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Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 12:19 PM

I have been looking to buy a cordless weed wacker. I think they are the ideal garden tool; no gas/oil, no electric extension cord and light weight. The problem is ; after reading all the reviews of the major trimmer manufacturers, I come up with a common problem that affects all cordless weed wackers. That is of course the battery. They all use Li-ion technology, but it seems that technology although still in development, is still not there yet. I really want one, but the negative reviews I read is keeping me from buying one. I wonder when Li-ion batteries will become more reliable. What is it that is preventing manufacturers from reaching full battery reliability?

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#1

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 2:30 PM

My girlfriend purchased cordless for that very same reason. After 3 years this being the third I purchased a 4 cycle gas to replace the cordless because the battery no long took a charge. And last year, it needed two charges to finish the job.

There red are some maintenance issues that was recently brought up. The manufactures tune the engine not for performance but to meet EPA emissions. You have to tune them to run.

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#62
In reply to #1

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 4:26 PM

I am not familiar with the term '4 cycle gas' ???

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#66
In reply to #62

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 5:09 PM

Also known as 4 stroke engines. Have their own oil reservoir, no mixing oil in the gas.

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#69
In reply to #66

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 6:09 PM

Its usually called the sump or oil bath in 4 stroke engines, where the oil is stored for "recycling" through the bearings.

Engines that have an oil "reservoir", are usually 2 stroke, but use only plain petrol, the same as for 4 stroke engines, and mix a tiny amount of oil in with the petrol, just before its burnt in the engine....

The amount of oil used is varied according to the needs of the engine, not always the worst case scenario as with pre-mixed 2 stroke fuel. So you don't get a huge blue oil fog from the exhaust, or better said, far less fog.......

Thats the convention usually used, but anyone would usually know what you mean with either name....

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#71
In reply to #66

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 6:35 PM

Obvious when you know! - thanks Kevin #66, ....and to dkwarner #67, and Andy #68/#69.

I thought at first somebody had come up with an LPG engine fed by gas under pressure.

My hedge trimmer 2-stroke engine is useless. Anything less than a full tank of petrol and anything less than perfectly level - the engine cuts out...!

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#67
In reply to #62

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 5:11 PM

As opposed to 2-cycle gas, where you have to add oil to the fuel.

I have to admit that most, if not all the gas-powered weed whackers I've seen were 2-cycle.

I have outlets and cable to reach anywhere on my 0.6 acres, and use only line powered electric.

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#68
In reply to #62

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 5:59 PM

Let me simply say, its NOT 2 stroke mixture!!!

Americans often use cycle where we use stroke!! (Engine types wise that is!!)

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#72
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 6:47 PM

"Let me simply say, its NOT 2 stroke mixture!!!"

I'm not sure what you mean by that. All the 2-stroke engines I've ever used had no oil reservoir, and required a mixture of fuel and oil. I put around 10k mi on a two stroke Vespa, about 50 years ago...

You're absolutely right that stroke is a better term than cycle. There are either 2 or 4 strokes in one cycle.

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#80
In reply to #72

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 3:38 AM

My comment:- "Let me simply say, its NOT 2 stroke mixture!!!"

Was meant as funny, slightly sarcastic......

You mentioned:-

All the 2-stroke engines I've ever used had no oil reservoir, and required a mixture of fuel and oil.

You obviously never studied the market as 2 stroke engines with a separate oil reservoir have been around for many years. Since 1913 in fact.

It is considered by many to be a superior method of lubrication when the amount of oil is automatically adjusted to the needs of the engine, and not simply worst case, as I previously mentioned.

There is a reasonable explanation here:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_lubrication

Where amongst other points it mentions:-

Advantages

  1. Consistent lubrication and oil cohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_lubricationnsumption is reduced greatly
  2. More effective lubrication results because the oil enters the engine in larger size droplets
  3. There is much less unwanted carbon deposited on the spark plugs, cylinder heads, pistons and exhaust system.
  4. There is much less exhaust smoke
  5. Refueling is simplified

Or here:-

Two-stroke_engine_Lubrication

I hope this assists....

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#85
In reply to #80

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 8:24 AM

My old two-stroke 750 triple had an oil reservoir. As late as the early 90's (last time I rode the bike) you could buy 'smokeless' two-stroke oil. It still had a little smoke to it at idle and during heavy throttle, but not the mosquito repellent fog of the cheaper oils.

Amusing when a younger 'mechanic' type would pull up next to me. "Hey bro, you're smoking some!" I'd reply, "Yep. I'll worry when it stops smoking." I miss that old bike.

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#94
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 3:21 PM

I remember those old Kawi 750's, we used laugh at the smokers, but they had balls....I had a 450 honda at the time, and later got a cb750, rode that thing for years, until it finally got stolen....

