When it comes to power tools and outdoor power equipment – we all like to buy American. However, there are obviously some great overseas brands that are well worth considering too.
We’ve put together a big list of the main string trimmer manufacturers so you can learn more about their heritage and where they are made, before parting with your hard-earned money.
With that said, let’s get started – as there are a surprising number of high quality brands that make some very good string trimmers. So it’s time to take your pick…
If you’re looking for an American brand of string trimmer, Stihl’s products are proudly made in the USA. Their trusted tools are made in their large, state-of-the-art factory in Virginia Beach, and distributed to over 90 countries around the world from there. Stihl fact: they designed and manufactured the world’s first two-person electric chainsaw in 1926.
Black & Decker
Famous power tool brand Black & Decker began life in Baltimore in 1910, and they invented the portable electric drill seven years later. In 2010, they merged with Stanley Works to form Stanley Black & Decker. The firm’s HQ is in New Britain, where the original Stanley opened his shop in 1843. Their products are now made in China.
The company began in Japan in 1943 as Ryobi Seisakusho Co.Now owned by Techtronic Industries, Ryobi makes components, printing items and building hardware as well as power tools. They have 12 factories across the globe, including one in Shelbyville, Indiana. However, that plant makes automobile components, and Ryobi tools are manufactured elsewhere.
German company Kärcher is best-known for its bright yellow pressure washers.It’s based in Winnenden, Germany, but employs thousands of people across the world. Kärcher was founded in 1935, and invented the modern pressure washer in 1950. The company has three production and three logistics sites in the US, and their American HQ is in Denver, Colorado.
Yard tool specialists WORX is owned by Chinese company The Positec Tool Corporation. The brand has its American HQ in Charlotte, North Carolina, and its products are sold at all the big US stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. They’re best known for their popular lightweight electric trimmer, the WORX GT. They’ve won awards for the combi leaf blower/vacuum.
The world-famous German company started life in a backyard workshop in Stuttgart in 1886. Today, Bosch is a leading brand across a range of technological and engineering applications, including domestic markets such as power tools. They have factories, distribution centers and research units across the US, employing about 25,000 American workers.
The famous orange hover mower has been keeping our yards tidy since the 1960s. In the 1980s, Flymo diversified into other gardening tools, such as string trimmers and leaf blowers. The main Flymo factory is in the UK, and the brand is owned by Swedish company Husqvarna AB.
Japanese company Honda began in 1953, and today’s mega-brand has HQs around the world. In the US, the company is based in Alpharetta, Georgia. Are their trimmers made in America? According to their website, their garden tools are “assembled in Honda plants in the United States and around the world”, so we’re not entirely sure…
Makita was founded in Japan in 1915, originally selling lighting equipment and transformers. In 1969, they made the first rechargeable power tool, a battery powered drill, changing the way we could build, make and repair. They have an American HQ in La Mirada, California, with distribution centers across the States.
EGO specializes in string trimmers, including the Powerload series, that actually self-winds. They have research and customer support centers in Michigan and Illinois, however their actual products are made in China. They’re quite a young company compared with many of the other power tool brands, having been established in 1993.
This American brand has been looking after our lawns since 1914. The Toro Company began by making tractor engines, before gradually expanding to cover all sorts of outdoor equipment. They’re based in Bloomington, Minnesota and have factories across the US. Many of their tools are made in the USA, with some engines made in Japan.
Greenworks has an American HQ in Mooresville, Carolina. The brand is owned by Globe Tools Inc, who manufacture their tools in Changzhou in China. American tool company Stihl bought a stake in Globe Tools in 2016. Greenworks also has an e-commerce office in Seattle, and a European presence in Malmö, Sweden.
The first Craftsman products featured in the iconic Sears catalog in the 1920s, and they have a reputation as a true American brand. They’re owned by another US legend, Stanley Black & Decker. However, many of their products are now made in Taiwan, although some of their mechanical tools are made by Western Forge in the US.
