LST136W String Trimmer Review by Black And Decker
Owning property means you need to maintain it, and it doesn’t take long to have a shed full of tools to do just that. Lawns need to be mowed, driveways trimmed, sidewalks edged, weeds whacked, hedges cut…and before you know it you have gas cans and extension cords all over the place.
In steps the Black and Decker LST136w cordless, and battery operated, string trimmer. If you ask me, this is exactly the type of tool any lawn and garden owner needs in their shed, and the extra perk is you might be able to unload a few of those tools cluttering up your storage space – because this little gem is rather versatile as well.
Why Own a String Trimmer?
If you own property, things are going to grow on it. Grassy lawns, garden beds, driveways, and even pesky weeds need attention and manicuring to keep looking under control. String trimmers are a handy tool that can get into those hard to reach places that lawnmowers cannot, and can shape up areas that may otherwise run amok .
A few things you may want to consider when making a decision about purchasing a string trimmer:
Do you have a lawn?
If so, a string trimmer will clean up those areas around trees, poles, garden beds, and even under decking and other obstacles with ease.
Do you have a driveway, or sidewalk to maintain?
Lawnmowers may easily trim all the grass along these pathways, but to keep the grass from creeping into sidewalk cracks and from undermining your driveway with roots, you need to keep it edged. A string trimmer, when turned at 180 degrees, will easily complete this chore for you. All you need to do is turn and walk!
Do you have low hedges or brush that needs to be contained?
A string trimmer will help manage and trim your shrubs when used as part of your regular maintenance schedule. No more bending over with hedge clippers, or kneeling down into hard to reach places.
What’s So special About The Black And Decker LST136W String Trimmer?
If all of the above fits into your property needs, then this product may want to be at the top of your purchasing list, and here’s why:
Cordless convenience and cutting efficiency are the top boasted promises made for this newly designed, battery operated power tool. It is run off a 40-volt rechargeable battery that is still compatible with all of Black and Decker lithium-ion battery systems. What’s more, the battery been improved through a 33% increase in capacity off one charge- meaning you can get more done, quickly.
As mentioned above, this tool can serve as a trimmer, edger, and even a simple hedge clipper- making it an ideal buy for a person who would like to complete multiple jobs without using multiple tools.
- Lightweight: coming in right under 8lbs
- Allows for precision cuts and edging
- Average battery life at low-medium speed is 1 hour
- Easy battery charge system. No more mixing fuel or getting tangled in extension cords.
- Automatic line feed so you don’t have to wind your own spools anymore.
- Can’t handle thick weeds or tough brush due to thin string despite good power
- Battery life only averages 20 minutes on high speed
- Uncomfortable over long periods of time for tall users
- Spool has a tendency to feed more line than is needed, resulting in waste.
Features & Benefits
This is a pretty interesting tool to have around, and boasts some neat functions to help make your life easier when dealing with yard maintenance. Highlighted below are the many feature the LST136w has to offer to help you make your decisions when purchasing a string trimmer.
The PowerDrive Transmission
This is a proprietary transmission, designed and patented by Black and Decker, that essentially optimizes the power from the motor to the cutting string. In layman’s terms, what this means is that the transmission design provides more cutting force, resulting in the ability to cut twice as much in one stroke according to the manufacturer. It has often been labeled as a ‘powerful little tool’ so it seems this technology has held up to the test.
40V MAX Lithium Battery
One of the highest volt capacities on the market, the 40-volt MAX rechargeable system claims to have a 33% increased battery pack capacity on a single charge in comparison to Black and Decker’s 36-volt system. This means you get more power and/or work time depending on how you use the tool. Despite this, the max run time seems to average right around an hour with a light workload, and is depleted much quicker if you need to use more power. Because of this, you may want to consider owning a backup battery to complete your chores without the hassle of waiting for a recharge.
Furthermore, the battery disconnects with a simple click of a button and recharges on the included charging station. The battery itself has an LED indicator to let you know how much of a charge is left ( I think this might be the coolest feature there is), and recharges fully in little less than an hour.