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#96
In reply to #94

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 3:54 PM

My once upon a time rice-burner was a Kawasaki 650CSR (I think). That thing would about run out from under me!.

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#97
In reply to #94

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 4:14 PM

Mine was actually a Suzuki. They were a little faster than the Kawa's mid-70's, and everything else, IIRC.

I still love the sound of a triple... either one extra, or one short, but distinctive.

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#73
In reply to #62

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 9:24 PM

You never heard that term 4 cycle before?... You must also be unfamiliar 2 cycle also. First time I heard and understood the difference it was in shop class... Over 40-45 years ago.

Here's the trimmer I recently purchased.

and no, not a new discovery....

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#77
In reply to #73

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 1:33 AM

Are you sure, they called it 4-cycle at that time?

I bought a used Cushman with a 4-stroke engine and a centrifugal clutch in 1961, and only a week or two later traded it back to the same dealer for a 2-stroke Vespa, because the Cushman couldn't climb the hills. The Vespa could!

I did see that your ad says 4-cycle, but that is the result of an ignorant or non-existent ad editor.

There are 4 strokes in ONE cycle, and I don't mean one motorcycle!

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#78
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 1:43 AM

The poor editing must be pretty rampant to a point that the term 4-cycle is catching on.

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#79
In reply to #78

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 1:46 AM

Yep! Apparently so...

And IMHO, that's NOT a good thing. It IS a sign of the times.

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#83
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 7:03 AM

creates confusion like right now... but then again, it a consequence that English isn't a dead language like Latin.

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#81
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 3:46 AM

Comparing apples and pears does not really help. A small low powered 4 stroke, compared to a high revving 2 stroke could make a huge difference....

What was the BHP of both bike engines......can we start there?

Engine capacity and torque?

Also the gearing lays a role as well as the qualities of the rider......

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#84
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 7:05 AM

good point,... I was a little perturb about rating engine size instead of by horsepower but by displacement instead.

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#86
In reply to #81

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 11:19 AM

That was a long time ago, before it became illegal to take such vehicles on the freeways (not enough power). I believe the Cushman had 4hp, while the Vespa did indeed have more power. I'm not sure; it may have been 10hp, but I do know it was below the 15 hp lower limit for freeway use, once that law was established. It had a 125cc displacement. The Cushman had a considerably larger displacement, but as you pointed out, a much lower RPM. The big difference was the connection between the engine and the road; the Cushman had a single speed and a centrifugal clutch, while the Vespa had a hand-operated clutch and a three-speed transmission.

Motorcycle helmets did not yet exist; I always wore my rock-climbing helmet when riding the Vespa.

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#88
In reply to #86

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 12:25 PM

I bought a 2-stoke-cycle motorcycle in 1970 (Yamaha 250 Enduro). It had separate oil and gas tanks. The oil that you put in in was called 2 cycle oil. When I took off at full throttle, I could see the smoke in my rear-view mirror. Helmets with reflectors were required in Colorado at the time or shortly after.

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#98
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 6:54 PM

Coming from a standards guy, 2-stoke sounds a little high on the viscosity scale unless you lubricated it with castor oil.

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#93
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 2:54 PM

So with at least some of the facts, it shows that the comparison was flawed.....

Although I had several bikes with 2 stroke Ariel and villiers engines, 250cc Twin and the 325cc Twin, with probably far less than 30 BHP, we had a lot of fun and with the wind behind us, they could usually touch 90MPH plus.....

But if I had more money, I would have bought a Honda 4 stroke, but never did!!

4 strokes generally are far more economical, everything else being equal, and quieter.

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#87
In reply to #77

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 12:04 PM

At least that is not the number of spokes in a cycle.

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#82
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 6:55 AM

4-stroke (and 2-stroke), yes.

Cycle, yes, and gas, yes.

But put together in a single phrase, as in my question, then I can't say I have heard of a '4-cycle gas engine' at least not to the extent that I new exactly what is was - well, until now from feedback.

Thanks all.

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#2

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 2:30 PM

Cost vs return.

My experience with Li batteries in my Ryobi power tools has been very good compared to NiCad and Ni metal hydride batteries.

Basic weed whacker technology is pretty well matured otherwise. Get something that has an EZ way to install new string.

Try one and let us know.

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#34
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 10:33 AM

You were lucky or I got the lemons. I have 2 Ryobi drills (18V) and have had 2 Li batteries go completely dead so far of the three I purchased. (the second drill came with Li and I bought 2 backups) Sounds like an internal wiring issue and I am thinking of trying to open one up. They suddenly stop working and show no signs of even being on the charger when placed there. The old Ni metal hydride soldiers on, after 4 years. A bit quicker to drain, but still soldiers on after 4 years.

