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Home & garden.

19 October 2021

Should I buy a petrol grass trimmer?

Petrol grass trimmers are great for cutting long grass and tough weeds, but have some disadvantages. Find out if they are right for your garden.
Alice Williams
Petrol grass trimmer

A petrol grass trimmer is designed for cutting down large areas of long grass and weeds, and is one option for working away from the house. 

Unlike cordless electric models, which need recharging regularly, all you need is a can of petrol and you can work for hours at a time. Petrol trimmers are ideal for gardeners who need to clear an allotment or cut down a wildflower meadow. 

However, don't expect them to be suited to all trimming tasks. They are much too powerful and hard to control to edge the lawn, for example. 

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Are petrol grass trimmers any good?


  • You can work wherever you want.
  • Powerful enough to clear tough weeds or cut down a large meadow.


  • Too powerful to use for light gardening jobs. 
  • Can be hard to start.
  • Petrol mowers are generally a lot heavier than other types.

Are they easy to use?

Petrol machinery has a reputation for being hard to start and tricky to maintain, and this is sometimes justified. However, some petrol grass trimmers have easy-start engines that simplify the start-up routine and don't need as much force to work the pull cord. 

Most petrol trimmers also have an anti-vibration mechanism, although these tend to reduce vibration rather than eliminate it, and petrol engines are by their very nature noisy and give off exhaust fumes. 

They are also usually heavier than most cordless electric grass trimmers - unless the cordless model has a large and heavy battery. 

However, some models do come with a harness or shoulder strap, which will help to reduce the strain on your arms. 

using a petrol grass trimmer

How much do petrol grass trimmers cost?

Petrol trimmers typically cost from £100 for a basic model up to around £700 for a high-end professional model. 

We've tested petrol grass trimmers from six major brands including Honda, Ryobi and Stihl. Find out about these and other manufacturers with our grass trimmer brand guide.  

Best petrol grass trimmers

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  • 83%

    This is a great petrol grass trimmer, and the brushcutter head is extremely effective. It's comfortable to use and easily deals with tough job, such as heavy weeds and long grass. The bump feed on the grass trimmer head works well, so you won't lose your line. It's pricey, but should last you a long time.

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  • 78%

    It may have a smaller engine than other petrol grass trimmers, but this model still packs a punch. It's from a manufacturer with a solid reputation for producing excellent garden tools.

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  • 77%

    It's an older model now, but this is still one of the best petrol models we've tested. It has the power to cut through tougher grass but also the precision for clean lawn edging. Also considering its strong line that doesn't break easily and the ease of filling with petrol and starting, it's well worth buying.

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(Table updated October 2021)