Makita 18V X2 (36V) LXT Brushless Cordless String Trimmer XRU09Z XRU09PT Review
In this review we will take a look at Makita’s 18V X2 (36V) LXT Brushless Cordless String Trimmer XRU09PT. This will be a series of Makita X2 OPE reviews starting with this string trimmer and following with the X2 Brushless Blower XBU02Z. and X2 Brushless 14″ Chainsaw XCU03PT.
Makita is no stranger to outdoor power equipment with extensive coverage in gasoline, electric and battery powered lawn tools. Battery powered OPE has been very popular in recent years and this trend will continue to grow as users move away from gas powered units to battery powered units. Earlier battery powered OPE from several years ago were low on power and runtime but with many improvements in battery capacity and brushless motors many battery powered tools can now compete head to head with gasoline tools. Makita also pioneered the use of using two battery packs together to double voltage with their X2 line which gives 18V users the opportunity to tap into 36 volt performance. Yes all Makita X2 power tools are actually 36 volt machines but while giving you the flexibility of using their popular 18V batteries. This means users can get more performance without having to switch to a different battery platform. As with all Makita X2 power tools, even though they are actually 36 volt tools, they are still part of the 18 volt family since they use 18V batteries but two at a time to achieve the extra performance.
Battery Powered OPE Pros and Cons
What’s great about battery powered OPE (from any brand) is that unlike gasoline engine equipment you don’t need to buy and refill gasoline, you don’t have to mix oil, no tune ups, no fumes, no priming and no pulling strings. Battery powered tools are ready to go at all times with a freshly charged battery and have push button starting and are generally quieter than their gasoline engine counterparts. The downsides of battery powered tools are that they are generally more expensive than gas powered tools however their have come down a lot over the years and are more affordable than ever. Replacement batteries can be expensive but they have long lifespan. When a battery runs out of juice it means the work is over even if the job is not done until the battery charges fully again unless you have extra batteries on hand.
Makita was kind enough to provide the X2 Brushless String Trimmer XRU09, X2 Brushless Blower XBU02Z, and X2 Brushless 14″ Chainsaw XCU03PT at no cost for review. However as with all my reviews, I am not paid, sponsored, or obligated to give a positive review. This review is my opinion of the product based on my usage and knowledge and my review will reflect what I like and dislike about the said product. I will do my best to provide you with an unbiased review.
Features and Specs:
Before we get into the hands on review, lets first take a look at the Makita XRU09PT 18V X2 (36V) LXT Brushless Cordless String Trimmer’s features and specifications list.
- Delivers up to 60 minutes of run time under load on the low speed setting using two 18V LXT 5.0Ah BL1850 batteries
- 2-speed options (Low: 5,000 RPM, High: 6,500 RPM) allows the operator to match speed to application
- Bump and Feed trimmer head rotates the same counterclockwise direction as professional grade trimmers
- Makita-built Outer Rotor BL Brushless Motor direct-drive system provides high power and increased torque
- Accepts industry standard spindles M10x1.25 LH for more convenience
- Zero emissions and reduced maintenance; no need for gas or oil
- Reverse (clockwise) rotation system allows operator to quickly clear trimmer head of entangled grass and weeds
- Constant Speed Control minimizes reduction in rotation speed under load
- Direct-drive motor mounted directly on the trimmer head for increased efficiency and improved tool balance
- Efficient BL Brushless motor is electronically controlled to optimize battery energy use for up to 50% longer run time per charge
- The BL Brushless Motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL Motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
- 13-3/4″ cutting swath for user convenience
- Weighs only 9.9 lbs. with batteries for reduced operator fatigue
- BL Brushless motor delivers up to 6,500 RPM for faster cutting
- Extreme Protection Technology (XPT is engineered for improved dust and water resistance for operation in harsh job site conditions
- Electric brake for maximum productivity
- 3-stage L.E.D. gauge indicates battery charge level
- 18V LXT Lithium-Ion 5.0Ah battery BL1850B features an integrated L.E.D. battery charge level indicator
- 18V LXT Lithium-Ion 5.0Ah battery BL1850B provides up to 65% more run time per charge compared to 3.0Ah battery BL1830
- Rapid Optimum Charger has a built-in fan to cool the battery for faster, more efficient charging
- 18V LXT Lithium-Ion 5.0Ah battery BL1850B reaches a full charge in 45 minutes or less
- Dual Port Charger charges two (2) 18V LXT Lithium-Ion 5.0Ah batteries in only 45 minutes
- Dual Port Charger features a built-in USB port for charging portable electronic devices
- Equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls to protect against overloading, over-discharging and over-heating
- Compatible with Makita 18V Lithium-Ion batteries with a Star symbol
- 3-year limited warranty on tool, battery and charger
- Only use genuine Makita batteries and chargers
- Under Load: 13-3/4” cutting swath with.080″ nylon line, approximate run time will vary according to grass conditions
Being a 36 volt tool this Makita X2 string trimmer gets a performance bump from their regular 18V string trimmers. The added power gives this string trimmer the ability to have a 13-3/4 inch cutting swath and the power to run double 0.080″ lines. The line is easy to replace and I did have to replace the included line very quickly because they didn’t include much line so I ran out very quickly. I replaced it with Echo 0.095″ cross fire line which is what I have in stock and it worked just fine even though this string trimmer is rated for use with thinner 0.080″ line. I’ll go into more detail in the performance section of the review further below regarding the use of the thicker line. The head is a bump feed head and was very responsive and never had an issue with bump feeding new line, something I couldn’t say with the Milwaukee M18 Fuel string trimmer I recently reviewed. Attached to the head is a rear facing guard to protect the user from debris flying back at you. The guard is not the largest I’ve seen but larger than the one found on DeWALT’s 20V and Milwakee’s 18V string trimmers. which gives you added protection than those models do.
