Weed Eater is a famous brand whose genesis in 1972 is due to founder George Ballas’ observation of the rotating car wash brushes. The first string trimmer marketed anywhere in the world, Weed Eater rocketed to success, propelled by the need for quick, efficient edge trimming which until then had been accomplished only with hand shears. So popular was the new device that sales exploded to a total of $80 million in just five years. In 1977, Ballas sold Weed Eater to Poulan, another famous lawn and garden equipment manufacturer. Poulan received an influx of cash from this acquisition, but was eventually bought by Electrolux, which merged in turn with Husqvarna. Today, Weed Eater continues its tradition of forward-looking excellence as a “tactical brand” of Husqvarna Group.
Weed Eater’s string trimmers are so acclaimed that “weedeater” has become a synonym for “string trimmer,” and continue to be a benchmark against which competing brands are measured. These products come in gas, electric, and cordless electric configurations to meet different levels of use and varied ecological concern on the part of consumers. Some convenient features found on the various models include extended reach shafts for trimming in hard-to-reach spots, spool heads which deploy new string by tapping them on the ground, rugged but lightweight design, telescoping handles, and tough plastic safety shields to protect users from injury.
Weed Eater offers far more than trimmers, however, with a full line of blowers, hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, and riding mowers. Some of the “green” electric blowers recently added to the range are powerful, versatile, and well-received even among those dubious of the potential of electric garden tools. The TurboClean line, for example, switches easily between blower and vacuum, and is strong enough to collect garden debris as well as lightweight autumn leaves. These blowers are also low-noise and low-vibration despite their 235 mph air speed. Lawnmowers include electric, cordless, and reel types, while the firm’s power edger uses a steel cutting blade to slice up to 2 inches into the turf.