But - yes - if buying a weed wacker I'd go Li based on the most intense use of battery power I do - I ride bike at night, using a trio of Li powered head lights, almost as much as I ride in the daytime, and I tend to run them past the point where the little monitoring LED is flashing. I have some working well after 5 years. The only real problem is when you over run, the dang things just go dark instantly. Definitely observe the correct run time on these batteries.

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#36
In reply to #34

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 11:53 AM

This might be the point at which I point out a few things not to do with batteries:-

1) If the chaŕger is not intelligent, you have to be really careful. I have used 24 hour timers, slightly rewired internally, to allow me to set the hours that the charger will be powered on, and when the timer switches off, it also switches itself off.

You only need a really cheap timer, One of the 24 hour type with no electronics. For a standard charge rate C/10 then use say 10 - 14 hours.

2) Even if the charger is intelligent, remove batter when it shows fully charged, some charge still.....

3) Only charge a battery when it is empty or just before!!.....make sure that you know the number of cells in the battery and never run below 1.0 - 1.1 volts per cell. Batteries with a "meter" on them can assist here. Running a cell below 1.0 volts is not good for a long life.

4) Batteries should not get warmer than a living human body, around 40°C max. Cooler is better. If you have a fast charger that heats up the battery, use a fan to keep the it cool. (I also do this with external USB HDDs when doing PC backups!) You could also try to add a low value ceramic resistor internally to the charger to reduce the charging current, though I have never tried that myself as I have never had such a "hot" charger.

Remember, that any battery is composed of cells.

There is a "weakest" cell and a "strongest" cell.

The weakest one charges up fastest and is the first one empty. Then it is reversed biased, this damages it faster. Try not to do that - difficult!!

Remember that each cell, depending upon how it was made and how it gets used, has a certain number of full charges only. Once used up, that cell is dead. Then the battery is usually dead too.

Sometimes, you can open up a battery and replace all the cells from the same new batch of cells.

If you have a second battery, then you can test and use the best batteries from the first one to repair the second one, if you like a lot of work.

Repairing an old battery with some new cells may keep you hard at work keeping up!!

Store batteries with a partial charge, say 10 - 20 %, check every few months, top up if needed.

Never store fully charged if you know that you don't need it/them.

I hope this helps further....

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 12:02 PM

Excellent advice. Also, watch out for cordless phones and tools like Dustbusters that are charging when on their "base". Once fully charged unplug the base so you aren't wasting power & overcharging the batteries. Only plug them back in when they need charging.

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#70
In reply to #38

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 6:30 PM

Your advice may be wise, but it isn't practical!

On our (Panasonic) cordless phone, the charger for one unit IS the base station. If it is unplugged, then we have no phone service. Fortunately, there is an LED that indicates when it is charging the battery, and that LED does go out once the phone is charged, so I presume it is no longer charging, or perhaps may be just trickle charging.

I just recently discarded a DustBuster that would no longer take a charge, but it was NiCd. Anything that still uses NiCd is so obsolete that it should be discarded/recycled, unless the batteries/cells can be upgraded to a newer technology.

Quality recent rechargable devices have smart charge controllers, so the advice itself should be obsolete. I suspect there are plenty of cheap devices with dumb chargers still around; for those, your advice still holds.

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#3

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 3:15 PM

I bought a Black and Decker 18 volt weedwacker years ago. It still works great. I also bought a B&D 18 Volt drill I have used for years, which is probably the best tool I have. I also bought a B&D 18 volt leaf blower.

So I have a lot of 18 volt batteries, and it's great 'cause the same batteries fit all the different tools. I also bought some new batteries recently to replace some that don't hold their charge as long anymore (though they still work). I keep a shelf with the batteries lined up and charged up, ready to go.

Oh, I also have a gas-powered weedwacker I sometimes use on a vacant lot I own, just to keep the weeds from taking over. I use the gas powered one there since it will run for a long time at full power, whereas the 18V weedwacker does lose power after a while. But the gas powered one is heavy, awkward, and makes my arms and back tired -- and it is one of the highly rated ones.

I have no problem recommending the Black and Decker weedwacker.

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#13
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 9:36 PM

I just saw your update, where you said you have 8 acres to cut.

In that case, you need a walk-behind weed wacker. And there are heavier-duty versions called brush hogs.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 9:40 PM

My dad purchased something simular. Very good unit.

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#63
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 4:38 PM

Do you actually walk the whole area of the 8 acres ? - or just round the edges ?

Either way, to my mind, it is a mammoth task - with good batteries at that!

