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String trimmers?
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Thorzdad
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Apr 13, 2021, 07:15 PM
 
Anyone have a recommendation on a good cordless electric string trimmer? My old gas trimmer has become an enormous PITA to start/run and I’d like to part ways with it.
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reader50
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Apr 13, 2021, 07:36 PM
 
Do you have a set of cordless tools? If so, getting a matching whacker means you have a unified battery system. And might not have to buy more batteries at all.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Apr 13, 2021, 09:22 PM
 
The only other cordless tool I have is an old Craftsman drill. It has two 19.2V batteries. I haven’t checked, but I doubt they’re compatible with a new trimmer.
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ShortcutToMoncton
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Apr 13, 2021, 10:13 PM
 
Being honest, I haven’t yet gotten on the bandwagon with electric power tools. Gas is still so much more powerful and no need to worry about charging batteries. You do need to do basic gas-motor maintenance which I find that a lot of city folks don’t do.
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andi*pandi
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Apr 13, 2021, 11:04 PM
 
We have a new EGO electric lawnmower and I have been eyeing a matching leaf blower or power trimmer. We currently have an old electric black and decker cordless trimmer whose charging cable got... mangled, and an old black and decker corded leaf blower that is still working despite 15+ years of abuse.

The new lawnmower is spiffy and I like that we can swap out the battery packs, or have one charging station (indoors where animals etc cannot bother the cables). It has power assist for our small hill and we can do our yard within the ~hour battery life.
https://egopowerplus.com/power-mowers/
https://egopowerplus.com/power-string-trimmers/

woah.
https://egopowerplus.com/multi-head/
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Apr 14, 2021, 08:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Being honest, I haven’t yet gotten on the bandwagon with electric power tools. Gas is still so much more powerful and no need to worry about charging batteries. You do need to do basic gas-motor maintenance which I find that a lot of city folks don’t do.
The gas trimmer I have was always finicky to start, even when new. Now, though, it's just a real PITA to get going, no matter how well I've maintained it. Add to that, I have a bum shoulder that doesn't react well to pulling the cord over and over and over.

Remembering to charge a battery isn't really a thing for me. And not having to mix and keep a separate can of gas/oil mix laying around would be nice. Being free of the noise and vibration of the thing would be nice, too.

I only use the trimmer to trim the grass after mowing, and not even every time I mow. It's a very small lot, too. It takes me maybe 15 minutes to mow, if I dawdle. Trimming probably just as long.
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Laminar
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Apr 14, 2021, 10:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Being honest, I haven’t yet gotten on the bandwagon with electric power tools. Gas is still so much more powerful and no need to worry about charging batteries. You do need to do basic gas-motor maintenance which I find that a lot of city folks don’t do.
I've always had gas trimmers but my next one will be electric for sure. Keeping a battery charged is waaaay less work than oil changes, spark plug changes, premixing fuel and oil, winterizing, dealing with rotted fuel lines, yanking the cord a billion times to get it to start, etc. And the latest round of 40+V tools will be just as powerful for the basic homeowner as anything less than contractor-grade gas equipment.
     
ghporter
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Apr 14, 2021, 12:24 PM
 
I have corded equipment: mower, trimmer and blower. And a little chain saw to discourage those nasty “grow into your fence and damage it” tree things from the other side of my property line.

I’ve avoided battery powered equipment like this because - when I went for the corded devices - the battery technology wasn’t up to what I felt my needs were. Now that you can find 20v and even higher battery-powered equipment, that’s a different matter.

I agree that, if you go this way you should make sure all your yard equipment uses compatible batteries. That will let you rotate batteries among devices and even the usage.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
MacNNFamous
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Apr 14, 2021, 01:26 PM
 
Go to home depot and pick up the Ryobi cordless trimmer, should be about $60-70 with a charger and battery. I have Milwaukee everything but their trimmer is expensive AF, and wasn't released when I bought the Ryobi. Run time is pretty amazing, I have a big place. Works great.
     
Laminar
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Apr 14, 2021, 02:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacNNFamous View Post
Go to home depot and pick up the Ryobi cordless trimmer, should be about $60-70 with a charger and battery. I have Milwaukee everything but their trimmer is expensive AF, and wasn't released when I bought the Ryobi. Run time is pretty amazing, I have a big place. Works great.
18V or 40V?
     
MacNNFamous
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Apr 14, 2021, 03:18 PM
 
idk, it's tiny, so probably 18? Honestly super impressed with it. Also picked up a Ryobi pole saw thing, so now I have two batteries and two chargers. For the money, they are good tools.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Apr 14, 2021, 10:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I've always had gas trimmers but my next one will be electric for sure. Keeping a battery charged is waaaay less work than oil changes, spark plug changes, premixing fuel and oil, winterizing, dealing with rotted fuel lines, yanking the cord a billion times to get it to start, etc. And the latest round of 40+V tools will be just as powerful for the basic homeowner as anything less than contractor-grade gas equipment.
Yeah I’ve always gone for the 4-stroke Honda stuff so a bit less maintenance. I dunno, my lawnmower is 10 years old and just started second pull today after the 6-month winter storage and I’ve never done anything except a regular clean, occasional oil and run it dry every fall. I don’t anticipate throwing it out in the next 25 years and there certainly doesn’t seem to be anything electric you can say that about at the moment.

