In general there’s been a big difference between electric weed eaters and gas-powered ones. Light weight electric models for small jobs, big gas weed wackers for the pros…
Black & Decker, a brand famous for their quality electric weed eaters, claim to be changing all that with their Black & Decker NST2036 Heavy-Duty 36-Volt Cordless Electric String Trimmer.
It certainly looks the part – at first glance you might not realize it’s an electric weed eater (unless it was running of course). It’s a big, solid-looking beast and no lightweight at nearly 12 pounds. Having said that, many of it’s gas-powered rivals are considerably heavier so it’s not over weight.
The other big advantage is that it’s cordless. A 36 volt battery supplies the power so there’s no cable trailing around after you. No gas means no pollution, and in fact the Black & Decker NST2036 is the first weed eater in its class to be given the EPA’s Energy Star award for its charging system.
What about performance? If you’re going to compete with the established names, you’re going to have to put in a shift!
Well it has a 14″ cut path, which is certainly competitive. It uses dual .080-inch lines so you’re not going to be changing them every 5 minutes. There’s a patented gear drive to provide the kind of torque a professional needs.
One concern has got to be the actual life of a battery – after all, with a gas weed wacker you just refill the tank. Reports I’ve read suggest it lasts anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour when used hard. That’s not at all bad, certainly acceptable for most home users. Whether gardening or lawn care professionals would find that acceptable is another question. You could always buy another battery, but 36 volt Lithium Ion’s aren’t cheap.
Overall I think this is probably a good option for those with a biggish yard – an area of up to maybe half an acre – and tough jobs to do in it from time to time. It will definitely handle serious chores. If you want to “go green” you now have a viable alternative, but if you wack weeds for a living you’ll probably stick with gas weed eaters. Full details here.