Pros: Low cost, starting, long battery life, light weight, free cookies!
Cons: 10” cutting diameter, neighbors keep asking to borrow it.
My gas lawn edger stopped working and I wanted a good replacement that would provide years of dependable service. After shopping around for two days with an eye on characteristics like cost, maintenance and consumable materials required, the YS24 cordless trimmer seemed like the best option so I bought it. Yes, the idea is utopian because nothing battery powered can run forever but at least you will not see me holding a little red can at the gas station every other week!
The fun part is walking around the yard, pulling the trigger and hearing the electric motor purr to life. The low pitched, buzzing sound is similar to an electric drill that you have attached a fan blade to. In other words, you can still can hear cars on the road, dogs barking in the back yard and the house phone ringing while using the YS24. I really enjoy this because using gas powered lawn edger’s hurt my ears. As you read the rest of this review be honest and ask yourself if this could work for you!
Packaging And Setup
The YS24 trimmer comes in a long rectangular box partially assembled. The 9" x 51" x 7" box came from Amazon.com in relatively good shape. Inside the rectangular box, were two smaller half boxes protecting the head and handle sections of the partially assembled product. Out of the box came the cordless trimmer, recharging wall plate, 700261 Line Trimmer spare parts kit, line guard and combination English with Spanish 35 page instruction manual. To complete the product assembly, you will slide the line guard into place, remote tape from both line head and cut-off blade. The steps took me less than 2 minutes. A combination charger and wall plate is provided for you to hold the trimmer while not in use. After you have the Yard Stick opened and setup, I highly recommend giving it a full charge before using it. Recharging will reduce the "memory effect" of the batteries and stir up any settled electrolyte in the batteries. The unit does arrive partially charged, just resist the urge, the evil weeds will still be there tomorrow!
The Yardstick is balanced very well with the handle on the shaft pivoting the load of the batteries. In fact, I found this to be lighter than most two cycle, messy, gas weed edgers. Since you do not have to fill up a small gas tank and pull on a starter cord for 10 minutes, the cordless yardstick saves you a little stamina by getting you in the weeds faster. Cutting weeds is just what you would expect from any other lawn trimmer; do not tackle the weed at its base but work from top to bottom. My biggest problem so far is getting used to 10” cutting diameter. I only notice it when tackling large sections of over growth. Since lawn trimming is fun again, I do not see a chance that my lawn will get too overgrown this year.
Edger String Replacement
Changing the trimmer line is a simple task. The line spool cover has tabs that can be depressed to remove the spool and add more line. The instruction manual insists on using .080" American Gardner replacement line. I disagree with this statement though. You should use Husqvarna .080" Titanium Force trimmer line because it lasts much longer. The trimmer came loaded with this weak, green material that fell apart the second it hit concrete. The Husqvarna .080" line has now survived a full hour of trimming and has half a spool remaining. If you need to pick up a replacement spool, look for the RS24 which is relatively cheap and good insurance purchase.
Two of my neighbors now have the Yardstick YS24 after watching me use it. They said they were tired of mixing two cycle oil in their trimmers and smelling up their garages. We did notice one problem with this product, the spool end cap can wear down quickly when trimming borders on the street. I made a group buy of six of these Original Power No. RS24 Yardstick Replacement Spools from Amazon so that we can use our grown-up toys for years to come!
Power Consumption And Batteries
For the following statistics, I used a P3 International Kill A Watt P4400 energy meter. Since this is a cordless lawn edger, I had to measure the power consumed by the recharging base station. The charger for this lawn trimmer is rated at 24VDC, 500 ma. A single led light changes between two colors: red for charging and green for charged.
1/3/2009, 25 minutes of use, outside temperature 70F, 12 watt load at start of charge, .06 Kwh to recharge in 7 hours. The grass was spilling over the 300ft concrete border along my street and driveway. I grabbed the yardstick tackled the thick St. Augustine grass for 25 minutes and was done. The grass seemed effortless to cut.
2/21/2009, 43 minutes of use, outside temperature 75F, 16 watt load at start of charge, .10 Kwh to recharge in 10 hours. The backyard has several 4 ft tall weeds and some thick winter grass growth. Nothing could stop my little cordless toy, as the weeds just fell apart. I lost a majority of my power after 40 minutes of use. To get an extra boost, I waited a few minutes and turned the Yardstick on again for a quick 3 minute burst of power.
The two batteries in the YS24 are maintenance free sealed lead acid with a capacity of 3.5Ah. The manufacturer is De Li Battery and they specify the battery dimensions are 134 L x 67 W x 51 H. They can be removed by loosening the Philips screws on each yellow cover, unclipping the leads and pulling out. A compatible replacement battery would be the PS1230 found at Batterystuff.com. Now if you wanted to upgrade your trimmer, consider getting a 24V 4200 mAh NiMH battery pack with 24VDC charger from Batteryspace.com The battery pack will fit in just one compartment and is one quarter the weight of the old lead acid batteries. The NiMH batteries also retain their charge longer than lead acid batteries while in storage.
Product Cross Reference
The trimmer is now sold by some Walmart stores as C-Max WLT24 Line Trimmer/Edger.
In 2008, I decided to go all cordless in my yard for 2009 to avoid the high cost of gasoline and get hardware that would actually start in the spring. The first purchase was the Black And Decker CMM1200 Cordless Electric Mower with the YS24 my second. All of these products were ordered directly from Amazon for their low prices and excellent shipping standards. Both of these devices worked just fine for me and have already saved me a lot of gas, 2 gallons by my calculations. The expense of replacing gasoline with electricity is about .6 Kwh per use which is less than $.10 on my electric bill. The unseen benefit was in my garage. The smelly fumes of gas and oil are completely gone now. I was able to take all my containers of two cycle oil and fuel stabilizer to the auto parts store for recycling.
Yet again, the neighborhood peanut gallery came out to comment on the YS24. Several people stopped in their cars to ask me questions about where I got the product. To drive the point home, I kept edging while we talked. One person asked what that buzzing was and I replied, "I'm still trimming!". Everyone likes the cordless trimmer, my next door neighbor's wife has a hard time with her edger and she has already asked to borrow my cordless trimmer in exchange for cookies this year.
Go cordless in your yard; you will not regret it and you may even get free cookies!