ArticlesGas or Electric Weed Eater: What Are the Main Differences? 

Gas or Electric Weed Eater: What Are the Main Differences? 

A well-maintained lawn is a sight to behold. It highlights the beauty of your property and lifts up your mood. However, without the right tools, creating it can be an ugly and laborious task. On a related note, you may want to check your lawn for this widely grown weed that can be extremely dangerous for your dogs.

Weed Eater

If you’re planning to purchase a weed eater or are eyeing to upgrade, you’ll probably end up getting all confused, what with all the options available on the market. So, which weed trimmer is the best in the market? A simple answer would tell you that choosing the right one is highly dependent on the size of your yard, but being the end-user, your choice and preference should also be taken into account, among a few other considerations.

How do you decide which weed trimmer is best for you? Here’s a rundown of some of the things that you need to know before choosing “the one”. 

How Does a Weed Eater Work?

A weed eater is also called a string or weed trimmer, and they come in different shapes, sizes, and, of course prices.

As you may have read on, manufacturers sell them in different models; some run on electricity, gasoline, while some are powered by battery. Generally categorized as a lightweight tool, a weed eater works like a handheld lawn mower. It trims the bushes, weeds and other vegetation through its rapidly spinning microfilament string that, when spinning, become stiff enough to cut them.


The Main Differences Between Gas and Electric Weed Trimmers

1.     Gas-Powered Weed Eater

Of all the types, weed eaters that run on gas are the most powerful and efficient in cutting through thick vegetation and overgrowth. So, if your lawn requires a high-powered weed wacker, you may need to purchase this one. In fact, gas trimmers can trim overgrown grass and get rid of thick plants and weeds in half the time it would take an electric weed trimmer to do the job.

There are two types of gas-powered weed trimmers. A two-stroke weed eater requires a mixture of gasoline and oil, while a four-stroke machine is powered solely by gasoline.

These types start up no differently than a lawn mower. Once your weed trimmer is filled with the necessary fuel, you can turn the power on by pulling a string attached to the motor.

Gas-powered weed eaters are typically preferred by professional gardeners and landscapers because they’re more versatile, and they don’t come with the worry of watching an electric wire, or the limitation of the length of said wire.

Unfortunately, these types do contribute to environmental pollution as they generate a lot more smoke. 




Longer Use Time

Very Loud

High Powered

Not Environmentally-Friendly

More Durable

More Expensive to Maintain

Works Fast


Can be used in all types of grass and weeds


2.     Electric- Powered Weed Eater

If you want the convenience of using a weed eater without buying gasoline, but want a comparable amount of power, this is your go-to lawn cleaner and beautifier.

There are two main limitations for this type: you cannot use it without electricity and it is attached to a cord. As such, you cannot operate it in a large lawn, unless you have an extension power cord, too.

From the get go, electric weed eaters are cheaper than gas-fed trimmers. Buying one can also save you money in the long run, as the electricity cost needed to operate it are still cheaper compared to the amount of gasoline you’ll need for the gas-powered option.

Electric trimmers are also easier to operate than gas-powered trimmers, as most have a power switch for activation. Gas trimmers can be more complex. For instance, gas and motor oil need to be filled in separate canisters.   

Electric trimmers are also notably less noisy and more environment-friendly.  



Unlimited run-time

Can be operated on a small lawn only

Moderate weight and easy to handle

Takes longer


Not as powerful as gas-powered weed eaters


Danger of power cord




3.     Battery-Powered Weed Eater

This type is the “baby” in the weed trimmer family, having been released only a few years ago. Like other cordless power tools, a battery-operated weed trimmer runs on the same power supply. With this option, the more power you need, the faster the battery drains. If you’re clearing a lawn that has lush overgrowth, you’ll need to stock up on extra batteries.  

On average, the battery-operated cleaner can be used for up to 45 minutes, with a three-hour charging period. Despite this inconvenience, they’re compact and lightweight, weighing no more than 7 pounds.

Most battery-powered weed trimmers come with an extra battery pack upon purchase. However, if you’re planning to use it on a wide yard, you may need more than one reserve.  