The shaft of the Makita X2 string trimmer is light and one piece which means that you won’t have to assemble the shaft when you unbox it. You still have to install the guard as is the case with most string trimmers but what was strange on this model is that you must also assemble the part of the trimmer that holds the line and bump feed system onto the head itself. It sounds complicated but isn’t and the instructions make this part very simple to install.
The top portion of the head has the BL initials which stands for brushless motor. At first I thought the motor was head mounted as the head itself is large enough you would believe there is a motor inside but I believe the motor itself is at the other end of the tool near the batteries. I believe this is true because there are vents near the battery holder section where you can clearly hear the motor revving when running and you can feel the the shaft transferring power to the head itself.
For the longest time Makita was stubborn to update their batteries with built in fuel gauges and even though all their new batteries now include fuel gauges built in, this tool has a built in double fuel gauge to check remaining battery charge for each battery which is good for those still running old packs without fuel gauges. And like all string trimmers, this one also comes equipped with a second handle to be able to hold with both hands. The second handle also requires installation before use. The second handle material is plastic with a texture on it to give you a better grip although not as comfy as a foam or rubber coated handle like it’s competition.
Makita’s competitors DeWALT and Milwaukee both have dual speeds on their string trimmers and Makita also does the same with this string trimmer but they go above and beyond with their onboard controls. This machine has a display panel with a button to power on/off the unit and select from the two speeds with visual confirmation of what speed setting you are on. With a rabbit icon for high speed and turtle icon for speed low speed. It also has a reverse mode with it’s own separate button and LED light.
I’m accustomed to string trimmers that run clockwise and when I tried this unit out of the box and found out it’s running the string counter-clockwise I was happy to learn that I could reverse the direction of the line but boy was I disappointed after trying out the reverse feature at first. I was disappointed because after selecting the reverse mode the trimmer only ran in reverse for about 2-3 seconds and cuts out automatically, even if you hold the trigger longer than that it still cut’s out. I thought this was strange and basically a useless feature, that is until I learned that the reverse mode is not to cut grass in a clockwise direction but instead this reverse feature is to loosen and remove anything that could get wound up in the cutting head like vines and such. After testing this out on a vine that got caught in the head I was immediately mind blown as it works just as advertised! Why haven’t other brands included this feature before?
While all the gizmos, features and tech would excite a gadget geek like myself, I was disappointed in the fact that the trigger is not a variable speed trigger like all the other string trimmers I’ve tried in the past. This means that a trigger press means it runs at full speed all the time, for it’s given speed setting of course. Sure it’s nice that it has two speeds to choose between full performance or battery savings but I still like to run my string trimmers at less than peak performance because you don’t need full blast all the time. I adjust the speed of my string trimmers to suit the cutting needs but I just can’t do that with this Makita model as it’s either on or off, full blast or inactive.
I also don’t understand why Makita decided to add a power on/off function into this machine. I get that it was done for safety reasons and I’m all for that but at the same time this string trimmer already has a safety button you must press before the trigger engages – just like all other cordless string trimmers I’ve tried. Basically you have two safety features and it’s more of an annoyance than anything as you wont understand why the string trimmer isn’t running when you press the trigger until you realize you have to turn it on before you use it. Luckily when you power the unit on, it stays on for several minutes so you can just pick it up and use it without having to press a power button each time you use it besides the safety button and the trigger. You can then turn it off when you’re done or it will power off on it’s own after several minutes of inactivity.
