Black & Decker LST136W String Trimmer Review
The Black & Decker LST136W is a 13 inch battery powered string trimmer. It uses 40 volts batteries which gives you longer run time compared to 36 volts batteries. By using the Power Command dial you can increase and decrease the rpms for more cutting power or longer run time. The Automatic Feed System feeds the trimmer with more string when needed.
- 40V MAX Lithium-ion battery (36V battery also available).
- 13 inch swath.
- Power Drive Transmission.
- Power Command dial with 6 settings.
- Automatic Feed System (AFS).
- Converts to an edger as well.
- 3 year warranty.
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Black & Decker LST136W review
After using both a gas powered and a corded electric string trimmer previously I thought it was time to try something new. I knew that this Black & Decker LST136W couldn’t beat the gas and corded trimmers’ power and run time.
I acquired a corded electric string trimmer because I was tired of all the maintenance the gas powered required, but I soon realized that the extension cord was a real hassle. I therefore went for a cordless trimmer this time. All the good customer reviews on Amazon made me choose this B&D LST136W and I don’t regret it!
I bought the string trimmer with a 40 volt Lithium-ion battery, but there is a 36 volt option as well. The price difference between the 40 and 36 volt battery options were minimal so the choice was easy. A 40 volt battery will have a longer run time and you can also expect a longer battery life.
The Power Command dial which basically let you control the rpm is a really neat feature. You can adjust the speed in 6 different increments, 1 being the slowest and 6 being the fastest. You can either choose max power (highest rpm) or longer run time (lowest rpm).
On max power (setting 6 on the dial) the rpm is amped up to 8500 and the trimmer will cut through tough and stalky weeds without any real problem. However, this setting drains the battery really quickly. I usually get a run time of 20 to 30 minutes with 6 set on the dial.
On the lower settings you get a significant increase in the run time. I normally use the trimmer on either 2 or 3 and get about 1 hour of use which I think is reasonable. On the lowest setting the rpm comes down to 6500.
I really like that you can use the batteries from other Black & Decker tools with either a 36 or 40 volt rating on this string trimmer. This means if you run out of juice while trimming you can just change the battery and keep going. This is very handy since re-charging the battery takes about an hour if not a bit more.
Here are a few guide lines that will help increase the life span of your Lithium batteries:
- Keep the batteries in room temperature, around 20-25°C. Make sure they are not exposed to excessive heat since this will reduce the battery life.
- Before acquiring spare batteries have in mind that they deteriorate over time whether or not they are used.
- Lithium-ion batteries should not be fully discharged every time. Try to only partial discharge the batteries before recharging. However, after 30 charges the batteries will benefit from a fully discharge.
- If you plan to store the batteries for an extended time, for example during the winter, discharge the batteries to about 40% and store it in a cool place.
Automatic Feed System
Another feature I like about this string trimmer is that it has an automatic feed system (AFS). This let you cut continuously without any bumping. The string is fed when it becomes too short and more string is dispensed automatically.
I think this feature is really good, however I have noticed a couple of times that the string was only about 2.5” when I stopped. This has only happened twice and I guess the string had been stuck or something.
The string used is a 0.065 line made of nylon monofilament, it is also known as AF-100. You can buy spools at most garden centers and online. I have found this trimmer doesn’t use much string compared to my old gas powered trimmer. This might be due to it uses a single line to cut instead of a dual line which my gas trimmer used.
Trimming and Edging
The Black & Decker LST136W has something that is called Power Drive Transmission which supposed to give more power. I have no complaints about the power, as I mentioned above, it can cut through tough and thick weeds with ease.
The electric motor is located at the head of the trimmer, but the trimmer is still well balanced. The handle gives you a great grip and is ergonomic. The telescopic shaft let me adjust the height so I could walk normally without bending my back. The overall weight surprised me a bit, it feels light and easy to handle. It doesn’t feel like a chore to work this tool.
You can convert the string trimmer to become an edger with just a few simple steps, it literally takes 8 seconds. You only need to turn/ rotate the shaft 180 degrees and tighten. Flip the guide/guard down and you are good to go.
I think the edger does a good job, but it can’t really compete against a proper edger though. If you only need to use an edger for small stretches it will do a fine job.
- Versatile, trimmer and edger.
- Reasonable long run time.
- Good power for a cordless trimmer.
- None specific.