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Black+Decker LST136 Review

This budget-friendly and compact string trimmer packs a punch and is on par with other full-size models
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Black+Decker LST136 Review (This string trimmer is a great bargain buy.)
This string trimmer is a great bargain buy.
Credit: Laura Casner
Price:  $195 List
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Manufacturer:   Black+Decker
By Hale Milano, Michelle Powell, and David Wise  ⋅  Jul 24, 2023
73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Performance - 35% 8.5
  • Ease of Use - 35% 7.0
  • Battery - 20% 6.0
  • Noise - 10% 6.6

Our Verdict

If you are shopping for a new cordless string trimmer on a budget, then we think the Black+Decker LST136 is a great choice for you. This cordless string trimmer is impressively effective at clearing weeds and vegetation and is fairly comfortable and easy to operate. It's very lightweight and easy to handle. If you are trying to get the most bang for the buck when shopping for your next tool and don't need a heavy-duty option, then we can't recommend the Black+Decker LST136 highly enough. Our article on the best string trimmers will show you how it fares versus competing products.
REASONS TO BUY
Inexpensive
Quiet
REASONS TO AVOID
Not the most powerful
Editor's Note: We updated this review in July 2023, to include additional testing notes, scores, and photos.

Compare to Similar Products

 
black+decker lst136
Awards Best Buy Award Best Buy Award    
Price $195 List
Check Price at Amazon
$140 List
$135.35 at Amazon
$200 List$179 List$120 List
$105.99 at Amazon
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Bottom Line Costing a fraction of the top-tier models, this yard tool does a great job of holding its own against much more expensive and full-size offeringsFor folks desiring a trimmed yard while sticking to a budget, this model is up to the taskThis trimmer is great for large areas and dense vegetation but is overpowered for grass and detailingIf you don't mind sacrificing some comfort in order to save some cash, this is a good value optionThis model has some nice features, and does well on grass, but isn't the most ergonomic or powerful
Rating Categories Black+Decker LST136 Craftsman V20 Weedw... Ego Power+ 15-Inch... Ryobi 40V Expand-It Worx 20V Power Shar...
Performance (35%)
8.5
6.3
6.0
6.5
6.2
Ease of Use (35%)
7.0
7.0
6.5
4.5
5.5
Battery (20%)
6.0
5.0
4.0
6.0
2.0
Noise (10%)
6.6
7.5
6.9
6.0
7.1
Specs Black+Decker LST136 Craftsman V20 Weedw... Ego Power+ 15-Inch... Ryobi 40V Expand-It Worx 20V Power Shar...
Cutting path 13 in 15 in 15 in 13-15 in 12 in
Measured weight 6.6 lb 7.0 lb 9.8 lb 11.8 lb 5.2 lb
Number of speed settings 6 2 Variable by trigger pressure 1 1
Shoulder strap attachment No No No No No
Line feed mechanism Auto Button Bump Bump Auto
Measured sound level from ear level 85.5 dBa 81.5 dBa 84.4 dBa 88.5 dBa 83.2 dBa
Measured no-load runtime 43 min 35 min 30 min 43 min 20 min
Nominal voltage 36 V 20 V 56 V 40 V 20 V
Measured Amp-hours 2 Ah 4 Ah 2.5 Ah 4 Ah 2 Ah

Our Analysis and Test Results

The LST136 string trimmer is great for light yard work, detailed cuts, and edging. We did find that it can get a little overburdened when cutting through really dense vegetation, so it might not be the best cordless yard tool around if you have heavy-duty lawn maintenance tasks ahead of you.

Performance Comparison


black+decker lst136 - this trimmer can handle your average yard clean-up chores, and a few...
This trimmer can handle your average yard clean-up chores, and a few heavy-duty ones, with ease.
Credit: Hale Milano

Performance


Our most important rating metric for these cordless tools is how effectively and easily they cleared weeds and other nuisance plants. We compared and scored the weed-eating efficiency of each product, how much power they have, and how easy it is to make precision cuts around fragile plants or objects. The Black+Decker LST136 isn't the most powerful or heavy-duty option by any means, but it still scored quite well compared to the rest of the tools in the group.


