If you want a perfectly maintained lawn and garden, a good weed eater is pretty much a must have nowadays. A good weed eater is great for a variety of jobs, including keeping the edges of your lawn and garden clean and uniform.
But with an increased demand there has come an increase in the products on offer. Once you start shopping for a weed eater you might find yourself overwhelmed at all the options available. This article is here to help. We are going to be taking a look at a very popular type of weed eater today – the 4-cycle weed eater.
Contents of This Page
- Best 4 Cycle Weed Eaters by Category
- Overall Best: Husqvarna 324L Straight Shaft String Trimmer
- Best For Commercial Use:Makita 4 Stroke Weed Eater
- Best Walk Behind Trimmer: Remington RM1159
- Best Budget: Troy-Bilt TB575
- Buyer’s Guide
- What is a 4 Cycle Weed Eater?
- 4-Cycle Weed Wackers: Advantages
- 4-Cycle String Trimmers: Potential Drawbacks
Best 4 Cycle Weed Eaters by Category
In this section, we will give you our top picks of weed eater by category. Whether you are looking for a weed eater for big commercial jobs, a weed eater that can take on different tasks, or are just buying on a budget, this buyer’s guide has something for you!
Let’s get going by looking at our pick for the best overall 4-cycle weed eater on the market.
Overall Best: Husqvarna 324L Straight Shaft String Trimmer
Our pick for the best overall 4 cycle weed eater is the Husqvarna 324L Straight Shaft String Trimmer. This is a powerful weed trimmer that is capable of handling all of your lawn and garden trimming. It boasts a 25cc 4 cycle engine to generate all the power you need to get the job done.
The design and usability of this weed trimmer are what really shines. The straight shaft design makes this an easy weed trimmer to operate and reach those difficult weeds and the undersides of bushes. There is even a minimally obstructive cutting shield to shelter you from any flying debris or rocks.
Mainly, this is our pick for best overall weed trimmer simply because it is a reliable, easy-to-use machine at a fair price. If you are looking for a machine you can depend on for your trimming needs, then this is a great overall choice. It is also equipped with the smart start system from Husqvarna, making it easy to start.
- The engine runs on unleaded gas, a more environmentally conscious choice.
- The T25 trimmer head allows you to easily reload trimmer line when it is time for replacement.
- Translucent fuel tank makes it so that you can see your fuel levels at all times.
- Smart start technology makes the starter cord 40% easier to pull.
- Tap ‘N Go trimmer line feature allows you to simply tap trimmer head against the grass to release new line when needed.
- Air purge primer bulb allows you to remove any unwanted air from the carburetor.
- At 17-pounds, this is quite a heavy machine compared to any 2-cycle weed trimmer.
- Certain customer reviews have focused on their machines not working quite as well as advertised, including:
- Bogging down when encountering particularly tough grass and weeds.
- Not revving up fully when turned on.
- Driveshaft cable coming loose resulting in the head not spinning.
Overall, this is a great choice for your 4 cycle trimming needs. The design of this machine has all the functionality to have you starting, using, and refueling/reloading your trimmer easily and quickly. It is our choice for top overall trimmer because it is easy to use, and works as is intended for even the toughest jobs.
If you are looking for our best overall choice, look no further, but if your needs are a bit more extensive, then keep reading:
We have made a more in-depth review of the Husqvarna 324L string trimmer here.
Best For Commercial Use:
Makita 4 Stroke Weed Eater
The Matika 4 Stroke Weed Eater is our top pick for commercial jobs. Commercial jobs require a weed eater that not only has the power to stand up to tough weeds and grass across many situations but also has reliability and durability that you can count on for many jobs to come. This weed eater offers that, and that is the biggest reason it is our top pick.
With a 25cc 4-cycle engine, this weed eater has all the power you need for those tough jobs. Commercial jobs are known to be big and exhausting, and this engine has the power you need to get through.
The straight design with a convenient handle makes it easy and ergonomic to hold over long periods of time, which is quite essential over the course of a big job. The weed shield is transparent while protecting you from any debris and rocks.
There are other features worth considering in the pros and cons below:
- Powerful engine capable of cutting through the toughest grass and weeds. Achieves this high torque with speed reduction gears, allowing it to spin slower but generate more torque.
- Bump feed to allow you to tap the grass to displace more line if needed.
- A quick snap tool for easy replacement of trimmer line.
- Easy to start.
- Runs very quietly and efficiently with low emissions and low vibration.
- Customer reviews have stated negative points about the trimmer head. Specifically, the string feeder has the potential to become jammed which requires manual unwinding.
- Other customers have stated that it is difficult to find a repair person who has the parts to fix the machine if needed.
Overall, this is our top pick for commercial use. As stated, this is mainly due to the simple fact that this machine generates a lot of torque, making it ideal for large and tough commercial jobs. Additionally, it is designed to be easy to use, with features that make it comfortable over a long period of time.
In a commercial job, you are likely only looking for something that is powerful, reliable, and comfortable. These are the three factors that we considered here and why we have chosen this as our top commercial 4 cycle weed eater.
