The Black & Decker LST136W string trimmer is an extremely popular garden tool that homeowners seem to absolutely love, and for good reason. The true gauge of a quality tool, or any product, is how well it fares over time. Any tool can be impressive on day one but what about day 421? Well, the good news is that the LST136W battery powered weed eater has proven itself in the wild — in this case, the lawn and garden.
The LST136W truly demands to be at the top of your list — and I’m going to tell you why.
First, let’s clarify: A string trimmer seems to go by many names, including weed wacker, weed eater, whipper snipper, weed whip, edge trimmer, line trimmer, and strimmer. Yes, it’s exhausting just listing them all, never mind remembering them. In this article I’ll be referring to the name I like the most — a string trimmer.
Far too many consumers tend to overlook the importance of freedom of mobility when it comes to using tools. When I was a kid, battery powered tools were virtually non-existent. I know for a fact that my parents never owned one. My fathers yard tools were either gas powered or corded. I have many memories of using our string trimmer and constantly cursing under my breath while managing the extension cord. I know, it’s a first world problem but since we have options why not make the best possible choice.
The Black & Decker LST136W strikes an excellent balance between power, performance, affordability, effectiveness and battery longevity. The LST136W will handle all of your grass trimming needs — assuming your backyard isn’t a jungle — and it easily converts to a highly efficient edger in seconds, with its built-in attachment. Trimming grass from the sidewalk or walkways is a breeze with the Black & Decker LST136W.
Watch the video below to see this trimmer in action. The video demos the 36V model but it’s identical to the newer 40V model. In fact, the batteries are fully compatible between the 40V LST136W and the discontinued 36V LST136 string trimmer.
I love the Power+ Command dial that allows you to adjust the level of power you need so you can get the most out of the powerful 40V lithium-ion battery. If you need to trim thick weeds and overgrowth then set it to maximum power, but when the your demands are light then knock it down to minimal power so you don’t waste battery juice when you don’t need it. It’s a nice design feature that gives you more power and control over how you work.
Let me just add, variable power dials are not exclusive to Black & Decker, as you’ll see later in the article when I write about the GreenWorks 21242 GMAX (40V) and the Toro 51488 (48V). You’ll notice many common features between trimmers but what really matters is how all the features come together in one cohesive package. The LST136W exceeds on all fronts.
You’ll be happy to know that it also has a telescopic handle allowing you to adjust the height to suit your needs. For some reason most of the online literature doesn’t included this detail.
LST136W 40V Battery System
The battery has a real-time LED system that shows you exactly how much power is left in your battery as you work. If you’re a regular reader of Chainsaw Journal you’ll know what I’m going to say next: Buy a second battery! You won’t regret it. As you know, the last thing you want to be thinking about when you’re working in your yard is how much battery is left. The only downfall of this string trimmer, as with any battery powered trimmer, is battery life.
You’ll probably get about 30 minutes if you run the trimmer on the highest power setting; and if you operate it on the lowest level you should get about one hour of usage. These are just guidelines but it gives you an idea of how much time you can spend working. Basically, you won’t be working longer than an hour on one battery charge, that’s why I recommend a second battery (LBXR2036), which is superior to the one you get in the box. You’ll need it if you have a large yard with lots of overgrowth and weeds.
Luckily the LST136W comes with a fast charger which enables you to recharge your battery in under two hours. That’s quite fast, but if you have big jobs to do on a regular basis then you should get the backup 40V battery (LBXR2036).
The LST136W Trimmer Has Great Design Features
The Black & Decker LST136W has a few other features I want to touch upon. It has a proprietary transmission that Black & Decker refers to as “PowerDrive.” Essentially this mechanism optimizes the power from the motor to the cutting string, optimizing that amount of power it delivers.
Also, the LST136W has an automated feeding spool which feeds the trimmer line whenever it’s needed. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. It can be annoying to have to start and stop while you’re working, which is why I think this feature is a nice touch that will make your work flow a little smoother.
The Black & Decker LST136W is designed to give the average homeowner a string trimmer that provides a complete solution at a reasonable price. It delivers enough power to tackle all of your grass trimming jobs around the house, and the convenient built-in edger will ensure that your yard looks great at the end of the day.
The only Achilles heel of the LST136W, as with any battery powered tool, is that battery life is limited to about one hour, depending on the power setting you use. If you think you need more than an hour to complete your yard then I suggest buying an extra battery. On the other hand, if you need a string trimmer that can run for long periods of time then I suggest one of the following models:
- Budget Gas: Poulan Pro PP25CFA 17-Inch 25cc
- Best Gas: Husqvarna 128DJx 17-Inch 28cc
- Corded Electric: GreenWorks 21212 10-Amp 13-Inch
Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with the Black & Decker LST136W. I think it’s an excellent choice for the majority of homeowners. The overall customers satisfaction on the product is consistently high so don’t listen to me, trust the majority. The LST136W is certainly one of the best string trimmers to keep your yard trim, cultivated and sharp around the edges..
