Should you buy a battery powered string trimmer to replace your old one? Toro thinks yes, and so do I

I’ve owned the same electric Black and Decker weed whipper (whacker/eater/string trimmer) for about 20 years now. It does the job. It is utterly annoying. I have a decent size yard, and in order to reach the far corners, I’ve had to purchase hundreds of feet of extension cords to keep it running. I do like that it rotates to trim edges, but it uses gobs of string, and I have to replace said string just about every month. So, I decided to reach out to Minnesota’s own Toro brand to ease my woes. Toro makes a variety of tools for lawn care, and they were kind enough to let me try out their latest 60V Max Flex-Force Brushless String Trimmer.

The Build

Toro makes a solid product for sure. I rummage through the pieces sent to me and find it takes about 20 minutes to get the trimmer all set up. The 60V battery requires an immediate charge prior to testing the product out, but I expect this now days. While it’s charging, I take a look over the deep red design. The motor head is cast aluminum which ought to stand the test of time and “take a beating” according to the brand. I do feel it’s a tad on the heavy side, so I adjust the handle slightly to give it better balance.

The handle itself is comfortable and allows for a variety of grip styles. I can choose whether I want to use a 14 or 16 inch cutting path, and the trimmer comes standard with .095 in line. This is a massive step up from the .07 in line on my old Black and Decker rig. The 60V battery is a bit large and on the heavier side, but I feel the weight is pretty standard after using a few gas powered Stihl options. Toro includes a charger, but I note that there’s only one battery. There are a few brands out there that offer more than one allowing for a quick swap when the battery runs low.

The guard seems a bit small. It’s about half the size of the guard of my old whipper. Initially, I think this may be a problem for my legs, but I find later I don’t have any more clippings hit me than I’m used to.

The Power

After waiting a few hours to ensure a full charge, I decide it’s time to rev this bad boy up for some whacking. This is where I get excited. No extension cords, no plugs, no “lawnmower” style start. Just the glory of cordless power. I simply pull the variable speed trigger and it springs to life. “This would be perfect for my parents” I think to myself. They are getting to the age where starting gas powered equipment is a hassle and challenging (it’s a hassle for me too!).

I start to cruise around my 1 acre yard and destroy every weed and tall grass dwelling in site. I quickly notice that there are 2 speed options (high/low). The switch marks “1” for low speed and “2” for high. I definitely felt a difference on setting 2. Basic weeds and tall grass don’t stand a chance when powered here, and the kicker for me is the string doesn’t bust half as easily as my prior model. My wife yields different results and mentions the string broke for her. It advances easily though, and she tends to be a little less gentle than I when it comes to lawn care. She runs it against rock frequently as she can’t stand unsightly weeds growing along edges.

This leads to what I don’t like about the trimmer. Perhaps a better wording is – what I wish it had. The trimmer is not capable of rotating to cut vertically for taking on deep edgework like driveways and landscaping. I can certainly hold it sideways, I prefer the option of a rotating handle. It just makes it more comfortable to hold and roll. That isn’t to say I can’t get a good cut near it. It just isn’t as pronounced of a cut. Thankfully my wife hasn’t sent me back out with the cords to fix this (yet).

The Result

The convenience of walking to my garage, grabbing the trimmer amidst my power tools, and heading out to the lawn to demolish weeds in seconds is too good to be true. That battery I mention? It works in multiple Toro products. This includes Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers etc. making it a useful thing to have lying around.

After using the Toro 60V Max String Trimmer for about a month, I can say it is much better and massively more convenient than plug in electric trimmer. It’s cutting ability offers near the same power with so much less hassle. Battery life (roughly 40 min on “1”) has been a non-issue, but I can imagine those with larger lawns would want a second battery. They may even want to stick with gas power (they do offer the most power). Not this guy though. I’m sick of feeling the heat on my wallet. I’m all in on this one.