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Choosing a Gas String Trimmer - 2 or 4 Cycle?

Updated on August 18, 2011
If you have lots of trimming to do, then sometimes a battery operated string trimmer simply doesn't have enough power to finish the job.
If you have lots of trimming to do, then sometimes a battery operated string trimmer simply doesn't have enough power to finish the job.

I've owned a battery powered string trimmer from black and decker ever since I purchased my own home several years ago. Every couple of years I have to replace the batteries; otherwise I only get limited use from the tool and I can't finish my yard which consists of 600 sq. feet of curbing, several easement and other tricky areas, and a vinyl fence. What's worse is that the batteries that were supposed to save me money are very expensive at over $40 for one and I usually need 3. When I get new batteries the trimmer works fine; however, it's just not powerful enough to do the trimming that I need it to do anymore.

After using a neighbors 4 cycle cub cadet gas string trimmer that doubles for him as an edger, weed wacker, blower, and even mini rototiller, I decided that as Tim the Tool man Taylor used to say I need "more power" and that I'm tired of trying to be environmentally conscious (at least with my trimmer).

In this hub I'll review some of the top rated 2 cycle and 4 cycle gas string trimmers that I've come across in my research over the last few weeks.

What to Look For

For Home and Garden I generally buy my tools from Home Depot when I'm in a hurry or online at Amazon if I'm thinking ahead. At Amazon you can generally get prices from many wholesalers for any tool you want to purchase. Many of these wholesalers even have refurbished or reconditioned items that sell for a fraction of those that are brand new.

Why 4 Cycle?

Mixing the oil and gasoline can often be a pain - with a 4 cycle gas trimmer you can avoid all of that hassle and get more power.

To Detach or not to Detach

Many 4 cycle gas trimmers come with a detachable option that makes it simple to switch on various other attachments that you can purchase including (as I mentioned above) an edger or even a rototiller.

Use Expand-it Attachments

I personally like Expand-it products as they seem to work well enough and are pretty inexpensive. If you can't find the right expand-it product online, then I've seen various ones at Home Depot as well.

Reconditioned Products

A reconditioned product is one that has been returned to the manufacturer. These products are then brought up to "like new" status and tested in order to make sure they are ready to use. Sometimes these products can have a paint or other blemish; however, they are generally in perfect operating condition.

Poulan PP1000E 7-Inch Pro Lawn Edger Attachment
Poulan PP1000E 7-Inch Pro Lawn Edger Attachment

Fit most major brand trimmers that have detachable shafts. I own one of these and it is super easy to detach, use, and then store.


Top Rated 2 Cycle Cordless String Trimmers

To the right I've listed some of the top rated 2 cycle cordless gas string trimmers in the market. The Hitachi is especially well rated amongst verified buyers across several different websites.

Hitachi CG22EASSLP 2 Cycle String Trimmer

Although it's powerful enough to take on any of your home and garden projects this Hitach trimmer is also backed by a 7 year consumer warranty for peace of mind. Additional features include an easy-start system, and a anti-vibration system that makes it easier to use over extended periods of time without getting worn out.

What's it Rated?

On Amazon the Hitachi CG22EASSLP is the Top Rated 2 cycle string trimmer with 32 out of its 38 reviews coming in at 5 stars.

What one verified owner had to say about it:

"I've only had it for a month now, but it works great. This trimmer has no problem at all running for 90 minutes at a time and getting coated in weed juice...

The price may be high when you compare it to the cheaper entry-level models on Amazon, but with a 7-year warranty I think this trimmer will still be around when I finally whack my last 5-foot weed."

Pulan Pro 2 Stroke Gas Trimmer

Another highly rated 2 stroke gas trimmer is the Pulan Pro. It's detachable and easily upgradeable with Pulan Pro's attachments. Specifications include a 33cc 2-cycle engine, 17 inch cutting path, surefire start system, and reduced pull effort.


I hope you've enjoyed this hub on the best 2 and 4 cycle gas string trimmers. Please feel free to leave a comment below and if you're in the market for tools, then check out these hubs on the best new tools for 2011 and home improvement gift ideas.


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