Since this tool uses two 18V batteries together to operate, and yes they must both be installed to run, it would become a hassle to have to charge two batteries separately. It would but if you buy this string trimmer as a kit it comes with a dual charger that charges both batteries at a time so you wont have to hassle with charging them separately. The dual charger is just as fast as all other Makita chargers and it charges both 5.0 ah batteries in 45 minutes which is pretty fast.
Before I move on to it’s performance I wanted to talk about pricing as pricing is equally as important as specs and features. If you guys read my recent Milwaukee M18 Fuel outdoor equipment reviews you know those were more expensive than their competition – even more than higher voltage higher performing tools. Makita follows this trend but beats Milwaukee with an even more expensive string trimmer. This Makita X2 string trimmer is priced at 249 as a baretool and if you want it as a kit it will run you nearly four bills at 394.78. Makita treats the pricing of this string trimmer as if it was another power tool and that would be fine but when you factor in the fact and reality that better spec’d and higher voltage string trimmers from other brands can be had for less than this string trimmers price as a baretool, it just doesn’t make sense from a budget standpoint. For example, you can get an Ego 56V string trimmer kit with 2.5 ah battery and charger for 199. The Ego being a higher voltage tool, you get a larger 15 inch cutting swath and it’s designed to run dual 0.095 inch line so on paper it has slightly better specs than Makita’s X2 string trimmer but for half the price. You might think to yourself: “well the Ego is cheaper because it comes with one smaller 2.5 ah battery while the Makita comes with two larger 5.0 ah batteries. That’s why the Makita is more expensive because it comes bundled with more batteries.” That might make sense but 56V batteries use more cells than 18V batteries and can actually be larger in capacity than 18V batteries. To figure this out we have to look at watt hours which is the universal way to compare batteries of any given voltage and amp hour rating. The watt hour formula is simple, you simply multiply the voltage by the amp hours to get watt hours (V x Ah = wh). So an Ego 56 volt 2.5 ah battery is 140 wh while a single Makita 18v 5.0 ah battery is 90 wh. This means that one Makita 18V 5.0 is in fact smaller than a 56V 2.5 ah battery by 50 less watt hours. But since Makita’s X2 string trimmer comes with two batteries, it makes the total combined watt hours 180 wh. Having more watt hours than it’s competition would justify a price increase yes but having only 40 wh more doesn’t justify double the price in my opinion.
I’ve tried out Makita’s original X2 circular saw before and boy was it impressive because of the added power you get from 36V tools. Just like the original X2 circular saw had better performance than 18 volt saws at the time, this Makita X2 string trimmer also has better performance than typical 18V string trimmers. In fact it’s performance is on par with the higher voltage 56V string trimmer from Ego that I reviewed before. That’s saying a lot considering this Makita X2 has less volts being a 36 volt tool so I was easily impressed by it’s top end performance. Running full speed on the Makita X2 was seemingly similar in power as the Ego 56V model when I installed the larger 0.095″ line on the Makita – more on that below.
Out of the box the Makita is fitted with 0.080 line, nothing fancy at all and it worked pretty good and strong but as soon as I replaced it with the larger Echo 0.095″ line it had a slight performance bump which made it on par with the Ego. I know the Makita is said to use thinner 0.080″ line but so far to this day it has no issues using the slightly thicker line, if anything it seems to cut better. Even the runtime remains good at a total combined runtime of 46 minutes and 37 seconds. Makita claims you can get up to 60 minutes of runtime and I got nearly that with mostly slow speed cutting and a few minutes of high speed cutting. I’ll break down the total in a bullet list below.
Going back to it’s performance, at full speed it can shred thick and tall grass in a speedy manner and even thick weeds too. This is exactly what I would expect from a high performance Makita tool.
Slow speed performance is capable and is strong enough for 70 percent of your yard maintenance needs. Sure it’s not as strong as full speed (DUH) as it’s intended for battery savings but it can take care of most of your needs. I included a video that demonstrates cutting at fast and slow speeds and even the slow speed is effective at cutting tall grass as long as it’s not thick sections of grass. If you do get into thick sections of grass the slow speed will easily slow down and if pushed further will bog down to a halt. That’s because the slow speed does not hold torque very well. Compared to the Milwaukee M18 Fuel string trimmer at slow speeds, you can easily tell the difference between the two models at slow speed. While Makita’s model sounds like it’s spinning much faster than the Milwaukee at slow speed, it doesn’t hold up torque like the Milwaukee. This means that on the slow speed on the Makita you have to go slowly as to not bog down the motor while on the other hand you don’t have to go that slow on the Milwaukee because it’s motor has plenty of torque at it’s slower speed to keep up with you. Compared to the Milwaukee M18 Fuel string trimmer at high speed, the two are about the same.
