BLACK+DECKER GH900 String Trimmer Review
The BLACK+DECKER GH900 is an electric corded string trimmer with an edger function. The powerful 6.5-amp motor rotates the single 0.065” line which cuts both grass and weeds efficiently. The auto feeding system adds more string when needed without any interference by you. The trimmer can be rotated sideways, so it can be used as an edger as well.
- 14-inch cutting swath.
- 5-amp electric motor.
- 065” single string.
- Auto feeding.
- Trimming and edging function.
- 2 years warranty.
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BLACK+DECKER GH900 review
I decided to have a closer look and do some research about this BLACK+DECKER GH900, since it is, at the moment, one of the bestselling string trimmers. I can straight away tell why people would pick up the GH900 from the store. The trimmer is lightweight, sturdy and inexpensive. If you want to do some trimming around your house this BLACK+DECKER GH900 seems to be a good choice. Let’s have a closer look at this string trimmer.
The BLACK+DECKER GH900 is an electrical string trimmer that needs an extension cord to work. Make sure you have at least a 16-gauge extension cord and a 14-gauge one if you need to use a 100 feet cord. The extension cord can be a two prong connection.
The string trimmer comes almost fully assembled in the box. It is assembled quickly (less than 5 minutes) by attaching the string guard and mount the auxiliary handle on the shaft. The auxiliary handle can be adjusted in several steps that clicks into place. However, I have an issue with it. The weight of the trimmer sometimes or put too much pressure on the handle makes it readjust inadvertently.
- GH900 trimmer/ edger.
- AF-100 spool.
- Auxiliary handle.
As I just mentioned the GH900 is lightweight and only weighs 5.5 lbs. (2.5kgs). The benefits with a light tool are that it is less tiring to use and easy to operate. The light weight seems not to have compromised the building quality. The different parts of the trimmer are all sturdy and can handle a beating.
The shaft can be shortened or extended easily to fit your height by the knob on the shaft. The total length is about 37” and by extending all the way it you will get about 6” more. The length is good for both short and tall persons. However, it feels a bit short when using the edging function. I have to lean a bit forward when edging around the lawn which can be a bit tiring. For your reference, I am a bit taller than 6 feet.
The 6.5-amp electric motor does a great job cutting through grass and weeds. The GH900 uses a single 0.065” string, which normal for a trimmer this size. A 0.065” line is perfect for trimming grass and light weed eating around the garden. This trimmer will suit most needs for trimming a normal garden or yard.
For tougher and thicker weeds, the trimmer does an alright job. It is not the lack of power that is the problem, but the string itself. On the thicker staked weeds, the trimmer will eat the string very fast and you would be surprised how fast you can finish a spool of string. For the tougher jobs you will be better off with a string trimmer with a thicker string, like a 0.080” string. A dual string will also improve the performance.
I am please the power the BLACK+DECKER GH900 delivers. It seems not to get bogged down easily, even in quite tough conditions with tall thick grass and weeds. Maybe it is due to the Power Drive Transmission, which B+D is calling it. The function is supposed to keep the speed and momentum of the string even when it encounters more challenging conditions.
Handling the trimmer is just great, it is light and comfortable to hold with very little vibrations. The auxiliary handle can be adjusted/pivoted up and down to fit your preference.
The trimmer uses a single 0.065” string which can is available most hardware stores or online. You can either buy the replacement spools named AF-100 and RC-100-P. You can also buy a generic string and wind you own spools.
The AF-100 spools go for about $8 each with 30 feet of string, even cheaper if you buy them online. However, if you wind your own spools you can save some money. If you get a big spool of string, you can probably self-wind the spool for around a dollar each.
Winding a spool with new string is not hard, but if it is not done properly the line will most likely tangle up inside the trimmer. If you are planning to self-wind the spool yourself, make sure the string is straight and tightly wound. And, of course, it has to be a 0.065” line.
I recommend you use a normal straight string with this trimmer and not one of those shaped strings, for example a twisted string. For some reason this trimmer struggles a bit with shaped strings and get tangled up more easily. Please share in the comment section below, if you know of a trick to make it work.
Please note that you cannot swap out the line with a blade with this BLACK+DECKER GH900.