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#4

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 3:30 PM

To get a powerful enough battery pack to match the performance of a 4 cycle gas powered model, the weight becomes a problem...You would need about 4 typical 18v battery packs plugged in...Then the price becomes prohibitive....

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#5

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 4:41 PM

Not an endorsement but...

I have several Ryobi cordless tools that all take the same 18v battery. I have two chargers and 4 batteries.

The weed wacker works great as does the pruning saw, drills, and impact wrench. Just keep the batteries charged and take an extra with you if you think you might run out. I can do the weeds all around my house and still have plenty of battery left over.

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#6

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 5:20 PM

I have 8 acres of land so a corded weed wacker won't do it. At 81, a gas powered wacker is too heavy and a hassle to operate. I guess I will have to bite the bullet and go for either the Ryobi or B&D. The Stihl is good, but very expensive and heavy.

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#7
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 6:17 PM

Do it the easy way...

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#22
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 6:39 AM

I use RoundUp too, but have you found that it isn't as potent as it was in years past?

Tordon works well for trees and things in my experience.

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#25
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 7:34 AM

Round-up you purchased from a garden center may be the premix. As far as the bulk the farmers purchased may be a more concentrated form.

One other reason you may not be getting the results is it's being applied incorrectly.

Also, they have different varieties of roundup that focuses on the plant type you want taken care of.

Simazine is quite potent herbicide, works similar to atrazine. I believe you need an applicators permit to use it. If you can get it anymore, it's highly toxic.

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#26
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 8:13 AM

You mean there are instructions? I've heard of those, but thought they were a myth.

Seriously, I should read them. I've found that not every can I pick up needs to be 'shaken well'. Not that it stops me, of course...

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#27
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 8:21 AM

In all seriousness the instruction should be read and/or reviewed, you should read them if for anything, your safety.

since I don't have the label in front of me there are items such as,

there's a thing called pre emergence application.

weather, does the spray have to dry on the plant and gets absorb through the plant, or does it need to rain with in a day or 2.

or Concentration, that gallon of round-up you saved $8.00 on.... well you may not only not have saved that much, but spent more due to it dilution.

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#30
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 9:56 AM

I haven't farmed in almost 30 years. Malathion, 2,4-D, et. al. I whole-heartedly agree with reading the instructions. The stuff used 40 years ago will most likely have different chemical content now. It wasn't that long ago that you had to mix your own antifreeze or add the acid to your new battery.

Nowdays, for me, it's trying to get these younger ones to realize that industrial lubes and oils have specific purposes. I've nearly given up on Predictive Maintenance, "If the part is still acceptable, why worry about it?"

- stepping off my soapbox -

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#32
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 10:06 AM

Malathion that's a potent insecticide that shuts down the nervous system. My first experience with Malathion was when I was 12-13 years old, we had Army worm infestation in our area.

My dad taught me well with his explanation about it that prompted me to take it upon myself to read everything on the containers.

As far as farm experience,... Yep, me also, took quite a few years (25 years actually, for me to stop using the term we when talking about our farm) should have stopped helping out on the weekends and taking my vacation to help with the hay or harvest in the fall.....

Now, I only have a few apple trees in my back yard,... and grapes....

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#47
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 4:52 PM

Yeah, Malathion was good stuff. Did nice job keeping the ants at bay. That's why you can't buy it anymore.

Same with the herbicide Triox. Yes, they still sell a herbicide called Triox, but it's not the same Triox you used to be able to buy. When I wanted the grass in the brick walkway dead, an application of Triox kept it away for two years. And yet, properly applied, it had no effect on the shrubberies on one side of the walk and the grass on the other. I was very happy with it.

I read the instructions VERY carefully. I did not want to kill my shrubberies.

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#48
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 5:46 PM

Not sure if you every saw how army worm operate, but it's just like an army marching. They'd even take a road to get to the next field. I laid a line of malathion, and it was there I experience what nerve agents do watching the worms cross the malathion line convulse and die.

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#64
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 4:55 PM

Before Malathion, there was Parathion. Used to affect workers by causing general gastric upset, and ulcers. Very dangerous.

I just want a damn weed-whacker that runs and runs well every time I pull the cord. Maybe it needs to wind up? Or the battery one that runs for 15 fifteen minutes. Then you get a three hour break waiting for your only battery (from that outfit in Chicago that is actually China) to charge back up.

Something tells me the Chinese only sell batteries to the U.S that were rejected by their military.

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#74
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 9:35 PM

parathion was the active ingredient in flyspray for barn foggers.

With a concentration of something like .05%

If it didn't have it in it, it was useless. now they have Pyrethrin.

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#53
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 12:05 AM

Roundup should be illegal!

