My neighborhood recently upped their air purity laws and while I initially assumed my 1988 Buick Skylark with a perpetual cloud of black smoke trailing it would be the first to go, I was surprised when the homeowner’s association did their energy audit. Apparently my old 2-cycle Craftsman 31cc weed eater did not fit in with the plans of the neighborhood so I had two options, get a new weed eater…or move.
The wife and kids really didn’t want to get a new house just because I was attached to a $100 string trimmer so I decided to do some ‘green’ shopping. I ended up spending around $160 on a Worx WG175 weed eater.
First Thoughts on the WG175
There were some gas trimmers available that I could have went with and still be compliant with my town’s new emission laws. The new 4-cycle weed eaters are CARB compliant in California but I figured with my finicky HOA it was only a matter of time before they up their laws and this time I’m out around $300.
I swallowed my pride and purchased a battery operated model, I figured it was about time to think about my impact on the environment anyway but I’m still years away from parting with the Buick. I had to go in with realistic expectations and I knew the battery trimmer wasn’t going to be as powerful as a gas engine one.
I also knew that the battery was going to be a nuisance that would need to be recharged often. My concerns were true but you have to take the good with the bad I guess.
The Worx WG175 has decent battery life, If you’re efficient with the trimmer you can get around 35 minutes of run time from each battery. Being efficient means not taking a 35 minute beer break in the middle of your trimming session and cutting on low power whenever possible. It should be a common practice anyway but you’ll want to trim your yard often with a battery powered device.
If the weeds grow too long you’ll need to use more power to knock them down and the battery life will suck out in what seems like minutes. Speaking of suck, the lithium battery on the Worx takes over 2 hours to charge. You can spend that 2 hours on the long awaited beer break but you might be a little wobbly by the time the battery has juice again. What most people do is spend more money to get a 2nd battery that way it won’t take 4 hours to trim your lawn.
Comfort of Use
With all the negative aspects you lose with a cordless trimmer like having less cutting power or having to recharge a battery there are positives to be gained.
First off, the Worx WG175 is a lot lighter than my old Craftsman unit. My new trimmer is only about 5-7 pounds where some gas models weigh 12-15. It might not seem like much but after 30-45 minutes of lugging around an extra 8 pounds it really adds up. Something else I like is the fact that the battery trimmer starts up immediately with no priming or repeated pulls of a starter cord. Another positive aspect of the battery model is that it is much quieter and has less vibration than my old gas model. After a long afternoon of trimming with my Craftsman I could barely open my celebratory finishing beer…but I always found a way.
The Worx WG175 is also nice because it’s loaded with features. Wherein as most gas powered weed wackers are trimmers only, the Worx also functions as an edger and has wheels so you can use it as a mini mower. The mini mower works nice in my dog kennel and the edger flips converts with a quick flip of the head. Another nice feature is that the shaft of the Worx can adjust so you can get the ideal height no matter how tall you are. There is also an auxiliary handle that adjusts so you can have comfort even while trimming under bushes or around lawn gnomes.
There are some obvious things you have to give up when switching to an electric or battery powered trimmer from a gas model but in my case the positives outweighed the negatives. The unit is more comfortable to use from the lightweight body to the quieter running noise. I wish the battery would last longer but in the money I save from buying gas in a summer I can just purchase an extra battery…or just buy some more beers.