String trimmers, also known as weed whips, are handy yard tools used for edging lawns, trimming around trees and flower beds, and cutting back grass and weeds that a mower cannot reach. Cordless models are increasingly popular as they allow more freedom of movement compared to gas or electric corded trimmers. One such cordless option is the BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 20V MAX String Trimmer. In this review, we will take an in-depth look at the features and performance of this trimmer.
Design and Build Quality
The BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 features a straightforward design with an elongated shaft and head assembly that houses the trimmer line. It has a simple straight shaft without joints or pivots, making it well-balanced for use in any direction.
The trimmer head itself is made of durable plastic and spins quickly to flail the line outward in a spinning motion. A button on the side of the head allows for quick and easy trimming line replacement when needed.
Attached to the top of the shaft is the 20V MAX lithium-ion battery. This removable battery slides easily onto the trimmer and clicks firmly into place. Two battery options are available - a 2.0Ah for lighter tasks or a more powerful 4.0Ah for heavy-duty jobs.
At the rear of the shaft is a basic on/off trigger switch that is easy to operate with one hand. An adjustable auxiliary handle is included for two-handed use and better control. Overall build quality feels solid for a tool at this price point, with no signs of loose or rattling parts.
Ease of Use
Controlling vegetation is achieved through flailing bare nylon trimmer line that is fed through the spinning head. Line is fed automatically and additional line can be pulled out from the spool when needed.
Loading new line is quick and simple thanks to the accessible loading port on the side of the head. The instruction manual includes clear diagrams demonstrating how to properly install line. Replacement spool refills are inexpensive and readily available.
Powering on the trimmer is as easy clicking the battery into place and squeezing the trigger switch. Speed is easily controlled with selective pressure on the trigger. An adjustable knob under the battery allows tweaking the line feed speed for varying trimming conditions and material thicknesses.
Ergonomics and Balance
Corded and gas string trimmers can often feel front-heavy and tire the arms after extended use. The BLACK+DECKER manages weight distribution very well thanks to its longer shaft and centrally mounted battery placement.
With the convenient auxiliary handle, it feels well-balanced from front to back when trimmed two-handed. The rubberized handle grips provide a comfortable, non-slip grip even during long sessions. Trigger finger fatigue is minimal thanks to the lightweight trigger switch design.
Performance and Battery Life
This model utilizes BLACK+DECKER's potent 20V MAX lithium-ion battery system - the same platform used across many of their other yard tools. With the included 2.0Ah battery, expect enough runtime for trimming a medium-sized lot in a single charge.
Heavier 4.0Ah battery nearly doubles run time for larger properties or consecutive days of trimming. Charging is modestly quick at approximately 45-60 minutes for a full charge with the included charger.
Line feed speed is impressive, with the nylon line spinning out at high rates to effectively knock down tall grass, weeds and brush. It made quick work of overgrown areas on our property. Cutting power is easily sufficient for average residential yards.
The only minor drawback is lack of adjustable end caps for pivoting the trimmer head in various positions - it remains fixed straight out front. However, the long shaft still allows reaching most areas effectively at different angles.
Value and Warranty
Pricing for the BLACK+DECKER LSTE525 kit with a 2.0Ah battery falls solidly in the budget-friendly category compared to gas alternatives or higher-end cordless models. An extra battery extends its capabilities even further for minimal additional cost.
A limited 3-year warranty from Black & Decker protects against defects. While not the longest coverage period, it should suffice for a tool subjected to normal residential use. Overall quality and power delivery provide excellent value for the purchase price.
For homeowners seeking an affordable, convenient cordless option, the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX String Trimmer hits the mark. Its lightweight yet powerful design handles trimming jobs with ease and balance. Excellent battery life, quick line replacement, and Black & Decker’s reputable build quality make it a very capable tool.
While lacking a few premium features of pricier models, the LSTE525 justifies its lower cost through practicality and reliable performance that will satisfy average trimming needs. At this price point, few other trimmers pack the same feature-set or 20V MAX flexibility to power other BLACK+DECKER yard tools. Those shopping for a budget-friendly cordless trimmer would be wise to consider this competent tool.