Yard Force 120vRX Lithium-Ion 18” Cordless Line Trimmer: Product Review
A powerful cordless string trimmer that’s built to last.
Available on Amazon
Some people collect classic automobiles. I collect yard tools, or, as my wife would say, I hoard yard tools. With garage and tool shed space running low, I can’t just bring any new toy home. However, since my old string trimmer gave up the ghost several seasons ago, I thought it was time to fill that hole that’s been in my heart (and collection) with a new one.
Since I have tested other excellent Yard Force products over the last couple of years (such as the 120vRX 3-in-1 mower, electric leaf shredder, and 120vRX cordless blower), I came into this test with some high expectations.
Is this line trimmer as good as other Yard Force products I’ve tried? Keep reading to find out!
|Weight:||Approximately 17.8 lbs. (weight with battery)|
|Motor:||120V DC Brushless|
|Power:||120vRX lithium-ion battery (1 battery included)|
|Charger:||4 amp fast charge (1 charger included)|
|Charge/Run time:||To fully charge the battery, approximately 40 minutes; run time about 50 minutes on mid-power setting|
|Battery capacity:||2.5 Ah / 300-watt-hour|
|Trimmer Head:||Bump feed|
|Line Diameter:||0.095 inches|
|Cutting Edges:||2 strings|
|Cutting Swath:||18 inches|
|Cutting RPMs:||Low (4000 RPMs), medium (5000 RPMs) and high (6000 RPMs)|
|Extras:||Comes with the shoulder harness, bump-feed line feed, and push-button controls|
|Warranty:||5-year limited warranty on trimmer only; 3-year on the battery pack and charger|
Having received boxes that looked like they’d been dropped out of an airplane without a chute, the solid, undamaged package waiting for me at my garage door was a welcomed sight.
Once I opened the box, I found the contents tightly and securely packed.
Charging the Battery
Before reading any directions, I got started charging the battery since I already know how that works. Plug the battery charger into any standard house outlet. The instructions will tell you that for best battery life, charge at room temperature. Since my garage doubles as a sauna, I brought the battery and charger into the mudroom. The battery slips into the corresponding grooves on the charger, and “clicks” into place.
When both the red and green lights stay on, the battery is fully charged and ready for use.
As a side note, the 120v battery used in the Yard Force string trimmer can be used in any of Yard Force’s other 120v outdoor power equipment.
SETTING IT UP
I carefully removed and cataloged all of the contents of the box against the operator’s manual.
Assembling the Pole Rod
The pole rod comes in two pieces: the top part holds the electronics/battery, and the bottom part holds the line trimmer head.
Assembling the two parts is quite intuitive. Loosen the wing nut on the upper shaft, pull out the release pin lock, and slide the poles together. Let go of the release pin lock and tighten the coupling connector to secure the poles in place.
Attaching & Positioning the Handle
Next, it’s time to attach the handle to the pole. According to the instructions, the handle should be attached between the top end of the pole padding and the pre-attached shoulder harness hook.
Simply unscrew the wing-nut from the handle and slide the bolt out. Snap the handle over the pole. Re-insert the bolt through both ends of the handle and the pole, and tighten the wing-tip.
Not to disagree with the manufacturer, but I did not find this location of the handle…um, handy. It left too much of the tool’s weight to the rear of the machine. With the tool running, I found that I had to bend the arm holding the handle in an unnatural angle.
Fortunately, you can also attach the handle lower on the pole, just below the padding. At least for my height and arm length, this allowed me to put more natural downward force on the head when using.
Attaching the Shoulder Harness
Lastly, attach the shoulder harness. The instructions say, “Depress the harness clip.” But if the clip had a part to be depressed, it stayed invisible to me. Even Lulu couldn’t find a depressible clip.
Nevertheless, I found that I could slip the flat metal piece through the hole in the harness hook and then slip it through the metal slot. The weight created a secure lock, and I stopped worrying about how to attach it the “right” way.
Before running the unit, pop in your now fully charged battery by following the slots on the battery compartment. Hint: the battery goes in one way only. Once you hear it “click”, you know it’s locked into place.
SAFETY (FOR YOU AND THE UNIT)
The safety information is fairly boilerplate for power tools across the board, but they are worth restating. Don’t get the line trimmer, battery, or charger wet. Don’t use on wet grass. Wear safety glasses , hearing protection, and close-toed shoes.
