If you are like me, you may be wondering what the major differences are between Electric, Gas, and Battery charged trimmers. A few years ago we took the leap and went ahead and bought a Ryobi Lithium Trimmer with the rechargeable 18v Ryobi battery. The idea of being able to use the battery interchangeably with other Ryobi tools was too intriguing to pass up. So, I thought I would do a review here on my website, and let you know how it is working out for us, and how the Ryobi Lithium One+ 18v Hybrid Trimmer stands up vs Gas and Electric weed whackers.
Most of my life I have used a corded electric grass trimmer (or weed whacker or weed eater, as I grew up calling them). They work well, but as many of you may know, there is one giant disadvantage to an electric trimmer– the cord. Man, what a hassle that can be. Always seems like there is not enough slack, or if I’m lucky, too much cord that’s laying in your way all over the place. Plus, you need an outlet, which is not always available. I’ve lived in houses that couldn’t handle the draw from the trimmer, and it kept tripping the breaker. I have also lived in houses that didn’t even have an outside outlet (which is a real bummer when Christmas rolls around).
I never really liked using the gas alternative, because, well, you need gas. I have enough things to worry about. The last gas one we had needed to have some perfect mixture of gas and oil…way too complicated. When I feel like whacking some weeds (or grass) I just want to do it. Not figure out which red container has the right fuel in it, or have to run to to the gas station to re-up. Again, these trimmers generally have a lot of power, but they are very loud, dirty, and of course you need gas.
Another thing I should mention is the constant issues with the actual string that cuts the grass I have had with every trimmer I have ever had before the Ryobi. For some reason, they have always snapped off right at the hole, which sucks it back in, and requires you to open the thing up to fix it. And, of course, when you do this the whole thing wants to unravel, or you can’t get it strung back through…so annoying! Spolier alert- The ryobi has never done this to me once. It works just like I always imagined they should work. It slowly, automatically releases the string, as needed, without you even knowing about it. Then a several weeks or months later (depending on how often you use it), it is done, and you replace the spool. Now, how awesome is that?!! It’s like a magical dream lol.
Ryobi Lithium One+ 18v Hybrid Trimmer
Ok, so, I have to say, I was a little bit skeptical about this trimmer initially. It seemed pretty obvious to me that a battery would not be as powerful as an gas or electric motor. The real question was though, how much less power is it, and does it make a difference to me? Is it worth the light weight, much quieter, instantly usable convenience of a battery powered trimmer? In a word, the answer is YES!
Lightweight and Simple
I freaking love this thing! I am so glad we bought it. This is the best trimmer I have ever owned. I use it so much more often than I ever used our electric or gas trimmers of the past. I used to hate dragging out our old one. This one is so great. I just grab the battery off the charger snap it in an go to it. I can start on one area and then decide to go to another and back again if I want…with no cord issues! That may sound like a crazy person doing their lawn, but believe me it happens.
If you have a massive lawn that you let get way over grown, you probably want to stick with one of the super duper gas guys. But for regular everyday up keep in a regular yard, this thing works great. Like I mentioned before, I use the Ryobi trimmer whenever I see any little area I want to fix up. With the old monster trimmer, I dreaded dealing with that thing so much I would let things get out of control way too often. That isn’t a problem anymore, and I am very happy about it.
One other thing that I like about this new trimmer is that, as it is battery powered, it doesn’t run forever. I happen to have chronic tennis elbow. So, even though this is the lightest weed eater ever, my arm still starts to hurt after a while. But, conveniently, it just so happens that right when my arm is about to fall off, the battery runs out. Giving me a much needed break without making me feel like a wimpy quitter. Then I can just put the battery back in the charger, work on something else for about an hour, and then finish up any trimming I didn’t get done. Generally, this doesn’t happen because I keep up on the yard work pretty well, and the battery lasts till I’m done. But when it has been a couple weeks and there is more than usual to get done, I welcome the excuse to put it down for a few minutes.
Trimming and Edging
Another really awesome advantage to this trimmer is that it easily becomes an edger! To be honest, I have never really owned an edger…well I had the push-rolly kind at one point, but never a power version. I love it. I can’t believe we didn’t have one. It makes things look so much better. Can’t think about what my grass must have looked like before I got the Ryobi Hybrid…sorry neighbors. At least it looks good now!
It is really easy you just twist this knob thing that goes around the handle, and BAM it’s an edger! You can use it for two seconds and switch it right back too, it’s that easy. It also has a really great safety shield. I almost always do my yard work in sandals, and I have never once been worried about hitting my toes with this trimmer, unlike other super scary ones I have used in the past.
Another big plus about this trimmer/edger is that it is so affordable. Once you have the battery, you can add new tools to your collection whenever you want, because the battery is interchangeable with other Ryobi power tools.
The 18v Battery Advantage
The big selling point on this trimmer for the manufacturer is that the battery is interchangeable with other tools in the Ryobi family. That is what got us to buy it. That being said, I haven’t yet bought all the other tools. I really want to get the hedge trimmer. That is next on my list. It is funny that the many uses for the battery is what convinced me to buy the trimmer, but the trimmer itself is enough reason. There are very few purchases I have made in life that I have been as happy with as this trimmer.
My neighbor has the blower. He pulled it out a couple Halloweens ago and helped us clean up before the trick or treaters arrived. It worked really well for cleaning up our driveways and the street. One major thing that stood out to me is that it was super quiet compared to traditional blowers. It was also very lightweight and easy to use.
To recap, here are some of the key reasons why I totally recommend the
Ryobi Lithium One+ 18v Hybrid Trimmer:
- It is very lightweight
- No Cord
- No Gas
- Does everything I need it to do
- Easily switches back and forth from Trimmer to Edger
- String does not get chopped off, automatically comes out the way it should
- String is easy to replace
- Great Safety Guard
- And…I like the color : )
- Battery works for any compatible Ryobi power tool
I found this video on youtube and I thought I would share it with you. It is a bit long, but it is funny and really shows the woes of a gas trimmer…
Well, I hope that gave you all the information you need about the Ryobi Trimmer. I really love mine. I am not exaggerating. You should totally check it out and try one for yourself! We have had ours now for at least 5 years, and it is still going strong. It is literally the best yard tool I have ever purchased, by far.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to asap!
Update March 29, 2022
We just bought a new Ryobi 18v Blower to join our family of yard tools! I will be posting a review about it very soon. Stay tuned!
Don’t forget to check out my Hot Sauce reviews too…
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