Garden & Lawn

Top 5 Best Petrol Strimmer Reviews – Comparisons and Buyers Guide

Last updated on March 26th, 2024

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When it comes to strimmers, there is plenty of choices, and I’ve even reviewed some amazing cordless strimmers from Black + Decker and even DeWalt. However, when it comes to raw power and the ability to be up and running in minutes (no charging, just top up the petrol), nothing beats the cutting power of some of the best petrol strimmers. This is why, on a commercial level (for garden maintenance businesses as I do) or if you have a larger garden or small holding as my mum and dad do, then a petrol strimmer is most likely the better option. A 5-litre jerry can of fuel, and I’m good for hours.

And when I’m talking about petrol strimmers, I’m not talking about those cheap Chinese brands you’ve never heard of; I’m talking about trusted brands I’ve used for over 20 years since I got started. Back in the day, Mitsubishi made decent petrol strimmers. I still own one pictured below.

One of my older Mitsubishi powered strimmers - amazing machines, but these days prefer a Stihl or Honda strimmer
One of my older Mitsubishi powered strimmers – amazing machines, but these days prefer a Stihl or Honda strimmers

Over the last ten years, I’ve used mostly Stihl and Honda as they are so reliable. However, over the last few years I’ve also invested in McCulloch and even Hyundai. Both are more affordable and great if you’re just getting started. Before I get into my more detailed reviews further down and my buyer’s guide. I will quickly talk about some of my favourite strimmers.

For some people, the problem with petrol strimmers is they can be heavy. However, some brands have developed modern petrol strimmers that are amazingly light for petrol strimmer and no one has done it better than McCulloch with the TrimMac.

My McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer, perfect for general lawn maintanance

If you’re looking for a lightweight strimmer, I can’t recommend my McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer highly enough. For lighter strimming, such as general lawn maintenance, it’s a fantastic bit of kit and amazingly lightweight for a petrol strimmer. I’ve been using this on and off for several years now, it always starts the first time every time, is easy to use, runs smoothly, and it’s not too noisy. It’s simply a great little compact strimmer, especially if you perhaps find the heavier strimmers too heavy!

If you are looking for a petrol strimmer thats more robust, but still relatively lightweight, although admittedly not as lightweight as my McCulloch TrimMac, but still very reliable and easy to use. Then Stihl does some excellent models. Personally, I think this Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Brushcutter/Strimmer is well worth considering. It’s definitely more heavy-duty, has a more powerful engine and well as thicker 3mm strim line. It’s one of my favourites and is what I use the most around the nursery as it’s more of a workhorse and not too heavy.

I’ve previously discussed brush cutters on this website, including cordless brush cutters that also come with a steel blade as well as the strimmer head. When it comes to dealing with thick brush, brambles, strimming paddocks/fields, then you can’t go wrong with this Honda UMK 435 UE 35cc 4-Stroke Bike-Type Handle Petrol Brushcutter. Being Honda, it’s super reliable and well-built. However, it’s a heavy bit of kit but still manageable with the harness. It has plenty of power thanks to the 4-stroke OHC Honda GX35T 35cc engine. It comes with a proper steel 3-tooth blade and has a wide strimming width. For the most demanding jobs, this will get it done. The bike handle design also makes it easier to use.

While I’ve got heavy-duty strimmers on my mind, my dad tends to struggle a little with these larger strimmers, so he decided to invest in this Hyundai Wheeled Petrol Field Grass Trimmer (HYFT56). Now, this has proven to be worth its weight in gold for strimming his paddock and the edges of the field where it’s not easily accessible with the tractor. However, it’s heavy depending on where you use it. Now, it’s easy enough to push on level ground, which is what he uses it mostly on, but it does become hard work on slopes. However, it’s been a great alturnative to the heavy strimmers he usually uses, and as he says, ‘he not getting on younger’.

