Archive for Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Yard trimmers are cut above in abilities, ease of use

April 19, 2006


Our tests of gas and electric trimmers focused on their ability to trim near a wall, edge a vertical line along a walkway and cut tall grass and weeds. In addition, we assessed trimmers' handling and ease of use.

Gas-powered trimmers

Among gas-powered trimmers, a couple of models combined comparatively low price with top-notch performance to earn distinction as CR Best Buys:

¢ The curved-shaft Homelite UT20004 ($70) was excellent at trimming and edging, and very good in tall grass and weeds. It lacks a clutch, however.

¢ The straight-shaft Weed Eater FeatherLite SST25 ($100), although performing slightly poorer in the thick stuff, was nonetheless a stellar trimmer and edger, and - at just 10 pounds - one of the lighter gas models.

Electric trimmers

Corded electric trimmers we liked were the Troy-Bilt TB50 and the Ryobi EL15 RY41002. At just $60 each, they qualify as CR Best Buys. Choose the Troy-Bilt for excellent trimming and edging; the Ryobi for its rotating head. Both are dual-line models.

If you must have a cordless electric trimmer, the Black & Decker Grass Hog NST2018 ($100) was the better of an unimpressive bunch. It uses the same 18-volt batteries that power the manufacturer's drills and other tools.


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