Next to a lawnmower, a good weed eater is the most essential of yard management tools. Electric models might offer a little more convenience, but there is no substitute for the power and freedom of a gas-powered trimmer.
If you don’t know your stuff, it can be tough to tell a good product from a bad one. For today, our goal will be to change this fact and give you a little more information. With this, we hope you can choose the best 4-stroke weed eater for you. These five products should provide some great examples for reference.
Our Top Picks:
The 5 Best 4-Cycle String Trimmers
- Straight shaft for better reach
- Air-purging primer bulb
- 2-year warranty
- Extreme reliability
- Weight: 17 lbs
- Cutting swath: 18 inches
Like most Husqvarna products, this 4 cycle weed eater is very reliable. It has an air-purging primer bulb that helps to keep the lines clear. In many cases, false starts are the result of air bubbles trapped in the line. It also has a switch that always returns to the “on” position when the machine stops. The warranty is also a nice touch.
Straight-shaft weed eaters like this one do a better job of reaching under and around obstacles, and they are also easier to start when sitting on the ground. We were concerned about the single-string trimmer head, but it seems to be more than enough. This one might be a little expensive, but it’s built to last.
- Can be trusted to start on the first pull
- Dual trigger offers a little more safety
- Easy to start from the ground
- Single-string head is easy to operate
- All components well-shielded from debris
2. Craftsman CMXGTAMD30SA 30cc 4-Cycle 17-inch Straight Shaft Gas-Powered String Trimmer
Craftsman has been making tools to take care of yards, both big and small, for decades. Trimming and weed whacking can be a chore, and using a powerful tool like this one makes the job just a bit easier!
This is the biggest of the Craftsman string trimmer series and is designed with a straight shaft that makes it simple to trim around and underneath bushes. One big bonus with this trimmer is that it includes a 4-cycle engine. With this type of engine, there’s no need to mix oil and gas to get it started so anyone and everyone can take care of the yard!
There is a two-step starting process for this trimmer. While it’s been simplified, the same construct of the engine means there’s a chance things won’t go just as planned when starting. This trimmer uses a simplified prime and pulls start so you can get to work and keep working. One downside of this prime and pull technique is that you’ll still need to be plenty tall to pull it to start!
- The 4-cycle engine doesn’t need oil and gas mixed
- 2-step start process
- Straight shaft to trim around bushes
- Doesn’t come with the shoulder strap
3. SENIX GTS4QL-L 26.5cc String Trimmer
This is a smaller and lighter weed eater that is ideal for smaller projects and yards. While no attachments are included in this kit, there is a coupler included as part of the standard design if you’d like to add any attachments for later use. The front handle makes it easy to trim up your yard fast and the larger cutting swath will eat through your yard in no time.
The 4-cycle engine is a crank engine which may be tricky to get started for first-time users. The straight shaft works well for certain areas but may quickly become a problem for others since it doesn’t have much flexibility.
There is an included shoulder strap with this kit which can cut down on overall fatigue when you’re out trimming your lawn. The lightweight design helps keep you going for a long day but the added shoulder strap is a nice attachment for anyone who wants to take a little weight off their hands and last longer throughout the day.
- Lightweight design
- Included shoulder strap
- No mixing gas and oil
- Crank start
- No included attachments
4. Wild Badger 4-Cycle String Trimmer
Nothing can go wrong with a Wild Badger! While other brand names are more expensive when you’re trying to just find a tool that will work for your yard, the Wild Badger String Trimmer offers a product that includes additional attachments so your yard can be nice and clean-cut when company comes.
The first thing that stands out about this product is the price and what’s included. The cost is considerably lower than others on the market for the same 17-inch trimmer. You also get a brush cutter blade with the trimmer set!
The 4-cycle engine is a crank start that may cause some serious confusion and be more of a hindrance than a help. If you haven’t worked with this type of start before, it can be a bit confusing.
The engine doesn’t require mixing gas and oil together, so you’ll still be able to get away without that extra step. The straight shaft design offers a good deal of comfort, so you can weed whack all day long!
- Very affordable
- Kit includes a brush cutting tool
- 4-cycle engine
- The crank start may be confusing
- The lightweight design may end up being damaged more quickly
5. Honda 647620 35.8cc Gas 17 in. Straight Shaft String Trimmer/Edger
You may jump straight to ATVs or cars when you think of Honda but they’ve been making lawn equipment for years!
The first thing that jumps out about this trimmer is the price. It comes in at a full $200 more than others on the market for virtually the same product type. The 4-stroke engine doesn’t require gas and oil to be mixed before filling, saving you a step and time when you’re getting ready to tend to your lawn.