5 best petrol strimmers that I have included in my review are listed below:

  1. McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer – BEST FOR MOST PEOPLE – The lightest strimmer, easy to start, reliable but not for heavy brush such as brambles
  2. Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer – A GOOD LIGHT WEIGHT STRIMMER – ideal for heavier use than my McCulloch TrimMac, good for professional use.
  3. Hyundai HYMT5200X 52cc Petrol Garden Multi Function Tool – A Multi-tool kit, ideal for those who need a complete set including hedge trimmer, pole saw, brushcutter.
  4. Honda UMK 435 UE 35cc 4-Stroke Bike-Type Handle Petrol Brushcutter – Perfect for heavy-duty work and thick brush such as brambles and saplings. Very Reliable
  5. Hyundai Wheeled Petrol Field Grass Trimmer (HYFT56) – BEST HEAVY DUTY WHEELED STRIMMER – A good option for very large areas such as fields and paddocks.

Top Petrol Strimmer Reviews

1. McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer


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McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer. A reliable easy to start and lightweight petrol strimmer for small and medium sized gardens

The McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer has become one of my go-to strimmers for general strimming at home. So, I personally use this model in my own garden often preferring it to my DeWalt or Bosch cordless strimmers (I have more choice than most as I test and review products for living).

I will get straight to the point and tell you what I really like about this model and why it’s my strimmer of choice. Firstly, it’s lightweight at under 4kg and is about as light as petrol strimmers get. It might even be the lightest petrol strimmer available. I’ve not found a lighter model anyway.

My McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer after testing on long grass and weeds

With this in mind, if you usually find petrol strimmers too heavy and cumbersome, this might be the model that makes you reconsider. In truth, it’s probably why I use it at home more than other models I have, it’s lightweight and never needs recharging, unlike my cordless alternatives.

The 25cc engine provides plenty of power and can pretty much strim through anything I ask it to which I show in some pictures further down this review, within reason obviously.

McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer separates into two section for easy storage

Let’s not forget it’s also super compact and easily fits onto my garage shelf as shown above. I have also recently reviewed my favourite garage racking which you can read here.

McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer easily screws together

It’s also easy to connect the two halves together by sliding the two halves together (they only slide in one way) and then side the sleeve and screw it tight to hold the two halves together and its ready to use.

Putting a 2-stroke mix of petrol into McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer

I know I usually talk about how good cordless tools are but sometimes, the petrol models, they have their advantages too and easy refuelling is one of them as shown above.

A little tip, the petrol to oil mix ratio is 40 parts petrol to 1 part 2-stroke engine oil. I usually have a 5-litre jerry filled with unleaded petrol and then add 200mm of 2 stroke engine oil to the petrol and give it a good shake. This is then used with most of my 2 strokes engines and refilling is easy so I always have fuel on hand to top up in seconds.

McCulloch TrimMac 25cc powerful engine

So in terms of power, it’s got a 25cc engine which is really easy to start, never had any issue starting this which is more than I can say for some of the cheaper Chinese petrol strimmers out there. Basically, this engine is easy to start and it also features soft start, which basically means it’s easier to pull the cord to start the engine. Overall it’s easily powerful enough for most general strimming jobs.

I think what I’m trying to say is it’s super reliable and easy to work with. Even the air filter can be easily removed and cleaned with no tools needed, the cover just clips off.

Further down I have done a breakdown of how to start this model the first time every time. The reason a lot of people have trouble starting petrol engines is they don’t do it correctly and flood the engine and then blame the engine, 99% of the time though, it’s the user incorrectly trying to start the engine.

testing McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer at gatrden centre/nursery

Something else I really like about the model is the curved shaft, as shown above, it just makes it so much easier to use and keep the strimming head level making it easier to strim very low down putting less pressure on my back. It’s also so lightweight that it doesn’t even need a harness. I only mention this because some people have asked if it comes with a harness and it doesn’t because it’s simply not needed.

The loop handle which is adjustable and slides up and down the shalf

Combine the curved shaft with the sliding loop handle which is also adjustable and can be moved up and down the shaft and it just means you can get everything balanced and positioned just right.

Bump and feed system on McCulloch TrimMac strimmer head

Another feature I really like is the “Tap and Go” line feed head which allows quick and precise cord feeding. Basically, as you strim you can tap the head on the ground and it pushed the centre section which feeds more of the 2mm line automatically.