Even though I already mentioned it in the features section, I felt it necessary to repeat myself for those of you that skipped the features section and jumped straight here to the performance section. What I’m talking about is the fact that this string trimmer does not have a variable speed trigger. You either have full power or the unit is off. There is no in between speeds. Sure the 2 speed selector gives you two speed options but even then you still have full speed cutting in turtle mode or full speed cutting in rabbit mode. My point is that you don’t always need full speed in either speed setting and a variable speed trigger would allow you to get even more runtime out of your use by using only the speed necessary to cut. You simply don’t need full speed to maintain your grass on a weekly, or every other week basis. A variable speed trigger is something I use and take advantage of on all the other string trimmers I’ve tried out and was upset this model doesn’t have this feature.
Since the motor is placed near the battery holder, this string trimmer is not heavy in the front. This makes it easy to hold and wield during edging and in my experience it tires your arms less while edging than with front motor string trimmer designs. This is a feature I really appreciate as my arms don’t get tired as quick while edging.
- 39 minutes 33 seconds – Slow speed Turtle mode
- 7 minutes 4 seconds – high speed rabbit mode
- 46 minutes 37 seconds combined total
As you can see in the breakdown above most of the runtime figure was done in the slow speed mode. Slow speed was what I needed most of the time and for the times I needed more power I switched to high speed mode for an additional 7 minutes. I’m sure I could have reached very close to 60 minutes had I ran slow speed all the time but I feel my testing shows more of a real life example. You can of course expect longer runtime if you dont go full blast and get lower runtimes if you use full blast more than I did. I also want to mention that I only count time while the tool is running and not the breaks in between use so as to give you the most accurate runtime figures possible.
- Very strong performance in high speed rabbit mode
- High speed performance on par with Ego’s 56V string trimmer
- 2 speeds for full power or battery savings
- reverse mode for unwinding vines that get stuck in the cutting head
- great runtime at a tested 46 minutes 37 seconds runtime
- slow speed capable for 70% of most needs
- rear mounted motor makes edging less tiring
- on board double battery fuel gauge for checking battery charge
- easy push button start, no more having to pull strings to start
- no fumes or routine maintenance associated with gas motors
- Premium/High price tag is roughly double the price of the competition
- power on/off function is unnecessary and annoying considering it already comes equipped with a safety button
- low torque in slow speed means it’s prone to bogging down in slow speed in medium thick grass
- no variable speed trigger means full speed all the time and wasted energy
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Makita String Trimmers
Makita String Trimmer Attachment with power head and dual charger two 18v LXT 5ah batteries Kit. XUX01M5PT The XUX01M5PT has three-speed options (Low: 4,200 RPM, Medium: 6,000, High: 7,100 RPM) for power management. This OPE features a variable speed.
Makita Edger Trimmer attachment EE400MP
Makita Edger Trimmer attachment. EE400MP Adjustable wheel for quick and easy adjustment to desired cutting depth. Easy attachment connection to power head. A metal skid plate protects the gear housing for increased durability. High visibility blade.
Decrease Quantity of Makita Edger Trimmer attachment EE400MP Increase Quantity of Makita Edger Trimmer attachment EE400MP
Makita String Trimmer Attachment XUX02SM1X1
Makita String Trimmer Attachment with power head and charger 18v LXT 4ah battery Kit. XUX02SM1X1 The lever-style lock system allows for quick toolless installation and replacement of attachments. This OPE counts with a High/Low-speed button with a.
Makita String Trimmer Attachment GUX01JM1X1
Makita String Trimmer Attachment with power head and charger 40v LXT 4ah battery Kit. GUX01JM1X1 Makita-built Brushless Motor delivers power from a 30cc gas string trimmer. This OPE features a three-speed option and a variable speed trigger for power.
The 5 Best Cordless String Trimmers of 2023
After researching 60 different cordless string trimmers, we bought the 9 best models on the market today and tested them head-to-head to find out which ones eat up weeds best. We tested their weed slashing performance in a series of comparative tests, cutting through dense patches of grass and burly weeds, and making precision cuts around obstacles. We also measured how noisy each model is, as well as maximum runtime, plus ergonomics and ease of use. To find out which weed eater cut through the competition, which is your best bet on a budget, and which models will work with your existing cordless tool batteries, check out the rest of the review below.
