Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: Earthwise LST10012 12-Inch 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger

I've been through 2 gas trimmers in the last 3 years, so I figured I didn't have much to lose by trying a cordless electric trimmer. I ordered it on a Friday afternoon and got it the following Monday- not bad at all.
Earthwise LST10012 12-Inch 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger Next To My Husky Toolbox
I also needed one pronto, but I didn't want to play roulette from the local hardware stores. So, I decided to research some reviews and ultimately purchased my Earthwise trimmer  from Amazon.

Product Description


This is a 18 volt Lithim-ion cordless trimmer which uses .065 string. Even though it has a fairly beefy size battery, the unit as a whole is very light. It comes with a guard and its smallish spool full of string. The shaft is telescoping so it can be adjusted to the height of the operator. I'm just shy of 6 foot and it's the perfect length adjusted all the way out.

Official Specs


  • 18 V / 2.6 AH Li-ion Battery
  • Auto Single Feed .065 Line
  • Edging Function / Rotating Upper Handle
  • 3 Position Adjustable Cutting Head Angles (0- 30-Degree - 45-Degree )
  • Adjustable Handle -Telescopic


Build Quality


Earthwise LST10012 12-Inch 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger - Battery And Charger
Overall, good. The string spool cover feels very cheap, and I am concerned about how it will hold up. But the rest of the unit is fine, and I would say the build quality is above average in every other respect. The shaft length adjustment point feels solid, and the main grip / trigger area feels especially solid.

The battery also has a solid lockup with the rest of the unit, and I don't get the impression it's going to ever fall out on its own. With the battery in, the unit as a whole is well-balanced, giving this trimmer a great overall feel.

Usability


My little Earthwise trimmer has already seen lots of action. My house sits on a half acre and has lots of grass, plants and trees of various sizes. I was concerned I wouldn't get the battery life, but this will go a half hour, easy. When it does finally go dead, it just kind of stops, so you won't get much warning.

Earthwise LST10012 12-Inch 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger - Closeup Of Handle
This is my first electric trimmer. I knew it would be a little under-powered, and uh, it's a little under-powered. But only by a little bit. And once I adjusted how I use it, I get the same results as a more powerful trimmer. What I do is just keep the string shorter than I would with a gas trimmer. That's it. That's the secret.

...which brings up my main gripe with this model. It has a feature where if you stop it and start it, the string gets auto-advanced. Which is great except for stopping it and starting it is a huge benefit that I never got with the gas powered models. And I run it without the guard, which automatically keeps the string trimmed to its max. So, the best solution is to carry a small pair of wire cutters and just cut the excess when it gets too long.

One thing that really stands out with this model is the great edging capabilities. The head tilts at the perfect angle to edge, and for whatever reason I get a much better edge with this one than I ever did with a gas model. Maybe it's lighter and more precise. Maybe it's the slightly higher RPM than the gas models. Whatever it is, I am getting a superior edge on my lawn, and this more than makes up for it being a little under-powered.

Conclusions


Someone told me: "Don't buy the 18 volt unit, because it will suck. Buy the 40 volt model." But I just wasn't ready to spend that on technology I've never used before, and hey, this model got some of the best reviews
even compared to more powerful units.

Earthwise LST10012 12-Inch 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger - Closeup Of Battery And Charger
I'm glad I purchased this, because it's so light and low maintenance that it's an absolute joy to use compared to a gas powered trimmer. The little bit of power I lost is a small price to pay for all the other benefits. It's a little bit of a hassle to carry around a small pair of wire cutters, but without the guard installed, I just power right through any job with this thing.

With the auto string advance feature, this thing goes through about three times more string than my last model. But that's OK because the string is cheap, and the spool is easier to wind (though smaller) than most gas models I've owned.

While a more powerful model would someday be nice, I'm not sure I'd want that power to come at the price of more weight. This Earthwise trimmer doesn't seem to weigh more than my DeWalt drill. I've already used it on some tough jobs and wouldn't trade it for my last gas powered Weedeater model, which died a horrible death. I'm not going back to gas, and I'm not going any heavier. This Earthwise model might be the sweet spot for me, as long as it holds up.

Gallery

Earthwise LST10012 12-Inch 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger - In Box



Earthwise LST10012 12-Inch 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger - Out Of Box
Earthwise LST10012 12-Inch 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger - Closeup Of Battery Holder In Handle

Earthwise LST10012 12-Inch 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger - Closeup Of Telescoping Adjustments

Earthwise LST10012 12-Inch 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric String Trimmer/Edger - Closeup Of  Second Handle

1 comment:

  1. We have had one for a year and were very pleased with it, BUT, you are right about the spool cover. Ours disappeared when being used. It was never found and is very difficult to find replacement.

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