The noise is definitely less pleasant though.
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Face Ache
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Apr 14, 2021, 10:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacNNFamous View Post
Go to home depot and pick up the Ryobi cordless trimmer, should be about $60-70 with a charger and battery. I have Milwaukee everything but their trimmer is expensive AF, and wasn't released when I bought the Ryobi. Run time is pretty amazing, I have a big place. Works great.
Seconded. I used a petrol Stihl trimmer for years but the damned thing never really worked as well as it should have. Bought this a few months back. Cheap. Hassle free. Easy to load.

     
MacNNFamous
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Apr 15, 2021, 12:47 AM
 
^ that thing is way, way, way overkill unless you have a huge yard imho. I live in the woods and have a self propelled push mower sized yard, and then another lower yard, and one tiny little battery will do the perimeter of my house, perimeter of the yard, perimeter of the lower yard, and the culvert/front edge of the property. It's insane.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 15, 2021, 04:31 AM
 
It took me way too long to realise that this wasn't some weird guitar-player voodoo tool thread.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Apr 15, 2021, 07:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Face Ache View Post
Seconded. I used a petrol Stihl trimmer for years but the damned thing never really worked as well as it should have. Bought this a few months back. Cheap. Hassle free. Easy to load.

Got a model number on that? I'm seeing 18 and 40V Ryobis, but no 36V model. Also, please define "cheap." The Ryobi models bigger than 18V I can find that include brushless motors and the battery and charger are north of $200.
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Laminar
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Apr 15, 2021, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by MacNNFamous View Post
^ that thing is way, way, way overkill unless you have a huge yard imho. I live in the woods and have a self propelled push mower sized yard, and then another lower yard, and one tiny little battery will do the perimeter of my house, perimeter of the yard, perimeter of the lower yard, and the culvert/front edge of the property. It's insane.
I can see the 40V version being useful if you want to use the edging attachment or to use the same battery system for a blower or chainsaw.
     
Laminar
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Apr 15, 2021, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Got a model number on that? I'm seeing 18 and 40V Ryobis, but no 36V model.
Maybe it's outside of the US? I see them listed for Australia and NZ.
     
reader50
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Apr 15, 2021, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
I'm seeing 18 and 40V Ryobis, but no 36V model.
Note that with cordless tool batteries, 18v and 20v are the same. Likewise for 36v and 40v.

The higher numbers come from measuring the open-circuit voltage. Once some load is added, it drops to the lower value. I'm not sure if truth-in-advertising favors one over the other. The lower values are nominal, while the higher values are unrealistic.
( Last edited by reader50; Apr 15, 2021 at 04:13 PM. Reason: added link)
     
el chupacabra
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Apr 17, 2021, 12:21 AM
 
Ryobi is the best string trimmer. It can handle more than the dewalt, or Milwaukee (despite them being the same company). Even cuts light brush w the blade attachment. Can also cut vines and tall grass without getting tangled up like the dewalt. There’s 2 40v models, one’s brushless ($200) one’s not ($150?). Brushless has more power, more energy efficient, but requires some kinda computer board to operate which can be difficult to fix if it breaks. Brushed motors easier to fix.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Apr 18, 2021, 03:37 PM
 
Thanks all! I decided on an EGO trimmer. I got last year’s model. It was substantially lower in price from the newer model. It doesn’t have the trick automated string loading or carbon fiber shaft of the new model, but has the same brushless motor and battery system.
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reader50
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Apr 18, 2021, 05:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
It doesn’t have the trick automated string loading ...
Based on my experience, you aren't missing anything here.

I've run into one string easy-load system so far. On a corded Ryobi. Don't see how it could work reliably, so I've disassembled the head each time to reload manually.

It was a factory refurb model, heavily discounted. My theory is the auto-load feature prompted a ton of returns. Hence the low price.
     
ghporter
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Apr 19, 2021, 12:17 PM
 
Reloading string spools is the hardest part of string trimmer maintenance. That being said, there are a few trimmers that take a little “influencing” to get the string where it’s supposed to be. The first couple of times, anyway.

My trimmer does occasionally have jams with the “tap and go” feed button, but that’s almost always because the spool is getting low. Otherwise, it just keeps going.

So a “self loading” trimmer seems to me to be about on a par with those “anti-lost” straps for Air Pods. Nice idea, but....

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Apr 19, 2021, 04:04 PM
 
Even the manual reload on this EGO trimmer is crazy simple compared to my gas trimmer. You just thread the string through one feed hole and out through the other one until there’s an equal length out of each hole, then you just push in on the bump-head and turn. Done.
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shifuimam
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May 6, 2021, 12:57 PM
 
Beware the lifespan of EGO batteries though. We've had two crap out since we bought into the ecosystem about six or seven years ago. Batteries are pricey, too. My plan is to buy cells and refurb the ones we have. I haven't really looked into it yet.

For a really solid trimmer that can do anything, you can't go wrong with Stihl. I know you already bought, but in the event you find yourself needing something beefier, check them out - TrueValue, Ace, and Do-It Best are frequently Stihl dealers. Ours can take blades as well as strings, for cutting through tougher stuff.
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ShortcutToMoncton
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Yesterday, 12:56 PM
 
Does Stihl make electric equipment now? I used to have one of their gas-powered trimmers and it was a real beast. But I think it was a two-stroke and most urban folk now aren’t interested in mixing fuel for example. The four-stroke Honda one I have now is far easier in that regard (and a bit quieter too).
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MacNNFamous
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Yesterday, 01:33 PM
 
Yes.

Also, I did work for Echo in 2013 or so, and redesigned all their grips/touch points. Sketches are hanging up on the wall behind me.

https://amzn.to/3f5uywX

Didn't touch the engine or the trimmer head.
     
   
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