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#54
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 12:23 AM

Never happen. Monsanto owns too many career politicians to let that happen.

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#56
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 5:01 AM

Why?

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#59
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 7:12 AM
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#60
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 9:29 AM

...So that the Earth can remain habitable and be able to produce the many crops we need to survive, for at least a few more centuries! At the rate humans are poisoning the soil, the air, and the water, it won't.

I'm really alarmed to see Pallets of the stuff on sale at Home Depot, like it was bottled water.

A local pest control company ,"Koby's kicks Ants", has their entire semi-rural property sprayed, so there is NOTHING growing on the entire property except mature trees, and I would not be surprised to see those die as well. There is nothing left to prevent erosion and produce oxygen. Really, really ugly!

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#75
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 10:54 PM

Because it is sold by Monsanto, which is an evil company. If you haven't heard that, do some research.

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#57
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 6:39 AM

As should "Black Flag" (I believe its called) insect spray in the USA. Only a close range shotgun kills insects faster to my mind!!

Though its many years since I used it (once and once only), in Florida, on a business trip with my wife and 4 month old daughter!

I am used to European sprays that leave insects able to move for hours afterwards.....which is hardly better in some ways, but far less likely to poison humans as well I feel!!

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#58
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 7:10 AM

When it began to being sold in garden centers I was surprised.

Back in the 70's, Farmers were require to get training and applicators licenses to use chemicals that's now sold in garden centers to untrained people.

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#65
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/21/2016 5:02 PM

Once it does enough harm, and law suits start coming, it will be made illegal. They used to allow car products companies to sell HF to the general public to clean wheels, too, until too many people were burned. Get that under your fingernails and see if you can sleep tonight.

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#127
In reply to #7

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/29/2016 10:46 AM

This just in, "Popular Weed killer linked to cancer"

Read and follow the dam label intrustions and take the necessary precautions.

But its all someone else's fault with the type of attitude this country now has.

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#128
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

07/01/2016 1:58 PM

Oh, that's just the PART of Roundup's bad news. It's been devastating the native milkweed fields all across the country. Those milkweed fields are vital for the monarch butterfly population in their annual migration. Roundup has also been targeted as a major factor, if not THE factor in Colony Collapse Disorder in beehives.

It seems like the only things Roundup isn't bad for are the 'roundup ready' GMO crops, and Monsanto's bottom line. At least as long as there is still a society that Monsanto can poison for profit.

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#129
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

07/01/2016 4:44 PM

How come we start off on cordless tools, and end up with freaking Monsanto again?

Speaking of dead horses....

By the way, can you tell the difference between a hillbilly and a chicken thief? hint: wet fowl odor of the hillbilly.

Can you tell the difference between Bill Clinton and a hillbilly? hint: Bill smells like fish, hillbilly see the above.

Can you tell the difference between Hillary Clinton and the blob? hint: the blob just wants to absorb you.

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#130
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

07/01/2016 5:07 PM

Weed control

noxious weeds, not loco weed.

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#132
In reply to #130

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

07/01/2016 5:12 PM

"What's up?"

"We ain't. Got any more loco weed?"

From "A Pause in the Disaster"

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#131
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

07/01/2016 5:08 PM

Now that's just defamatory and disrespectful of blobs everywhere.

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#133
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

07/05/2016 9:07 AM

True that, I retract the comparison, there is nothing in the universe to compare to H.R.C., in terms of turpitude, turpentine, clementine, or valentine. Not only that, have you not observed the span and magnitude of the ability of B.C. and H.R.C. to "put in the fix" on the most illegal and controversial of their activities?

I would like to see an ordinary citizen attempt to get away with even 5% of the crap that "woman" has pulled. She should be under a prison somewhere, not headed for the White House. If it were left to me, I would let her live, but it would be the basement of a two story outhouse.

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#10
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 6:29 PM

8 acres of land? You'll need extra battery packs for sure. Also check out some of the blogs site that owned the electric and see what they experienced.

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#18
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 11:31 PM

With that much land you need a riding lawn mower or a real tractor with a side scythe!

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#21
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 5:51 AM

We have a Stihl and it is very good. The battery is expensive though. We have 3.5 acres and the battery will last two trimmings.

Jim B

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#29
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 9:38 AM

Choose wisely. As you say, battery technology is changing constantly. Pick one you think will still have replacement batteries available for an longer period of time. Personally I have a Ryobi, chosen because of the availability of batteries. With all the separate tools run from the same battery pack, it would seem to me that they will have the batteries available for some time. And, get an extra battery when you buy which ever unit you choose.

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#31
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 9:56 AM

Hay, I mean hey,.... maybe in the future there'd be a weed whacker that runs on compressed air, that was developed by one of CR4 members from salvaged Chevrolet Cavalier parts...