In addition to string trimmers, our team can be seen in the field testing top-tier cordless leaf blowers and the best cordless lawn mowers, among many other electric tools. We’ve tested over 135 electric power tools over the last several years. This gives us unique insight into performance over an entire line of electric tools, so if you’re enticed by the performance of a Makita string trimmer you can check out how a Makita cordless circular saw or chainsaw stacks up before you commit to a brand and its batteries. Don’t forget, of course, about our curated list of the best tools on the market.
Editor’s Note: We updated this revised on November 21, 2022, sharing more info on our scoring metrics.
Best Overall Cordless String Trimmer
Makita XRU15PT 36V
For the cordless string trimmer that does it all exceptionally well, look no further than the Makita XRU15PT 36V. The amount of strength and ability to manipulate even the most resistant weeds and plants is highly impressive. This machine handles detailed work with ease, helping to straighten lawn edges quickly and effectively. Cycling through the three speed settings enables the user to operate the trimmer at its ideal speed for the job at hand. It’s easy to use and comfortable to wield, thanks to its ergonomic grip. In addition, it has a long runtime and isn’t overly loud compared to some other models.
Considering all the attributes, our complaints with this model are minor. However, they are worth noting. For instance, we had to reference the instructions to figure out how to replace the line after it had run out. Once we did, the process was about as easy as it could be. Although there is more weight to handle on this trimmer, the weight is so well-balanced with the ergonomic grip that we didn’t find it to be an issue. If you want a robust cordless trimmer that can handle all of your weed-eating needs, we wholeheartedly recommend the Makita XRU15PT 36V.
Best Bang for Your Buck
If you’re looking to stretch your dollar with a string trimmer purchase, check out the BlackDecker LST136. We were impressed with this small machine’s abilities as its work stood up to considerably more expensive models that we tested. It’s one of the lightest and easiest to handle, all while running much quieter than some of the top trimmers. The six different operating modes help meet a variety of weed trimming scenarios, and it boasts a healthy runtime.
Unfortunately, this trimmer did get a little overwhelmed when working through very thick weed patches or tough-stemmed plants. It also has one of the larger guards, which can get in the way when making detailed cuts — though it is quite effective at stopping plant and weed debris from getting thrown back at you. Ultimately, if you don’t need a serious beast of a weed-eater, this is one of our favorite budget options for a cordless trimmer.
Another Great Bargain Option
Craftsman V20 Weedwacker
The Craftsman V20 Weedwacker is an excellent, effective tool for keeping your small or medium-sized yard looking great, as well as light-duty brush clearing. It’s lightweight and easy to break out for quick jobs or cleaning up what your mower missed and replacing the spring when it runs out is a simple and easy process. The spool head will receive a lot of abuse as it’s dragged and bumped against the ground, and Craftsman even offers a very affordable replacement.
For bigger jobs where thick grasses and brush have really taken over, the light and relatively quiet V20 Weedwhacker does not have enough power. It does a better job of maintaining the yard rather than transforming it. During testing, the battery life averaged only 35 minutes. Although this isn’t very long, it should suffice for edging along smaller lawns. While the guard effectively shielded us from debris, it was a little too large for detailed work. There are certainly more powerful models with even longer battery life, but we feel this cordless string trimmer is the best choice for the average homeowner on a budget.
Best for Large Areas
If you need to clear large areas of vegetation, then the Husqvarna 115iL is a great option to consider. This string trimmer had one of the longest runtimes of all the products we have tested to date, cutting weeds and plants long after other models needed to stop and recharge. The Husqvarna 115iL also offers a slow and fast mode to provide you with an awesome amount of control, whether cutting around delicate objects or clearing wide swathes of grass. It isn’t particularly loud and supplies a decent amount of power when cutting through tougher plants with thicker stems.
On the downside, the Husqvarna can be a bit more cumbersome to use than some of the other products. It has a shorter neck that forced our testers to stand closer to the cutting head than they would have liked. It can also be a pain to hold vertically. The guard is on the smaller side, which is nice when making precise cuts since it doesn’t obstruct your view, but it’s far less effective at stopping flying debris than other products. Despite these flaws, it’s hard to beat the Husqvarna if you have tons of weeds and plants to clear and don’t want to buy extra batteries to get the job done.
