CT 18 Li Power X-Change 18V Cordless Strimmer
Einhell GC-CT 18 Li Power X-Change 18V Cordless Strimmer is a decent option if you’re not keen on spending the bigger money on the Makita or the Ryobi, but it is not as powerful and that is from actually comparing and using these two tools side by side. Though if your looking for a tool that is just going to trim grass and lighter weeds then this might well be for you. Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the review, let’s take a look at the performance:
As you can see from the demo video the first thing you will notice if you’ve compared this with the Ryobi, and more notably the Makita, it’s really not as powerful, and the plastic blades are pretty good but I prefer good old line feed. That’s not to say I am right though – god knows how many times I have spent ten minutes re-spooling strimmer line only to find out I’ve put it the wrong way around and it wont feed 😀 – yes you know you’ve done that too 😉 So these plastic rubbery insert blades are actually much easier from that standpoint:
I have to say I am pretty impressed with it on price, so it’s getting pick as the best budget strimmer for home use:
What you’ve got to accept though, this is going to struggle on nettles and anything hardier than that, the plastic blades don’t like them either. You want to avoid using it too heavily as it’ll start warming up a big more than you’d like.
As with the competitors the angles of the head and base are easy to manoeuvre, and if you’re 5 foot 10 like me, you’ll absolutely find a comfortable position to operate this – I would say almost all heights from 5ft something up to a tall 6ft 3 or 4 inches will enjoy using this strimmer in combination with the variably extending pole.
I’ll re-iterate again, for the lighter work I think this is a great buy! But don’t expect mega powerful performance like the commercial tools we review!
4. Worx WG157E cordless grass strimmer
Specification: Warranty: yes (1 year), Power: 20V, Cutting Width: 25cm, Weight: 2.62kg
The Worx cordless grass trimmer can use interchangeable batteries. This is a bonus if you have already purchased one or more of the many power tools that the Worx brand has to offer, like their excellent portable pressure washers. This garden strimmer is able to use either the brand’s 18 V Lithium-ion battery or the 20 V Lithium-ion battery., which makes finding one to fit, a little easier.
However, both the charging time and the running time could use some improvement as they just can’t compare to the best cordless strimmers on our list. Having said that, this is pretty standard from a lot of budget cordless garden strimmers.
Possibly the best feature on the Worx grass trimmer is the edger tool. This grass trimmer can convert into an edger tool in seconds and its adjustable head can rotate an impressive 180 degrees, allowing for professionally edged and neater gardens.
One noticeable difference with this particular garden strimmer is the use of a single-line cutting system. The single-line auto-feed system makes cutting faster, and the 3m wire spool will automatically release when the strimmer is started, to ensure you have the correct length of wire needed to cut your lawn.
This was great as we often find that banging other strimmers on the ground to thread the wire slightly frustrating and ineffective. Worx claim that this method helps to improve cutting and create healthier and greener grass. We did not find that the lawn suddenly bursts with life, but we did find that the single wire does work quite well and can handle most thicker grass and weed jobs.
The Worx strimmer ran very quietly and there were also minimal vibrations coming through the adjustable and easy to grip auxiliary handle whilst under operation.
These handles give you a nice grip, and as the weight distribution is rather nice on this strimmer, you’ll find that you can control the tool very easily.
There is a foldable flower guard to protect your beds and prize-winning roses, and being able to fold the guard actually came in handy when needing to get closer to walled areas.
Available for around 65 pounds with the battery included, this is not a bad budget choice for people with small gardens, it has low vibrations, runs quietly, and is only really let down by the battery life and charging times.
5. Terratek 20V cordless strimmer
Specification: Warranty: yes (2 years), Power: 20V, Cutting Width: 25cm, Weight: 2kg
Terratek’s cordless strimmer stands out from the crowd for one very clear reason. Instead of the usual plastic wire cutter, Terratek’s offering instead uses nylon ‘blades’ that simply clip into place. When compared with other products that use spools of wire, I would say that the cutting performance is more or less the same. However, if you compare how easy it is to change the blades to a spool of wire, the Terratek wins easily.