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#40
In reply to #31

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 1:44 PM

Naw you think too small, we need a robotic autonomous weed trimmer ..sort of a companion unit to this thing....

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#41
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 1:48 PM

your picture didn't display....so, I'll guess

ahhhh is it a goat? It is a goat isn't it......

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#43
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 3:32 PM

A robotic autonomous goat....hmmmm

Throw in a laser weed zapper....

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#45
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 3:58 PM

How about a weed whacker that runs on weeds?

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#46
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 4:39 PM

Don't quit your day job to become a comedian.

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#49
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 6:16 PM

See #35.

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#8

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 6:21 PM

My grandma is in her early 80's as well and she has the 18-volt Black & Decker string trimmer.

The first time I used it I thought it was junk but I found that it had a bad battery so I ordered her a new higher capacity rebuilt kit for it and it's actually a pretty good little trimmer for its price and battery size now! Granted it won't knock down thick overgrown pasture and fence grass or weeds but for normal lawn trimming it's rather impressive.

The stock battery looks like it's made with full-size sub C cells but in fact, it's made with pathetic 4/5 sub C size cells at are good for maybe 1000 mAh capacity brand new with a plastic spacer plate to make up the size difference in the case.

The new sub C cells I got are 2200 mAh Tenergy units from Gulf Coast Battery Co. and a substantial step up in quality from the stock B&D units.

If you want to go nuts they also carry a 3800 mAh NiMH rebuild kit for the stock 18 volt B&D battery packs too!

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#9
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 6:28 PM

We had a black and decker 18v weed Walker, that may be the problem we had. It was a mater of sticking more money in it, or buying something I was more sure of. So we bought the 4 cycle gas.

of course there was a slight learning curve after we bought it, and that was how it was tuned from the factory.

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#12
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Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 7:49 PM

Well, you have to figure something up when the tool new with battery and charger costs the same as one fair quality stock battery of the same brand.

At the time, $40 to have a good reliable high capacity battery Vs spending $40 to buy and whole new trimmer that would have the same crappy battery issues in a few months didn't seem like much of a concept and gamble to ponder on.

The #1 downfall I have seen with cordless tools over the last decade is the overall huge drop in battery quality for what they are charging for replacements regardless of what brand or cost of the tools.

The first cordless drills I ever owned new were Craftsman 15.6 16.8 volt units and they took a good decade of hard use before their batteries (and the rest of the drills) wore out. The new 19.2 stuff I have now in the same service life maybe makes it 9 months before the batteries are junk hence my reasons to got to aftermarket rebuild kits which so far the G&C Battery Co Tenergy brand cells for rebuilds have excelled at taking the abuse for the last year and are still working like new.

The new 19.2 stuff I have now in the same service life maybe made it 9 months before the batteries became unreliable junk hence my reasons to got to aftermarket rebuild kits which so far the G&C Battery Co Tenergy brand cells for rebuilds have excelled at taking the abuse for the last year and are still working like new.

A new 3000 mAh high C rated NiMH battery Vs a stock 1200 -1500 mAh cheap junk NiCad makes a world of difference in cordless tool performance which for me more than justifies the small price difference when it comes time to replace batteries.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 9:39 PM

Problem solve when I but a 4 cycle gas seedeater.

i had 12v dewalt drill motors when I had a fab shop. Love it, but the battery life was ok near the end. I bought the new dewalt 18v ERP. Drill motors. It seemed that the batteries were pushing $200.00, but it drop quite a bit, 120.00 for (2) when on sale. I eventually bough 4 spare battery's, for my cordless DW 4-1/2 angle grinder and laser transit.

my nephew had the DW 20v. I did consider it. But committed to the 18v. That was a few years ago. Still satisfied with the 18v.

i did purchase the battery powered m18 Milwaukee close quarter angle drill and multipurpose tool about 3 years ago, handle, but I really never pushed it. Was just handy to have around.

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#17
In reply to #12

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 10:46 PM

Being in the construction industry for over 35 years, when I was directed to Panasonic Electric tools, I was amazed…the 15.6 Panasonic cordless drill (NMH) had so much torque, that you could not hold it if bound… The problem was battery life. Now the Lith-Ion, charges so much faster and holds charge so much longer--Concerns are torque and speed control…Panasonic developed the electronic controls for all of the other Japanese companies, but would not relinquish their patents and kept them propritary to Panasonic.. (these are the speed and torque controls) Not withstanding, I have 6 large cordless batteries, that i can charge, but lose their charge in half the time--Being frugal, I don't want to toss them, but am awaiting the next technology..