Best Walk Behind Trimmer: Remington RM1159
Our pick for the best walk-behind high wheeled 4 cycle string trimmer.
With its powerful 159cc overhead valve 4 cycle gas engine, it easily powers through the toughest of weeds. This is a different animal to a hand held trimmer, and if you have a sizeable property to deal with, this could be well worth your consideration. With a 22 inch cutting swath, this is a weed terminator! The cutting height can be easily be adjusted from 2.375 inches up to 4.375 inches. It uses a heavy duty .155 inch trimmer line, has 14 inch wheels running on high quality ball bearings. The large wheel diameter makes easy work of maneuvering in tough terrain.
- Very wide cutting swath allowing you to cut large areas quickly.
- Large diameter wheels for easy working.
- Powerful 159cc engine, not much will stop it.
- Offset trimmer head makes easy work of cutting around intricate shapes.
- Because of its size, it does require quite a bit of parking space!
If you have a large area of untamed land that regularly needs attention, then this could well be the machine you’ve been looking for. Powerful, easy to maneuver, will get the job done efficiently and quickly.
Best Budget: Troy-Bilt TB575
Our pick for best budget string trimmer is the Troy-Bilt TB575. When we consider a “budget” product, we are looking for something that is affordable but doesn’t sacrifice performance and reliability.
After all, it cannot be said to be a wise investment if it is a product that isn’t going to work. Then again, it is still not realistic to expect a “budget” choice to be as reliable as the top quality options.
The TB757 offers many of the features you would find in a top-of-the-line string trimmer. It sports a 29cc 4 cycle engine, capable of matching the torque and power you would find with more expensive machines.
As for the trimmer line, the TB757 has a SpeedSpool 2 which makes loading the line fast and easy. There is also a 17-inch cutting diameter.
The straight shaft design makes this string trimmer ideal for reaching tight spots and getting around difficult obstacles.
- 29cc 4 cycle engine for delivering torque and power.
- 17-inch cutting diameter for larger jobs.
- SpeedSpool 2 bump head makes reloading string easy and intuitive.
- Attachments are available for purchase – including 10 attachments to turn this into a multi-functional tool.
- SpringAssist for an easy start.
- Some customer reviews point to a lack of reliability with the trimmer line system. This includes trimmer lines breaking, and being quite difficult to reload.
- Some customers experienced defects with the machine – including a head that will not spin.
- Experience with customer service has been poor at times, including long wait-times to speak with someone.
Overall, as a budget string trimmer, we think this is a great choice. We chose it because it offers many of the features you would expect in a more premium string trimmer. It is powerful enough to stand up to tough jobs.
However, the concerns here are inherent with any “budget” choice. You simply can’t expect the same level of reliability as you would from our “best overall” choice above. A string trimmer is an investment, and while the TB575 provides you with a powerful string trimmer at a good price point, you still can expect to find more reliable, powerful machines the more you spend.
In this section, we’ve created an extensive buyer’s guide for 4-cycle string trimmers. If you still have any questions or concerns about these types of string trimmers before making your purchase decision, then we are here for you.
There are so many string trimmers on the market, even within the 4-cycle category alone, that it’s easy to become overwhelmed by choice.
That’s why in this section, we have broken down our buyer’s guide into the top pros and cons of 4-cycle string trimmers in general. Hopefully, by considering all the relevant factors, you can decide whether these are the string trimmers for you.
Before you Get Started
There is one crucial consideration you should have before getting started with our buyer’s guide. As you know, the most important thing in making a good purchasing decision is making one that fits your needs. So before you consider these pros and cons, we recommend you sit down and evaluate what it is you are actually looking for in a string trimmer. Try to imagine the type of work you will be doing, and then try to compare your needs to all the categories outlined in this article.
By doing this, you will be basing all your decisions on what is most important to you, which is an ideal way to make a purchase. Try to consider things like:
- How big is your yard?
- How long do you expect to be string trimming per week?
- Do you need this for commercial or residential purposes?
- How much are you willing to spend?
- Is noise a big issue for you?
Once you have these considered, you can make the right choice. Now let’s move on and look at the pros of 4 cycle string trimmers.
What is a 4 Cycle Weed Eater?
Before we get started, you might have one question on your mind – just what exactly is a 4-cycle weed eater? You probably know what a weed eater is, but maybe you don’t know all the ins-and-outs, which is understandable.
There are weed eaters on the market with 4-cycle and 2-cycle engines. The cycle is the number of strokes that a piston takes in a combustion engine. Thus, a 4-cycle engine needs 4 strokes to burn fuel and make power, while a 2-cycle needs only 2.
But what does this all mean for you? Basically, a 4-cycle weed eater tends to be more reliable, and generates more torque through its engine, to cut through thicker weeds more easily. 4-cycles tend to be a more dependable choice than a 2-cycle weed eater for bigger jobs. However, the 4-cycle engine does make this style of weed eater heavier on average.
Above, we explained our top choices on the market by the following categories – overall best, best for commercial, most versatile, and best budget weed eater!