Electric whackers are cheaper than gas types, but if you need to buy a few additional battery packs, you’ll need to shell out an even higher amount



Lightweight and compact

Need to charge battery

Convenient to use on small yards

Short operating time

The need to buy additional batteries increases the cost of owning one


Weed Eater

How They Stack Up

Generally speaking, all types of week whackers get the work done, but some do it faster than others. Besides power and torque, weed trimmers differ in the following aspects: 

Size & Weight

      Gas trimmers are the heaviest, weighing up to 40 lbs. with fuel. If you have back problems or can’t carry heavy loads for a long duration, this type is not for you.   

      Electric-powered weed whackers are in between the two types when it comes to size and weight. Electric trimmers may be of the same size as gas weed whackers but are made from lighter metals. They’re a bit heavier than battery-operated weed eaters, though.   

      Battery-operated trimmers are the lightest, generally weighing 7 lbs.  

Motor strength & Operation time

      Gas or string trimmers have the most powerful motor, and it’s the best tool to use to clear thick overgrowth. When filled with gas, they can run for long periods, too.  

      On the other hand, corded weed whackers have a powerful motor and can last until your work is done.

      Battery-operated types have the lowest run-time.   


      Of all the types, a gas-powered trimmer is the most expensive, being that its engine is more complex and therefore costs more to make.

–     A weed whacker that runs on gas typically costs $250, while an electric weed eater costs anywhere from $50 to $150.   

–     Besides high maintenance costs, replacement parts for a gas weed trimmer are expensive if it breaks down.

–    On the other hand, a battery-operated type needs extra juice, so if you need to buy more, the price may be comparable to buying a new gas-powered trimmer.

Operational Factors to Consider

Manufacturers have added some functionalities to their models, regardless of the type. You may consider these factors when choosing which weed eater is best for your lawn.

Trimming Capabilities

Look for a trimmer that’s equipped with dual nylon lines that are at least .08 inches thick, to be able to cut through stubborn vegetation.

Finishing and Edging

You need to perform certain tricks and maneuvers to achieve a picture-perfect lawn. Some trimmers are equipped with convenient swivel heads to make your job easier.

Easy Reloading

Older models use a bump feed trimmer where you need to press the head of the machine against a flat surface to release the spool, increasing the risk of damage. To address this issue, newer models have incorporated easy reloading functions such as an automatic feed spool feature.

Other Factors to Consider

Power Supply

Before choosing the right trimmer, you may want to check the size of your lawn. Gas- powered weed trimmers can be used in large-sized yards with all types of grass and weeds, even those that are notoriously difficult to clear.

Electric-fed machines may be best for small and medium-sized lawns, but make sure that they reach the farthest corners of your property. Otherwise, use an extension cord to cover everything. Battery trimmers are quite autonomous but can’t sustain long-term use  

Environmental impact

So much pollution is contributed by man, leading to environmental degradation. Using gas-powered trimmer may add to this problem. If you’re conscious about the impact of your lawn clearing actions, you’d be better off using electric-powered machines.


Whichever type of trimmer you choose, check that it is made of high-quality materials that are built to last. Pull cords, switches and engines should look sturdy and be able to withstand heavy use.

To make your weed whacker last longer, consider this do-it-yourself Weed Whacker Stand as your next project. It helps you to store your weed eater properly, preventing gas spills and physical damage.

 Key Takeaway

There are many weed trimmers on the market today, and there are advantages and disadvantages for each type. Your lawn size and the kind of work necessary are key factors to consider when choosing which weed trimmer is best for you.

Gas-powered weed eaters are typically used in heavy and commercial jobs, while electric trimmers are better for household use. When it comes to clearing your lawn, it’s best to work smarter, not harder.

Heather Jones
Heather Jones
Hello! I'm Heather Jones, a dedicated writer and expert in the fields of DIY projects, home improvement, and emergency preparedness. With over 15 years of hands-on experience, I'm committed to sharing practical tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your home and life.


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