The Ryobi P2050 cordless string trimmer includes many of the convenient features found on the top-rated Black & Decker NST2118 (*Est. $85) . It has a 12-inch cutting path, automatic line feed, a pivoting shaft for edging and a telescoping handle for users of different heights.
The chief advantage of the Ryobi trimmer is that it comes with an 18-volt lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery, rather than a standard nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) battery. Li-ion batteries weigh less and are more eco-friendly than Ni-Cd batteries, which require special disposal because of the cadmium they contain. The battery, which also works with other tools in the Ryobi One+ line of tools, comes with a one-hour charger.
Owners say this cordless trimmer exhibits good battery life and its light weight makes it easy to operate and handle, but their reviews of the automatic line-feed mechanism are mixed. Some say it works smoothly, while others complain of jamming problems. Another issue that appears in reviews is that the head can become clogged with grass trimmings. Finally, like most battery-powered trimmers, the Ryobi doesn't handle tough weeds as effectively as a more powerful gas trimmer can, including the top-rated Husqvarna 223L (*Est. $250) .
We did not find any professional comparison tests of the Ryobi P2050. However, it has been subjected to at-home testing by members of the National Home Gardening Club, and it receives roughly 200 reviews from owners posting feedback at HomeDepot.com, the only retail site that sells this string trimmer.
Volunteer testers who have used the Ryobi P2050 in their own yards award it an overall rating of 8.7 points out of 10. However, the write-up isn't very detailed; it's just a summary of the trimmer's features and a couple of comments from users. It's also not clear how reliable these comments are, since the manufacturer supplies the products to be tested, and only one product on the site receives less than 8 points out of 10 from users.
Review: Ryobi's 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless Trimmer/Edger, Contributors to GardeningClub.com
About 200 owners review the Ryobi P2050 at HomeDepot.com, awarding it an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5. Owners say they like this trimmer's low weight and fast charging time, and they are happy to avoid the complicated start procedures and mixing of oil and gas required with a gas trimmer. However, some users find the trimmer underpowered. Also, some say the head clogs easily and the auto-feed mechanism doesn't work smoothly.
Review: Ryobi One+ 12 in. 18-Volt Cordless String Trimmer, Contributors to HomeDepot.com