Petrol strimmers are the real deal. They are heavy-duty, powerful, and can handle any plant material. They give you the freedom to roam (unlike a corded strimmer) and won’t quickly run out of charge (like a battery one).
Having tested dozen of strimmers of all shapes and sizes I can assure you there is no strimmer out there better equipped for hard work than a petrol strimmer. But these garden tools do have some downsides. They are more expensive than electric ones, they are heavier and require more upkeep.
For large gardens or tough weeds, it has to be a petrol one you choose but finding the best petrol strimmer for your garden can be tricky. Everyone has different needs, requirements, and an individual budget.
To help you out, I’ve come up with this focused, petrol strimmer review article to allow you to quickly and easily compare different models to find the perfect one for you.
I updated this article in 2023 to include the latest and greatest best on my latest tests.
Have a read through and if you like the sound of any of these strimmers click the Price & Reviews button to check out current prices on Amazon. Or you can shop at your preferred retailer, Screwfix, Argos, and B&Q are all great choices.
Top 5 Best Petrol Strimmers
- Top Choice – Makita EX2650LHM 25.4cc Split Shaft Complete with Brush Cutter
- Runner Up – Trueshopping 43cc Petrol Grass Trimmer and Brushcutter with Protective Guard and Harness
- Best Heavy Duty Option – Hyundai HYBC5200X 52cc 5 in 1 Garden Tool/Petrol Strimmer
- Best Multi-Use Option – AOSOME Multi Function 5 in 1 Garden Tool
- Best Budget Option – ParkerBrand Petrol Grass Line Trimmer & Brush Cutter
1. Top Choice – Makita EX2650LHM 25.4cc Split Shaft Complete with Brush Cutter
Power: 25.4cc, 4 Stroke
Cutting Width: 42cm
Cutting Options: Line Trimmer & Brushcutter
- Powerful 4 stroke engine
- No mixing oil Required
- Very versatile
- Extremely well built
- Assembly is tricky
- A little heavy
Due to the 4 stroke petrol engine, this strimmer produces fewer emissions so is environmentally friendly and more fuel-efficient compared to 2 stroke engines. It generates power through torque rather than increased RPMs. This makes this strimmer a powerful and efficient option.
The multi-positional engine means you can operate this strimmer at any angle which adds a lot of versatility. Despite it being a heavy duty, powerful option it only weighs 4.6kg so is easy to use. The split shaft design means this can be spilt into two pieces so it’s compact to store and transport. The handy carry bag also makes this a simple option.
It comes with a line trimmer head that is bump feed for ease of use. This plus the brushcutter blades means this strimmer can tackle anything from long grass to brambles. The only fuel it needs is unleaded petrol so no mixing of oil required. This keeps it simple and saves accidental misfiling of the fuel tank with the wrong mix.
Designed for professional use, this petrol grass trimmer starts easily, works extremely well and comes with a toolkit containing all the necessary tools to get you going. A final bonus is you can buy all sorts of accessories to attach to this tool from a hedge trimmer to a cultivator, it’s a perfect all rounder.
2. Runner Up – Trueshopping 43cc Petrol Grass Trimmer and Brushcutter with Protective Guard and Harness
Power: 43cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 25cm
Cutting Options: Twin Line & Brushcutter
- Great price
- More powerful models available
- Easy start in all weather
- A little heavy feeling
- Customer service aren’t the best
In second place, this heavy-duty strimmer by Trueshopping is a perfect balance between power and cost. It’s a bit heavier than our top choice and the petrol engine requires a 25:1 mix of two-stroke lubrication oil and unleaded petrol.
It comes with a twin line spool for grass trimming and a three-pronged cutting blade for brush cutting. It is a big, powerful machine to use but the bicycle handlebar and the ergonomic harness helps you to stay in control of it.
The recoil start is primed to go in all weather conditions and has rapid acceleration. The straight shaft allows it to manoeuvre well around and under garden furniture and means the drive cable is less prone to breaking.
