The 20v Max DeWalt Folding String Trimmer – The New String Theory

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The new DeWalt folding string trimmer model DCST922B arrived at this branch of Home Fixated about the same time as the new Dewalt 20v Max pole hedge trimmer (review coming very soon). These tools represent a step forward in the outdoor cordless tool category. Both tools arrived in the depths of an Upstate NY winter, so it was some time before I got the opportunity to give the DeWalt folding string trimmer a good workout. Join me as I put this tool through some torture testing on the farm.

dewalt folding string trimmer
The DeWalt 20v Max folding string trimmer folds to a very compact unit for transport or storage.
string trimmer on hillside
The Dewalt 20v Max folding string trimmer was the right tool for clearing the steep slope in front of the sheep barn.

A Change in the Weather

In fact we had snow up through mid May here, then someone flipped a switch and we went to full on summer seemingly overnight. The change in weather provided favorable conditions for everything to grow. This was welcome in some respects as we were finally able to put the sheep on pasture, but we haven’t been successful at training them to eat under the hot wires on the fence lines or to trim around our trees or clear hillsides. That gave us the perfect opportunity to try the new 20v Max DeWalt folding string trimmer.

dewalt folding string trimmer at the pond
The slopes to the pond are equally steep, the trimmer was perfect for clearing these steep areas.

Are Battery Powered Outdoor Tools Practical?

I have been impressed with the advances in battery powered outdoor power equipment (OPE). I have never been a fan of the 2 stroke gasoline powered tools that dominated the outdoor power tool category for so long. The noise, smell and high level of maintenance were all factors that colored my negative impression. Then a few years back my kids graced me with a hedge trimmer and pole chainsaw that were battery powered and I had an epiphany regarding the utility of this type of tool.

More recently I replaced my gas powered blower with the DeWalt 60v Flexvolt blower and acquired the aforementioned DeWalt 20v max pole hedge trimmer. After using the DeWalt folding string trimmer for just a short while I sold my gasoline powered trimmer and haven’t looked back. That said, join me for trip around the grounds with the DeWalt 20v Max folding string trimmer.

heavy growth
The DeWalt 20v max trimmer had no problems clearing heavy weed growth in the drainages that run through the property. The power was at least equal to the gasoline trimmer we had used previously.

The Trimmer Story

The trimmer arrived in the middle of winter, but I was eager to get a look at it just the same. The contents of the box included the trimmer unit, neatly folded, a battery and a charger. The cutting head of the trimmer came preloaded with DeWalt’s proprietary cutting line, a .080 aerodynamic line optimized for maximized runtime that also optimizes performance and durability through a combination of flexible and impact resistant materials. More on this material later.

The trimmer features a 20 volt brushless motor and a two speed switch that offers performance and runtime management. There is also a variable speed trigger that provides precise power control. The lockout button on the side of the handle was conveniently located and easier to use than ones found on other power tools I have used. Because the motor is brushless, it provides cooler operation and longer battery life during use.

dewalt folding string trimmer latch
The latch is well designed, easy to use and provides a solid connection when engaged.
locked
Once the latch is locked into place the folding string trimmer shaft is ridgid, with no play whatsoever. It is easily as stable as a solid shaft.

Features & Specs on the DeWalt Folding String Trimmer DCST922B:

FEATURES
• Folding hinge to fit into small storage spaces**
• Reduced length when folded for easy transportation**
• 14 in. swath for a wide cutting area
• Durability even in the thick brush
• Choose between performance and runtime with variable-speed trigger
• Wind new line fast with QuickLoad™ Spool
• Control power level with Hi/Lo speed control switch
Specifications
• Cutting Swath 14 in
• Feed Type Bump Feed
• Line Diameter .080 in
• rpm 4600/6000 rpm
• Weight without Batteries 7.9 lbs

I found the folding feature on this trimmer allowed for more convenient transport and storage. Once the shaft was locked into place there was no play in the joint at all, the shaft was ridged and felt solid. Folded, it was an easy matter to hang it up out of the way.

switch
The two speed switch allows you to select for power or longer battery runtime. Even in the lower range the trimmer was effective at cutting through weeds and tall grass.
trigger
The variable speed trigger afforded the user precise control over the trimmer speed. The trigger lockout was thoughtfully placed and easy to use.