Don’t forget the extra string. You’ll probably be needing it over the course of Spring and Summer.
You can view or download the manual if you want to learn more. The manual for the LST136 is the same as the LST136W. They are identical.
Included: LST136W trimmer/edger; LBXR36 40-volt MAX lithium-ion battery; LCS36 fast charger; one AF-100 spool; guard.
- 3 year warranty.
- Powerful 40-Volt lithium-ion battery.
- Choose the amount of power you need to extend battery life.
- PowerDrive transmission optimizes the power from the motor.
- Automatic line feed spool.
- Quiet and easy to start.
- Quickly converts to edger by simply turning the shaft.
- Weight with battery installed is 7.8 lbs.
More Battery Powered Weed Eater Options
If you’re not sure if the Black & Decker LST136W is for you then you may be happy to know that you have a couple other excellent alternatives to consider. I like to give my readers options because everyone has different needs to consider when making a decision.
I wholeheartedly recommend the LST136W due to its exceptional overall build quality, ergonomics, maneuverability and its excellent battery power system that enables you to work without having to wrestle with wires.
But, it’s always good to know you have options, so without further adieu, here are two more powerful battery-powered string trimmers that would also do a great job of taking care of your grass trimming needs.
*Discontinued : GreenWorks 21242 G-MAX | 40V String Trimmer
Replaced by : GreenWorks 21362 G-MAX 40V (includes 4Ah battery + charger)
The GreenWorks GMAX 40V (21242) Lithium-Ion Cordless Trimmer/Edger is also a great choice for homeowners. It has a head that swivel to multiple position so you can get the best angle when cutting and trimming. It has a built-in edger and a variable speed trigger that allows you to easily adjust the amount of power you use.
As you can see, there are a lot of similarities between this GreenWorks trimmer and the Black & Decker LST136W.
Replaced by : GreenWorks 21362 G-MAX 40V (includes 4Ah battery + charger)
It comes with a 4 Ah lithium-ion battery that will last you up to 50 minutes of running time. This also has an automatic single line feed while allowing you to adjust the cutting path from 10″ to 13-inches.
GreenWorks makes excellent power tools for homeowners and you’ll be happy to know that GreenWorks GMAX 40V 21242 comes with a 4-year warranty on all parts and services. It’s always nice to see a company stand firmly behind their products.The battery has a 2 year warranty.
Includes: String Trimmer, Starter Spool, GMAX 40V 4AH Battery and Charger and Owner’s Manual.
Here are more features that you might want to know about:
- Easily converts from trimming to edging and gliding walk behind wheels.
- Comes with a flower guard that allows you to trim around your flower bed or other sensitive areas without harm.
- Ergonomic Design for User Comfort: Adjustable shaft design provides up to 67” of total length to accommodate each user for optimal comfort.
- Weight: 8.59 lbs.
- 40V Lithium-Ion Battery power won’t fade after charging.
- 3-position pivoting head for optimal trimming angles.
- 90 degree rotating head with edging wheel for walk behind edging.
- Compatible Only with G-MAX 40V Battery Models 29462 and 29472
The Toro 51488 is powered by an impressive 48V lithium-ion battery system, making it the most powerful string trimmer on my list. If you need power and want a clean running trimmer then this is probably the product you want.
One thing that I haven’t mentioned yet in this article is that with a battery powered weed eater you don’t have to deal with the fumes of a gas model, or the noise issues. Trust me, you won’t annoy your neighbors when you decide to start working at 8am.
It’s not just about the freedom of movement that these battery powered string trimmers provide you, there are many reasons why battery power is an ideal choice — unless you have large heavy-duty weed trimming and clearing that needs to get done, in that case, buy a gas string trimmer. You have to fit the tool to the jobs you want to accomplish not the other way around.
This is a dual-line trimmer making it more efficient and effective at cutting weeds and trimming grass. Also, this is a slightly heavier trimmer at 9.2 lbs but still very accessible and lightweight for anybody to haul around from an hour or two.
If you need a heavy-duty string trimmer then I would have to recommend this model just because it’s powered by a 48V battery and it’s a dual-line trimmer. This Toro 51488 will give you excellent power and will be able to handle slightly more demanding jobs around your yard.
Learn more at Amazon.
- 3 year warranty.
- Weight: 9.2 lbs.
- Battery Charger with Storage Mode: Keeps the battery at a 40% charge while in storage.
- Adjustable assist handle for optimal balance. Foam grip for extra comfort.
- Cast Aluminum Head increases the overall lifespan.
- Variable Speed Control to maximize battery life.
- Automated 13″ dual feed trim line. Adjusts as you work.