Lehr Eco-Friendly Weedeater

Review

Weedeater in action
CatLane/Getty Images

The Bottom Line

A cordless, eco-friendly, propane alternative to gas weedeaters. Lehr's eco-friendly trimmer is an exciting green-living option for pros and for homeowners with challenging trimming requirements. Do you have to range far and wide on your property to get all your grass trimming done? Does your weedeater need to be able to handle tall grass and/or tough weeds? This weedeater is up to the task, providing all the power of quality gas models for a comparable price.

Pros

  • Lehr eco-friendly weedeater received EPA's 2009 Clean Air Excellence Award
  • Carburetor doesn't gum up, as with gas, meaning fewer engine problems
  • No worry about using right gas/oil mix for a propane weedeater
  • Power and price not sacrificed in the name of being "eco-friendly"
  • Weedeater said to run 2-3 hours on one tank of propane

Cons

  • Potential idling problems with this weedeater could stump average homeowners
  • Many would find it too heavy (16 lbs., fueled) to use for extended periods, even with shoulder strap
  • Propane tank empty? How far will you have to drive to buy another?
  • Difficult to recycle propane tanks.

Description

  • My 3 1/2-star rating is given with the needs of homeowners in mind.
  • But the rating would be 4 1/2 stars if geared to pros.
  • Depending on where you live (and your shopping habits), it might be a hassle to replace propane tanks....
  • I have to fight a lot of traffic to get to my Home Depot, the closest store where 16.4-oz propane tanks are sold....
  • And refilling these propane tanks is illegal in some areas, in case you're contemplating that workaround.
  • This weedeater has a 17-inch cutting swath.
  • Weedeater's line feed type: bump feed.
  • The propane tank has a "Green Key" that supposedly makes it recyclable (and eco-friendly). But when I placed the empty tank in a metal-recycling receptacle, my town refused to take it. So did Home Depot, which sells the 16.4-oz propane tanks.
  • How does the Lehr Eco Trimmer stack up with the cordless Grass Hog? Read my comparison of these two eco-friendly weedeaters.

Guide Review - Lehr Eco-Friendly Weedeater

The Lehr Eco Trimmer is an innovative, eco-friendly weedeater that substitutes a 16.4-oz. propane canister for gas as a fuel source. This weedeater affords the same power and portability as do gas weedeaters while offering an eco-friendly alternative at a comparable price. Another advantage over gasoline is that you don't have to worry about "the ethanol problem." That is, higher ethanol fuel blends can be a disaster for small engines, as Kris Kiser warns in How to Tune Up String Trimmers. With propane, you obviate the problem altogether.

In testing this weedeater, it started up right out of the gate like a charm, but then its engine stalled while I was trimming tall grass. After that, I had trouble starting the weedeater again and, even after starting it, couldn't get it to idle properly: it would conk out if I set it down for a moment. That meant having to start it up all over again. Worse, I found that easing up on the throttle at all would cause it to shut off at any time, even while I was actively using it.

Out of desperation, I checked the dreaded manual (always a course of last resort!).

The manual says that idling problems can be addressed by adjusting the carburetor's screw. That advice would be fine, except that the instructions also carry this scary disclaimer:

"Careless adjustments can seriously damage your unit. An authorized service dealer should make carburetor adjustments."

Which left me wondering:

  • Are they saying I should adjust the carburetor or not?
  • And if not, why is there a picture in the manual showing me how to adjust it?

Mind you, I'm not the sort of guy who normally goes around adjusting the carburetor on anything. Anyhow, being the intrepid weedeater reviewer that I am, I whipped out a screwdriver and audaciously made the adjustment. Well, it was really a series of adjustments, until the weedeater idled properly. Frankly, though, I don't think I should have to adjust the carburetor on a weedeater fresh out of the box.

But after that, voila! I had no more problems: the weedeater worked beautifully, trimming tall grass with ease.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.