Best Cordless Strimmer UK – Complete Buying Guide & Review

A good cordless strimmer will tidy the edges of lawns and around obstacles (like trees), quickly, easily and at least fairly quietly.  If you know you definitely want a cordless strimmer and just want some recommendations on which one to buy, then please skip straight to our cordless strimmer review section.  If you’d like to know a bit more about cordless strimmers, then keep reading and we’ll give you the basics.

Best Cordless Strimmer UK

Understanding cordless strimmers

There are basically three types of strimmer in common use.  Petrol strimmers are used by commercial gardners.  They’re the most powerful strimmers you can find, but they’re way more than you need for the average domestic garden and they’re expensive as well as big, heavy and noisy.  Corded strimmers are the most budget friendly, but if you have anything more than the tiniest of tiny gardens then you may find the limitations of the cord get very frustrating.

Cordless strimmers give you maximum freedom for light jobs such as trimming and edging lawns.  They are easy to maneuver around obstacles and, if necessary, can be very precise.  They’re also relatively quiet.  In some cases, you can buy extra batteries to extend your running time.

Please note, that the more robust cordless strimmers can manage moderately tough weeds such as nettles and thistles, but that’s as far as it goes and those are the very best cordless strimmers and priced accordingly.  We only have one cordless strimmer on our list which can cope with these.  For the most part, as their name suggests, cordless strimmers are for light jobs, literally, just tidying up the edges of lawns.

electric-trimmer-edging-a-path-426586

Batteries (and run time)

Batteries have two key values, Voltage relates to power and Amp Hour relates to the length of time the battery will last between charges.  In principle, higher values mean better-quality batteries, but there comes a point where extra power/running time is effectively meaningless and just adds extra price and weight.

In principle, you can also get different types of battery technologies, although these days, decent cordless strimmers will invariably use Lithium Ion batteries.  The big advantage of Li-Ion batteries is that they don’t suffer from the “memory effect”.  In other words, you can charge them at any time without confusing them about how full or empty they are. 

If you do see a cordless strimmer with Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Can) batteries, then you need to wait until it’s fully empty before you charge it and then charge it completely.

Recharge time will depend on various factors, including the capacity of the battery and the quality of the charger.

For the record, in our review section, we’ve given run and recharge times and if you’re going to look at other models, we’d recommend you just check this for yourself.

Also, whenever you buy a cordless strimmer, check if a battery and/or charger is included.  There is an increasing trend of selling “naked” battery-operated tools.  The idea is that manufacturers produce a range of tools which use the same batteries and charges so you can swap everything around as suits you.  This can work very well, just be aware of it and remember to factor it into your calculations when comparing prices.

light weight and easy to handover

Cutting power

If you’re looking for the best cordless strimmer with blades, then the bad news is that, for the present at least, you’re not going to find one.  Cordless strimmers are, for now, just not powerful enough to use blades.  Instead, and arguably rather ironically given their name, they use cutting strings.

Essentially, the battery drives a hub which spins a stiff line and the centrifugal force provides the necessary power for the cutting.  Higher-grade cordless strimmers have longer and/or stronger wires (they’re usually called strings or cords) for more effective cutting, although, as with the batteries, you’d have to ask yourself if you really need the extra strength or if you’re just paying more for no real benefit.

For the sake of completeness, while cordless strimmers are a safer option than tools with blades, because you’re much less likely to be cut with them when they are switched off, you do have to respect their power when they are switched on.

The ergonomics

Cordless strimmers can vary widely in how comfortable they are to use.  You want to look at the main handle and secondary handle and see how easy they are to grip and, if relevant, to control, for example, to switch between strimming and edging functions.  You also want to check if the strimmer can be adjusted to suit people of different heights.  Be aware that the best cordless strimmers will do a better job of absorbing vibrations than their budget counterparts.

Depending on your age/the state of your hands/your DIY skills, you might want to extend the definition of “ergonomics” to include the ease (or otherwise) of assembly, storage and getting your cordless strimmer out of storage.

Although this isn’t technically ergonomics, you might also want to think about the amount of noise made by any given cordless strimmer, especially if you might need to do gardening at “odd” times, for example to fit in with your shifts at work.

Best Cordless Strimmer UK – Complete Buying Guide & Review

Cordless Strimmer Review

Here is our pick of the top five best cordless strimmers on the market today.  We’ve looked at performance, ease of use and price, so basically overall value for money.  Our first two picks come with bodies, batteries and chargers and the last three are “body only” meaning that you buy the batteries and chargers separately and this has to be factored into your view of the price.

Please note that the charging times we state are for when a battery is in standard, regular use.  For the first charge and if the battery goes a long period out of use, you may need to charge overnight (or 6-7 hours).

Maintain You’re Lawn – Read Our Petrol Strimmer – Complete Buying Guide & Review
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Best Cordless Strimmer UK

BLACK+DECKER 18V Cordless 28 cm String Grass Trimmer

BLACK+DECKER 18V

This cordless strimmer is a lightweight tool for lightweight jobs and if that sounds like you, then it could be a very good choice.  It’s easy to store and very simple to use.  We particularly like the telescopic tube, which makes this cordless strimmer comfortable for users of all heights, the adjustable secondary handle and the fact that you can easily swap between trimming and edging just by twisting the pole.

According to the description this cordless strimmer will cut up to 2500 linear metres in one charge.  In practical terms, it will run for 15-20 minutes on average ground (think lawn edges rather than overgrown verges).  It then needs a good 2 hours to charge (this might be due to the charger), but we think the general idea is that you’re supposed to leave it plugged in to trickle charge and then take it out for light jobs which you can do in 15-20 minutes.