4-Cycle Weed Wackers: Advantages
A 4-cycle string trimmer has a number of unique advantages based on the 4-cycle nature of its engine design. The “4-cycles” refer to the number of strokes that the piston takes in the combustion engine. But this doesn’t quite make it clear how this will benefit you. So let’s look at what this means in practice, what unique advantages does this 4-cycle engine provide?
More Fuel Efficiency
The 4-cycle engine runs more smoothly and efficiently than the 2-cycle variety. What this results in is increased fuel efficiency as well. Because the engine is running more efficiently, it doesn’t need to burn as much gas to get the job done.
This is great if you are an environmentally-conscious consumer. And of course, more fuel efficiency means less money on fuel costs as well. These fuel costs can really add up, especially if you run a commercial operation, so the investment in a more expensive 4-cycle string trimmer might pay dividends over time.
Of course, if your engine is running more efficiently, then this means less time worrying about getting the job done. Additionally, the time you save refueling will have you getting jobs done faster.
For these reasons, 4-cycle string trimmers tend to be the more convenient choice. They allow you to simply run the machine and get through the toughest of jobs, with less breaks for upkeep. You also don’t have to fiddle with mixing oil and gas.
A 4-cycle engine also produces more torque by nature of its more efficient design. With string trimmers, more torque means you can cut through tougher foliage and weeds with greater ease. However, it also means that it will cut through lighter weeds with more ease as will, which will result in your entire job moving faster.
Many only consider the additional torque when they think of the heaviest of jobs, but the reality is that more torque can be a benefit in any job that you do.
The 4-cycle engine’s efficiency also has the result of it producing less noise than its 2-cycle counterpoint. The engine runs in a more simple manner, which results in less noise overall. It may seem counterintuitive because these machines also produce more torque, but you truly can have the best of both worlds in this situation.
You should wear appropriate hearing and eye protection when using any of these tools.
Anyone who has worked with string trimmers in a large capacity can tell you that noise is a major annoyance over time. String trimmers are not quiet machines, so any way to reduce the volume is helpful. This isn’t to say that 4-cycle string trimmers won’t require protective ear-wear, but they will lower the noise overall.
These have been the major advantages of 4-cycle string trimmers over 2-cycles. As you can see, the advantages are plentiful, especially if you work in a commercial setting, or have a big property. If you spend a lot of time string trimming, you will notice these differences much more. For that reason, 4-cycle string trimmers might be what you would prefer if you have extensive requirements.
4-Cycle String Trimmers: Potential Drawbacks
Of course, no machine is perfect, and in this section we are going to outline the major potential drawbacks of a 4-cycle string trimmer. Although the engine runs more efficiently, this does result in some extra considerations that may have you reconsidering whether a 4-cycle is right for you. Let’s consider these below:
4-cycle engines, as you might imagine, are heavier than 2-cycle engines. Although they run more efficiently, they have more moving parts and therefore end up being heavier. As a result, the string trimmer itself becomes heavier.
For some, this can be a pretty major drawback. This is because the nature of trimming work is that you are holding a machine for an extended period of time. Therefore, the weight of something can really become a burden over time, even if it is not a significant amount of weight. Some people prefer their string trimmers to be as light as possible, so this is a pretty major drawback of 4-cycle machines.
More Parts Means Higher Failure Potential
The fact is that 4-cycle engines are more complex than 2-cycle engines. They have more moving parts. As a result, there is more potential for one of these parts to fail. The more complex the machine, the more problems that could result, and that is the case here.
This might be a major consideration for you because the last thing you want to put up with in your string trimming is having it break down. Especially a part that is as crucial as the engine. It is wise to keep this in mind when making a purchase and to buy from a reputable manufacturer with a history of reliable product offerings.
Although it is hard to say definitively that all 4-cycle string trimmers are more expensive, they do tend to be. Of course, there are many string trimmer makes and models on the market, with a variety of price ranges. But due to the fact that these machines are more complex, more powerful, and heavier, they do tend to be more expensive as well.
If you are a price-conscious consumer, this may be a major consideration for you. We recommend you to think of a string trimmer purchase as an investment. When considering cost, you should be making a purchase that will last you a long time as well. The price isn’t always the bottom line, as sometimes a higher price-point can reflect a higher quality trimmer that will save you money with its long life.
As you can see, the more efficient 4-cycle engine comes with its own set of drawbacks as well. Currently, 2-cycle string trimmers are the highest selling models on the market, so it would seem that many consumers find that these cons outweigh the pros.
However, it is most important that you consider these pros and cons yourself and see which one lines up with your personal preference. It is about finding the best string trimmer for yourself, and hopefully this buyer’s guide gave you all the relevant considerations toward making this decision.
This has been our comprehensive buyer’s guide for 4-cycle weed eaters. A string trimmer is no small investment, and we know you want to get this choice right on your first try. With help of this article, we hope you have been able to decide if a 4-cycle weed eater is the proper choice for you, and also to find one from our list that meets all your needs.
Of course, this is a decision of personal preference. So before you make your choice, be sure to know exactly the type of work you will be doing and the type of features you are looking for. Good decision making starts with outlining some decision criteria. If you do that, we are confident you can find a great choice in this buyer’s guide!
Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Let us know in the comments section below!
Last update on 2021-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API