Last updated on June 23rd, 2021
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Choosing a Petrol Strimmer and what to look for to select the right model for you
Have you ever spent hours carefully maintaining your lawn and garden, only to look around at the end and see bits and pieces of brambles, grass and plants sticking up all over the place? You need a strimmer to ensure that everything is neat and even and tidy. And petrol strimmers are the most powerful of them all.
Our review of the Best Petrol Strimmers presents the pros and cons of the models we recommend most highly. We also explain just why these are our choices. Our Buyer’s Guide covers the features in the best strimmers and what to look for in each feature.
Our Best Pick is the McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer. This strimmer is one of the lightest models in our review and is great for those gardeners who struggle with heavy petrol machinery.
Our Runner-up selection is Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer. This is a great strimmer for starting out as it’s lightweight, has a decent yet not too powerful engine and is ergonomically designed.
The Efco Stark 3810T Petrol Brush Cutter is our recommendation for best professional Strimmer. With a powerful 36.2cc engine and ‘Tough Tech’ technology, this strimmer keeps up with the hardest working professional gardeners.
BEST FOR PROFESSIONAL GARDENERS
Those working in commercial landscape environments will appreciate the power and convenience of this professional strimmer. With its Emak 36.2cc two-stroke petrol engine and ‘Tough Tech’ features, it can keep up with the daily demands of professional gardeners. The large fuel tank provides around 50 minutes of running time, so you don’t have to constantly stop and refill. The harness and anti-vibration feature makes long work sessions as comfortable as possible. This is a worthwhile investment that ably supports hardworking professionals.
6 best petrol strimmers which are included in our review are listed below:
- McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer – Best Pick
- Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer – Runner-up
- Efco Stark 3810T Petrol Brush Cutter – Best For Professionals
- Hyundai HYBC5200 Petrol Strimmer & Brushcutter
- Hyundai HYWT5080 Wheeled grass trimmer – Best Strimmer with Wheels
- Ryobi RLT26CDS 26cc Petrol Line Trimmer
BEST WHEELED STRIMMER
PETROL STRIMMER REVIEWS UK
1. McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer
The McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer is capable of completing your trimming tasks in minutes and is perfect for the home user and those who struggle with the heavier models. It is quick to assemble and easy to start thanks to its lightweight design. The machine comes with a powerful 25cc two-stroke engine which produces enough power for major trimming operations.
The trimmer has a manual pump which provides the carburettor with fuel as it enables easy starting. It’s also fitted with soft start which ensures less resistance when pulling the cord.
It weighs only 3.9kg compared to most other models at around 8kg. This lighter weight doesn’t put too much pressure on your hands, arms, and wrists when using it and is a great choice for those who struggle with heavier models.
The McCulloch TrimMac 25 cc Petrol Grass Trimmer has a curved shaft which makes it easy and comfortable to handle. The shaft allows you to get a perfect position when you are trimming edges around your flowerbeds. This machine also features a “Tap and Go” line feed head which allows quick and precise cord feeding. It also has a loop handle which enhances the ergonomic benefits of using the trimmer.
- 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 3.9kg 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.
- Does not have a brush cutter blade attachment.
With the McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer, the curved shaft allows you to trim from an ideal cutting position which is something we have not seen in other machines. The machine saves you time due to the fast and precise feeding of the cord with its tap and go feature. Hence, it allows you to work without interruptions.
Let’s not forget the lightweight of this machine at 3.9kg. As a matter of fact, this is the best lightweight petrol strimmer we have seen. Despite easy handling and powerful engine, this strimmer does lack the power of some of the more powerful models which mean it’s only really suitable for home use rather than professional gardeners.
If you’re looking for a reliable, lightweight, easy to start strimmer for using around your garden then this is a great choice which is what helped it win our Best Pick spot.
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2. Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer
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The Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer is an entry-level 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 we review, this strimmer’s 27.2cc 2-stroke engine is more than capable of strimming all the unruly parts of your garden. The 2-stroke engine produces fewer emissions as well as uses less petrol than some 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. It also takes one-third the effort to pull the start cord than on other petrol engines. 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 bike 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 difficult ground such as 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.
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. Efco Stark 3810T Petrol Brushcutter
BEST PROFESSIONAL STRIMMER
The Efco Stark 3810T Petrol Brushcutter offers 40% less fuel consumption and up to 80% fewer emissions than other petrol strimmers. Both of these are great for professional gardeners as this helps lower running costs without compromising on performance. This efficient strimmer comes with a very reliable and trusted Emak 36.2cc 1.8 HP stroke engine that is strong to support the day to day use it sees in the hands of a professional gardener.
With a full tank of 0.75 litres, this model offers up to 50 minutes of running time before requiring a refill. This gives you more time strimming and less time refilling, usually enough time to complete the whole job before moving to your next one. The load and go strimmer head with two lines makes this model easy to work with for most strimming jobs. But you also have the option to buy a three-tooth blade for brush cutting made from hardened steel to give clean cuts.
