I’ll admit it – I am a sucker for yard work. My wife makes fun of me when I complain about having to go out and mow the lawn. She’ll say, “Don’t act like you don’t like it.” Honestly, she’s right. My complaint isn’t in the actual work but in my tools. My current tools, like my trimmer and leaf blower, are corded. I discussed how much relief it was to use a battery-powered blower in our GreenWorks Pro 80V review compared to my corded leaf blower. I wondered if it would be the same testing out the Sun Joe 24V-ST14 Cordless String Trimmer.
I tested the Sun Joe Cordless Trimmer by edging and weed-eating my lawn. I have a big front lawn with a perimeter that measures close to 200 feet. To edge my entire front and back yard, it usually takes me about 20 minutes to get through the whole process. My front porch, admittedly, has some unsightly thick weeds. After trimming the yard's perimeter, I used the Sun Joe Trimmer to cut down those weeds. I also used the trimmer to trim down tall grass around the fence line in my backyard.
After using the Sun Joe 24V-ST14 Cordless String Trimmer for my usual full day of yard work, I was impressed with many aspects and wished I was using my corded trimmer. How does it compare to the best electric weed eaters? Read on to find out.
Jonathan Knoder is a freelance writer and editor who covers various topics, from tech to lifestyle. In the smart home space, he’s tested and reviewed everything from smart locks and home security cameras to robot vacuums and air quality monitors. Jonathan tested the trimmer by trimming and edging his front and back yard. This included using the edging feature (the wheels), trimming without the wheels, and using the trimmer to remove thick weeds along the front of his house. He also tested the battery life by running the motor on a full battery until completely drained. He also tested how long the battery takes to charge a completely depleted battery back to full charge.
Sun Joe 24V-ST14: Key specs
- Weight: 9lbs
- Motor: 250 watt
- Cutting Speed: 6500 RPM
- Cutting Area: 12"
- Voltage: 24 volts
- Battery Type: Lithium Ion
- Dimensions: L8.7 x W5.8 x H60"
Sun Joe 24V-ST14: First Impressions
The first thing that caught my eye when I unboxed the Sun Joe String Trimmer was the telescopic pole and rotating head. By being able to adjust the length of the pole, you also manipulate the weight distribution, making the job feel easier when you’re holding the weed whacker for long periods of time. The rotating head also looked like it would come in handy when trying to get between specific areas of my house, like my spigot and my front porch. My current trimmer hasn’t adjustable anything, so these were initially two major features.
Of course, the idea of not having to unwind my lengthy cable, move it around, and wind it back up after the job is finished, thanks to a battery-powered unit, was desirable. One thing I was curious about with a battery-powered unit, though, is whether it would have enough power to cut through some of the thicker weeds around my home.
I was also curious how well the wheel edger feature would work out. Again, my current trimmer does not have wheels to roll along the sidewalk to conveniently edge the yard. I wondered how well it would work and if it would make trimming the perimeter of my yard a much easier task.
Sun Joe 24V-ST14: Pricing & Availability
You can pick up the electric weed eater from the manufacturer's site for $159.00. The list price includes the trimmer, one battery, a charger, and a single spool of cutting wire, which is already installed.
The Sun Joe 24-ST14 is also available on Amazon for $147.55.
Sun Joe 24V-ST14: Design
The adjustmenting features and the operation of the design were well thought out. As I mentioned above, the length of the trimmer can be adjusted to suit your size, strength, and preferences. I prefer the trimmer to be a little closer to me to provide more control. I really enjoyed having the telescoping pole length feature.
I had difficulty getting the handle attached to the telescoping pole during the installation. The instructions say the handle should slide onto the corresponding tabs. It did not. I needed a rubber mallet to get the handle to “slide” into place. After checking customer reviews, I’m not the only one with a similar issue. Once the handle is attached, though, there will never be a reason to remove it—just something to consider when installing.
Another design feature I thought was smart was the safety button’s disengagement ability on either side of the handle. To start the machine, you must press the safety button before pulling the lever to start the motor. As you hold the handle, with your middle, ring, and pinky finger on the lever, you can use either your thumb to push the safety button inward or your index finger on the other side of the handle to push it outward. Either way, this activates the ability to pull the lever and start the motor. It’s a small thing, but I thought it was convenient.
The head also has the ability to rotate. You can quickly press down on the tab near the head and rotate the head to your desired angle. I found this useful when trying to trim between two objects, like the spigot in my front yard and my porch.