For the small price, you’ll get everything you need to get started including a harness, toolkit and mixing bottle so you just need to make sure you have the correct oil and petrol on hand and you’re good to go.
3. Best Heavy Duty Option – Hyundai HYBC5200X 52cc 5 in 1 Garden Tool/Petrol Strimmer
Power: 52cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 25cm – 45cm
Cutting Options: Two String Head & Brushcutter
- Comfortable harness
- High torque engine
- Split shaft for easy storage
- Strong powerful engine
- Also includes hedge trimmer and chainsaw
- Slightly tricky pull cord
- Physically heavy
If a heavy-duty strimmer with a powerful engine is what you need then this garden strimmer by Hyundai will not disappoint. A double shoulder harness and ergonomic handle will give you good control of the 52cc, two-stroke engine.
The bump feed line keeps you strimming as you simply tap it on the ground to dispense more wire. It also comes with a three-pronged metal blade so you can carve a cutting path through any material. The high torque engine is designed to power through thick material without straining the engine so this makes this a very heavy duty strimmer brush cutter.
Fingertip controls give you easy and precise control from the handle and the split shaft design allows easy storage or transportation. ANd you also got a hedge trimmer and chainsaw as part of it making this a complete one-stop-shop garden tool for all the jobs you might have to do.
Plus a 3-year warranty so you can be confident it’s a high-quality product.
4. Best Multi-Use Option – AOSOME Multi Function 5 in 1 Garden Tool
Power: 52cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 30cm
Cutting Options: Brushcutter, Pruner, Grass Trimmer, Hedge Trimmer
- All the tools work well
- Good sized engine
- Harness isn’t the best
- tricky to assemble for first use
If you’re looking for a petrol grass strimmer that does a lot more for your money then look no further. This multi-function garden tool by Aosome is a winner where it comes to functionality. It’s not just a strimmer, this multi-tool also functions as a brushcutter, a chainsaw pruner, a hedge trimmer and it comes with a long reach extension pole.
It has a bump feed, nylon thread trimmer head as well as a metal blade cutting head for heavy-duty work. The metal blades are double-sided for added durability and a lot of attention to detail has gone into this machine. Aosome has made sure to use an engine that is powerful and up to the many jobs that are expected from it. You can even adjust the angle of the hedge trimmer to get a perfect finish.
Whereas some multi-function tools can do a lot but are not very good at anything this model is an exception to that rule. For the enthusiastic gardener, this tool will cover a large area and variety of tasks with ease and you’ll save hundreds of pounds by not buying these tools separately.
5. Best Budget Option – ParkerBrand Petrol Grass Line Trimmer & Brush Cutter
Power: 52cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 40cm
Cutting Options: Brushcutter & Line Trimmer
- Comfortable to use
- Powerful motor
- Needs tightened up periodically
- Better for taller people
For a budget strimmer with a powerful, reliable engine, it doesn’t get much better than ParkerBrand. With a line trimmer and brush cutter blade option, it can handle tough growth.
It comes with a harness and ergonomic handlebars and the split shaft design is a really useful feature. It’s easy to start and pleasant to use but the consumption of petrol is fairly high when cutting thick material or using at high revs.
It’s not the most durable design and is prone to parts needing to be replaced after heavy use. As with most power tools, you get what you pay for. This one won’t last forever but it does a good job and is a powerful machine given the small price tag.
Things To Consider When Buying A Petrol Strimmer
The power of the engine dictates how efficiently the strimmer cuts through grass and other plant material. A more powerful engine will reduce the take and effort needed to strim a given area. It’s important to weigh up the displacement that is measured in CC. This is an indication of how much air and fuel the cylinder digests so a higher CC ultimately produces more power. There’s another factor as well as CC to consider. A 2 stoke vs 4 stroke engine. A 2 stroke engine may give you more raw power but a 4 stroke engine with the same CC is more fuel-efficient.
