5 Best 4-Cycle Weed Eaters of 2020
Weed eaters (or gas trimmers) are handy tools for clearing grass, small bushes and shrubs that invade your lawn or piece of beautiful landscaping.
There are two main types of engines used on gas trimmers: 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines. Cycles (or strokes) refer to the number of movements made by the pistons to produce power in the engine.
2-cycle engines produce power every two strokes while 4-cycle ones require 4 stroke to produce power. Hence, a 2-cycle engine tends to be more powerful, but burns more fuel than a 4-cycle one.
However, 4-cycle engines are less noisy and more fuel-efficient. They also pollute the environment less than 2-cycle ones. A 4-stroke engine also separates the gas and oil needed to lubricate it, a feature not available in 2-stroke ones.
Read More: 2-cycle vs. 4-cycle Trimmers
To help you choose the ideal trimmer, which suits your budget and trimming needs, our top 5 best 4-cycle weed eater reviews and buying guide are a great starting point.
5 Best 4-Cycle Weed Eaters – Review
1. Husqvarna 967055801 (Best Semi-Professional)
2. Makita EM2652LHN (Premium Quality)
3. PowerSmart PS4531 (Most Powerful)
4. Ryobi RY4CCS (Lightweight)
5. Troy-Bilt TB575 (Easy-to-Start)
1. Husqvarna 967055801
2. Makita EM2652LHN
3. PowerSmart PS4531
4. Ryobi RY4CCS
5. Troy-Bilt TB575
1. Husqvarna 967055801 – Best Semi-Professional Weed Eater
- Engine: 25cc
- Cutting Width: 18 inches
- Weight: 17 pounds
Husqvarna 967055801 is a semi-professional string weed eater designed for residential and commercial usage given its powerful 25cc 4-stroke engine, which runs on pure gas.
If you’re a landscaper and landowner, this trimmer is the ideal semi-professional workmate as it eliminates the need to mix gas and oil. The engine is equipped with a proprietary SmartStart system for quick and minimal effort starting.
The weed eater also cuts an impressive 18-inch swath. This is the largest cutting width of all the trimmers on our list. You can be assured of fast and efficient trimming with this machine.
It also offers some very intuitive controls such as the choke and air purge, while enable easy starting by eliminating air from the fuel system and carburetor. Another useful feature is the Tap ‘n Go trimmer head, which has a dual exit bump feed for ease of use and refilling.
Although the Husqvarna 967055801 trimmer will meet most of your professional weeding needs, its price is considerably high compared to other options on the market. At 17 pounds, it can also prove bulky to carry around especially for continuous usage.
2. Makita EM2652LHN – Premium String Weed Eater
- Engine: 25cc
- Cutting Width: 17 inches
- Weight: 18.5 pounds
Makita EM2652LHN is a premium string trimmer and weed eater, which boasts of a solid steel shaft, large fuel tank, and a multi-position lubrication system for reliable commercial performance.
The trimmer’s driveshaft is made of steel, which has been engineered to minimize vibration and extend the equipment’s durability. While this trimmer is sold and inflexible, it allows for efficient transfer of power from the engine to the trimmer head.
It comes fitted with a fuel tank whose capacity is a decent 20 fluid ounce (oz). The trimmer lasts for longer than you would expect because of its impressive fuel economy. The tank is also translucent so you can monitor gas usage and anticipate a refill.
Another genius feature is a specially engineered primer, which helps during cold starting.
A unique multi-position lubrication system for the engine allows the trimmer to be used in multiple positions to address a major concern with 4-stroke engines, which do not mix oil and fuel.
Because of this lubrication system, you can even tilt the trimmer on its side and use it as an edger. The engine will also not cut out if you decide to raise it to trim a hillside or slope.
Makita EM2652LHN is true, a premium trimmer of commercial quality, but you get all that at a very steep price, which may prompt you to explore alternatives that offer as much value. You are also likely to become fatigued with extended usage because of its weight.
3. PowerSmart PS4531 – Most Powerful 4-Cycle Weed Eater
- Engine: 31cc
- Cutting Width: 10 inches
- Weight: 25 pounds
PowerSmart PS4531 is the most powerful weed eater as it packs a massive 31cc, 4-stroke engine. The best part of this machine is that it is reasonably priced compared to all other less powerful options on our list.
The 4-stroke engine promises to produce more power at lower RPM. Because of the power produced by the 31cc engine, the trimmer can handle a thick line. RPMs are easy to vary, and the engine is notably quieter than other lower-power 4-stroke ones.
You can also use this trimmer as a brush cutter because it accepts accessories and attachments. It comes equipped with a 10-inch, 3-teeth cutting blade, which combines well with the powerful engine to cut through tough vegetation easily.
A 2-year limited warranty is offered with this trimmer, so you can be confident in its quality and reliability.
The PowerSmart PS4531 is the most powerful weed eater on our list, but by trimmer standards, it is very heavy at 25 pounds. If you will be stretching your arms out while using it, then you are bound to develop fatigue, especially during extended usage.
That said, a strap is included with the trimmer to enable ease of navigation and reduce strain on your arms.
4. Ryobi RY4CCS – Lightweight 4-Stroke Weed Easter
- Engine: 30cc
- Cutting Width: 17 inches
- Weight: 10.5 pounds
Ryobi RY4CCS is the lightest 4-stroke weed eater on our list, weighing only 10.5 pounds. It is also big on power, packing a massive 30cc engine.