To be honest, we’re a bit dubious about the fact that Black+Decker are marketing this tool as being suitable for heavy work.  Frankly we don’t think it’s remotely up to it (although most Black+Decker tools are).  We do think that if you are planning to do light tasks, especially in a small garden, this could be the best cordless strimmer for you.

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BLACK+DECKER 18V Cordless 28 cm String Grass Trimmer 2.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery

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Last update was on: December 30, 2020 4:17 pm
£96.00 £147.77
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Flymo Contour Cordless 20V Li Grass Trimmer, 20V Li-Ion Battery, 25cm Cutting Width

Flymo Contour Cordless

Flymo are probably best associated with lawn mowers but they do a great range of lawn strimmers.  Like the Black+Decker, this cordless strimmer has been designed with comfort in mind and we’d say it has the slight edge here.  In addition to the telescopic tube and a comfortable secondary handle, it also has a foot pedal and it’s easy to switch between strimming and edge cutting.

Although this may seem like an odd point to mention, not only is this easy to assemble in general (especially if you ignore the diagrammes and go for the written instructions), it’s easy to assemble for people who are less good with their hands, e.g. who have a touch of arthritis.  It’s also, in our opinion, the easiest strimmer for older people to use.

You’ll get about 20 minutes of standard use out of the battery, after which it will take about an hour to charge.

Unlike the Black+Decker, we’d be willing to trust this cordless strimmer with moderately tough jobs, for example, we’d trust it to deal with thistles, although, again, please remember this is essentially for basic, domestic, use rather than anything hugely demanding.

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Flymo Contour Cordless 20V Li Grass Trimmer, 20V Li-Ion Battery, 25cm Cutting...

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£100.80 £114.99
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Makita DUR181Z 18V Body Only Cordless Li-ion Line Trimmer

Makita DUR181Z

Makita thinks that the main selling point of this cordless strimmer is that it is quiet.  We aren’t actually sold on the idea of it being hugely quite.  It’s certainly quieter than a petrol strimmer, but then, as far as we’ve been able to tell, all cordless strimmers are because they’re less powerful.  It’s a trade off and if you have a smaller garden, it’s probably one that you’re only too happy to make.

In our opinion, the main selling point of this cordless strimmer is that the battery is on the pivot point, or, in non-technical language, the battery stays still while the strimmer moves.  It may not sound like much but when you’re using the strimmer over longer periods, it can actually be a meaningful benefit.

Admittedly, longer periods is a relative term, assuming you buy an original battery and charger (separately), you can expect a charge to last about 20 minutes after which the battery can recharge in as little as 30 minutes.  The cordless strimmer has a 26CM cutting width and the head turns 180 degrees so you can use it for both strimming and edging. 

Please note, however, that this cordless strimmer is only really suitable for very light work.  Basically, it’s all about comfort, convenience and precision.

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Makita DUR181Z 18V Body Only Cordless Li-ion Line Trimmer

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Ryobi OLT1832 ONE+ Cordless Grass Trimmer, 18 V, 25/30 cm Cutting Width

Ryobi OLT1832 ONE

This is Ryobi.  It’s a decent cordless strimmer, which does a decent job at a decent price, especially if you already own a Ryobi ONE+ battery and charger.  If you’re older/have arthritic fingers then it could be a challenge to put together, especially the bottom guard.

It’s nicely comfortable to use and the telescopic tube makes it easy to adjust to your height.  It’s also very quiet.  As with cordless strimmers in general, it’s intended for lighter work.  It’ll strim and edge your lawn happily, but don’t even try it on tougher weeds, not even the likes of nettles.

Working time and charging time will depend on which battery you use, but assuming you use the Ryobi RB18L50 ONE+ Lithium+ 5.0Ah Battery, 18 V, you’ll get about 20 minutes of standard use and then it’ll need about 30 minutes to charge.

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Ryobi OLT1832 ONE+ Cordless Grass Trimmer, 18 V, 25/30 cm Cutting Width

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WORX WG157E.9 18V (20V MAX) 2.0Ah Cordless 25cm Grass Trimmer-Body ONLY

WORX WG157E

To be perfectly blunt, this cordless strimmer from WORX is about as basic as they come, but it’s priced accordingly and if all you want to do is keep a small lawn tidy, then it may be all you need.  Assuming you use the recommended WORX battery, you’ll get 20-30 minutes out of each charge and then you’ll need about an hour to recharge.

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WORX WG157E.9 18V (20V MAX) 2.0Ah Cordless 25cm Grass Trimmer-Body ONLY, 20...

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Cordless Strimmer Review – Conclusions

If we have to pick one cordless strimmer which stands out above the rest, it’s the Flymo, but while it has a lot to offer, it might not be the best cordless strimmer for everyone, the others all have their good points too.

trim your garden

Best Cordless Strimmer for Allotments

Overall, we’re going to put the Ryobi down as the best cordless strimmer for allotments.  The reason for this is that it’s the sturdiest of the “naked” trimmers, plus it’s easy to get new/extra batteries and parts.  This means that you can do your charging at home and take as many batteries as you need to your allotment and if you buy more Ryobi tools you can just swap the batteries around between them (which is the whole idea).

Best Lightweight Cordless Strimmmer

We’re going to say the Makita just takes it over the Black+Decker, but it was really close.  The Black+Decker is a bit more robust than the Makita, so if you’re prepared to compromise a bit on lightness, it could be the better option.

Jeff Ellis

If it builds, screws or fixes, Jeff knows all about it. Former Joiner and handyman with over 25 years in the business, Jeff is our 'hands-on' tools, garden and hardware expert. Our in house heavy lifter, you certainly know when he’s around. BIG guy with a big heart, super warm and friendly guy. Always eating and always active, Jeff literally never stops, always has a smile on his face but more importantly for our readers, is an expert reviewer

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