This feature is not only on this model, however, it works great which is not always the case on some models. This was one of the issues I had with a Black + Decker strimmer I have, the auto line feed didn’t work very well. On this model though, it works great.

area before Before strimming with the McCulloch strimmer
Before strimming with the McCulloch strimmer

So in terms of what this is capable of, pretty much anything except maybe really thick brush such as brambles, the picture below is long grass and weeds, some thicker brush and it went through this fairly easy in a minute or two.

strimming long grass and weeds with Before strimming with the McCulloch strimmer
Strimmer long area with large weeds and brush with McCulloch strimmer

It does have a fairly wide 40cm strimming cutting width so with each pass it cuts a fairly large area too.

After strimming with McCulloch TrimMac Strimmer
After strimming with the McCulloch strimmer

As you can see in the picture above it’s strimmed everything right down well and I can confirm it didn’t struggle in the slightest. If you plan on using it on lawns like I often do, it will have no issues whatsoever.

So as promised, here is how to start the engine. I have now been using this model for over a year and it always started easily so here it what I do.

The first thing you need to do is make sure it’s filled with the correct fuel and switch the red switch on the shalf as shown below to the ‘on’ position as shown below.

on/off switch on shaft McCulloch strimmer

Next, you need to press that red primer button 5 or 6 times to prime the engine, don’t press any more than 6 presses. You can see the primer button in the picture below.

Primer bulb on engine that you need to press 5 or 6 times

Now turn the choke fully on by pushing the choke lever fully down as shown below. The choke is now fully on

Full choke on

Now pull the cord until you feel resistance and then firmly pully the cord, after 1-3 pulls, the engine should sound like it’s about to start but doesn’t.

pulling pull cord to start engine

Now push the red choke lever to half choke as shown below and pull the cord again 2-3 times and the engine should start.

switching to half choke after engine try's to start

Let the engine run for a minute at half-choke and then push the red choke lever all the way up to turn the choke off as shown below and it will be ready to use.

choke off once engine is running and strimmer is ready to use

Once the engine is warm and if need to restart, you can just set the choke to half and it will start up again without having to use the full choke.

It’s also worth noting that McCulloch is owned by Husqvarna which is also a very well known and trusted brand of professional tools.


  • Fitted with a lightweight yet powerful 25cc motor for effective and efficient working.
  • Has a “tap and go” line head for smooth feeding of the cord as and when needed.
  • Features a lightweight design at only 3.6kg that offers great flexibility during movements.
  • Has a loop handle which ensures easy handling of the tool.
  • Easy to assemble and use.
  • Affordable and offers good value for money.


  • Not powerful enough for really heavy thick brush, perhaps consider a model with thicker line such as the Stihl model I review next which has 3mm line instead of 2mm which this model has.

Our recommendation

The McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer is an amazing machine for the price and I really like the fast and precise feeding of the cord with its tap and go feature. It’s nice to see one that actually works as it should, it makes using it so much easier.

McCulloch TrimMac 25 cc Petrol Grass Trimmer is the best petrol strimmer for most people

If you’re looking for a reliable, lightweight, easy to start strimmer for using around your garden or even if you have something larger like a small paddock, then this is a great choice which is what helped it win my ‘Best Pick’ spot and why I even use this model myself. I also really like that is fairly compact and super easy to store in two halves.

Overall, I have been really impressed with its performance and would recommend it. Now for more professional work or heavy brush, I would recommend spending more and getting something a little more substantial but for most people, this is a great model to consider.

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2. Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer


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Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer

The Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer is an entry-level/lighter professional petrol strimmer that doesn’t sacrifice any of the features of its larger competitors. While less powerful than the engines in some of the other petrol strimmers I review, this strimmer’s 27.2cc 2-stroke engine is more than capable of strimming all the unruly parts of your garden and is also great for larger areas such as paddocks, fields, large gardens etc.

The 2-stroke engine produces fewer emissions as well as using less petrol than some of the other models. This helps to save not only your money but also the environment.

The FS 55 R strimmer is easy to start thanks to the ErgoStart function that cuts the regular effort in half, similar to what the McCulloch model does. It also takes one-third the effort to pull the start cord than on other petrol engines with the exception of the McCulloch strimmer which does have soft start. Notice a trend here? they both have features that make them easier to start.

The fuel tank holds 0.33 litres of fuel. This isn’t a great amount but it’s enough for most jobs in the average home garden.

The ease of use of this strimmer is carried through its design. All the controls to operate it are on the multi-function loop and within reach of your thumb. You don’t have to take your hand off the loop at any time so you remain in full control of the strimmer.

