Assembly of this Weed Eater cordless string trimmer (model LT 20V) reminded me all over again why I've typically avoided dealing with string trimmers any more than I've had to. For one thing, the guard assembly was not intuitive, and the directions in the manual were not especially helpful. Also, the screw involved in the guard assembly is pitifully small, making it hard to hold.
But that was just the beginning. I couldn't get the string out at first, so I had to take apart the housing. The release buttons for the housing unit are inconveniently located: you'd have to have fingers the size of a child's to be able to access them comfortably.
Once I managed to assemble this Weed Eater cordless string trimmer, though, I had no complaints about how it ran. In describing this product below, you will see that I express one more criticism of it, but that criticism pertains to the battery charger.
LT 20V Weed Eater Cordless String Trimmer Can Be an Edger, Too
This product has a feature that its marketers call "Twist 'N Edge." What that refers to is the fact that the tool can double as an edger. The "Twist" part of the name comes from how you convert it from a string trimmer to an edger, which is as follows:
Turn the handle lock knob counter-clockwise to "unlock" it, then twist the handle from its position for string trimming (namely, parallel to the ground) to a position perpendicular to the ground. Then re-tighten the handle lock knob. Finally, depress the adjust button on the cutting head, and pull up the cutting head. This changes its position to an angle suitable for edging. Presto! You now have an edger.
I don't edge any part of my landscape that way, though (I use hardscape for lawn edging), so I used the product strictly as a string trimmer.
Some Specs for This Weed Eater Cordless String Trimmer
Some specs helpful to know:
- Automatic line feed
- Cutting swath: 12 inches
- Amp hours: 2.6
- Weight: reasonably lightweight at 6.4 lbs, 1.12 lbs of which is the battery
- Cutting speed: 7500 RPM
- Telescoping shaft for easy storage
Now to the part of the review many of you have probably been waiting for: my assessment of the battery. After all, this is a cordless string trimmer, meaning that battery-related issues are critical in how one judges it.
This Weed Eater cordless string trimmer has a lithium ion battery. The battery came charged, and I began my testing July 19. I would operate the string trimmer periodically for 5-10 minutes at a time, just to get a feel for it. On August 11, after cutting grass with the string trimmer for a few moments, it conked out. I started it several more times, but each time, the result was the same: despite starting up, it would conk out as soon as I tried to cut any grass with it.
So I proceeded to charge the battery for the first time (the battery charger is included in the packaging). Sure enough, that is why the string trimmer had been conking out: its battery had been low. You might think that, with a low battery, a cordless string trimmer would not start at all. But -- somewhat counterintuitively -- the unit will start in this condition; you just can't do anything with it.
While the battery charger did charge the battery successfully, it did not operate as it's intended to. There are two LED indicator lights on the battery charger. The combination of colors these two lights displays is supposed to tell you what's going on with the battery. For example, when the battery is charging, both lights should be red. When the battery is fully charged, the left light should be red, the right light green. But whenever I initially insert the battery into the battery charger, I always get a color combination of red and orange, which is supposed to indicate that the battery is overheated. By the way, I get this reading even when the string trimmer has just been sitting around for a while, unused -- and with a battery therefore clearly not overheated.
After August 11, I continued to use the cordless string trimmer periodically, just for 5-10 minutes at a time in most cases. I had to recharge it again on October 11.
Just as you would take lawn mower safety to heart when it comes to kids and mowers, don't think that string trimmers are benign just because they are not as powerful as lawn mowers. Even if you're doing the trimming yourself, always remember to put yard safety first.
Reviews are comparative by nature (even if only by implication), since we don't evaluate products in a vacuum. You may find it helpful, therefore, to consult some other string trimmer reviews I have written: