Should I buy a cordless strimmer or grass trimmer?
By Jade Harding
Not sure whether you should choose a cordless grass trimmer instead of a corded electric or petrol one? Our expert guide will help you choose.
Cordless grass trimmers let you carry out jobs around the garden and allotment without worrying where the nearest plug socket is. All you need to do is charge the battery and you're good to go.
With a variety of models made for either light or heavy jobs, you can pick the perfect trimmer according to your gardening needs.
But this convenience will normally come at a price. Cordless grass trimmers typically cost more than their corded or petrol counterparts.
Head straight to our cordless grass trimmer reviews.
In this article:
- Easy to manoeuvre.
- You can use them anywhere.
- You can choose between a light or heavy-duty trimmer.
- Generally more expensive than corded or petrol models.
- You need to remember to recharge after every use.
- Some batteries don't last long enough to finish a job.
- Rechargeable batteries don't last forever.
You can expect to pay between £60 and £150 for a basic cordless model designed for light garden jobs. Around £90 is the average for a good trimmer but, as our tests show, a higher price doesn't always guarantee quality.
If you're on the lookout for a more heavy-duty cordless trimmer, you should expect to pay around £200. These are designed for cutting down large areas of grass and weeds, and can be an alternative to petrol models.
Keep an eye out for deals, too – discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl sell cordless grass trimmers for a few weeks each year.
Discover the best and worst grass trimmer brands for 2019.
Battery size for cordless grass trimmers varies depending on which model you buy.
- 12V lithium-ion battery - often found in cheaper, less-powerful models.
- NiCd (nickel-cadmium) batteries - often found in older models.
- Lithium-ion batteries with voltages of 36V or more - often found in newer cordless models designed for home gardening.
- Batteries with higher voltages of 72V or more - often found in heavy-duty trimmers.
Many batteries state both the voltage and the amp hour (Ah) rating.
Ratings are generally from around 1.3Ah through to 6Ah. Batteries with high Ah ratings tend to be very large and heavy, and so are often less suited to grass trimmers, as these make the whole tool too heavy to carry around and use.
How long does a grass trimmer battery take to charge?
Grass trimmer batteries can take between 30 minutes and more than four hours to charge, so it's important to check this before you buy.
If you can’t manage all your trimming on one battery charge, you'll have to wait for it to recharge before you can carry on with the job, so a long wait may be frustrating.
Alternatively, it’s worth considering buying a second battery. It’s often useful to have a second one charged and ready to go when you’re carrying out jobs that will take some time to finish. These are costly, but the price is generally lower when you buy the battery as a package with the grass trimmer rather than separately at a later date.
Jump straight to our Best Buy grass trimmers.
How much will the battery and charger cost?
Most trimmers will come with a battery and charger included, but not all. Always check the small print to find out what you're paying for.
If the battery and charger come separately, check to see if any of your existing tools have a battery or charger that you can use instead. Manufacturers often have one or two standard batteries and chargers that are compatible with a wide range of tools.
Always bear in mind that rechargeable batteries don't last forever, and they may start to develop problems such as not holding their charge. If this happens and you're no longer under guarantee, you'll need to pay to replace the battery yourself.
This cordless grass trimmer is excellent at cutting down long grass and weeds, but also feels well balanced and easy to use. It has the power of a heavy-duty petrol grass trimmer, but with the advantage that it’s less noisy, vibrates far less and is much easier to start.
This model is powerful enough to cut long grass and weeds, but can still make a decent job of the more delicate task of edging your lawn, so we've classed it as a general-purpose strimmer. It’s expensive, at £238, but it’s worth considering if you want a versatile machine.