These nylon blades won’t last forever either, but you do get plenty of spares in the box, and you can buy a set of 20 Terratek brand extras separately, for around a tenner. If you want to go with a different brand’s blades that will still fit this strimmer, you can probably get 50 blades for around the same price.
Priced at around 95 pounds at the time of writing this review, the Terratek cordless strimmer is actually very good value for money when you consider that you get not one, but two 20V batteries thrown in for the price. When more and more companies are charging you extra for their batteries and selling them separately, it’s nice to see them included with the strimmer.
On a full charge, one 20V battery will give you about 40 minutes of continuous working time, and then you can simply swap for the second battery while the first one recharges. Not that you should need to use two batteries, unless you either live in a jungle, or a stately home, as this product has plenty of cutting power and can reach speeds of 8000rpm, more than enough to slice through thick vegetation.
Other impressive features of the Terrtek include a 180 degree rotating head with a built-in flower guard and 25cm cutting diameter, a length-adjustable shaft that is easy to operate, and a very lightweight design with comfortable handles.
Like the Ryobi, I applaud Terratek for their innovations, and I would definitely say I prefer these clip-on nylon blades to the wire cutter type, if only for the practicality and quick changes. At the current price, with two batteries included, it is an excellent deal and one you would be wise to take advantage of.
6. Von Haus 20V cordless strimmer
Specification: Warranty: yes (2 years), Power: 20V, Cutting Width: 25cm, Weight: 2.75kg
The VonHaus Grass strimmer is a 20 V maximum Lithium-Ion powered cordless power tool that is capable of cutting at speeds comparable to the Makita. We found this very impressive considering this strimmer is at the lower end of the price range
The batteries are included in the price, along with a charger, and are compatible with all other VonHaus cordless products. The charge time of the battery was about 1 hour and this is extremely good, and something that did not go unnoticed.
The grass strimmer has a cutting width of 25 cm and can cut through both grass and weeds with no trouble at all. The VonHaus strimmer is not equipped with the commonly used strimmer line but the same revolutionary blade system as the Terratek model. The product comes with ten replaceable blades, and we found that the blades do last, but again, we didn’t think that they cut any better or worse than the strimmers that use nylon wire.
I will say this about the nylon blades, and this goes for both this product and the Terratek model, they did break quite easily if they mistakenly came into contact with a hard edge of brickwork or a path. Although this didn’t happen often, it is still something you have to be quite careful about or you’ll quickly find yourself ordering replacement blades.
The strimmer comes with what VonHaus call a safety guard however this was extremely annoying and repeatedly came off. Now, I thought that this was just the model that I was testing, but I’ve heard feedback from some of our customers that have said the same thing, while others have had no problems, so I think it is a quality control issue.
The strimmer comes with a telescopic handle and is quick to use and adjust, making it easy to find a more comfortable setting for longer gardening sessions. The head can convert into an edging tool too, just like the Ryobi cordless sttrimmer, but if I compare the two, I would say the Ryobi does a better job of this.
Both handles on the Von Haus are soft grip and comfortable to hold, and the product is lightweight and very mobile. Even during prolonged use, we found the VonHaus cordless grass strimmer to be low on vibrations and ran rather quietly, I just wish that more care had been taken with a few things during the manufacturing process, as this could have been an excellent product.
As it stands, it is still a good deal for the low price, but it is hit and miss whether or not you get a polished product or one with flaws, and when you compare the quality to a product like the Terratek that isn’t that much more expensive, it comes up a little short.
7. Bosch cordless grass strimmer
Specification: Warranty: yes (2 years), Power: 36V, Cutting Width: 30cm, Weight: 2.9kg
Bosch has always been a powerhouse in this industry, and for good reason. This particular product of theirs is a decent contender for one of the best cordless strimmers in the UK.
