Electric Vs. Gas Weed Eater – What’s The Difference?

A weed eater is a very handy tool when it comes to keeping your lawn and backyard in great shape as it helps you trim all those hard to reach places. But, when it comes to buying one, you have to decide whether to go for an electric or gas weed eater.

Both types of weed eaters or trimmers can do a good job provided you pick a good model from a reputable brand. However, it is important to make sure what you choose suits your specific needs.

To ensure that you make an informed decision on what to buy between the two common types, it is vital to understand how each works and its pros and cons.

Electric Weed Eater

The electric weed eaters are the kinds that rely on electricity to run the motor that supplies power to the cutting head. And like many other power tools, they are available in corded and cordless models.

Corded electric trimmers are the types that come with a cord that requires plugging into a power outlet to operate. They are the cheapest type and are also in most cases lighter than both the gas and battery-powered models.

Cordless or battery powered weed eaters deliver a cord-free operation which is very convenient as it means you can use them anywhere provided the batteries are charged. And you also never have to worry about the noise or emissions that come with gas weed eaters.

Regardless of the type of electric weed eater you choose, you can be confident of getting a quiet operation with no emissions. Also, you never have to worry about oil and fuel mess or getting the mixing ratios wrong.

These weed trimmers will also start almost instantly at the push of a button, and so you never have to waste precious time trying to start the tool by pulling cords.

And since they do not have a lot of moving parts, they will require almost no maintenance at all.


  • Less maintenance. Like with electric lawn mowers and many other electric power tools, there are fewer moving parts in an electric weed eater. What this means is that it will require relatively less maintenance than the gas weed eaters. And this not only makes it more convenient but also reduces the ongoing costs of owning one.
  • Quieter and cleaner operation. When using most electric weed eaters, a simple low-pitch sound is in most cases all the noise you will hear. This is contrary to the gas models that can be quite noisy. Also, there are no emissions since they do not burn any fuel which makes them much cleaner to operate. And the absence of oil and gas mixing also means they are less messy.
  • Quick start. With electric weed eaters, there is no need to pull a cord to start an engine as you would with a gas-powered weed trimmer. Provided your electric weed trimmer is plugged in or the battery is charged, all you need to do is to push the start button and the weed eater starts up instantly.


  • Limited use/range. Provided the tank on your gas weed eater has enough fuel there is almost no restriction to the lawn or yard size that you can trim or how far you can go. But, this is not the case with the electric weed eater because the range and use will either be restricted by a cord that requires you to be near a power outlet or battery that for most models will only last for a maximum of 30 minutes.
  • Less power. Whether you are using a corded or cordless electric weed eater, it will not produce as much power as the gas-powered models. And this can restrict its usefulness when it comes to trimming tough plants and roots. 

Whether you are using a corded or cordless electric weed eater, it will not produce as much power as the gas-powered models. And this can restrict its usefulness when it comes to trimming tough plants and roots.

Gas Weed Eater

When you have large areas with tall grass and weeds that you want to clear, the gas-powered weed eaters are the best choice as they are more powerful and with long run times.

Gas weed eaters will have up to 40cc engines and this means that you can get more out of them than you would with the smaller, electric weed eaters. And this is both in terms of the overall space you can cover and also the size of the overgrowth you can clear.

Also, gas weed trimmers will not have a limited range or be restricted to working in a specific area as they do not have cords. Their engines are also quite fuel-efficient and they will provide longer run times than the cordless electric weed eaters.

Gas weed trimmers will come with either two-stroke engines that require an oil and gas mixture or the more efficient and powerful four-stroke engines that only use gasoline.

But since these weed eaters run on combustion engines they tend to be louder than the electric models. Also, these engines produce toxic fumes and emissions as a result of burning fuel.

The moving parts in gas weed eaters mean that they will require more maintenance than the electric ones which translates to higher operations costs. And you should also be ready to deal with more vibrations and shaking.


  • More powerful. There is almost no trimming task that the gas weed eater cannot do as it runs on a more powerful engine and most also come with bigger strings. This ensures you can use them for a lot more than the electric types.
  • No limitations. When using gas-powered weed eaters there are almost no limitations. There are no cords that will restrict their use to a specific area like the corded electric weed eater, and you will also not have to worry about batteries running out of charge as you would with the cordless or battery-powered electric trimmers.
  • Rugged and more durable. Gas weed eaters are made to last and most models will feature a rugged and highly durable design that will ensure that you get to use them for many years. Although there are many durable electric wood eaters, the gas ones always seem to carry the day when it comes to ruggedness and durability.


  • Noisy and produce emissions. If you are going to use a gas weed eater, you should be ready for the noise as they can be quite loud. Unlike, the electric ones that almost make no sound, these weed eaters can be so loud that you might need some hearing protection when using them. And since they use a combustion engine, they will produce some potentially harmful emissions
  • Higher maintenance. With all the moving parts on the gas-powered weed trimmer, it will require regular maintenance as there are many things that need cleaning or replacement. This means that they take more effort to maintain and will be relatively expensive to operate.


How you plan to use your weed eater, the size of your lawn or yard and your specific needs are what will determine your choice of weed eater between the electric and gas-powered models.

Naturally, if you want a weed trimmer that offers great power and is rugged and highly durable, the gas weed eater is your best choice, Also, it is the more appropriate pick between the two for those with large yards or are dealing with tough plants or a severe overgrowth.

But, if you are looking for something more lightweight and easy to control, environmentally-friendly and with simple starting, the electric weed eaters are a good buy.

For those with small lawns and want something for occasional use, the electric weed eater is also the better choice as it is cheaper and more convenient to own.

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