The size of the cutting head (measured in cm) is important to consider. If you have a large area needing cut then a bigger cutting width will take less time to do. If you have narrow areas needing attention, you may need to opt for a smaller size to avoid hitting things.
It’s also important to consider which cutting head options come with the particular strimmer you’re interested in. If it’s just lawn edging you need to do then a string trimmer will work very well. If it’s tougher material needing taken care of then a brush cutter blade attachment may be necessary.
The weight of the strimmer is important as you need to be able to carry the machine. When a strimmer is on it vibrates which makes it more tiring to carry compared to a still object. This can make you tire a lot quicker so you need to consider this as well as the weight of it.
A strimmer harness can help solve the issue of a heavy strimmer as it distributes the weight of the tool more evenly over your body rather than just using arm strength.
As with any purchase, price is possibly the most important consideration. Petrol strimmers can range from around £100 and up. Make sure the option you choose fits well into your budget otherwise it’s just not a great option for you.
General Strimmer Upkeep
Petrol strimmers do require a bit more work than plug-in ones. After each use you should inspect the air intake and remove any material that may be clogging it.
You need to check the cutting head for any signs of damage or incase the nylon spool needs replaced. A blunt cutting blade will be very inefficient and needs to be replaced.
Air Filter & Spark Plug
About once a month or so you should remove and clean the air filter with water and leave it to dry thoroughly before replacing. Alongside this, it’s important to inspect the spark plug and replace it if it has sustained any damage.
Before you store the strimmer away for winter there are some essential steps you must take. Clean any grass clippings or debris stuck to the cutting head as this can cause corrosion if left for months at a time. It’s important to empty the fuel tank and apply a light oil to any metallic surfaces to prevent rust. Store it somewhere safe and dry and it should be good to go again come Spring.
Your strimmer should be serviced after 40 hours of use or more frequently if stated by the manufacturer. Some warranties will be invalid if the strimmer hasn’t been frequently serviced so always read the fine print so you don’t get caught out here.
What are the benefits of a petrol strimmer?
A petrol strimmer gives you complete freedom to roam so you can cut a very wide area without a cable getting in the way. They last a LOT longer than battery strimmers and are much more powerful. Electric strimmers are really only good for grass trimming whereas petrol strimmers can handle weeds and tough plants like brambles.
Which is better, a curved shaft or straight shaft?
The drive cable has to travel down the shaft to power the cutting head. A curved shaft means this cable needs to be longer and this makes it more prone to damage. Curved shaft strimmers are not as powerful as straight ones but are lighter and easier for shorter people to use. On the flip side, if you’re tall, a curved strimmer is very awkward to use. For general use, with an average sized person, a straight shaft is better.
What is the difference between a 2 stroke and a 4 stroke engine?
A 4 stroke engine generates increased engine power through torque rather than increasing the speed of RPM. This means it’s more fuel-efficient and easier to control.
Do I need a strimmer harness?
A strimmer harness will evenly distribute the weight of the strimmer and will take the pressure off your arms. This allows you to better control the movement of the tool and makes for a safer and easier time. A well-designed strimmer harness will allow you to get the best out of your strimmer.
Why does the engine start but does not accelerate?
The carburettor may require adjustment, contact the manufacturer for advice.
More Petrol Strimmers Reviewed
McCulloch TRIMMAC Trimmer
Power: 25cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 40cm
Cutting Options: Line Trimmer
For smaller lawns or if you need a step up from electric models this petrol, cordless strimmer is a great option. It’s not heavy duty and powerful like the top 5 but it will power through long grass and weeds.
It’s lightweight and a carry strap ensures it’s well balanced. A double thread tracking gives more cutting power than a single line and it has a Tap n Go system that automatically dispenses the thread as soon as the strimmer head is pressed to the ground.