Practical Applications for the DeWalt Folding String Trimmer

We have numerous applications for a string trimmer on the property. We use it to keep the electric fence line clear of weeds and grasses that can diminish the voltage of the fence. We have several drainages that need to be kept relatively clear, primarily to facilitate flow, but also for the esthetics. There are a few areas around the sheep barn and the pond that are so steep a string trimmer is the only practical tool to clear them. Given the many areas a string trimmer is needed, it is necessary for us to have a reliable and robust trimmer. The DeWalt 20v Max folding string trimmer has been more than up to the task.

fenceline
With more than half a mile of fence line to keep clear the DeWalt 20v Max is up to the job. It is lighter than our old gasoline powered unit and every bit as powerful.

DeWalt Replacement Line

The line that comes preloaded on this trimmer is a .080 diameter line that really impressed me with its durability. We were using this trimmer in some very heavily overgrown areas, against fence posts and in spots where heavy shrubbery had been recently removed. When faced with objects that would have shattered the string on our gas trimmer, the DeWalt replacement line just kept on going. But, inevitably the string that came on the unit finally ran out. I was able to purchase 225 feet of replacement at The Home Depot for under $13.

dewalt folding string trimmer instructions
My wife did what few men can do – she read the instructions. Replacing the line after that was a snap.

Get Reloaded Fast

I was expecting the usual nightmare associated with reloading the line that I have always experienced with other trimmers. Fortunately for me, my wife actually read the instructions. The first step was as simple as cutting 20’ from the replacement spool. Next you align the two marks on the spool housing and winding collar. Next you thread the line through to the other side of the head and pull until you have equal amounts on either side of the head. Finally you hold the housing with one hand and turn the winding collar counter clockwise until you have about 5” on either side of the housing. It really couldn’t be easier, a really brilliant design.

align
Align the two marks and thread the line through the head until you have an equal amount on either side.
wind
Next you hold the housing with one hand and turn the winding collar counter clockwise until you have about 5″ on either side.
dewalt folding string trimmer bump feed
Just like that you’re ready to go again. The bump feed never jammed once.

Final Impressions on the DeWalt Folding String Trimmer

I am flat out delighted with this trimmer, it does everything the old 2 stroke unit did without the noise, mess and stench. Battery life is pretty good, but if you have a lot to do it’s best to have an additional battery available. However, for trimming around a yard, even a big one, it’s unlikely you’ll run one down. We worked this unit hard and found battery life to be about the same as a tank of gas in the old trimmer. Best of all, it’s a snap to reload, and folds up for easy storage. The DeWalt 20v Max folding line trimmer with 5ah battery and charger is available wherever DeWalt outdoor tools are sold for about $199.00.

stores
The Dewalt 20v Max linetrimmer folds away for easy and convenient storage.

You can find the DeWalt folding string trimmer DCST922B (tool only) for around $149:

Buy Now - via Home Depot

Photo of author

About Stephen

Stephen hails from a family of DIY’ers, the delusion that no job is too big or complex to tackle on your own originally instilled by his father and further reinforced by his brothers, who are equally afflicted. His first real project was the complete restoration of an old farmhouse in Upstate NY, which was followed by another, setting the pattern. After 40 years in the wine and spirits business (sounds far more glamorous than the reality) he recently retired to an 80 acre sheep farm, where he will continue to farm until his retirement savings are exhausted. As a co-owner of 30 something bicycles (a devotee of the N+ 1 theory of bicycle requirements, where N= the current number owned), he is typically found tinkering on his latest build or out testing said results. Stephen spends his spare time (face it, all of his time) drinking good coffee, currying homegrown produce or fixing whatever is currently non-operational. He also spends whatever time he can with an ever growing extended family. When his wife retired they planned to do as much cycle touring as their legs will allow, but the sheep are pretty demanding.

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