Review: Cordless Outdoor Power Equipment – String Trimmers

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Are you ready to ditch the gas can and forever say goodbye to pesky 2-stroke engines that, for no matter how hard you try, never seem to run right come springtime?

The big three tool manufacturers have hit the summer of 2017 running with cordless string trimmers, blowers, hedge trimmers and even chainsaws that operate on the same batteries you have in the shop or on the job.

Banking on the more power is better philosophy; these cordless yard machines are delivered with large capacity battery packs. The same batteries running high demand tools like right angle drills, rotary hammers and saws.

Whether you’re tired of finicky small engines or have better things to do with your time than make that last minute run to the gas station just so you can mix up a gallon or two to trim out the yard, these tools are definitely worth looking twice at.

Here is a quick rundown of my own experience with the Dewalt 60V, Milwaukee 18V and Makita 36V OPE. Watch for additional reviews as more tools are arriving weekly here at The Hub.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL String Trimmer

New product/tool design engineers are always tasked with designing the next best thing, the fastest or most powerful tool that will turn heads and ring in sales. One guiding principle in design is the “KISS” method. Standing for “keep it simple stupid” but it’s not necessarily a negative connotation in the final production model of the M18 string trimmer.

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 1.01.19 AMWith a simple safety locking throttle trigger, high/low speed selection and a single 9.0Ah battery pack this trimmer is as simple as it gets. Oh yeah, and its extremely powerful. The 14”-16” cutting swath and straight shaft are perfect for clearing thick overgrowth or manicuring your 9th hole-like lawn.

I only wish my video turned out a little better but you’ll have to take my word for it, this 18V tool is a beast when considering power and runtime. You’ll want to have a 9.0Ah battery but you’ll only need one to finish your yard. I trim about an acre and can complete the job on about 2 bars.


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Dewalt 60V MAX String Trimmer If you’re familiar with the new FLEXVOLT tool lineup from Dewalt then take a look at this trimmer. Running on a single 60V 3Ah FLEXVOLT battery, this cordless trimmer has a ton of power upfront and decent battery runtime. Motor placement is different than all the others in this category in that it’s placed directly at the head/end above the line spool. Like the other two here the 60V MAX uses full-sized trimmer line, which absolutely rocks when comparing these trimmers to early models of electric/cordless trimmers. I have run this trimmer thru some pretty tough paces and have been thoroughly impressed with its power. I’m a little concerned with the amount of debris buildup on the motor housing but I believe most of that is from using it to clear heavy overgrowth in the field out back. Typical yard usage would likely not cause such buildup and therefor not pose a problem to the motor itself.

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Makita 36V String Trimmer

If you’ve got a couple Makita 5Ah batteries and enjoy a tool truly designed with the user in mind then look no further.
The Makita XRU09 string trimmer has an outer rotor brushless motor direct drive system which provides for high power and high torque. The engineers included nearly all the bells with this one giving it two speeds and even reverse. You might be wondering “why reverse” and the answer is simple really. When clearing tall grass or weeds in heavy overgrowth areas the head of any trimmer will likely be wrapped up over time; the reverse rotation setting allows for quick clearing of the trimmer head and in my opinion that simple genius in design. They added a switch and circuitry to run the motor backwards for a short duration, why didn’t the others do that? I personally like the ergonomics of this trimmer best. Its also smoother and powerful enough to handle all my trimming needs over nearly and acre of yard and landscaping. Videos are still in the making.

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