Sun Joe 24V-ST14: Performance
After unboxing the trimmer, I immediately powered up the battery. Once it was powered, the first test I performed was the battery test. I taped the trigger down and ran the motor at full speed until the battery was completely drained. The battery lasted an impressive one hour and 26 minutes of non-stop use. Next, I tested how long it takes to recharge the dead battery. It took one hour and 46 minutes to completely recharge the battery.
Once the battery testing was complete, it was time to take the trimmer to the yard. One of the first things I tested was the edging feature and adjusting the head so I could roll the wheels along the cement to the edge of my yard. To my dismay, I am not sure if my lawn is tall enough compared to the sidewalk, but edging my yard this way didn’t do anything. The line never got low enough to edge my yard, and there wasn’t any way to adjust the height of the wheels. So, a feature I was initially excited about turned out to be a bust. I also removed the metal flower guard on the front, which I found to get in the way while trimming.
Now, with both the wheels and the flower guard removed (I didn’t have to remove either, but I figured why to have them there if I wasn’t going to use them), it was time to edge the lawn. I was delighted by how much control and precision the telescoping pole and rotating head provided as I edged my lawn. With my corded trimmer, I usually have to trim sections, moving back and forth as I go, but with the Sun Joe 24V-ST14, I had so much control that I could mostly walk in one direction and trim exactly where I wanted.
Another thing that sped up the trimming process was not worrying about a cable. A battery-powered motor free of a cable provides a great deal of mobility and freedom that helps make quick work of trimming and edging. Speaking of the battery, there is a button on the battery that, when pressed, displays how much battery life is left. This is convenient if you’re unsure if the battery has enough life to finish the task.
I noticed that the motor wasn’t as powerful as my corded trimmer, which was to be expected. When trimming the thick weeds around my porch (don’t judge me), I could feel the motor really working to cut through. The weeds I was cutting through weren’t necessarily that thick, not comparable to brush or anything. It could still trim the weeds but took a few passes over the area short enough. Regardless, it could do the job, but I wouldn’t trust it to attack a field full of tall brush.
How does the Sun Joe 24V-ST14 compare?
Compared to the Ryobi 40V Cordless Trimmer, the Sun Joe trimmer provides more battery life than the already impressive 70 minutes from the Ryobi. The Sun Joe trimmer also features an automatic line feeder that I found to work flawlessly. The Ryboi trimmer you have to bump to feed the line. Over time, the constant jarring of bumping the motor against the ground will wear on the motor.
The Craftsman V20 Weedwacker weighs 6.3 pounds compared to the 9-pound Sun Joe Trimmer. Shedding the extra three pounds certainly saves your arm stamina on long jobs. That being said, you get more battery life with the Sun Joe trimmer, considering that Craftsman Weedwacker only lasts 45-50 minutes.
The Black + Decker LST300 is also lighter than the Sun Joe Trimmer, weighing 5.7 pounds. But unless your yard is fairly small, you’ll be rushing through your job due to the short 25 to 30-minute battery life. That’s less than half of the battery life provided by the Sun Joe 24V-ST14.
Should you buy the Sun Joe 24V-ST14?
|Price||More expensive than average||2.5|
|Design||Love the telescoping pole, adjustable head and ability to move safety button to either side||4.5|
|Performance||Great precision and decent power. Wouldn’t use it to cut thick brush though. Perfect for around the house work.||4.5|
Buy it if…
You want to ditch the cord
After using a corded model for years, I will give up some power for the battery model's convenience and freedom.
You want flexibility
With an adjustable head and telescoping pole, you can adjust this trimmer to reach just about any area around your home.
Sick of bumping your weedwacker
The auto-feed mechanism works great, and it's convenient not to bump your trimmer against the ground every few seconds.
Don’t buy it if….
You’re looking for an inexpensive weedwacker
This model is nearly $100 more than several other battery-powered models.
You have a lot of brush and tall weeds to cut down
For big weed-whacking jobs, you’ll want a gas-powered motor. This worked fine against normal weeds, but I had to go over thicker spots a few times to trim it down.
You want a dual feed line
This is a single-line cutter. It was perfect for my yard, but you might prefer dual lines for more powerful cutting ability.
How we tested the Sun Joe 24V-ST14 Trimmer
I tested the battery by tapping the trigger and running the motor at full speed until the battery died. I also timed how long it took to fully charge the depleted battery.
I tested the edger's ability to edge and trim by using it for the full landscaping duties around my yard. I tested the weight distribution, accuracy, ability to maneuver around tight areas around my yard and house, and the power of the motor cutting thick weeds around my front porch.