I’ve used a big and bulky gas powered weed eater for years now, and while it gets the job done, I’m the only one that can get it started. The kids and my girlfriend either don’t understand the concept of “Choke”, or they just can’t pull the cord right – either way, it’s me that ends up being the one running the trimmer. When the rep from Homelite sent me a battery operated RYOBI trimmer (Homelite actually makes the RYOBI branded outdoor tools), I didn’t know what to expect.
I was understandably leery about using a battery operated trimmer – the main worry that I had was that the battery would die out mid way through doing the job. Well that fear was squashed during my first run with it – now I don’t have acres upon acres of land, but for living in the city my front and back yard are considered quite large. I was able to trim my entire yard – roughly 45 minutes of run time – on one charge. When I pushed the button on the back of the battery, I had one bar left – so a normal charge lasts just over 45 minutes (maybe you could push an hour, but I didn’t dry-run it to see).
The fact that the battery is 24V is also really nice – I’ve used an 18V trimmer at a friend’s house before, and it’s torque was so low it was comical. With this 24V powerhouse, you don’t have anything to worry about in that regard – there’s a small area on the side of my house I always forget to do until it’s really overgrown; I’m talking vines climbing up the house, and weeds that start to look like trees. Normally I have to get my large hedge shears to get some of the growth, but the RYOBI 24V Trimmer ripped through everything without fail.
The RYOBI 24V Trimmer also includes a very nice one hour charger, which is great if you have a larger yard. No more getting a job half done, and then waiting hours on your batter to get it’s charge back. The only thing I don’t like about the battery is that it’s pretty heavy, and it throws the balance of the trimmer off a bit when it’s on. That’s par for the course though with big batteries, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. While the balance might be a bit off when the battery is attached, it’s not any worse than most gas trimmers with a full tank – maybe a small weight could be added to the front to help with that. After using it for a bit however, you won’t even notice the weight.
Another nice little feature, is that by pulling a lever at the base, you can change it from a standard trimmer to an edged (complete with wheel!). While I never used an edger before (I could never justify paying for what was essentially a specialized trimmer), I find myself using it a good bit now that it’s available. The handle in the middle of the trimmer is also completely adjustable, which is great because different people like to hold tools differently.
Storage for the RYOBI 24V Trimmer is a breeze as well, as it splits into two pieces. While it’s not quite in the middle, it is enough to make sure that if you have limited storage space, this won’t take up all of it. Something else that is a really great little feature, is the auto line feed. No more tapping a trimmer to get more line when it wears down, the RYOBI 24V Trimmer feeds it out on it’s own so you don’t have to worry about it.
The best part about it all to me though? The fact that now I have help with doing some of the yard work. It’s so effortless to use that all the kids use it – and they don’t mind because it really is SO easy. I give the RYOBI 24V Trimmer a score of five stars out of five – for larger yards you may want to stick with a gas trimmer, but for everything else this works great. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get away from a gas trimmer (and with the price of gas being so high, who hasn’t), this is a very affordable way to go.
- Auto line feed is great
- One hour battery charge
- Battery lasts long enough for small and medium sized yards
- You’ll need to take a break to recharge with larger yards
- A bit out of balance with battery attached
- A little on the heavy side
You can pick up the RYOBI 24V Trimmer from The Home Depot for $159.00.