The handle is fully adjustable to your height and, when used alongside the included harness, you’re able to generate a smooth motion when mowing down the errant growth in your flowerbeds and on the edges of your lawn. The harness also puts some of the weight of this strimmer onto your shoulders rather than in your arms. However, at a lightweight of 4.9kg, this isn’t usually a big issue.

The straight shaft of this Stihl strimmer lets you tackle larger areas that need growth removing. The design also lets you into the tight spaces between brushes and shrubs or over the difficult ground like slopes.

The Stihl FS 55 R comes with a mowing line. The good news is this strimmer can take a blade if you want to cut tough grass or large patches of plant growth. Unfortunately, to do this you need to have the blade, the Stihl blade guard, the thrust washer and the rider plate and bolt. All these accessories are available as optional purchases if you really want to do this.


  • Petrol strimmer with a 27.2cc 2-stroke engine as an entry-level strimmer and brushcutter.
  • ErgoStart function halves the effort to start the strimmer so most adults can use it.
  • The cutting diameter of 42cm creates a wide path with every pass.
  • The multi-function loop handle places all the controls within reach of your thumb for easy access.
  • Can work in tight spaces and over difficult terrain so nowhere is off-limits.
  • The fully adjustable bike handle plus the harness make for an ergonomically balanced and comfortable strimmer.
  • Two-year domestic warranty to back up Stihl’s quality guarantee.

Our recommendation

The Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer is comparable in power to our Best Pick strimmer but is 25% heavier. This Stihl model makes a good entry-level strimmer to handle the unruly elements in your garden beds and around your lawn. It can get into tight and out of the way spaces and difficult terrain doesn’t scare it. This strimmer is ergonomically designed and balanced so that you experience minimal stress and strain when using it.

The Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer is our selection for Runner-up in this review. It’s a good choice if you have a small garden and being Stihl you know it’s reliable and designed to last.

3. Honda UMK 435 UE 35cc 4-Stroke Bike-Type Handle Petrol Brushcutter

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Honda 435 UE 4-stroke petrol strimmer is powered by a 4-stroke OHC Honda GX35T 35cc engine
Honda 435 UE 4-stroke petrol strimmer

When it comes to petrol strimmers or any garden tools for that matter, Honda is definitely one of the best names in the business. Over the last 20 years, as part of my garden maintenance business, I’ve had a few Honda tools. This includes Honda Lawn mowers and petrol rotavators, but I’ve also had a few different Honda petrol strimmers over the years. I’ll get straight to the point: they are very well built, have tons of power, are easy to maintain, and have never let me down. However, Stihl has the edge on weight, it’s hard to compare as both are very good, but for similar spec, Stihl petrol strimmers are usually lighter.

Honda 435 UE 4-stroke petrol strimmer is powered by a 4-stroke OHC Honda GX35T 35cc engine
Honda 435 UE 4-stroke petrol strimmer is powered by a 4-stroke OHC Honda GX35T 35cc engine

This is mostly down to the engine. This Honda 435 UE 4-stroke petrol strimmer is powered by a 4-stroke OHC Honda GX35T 35cc engine. This means it’s heavier, but being a 4-stroke engine, I prefer them over 2-stroke engines as their quieter; plus, there is no mixing oil with petrol as I have with 2-stroke engines. It’s also a very reliable engine. Even the best brands usually install Honda engines on their machines despite the extra cost, as it gives them reliability.

What I do like about this Honda 435 UE 4-stroke petrol strimmer is that it is both a strimmer and a brush cutter. Basiclly, as well as the ‘Tap & Go 2-line nylon head’ (the actual strimmer line most models use), it also comes with a 3-tooth steel blade which is excellent for cutting through really thick brush and brambles. With a lot of strimmers, including Stihl in some cases, they struggle with thick brambles and quite often, I have used a hedge trimmer in the past to cut them back before getting the strimmer out for the rest, but with the steel blades (often referred to as brush cutters instead of strimmers), they can literally cut through anything, and I mean anything. 

