July 11, 2012

Black and Decker 24V String Trimmer = Meh

I've owned a bunch of string-trimmers over the years, too many of which were sub-standard. When a cheap string trimmer goes south, the tendency is to go out and purchase another inexpensive unit. I fell into that trap too many times ... until the one year when I had a couple of extra bucks in my pocket and I invested in a Stihl. Spring after spring, I'd haul the Stihl out of the shed and it would start without a hitch.

That orange beauty lasted for quite some time before it refused to kick over. Faced with the reality of shop time and an overgrown lawn, I got suckered into buying a Black and Decker 24V cordless electric unit.

It was great for the first ten minutes or so ...

I quickly learned that the B&D battery pack wasn't good for much more than that. After twelve minutes of furious weed whacking, the electricity had left the building, along with Elvis. Worse yet, a recharge took an entire day. Still enamored with the idea of getting the work done without gasoline and premix, I ventured out to the big box store to pick up a second battery.

The two battery strategy served me well ... for a while.

Today, while trimming the front walk, the motor came to a compete halt shortly after switching to the second battery. Pull the trigger, and nothing.

I let the electric trimmer sit for half an hour, before giving it another shot. The string limped about in super slow motion. It didn't appear that the battery was dead ... more like the motor had been cooked. After doubling down with the investment in the second battery, the electric trimmer looks like it may be destined for the pile of discarded weed wackers.

I'm bummed, not just because of the money I've thrown at the thing, but of the fact that I took a risk on this. I wanted it to work, and work well, in the worst way. Noisy smelly gasoline-powered string trimmers get the job done, but they're nasty to use. Now I love the beautiful roar of a powerful engine ... but the whining drone of a two-stroke gas trimmer is anything but beautiful. Especially when it's so close to your ears.

Hearing protection, you say? You'll have to speak up, sonny ...

One day, a reputable manufacturer will offer a well-built, rough-and-tough electric string trimmer that can deal with the challenges of a slightly overgrown acre, without busting the bank. Or busting, altogether. Sadly, this 24 Volt Black and Decker unit isn't it.

Posted by geekbooks at July 11, 2012 01:04 PM


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