Auto feed system
The BLACK+DECKER GH900 has an auto feed function that will feed more string when needed. At least that is how it should work. Unfortunately, there are many people that are have problems with the feeding system on the GH900.
You have to make sure the string is tightly wound on the spool and stay that way when you place the spool in the trimmer. The GH900 can be a bit sensitive and tricky when it comes to the string. The auto feeding system have a tendency to either give way too much string or almost nothing at all. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a way to adjust the feeding system.
The auto feed system on the GH900 is not great in my opinion. Some of the stories I have heard makes me believe the auto feeding is flawed. Even when it is “working as it should” it gives out a bit too much string. It is worth noting that an auto feed function normally uses more string than a bump feed system. However, the BLACK+DECKER GH900 can eat through a spool in 20 minutes with normal use. If you are lucky you get up to 40 minutes of run time before you are out of string.
The good thing is that it is relatively easy to change a spool. Press the tabs on either side of the spool and it will pop off. Get a new spool and make sure it snaps into place and stays nicely wound. Thread the line through the hole for the cap and you are good to go again. It shouldn’t take you more than a minute or two.
To use the edger function, you just tilt the string trimmer on its side. It has a wheel attached to the head of the trimmer which is really useful. It rides well on hard curbs, while the wheel is okay when used on grass or softer surfaces. The wheel is also useful when using it as a traditional string trimmer when cutting close to a wall to prevent the string bump against it.
However, if you think the wheel is in the way, you can remove it by unscrewing the two Philips screws that hold it in place.
For taller persons using the edging function, the trimmer might seem a bit too short. If you are tall you will most likely find yourself leaning forward. The benefit with the wheel is that it takes away some of the weight and it is not that tiring even if you are bend forward. Overall, I would say the edger works well.
I have compared the BLACK+DECKER GH900 with three similar string trimmers from different manufacturers with roughly the same price point. Their features vary some, but they are all electric string trimmers with about the same cutting swath.
The first string trimmer is the Toro 51480 which has a 5-amp electric motor. A slight decrease in power compared to the GH900s 6.5-amp, but not really noticeable during use. It has a dual 0.065” line with an automatic string feeding system. However, the feeding system works a bit differently. The trimmer feeds more string with every “stop-and-start” operation. I am not a big fan of this system, but it works better and more consistently. Overall, I would say this string trimmer is an alternate option.
The Greenworks 21272 (read the full review here)is a 5.5-amp electric string trimmer with a 15” cutting swath. It has the same automatic string feeding system as the Toro trimmer, “stop-and-start”. This works well, but it takes a time to get used to. If you stop and start frequently the trimmer will eat through a spool of string fast. The string use is the same as the others, 0.065”, but it has a dual string as the Toro.
The last string trimmer I have compared the GH900 with is the Worx WG119. What seems to me to be biggest difference with this string trimmer against the others are the speed. It definitely appears to have a higher RPM. The dual 0.065” string driven by the 5.5-amp motor does a good job cutting grass and weeds. However, if you accidently hit something harder like a concrete curb the line will disintegrate on impact. Even though it has less powerful motor than the GH900 it feels as good, if not better. A feature which can be handy, is the pivoting head. Perfect for tight spaces and sloped areas.
Please have a look at the comparison table below to see more details and differences.
|Black & Decker GH900||Toro 51480||Greenworks 21272||Worx WG119|
|Motor||6.5 amp||5 amp||5.5 amp||5.5 amp|
|String||Single 0.065”||Dual 0.065”||Dual 0.065”||Dual 0.065”|
|String feed||Auto||Auto (stop-start)||Auto (stop-start)||Auto (stop-start)|
|Shaft||Adjustable straight||Adjustable straight||Adjustable straight||Adjustable straight|
|Speed control||1 speed setting||1 speed setting||1 speed settings||1 speed settings|
|RPMs (no load)||7000||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|Edger function||Yes, with wheel||Yes, with wheel||Yes, with wheel||Yes|
BLACK+DECKER has priced their GH900 just about right. It can compete against any of the other manufacturers’ similar sized and powered string trimmers.
- Good torque and cutting power.
- Nice edger-wheel.
- Auto feeding system.