Honda UMK 435 UE 35cc 4-Stroke Bike-Type Handle Petrol Brushcutter

For comparison, this is much more powerful than my Best Pick, the super light weight McCulloch TrimMac 25cc petrol strimmer, and my Runner-up, the Stihl 55R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer (still a great strimmer). The handles are worth a mention too. Unlike most other strimmers in this review, this Honda UMK 435 has bicycle-style handles. You hold on to two separate handles, with a control button on the right-hand one and the weight is carried with a harness to support the strimmer. This makes it somewhat easier to guide the strimmer, and it works well.


  • Hand-held garden strimmer and brush cutter with 35cc 4-stroke 1.6hp engine.
  • Bike style handlebars with soft grips on end.
  • Fuel capacity is 0.65L; oil capacity is 0.1L.
  • Recoil starter mechanism.
  • Controls on the right-hand bike handle.
  • Comes with the nylon cord for general strimming and three blade metal brush cutter for thick brush and brambles.

 My recommendation

If you’re looking for a more powerful hand-held strimmer than the others in this review, the Honda UMK 435 UE is what I recommend. However, the trade-off is a strimmer that’s almost double the weight of the others. That said, this powerful strimmer/brushcutter will literally cut back any growth from grass to thick brambles; it’s a serious bit of kit. It also comes with 5 years warranty for domestic use but only a year for professional use, but this is standard.

4. Hyundai Wheeled Petrol Field Grass Trimmer (HYFT56)

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I’ve used run-of-the-mill petrol strimmers for over 20 years; you can’t beat the sheer power of the best petrol strimmers. The only downside is the larger, more powerful strimmers can be heavy. Now my mum and dad own a small holding with a paddock of about an acre and a half, plus they also have a field of a few acres with an electric fence around it. The sheep usually keep on top of it in the paddock, but the field often gets overgrown with long grass, nettles, thistles and brambles. There are also some rough areas around the outside of the paddock into a small wood he likes to keep cut back. Despite some mixed reviews online, he was looking at getting a wheeled strimmer, and this seemed like a good choice. He decided to invest in this Hyundai Petrol Field Grass Trimmer (HYFT56), so he thought it was worth sharing his experience here.

Despite some mixed reviews, we took the plunge (or he did) and couldn’t be happier with what this machine can actually do. This powerful machine cut through almost everything effortlessly, it did struggle a little with the thicker brambles, so we attacked these with the DewWalt cordless hedge trimmer, strimming everything else was fine. The 4-stroke 160cc 5.5hp engine starts up first time, every time. Few pumps of the primer and it away. We like that it has an impressive reach that gets under trees and fences. Plus, it has a wide swathe of 56cm, much wider than any strimmer we own, and we have quite a few from our garden maintenance days. We also own a horticultural nursery.

While it’s a sizable and heavy-duty strimmer, think it weighs about 30KGs, it’s also incredibly manoeuvrable and well-balanced, making it a pleasure to use. However, there is a ‘but’. It’s not self-propelled, so on level ground, it’s super easy to push; even strimming down a slope is easy (our paddock has a gradual slope down to a brook, so we just work downhill). However, if you need to strim uphills and embankments, it quickly becomes hard work.

I like that it has solid wheels; it also has fairly large diameter wheels at 35cm. These, combined with the wide 56cm cutting width and thick strimmer line, make quick work of any overgrowth. When it comes to adjusting the cutting height (38mm to 76mm), it’s easy enough, but you have to use a special tool it comes with.
Finally, it has an ergonomic soft-grip handle and adjustable handle height. This is handy as it ensures a comfortable experience regardless of your height. The handle also folds down for convenient storage and transport.

A quick money saving tip: the replacement cord for the Hyundai HYFT56 can be pricey from Hyundai, but I found that using a 3.9mm Vortex strimmer line which is readily available on Amazon or even 2.4mm strimmer cord if you’re cutting grass only, was more cost-effective alternatives and worked just as well.


  • Wheeled garden strimmer with high-powered 5.5hp 4-stroke 160cc Hyundai engine.
  • Works on level, uneven or rough terrain.
  • Extra-wide 56cm cutting width for quick work of your job.
  • Cutting height is adjustable from 38mm to 76mm.
  • Heavy-duty wheels have a 35cm diameter.
  • Handle height is adjustable for a comfortable experience.
  • Soft grip on the handle adds to your comfort in use.
  • Handle folds down for efficient storage and transport.
  • Three-year domestic warranty.