Best for Dense Vegetation
Ego Power STA1500 Attachment
If you need a string trimmer that can handle dense plants and grass without a struggle, then it’s worth checking out the Ego Power STA1500 string trimming attachment for the Ego Power Power Head. It is easily one of the most powerful string trimmers of the group and sliced through dense weeds and tall grass without difficulty. It can clear areas that would have stopped other products dead in their tracks. We also think it’s fairly comfortable to use and a compact way to add a cordless string trimmer to your arsenal if you have the aforementioned Power Head.
However, it can be quite a pricey purchase if you don’t already have the Power Head and this trimmer can feel like it has too much power for average yards. The guard didn’t prevent freshly-cut weeds from getting flung back at us, and precision work can be quite difficult. It’s hard to avoid cutting trenches, and the Ego Power STA1500 can be brutal on things like birdbaths, outdoor lights, or the side of your house if you aren’t careful when using it. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a great option if you need heavy-duty string trimming capabilities and plan to get other Ego cordless tools.
Why You Should Trust Us
To say we put each string trimmer through its paces would be an understatement. We implemented 72 individual tests between the 9 trimmers in the review, running each through the same 8 tests to comparatively assess aspects ranging from weed-eating power to noise levels. This allows us to rank each in accordance with its performance in each metric and make special recommendations for the specific needs of homeowners or anyone looking to improve their yard. We paid retail price for each model to ensure an unbiased assessment of these string trimmers.
Our expert string trimmer testing and review team is lead by Michelle Powell and David Wise. Michelle has made a career of evaluating products side-by-side, comprehensively testing, and scoring the smallest details, and differentiating factors on everything from coffee grinders to cordless power tools. Additionally, she also brings extensive lawn care experience to the table. David has formal training as a mechanical engineer with extensive experience in lithium batteries and electrical power systems, which he gained from working on electric vehicles and underwater robots.
Analysis and Test Results
In total, we conducted a dozen distinct tests that we divided among four weighted rating metrics. Each of these metrics — Weed Eating, Ease of Use, Battery Life, and Noise — are weighted proportional to their importance to overall string trimmer performance. The score for each metric is determined by the performance of each trimmer in the tests composing each metric.
Which Cordless String Trimmer Offers the Better Value?
If you’re shopping for a bargain weed eater, then two models stand out: the BlackDecker LST136 and the Craftsmen V20 Weedwacker. These typically cost about half as much — or even a little less — than our top-scoring model, the Makita XRU15PT, and both are solid string trimmers, costing about the same.
The BlackDecker model is a bit more powerful than the Craftsman, and it also has longer battery life. Deciding between the two will likely come down to the size of your yard. Both are lightweight and great for quick clean-up tasks. While neither is up to snuff for professional operations, both are worthy of consideration for the average homeowner.
Which String Trimmer Cuts Weeds the Best?
Weed-eating performance composes the greatest share of a product’s overall score. To rank and compare the weed eating skills of each string trimmer, we looked at the effectiveness of each model when it came to clearing weeds from an area and how each handled dense and hard-to-cut vegetation, as well as how much precision you have for trimming edges and cleaning up small areas.
A pair of trimmers tied for the top spot when it came to eating weeds; namely, the Makita XRU15PT 36V and the Ego Power STA1500 Attachment. Both are exceptionally effective at eliminating weeds, cutting through pretty much any grasses, weeds, shrubs, and bushes we pitted them against smoothly and effectively. They both tackled tall grass and dense weeds with ease, even cutting through burly stalks and stems without showing any sign of a struggle.
The Ego Power STA1500 has just a bit more power than the Makita XRU15PT — almost to the point where the Ego Power STA1500 might be overkill for typical lawn care. While this extra power is handy for the toughest of weeds, it can be difficult to edge or trim precisely. You can angle the head to get into small spaces, but it can be hard to cut near anything delicate without damaging it or cutting inadvertent trenches into your lawn. This excessive power is made much worse by the Ego Power STA1500’s sensitive trigger, making it difficult to maintain a consistent speed.
Although the Makita XRU15PT can’t quite match the Ego Power STA1500 when it comes to raw power, it is superior in close quarters. It has a slow setting and feels very nimble to control, allowing you to make carefully angled cuts or clear areas around sprinklers, lawn ornaments, and other items without damaging them.
The Husqvarna 115iL and the BlackDecker LST136 both performed decently for their string trimming performance. The Husqvarna 115iL was easily sliced through most patches of weeds and grasses, but it occasionally stalled when we tried to tackle dense vegetation clusters.
The Husqvarna 115iL has a comparatively small guard and is lightweight, making it one of the more maneuverable models when it comes to removing weeds from tight spaces. However, it doesn’t have a very long reach, so you need to get fairly close to the end to see exactly what you are trimming.