Compared to other models such as the PowerSmart PS4531, which weighs double, you are guaranteed ease of handling and navigation and extended operation with this one.
The engine combines well with a wide 17-inch swath cutter to achieve semi-professional trims for your residential or commercial space.
Easier handling is further enhanced by the trimmers curved shaft. This curved design ensures a lower trimmer tilt angle compared to the same on a straight shaft, which will require more tilting while trimming.
This trimmer accepts other Ryobi expand-it attachments, which will help you save gas, time, and money that you’d use on new equipment.
Although Ryobi RY4CCS the most lightweight weed eater on our list and packing impressive engine power at a reasonable price, it will struggle to cut through weeds over 1 foot tall. Thus, it may not be the best trimmer for heavy-duty usage. However, for ordinary home trim jobs, you can count on it to deliver.
Troy-Bilt TB575 – Easy-to-Start 4-Cycle Weed Eater
- Engine: 29cc
- Cutting Width: 17 inches
- Weight: 18 pounds
Troy-Bilt TB575 is a versatile weed eater, which comes with a proprietary SpringAssist technology for ease of starting and use.
The trimmer also works with the Troy-Bilt JumpStart electric starter to enhance the starting process. However, this starter is sold separately.
It is equipped with a straight shaft, which offers extended reach under shrubs and bushes. A dual-line bump head enhances the convenience of loading more string to the trimmer so that you don’t have to worry about morale-killing detachments.
Trimmer efficiency is further enhanced by a 17-inch cutting swath. It will also allow connection to other attachment-capable trimmers from Troy-Bilt, Remington, Craftsman, and many more.
Although Troy-Bilt TB575 is a powerful and easy-to-start weed trimmer, the trim string is susceptible to jamming because of trimmer line inefficiency. Engine performance can sometimes be sub-par especially with its occasional failure to start instantly.
How to Buy the Best 4-Cycle Weed Eater
The gas engines that run weed eaters or trimmers tend to fall within two broad categories: 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines.
2-cycle engines are popular because they produce more power than 4-cycle ones. However, the 4-cycle one is more fuel economical so you may prefer it if you want to spend less on the gas.
Many landowners are opting for 4-cycle string trimmers because their engines eliminate the mixing on gas and oil, pollute the environment less, and produce less noise than 2-stroke ones.
If you opt for the 4-stroke engine, you will spend more in purchase cost, but you’ll also be paying for significantly more value over the 2-cycle one.
2. Power Source
The trimmer you purchase will most likely be gas-powered. Gas trimmers tend to be the most preferred weed eaters because they produce more power than electric-powered ones.
You can count on at least 25 cc of engine capacity for a decent gas trimmer. The highest engine capacity we reviewed was 31 cc.
Electric trimmers also get the job done, but since they are primarily running on batteries, you will have to settle for charging and recharging them regularly, especially if you’re a heavy user.
Trimmers running on electric power are, however, more environment-friendly because they do not produce any emissions. They are also significantly quieter because they lack a combustion engine.
A weed eater’s handle is a vital component because it facilitates handling and operation of the tool.
You will be looking for a trimmer with a well-positioned and comfortable handle so that it is easy on the hands during operation.
Trimmers with adjustable handles are ideal choices because they can be moved about to achieve an ideal fit for your hands. When buying your weed eater, you can grab its handles with both arms to get a feel of it.
The handless should also be strong enough such that it won’t collapse or detach with the trimmer’s vibrations.
4. Cutting Width
A weed eater’s cutting width determines, to a greater degree, the machine’s efficiency. The largest width we reviewed was 18 inches. Such a wide swath maximizes efficiency because you will be trimming a large area per cycle.
In contrast, weed eaters with lower widths, such as 10-inches, will cover a smaller area per cycle compared to those with larger widths.
It is worth noting that a large width requires longer cutting strings at the bump head. Hence, such a trimmer will use up more string resource over time compared to that with a lesser width.
Since you will be holding the trimmer or weed eater with your hands as you operate it, weight becomes an important consideration.
The heavier your trimmer is, the more difficult it will be to handle especially with extended usage. There is bound to be a significant difference between carrying a 25-pound trimmer versus a 10-pound one for the same amount of time.
When shopping for a trimmer, look for one that balances functionality and weight. While a lightweight one is ideal, make sure it still packs standard features such as large-capacity fuel tank, a wide cutting swath.
The only time a heavy trimmer may be more preferable is if it carries more fuel, features, and is suited for commercial use.
There are many brands offering high-quality weed eaters, some of which boast of advanced features such as electric starters, and many more.
The brand you choose will depend largely on its track record and how whether it offers the features you desire in a weed eater.
Some trimmer brands focus on power maximization, while others lean towards cutting efficiency, and easy of handling. Some are boast of premium designs and features, which tend to cost a lot of money.
There is an unlimited selection of good brands that promise to meet all your trimmer needs and preferences.
Having looked at a comprehensive list of the top 4-cycle weed eaters on the market today, it’s time to make your purchase.
Remember some of the key factors to consider while buying your trimmers. The type of engine makes a big difference. 4-stroke gas engines are the most preferred because they produce more power than electric ones.
The trimmer’s cutting width affects its efficacy. A wide width cuts a large swath hence faster trimming. Check the weed eater’s weight too. A heavy machine may prove too bulky to handle especially with extended usage.
We’re confident that our top 5 best 4-cycle weed earner review and buying guide will steer you in the right direction as you make your purchase.
- 5 Best 4-Cycle Weed Eaters – Review
- How to Buy the Best 4-Cycle Weed Eater