Should I buy an electric strimmer?
By Adele Dyer
Corded electric strimmers are generally the cheapest option, but will they be right for jobs in your garden? Here's everything you need to know.
What are corded electric strimmers?
Electric (corded) strimmers have a power cable and plug into a mains electrical socket. Most have 300W to 600W motors and you can generally expect a more powerful motor to generate more power and therefore be able to tackle tougher jobs.
You can use an extension lead to work further from the mains socket, but remember to use an RCD (residual current device). This will protect you from an electric shock if you accidentally cut through the cord.
Cheap models have a fixed shaft and head, but if you pay a little more you will find many features that make it easy to trim lawn and path edges. Many strimmers have an adjustable shaft and front handle, so you can find a comfortable working position that suits your height and build.
Some strimmers also let you rotate the cutting head to cut along lawn and path edges. Often there's a wheel attached to the guard which both supports the weight of the strimmer as you edge and keeps the strimmer at the right height. Some strimmers let you adjust the angle of the cutting head, so you can strim under garden furniture in much the same way that you would hoover under the sofa.
Find out our recommendations for the best general-purpose strimmers that have all these features.
If you need to do trimming away from home, such as at the allotment, then a corded electric strimmer will not suit you. In this case, look for a cordless strimmer.
What tasks can you use corded electric strimmers for?
They're useful for jobs close to the house such as trimming path and lawn edges and close to fences. Many low-cost electric strimmers are really only intended for short grass.
If you pay a little more, some electric strimmers are powerful enough to cut through long grass and tough weeds quickly and efficiently. Many of our best electric strimmers are versatile enough to cut long grass and weeds as well as trimming lawn edges.
How much do corded electric strimmers cost?
Electric strimmers are the cheapest option and you can expect to pay from £20 up to around £110.
Cheaper models usually have a fixed-length shaft so you won't be able to adjust it to the right height for you. They also often have a fixed head, which means you may well have to hold the strimmer at an awkward angle to cut vertically along lawn edges.
If you pay £50 or more, you will find models with enough power to cut long grass and also some great features to make it easy to trim lawn and path edges.
There are now many cordless strimmers that are only slightly more expensive, so it might be worth considering these as they are far easier to use.