The BlackDecker LST136 doesn’t have quite as much power as some of the top models, but it can cut through most weeds and plants without issue. It can stall when cutting through the thickest stems and plants, but we rarely found this to be an issue with typical yards.
The lower speed setting also works great for making detailed cuts, but we found that it works better when used in a sweeping side-to-side motion rather than cutting in a straight line. We also like that it is one of the easiest models to replace the cutting line on.
Ease of Use
Like the Weed Eating metric, Ease of Use also constitutes 30% of the total score for each cordless string trimmer. Here we compared the weight and guard design of each trimmer, as well as how comfortable and balanced they are to hold. We also compared the ease of replacing and feeding the line and noted if there was a shoulder strap attachment.
The Makita XRU15PT 36V again earned the top score in this metric. It is exceptionally well balanced, with the battery end of the trimmer only slightly heavier than the head, making it easy to carry one-handed and to wield through fields of grass. The molded, ergonomic grip makes it easy to keep a good grip without working too hard. We also liked the guard on this model because it doesn’t detract from your ability to do precise cuts while maintaining an equivalent degree of protection. The Makita XRU15PT includes a shoulder strap attachment as well.
This trimmer employs a bump feed to dispense more string, but it’s a little more difficult to replace the string than some of the other models. There aren’t alignment indicators on the spool, which forced us to consult a manual, but it was straightforward once we became familiar with it. This minor drawback should only be an issue once or twice, after which you’ll get the hang of it.
The Ego Power STA1500 Attachment by Ego, Craftsman V20 Weedwacker, and the BlackDecker LST136 all scored well regarding convenience and ease of use. The Ego Power STA1500 has a very straightforward mechanism for adding more line. The line threads into the part you remove, so you don’t need to be as careful about making sure everything lines up properly when you reassemble the head.
The Ego Power STA1500 has a bump feed to dispense more line, and we found it quite comfortable to carry. It has a cushy handle and is very well-balanced, but the guard didn’t seem to be as effective as other models, with debris flying back at us on a semi-regular basis depending on the type of cut. However, this model does not have a shoulder strap attachment.
The BlackDecker LST136 and Craftsman V20 Weedwacker are both very simple to pick up and use right away, scoring quite equally in their user-friendliness. Both are very lightweight, making them easiest to handle and finesse in tight areas around obstacles. They’re fairly comfortable to use for long periods, even without a shoulder strap, and their grips are easy to hold. Line replacement is also very straightforward.
Our next metric focused on the battery system of each string trimmer, and this accounts for 25% of each product’s final score. We based the bulk of this score on the maximum runtime for each product and awarded extra points to models with different speed settings because it allows you to maximize the battery life by throttling down when extra speed is unnecessary. We measured the runtime for these weed eaters when they weren’t actually eating weeds, so you’ll probably get lower numbers if you’re chewing through dense vegetation or particularly stubborn weeds.
The Greenworks 14-inch 40V, the Makita XRU15PT. and the Husqvarna 115iL all tied for the first place position in this test. These all lasted for around 90 minutes before the batteries gave out, and they each have a series of different speed settings.
Performance dropped a bit with the remaining trimmers. The Snapper XD 82V clocked in at 48 minutes of runtime and has two operating modes, but we didn’t notice a huge difference between the two modes except for the amount of noise produced. The low power mode still seems plenty powerful to chew through pretty much anything with the line we used. However, the difference between the two modes might be more noticeable with a different line.
Our final metric focused on the amount of noise that each cordless string trimmer generated while in use. To determine scores, we used a sound level meter to measure the noise from each cordless string trimmer at a distance of 3 feet and had a panel of judges rate how annoying the sounds were at the same distance and from 50 feet away.
The Makita XRU15PT took home the top spot in this metric. Our meter recorded 85 decibels when this model was in use. We noticed, however, that it has a particularly high-pitched whine on startup that is rather irritating. The Craftsman V20 Weedwacker registered 84 decibels, but also suffered from an annoying, high-pitched whine.
The BlackDecker LST136 trimmer registered sound levels of 85.9 decibels on our meter when it was placed about 3 feet away, though we did find that it has a bit of a high-pitched whine.
The Husqvarna and the Snapper both followed. We recorded sound levels of 88.5 decibels for the Snapper XD. The Husqvarna is very loud on startup, registering 105 decibels, but this quickly drops to around 95 decibels while operating the string trimmer. The Snapper has a whine that can be quite grating, while our judges believe the Husqvarna’s sound is one of the least annoying; it’s just loud.