This trimmer features a 17″ semi-Matic bump feed for the line, making it a quieter option for trimming up your lawn. The flex shaft offers better durability and shock absorption when you’re outgoing around rocks and bushes. With the flex shaft, you can easily get around obstacles without getting jerked all over the place.
While some other trimmers on the market take a while to warm up, this one revs up fast and will keep up the speed for the duration of your project.
- Flex head for better durability
- Ergonomically designed with two motion trigger
- 4-stroke engine
- The company offers little information about the product
Benefits of a 4-Cycle Weed Eater over Other Types
When it comes to buying a trimmer for your yard, you want one that will stand the test of time and manage all the little details. You’ll need a trimmer that you can rely on when you’re trying to get your yard in good order for the season, and as you shop for a trimmer, you’ll want to consider all the things a 4-cycle weed eater can do for you!
Grass and weeds can get tough as they grow and pose a huge problem for your weed eater. A 4-cycle engine is going to give you more torque so you’ll have more power when you’re working on the yard. A 2-cycle will get the job done but you’ll need more precision and a bit more work to get everything finished.
Every gas burning engine puts out some kind of pollution and weed eaters are no exception. Since 4-cycle weed eaters burn oil and gas separately, they don’t put out the same kind of fumes. A 2-cycle engine ends up putting out more fumes in the air than a standard 4-cycle weed eater as they often burn gas and oil together in a more traditional set-up. With the gas and oil separate, the 4-cycle engine burns the fuel more efficiently and ends up giving you more steps per tank! This is especially valuable for professionals as it will save you money.
Stay on good terms with your neighbors by opting for a 4-cycle weed eater that will stay quiet when you’re working. Since there’s a chance for the engine to close up the cylinder with a 4-cycle weed eater, it keeps it quieter when you’re working on the yard. Your weed eater is bound to make some noise but if you’re worried about keeping the noise level low, opt for a 4-cycle.
When it comes to the price of your next weed eater, 2-cycle and 4-cycle have a similar price range. 2-cycle weed eaters end up costing between $100-$200 depending on the brands and the attachments that might be included. When you start looking at 4-cycle prices, they end in a very similar price range. A 4-cycle weed eater is going to end up costing you $150-$350. You can also pick and choose the price depending on the brand and other add-ons that you may end up incorporating.
How to Choose a String Trimmer
Just like any piece of equipment for your yard, there are plenty of things you want to take into account when choosing a string trimmer! Every person and yard is different, so you’ll need to start by figuring out what you need in a string trimmer. If you’ve got lots of yard that needs trimming or plenty of weeds to get through, you’ll need a string trimmer that can handle a thicker gauge. Being shorter presents a whole host of challenges, and you’ll want to shop for a string trimmer that has an adjustable handle!
A string trimmer ends up being balanced on your shoulder and held up with your arms so the overall weight is important! This ends up being a dead weight that you’ll need to hold up so start with the basic equipment weight and be sure to factor in any attachments!
By ensuring that your trimmer is balanced, you can keep working in a continuous line without worrying about switching things around all the time. Your trimmer should have an adjustable length shaft or handle which makes it easy to customize everything by your height.
Choose your noise input to keep your neighbors happy and your ears are working the way they should. Each trimmer will have a different threshold, and you might need to do a little bit of research in order to find out exactly how loud it’s going to be. 4-cycle trimmers tend to be quieter than 2-cycle ones, so start by sorting through the 4-cycles available at your local hardware store!
Running your trimmer for any amount of time is sure to leave your hands feeling numb. The vibrations can be kept to a minimum with the newer anti-vibration technology! New trimmers and more modern models almost all include this anti-vibration technology but double-check the label of your chosen brand to ensure your hands won’t be numb at the end of your yard project.
Easy Feeding and Loading
Anyone with a yard and a string trimmer they’ve somehow inherited has a horror story about adding in a new string or adjusting the string in the trimmer! Check that your potential new trimmer has an easy loading and feeding chute so you won’t need to add another story to your list. If you’ll be encountering different thicknesses of grass or weeds, you’ll also want to shop around for weed eaters and trimmers that allow for a heavier gauge string!
In the end, all of these string trimmers are superior products. Any of them would be likely to give you good results, but we think the best of the lot is the Husqvarna. While it may not stand out in every area, it seems to be the most reliable machine on our list. When you consider the cost of a good weed-eater, this factor is very crucial, indeed.
While we could have judged this contest based on power, cutting swath, cost, or any number of other criteria, we find reliability to be the most important one. Everyone likes those extra perks, but the most important thing is to have a trimmer that will work consistently for many years to come. If you agree, you might want to do a little more research (and maybe contact your local dealer) to find out more.