June 12, 2011

Black & Decker Cordless GrassHog Trimmer and Cordless Sweeper - Reviews

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Black & Decker has revamped their selection of outdoor tools and they've based them around their 20 volt platform (it's 20 volt max...18 volts to the rest of us). They recently send us one of their string trimmers and a sweeper to check out. We gave them a good go round and here's what we thought...

We'll start with the trimmer...

Trimmer

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The trimmer is very lightweight, it's got the telescoping shaft and adjustable upper handle, these features make it extremely maneuverable. Because it's battery powered, there's no gas to deal with or a two-stroke engine to combat every time you want to trim around the bushes. It has the same vibe as the Worx trimmer we reviewed last year.

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One thing that the B&D trimmer doesn't have, that the Worx does (and part of what makes the Worx so successful for us) is the pivoting knuckle down at the trimmer end. The B&D has a set end, so if you're oddly tall (as we can be from time to time), you end up either a little hunched over or straight-backed, but with the trimmer at a slightly off angle to the ground. It's not a big deal, but after experiencing the Worx, it was something we noticed.

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As for power, this thing isn't going to be bushwacking through the Amazon jungle, but it will do fine for all your standard lawn needs. We had no problem with grass, thick grass and even a little treelings here and there.

Comes with two batteries and a charger. $110 at Amazon

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The Sweeper
The second tool we looked at was the Sweeper. The first thing we noticed is that it's called a Sweeper and not a leaf blower. This set off alarms in our head, "oh boy, some underpowered blower...what good is this thing going to be...?" Um...turns out, the thing is fantastic. And it's fantastic because of the lack of power. Actually, saying it's a lack of power slights the tool, so it's not that. It's simply a blower without a ton of gusto, but that's fine and makes it really effective as a...sweeper.

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We know a lot of carpenters who travel with a leaf blower to use as a driveway cleaner at the end of the day. It seems that they usually end up making a giant dust cloud. The sweeper doesn't do that. Tool Snob HQ has a gravel driveway, so when the table saw comes out of the shop, it leaves a sawdust pile that quickly gets ingrained in the gravel. To give an idea of the power of sweeper, it was able to blow all of the sawdust, but leave the crushed stone.

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And it hardly weighs anything too. The product info says 3.8 lbs, but using it, it somehow feels a lot less. As you can see from the photo, it's quite a bit smaller than the Toro electric leaf blower.

Comes with a battery and a charger. $95 at Amazon

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at June 12, 2011 8:36 PM

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