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Craftsman V20 Weedwacker Review

If you need a string trimmer in your tool arsenal but don't have much money to spend, this one is the one to buy
Craftsman V20 Weedwacker
Credit: Craftsman
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $129 List | $129.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, relatively quiet, easy to service
Cons:  Not super powerful, short battery life
Manufacturer:   Craftsman
By Michelle Powell and Matt Bento  ⋅  Aug 17, 2021
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 9
  • Weed Eating - 30% 7
  • Ease of Use - 30% 7.4
  • Battery - 25% 5.5
  • Noise - 15% 7.8

Our Verdict

The ultimate, most powerful tool often costs an arm and a leg, and usually, all you need is a model like the Craftsman V20 Weedwacker that can get the job done, once a week for half an hour. This inexpensive string trimmer is easy to service, relatively quiet, and does an excellent job of trimming tight corners or hard-to-reach zones that your mower can't reach. This model can't power through thick, tall strands of grass, and you'll need to pop in another battery for jobs longer than a half-hour, but the average suburban yard can achieve above-average good looks with some help from this inexpensive and effective trimmer. For tight budgets with light trimming needs, this is the trimmer to get.

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Pros Lightweight, relatively quiet, easy to serviceEasy to use, great battery life, low noiseInexpensive, quietQuiet, lightweight, easy to controlFantastic at weed eating, easy to use
Cons Not super powerful, short battery lifeNot the lightest tool around, priceyNot the most powerfulPricey, short reachRequires additional motorized head, decently loud
Bottom Line If you need a string trimmer in your tool arsenal but don't have much money to spend, this one is the one to buyErgonomic and easy to use, this is one of our all-time favorite cordless yard tools to use when clearing weedsIf you are shopping on a budget and don't need an extra powerful tool, then this is the string trimmer for youThis is a fantastic all-around string trimmer that especially excels at maintaining large vegetated areasThis versatile tool takes out dense vegetation with ease
Rating Categories Craftsman V20 Weedw... Makita XRU15PT 36V Black+Decker LST136 Husqvarna 115iL EGO Power+ STA1500...
Weed Eating (30%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
8.6
Ease Of Use (30%)
7.4
9.2
7.4
6.1
6.7
Battery (25%)
5.5
9.0
6.8
8.5
3.5
Noise (15%)
7.8
9.0
8.0
6.8
5.0
Specs Craftsman V20 Weedw... Makita XRU15PT 36V Black+Decker LST136 Husqvarna 115iL EGO Power+ STA1500...
Line Feed Mechanism Button Bump Auto Bump Bump
Cutting Path (in.) 15 15 13 14 15
Shoulder Strap Attachment No Yes No No No
Measured Sound Level from 36" Away 84 dBa 85 dBa 85.9 dBa 95 dBa 104.6 dBa
Measured No-Load Runtime 35 min. 88 min. 43 min. 92 min. 21 min.
Number of Speed Settings 2 3 6 2 2
Measured Weight 7.0 lb 10.4 lb 7.8 lb 10.0 lb 12.4 lb
Nominal Voltage 20 36 36 40 56
Tested Amp-hours 4 5 2 4 2.5

Our Analysis and Test Results

For folks on a budget (and who isn't?), the Craftsman V20 Weedwacker is a rock-solid option. While this string trimmer won't be able to reclaim your backyard from the jungle, it handles basic tasks with ease. Its 35-minute run time is plenty for the delicate edging work your mower leaves behind, and at 7 lbs, the whole family can get in on the yard work.

Performance Comparison


This model will help you keep your yard "high and tight" without...
This model will help you keep your yard "high and tight" without making you pay a high price.
Credit: Laura Casner

Weed Eating


When it comes it comes to the task of rendering undesirable plants into rakeable detritus, the V20 Weedwacker is up to task for grasses, dandelions, or even very young bamboo shoots. It has plenty of power to eat through short, thick grasses, though it gets tangled if the grass is too thick and too tall. The low-speed setting is excellent for detailed edging (e.g., around sprinkler heads), and you can turn the head sideways to clean up bushes and hedges, so long as the branches are very thin. It also does a nice job of cutting close to the ground.


The V20 Weedwacker isn't the most powerful trimmer in the game, and we wouldn't recommend it to a professional landscaper. It gets tangled in tall, thick stands of weeds, and the battery life is fairly short. Additionally, the guard is large enough that it gets in the way of some detailed work.

While this string trimmer is good for edgework, taller, thicker...
While this string trimmer is good for edgework, taller, thicker stands of grass will require a mower or a more powerful trimmer.
Credit: Laura Casner

The ergonomic telescoping pole, handle, and the fact that the...
The ergonomic telescoping pole, handle, and the fact that the Craftsman V20 tool only weighs 7 pounds make it easy to handle.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ease of Use


The V20 Weedwacker is tailored for at-home DIY yard maintenance, so it's easy to carry, easy to use, and fairly easy to service. There isn't a shoulder strap attachment, but at a scant 7 pounds, our testers felt comfortable hanging on to this string trimmer as it whacked its way through grass. The V20 has a button to feed the string and when it's time to replace it, it's relatively simple to pop the cap off the spool head, as there is only one line to feed. The spool head will eventually wear out as it's dragged and scraped across the ground, and Craftsman offers an inexpensive replacement.


The ergonomic telescoping pole makes operation comfortable for all but the tallest of users, while the guard does an excellent job keeping flying debris below knee level.

Just pop the cap and replace the spool, it's that easy. Replacement...
The telescoping pole accommodates all but the tallest of operators.

Battery Life


Our independent testing reveals a 35-minute battery life per charge. This isn't an impressive amount of time in a professional setting, but if you refer to your property as a "yard" rather than an "estate," we're willing to bet you can cut those pesky weeds around the gas meter and over by the deck posts with time to spare.


There are models that will keep on whackin' for more than twice as long as the V20 Weedwacker, but they also cost quite a bit more.


If there's one gripe we have, it's battery life. 35 minutes is fine...
If there's one gripe we have, it's battery life. 35 minutes is fine for quick jobs, but not enough for huge yards.
Credit: Laura Casner

Noise


We measured 84 decibels at arm's length from this tool, which is objectively low compared to some of the competition that measured in the low 100 decibel range. For reference, 85 dB is around the same volume as the subway going by, or standing next to a diesel truck. Subjectively, it has a medium-high pitch, and the string thumps fairly loud when we first turn it on.


You'll want to wear ear protection if you're using the V20 Weedwacker for more than a few minutes, but you won't bother the neighbors if you're doing yard work at a reasonable hour.

A button feeds out more string as the ends become worn.
A button feeds out more string as the ends become worn.
Credit: Laura Casner


Value


We think that for the average homeowner, the Craftsman V20 Weedwacker presents an excellent value. It's more than up to the task of cleaning up after a mowing job on small to medium yards, and while it lacks the power and battery life for professional jobs, it's easy to service, easy on the back, and easy on the wallet.

Conclusion


This is an excellent string trimmer. There are models that we prefer because they have longer battery life and more power, making them more versatile tools. However, a string trimmer is key for keeping your yard looking its best, and the V20 Weedwacker is more than up to the task, without being too painful on your wallet.

Michelle Powell and Matt Bento