Craftsman, once known as the maker of some of the best hand tools in the world, is now more than just hammers and ratchet sets. Originally a house brand of Sears, Craftsman is now owned by Stanley Black + Decker and produces a variety of power tools, mowers, blowers and trimmers. The Craftsman V20 Weedwackers is one of them, and we think it deserves a place on our best string trimmers list.
Battery: Lithium ion
Battery life: 45-50 minutes of continuous use
Dimensions: 44 x 8.75 in
Weight: 6.3 lbs
Cutting width: 13 in
Warranty: 3 years (limited)
We were originally skeptical, questioning if the brand was out of its depth. From hand and power tools to electric trimmers? Could they really pull it off? We’re happy to say that the answer is yes.
The V20 is a light and easy-to-use trimmer that packs a ton of power, even though it’s battery-operated. Whether cleaning up some uneven grass along a fence line or taking on knee-high weeds, the v20 is up to the task. With a deceptively simple setup out of the box, all a user has to do is click in the lithium-ion battery and hit the trigger, the V20 does the rest. While it does produce enough noise to warrant ear protection, the power it displays makes trimming with your headphones on worth it.
It also features a rotating head that allows it to double as an edger. While many electric trimmers offer this feature, it often turns out to be little more than a useless gimmick. With the V20, the edging capability is very effective. This trimmer surprised us, mostly in good ways.
Craftsman V20 Weedwacker: Design
Out of the box, the Craftsman V20 isn’t anything that is going to make your jaw drop. Weighing in at just over six pounds, it’s a light unit that can collapse and extend. It comes in Craftsman’s standard colors, red and black. The casing is mostly made of plastic and, we’ll admit, it looks somewhat toyish.
Another feature of the V20 is an integrated hook that is compatible with Craftsman’s Versatrack organization system. If you have other Craftsman products, the Versatrack system makes them easy to hang in a garage or basement.
However, once we got our hands on the grips, we noticed how comfortable it feels. The trigger is easily engaged, and despite a surprising bit of power, it doesn’t vibrate much. It’s a standard trimmer, but where it really stands out is its power and its edging capabilities.
From the first hit of the trigger, we could tell the V20 was the real deal. When put through the paces, the only time it wasn’t able to keep up was with some thick creeping vines.
Craftsman V20 Weedwacker: Features
The V20 is a bit on the smaller side when it comes to the cutting length, measuring in at just 13 inches across. However, it also features an automatic line advance, which feeds the .065 in line out without bumping. It also has two speed settings, one that allows for more power, and one that allows more run time.
The Craftsman V20 Weedwacker can also act as a lawn edger. In fact, it is the only electric string trimmer model we’ve reviewed this year that we would say legitimately could replace a standalone edger. It’s just that good.
Craftsman V20 Weedwacker: Setup and assembly
Setting up the Craftsman V20 Weedwacker is a breeze. Out of the box, the only assembly required is to attach the non-trigger hand grip and the string shield. Even if you have to go down to your basement to get a Phillips head screwdriver, the total assembly time shouldn’t take more than five minutes.
The instructions included with the unit are clear and concise, and even those who aren’t necessarily mechanically inclined should be able to handle the setup without issue. It is easily a one-person job.
Craftsman V20 Weedwacker: Performance
As we’ve already mentioned, we were surprised by this model. Out of the box, it seems almost toyish, yet the performance exceeded our expectations. When we pressed down the trigger we were treated to a louder than expected whir and a spinning string that took down some of the most stubborn weeds we could find.
In addition to having power, it is also quite comfortable to use. Even after a trimming session that lasted more than 30 minutes, there was no noticeable vibration or shakiness. We were very happy with the evenness of the cuts, even in some thick brambles, the V20 remained very consistent.
Craftsman V20 Weedwacker: Care and maintenance
As mentioned above, the V20 Weedwacker has an integrated hook that can be used with Craftsman's Versatrack organization system. This means it is easy to safely hang the strimmer in a garage or basement.
According to Kenneth Deemer, founder of Local Roots Landscaping in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, storing and caring for an electric trimmer is easier than doing the same with a gas trimmer. However, with electric trimmers, special care should be taken with batteries.
“With electric trimmers, you really just have to keep them relatively clean and keep them off the ground,” Deemer said. “In a place where you get a lot of rain, you probably want to keep them indoors, or at least a shed or maintenance box, but that’s really all you have to do.”
Deemer said that if a battery is not being used, it should be on its charger. He also said that batteries, like the lithium-ion batteries used in the V20, should be kept in a cool, dry place with a temperature between 65 degrees and 75 degrees.
When it comes to cleaning an electric trimmer, Deemer recommends a garden hose: “You can set your hose nozzle to stream and just spray it right under the shield. That will get all that gunk out of there.” One thing to remember though: remove the battery before spraying the unit with water.
The Craftsman V20 includes a 3-year limited warranty, which covers any manufacturer's defects.
Craftsman V20 Weedwacker: Price and availability
Nearing $100, the Craftsman V20 Weedwacker is not a cheap electric trimmer, but, given the power of the unit, we feel the price is justified. There are several battery-operated trimmers that fall in the $40-$75 range, but we can say with confidence that the V20 performs better than all of them. Interested buyers can get a V20 at big box stores like Lowe’s and Ace Hardware or at Amazon.com.
Craftsman V20 Weedwacker: User reviews
The Craftsman V20 Weedwacker is very well reviewed on Amazon, garnering a 4.5 out of 5 overall rating at the time of writing, with 69% of the reviews giving it 5 stars and just 4% giving 1 star. Positive reviews praised the ease of use and the lightness of the strimmer, but some users reported issues with the battery life, stating it ran out within ten minutes of use.
Craftsman V20 Weedwacker: What the experts say
We spoke to Kenneth Deemer about his experience with electric string trimmers and who the Craftsman V20 Weedwacker might be good for specifically.
“We don’t use electric trimmers very often,” Deemer said of his professional work. “As a rule, we use gas trimmers because they are more heavy-duty, and when you’re out on a job, you don’t want to get caught without a battery. That said, though, there is definitely a place for electric trimmers, as many of them have great power and features.”
“I think the sweet spot for electric trimmers are people with small to medium-sized jobs to do," Kenneth Deemer, Founder of Local Roots Landscaping.
Deemer said that a trimmer like the V20 would be great for people with smaller areas to trim and that its lightweight could be a real selling point for people who don’t want to lug around a gas-powered trimmer or people who might have mobility issues.
Should you buy the Craftsman V20 Weedwacker?
Our answer is yes. If you’re looking for a solid cordless trimmer that is effective against pretty much any vegetation, you’ll be happy with the Craftsman V20 Weedwacker.
At the less than $100 price point, it’s a quality machine that appears to have the power to tackle most anything in a small to medium-sized job. Sure, you could save yourself $40 or $50 bucks and buy a trimmer at the low end of the price scale, but it’s not going to have the same power or battery life, and you may come to regret not investing a little more for better quality and performance.