My recommendation

If you’re looking for a large strimmer, you may have an overgrown paddock, an extensive garden, or a rough area covered in overgrown brush to strim back. This Hyundai Petrol wheeled Trimmer (HYFT56) is well worth considering. Its a great combination of power, versatility, and user-friendly design makes it a great piece of equipment. Just be aware it’s easy to push on level ground, but on slopes, it can start to become challenging and hard work.

5. Hyundai HYMT5200X 52cc Petrol Garden Multi Function Tool

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Hyundai HYMT5200X 52cc Petrol Garden Multi Function Tool

The Hyundai HYMT5200X 52cc Petrol Garden Multi Function Tool features a powerful 2-stroke 52cc engine. It is capable of cutting even the toughest areas while putting less strain on the engine. This helps in prolonging the engine lifespan compared to lesser capacity models.

The Garden Multi Tool includes a 2-string nylon cutting head for use as a grass trimmer. It also comes with a metal cutting blade for use as a brushcutter, with 3 teeth. The 3- tooth blade is ideal for trimming brambles and other thick brush. It also has a large cutting width ranging from 25.5cm to 45cm that allows you to cut through larger areas with ease.

For increased comfort during operation, the tool comes with an “adjustable loop handle”. The handles give you precise control of the machine whilst in use and the included harness helps support the weight. The machine also has a split shaft that allows you to split the unit in half. This makes it easy to transport in the boot of a car or the back of a van.

This Strimmer features a double shoulder harness and multi-position attachment for the ideal balance. This allows you to use the machine for long periods of time without strain on your back, shoulders or arms. Being a garden multi tool this means it also comes with handy attachments which includes a long reach hedge trimmer and pole pruner chainsaw as well as the strimmer and brush cutter attachment.

What I like about these garden multi tools of which I do own one is that they are very affordable when compared to buying all the tools individually and this is one of the best models as discussed in my best garden multi tool review here


  • Has a powerful Hyundai 52cc 2-stroke engine that lets you tackle even the toughest areas.
  • Comes with a two-string nylon cutting head for normal grass trimming.
  • Features 3-tooth and 8 -tooth blades for all cutting requirements.
  • Has a large cutting width from 25.5cm to 45cm for cutting through large areas.
  • Includes split shaft that allows for easy transportation and storage.
  • Comes with a full double shoulder ergonomic harness for improved comfort during application.
  • Features “bike handles” which provide increased comfort and precise control.
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty for full peace of mind.


  • Some may feel it has excessive vibration at full speed.

Our recommendation

This Hyundai HYBC5200 Petrol Grass Strimmer is ideal for large areas and is one of the best affordable petrol strimmers we review here when you take into consideration the other attachments it comes with. This model is a great alternative to my best pick and it shares a lot of features and qualities. The fact that it trims grass, brambles, weeds, nettles and general overgrowth makes it one of the most versatile tools for most of your trimming tasks.

Being lightweight (for its size and power) and easy to assemble, the machine is really easy to use. Noise is an issue, however, it comes with ear defenders to protect you but not your neighbours. However, this is a common problem with petrol garden machines. Thus, with its impressive features, the machine will get the job done without too much strain.

Overall an excellent and versatile tool that comes with everything you need to trim everything that’s sticking up unwanted in your garden.

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Buyer’s Guide

Since the 1970s, gardeners have happily been using strimmers to keep the straggly bits of their flower beds and lawns under control. There’s not much to a strimmer so your purchasing decision is quite straightforward.

In this Buyer’s Guide, we go over the types of strimmers available, even though we only look at petrol strimmers in this review. We then look at the important features of the Best petrol Strimmers on the market.

Types of strimmers

Understanding the different kinds of models on the market helps you make an informed decision.

Electric models are good for light-duty tasks. They are affordable and manoeuvrable due to their lightweight structure. The only problem may be when the power cord gets in the way.

Check out our top recommended electric strimmers in this guide here.

Battery-powered models are popular for their ease of use. You just need to charge the batteries and you are set. But your work session is limited by the run life of the battery and recharging the battery can take hours. You may need to invest in a spare battery and keep that fully charged.

Check out our top recommended cordless strimmers in this review here.

Petrol based units are the champions of heavy-duty work and working in more remote locations. They can be a bit noisy but nonetheless, they will deal with hard cuts of grass and brush-scrub such as brambles and nettles.

