DeWalt recently came out with a new line of 40 volt outdoor power equipment which look very nice by the way but the widely used 20 volt max line seemed a bit neglected since it didn’t have any cordless 20V Max outdoor power tools. It’s good to see they finally brought us 20V max users some lawn power tools of our own.
So far they’ve come out with 2 outdoor power tools, first a 20V leaf blower and then a couple of months later came out with a 20V string trimmer. Both of these are priced at $200 each, and each one comes as a kit with one of their biggest batteries, the 5.0 amp hour battery that charges in 90 minutes and the DCB101 fast charger. Stanley Black and Decker, which is the company that owns DeWalt has been making cordless outdoor power equipment for quite some time now, so they had a good foundation to start with when developing these new DeWalt lawn power tools. We can see that they didn’t just give us a Black and Decker trimmer and blower and paint them yellow and slap a DeWalt logo. They went further than that with all new designs.
To start off, they both use powerful brushless motors. Brushless motors are very energy efficient, and naturally give you longer runtime than similar brushed motors and they also allow for a more powerful motor if the manufacturer decides to. This enabled Dewalt to give the string trimmer a respectable 13 inch cutting swath with not just one but two cutting lines and taking a look at the blower they gave it some serious stats for a 20v blower with a large turbine motor that produces 400 CFM’s at 90 miles per hour. And if you take a look at the tube on the blower they used a large wide design since the motor can push a large amount of air volume from a 20v battery. Typically other 20 volt blower designs keep the blower tube very scrawny with a small opening at the end. While this does increase its air speed output, it also limits the amount of air volume that it pushes out on other 20v blowers with smaller tubes.
This blower has plenty of power to blow away dry leaves at a close distance. And It’s certainly a step up from the tiny cordless 18v blowers from other brands that are meant strictly for jobsite clean up. It does well with dry leaves and can also push other yard debris such as grass clippings. Although the blower had a difficult time with wet stuck on grass as it couldn’t push wet grass that was stuck on the concrete floor. After work was done cutting the backyard at a friends house, I used the blower to remove grass clippings from the lawn mower. It removed the loose grass that was laying near the outside of the mower- but it didn’t budge the grass that was stuck onto the blades themselves- even with a blast of air at full speed up close. I thought this Dewalt blower has nice power for a 20 volt blower with a good balance of air speed and air volume. It’s very good from a 20v battery- very powerful for the voltage class its in. You’ll get more power out of larger voltages like 36 volt blowers and higher but I think its performance is very good for a 20 volt blower.
One of the features I like on the blower is that it has a variable speed trigger so you can control the power between low and high, and also on top of that, you have a lever that locks the blower in the on position, so you don’t have to hold the trigger the entire time. Whats also great about the lock on lever is that you can control how much you want the lock on speed to be, anywhere from low and all the way up to full speed. You can even lock it on the lowest speed setting, and still be able to use the trigger so you can press the main trigger to give it full speed when needed. I thought the overall design and performance of the blower was pretty good, even the runtime was good as I managed to get 23 minutes of nonstop use while on full speed with the included 5.0 battery. One thing that was a bit annoying, was that the large air intake on the back of the blower where the air gets sucked into, likes to occasionally pull your clothing if you get the blower too close to your pants, so you have to make sure to keep a safe distance between the blower and your pants and it’s best to keep the blower to your side at all times.
The string trimmer is also a great performer for its 20 volt voltage class. Just looking at the specifications alone, it doesn’t sound like much on paper with a max 6,000 rpm, and that’s on the high setting. But once you put it into good use, it performs pretty good for a 20 volt trimmer. The motor has a good amount of torque, giving both cutting lines the ability to cut grass at a good pace. The high speed setting performed very good with grass that didn’t have too much length to it. It also performed well with grass that was thick and tall, although don’t expect to rush right through it, as the motor will bog down with thicker and tall grass if you try to move the trimmer too fast, so take your time with dense grass. As for its ability to perform as and edger, it performed well for the most part, but edging is where we can see the limitations of the 20 volt max platform. It can get the job done although not nearly as fast and as powerful as trimmers with larger voltages.
The trimmer uses a nice padded handle with foam lining for added comfort. This is a nice touch and was one of the first things that I noticed when I picked it up. It comes installed on the shaft towards the top, and I found this position to be comfortable for me. But lets say you decide you want to move it up or down or even to the side, you could do that if needed, and they left you 4 screws so you can untighten them with a hex key to ajust the handle. One thing that I really liked about the DeWalt string trimmer was that besides the variable speed trigger, it also features 2 speeds. A low speed that limits the motor down to 4,600 rpm and this setting is great for light duty cutting such as weekly cutting in the fall and winter seasons. This setting is also good as it sips battery power very slowly and makes the trimmer run longer. You also get the full speed setting that gives the motor full cutting speed at 6,000 RPM for maximum power. Just keep in mind that using full power runs the battery down much quicker. To extend the line the trimmer uses the traditional bump feed system, so all you need to extend the line is to give the cutting head a quick bump on the ground to extend the line
One thing I noticed on this trimmer, is that it’s not as loud as other string trimmers because of the reduced RPM’s, and I found that while on the lowest speed, the noise was very comfortable. On this setting you can be able to do yard work with out having to irritate neighbors- for lets say if you’re working in the early morning or even later in the day. So overall, the string trimmer did very well for only having 20 volts, with very respectable power being able to cut taller grass and weeds on full speed. You also get pretty good runtime with the included 5.0 ah battery. I managed to get 21 minutes of nonstop use at full speed.
One thing to note on the string trimmer, is that it has a very small string guard located on the back of the cutting swath. Because its not as wide like other string trimmers, it ends up spitting lots of grass towards you on the left side, and I ended up with lots of grass on my shoes and lower legs. I found that in order to alleviate this issue you have to focus your cuts on the right side of the trimmer, in order for the grass and debris to be shot forward, instead of back towards you.
Overall, I thought both performed very well for the smaller 20 volt voltage and would make perfect outdoor power equipment for homeowners. The biggest benefit is that they’re battery powered saving you the time hassle and money associated with gasoline engines. I think you’ll be pleased with these, as long as you keep in mind that they wont perform as strong compared to higher voltage classes like 40 volts and up. I also thought the build quality is very good on both tools with the same quality you’d expect from DeWalt. I really like how solid the string trimmer feels as its only one piece unlike other some of the other cordless string trimmers that come in 2 pieces and have to be assembled. Other 2 piece trimmers just don’t feel all that solid.
Although they’re both about twice as expensive as other 18 or 20 volt equipment, I feel its still about the same value as although you pay more, you get a high capacity 5.0 amp hour battery. Which today is about as big as they get, and lets not forget you get solid performance and the brushless, powerful, yet energy efficient motors. And on top of that the batteries charge relatively quick in an hour and a half. I know some may think an hour and a half may seem slow compared to 30 minute charge times but in all fairness we’re talking about a massive 5.0 amp hour battery, which is going to take more time to charge than 1.5 and 2.0 amp hour batteries, and because it has a bigger capacity, its going to run much longer than the smaller battery packs.
Dewalt 20V MAX DCST920P1 XR Brushless 13″ String Trimmer
- 2 speed 0-4,600 Lo / 0-6,000 Hi RPM
- Cutting Swath 13″
- Line Diameter 0.080″
- Feed System: Dual Line Bump Feed
- Weight 8.5lbs
Dewalt 20V MAX DCBL720P1 XR Brushless Blower
- Air Volume (cubic feet per minute) 400CFM
- Air Speed 90mph
- Decibel 61dBA
- Weight 7.1lbs
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