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Weed Eater vs Weed Whacker: Is There a Difference?

Weed Eater vs Weed Wacker

Weed Eater vs Weed Wacker

When it comes to yard work, there are a few tools that do all of the heavy lifting and take all of the glory. Lawnmowers, leaf blowers, weed eaters, and weed whackers come to mind. The differences between a lawnmower and leaf blower are obvious. But what are the differences between a weed eater and a weed whacker?

Are these the same device with multiple names being used interchangeably? Or are these completely different tools used for similar purposes? In this article, we’re going to break down the differences between weed whackers and weed eaters, if there are any, to clear up the confusion once and for all.divider 4

Overview of Weed Eater:

What is a Weed Eater?

Weed eaters are a great tool for trimming weeds. Many of them also double as edgers, for cleaning up the edges around your sidewalks, patios, and driveway.

A weed eater works by spinning a hard-plastic string at high speeds. Anything the string hits, such as grass and weeds, will be cut off at the point of impact. These machines are small and maneuverable, with a long pole that allows you to reach the spinning head to the ground without bending over.

You’ll find weed eaters that run on gas, electricity, or batteries. They all use spools of string to cut the weeds, which is why they’re commonly called string trimmers in stores. But the very first string trimmer produced was termed the Weed Eater, which is likely why some people still call string trimmers weed eaters today.

Where You Live Makes a Difference

String trimmers are called weed eaters in certain areas, so if you’ve never heard of a weed eater before, it’s probably because of the area where you grew up. In the southwestern region of the United States, weed eater is one of the most common terms for a string trimmer.


  • Easy to use
  • Often double as edgers
  • Great for trimming grass and weeds
  • You don’t have to bend over
  • Not everyone knows them as weed eaters

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Overview of Weed Whacker:

What is a Weed Whacker?

If you grew up in the northeastern portion of the United States, you are likely more familiar with weed whackers than weed eaters. They function the same as a weed eater with a head that’s attached to a long pole. Inside the head is a spinning spool of hard-plastic line that cuts off anything it hits, such as grass, weeds, and other plants. It is a convenient way to clean up a yard and many weed whackers even double as edgers that allow you to trim the grass and weeds at the edges of your porches, driveway, and sidewalks.

Weed Whacker Differences

If you’ve never heard of a weed whacker before, you may know it by another name, such as string trimmer, which it’s commonly called in stores. If this sounds very familiar to you, that’s probably because weed eaters are also known as string trimmers. So, what’s the difference between a weed whacker and a weed eater?

The only real answer is where you live. Some regions refer to a string trimmer as a weed whacker and others call it a weed eater. Depending on where you grew up, you heard it called one thing, so you associate that name with the tool. Neither name is wrong, it just depends on what you’ve been exposed to.

It’s a bit like soda and pop. In some areas, it’s soda. Other places call it pop. If you’re in an area that says soda and you call it pop, you might get some weird looks thrown your way.


  • Doubles as an edger
  • Makes quick work of weeds and grass
  • You won’t have to bend over
  • Some people might not have heard of a weed whacker

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Is There a Difference?

There is no difference between a weed whacker and a weed eater. They’re two terms for the same tool. Depending on where you were raised, you may have only been exposed to one of these names. But if you look in a store, you’ll most likely find them listed as string trimmers. After all, they don’t really eat or whack weeds. They trim weeds with string, so string trimmer is probably a more accurate name anyway.

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Regardless of what you call a string trimmer, it’s a great tool for cleaning up weeds, grass, and messy overgrown areas. You might have heard it called a weed eater or a weed whacker, depending on where you grew up, but at the end of the day, we all recognize it as the helpful tool that it is. Who would want to do all that weed trimming by hand?

Featured Image Credit: Counselling, Pixabay


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