After my first time out, I would add wear long pants to the safety precautions. At its highest speed, the nylon thread spins 2 billion miles per hour (that’s just an estimate), and you better believe that every little rock, twig, or grain of sand it hits is going to leave a mark on bare legs. Now imagine what would happen if the nylon line hit your leg! Yeah, I went in and put on long pants.
START YOUR ENGINES (OR BRUSHLESS MOTORS)
Before using the Yard Force 120vRX string trimmer, adjust the shoulder strap to the right length and walk the area you plan to work to make sure that it’s clear of rocks, branches, and other debris that could go airborne or wear out the nylon line.
Make sure that the fully-charged battery is securely locked into the battery compartment. I like that the battery comes with a battery power indicator button; if you push it in, it shows you how much battery life you have remaining.
You will find two buttons on the trigger guard/integrated handle: the power ON/OFF button and the speed control (rabbit icon).
To start the unit, hold down the power button until it turns green.
It’s easy to increase or decrease the speed of the trimmer. Push in the rabbit icon to move the speed from the first, second and third power level. When the unit is on the third level, pushing the button again returns the speed to the first position.
For most of my testing, I ran the trimmer in the medium power position. This gave me ample power for all but the longest weeds, and it extended my run time to just under an hour per charge.
To engage the trimmer head, depress the orange safety button and squeeze the trigger. Once the trimmer begins to spin, release the safety.
To stop the unit, release the trigger. It takes a couple of moments for the trimmer head to stop, so exercise caution until it comes to a complete stop and you have held down the power button again until the green light disappears.
WORKING THE PACES
I used the Yard Force Line Trimmer for three different applications: trimming grass abutting the road, tall weeds, and around trees and landscaping.
Trimming grass against a paved walkway
I live in the quasi-country, so I have no sidewalks. But I have about 100 feet of street frontage. And thanks to Bermuda grass that sends its tendrils far out over the road, my yard looks like a jungle.
The string trimmer proved very handy in creating a more manicured look at the front of my house. I set the trimmer head body on the ground and started the motor. Then I slid the line towards the grass until it started to cut a fine line. Then I just kept sliding the unit down the road to create a uniform look. The Yard Force trimmer did all the work without skipping a beat, leaving a nice, clean edge.
Trimming long grass and weeds
The instructions say that the best way to trim very tall grass is to cut it from the top and work your way down. And I would have known that had I read the instructions. But since I didn’t, I attacked tall weeds from the ground while using the lowest speed setting. As I heard the motor labor under the tall grass, I powered it up to the medium power level.
Still, it didn’t take long for the weeds to jam the unit.
I shut the unit off by the power button, and then I popped out the battery just to be extra sure that I wasn’t at risk of shredding my face by an accidental motor start-up. Then I grabbed the long weeds and pulled them out. Once the trimmer head spun freely, I knew that I had cleared the jam.
And I’m glad that I didn’t read the instructions yet because instead of trimming the weeds from the top-down, I fired up that baby to the highest speed. The weeds disappeared under the whirling nylon, and I never experienced another jam.
Once I turned the unit back on, the trimmer recalled the last power level I used, and it started at the medium setting. Cool. I bumped it up to the highest power level, and I got great results.
I have to say that I was very pleased by how the Yard Force stood up to the weeds. I’ve been wondering what kind of tool I needed to clear that ugly patch bordering the woods and my lawn, and I never imagined that a line trimmer would have the muscle to chew through such a dense section.
Trimming grass along landscaping features and trees
Running a trimmer along pavement to cut overhanging grass or to hack through tall weeds doesn’t require a steady hand or nimble tool. But trimming around trees and landscaping takes maneuverability.
To test how easily I could make straight, steady cuts with the Yard Force Line Trimmer, I used it around my raised vegetable garden, fire pit, and rock walkway.
I started around my raised vegetable garden. The raised edges hang over the bed, and weeds tend to grow underneath where my mower can’t reach. Revving the trimmer, I slowly approached the beds until the weeds started to fly.
The tool has some heft to it. The weight and balance might be a bit much for smaller users. But with the handle moved lower on the pole, I was able to find a sweet spot for managing the weight and controlling the cut. A lighter tool would have bounced around too much to hold steady, and that would be bad for the nylon line and the cedar beds.
