For some people, taking care of the garden is just another chore, while others take great pride and care in keeping their garden looking nice.
No matter which category you fall into, one of the easiest ways to keep your garden looking beautiful is to keep the lawn neatly mowed.
The mower will only get you so far, though, and more often than not, you’ll need the help of a weed trimmer to tidy up the edges and cut through the thicker brush.
In this Milwaukee String Trimmer review, we take a closer look at the M18 to see what it offers.
Milwaukee String Trimmer Review
Milwaukee has gained and maintained a fantastic reputation in the professional construction industry since 1924.
They are constantly innovating and delivering products that help to increase worker productivity.
Milwaukee’s tools also prove time and time again, that they offer great durability and value for money.
The M18 String Trimmer from Milwaukee has patented technology that offers ground-breaking performance in the gardening and landscaping world.
As expected from one of the world-leading cordless trimming system manufacturers, the price tag is a bit heftier than your run of the mill weed eater.
But if you want a rechargeable machine that performs just as well as gas-powered alternatives, then this is it.
Who Is This Product For?
The power that this machine offers means it is ideal for people running their landscaping or gardening business.
If you have a large garden to maintain or want a rechargeable machine that performs just as well as a gas-powered trimmer, the M18 String Trimmer could also be right up your alley.
As mentioned, this isn’t the cheapest weed trimmer on the market by far, so if you’re on a budget, this probably isn’t the best option for you.
Also, if you have a small garden to maintain, this piece of equipment may not get as much use as it deserves, especially considering the level of investment needed.
When you unbox your new Milwaukee String Trimmer, you’ll find the trimmer itself, as well as a lithium-ion battery pack and battery charger that will charge and power the machine.
You’ll also receive a manufacturer’s warranty and full instructions on how to operate and care for the trimmer.
Overview of Features
This weed trimmer is an incredibly powerful tool that, with proprietary REDLINK PLUS intelligence, can reach full throttle in under one second.
Many rechargeable weed trimmers just don’t offer the power and performance needed to complete large trimming tasks, but this one won’t let you down.
This model has the power needed to tackle thick brush, while also allowing you to save money on gas.
Here are some of its notable features:
- Charging Time
The charger of the M18 String Trimmer needs just 30 minutes to charge the battery pack fully.
It will monitor cell voltage, temperature, and charge status to optimize every charge.
Once fully charged, you’ll enjoy a full hour of trimming time before charging it again, which is more than any competitive lithium-ion battery on the market.
Once the battery is depleted, by the time you’ve had a coffee and done some light weeding, you’ll be ready to go again.
We have come across other weed trimmers that take far longer to charge, which can be annoying if you have a large project that you need to complete quickly.
You also have two power setting options of low and high, depending on the thickness of the grass and weeds you’re cutting, and you also have a variable speed trigger.
You can set the M18 String Trimmer to high power for thicker brush and low for simple grass trimming, which is an excellent feature since it allows you to save battery on the lighter trimming work.
The large 16-inch cutting swath of the M18 String Trimmer allows you to clear a larger area of grass, per pass, which helps to increase your productivity, freeing up more time for other gardening tasks.
Another time-saving feature is that the full-sized head of the tool holds more line than many other models, meaning you don’t have to stop everything just to replace it as often.
- Bump Knob and Motor
Milwaukee especially lives up to its reputation in durability when it comes to the bump knob.
The M18 String Trimmer's bump knob, which releases more line when you tap it on the ground, is reinforced with metal.
Anyone who has experience with weed trimmers knows that many models have plastic bump knobs that tend to break quickly.
The tool’s motor is at the rear of the trimmer, which provides a great combination of balance and maneuverability.
We love the fact that when you purchase a Milwaukee tool, you automatically receive a warranty with your purchase.
The warranty covers the tool for five years, should anything go wrong with the product, through no fault of your own.
It shows that Milwaukee has great confidence in their products lastability and offer the buyer great peace of mind with their purchase.
- Battery Compatibility
The M18 String Trimmer's red lithium battery pack is also fully compatible with over 150 other tool solutions from Milwaukee.