Battery System Compatibility
Black and Decker has an entire lithium ion system that includes trimmer, blowers, sweeper vacs, and hedge trimmers. Originally released as part of the 36-volt system (with the release of the 40-volt, the 36-volt batteries have been discontinued), the new 40-volt MAX batteries are compatible with all existing system tools.
A quick release handle is a win-win design, meaning that you can easily telescop 180 degrees from trimmer mode to edger mode with a simple quick release button. No extra tools are needed to go from one to the other, saving you the pain from losing an extra little tool (because let’s admit it, those little tools never survive very long), and time while working.
The LST136w is marketed foremost as a string trimmer- and in this mode you can weed wack, trim grass, and hedge brush until your heart’s content, and your property manicured, with ease. As touched upon earlier, string trimmers are a necessity to get into those hard to reach places that lawn mower can’t reach. Grass and weeds that grow alongs walkways, deck edging, garden beds, and other obstacles such as trees and ornamentals, can be easily cut back with a string trimmer- and gives your yard a nice clean look.
With a quick turn of the shaft you trimmer, LST123w can quickly become an edger complete with height guard to keep your edges even. Once upon a time, edging was a tedious process that took a manual tool and a lot of man-power, but with the invention of multi-purpose string trimmers, this quickly became an easy job to complete. If you have yet to edge your drive and walkway with this feature, you’ll be hooked for life.
Quick Release Handle
So, it’s not really a great idea to mow your lawn with a weed eater. But this particular one makes it easy to get in those spots that your regular mower won’t, like under low hanging trees or under a ground level deck. There’s sturdy wheels attached so just adjust the pivot of the handle again and you can move it in the way you would a mower, the wheels guiding and keeping your cut line steady. I love, loved, loved this feature because I have a ton of short trees.
13 Inch Cutting Diameter
This is one of the largest cutting swaths cordless string trimmers have to offer. This means you can cover more area in less time.
The Automatic Feed Spool
This single feed line requires no bumping in order to release enough length to get the job done. As you work, the .065 diameter line is fed by the force of the tool and is trimmed by a small point of the cutting deck. Once your spool runs out, simply drop a replacement, pre-fed spool right back in for added convenience. No more winding your own string!
The telescopic handle allows you to adjust the height for your comfort. This is most definitely a perk for me as I only stand 5’4” and often find that many powered tools do not have shortened grips or force me to lift more due to the length of the tool. The LST136w adjusts to the average user, which is a nice selling point.
At 7.8 lbs with the battery, this is a lightweight tool- as it should be since it is marketed for ease and convenience. Combined with the above mentioned height adjustment, it seems to me that this would be a perfect tool to use over long periods of time – which is often needed on my property.
The Black and Decker LST136w Rating Overview
We give this product a 4.5/5 stars and the general consensus of this string trimmer was a positive one, with comments made about its overall power capabilities, ease of use, and lightweight feel. It was even mentioned that it was worth the buy simply because the maintenance was non-existent; no fuel to mix, spark plugs to clean, oil to fill, or line to wind- all you have to do is plug in a battery.
A few complaints were made about the battery life since using it in a high power mode drains it fairly quickly, however, extra batteries are available for purchase to keep your workflow from being interrupted. Another issue seemed to be how quickly the line ran out with the automatic spoon feed system, especially since a .065 diameter line wasn’t quite strong enough to handle much heavy trimming and broke quickly. Even though replacement lines are pretty inexpensive and easy use, this was an added cost that could make a difference to a budget depending on how you might want to use the trimmer.
Despite the complaints, the trimmer ranks high in comparison to other products we’ve reviewed (follow the link for other product overviews), and in general seems to be a worthwhile buy.
To wrap this up, if you have any kind of property that requires more than a simple mow, then this string trimmer might be a good solution to your trimming, edging, and simple hedging needs. Not only will you be able to clear out some storage space by combining your tools, you’ll most likely save yourself both time and money in the long run.
If this review of the Black and Decker LST136w string trimmer has been at all helpful, inspired you to make a purchase, or if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below. And as always, please share and help spread the work of this powerful, lightweight tool.