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#89
In reply to #9

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 1:06 PM

Those electric weed whackers are a joke....No power, cheaply made...The 4-strokes are the best, most torque at low rpm, longest lasting, it's what you end up with if you weed whack long enough.....and a shoulder strap....

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#90
In reply to #89

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 1:10 PM

I agree. I was just surprised about how the factory settings were set. Mostly because I was use to taking it out of the box and going at it.

But even with the minor adjustments, well worth it. (It actually tears up the grass sod if not paying attention)

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#91
In reply to #89

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 1:14 PM

Cyclone power ( yet to go seriously into the market) was supposedly going to put out a radial steam engine with external combustion chamber and steam coil, that could be made small enough for a trimmer/edger, and lightweight as the 2-stroke engines. Have not seen those, but they are supposed to be able to run on any burnable liquid.

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#92
In reply to #91

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 2:08 PM

Hard to get lighter than 11 lbs...

Pretty cool tech though....

http://cyclonepower.com/

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#95
In reply to #92

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 3:52 PM

Was reading up on their web site about how this (in an automobile) would warm up in about two minutes from dead cold frozen in Minnesota. I would like to see a test run on MythBusters (if they were only still around).

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#100
In reply to #89

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 7:11 PM

It depends on what you are trying to do. I mostly use one to trim the edges of my lawns; once a year I go actually weed-whacking to clear for fire prevention/protection. I use corded electric, both for the trimmer and for the lawnmower, and have gotten quite used to managing the cord. I did cut one once, around 15 years ago...

I'm a little guy, and want small tools. When my old 3-Amp string trimmer started falling apart, I bought a 4-Amp replacement. When I really go weed-whacking, I'm sure the higher power will be an advantage, but for lawn trimming, I prefer the older one. Especially, the old one had just a single point with the cutting blade to prevent excessive length of cutting filament. The new one has a full half-circle of plastic, probably mandated by OSHA for safety. So now I can't see the point where the cutting is taking place when making a vertical cut...

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#104
In reply to #100

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/22/2016 8:12 PM

The first thing I do is rip that guard off, makes the end lighter and you can see what your doing....the secret is cutting the grass away from you, but you're still going to get it on your feet, and probably all over, I just dress for the occasion....at least I used to, now living in this condo, it's not a problem anymore....actually that's one of the reasons I moved here, no more yard work...no more pool maintenance....no more home maintenance...

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#107
In reply to #104

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/23/2016 2:36 AM

I agree, but you should also make sure that he is using eye safety glasses or similar, as I believe that part of the reason they are on the machine is to reduce the possibility of launching stones around the area.

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#108
In reply to #107

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/23/2016 11:42 AM

Part of the spec requirements in ISO for trimmers and brush cutters is a thrown object test. The test uses triangular shaped ceramic pieces dropped into the cutting plane and the test counts the number of holes in a man shaped paper target placed as if the target was running the machine. The spec allows zero body hits. Thus you get a spec guard that blocks all lines of sight and seriously compromises the useability of the trimmer.

I designed for Shindaiwa for 10 years and during that period I heard about four fatalities in South America. The practice there was to take off the guard and put on a 20 inch long straight cutting bar locally made. The failure mode was the operator would hit a rock and notch the blade and keep going. At some point the blade fatigues off. Two of the fatalities involved the shed blade tip passing through the sternum and into the operators heart.

Nothing to fool with.

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#112
In reply to #108

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/23/2016 4:04 PM

WOW!!

Thanks for the great post!!

At least I was posting "in the right directions" so to say!!

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#114
In reply to #108

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/23/2016 4:38 PM

There is a HUGE difference between a trimmer and a brush cutter. It is not at all uncommon for me to feel or hear the string of my string trimmer strike my boot (I always wear boots when gardening). On several such occasions, I have examined my boot and been unable to detect any damage, or even see where the string struck the boot.

If that were a metal blade, there would almost certainly have been damage to my boot, and most likely damage to my foot.

I've never used a metal bladed brush cutter, and don't plan to...

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#115
In reply to #114

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/23/2016 5:22 PM

I coined a phrase one time. Porcupain.

During development of a bump feed trimmer head, the head went into limited feed. The line advanced about 1-1/2" per rev and hit the line cutter built into the guard and shot the pieces back at the operators leg. The cut was on a slight angle. He took about 35 hits with .095" nylon line that stuck in to the shin bone.

Nothing to fool with.

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#11

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 6:32 PM

I feel your pain. I'm ready to go cordless. Trying to keep the cord out of the way is a nuisance! When my present trimmer dies, I will probably go with a battery powered model. I have a small city lot and I'm sure a battery can handle that. (Hopefully vacuum cleaners will be also be cordless when I replace mine.)