The machine has a slightly larger than average 2.6 Ah battery when compared to other 36V contenders, and this of course equates to more time using the strimmer between charges, which is always a good thing.
Possibly one of the best features I have seen on a cordless garden strimmer is the Bosch Syneon Chip, which intelligently controls the amount of energy and power required for each job. This chip is especially useful when coming across an overgrown area and means you can get more out of your battery with each charge without even having to think about it.
The Bosch also has a simple and easy to operate duel speed switch to control the speed and power manually, delivering optimum power and control when cutting. The two-speed trigger can maintain speeds from 7600 – 8300 RPM, pretty impressive stuff.
With a 30cm cutting width, and plant of power from the efficient motor, you’ll have no problems clearing the edges of your patio, path, and lawn, no matter how overgrown it’s gotten over winter.
The Bosch grass strimmer is very easy to assemble and caused us no trouble with setup and we were ready to start cutting in no time at all. For once, the instructions supplied were easy to follow, but to be honest, they weren’t really needed as everything is all very straightforward and easy to figure out.
The ergonomic auxiliary handle is adjustable and comfortable to hold, and this plays a big part in making the 5 kgs weight balance out well. Even so, it still feels heavy when compared to many of our other featured products, and this was one problem we came up against when trying to tackle larger areas. Although the device is great at cutting and the battery life is excellent, it was our own energy levels that deteriorated, so we would advise the use of a harness if you’re going to opt for the Bosch.
You can expect to pay in the region of £215 complete with battery and charger, or alternatively around £140 or so without them, and this is maybe a hefty price for someone who is only going to use the strimmer in a smaller well-maintained garden. There is an option to buy without the battery and charger, but this would only work if you already have Bosch power tools with the same 2.6Ah battery, and this fact, plus the heaviness of the tool, is what has kept this otherwise excellent strimmer from ranking higher on our list.
8. Black & Decker 36V cordless strimmer
Specification: Warranty: yes (1 year), Power: 36V, Cutting Width: 30cm, Weight: 3.5kg
After receiving some excellent feedback from customers regarding the Black & Decker cordless strimmer, we decided to put it to the test for ourselves, and we weren’t disappointed.
The Black and Decker features the brand’s E-drive technology, which produces high torque and this helps it to power through the toughest overgrown areas quickly, and without clogging or slowing you down. This is helped along by Black and Decker’s plastic strimmer blades that can reach speeds similar to the top Ryobi and Makita versions.
The Black and Decker has a 30 cm cutting width which is ideal for larger gardens. The strimmer is also surprisingly versatile and can actually be converted into an edging tool by simply turning the head of the tool around. It’s quick and easy to do and works like a charm.
This cordless grass strimmer is powered by a 36 V 2.0 Ah Lithium-Ion battery which boasts up to 3750 linear meters of cutting power in just one charge. So, forget about having to wait around for the light on the charging station to turn green so you can finish up the lawn, with the Black & Decker, you can get it done in one go.
Another feature we liked on the Black & Decker strimmer is the different power modes. You can choose from either the ECO mode for the lighter duties, and this will save battery power, or simply switch to turbo mode to tackle the thicker more heavy-duty tasks, but obviously at the cost of running time. Actually, we found that the turbo mode used considerably more battery than ECO mode which was disappointing, but the battery has a quick charge time, so we weren’t really phased by this.
Weighing only 3.5 kilograms the lightweight and comfortable design of this tool is perfect for either commercial or home use, and the telescopic handle allows the user to adjust the height of the strimmer to suit them with ease.
The secondary handle allows the weight to be distributed evenly and the primary handle is fitted with a rubber, over-molded, non-slip grip that gives the user full control and comfort, and both do a great job of reducing what little vibrations are made by the strimmer while it’s cutting away those weeds.
Overall the Black and Decker is a solid choice for a strimmer it can give the user comfort and speed to do even the toughest jobs. What’s more, it does it extremely quiet too when compared to some of its competitors, and even if you don’t use a cordless strimmer on a daily basis, this rechargeable cordless strimmer’s battery can hold a charge for up to 18 months whilst idle.