It’s an easy start, easy to assemble option with excellent manoeuvrability. It comes at a really nice price but is not going to last forever. The build quality feels quite poor and it’s not up to tough jobs. Definitely a step up from an electric strimmer and fine to use for grass trimming after the lawnmower has finished but not great for clearing weeds or thick plants.
Einhell GC-BC 31-4 S Petrol Brush Cutter and Grass Trimmer
Power: 31cc, 4 Stroke
Cutting Width: 25cm – 48cm
Cutting Options: Line Trimmer & Brushcutter
This is a really great strimmer by Einhell. Let’s start with the high grade 4 stroke engine that’s efficient and is an anti-vibration design. The handlebars are bicycle-style so ergonomic to use and all the controls are conveniently located here.
The line trimmer is an automatic jog, twin line spool so is simple to use and powers through grass and weeds well. The brushcutter blades will tackle tougher jobs assisted by the centrifugal clutch.
It’s quieter to run compared to a 2 stroke engine and there’s no plant it can’t cut through. It’s not the easiest to put together so make sure you consult the user manual first to save you some frustration.
Ryobi 2-in-1 Petrol Grass Trimmer & Brush Cutter
Cutting Width: 26cm – 43cm
Cutting Options: Line Trimmer & Brushcutter
This Ryobi strimmer has a few qualities that make it a really good option to consider. Easy start technology means the engine is primed and ready to go whenever you are, no more frustrating stalls.
The bump feed cutting line with Reel Easy head gives rapid cutting line refills whenever you need them. The 43cm cutting width means you’ll get the grass done in no time at all. It also has the option of a 26cm Tri-Arc brushcutter blade for tougher work.
The split shaft design makes this model compact and easy to store. It comes with a harness and a second loop handle for comfort and ease of use.
It’s pretty lightweight and a good option for grass and weed trimming but isn’t powerful enough for tougher, heavy duty jobs.
Stihl FS56C-E Petrol Strimmer
Power: 27.2cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 42cm
Cutting Options: Line trimmer
This strimmer by Stihl is designed with you in mind. The engine is straightforward and simple to start. The 2 stroke engine with stratified charge means you get a fast acceleration, low emissions and low fuel consumption.
It also has Ergostart technology which reduced the effort it takes to start the strimmer. This is due to a coil spring between the crankshaft and the starter which smooths out force peaks so less strength is needed from you to pull the starter.
Weighing only 5kg and the comfortable bike handle grip this strimmer is comfortable and easy to use. The straight shaft is easy to manoeuvre and makes this machine more durable. It’s robust and a real workhorse and a perfect strimmer for general garden use.
Power: 25.4cc, 2 Stroke
Cutting Width: 20cm – 40cm
Cutting Options: String Trimmer, brushcutter & hedge trimmer
Last but certainly not least is a great multi-tool option from Mountfield. The lawn trimmer is a simple tap and go nylon head to help you work efficiently. The brushcutter attachment is a 3 tooth metal blade, perfect for weeds and it even has a 40cm hedge trimmer attachment.
It has a secondary loop handle for control of the cutting head which is soft grip for extra comfort. The hedge trimmer rotates by 180 degrees to help you achieve defined lawn edges that look professional.
This engine power tool is lightweight and well balanced and when the attachment is in place it reaches 221cm so you can easily trim tall hedges.
One downside with this tool is that it can be a bit tricky to assemble and to start up so if you’re not confident with power tools this can be offputting. Once you do get it going, it does a great job.
Petrol strimmers are the best option for heavy-duty gardening. They are bigger and more powerful than electric models and give you a lot more freedom.
I hope this article has helped clear up any questions you may have had about buying the best petrol strimmer. In the end, there’s a petrol grass strimmer out there for everyone but you need to be the one to discern which model best fits your situation.
I hope you’re feeling more knowledgeable and enthused to start gardening and I wish you a neat and tidy lawn in 2023.