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#16

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/19/2016 10:42 PM

In Australia a well known company called VICTA make a cordless weed trimmer. Each battery is a 40V Li ion battery rated at 4 amp hours.

I have a small housing block less than 1/4 acre, the grass here is really tough called "couch" grass'. Now the trimmer has what is called "turbo mode" in this mode the trimmer works really well, of course you guessed it the battery capacity lasted only 30 mins.

The unit came with one Li ion battery and a two hour charger. I decided to take the plunge, I bought two Li ion batteries and a second charger. All up it cost me $1000 Australian. I thought to myself well you have done your money in. But now I am finding that for my yard I go to this unit now all the time.

Battery technology still has a way to go, what I have notice though is that these small electric motors can produce enormous power, I used to have a 7.2 Volt Black and Decker drill, when the NiCad battery died, I made up a 24Volt SLA pack the drill could almost cut and drill through anything, for a tiny drill it was incredible it took 3 years to destroy the gear box, not the motor.

It just shows if we solve the electricity storage problem electric propulsion could be in almost anything why even an aircraft maybe?

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#19

Re: Cordless Weed Whackers

06/20/2016 1:33 AM

Just a title correction for spelling and pronunciation.

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#20

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 2:56 AM

With ALL cordless devices, the best tip is never to buy one without having a second battery, as no matter how quickly the charger does its job, and no matter how long a single charge lasts, YOU ALWAYS NEED TWO BATTERIES!

Often, a set with two batteries already in it can be bought for only a slight extra cost over and above that for the single battery version.

What is also important is (if possible to find out before buying), is that the charger is one that "looks after" the battery and never over charges.

Also that the device has a high torque values, especially with regard to cordless drills, for which I tend to go for one that:-

a) declares the torque in "Nm" and

b) is above 35 Nm at a minimum, many are good looking but FAR below this and therefore cannot drive in big screws.....

I hope these thoughts help you further........

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#24
In reply to #20

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 7:33 AM

Andy, where/how was 35 Nm derived from? I always wondered about the torque. on Advertising it's not normally shown

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#28
In reply to #24

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 8:50 AM

I agree its not always shown, those I never buy. Though it sounds like I am buying cordless drills every day, which I never do of course.

Over the last 20 years I have bought maybe 4 or 5 cordless dills and I always have a corded drill as well available, my latest is a B&D and must be over 20 years old. It still runs perfectly....

One tip that I have also done (once 20 odd years ago) was I bought a powerfull (I forget the Nm!!) cordless drill and wanted a second battery.

It was cheaper to buy a second drill, complete with box and everything!! That meant that I could have one cordless drill for boring holes and the other for screwing! Also a great combination and occasionally having one battery on charge and swapping bits around for an hour or so wasn't bad either.......I re-floored our lounge, hallway and kitchen with them. They lasted about 8 years before the batteries needed replacement, but I simply bought new cordless drills....

Here is a link or two showing the Nm (Newton Meter) and how to convert to Pound Inches:-

Newton-meters-to-inch-pounds-conversion

Cordless Drill 1

Cordless Drill 2

Cordless Drill 3

So I believe that most ebay offerings, no matter who made them, have the Nm for the lower speed gear in their ad, usually speed 1 on the selector switch.

You will notice that the third one is only 10Nm., which is far too low......

I hope this helps as its a very important point to note before purchase.....

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#42
In reply to #28

Re: Cordless Weed Wackers

06/20/2016 3:10 PM

I forgot to mention what I do with cordless phones, that is I sort of ignore my own good advice that I previously mentioned. I use quality Siemens DECT phones that must be 15 years old and just had their 3rd set of new rechargeable AAA batteries....

Siemens appear to have a quality charger chip, which is either in the base station or in the phone, I have never ever looked!!

Phones need to be always ready, so I do the following:-

1) I buy new Rechargeable Batteries with the greatest capacity that I can get or a reasonable price, usually on ebay.

2) I first charge them in a quality charger, this seems to improve capacity, but that may be just wishful thinking.

3) I place charging stations and phones all over the house, except in the bathroom which is only the phone, which gets swapped out for charging every 2 days. I have 6 phones,one of which can also be used as a speaker phone.

4) I try and put each phone on a charger about once every 2-3 days.

5) The batteries generally last about 5 years, very aproximately, surprisingly enough, but that is 80% guesswork, sadly.....But more than 3 years.....

6) When they start to need a charge every day, I look around for new batteries.

7) I think that the life of the batteries (both day to day and how many years they can be used for) is more a function of being that I use Siemens made units, than anything else....I have had Panasonic, I threw them out after a year, pathetically bad in all respects.....

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