Weighing approximately 8kg, this petrol strimmer comes with a harness which helps balance the machine while working. The harness together with the anti-vibration features ensures that you can work for long periods without being overly exhausted. This user-friendly model comes with a 1-year commercial warranty which is pretty standard for professional-grade petrol gardening tools and a 3-year domestic warranty for those wanting to use it for personal use and looking for a very reliable machine. These generous warranties go to show that the manufacturer fully trusts the quality of the product.
- Perfect for professional daily use making it a top choice for gardeners and groundsmen.
- Features a reliable Emak 36.2cc engine that powers the cutting line to cut through tough brushwood with ease.
- It uses less fuel and generates fewer emissions so is not so hard on the environment.
- Comes with a Load and Go trimmer head to get you started.
- Features a large capacity fuel tank so you don’t have to keep stopping and filling it up.
- It offers a harness and comfortable handles for better control over the machine.
- Comes with anti-vibrational features to ensure less fatigue when using it for long periods of time.
- Made with ‘Tough Tech’ features to promote durability.
- Accompanied by a 1-year commercial warranty for professional use and a 3-year domestic warranty.
- Expensive investment.
The Efco Stark 3810T Petrol Brushcutter handles heavy-duty work thanks to its strong build and very reliable engine from a trusted brand. Compared to the normal petrol strimmers, this model is quite heavy at 8kgs but it is very easy to handle thanks to the harness. We appreciate its comfortable handles and robust motor which makes it easier to get work done faster. It is not a cheap model and therefore, it is important to consider if the overall price matches your budget and needs. This petrol strimmer works perfectly for medium-large sized gardens and it offers great value for money when compared to other professional brands such as Stihl. It is well balanced, durable and it will get the job done for sure.
Suitable for both domestic and professional environments, you cannot go wrong with the Efco Stark 3810T Petrol Brushcutter. And for professional gardeners looking for a premium strimmer, this is well worth considering.
4. Hyundai HYBC5200 Petrol Grass Strimmer & Brushcutter
The Hyundai HYBC5200 Petrol Strimmer & Brushcutter 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 machine has a 2-string nylon cutting head for use as a grass trimmer. It also comes with two different metal cutting blades for use as a brushcutter, with 3 and 8 teeth. The 3- tooth blade is ideal for trimming brambles and the 8-tooth blade for thicker wood. This Hyundai HYBC5200 Petrol Grass Trimmer also has a large cutting width ranging from 25.5cm to 45cm which allows you to cut through large areas with ease.
For increased comfort during operation, the tool comes with “bike handles”. The handles give you precise control of the machine during application. It has a single point adjuster for folding the trimmer flat for easy transportation and storage. The machine also has a split shaft which 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 ideal balance. This allows you to use the machine for long periods of time without strain on your back, shoulders or arms. Its relatively low weight of 9.1kg also helps. The machine also comes with spares for quick maintenance.
- Has a powerful Hyundai 52cc 2-stroke engine, which 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 which allows for easy transporting 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.
The Hyundai HYBC5200 Petrol Grass Strimmer is ideal for large areas and is one of the best affordable petrol strimmers we review here. This model is a great alternative to our best pick as it shares a lot of the 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 & power) and easy to assemble, the machine is really easy to use. Noise is an issue, however, but 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 very versatile model that comes with everything you need to trim everything that’s sticking up unwanted in your garden.
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5. Hyundai HYWT5080 51cc Petrol Wheeled Push Garden Grass Strimmer
Best Wheeled Strimmer
The Hyundai HYWT5080 is a powerful grass strimmer ideal for both domestic and professional use. The tool is mounted onto large wheels for ideal balance and manoeuvrability. Adding in the powerful engine, this strimmer cuts through tough grass, weeds and even tougher undergrowth such as brambles with the least effort needed.
The HYWT5080 wheeled strimmer is powered by a reliable 50.8cc 2-stroke, easy to start petrol engine. This model has a compact, well-balanced design that lets you guide it easily under low hanging branches which can be difficult to reach with a standard strimmer. This ensures that the trimmer cuts in those hard to access areas making it a very versatile machine.
The tool comes with a durable nylon string cutting head and has a large cutting width of 40cm to 45cm making it ideal for tackling larger strimming jobs. The machine also has a large 0.8L fuel tank so you can work for longer without frequent top-ups or refills. This large tank is possible as the user is not physically holding the weight because of its wheeled design.
Equipped with a foldable handle, the grass strimmer is easy to transport from job to job and store in the corner of a work shed. You can adjust the handle to suit your height for increased comfort during use. As with most strimmers, the trimmer has controls which are mounted on the hand grip to ensure safe and easy control.
