Northern Tool + Equipment’s Milwaukee M18 Fuel String Trimmer review: The most glorious weed whacker of them all

During the writing of this review, I learned something new. I have been using the wrong term for my lawn maintenance for the last few years, possibly decades.

After mowing, we all know the job is not quite done. There’s more maintenance required, namely of the thwacking, whacking, and hacking variety. That’s right, we have to drag out a weed whacker. Except that, the industry has not called this power tool by that name in years, or perhaps ever. The correct term is trimming, and that sounds more polite.

Call it whatever you want, but I do know one thing. The Milwaukee M18 Fuel String Trimmer, which was provided to test by Northern Tool + Equipment, is the product for me. I’m not just saying that. I’ve used many trimmers over the years, and reviewed several models, especially since the products switched from gas powered to battery powered quite a few years ago now. Here’s all of the sordid details.

Most of them don’t work. They lack power where it counts, but far more frustrating than that is the simple fact that the string trimmers tend to do an amazing job of trimming their own string. I can’t tell you how many products I’ve tested and, for a while, they work okay and get the job done. Weeds whacked, as they say. Later, after a few more attempts, it becomes clear that the product design is deficient. The string breaks too easily.

That’s not the case with the Milwaukee M18 Fuel String Trimmer. Short version, I’m sold. The trimmer actually adjusts its speed automatically depending on what you’re trimming. I noticed how the trimmer would speed up and slow down if there was heavy growth near my driveway and sidewalk, or just light duty whacking around a tree. I’ve never owned a trimmer that didn’t slice off the string after a walk around my yard at least once or twice.

I’ve now trimmed multiple times and have not had a single slice. Milwaukee M18 Fuel String Trimmer is also quite powerful. The trimmer runs at 6200 RPMs and was more than capable of keeping up with my weed infestation. In my backyard, there’s a large rockbed that extends from one end of the lawn to another, and trimming around those tricks also worked perfectly fine.

The M18 system is also handy. Milwaukee says it is compatible with about 150 tools, including various saws and other lawn maintenance products. That’s a nice bonus because you can use the same battery pack with each tool. I tried an edger attachment and it worked just as great as the trimmer. The Milwaukee M18 Fuel String Trimmer lasted long enough for several trips out to my yard, enough that I never even had to recharge it during the late fall.

The trigger powers to full in one second, and it’s easy to throttle back as needed. My only slight ding is the weight. This type of power means the battery pack and entire tool weighs around 10 pounds, and Milwaukee includes a strap as a hint that you might need one. I did, and it helped. The lesser models I’ve tested might have been lighter and no strap needed, but they also broke the string as I mentioned a few times now (I’m not bitter at all about it).

This is an amazing product, one that made my lawn care duties much easier.

Note: Our reviews are always 100% independent but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon or other sites. Northern Tool provided the test sample.