Whether you need a powerhouse trimmer to tackle the toughest weeds or a lightweight budget model for some minor yard maintenance, we hope this analysis and review has helped you find the perfect cordless string trimmer to match
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Home » Latest Tool Reviews » Lawn Garden » String Trimmers » Makita String Trimmer Review Model EM2652LHN
Makita String Trimmer Review Model EM2652LHN
Makita String Trimmer Model EM2652LHN
Manufacturer: Makita Model number: EM2652LHN Power source: 25.4 CC 4-Stroke Motor size: 1.1 HP Weight: 11.5 lbs
Makita recently came out with a new 4-stroke high-torque commercial duty string trimmer Model EM2652LHN. We got our hands on the Makita string trimmer and have been testing it for the last few months with great success. Makita has a number of gas powered tools that are also 4-stroke powered so they’re no stranger to these power plants.
First a little history, almost all of my experience with small gas powered construction tools and outdoor power equipment is of the 2 stroke variety. Partner saws, string trimmers, chainsaws, edgers, blowers, etc. The bigger motors we use on screeds, trowels, plate compactors, and lawn mowers are all of the 4.stroke variety though. I have to admit that I haven’t spent much time contemplating why 4-stroke technology hasn’t made it to the smaller tools. I figured that they just didn’t have enough power. Thankfully, Makita didn’t believe that and decided to do something about it.
Makita 4-Stroke Line of Tools
Makita just didn’t decide to try one or two tools to convert from 2-stroke to 4-stroke, they have a whole line up of tools. Dubbed MM4, the line includes a number of blowers, saws, hedge trimmers, pole pruners, and string trimmers. The engines are designed for easier starting, lower noise, improved fuel economy, and reduced exhaust. All those things aside the real benefit is no more gas and oil mix and no blue Cloud following you around while you work.
Makita String Trimmer
The basis of this new Makita string trimmer starts with the motor. Given what most of us know about 4-strokes is that they are heavier and bigger than similarly powered 2-strokes. That is not the case with the Makita. It is only about a half pound heavier for similar displacement and power than comparable 2-stroke units. So that advantage of 2-strokes is negated. Another advantage of 2-strokes is that they can be run at any angle. Well, Makita addressed that also with an oiler system that allows the motor to be run in positions other than just oil tank down. I like to add a chamfer when trimming around obstacles and to tip a trimmer on its side to edge. The Makita continues to handle both of these tasks easily every time I run it.
Speaking of running it, to start the unit. It only takes pressing the primer bulb until the gas starts flowing back to the tank, pushing the choke lever to on, and pulling the rip cord. Boom, done. In 3 months of testing, this motor has always started on the first pull.
After the motor comes the clutch and gearing. All of the Makita brush, hedge, and string trimmers use the same 25.4 cc motor but this unit is the high torque string trimmer so it is geared down to have much higher torque at the trimmer head. This leads to an rpm at the trimmer head of 4,700 (vs 7,400 for the non-high torque model) but the ability to keep the engine rpm high even when encountering large amounts of weeds and grasses. This is very noticeable the first time you try to mow down tall weeds. Just keep the throttle pinned and rip through them.
The trimmer head of the Makita string trimmer is a bump feed head holding a maximum of 15′ of line up to.095 round or.08 square/X diameter line. Replacing the line is pretty simple task as well. Rotate the bump dial to retract the remaining string, wiggle the bump dial rotationally back and forth a few times to free up the tension on the remaining string, and then just pull on the loop to extract the remaining string.
To replace the sting, line up the arrows on the spool with the eyelets of the housing. Insert one end of the nylon cord into eyelet on the side of the housing, feed through hole on top of the spool and then re-insert into the second hole on top of the spool. Push the nylon cord into holes until the cord feeds through eyelets on side of the housing. Push the nylon cord into holes feeding through eyelets on side of the housing until equal length on both sides. Hold the housing securely and turn the spool clockwise to wind the nylon cord into the spool.
The Makita String Trimmer in Action
Here is a short clip of the trimmer in action. You can see how thick the weeds are and that I’m just swinging the trimmer head around with no change in engine RPM. I just have the throttle pinned so that you can see how it performs.
The only improvement I wish Makita would make is to include a harness as a standard accessory. One is available as an option but I’d like to see it as standard especially since it is more than just a nylon strap.
The new Makita string trimmer is a great tool. It has the power of a 2-stroke but without any of the drawbacks. You only need one gas can on your landscape trailer if you outfit it with the rest of the MM4 line. Thanks to Makita gas and blue smoke will be a thing of the past in the lawn and landscape industry.
Easy to access oil fill Minimal assembly of the head, guard, and handle