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If you're tired of the noise and smelly fumes from your old gas-fueled lawn trimmer, a battery-powered electric model is a great option. They're quieter, easy to use and typically operate for 30 minutes or longer on a single charge. Keep these tips in mind as you search for a new trimmer.

1. Voltage

Lithium-ion batteries for trimmers are rated from 20 volts to 80 volts in capacity. Higher voltage generally provides more power and runtime. For lawns up to .5 acres, a 20- to 40-volt battery should work well. For larger lawns, consider 40- to 80-volt models.

2. Speed control

Variable speed controls provide different levels of power for different cutting conditions. Cordless models with different speeds allow you to vary the power for cutting thicker weeds or extending battery life.

3. Flexibility

Do you need a leaf blower, head trimmer or chain saw? If you're looking for some flexibility, the batteries on some trimmer models are compatible with other electric-powered lawn tools of the same brand.

4. Shaft type

Straight-shaft and curved-shaft trimmers are available. Straight-shaft trimmers typically have a little more power and longer reach, potentially keeping you farther away from flying debris. Curved-shaft models have a curve in the shaft near the trimmer head; they're typically easier to maneuver and control.

5. Feed system

Bump and auto line feed systems are available. Bump feed requires you to bump the head of the trimmer on the ground to release more line. Auto feed systems sense when the line is running short and automatically feed more. Bump feed gives you more control, but it could increase your chance of breaking the trimmer. Auto feed is easy to use, but you give up control and they could be costly to repair.

By considering voltage, shaft and feed system type, as well as special features such as variable speed control, you can find the right battery-powered trimmer for your needs.