The Swedish manufacturer of outdoor equipment actually started out in the 17th century, making firearms. The Stockholm-based company owns other gardening brands such as Flymo and Weed Eater. Most of their products are made in Scandinavia, although they now have plants in South Carolina and Georgia.
US company ECHO began as an importer of engines, back in the 1970s. In the late seventies, they shifted focus towards making gardening equipment. ECHO is a subsidiary of the Yamabiko Corporation of Japan, with a US base in Lake Zurich near Chicago. According to their website, most of ECHO’s equipment is “built in the United States from foreign and domestic parts”.
The well-known power tool brand DeWalt was founded by Raymond E DeWalt, the inventor of the radial arm saw. The company began in Pennsylvania in 1922 – and remains a US company. They’re now owned by another big American name (Stanley Black & Decker) and have seven factories across the States. However, this doesn’t mean that every component is made in the States.
In 1947, The Oregon Saw Chain Manufacturing Corporation was launched. It has just one product and four members of staff. That single product, a saw chain, was all it took, and the business quickly became a big success. Now owned by Blount International, Oregon uses a plant in Missouri for its outdoor tools.
Hart started out making hammers in the 1980s, and has since been bought by the mighty Techtronic Industries. They claim their products are “born in the USA”, which is shorthand for “designed here, made somewhere else”. Still, you can buy their tools at Walmart, which makes life easier for the American gardener.
WEN is based in Elgin, Illinois, and was founded in 1951. The company’s aim was to “bring tools and electricity together” to make life easier for the woodworker, gardener and DIYer. Where are WEN products made today? We think they’re made in China, although WEN does have facilities in Illinois and California.
Westinghouse Electric was founded in Pennsylvania in 1886. They had several factories in the US, making big kit like turbines and generators. They were a massive, massive company and a rival to GE. Today, they make smaller electric equipment, including garden tools. It’s not clear where their products are made; however the feeling is made in China or Vietnam, designed in America.
Troy-Bilt was established in 1937, and has been making yard equipment from the outset. The company is now owned by MTD Products from Ohio (Stanley Black & Decker has a large stake in this company). The brand has factories in the US; however some of their components are made abroad and assembled here.
Now this is a slightly tricky one to unpick. Snapper is a Milwaukee-based outdoor product brand, with plants in Milwaukee and New York. Their mowers and tractors are proudly made in America – but their smaller yard tools aren’t. Snapper began life as a lumber company, moving into lawns in the 1940s. It’s now owned by Briggs & Stratton.
In 1921, Arthur Mall founded a small power tool company in Milwaukee called Remington. Renowned for the quality of his tools, Arthur’s business soon grew. Like Troy-Bilt, Remington is now owned by Ohio company MTD Products. Remington has plants in the US, Mexico, China, and Europe, so components could be made in any of these countries.
Kobalt was founded in 1998 and is owned by Lowe’s. The brand includes mechanics’ tools, hand tools, power tools, and outdoor power tools. Their mechanics tools are made in Nevada, while their power tools are either made in Germany or China. Their latest products are made in China.
Wild Badger Power aims to provide por-level yard tools at accessible domestic prices. Their location took a lot of tracking down, but it seems they’re based in North Carolina. We really have no idea where their products are actually made. The company sells through major retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.
Well, at least we know where this company was founded! Back in 1924, A.F. Seibert started Milwaukee Tool in the Wisconsin city. Today, the brand is owned by global companyTechtronic Industries. Some of their tools are made in the US (they have several factories here) while others are made in China and Europe. They’ve recently invested in their US plants and created more jobs, which signals a move towards more home-based manufacture.
When you’re investing a lot of money in a string trimmer (or any power tool for that matter), it’s important you choose a quality brand that you know the history of. This means considering both US and overseas companies too.
Hopefully, this extensive list will help you get to know the backstory of some of the most popular brands a little better, so you can make an informed decision when buying your first or next string trimmer. Best of luck! 🙂