My first Craftsman OPE

MowerMike

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Over the years I've owned many cordless electric straight shaft string trimmers, but none of them have had all the features that I wanted, namely:

1) An adjustable length shaft to accommodate my short 5"-2" frame

2) A bump feed string head with a rapid reload mechanism that doesn't require disassembly to load new line

I've owned many string trimmers with the first feature, and many with the second, but none with both....until now.

It seems that the new Craftsman string trimmers offer both these features in their 60 volt line, but also in the top model of their 20 volt line. I drove over to my local Lowe's last Friday to check them out. The 60 volt model offers a 15" cut, a 2.5ah battery and a 4 year warranty. The 20 volt model offers a 13" cut, a 4ah battery and a 3 year warranty. The 20 volt model is more adjustable than the 60 volt model, and is lighter and cheaper, so I bought one. Quality appears to be on a par with Dewalt, with a brushless motor, battery cells made in Malaysia and all metal construction for the shaft. The string head is exactly the same part that is installed on the 60 volt model, and will accept 20 foot sections of either .080" or .095" twisted line, although Craftsman only recommends using .080" line in the 20 volt model, presumably to avoid overloading the smaller motor. It offers two speed range settings with a variable speed trigger.

One curiosity is that the string head rotates in a counter-clockwise direction looking down at it. This is opposite from all my other string trimmers, and the first time I used it with the head to the left side of my body I was pelted with clippings and debris. Once I reversed the position with my right hand on the auxiliary handle and my left hand on the trigger this problem ceased.

I have attached photos showing this new Craftsman 20 volt string trimmer alongside my EGO 60 volt straight shaft trimmer to show the difference in shaft length. The shaft is set at about its middle position, and at its its shortest position could probably be used comfortably by a four foot tall child.

20190526_123246408_iOS.jpg20190526_123406400_iOS.jpg
 

dougmacm

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That looks like a decent trimmer … guessing it is the "was $159 now priced at $149" one at Lowes.

From the pics on the Lowe's site, it turns the opposite direction to the single string Ryobi trimmers I've used in the past but the same way as my current Ryobi 18V and my Greenworks 40V Brushless Straight Shaft Dual Line Trimmers … which is the same direction (as you said CCW looking down on it) as straight shaft gas trimmers .

It states "Two Speeds with variable speed trigger" … What speed ranges does it give you ??


For comparison, I really like my Ryobi P2090(P2009) in that it goes from a nice & low 300 RPM up to 5140 or 6320 RPM and I rarely use the HI range.

The Greenworks 2100202 speed range is 4070 RPM up to 4800 or 5540 RPM and find myself trying to throttle lower than the min … which of course it stops turning.

(these are no-load speeds checked with an optical tach)

Ryobi is either 11 or 13" cut, GW is 14" cut.

The Ryobi w/ 4Ah battery is also substantially lighter than the GW w/ 2.5 Ah battery (8.80 lbs. vs 13.18 lbs.). Specs on Lowes site says your Craftsman is 7.8 lbs. If this is actual with 4Ah battery that is impressive !!

Doug
 

MowerMike

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Yes, indeed, it is the $159 model discounted to $149, which works out to a total of $161.29 with Texas sales tax.

As to actual speed ranges, I don't know since they are not listed anywhere that I can find and I don't own an optical tach. I can say that high speed is much faster than low speed, and the trigger acts like a stepper switch with 4 or 5 distinct speeds in each range. I can do just about everything in the low speed range, and the high speed is a real beast that rivals my bigger EGO trimmer.

And, yes, 7.8 lbs is the actual running weight including the 4 Ah battery. Also, the EGO weighs only 9.7 lbs with its 56 volt, 2.5 Ah battery.
 

dougmacm

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Yes, indeed, it is the $159 model discounted to $149, which works out to a total of $161.29 with Texas sales tax.

As to actual speed ranges, I don't know since they are not listed anywhere that I can find and I don't own an optical tach. I can say that high speed is much faster than low speed, and the trigger acts like a stepper switch with 4 or 5 distinct speeds in each range. I can do just about everything in the low speed range, and the high speed is a real beast that rivals my bigger EGO trimmer.

And, yes, 7.8 lbs is the actual running weight including the 4 Ah battery. Also, the EGO weighs only 9.7 lbs with its 56 volt, 2.5 Ah battery.
NICE !!

Doug
 

1 Lucky Texan

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I'm reluctant to add a 3rd battery system to my yard/hand tool collection but, I do miss a bump-fed string trimmer. And my old auto-feed GW is a 65 line unit.
 

MowerMike

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I'm reluctant to add a 3rd battery system to my yard/hand tool collection but, I do miss a bump-fed string trimmer. And my old auto-feed GW is a 65 line unit.
Well, in your case having an adjustable length shaft is not important, and you can buy a Greenworks 40 volt trimmer that has a bump feed head and uses dual .080” line.
 

dougmacm

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I'm reluctant to add a 3rd battery system to my yard/hand tool collection but, I do miss a bump-fed string trimmer. And my old auto-feed GW is a 65 line unit.
Hate to hijack another thread but the 3 of us keep doing it so why not !!

So other than GW 40V, what other battery system do you have ??

For the GW 40V I'd definitely recommend the 2100202 I mention (and guessing is Mike's recommendation) in my post above however it is a bit heavy @ 13.18 lbs. w/ 2.5Ah battery.

It is a Heavy Duty 14" Swath dual string attachment capable straight shaft type with dual variable speed ranges (4070-4800 or 5540 RPM) and a nice bump-feed head. There are other Greenworks 40V options that are less HD & likely lighter but not dual string which just runs so much smother than single string that needs to turn at double the RPM to do the same work.

Doug
 

1 Lucky Texan

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Hate to hijack another thread but the 3 of us keep doing it so why not !!

So other than GW 40V, what other battery system do you have ??

For the GW 40V I'd definitely recommend the 2100202 I mention (and guessing is Mike's recommendation) in my post above however it is a bit heavy @ 13.18 lbs. w/ 2.5Ah battery.

It is a Heavy Duty 14" Swath dual string attachment capable straight shaft type with dual variable speed ranges (4070-4800 or 5540 RPM) and a nice bump-feed head. There are other Greenworks 40V options that are less HD & likely lighter but not dual string which just runs so much smother than single string that needs to turn at double the RPM to do the same work.

Doug
I've slowly been acquiring some Ryobi 18V One+ stuff, for a coupla reasons; I really needed a dedicated edger at my new property and they have one. Corner lot with sidewalks. Additionally, I was ready to get away from my old B&D hand/yard tools with the ni-cd batteries. So, I have an edger as said, drill-driver , inflator, coupla other ryobi tools now.

The trimmer I have now is a GW single line 065 unit. It is set-up with a wheel for edging but, I just couldn't see doing 100s of feet of edging with it.
 
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