The 4-cycle gas engine from Craftsman’s Weedwacker line has all the power you need to chop weeds and grass on your property, and this gas trimmer is easy enough for almost anyone to use. If hard nylon string whipping around the machine’s head isn’t enough to decimate your weeds and brush, you can purchase several attachments to make the Craftsman 4-cycle Curved Shaft Weedwacker an all-in-one tool for your landscaping needs.
Imagine the low roar of a 29-cc engine coming to life, but without the foul smoke created by burning gasoline mixed with motor oil. Then, armed with safety glasses and steel-toed shoes, picture taking on the long grass and weeds around your trees and fences. In reality, you will find that you get the dirty job done more quickly than ever before. You will also find that your new weed eater is free of the messy spools of vinyl line that plagued its predecessors (and their operators). With Craftsman’s Weedwacker, you won’t need a degree in engineering to load new line properly. Finally, consider your hearing. Your new outdoor power tool is astonishingly quiet for the power it packs.
This summer, make yard work into a game by purchasing a top-of-the-line weed eater from Craftsman, the brand loved and trusted by landscaping masters for generations. The 4-cycle curved shaft model combines new technology with sturdy, old-fashioned construction to blow past the competition and win our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award. Compare the Craftsman Weedwacker to other top weed whackers to make sure your power tool purchase is right.
The Craftsman Weedwacker has all the bells and whistles you’re looking for in a grass trimmer. First, the head of the machine has two points of exit for nylon string so you can get the job done twice as fast. In addition, the specialized head can rotate, giving you a new level of control when you’re attacking grass and weeds in small spaces. The black and crimson machine also comes with a large debris shield, keeping grass trimmings off your face and clothes.
Unfortunately, customization is sacrificed to power in Craftsman’s 4-cycle Weedwacker. You can’t change the position of the D-shaped handle or the length of the shaft to accommodate users who are exceptionally tall or exceptionally small. This fact has given the weed eater a reputation for awkwardness. The machine also loses points among some users because the so-called hassle-free line loading system wastes line. It works by inserting one end of an 18-inch piece of line into one hole on the head and pushing it through to another hole on the opposite side. When the ends of the nylon string wear away during use, you must stop and reload. That means discarding the section of string that was inside the whipping head, but it also means that replacing string is quick and easy.
Judged on looks alone, the Craftsman 4-cycle Weedwacker is average. The whipping head and debris shield are on one end of the curved shaft while the small gas engine is on the other. The yard tool weighs in at just 13.5 pounds, which is about as heavy as a holiday turkey. Its relatively light weight makes this model even easier to carry due to the power tool’s curved shaft design. Straight shafts are also available from the Weedwacker brand, but they are more expensive and unwieldy than the curved-shaft model.
Adding to the pro design of the Weedwacker is the artistry of the machine. The 4-cycle engine can displace 29 cubic centimeters of volume (cc’s), amounting to more power than any of our other residential weed eater picks. This type of engine is also cleaner and quieter than the standard 2-cycle engines used for weed eaters.
In addition to making it stronger and faster, the Weedwacker’s 4-cycle engine makes it easier to use. Instead of mixing engine oil with gas for fuel, you can use regular unleaded gas. Motor oil, which comes with your new machine, goes in a separate tank like it does with your car or truck.
Craftsman’s Weedwacker also comes equipped with an easy-start system that gives you three different ways to ignite the engine, thereby solving the problem of finicky pull-cord starters once and for all. In the first option, you plug a round, red attachment into a regular electric outlet. Then you mount the device in the appropriate place on the engine box to start the weed eater. Your next option is to use an electric drill for starting. Just put the start tool in the place of your drill bit and hold down the trigger to ignite the engine. If you don’t like either of those options, you can use the Incredi-Pull coil to bring the engine to life. Though similar to other pull cords, the Craftsman system has a reputation for cold starting quickly and easily. Fortunately, all three easy-start options come standard with purchase.
The Weedwacker fell short in usability terms in only one area: vibration. While its 4-cycle engine is less jolting than a 2-cycle engine would be, the Weedwacker lacks an anti-vibration element, so you might need to stop and take breaks. If you can keep the effort going for an hour, however, you will have burned through all the gas in the 14-ounce tank and you'll need to refill anyway. Drink some cold water, reapply sunscreen and stretch your shoulder muscles and you’ll be good to go.
The Weedwacker string trimmer is a great tool on its own. Its engine is powerful enough for tall weeds and light brush all around your yard. The multiple attachments that fit onto the shaft only boost its appeal. When you purchase the extra equipment, you can:
If your yard is small or if it lacks trees and bushes, the only must-have attachment for your weed eater is the edger. If you plan to use the machine commercially, we recommend purchasing the harness, brush blade and blower. Ultimately, the best fit for you will depend on your circumstances, but providing as many options as Craftsman does puts the company, and its Weedwacker line, far ahead of the competition.
The Craftsman Curved-shaft Weedwacker comes with a two-year warranty. If you buy it through Sears, you can purchase an additional service plan. You can also get parts through Sears service centers and other retail outlets. To know which parts you need, be sure to keep the paperwork that comes with the weed eater. A free copy of the manual isn’t available online.
The Weedwacker brand has become so popular over the years that the term “weed whacker” has slipped into common usage as a generic term for the machines. Sadly, the “h” in the second word has also been lost in some instances. While grammarians everywhere grumble about the term, it’s clear that the Craftsman 4-cycle Curved Shaft Weedwacker is worthy of spawning the generic name. The Craftsman weed eater is faster, stronger and easier to use than competing trimmers.
A powerful 4-cycle engine paired with a curved shaft design and superior attachment options make this the best weed eater for the money.
The new quick-change spool-loading system will take some getting used to.
From the biggest yard to the smallest, Craftsman’s gas-powered Weedwacker has all the torque and attachments you need.