First Thoughts: DEWALT DCST972X1 String Trimmer

You know, they say bad things come in threes. They don’t, but we humans seek patterns in everything because we’re wired that way.

Over the winter and into spring, the John Deer lawn tractor blew out a transmission seal and then a coil pack. Brother, they see you coming when you drag that in on the trailer for service. Those were some pricey repairs.

Then the refrigerator, a 13-year-old old Samsung, bit the dust. We had fits finding anything to replace it with because nothing was in stock. We had to shop like Soviets and take what we could find, and the one we found doesn’t suit me because it’s smaller and has none of the good features of its predecessor. I think its highest use would be as a target holder at a shooting range.

After that, it was the pickup, which started leaking from the rear main seal. Another expensive repair. It would have been much worse if Son-In-Law hadn’t ran it under his name and the labor was “only” $100/hr.

And that was my three. I breathed a sigh of relief. Too soon, it seems.

A second set of three kicked off last week when my string trimmer died. It would crank and run for about three seconds, then die. It sounded like it was starving for fuel, but I couldn’t find a blockage. Given that I bought this as a refurb 3 years ago, and knowing that the local shop labor rate is $75 an hour, repairing it would fall to me. But I had to solve the immediate problem. My “yard” has a lot of Bermuda Grass in it (along with field grasses and a crapload of weeds), and if it isn’t trimmed every time it’s mowed, it turns into a Jeff Foxworthy joke.

I remembered a Project Farm video testing battery-operated string trimmers a couple of months ago. While I’m hardly “green”, I try not to be stupid. In my experience, newer 2-cycle engined tools seem to be cheap and crappy. When they break, it’s often cheaper to toss them and buy another. I have battery-powered hand tools that I’ve had since the 90s and they’re still going strong. So I rewatched that video, made my decision, and found the DeWalt on Amazon, where I can buy it and get all those lovely points on my Amazon credit card. Besides, I’m a yellow and black kinda guy.

Today was the maiden voyage. I was prepared to dislike it and send it back; instead, I’m surprisingly pleased with it. It’s my first straight-shaft trimmer, so I’m relearning how to run a trimmer, but it performed well in my yard. I expected it to take a full battery charge to do the entire yard, and I was shocked that at the end, I still showed all three bars on the battery indicator.

It’s a powerful trimmer. I ran on the low-speed setting, and I never had it wide open. No problems trimming anything that I encountered, which had a 2-week headstart on me. It is a bit heavier than what I’m used to, and I may need to find a sling for it.

PROS

  • No gas engine.
  • Big 9 ah battery.
  • Quiet. You can run it wide open with no earplugs.
  • Good balance.
  • Good workmanship.
  • Accepts “universal” attachments. I’m thinking of the pole saw.
  • $50 less expensive than the gas trimmer I would have bought, the Stihl FS91R.

CONS

  • Heavy. I’m not certain, but I know it’s heavier than the old Husky and I believe it’s heavier than the gas ones I handled.
  • That big 9 ah battery is big expensive if it goes bad. $190 isn’t chump change, even now.
  • Doesn’t have a sling attachment point.

I’ll do another look, probably at the end of mowing season, and see if I’m still happy with it. So far, I think I’m going to be.

2 thoughts on “First Thoughts: DEWALT DCST972X1 String Trimmer

  1. We got a Black & Decker string trimmer last year that is a big improvement over our old battery trimmer. The battery lasts through 3 or 4 trims all around the house and garden beds. We have some other B&D tools with the same battery pack, so that’s convenient. Your DeWalt sounds like a winner, just bigger than I would need.

  2. We got a set of Kobalt battery tools a few years ago… trimmer, 12″ chainsaw, 8″ pole saw, and leaf blower…which all use the same batteries. I’ve been very happy with them. Solid performance, and my wife is able to use all of them except the pole saw.

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