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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
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Craftsman V20 Weedwacker Review (The Craftsman V20 is a compact trimmer that is perfect for basic yard trimming tasks.)
The Craftsman V20 is a compact trimmer that is perfect for basic yard trimming tasks.
Credit: Hale Milano
Price:  $140 List
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Manufacturer:   Craftsman
By Hale Milano ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 24, 2023
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Performance - 35% 6.3
  • Ease of Use - 35% 7.0
  • Battery - 20% 5.0
  • Noise - 10% 7.5

Our Verdict

The 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 cannot reach. This model does not have enough power to get through thick, tall strands of grass, and you will also need to pop in another battery for jobs longer than a half-hour. Despite that, 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. Our review of the best string trimmers shows how it stacks up versus competing products.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Relatively quiet
Easy to service
REASONS TO AVOID
Not super powerful
Short battery life
Editor's Note: We updated this review in July 2023, to include additional testing commentary and photos.

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Price $140 List
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Bottom Line For folks desiring a trimmed yard while sticking to a budget, this model is up to the taskCosting 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 offeringsIf 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 powerfulThis compact string trimmer is suitable for only the bare minimum of yardwork
Rating Categories Craftsman V20 Weedw... Black+Decker LST136 Ryobi 40V Expand-It Worx 20V Power Shar... Black+Decker LST300
Performance (35%)
6.3
8.5
6.5
6.2
3.0
Ease of Use (35%)
7.0
7.0
4.5
5.5
4.0
Battery (20%)
5.0
6.0
6.0
2.0
3.0
Noise (10%)
7.5
6.6
6.0
7.1
7.2
Specs Craftsman V20 Weedw... Black+Decker LST136 Ryobi 40V Expand-It Worx 20V Power Shar... Black+Decker LST300
Cutting path 15 in 13 in 13-15 in 12 in 12 in
Measured weight 7.0 lb 6.6 lb 11.8 lb 5.2 lb 4.8 lb
Number of speed settings 2 6 1 1 1
Shoulder strap attachment No No No No No
Line feed mechanism Button Auto Bump Auto Auto
Measured sound level from ear level 81.5 dBa 85.5 dBa 88.5 dBa 83.2 dBa 83.1 dBa
Measured no-load runtime 35 min 43 min 43 min 20 min 27 min
Nominal voltage 20 V 36 V 40 V 20 V 18 V
Measured Amp-hours 4 Ah 2 Ah 4 Ah 2 Ah 2 Ah

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 will not 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


craftsman v20 weedwacker - 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

Performance


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.


Trimming up areas of grass that are challenging to reach with a mower is a common expectation for string trimmers. The V20 was more than capable of handling small areas of our yard, but we would avoid using it for larger jobs.

craftsman v20 weedwacker - the v20 can easily clean up small areas of your lawn.
The V20 can easily clean up small areas of your lawn.
Credit: Hale Milano

The V20 Weedwacker is not the most powerful trimmer in the game, and we would not recommend it to a professional landscaper. It gets tangled in tall, thick stands of weeds, and the battery life is fairly short. Additionally, the oversized guard gets in the way of some detailed work.

craftsman v20 weedwacker - 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

Light-duty detailing around yard decor, or edging along pavers and pathways, is one of the areas where the V20 excels. We loved the rotating head for a more comfortable position (as opposed to holding the trimmer sideways), although we did struggle to see where we were cutting.

craftsman v20 weedwacker - the head of the v20 rotates for more ergonomic edging.
The head of the V20 rotates for more ergonomic edging.
Credit: Hale Milano

Ease of Use


The V20 Weedwacker is tailored for at-home DIY yard maintenance, so it is easy to carry, easy to use, and fairly easy to service. There is not 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 the grass.


The ergonomic telescoping pole makes operation comfortable for all but the tallest of users and helps minimize the space it takes up during storage. We also found that the guard does an excellent job keeping flying debris below knee level.

craftsman v20 weedwacker - 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

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.

Just pop the cap and replace the spool, it's that easy. Replacement...
Just pop the cap and replace the spool, it's that easy. Replacement spool holders are also available.
The telescoping pole accommodates all but the tallest of operators.
The telescoping pole accommodates all but the tallest of operators.
A button feeds out more string as the ends become worn.
A button feeds out more string as the ends become worn.
The single string is easy and intuitive to load, and the telescoping pole helps adjust the trimmer to your preferred height.

Battery


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.


One advantage to the small battery size is that it is compatible with other Craftsman 20V tools that are already in your garage.

craftsman v20 weedwacker - 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

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


Noise


We measured 81.5 decibels at ear height from this tool, which is one of the lowest sound readings of any trimmer we've tested. 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 loudly when we first turn it on. Thankfully it steadies out after a few seconds and becomes noticeably quieter.


Although the V20 has both low and high power modes, the loud start-up sound was present on both.

craftsman v20 weedwacker - the v20 has both low and high power modes.
The V20 has both low and high power modes.
Credit: Laura Casner

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.


Should You Buy the Craftsman V20 Weedwacker?


The Craftsman V20 Weedwacker offers decent performance at a bargain price. This string trimmer is a great value, making it very attractive to anyone shopping on a budget. It is up to basic trimming tasks and is perfect for small yard and lawn jobs.

What Other Cordless String Trimmers Should You Consider?


If you need some serious weedwacking power, we recommend the Ego Power+ Powerload with Line IQ ST1623T or the Makita XRU15PT 36V. Both of these models are full-size string trimmers that are up to any task in your yard or field. Although they're quite a bit heavier, they're able to slice through more weeds with a high level of precision and comfort. For better performance at an excellent price point, the Black+Decker LST136 offers extra power and edging capabilities.

craftsman v20 weedwacker - this trimmer has solid performance at a great price.
This trimmer has solid performance at a great price.
Credit: Laura Casner

Hale Milano
 

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