Petrol strimmers

Petrol strimmer being used against fence


The power rating of a petrol strimmer is determined by the engine size, with most models ranging from 25cc to 55cc. The higher you go the more power you have to work with, but the larger the engine, the heavier the strimmer. Small gardens can do with 22cc engines without it being overkill, while larger lawns need 32cc and above, especially if using a brushcutter disc. Most strimmer engines are two-stroke.

For petrol strimmers the larger the fuel tank the longer you will be able to work without interruptions. But remember that the weight of the tank and the fuel adds to the weight of the strimmer, unless it’s on wheels.

Weight and size

The weight of most basic strimmers ranges between 3.9kg and 9kg, with some even weighing more. This usually includes the weight of a full tank of fuel.

The balance of a tool as you work is important because it affects your posture so a well-balanced strimmer is essential. Some models come with harnesses so that the weight is more evenly distributed, often over the operator’s shoulders. Other ergonomic features that add to the best balance include a handle shaped like a bicycle’s handle, a loop handle, or a soft grip on the handle. One of the models in our review has all the controls within reach of one thumb, so the user’s hand need never be off the control handle.

Cutting path and strimmer lines

Strimmer cutting head

When you think of coverage you need to think about the cutting lines. The cutting path is the actual width that the strimmer will cut. The larger the diameter of the cutting path the faster you get those pathways clear. A cutting width of less than 23cm should be used for light garden applications. Cutting widths larger than 41cm are more adapted to handling heavier work.

The strimmer lines are the actual lines that do the cutting. The diameter of the strimmer lines determines the level of work they can handle. You will find that the strimmer models for normal work have strimmer lines made of nylon. Other materials create even tougher strimmer lines. This includes metal blades also known as brush cutters to handle woody plants such as brambles.

Shaft design

Petrol strimmer shaft close up

The design of the shaft – straight, curved or split – affects the areas that you can reach with the strimmer. A curved shaft is great for roomy areas but may be limited in tight spaces; a straight shaft is more manoeuvrable and can reach into tricky corners with ease; while a split shaft is useful for when you need to put on different attachments.

Ease of use

Comfort is essential whilst working if you want to minimise the stress and strain on your body. The handles on a strimmer have to be comfortable to allow the operator to maintain balance as they work. In this matter, padded handles are essential in ensuring that the vibration is not too much. Larger models are best when they have bike handles because they give better control. To help adjust to the height difference in people, some strimmers come with adjustable shafts.

Watch this video by Lawn care life about how to use a strimmer safely and 10 skills to master


Safety when using a petrol strimmer

As always, safety should be your prime concern when using any garden equipment, petrol or not. Strimmers are cutting tools, so there’s always the risk that someone or an unplanned something may be cut. In addition to the usual safety precautions, along with those recommended by the manufacturers, and anything else anyone in your family can think of.

  • Make sure that you have protective clothing on, especially ear defenders and safety glasses.
  • Ensure that the harness is safely secured to avoid involuntary movements.
  • Use the unit only at appropriate hours to avoid noise disturbances and be aware of your neighbours.
  • Assess the areas to identify any objects or surface dents that might damage the strimmer.
  • Read the manual provided so as to have all valuable information.
  • Clean your strimmer after use to facilitate durability.
  • Refuel only after the engine has cooled down.
  • Remember to service the engine, clean air filters,, check oil levels, spark plugs etc. Most jobs are simple and can be done even by a novice. 

Final Conclusion

A petrol strimmer is just what you need to make sure that all of your garden is neat, tidy, cleanly and evenly cut. Take out all the straggling flowers along the outsides of your beds, the untidy clumps of grass along the edge of your carefully manicured lawn, and the brambles peaking out of the sides of your immaculately styled hedges. Strimmers are easy to use and petrol strimmers are the most powerful ones you can buy.

My Best Pick is the McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer. This is the lightest weight strimmers in our review and is great in small to medium-sized gardens.

My Runner-up is the Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer. This is a great model for first-time strimmers because you can access all the controls without taking your hand off the control handle.

For more strimmer options, including cordless and electric models, check out our Best Strimmer article. If you have more brush than plant growth to deal with, our Best Brush Cutters review has very useful information and recommendations.

Last update on 2024-03-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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