That is great since if you stick with the Milwaukee brand for all of your power tool needs, you’ll always have plenty of rechargeable power options.
- No need to buy gas
- Speedy charge
- Battery lasts longer than competitors
- Reaches full throttle in one second
- Variable power settings
- Large capacity for line or string
- Reinforced bump knob
- Battery is compatible with over 150 other Milwaukee tools
- Five-year warranty
- Quite expensive
How to Get the Most Out of It
One of the best ways for you to get the most out of the M18 String Trimmer is to look after it properly so that it lasts for years to come.
If you can, avoid using your weed trimmer on wet grass and clear your path of any fence posts and metal objects, including wire.
When you’re operating the tool, use the lowest possible setting to get the job done efficiently, while still saving power.
Also, always use the right-sized trimmer line specified in the owner’s manual, which in this case is 25 feet of 0.080 inches spiral or 20 feet of 0.090 spiral.
If you lose the manual or are unsure, make sure you save the last bit of line you have to match it up.
Another good tip to get the most out of any weed trimmer is to work with it rather than against it. Be sure to follow the directional arrow on its guard.
If you’re tackling weeds or grass that is more than eight inches tall, you should cut the top first and work your way down, rather than try to cut the entire length in one pass.
Also, since the battery fits a large range of M18 tools, stick with Milwaukee for all your power tool needs. That way, you have access to several batteries at one time, plus you’ll never run out of power!
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Weed Trimmer
Before storing your weed trimmer, you should clean it up first.
You can use a brush to remove all of the grass and weed clippings.
Then use a mild soap and damp cloth to clean off the handle, shaft, head, and all of the vents.
You can keep your tool, battery pack, and charger in good condition by inspecting them regularly for any issues.
Look for any undue noise, misalignment of moving parts, breakages, and anything else that may affect its operation and return it to a Milwaukee service center for repair when needed.
Depending on how often you use your weed trimmer, you should return the tool to a Milwaukee service center every six months to a year for a full inspection.
After approximately 50 hours of use, you should also lubricate the gearcase to increase the tool’s performance and lifespan.
To do this, place the trimmer on its side and remove the hex head screw. Add up to 0.4 ounces of Type Y grease and replace the screw and tighten.
Store extra line in a plastic bag with a small amount of water in it, which will prevent it from drying out and cracking.
If you’re looking for a trimmer to suit smaller gardens or on a budget, perhaps you should consider the Black & Decker LST136 Trimmer instead.
At almost half the price, this trimmer won’t break the bank, but still offers you a rechargeable power solution for tackling your garden weeds.
The 40V battery offers a decent enough run time for small and medium-sized yards and allows you to choose between maximum power and maximum run time.
It’s not quite good at tackling thick brush and weeds, but it does offer some really nice features that you can appreciate.
One of our favorites is that you can just turn the shaft to switch your trimmer to edging mode, which will help you keep your pathways ultra neat and tidy.
Unfortunately, the M18 String Trimmer shouldn’t be used as an edger since the guard won’t protect you from flying debris when you turn the tool sideways.
This Black & Decker model is incredibly lightweight, weighing in at just 7.8 pounds, and is well-balanced for great ease of use.
Anyone who struggles with back problems or tires easily will really appreciate this lightweight tool.
This model doesn’t have a bump knob since it automatically detects and feeds new string as and when it’s needed.
This sounds great in theory, but we did find that we went through an awful lot of string and had to replace it after just one use.
Completing this Milwaukee String Trimmer review made us really appreciate the strength of the Milwaukee brand.
The Black & Decker model, although another fantastic and reputable brand, fell short of our expectations when it came to the automatic string loader.
Unfortunately, most of the money you save on the tool will quickly be spent on the extra string since the feeder seems to blow through it way too quickly.
The Milwaukee String Trimmer is a beast of a model and is well worth the extra money if you have a particularly difficult task ahead, large property, or if gardening is your business.
It’s extraordinarily powerful, making the work on the longest grass and thickest brush in your garden lighter before Summer. It is also durable, and it comes with a fantastic warranty.
We also love the fact that you can switch out your M18 batteries with other tools in your arson to ensure you have power whenever needed.