One feature we really like which makes it stand out from the crowd is the innovative design of this strimmer that lets you easily cut grass next to trees and walls with ease. This also ensures that the main body of the strimmer remains away from the obstacles and doesn’t get damaged.
Finally it comes with a 3-year warranty for full peace of mind.
- Powered by a powerful and reliable 50.8cc petrol engine for efficient cutting performance.
- Fitted with large wheels for increased manoeuvrability.
- Has foldable handles for easy transportation and storage.
- Weighs 16Kg, but remember that this strimmer is on wheels so you don’t have to carry that weight.
- Includes a 3mm nylon cutting head for enhanced versatility.
- Has a large cutting width of 40cm to 45cm, ideal for tackling larger cutting jobs,
- Fitted with a 0.8L fuel tank for a long-running time so you spend more time strimming and less time refuelling.
- Covered with a 3-year warranty for full peace of mind.
- Need to watch video on Amazon.co.uk before threading the nylon strimming line.
The Hyundai HYWT5080 51cc Petrol Wheeled Push Garden Grass Strimmer allows you to cut through tough weeds, brambles, scrub and grass. This makes it ideal for both domestic and professional use and the 51cc engine provides more than enough power.
A standout feature about this trimmer is that it’s on wheels. For its size, this machine is fairly lightweight and provides perfect balance during trimming. The wheels keep the strimmer’s weight off your body which makes it very easy to use. This would be a great model for anyone who may struggle with a standard petrol strimmer as it also helps in reducing back and arm strain.
We also like the ability to trim under low-hanging trees which can be a problem with standard models. This improves its versatility and allows for efficient trimming of large areas.
Overall the Hyundai HYWT5080 51cc Wheeled Grass Strimmer gets the job done in no time and is very easy to use. It’s not the least expensive model we review, but it’s especially useful for those who take pride in their garden yet cannot handle the weight and design of regular petrol strimmers.
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6. Ryobi RLT26CDS 26cc Petrol Line Trimmer
The Ryobi RLT26CDS 26cc Petrol Line Trimmer is ideal for most domestic garden trimming needs. It’s well suited for trimming the lawn edges of gardens as well as undergrowth and long grass.
Fitted with a powerful 26cc 2-stroke petrol engine that delivers great power, this trimmer is relatively lightweight for its size at only 5.3kg. It provides clean energy technology which easily beats emissions restrictions. The engine produces a minimal amount of fuss during use. It makes use of clean energy technology which Ryobi have started to invest in to do their part for the environment. The machine gives a 43cm cutting width which is around the same as our best pick model. You strim through any job quickly.
The trimmer has an ergonomic handle to give you a comfortable experience during operation. It comes with a split shaft for Expand-it attachment compatibility. This lets you extend it for extra reach and to help balance the strimmer out with the size of the user.
It also features a ReelEasy bump feed head with a patented thread and load system which allows for rapid line refills for a better user experience.
- Features a 26cc petrol-driven 2-stroke engine with reduced vibration that makes it very smooth and easy to use.
- Features a D-shaped handle which is easy to hold, and allows for easy start of the trimmer.
- Lightweight and easy to set up.
- Comes with a 2-year warranty for full peace of mind.
- Not sturdy enough for professional work.
The Ryobi RLT26CDS 26cc Petrol Line Trimmer is a brilliant and clever tool for your DIY garden needs but we would avoid using it for professional use. It’s a good choice for domestic use because it is very lightweight and easy to lift. Its ergonomic handle helps with your comfort during operation. Despite some issues reported with the strimmer head melting, it does a good job the moment it’s operating and does come with a 2-year warranty.
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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 in 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.
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.
Petrol based units are the champions of heavy-duty work and working in more remote locations. They can be a bit noisy but none the less they will deal with hard cuts of grass and brush-scrub such as brambles and nettles.
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 disk. 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 as 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, or 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
When you think of coverage you have 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 is the actual line that does 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 brushcutters to handle woody plants such as brambles.
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 while working if you want to minimise the stress and strain on your body. The handles on a strimmer have to be comfortable so as 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 as 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
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 eye 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.
A petrol strimmer is just what you need to make sure that all of your garden is neat, tidy and 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.
Our Best Pick is the McCulloch TrimMac 25cc Petrol Grass Trimmer. This is the lightest weight strimmer in our review and is great in small to medium gardens.
The Runner-up is the Stihl FS 55 R 27.2cc Petrol Strimmer. This is a great model for first-time strimmers as you can access all the controls without taking your hand off the control handle.
Our Best Pick for Professional Gardeners is the Efco Stark 3810T Petrol Brush Cutter. With a 36.2cc engine, this model can keep up with you all day long.
For even more power, we recommend our Best Wheeled Strimmer, the Hyundai HYWT5080 51cc Wheeled Strimmer. Yes, it’s a heavy machine, but with the large wheels, it’s easy to manoeuvre.
For more strimmer options, including cordless and electric models, check out our Best Strimmers 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 2021-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API