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Best strimmers: is hybrid Ryobi any good?

New cordless strimmer you can plug into the mains

The new Ryobi RLT1830H13 hybrid strimmer

Our strimmer tests have found that tough grass is often a problem for battery-powered models – so can a new dual battery and mains-powered strimmer from Ryobi buck the trend?

The new Ryobi RLT1830H 18V One+ can be used as a battery-powered cordless machine or plugged into the mains. Ryobi says this ‘hybrid grass trimmer’ is a new concept in strimmer technology enabling you to swap seamlessly between power sources to keep you cutting for longer.

To see if it lives up to its claims, we put the £150 Ryobi through our tough grass trimmer tests, up against rival models from brands including Flymo, Mac Allister and Bosch. Log-in to read our full Ryobi RLT1830H13 18V One+ Hybrid review to find out how it scored and if it has got what it takes to earn our Which? Best Buy recommendation.

Cordless strimmers on test

As well its dual power source, the Ryobi RLT1830H comes with an automatic line-feed system, with a manual release if you need it. It has an adjustable cutting width, one trimming line and the head rotates for edging.

It is available now but before you buy, be sure to check our strimmer reviews, which include machines from Bosch, Stihl and Flymo, to see which are best value.

Which? lawn care expert Adelaide Gray says: ‘The Ryobi seems a good way to get around short battery-life when you’re cutting through thicker grass. But you don’t necessarily need a hybrid machine to get enough power to trim around your garden. Just follow our Which? advice on choosing a grass trimmer’

Strimmer reviews

We’ve reviewed cordless line-strimmers such as Flymo’s Contour Cordless 24V and Ryobi’s RLT 1825Li and blade strimmers like the Bosch’s ART 23 18Li and Mac Allister MGT36-Li, which has a powerful 36V battery.

Cordless strimmers have the reputation of being less powerful than corded models but our tests show that this is not always true. 

All of the strimmers that we test are put through a number of rigorous tests. We test how cleanly it trims the grass against a wall and how it deals with rough grass and tough weeds. We try to break the line against a hard metal edge to see if the strimmer looses the line inside the head and how easy it is to retrieve. Watch our video to find out more about how we test strimmers.

Full list of strimmers on test

Below is a full list of the strimmers we’ve just tested (prices typical as of 10 April 2014).

  • Bosch ART 23-18Li cordless, £105
  • Bosch ART 26-18Li cordless, £115
  • Bosch ART 35 HD corded electric, £85
  • Flymo Contour Cordless 24V cordless, £90
  • Flymo 500E corded, £50
  • Flymo 650E corded, £70
  • Mac Allister MGT36 Li cordless, £180
  • Ryobi RLT 1825Li cordless,  £120
  • Ryobi RLT 1830H13 hybrid, £150
  • Stihl FS94 C-E  petrol, £390

More on this…

  • How to by the best strimmer – read our advice on choosing a strimmer
  • Best Buy strimmers – discover our expert verdicts on the big brands
  • Petrol strimmers – find out how to choose the best for you
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