What is a cordless strimmer?
Cordless grass strimmers are outdoor power tools that use rotating plastic blades to cut through grass and weeds to keep green areas well kept. Although not as powerful as petrol strimmers, they are a lot better for the environment and have advantages over a standard corded electric strimmer, like the fact that they run off lithium-ion batteries, and this gives you more range and freedom of movement.
Most cordless strimmers use nylon to cut and this is sometimes referred to as the ‘line’ or in some cases ‘trimmer line’, although some of the latest models have steered away from this and have instead started using easy to change nylon blades, which I personally prefer.
The replaceable nylon wire can be used to cut entire gardens but I wouldn’t recommend it, and this is a job better suited to a lawnmower. Strimmers are best used for trimming the edges of a lawn, or keeping pathways and brickwork free from weeds ( you can also use weed killer products for this task). Some Strimmers come as a single-line cutter or a duel line cutter. We found that both styles are equally sufficient, and will certainly save you time and labour when compared to using just a pair of garden shears.
Best cordless Strimmer Buyers’ Guide
Comparing cordless strimmers to petrol and corded strimmers. Which type of strimmer should I buy?
There are three types of strimmers, petrol strimmers, electric corded strimmers, and battery-powered cordless strimmers, and there are indeed pros and cons to all. However, the battery-powered, cordless grass strimmers are now the most commonly used garden strimmers in the UK.
This is for a number of reasons, not only are they lightweight and easy to handle but they are noticeably quieter when compared to petrol strimmers, they also don’t emit harmful exhaust fumes, which is a bonus if you don’t want to annoy the neighbours or even if you are going to be using one all day. Not to mention the petrol strimmers are often a lot heavier than electric and cordless models and more often than not require the use of a harness.
More importantly, though, choosing a cordless strimmer will have less of an environmental impact. Plus, with today’s lithium technology, they can now match the run time of their petrol-driven competitors. Of course, another bonus of not using a petrol strimmer is not having to take extra jerry cans of fuel to work sites, or even storing fuel at home. This means no spillages and no trips to refill either.
So, could a corded electric strimmer be an option then? But what about trying to find a power socket down the far end of a large garden? Even if it is possible, it’s not ideal to have the window open with the wire hanging out when making all that noise. Corded strimmers are also not the most ideal tool when working on large areas. Being governed by the length of the wire and being tangled up by connecting extension cords, can simply be avoided by taking advantage of cordless rechargeable strimmers.
With so many cordless garden strimmers for sale and so many brands on the market which are the best to buy? There are top brands such as, Black& Decker, Bosch, Makita, and Flymo which all have a huge range of power tools and garden equipment, but are their cordless strimmers are any good? Read our reviews above to find the answer to this.
What do I need my cordless strimmer for?
Knowing exactly what you are going to be using a cordless strimmer for is important. The reasoning behind this is, you shouldn’t be thinking about spending hundreds of pounds on a commercial use garden strimmer if you are only going to be tending to a small pathway with a few strands of grass poking out.
Try to work out the size of the area or areas you are going to be working on. Will you be needing to help a friend or family member with a particularly large garden? If so, you might want to think about investing in a grass strimmer with a larger cutting width, and the battery life is another important factor to be considered.
Will you be cutting back thick grass and tough weeds in overgrown areas or just tidying up your already neat well-groomed garden? You will most certainly need a more powerful machine if you are going to be tackling the more heavy-duty work.
Do you stress about the professionalism of your lawn edges? If so, a strimmer that converts into an edging tool like the Ryobi model we reviewed earlier, could be worth looking into further.
So, there you have it, the rundown of the best cordless strimmers reviewed. We can safely say that we enjoyed using all the cordless strimmers and we would urge you to check out our other reviews on both corded and petrol strimmers if you are still not convinced about the benefits of using rechargeable cordless strimmers.