At one point, the battery fell out of the unit while I maneuvered around weird angles. I don’t think that I depressed the button release, but since it only happened one time, I’m chalking that up to user error.
Next, I turned my attention to a make-shift fire pit I built with landscaping bricks a few years ago around the stump of an old tree. A couple of times a year, when it’s cold enough to enjoy a nice fire, I burn in the pit. But during the summer months, the pit gets overgrown with vegetation.
Each time I mow, I cut as close to the fire pit as possible. But as you can see, that doesn’t create a manicured look.
I slowly worked the trimmer around the edge of the brick, careful not to rip apart the line by bouncing off it. Thirty seconds later, the area around the fire pit looked better than…well, than it’s ever looked. Dang, now my wife is going to expect this look all of the time!
The last task to tackle involved this walkway I created last year with river rock left from another project. Initially, I intended to separate the rock and grass using black, hard plastic lawn edging I got from Gardener’s Supply Company I installed the edging while my wife was out of town, and I was pleased with the look.
But my wife had a more natural vision of the walkway, one using large rocks “mined” from our woods. So I ended up using both the plastic edging AND large rocks.
Before trimming along the walkway, I cleared out the rocks and exposed the edging.
I ran the trimmer along the plastic edge and reduced the weeds and grass to rubble.
Once I finished, I placed the large rocks against the plastic edging to wrap it up. I have to admit that I wish I had cleared out the weeds months ago. It looked as good—or better—than it did when I first created the walkway. And with the growing season coming to an end, I can enjoy the results for several months before needing to do it again.
Bump Feed to Advance the Cutting Line
One thing I haven’t yet mentioned is the bump-feed feature that advances the trimming line when the existing cord becomes worn or broken. I love this! My last line trimmer didn’t have a bump-feed feature. It operated on a curse-kick feature, where I would swear when the line broke and then kick the tool over the fence.
If you see that the line is short or worn, or you notice a drop in the cutting swath of the trimmer, bump the trimming head on the ground while it’s running. The nylon line automatically advances without the need to stop, grab tools, or curse.
While I had no need to replace the line or trimmer head during my test, both are replaceable should the need arise. The trimmer head cover pops off easily to replace the line.
IS THE YARD FORCE 18″ LINE TRIMMER FOR YOU?
When my father passed away a few years ago, I inherited the tools in his shed. The Yard Force Line Trimmer does the work of three or four of my dad’s vintage tools, and it does the work better and faster.
If you are shopping for a line trimmer, here are some general thoughts on why this might be for you:
- Quality made. Yard Force understands quality. I’ve owned several of their cordless tools, and I’ve been pleased with all of them.
- Power. While earlier generations of cordless tools were underpowered, the 120V lithium-ion battery is a workhorse. The Yard Force Line Trimmer is as powerful as any gas-powered trimmer. Running on the highest power level, the trimmer destroyed 2-foot tall grasses and weeds.
- Battery power/run-time. I ran the trimmer for two full battery cycles, and I got just over 50 minutes of run-time both times.
- Battery charge time. The included charger took drained batteries to full in less than 40 minutes.
- Maneuverability. While the tool is heavy, the weight helps stabilize the trimmer head when taming grass. The shoulder strap allows you to adjust the weight to where it’s most comfortable to carry, and moving the handle lower on the pole gives you great cutting control.
- Green. No gasoline, pre-mix ratios, fumes, or intolerably loud noise. It’s quieter than any gas-powered alternative, and it doesn’t use fossil fuels.
Is there anything that I should warn you about before rushing to put the Yard Force trimmer in your shopping cart?
- Weight. People with a smaller frame might find the weight-heavy rear of the trimmer a bit much. While the shoulder strap offsets the weight, small individuals might want something easier to handle. To reflect this warning to smaller folks, I deducted 1 point for Ease-of-Use.
Yard Force offers a 5-year limited warranty on the trimmer and 3 years on the battery pack and charger – both against defects in materials or workmanship.
I like the Yard Force trimmer, and it makes the cut to stay in my collection. If you’re looking for a trimmer that’s built to last and uses the latest lithium-ion battery technology, look no further.
Where to Buy It
You can purchase the Yard Force 18″ Line Trimmer (with the battery and the charger) from Amazon Prime for $349.99
Last update on 2018-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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