We loved using the LST136 to trim up small areas of our yard. Its broad guard makes it ideal for clean and level cuts in average-height grass, perfect for those areas where you don't want to use a lawn mower. We found it to be very effective when cutting through grasses and weeds using a side-to-side motion.

black+decker lst136 - the lst136 easily trimmed narrow sections of our yard, and keeping...
The LST136 easily trimmed narrow sections of our yard, and keeping the trimmer level for a consistent cut height was easy.
Credit: Hale Milano

It's more than up to the job of cutting down the occasional thick-stemmed brush, though. We found this trimmer to have plenty of power for most jobs, but it will start to slow down when cutting through very dense and high weeds. Still, for your average patch of weeds or rogue plant shoots, the LST136 has more than enough power.

black+decker lst136 - the black+decker lst136 trimmer does well with all but the toughest...
The Black+Decker LST136 trimmer does well with all but the toughest weeds.
Credit: Laura Casner

We also found it pretty easy to make detailed cuts with this string trimmer, especially since it has a low-speed setting. Edging along our driveways and sidewalks was also a breeze, thanks to the pivoting head of this trimmer. Although there is no guide wheel, the front guard wire kept the head at the ideal height while edging.

black+decker lst136 - the lst136 and its pivoting head excelled at edging along sidewalks...
The LST136 and its pivoting head excelled at edging along sidewalks and driveway.
Credit: Hale Milano

Ease of Use


Next, we rated and ranked how user-friendly and convenient each cordless string trimmer is to operate, looking at the difficulty of replacing the line, the comfort and ergonomics, and the weight of each tool, as well as the effectiveness of the guard. The Black+Decker LST136 again did quite well, finishing just behind the top models.


The LST136 has an automatic feed to dispense more line, making it an exceptionally easy process. It also is very easy to replace, with a simple and straightforward design with only a single spinning string.

We think it's very easy to swap the string on this cordless tool.
We think it's very easy to swap the string on this cordless tool.
The single cutting line makes it very user-friendly to replace.
The single cutting line makes it very user-friendly to replace.

We found this cordless tool to be very lightweight and extremely easy to handle, making it one of the least cumbersome string trimmers to operate. It is slightly less balanced than other models, and we wouldn't recommend it for marathon weed-eating sessions.


It's a very comfortable tool to hold with a grippy texture on the handle that allows you to securely hold the Black+Decker LST136 for both weed eating and edging. This trimmer is very maneuverable due to its lower weight, and it's easy to reach the speed controls with your thumb without letting off the trigger.

black+decker lst136 - it's easy to change speeds without letting go of the handle.
It's easy to change speeds without letting go of the handle.
Credit: Laura Casner

However, it is a bit on the shorter side compared to other models, so taller users will need to either hunch over a bit or trim a little closer to their feet. This trimmer's guard is also decently effective at stopping debris from getting thrown back at you, but it tends to get in the way a bit. This model also lacks a shoulder strap.

black+decker lst136 - the guard is quite effective at preventing debris from spraying...
The guard is quite effective at preventing debris from spraying backward, although it is on the larger side.
Credit: Hale Milano

Battery


Our next round of tests dealt with how long each of these tools could last on a single charge. We timed how long each trimmer could last running freely on a fully charged battery for the majority of the score, as well as awarding points for different operating modes that let you balance power and battery life. The Black+Decker LST136 did fairly well, scoring in the upper half of the group overall.


The LST136 does offer plenty of adjustability — almost to the point of overkill. It has six different settings, providing plenty of ability to balance power and battery life for whatever your weed-eating application is.

black+decker lst136 - the black+decker lst136 is one of the quietest and easiest trimmers...
The Black+Decker LST136 is one of the quietest and easiest trimmers to handle.
Credit: Laura Casner

The LST136 has a slightly above-average runtime, lasting for just under 45 minutes when using the stock battery — about half the time of the top trimmers.


Noise


The last series of tests looked at how loud the Black+Decker LST136 and the other cordless string trimmers are. We used an SPL meter to measure the sound levels for the operator when holding the trimmer.


Despite its volume output, the LST136 is unlikely to bother neighbors or pets when using it around the yard.

black+decker lst136 - the lst136 is one of the louder models that we tested.
The LST136 is one of the louder models that we tested.
Credit: Hale Milano

This string trimmer measured at 85.5 dBa for the operator on our meter, but it sounded louder to our bare ear than other models we tested.


Should You Buy the Black+Decker LST136?


For those who are shopping for a high-performance string trimmer that won't crush your savings account, the Black+Decker LST136 is a solid option. This model is a fantastic deal. It's light, it's affordable, and it does a commendable job of trimming up most types of grass. It is nowhere near the loudest trimmer and does fantastic work for smaller jobs.

What Other Cordless String Trimmers Should You Consider?


For those who are looking for penultimate trimming power, the Ego Power+ Powerload with Line IQ ST1623T is as strong as these tools get. We also highly think the Makita XRU15PT 36V is a fantastic choice for those who already own the batteries or who want batteries that work with a multitude of smaller tools. The Craftsman V20 Weedwacker is even more affordable than the LST 136 — if you're shopping on a budget, this model is the way to go.

black+decker lst136 - this trimmer is a great model at a bargain price point.
This trimmer is a great model at a bargain price point.
Credit: Hale Milano

Hale Milano, Michelle Powell, and David Wise
 

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