This review is going to compare two of the very best cordless string trimmers available this summer, DeWalt DCST970B vs DCST922B. This will be a showdown between the DeWalt 60V FlexVolt 15” and 20V XR 14” models. Both are formidable machines, with the DeWalt 60V string trimmers being the most expensive with unbelievable power.
When comparing these two DeWalt string trimmers, the first question on anyone’s mind will probably be one of value for money. Is it worth paying so much more for the ultra-powerful 60V DeWalt string trimmer, when the less expensive 20V XR model knocks the socks off most competing string trimmer brands? That’s not to say the DeWalt XR string trimmer is cheaper. It may be cheaper than the extraordinary 60V model but there are many cheaper options.
As any regular visitor to this site can attest to, I’m a devoted and loyal DeWalt fan. I’m particularly fond of DeWalt 20V XR cordless tools as I’ve been using the 20V MAX battery platform for many years and truly love the incredible range of tools that are available in the 20V range.
When DeWalt introduced the 60V tool range, they made a wise decision to manufacture a battery that could be used to power the new 60V tools and their existing 20V tools. This means that upgrading to the 60V battery doesn’t make your older 20V tools redundant. The debate around DeWalt 60V FlexVolt vs 20V MAX has raged ever since.
I’ve written several articles on the topic, explaining DeWalt 20V MAX vs 60V FlexVolt batteries, as well as numerous 20V vs 60V cordless tool reviews. This time I’ll be comparing two of the best DeWalt string trimmers – the 60V DCST970B 15” model and the DCST922B 14” 20V string trimmer.
I’m not going to provide a verdict as to which is the best string trimmer. Personally, I think they’re both fantastic machines. The question is mostly about how much power you need and what you’re prepared to pay for the extra watts. I’ll leave you to decide.
DeWalt DCST922B 20V MAX XR 14” String Trimmer
Specs & Features:
- Powerful and durable 20V XR brushless motor.
- Folding handle reduces length by 40% for storage and transporting.
- QuickLoad spool for conveniently fast string replacement.
- 14” swath.
- Variable speed trigger and two-speed switch.
- 4,600/6,000 RPM.
- Weight: 7.9 LBS without batteries
- 3-year warranty, 1-year free service plan, 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
As always, I’m truly astonished by the DeWalt quality and attention to detail. The DeWalt DCST922B 20V MAX string trimmer is a magnificent example of expert engineering and the most durable materials.
The bump feed head, which is all too often the Achilles heel on any string trimmer, is wonderfully well-made and should hold up for any challenge. The DeWalt QuickLoad spool also makes feeding the string into the head super quick and easy. No tools or dismantling is required. To load 0.08” (2mm) line.
To load the string onto the spool, you turn the head, aligning two white marks. This ensures that the holes are directly opposite one another so that you can feed the string directly through the head. When you’re satisfied with the amount of string you’ve loaded, simply turn the head to wind the line onto the spool. It can accommodate up to around 20 feet.
Loading the string really couldn’t be easier, unless you have an EGO Power+ with PowerLoad that uses the motor to wind the string so that you don’t have to do any manual work. Though, I have no problem with doing the winding by hand.
The pierce de resistance of this model has to be the hinged shaft. This allows you to fold the shaft when transporting or storing your string trimmer, reducing its size by 40%. As with the rest of the machine, the incredible quality of the folding hinge is just awesome. A latch releases the handle and allows you to fold it.
The general design is about as close to perfection as a string trimmer can be. The handles are really comfortable, and you hardly feel any vibration. With the battery at the top of the shaft and the motor at the bottom, the balance is great. It has a safety switch, which is engaged by the natural squeezing of your hand when you grab the handle. The variable speed trigger, with two speed settings, provides ultimate control over power vs economy.
Lightweight metal is used throughout, with a few plastic components. I’m not sure what metal has been used, but I’m guessing it’s aluminum. The no-battery weight of around 8 pounds, seems to suggest a lightweight metal like aluminum, which is the case with most DeWalt tools. When you insert a 5 AH battery, the weight increases to a little over 10 pounds.
Unfortunately, I don’t have official runtime stats for the DeWalt DCST922B. I can only supply a real-world estimate based on observation. You can edge trim a large yard, using high and low settings as needed, on a single charge if you’re using a 5 AH battery. Depending on how you use the power, I reckon it’s easy to get 30 minutes to an hour of working time from a 5 AH 20V MAX battery. Obviously, a larger battery will provide even longer working times.
Even though the DeWalt DCST922B isn’t exactly cheap, costing close to $160, I consider it to be great value for money. Of course, this is my opinion as a long-time DeWalt 20V MAX loyalist. Being a DeWalt XR tool, you can expect excellent performance, efficiency, and ultimate durability.
The DeWalt DCST922P1 is the best value for money as it includes a 5 AH battery and charger. You may not need another charger, but additional batteries are always a bonus. Buying the DeWalt DCST922P1 kit costs less than buying the bare tool and battery individually so you score about fifty bucks on the deal.
DeWalt DCST970B 60V FlexVolt 15” String Trimmer
Specs & Features:
- 60V brushless motor.
- Gear drive system.
- Can accommodate up to 0.095” line.
- QuickLoad spool.
- 15” swath.
- Variable speed trigger, with 2-speed switch.
- 0 – 5,600 RPM or 0 – 6,600 RPM.
- Weight: 14.8 LBS.
- 3-year warranty, 1-year free service plan, 90-day guarantee.
The DeWalt 60V 15” string trimmer is an altogether different best when compared to the 20V XR 14” Model. The DeWalt DCST970B is obviously designed for professional landscapers, looking for a battery-powered alternative to a heavy-duty gas weed eater.
DeWalt has definitely succeeded in its mission to develop a professional-grade, heavy-duty cordless string trimmer. Though there is a bit of a trade-off in terms of versatility, weight, and user comfort. The good news is that the 60V FlexVolt DCST970B has been upgraded to include the wonderfully easy-to-use QuickLoad spool. Being a much more powerful machine, it can also accommodate 0.095” string for more heavy-duty weed busting.
The real essence of the DeWalt 60V string trimmer is power, and then even more power. Not only is the 60V brushless motor one of the most powerful, they’ve added a gear drive to up the torque. This makes the DeWalt DCST970B one of the best weed whackers for heavy-duty work.
It has the same two-speed electronic control and variable speed trigger setup as the 20V MAX model. The DeWalt DCST970B provides amazing cutting prowess with up to 5,600 RPM on the low-speed, economy setting, and a whopping 6,600 RPM maximum speed.
All this power means that the DeWalt 60V string trimmer is heavier, louder, and has a lower runtime than its 20V MAX compatriot. This is inevitable when you move from a homeowner tool to a professional, heavy-duty one.
The DCST970B weighs almost 15 pounds. Although it has the same great handle design as the 20V XR model, the additional weight is noticeable. Fortunately, the balance is every bit as good as the DCST922B. Vibration is also more prominent, probably due to the gearbox which is valuable for increasing torque but not so great for user comfort.
Using a 9AH 20V/60V FlexVolt battery, you can expect around 30 minutes of working time. Keep in mind that the 9AH FlexVolt battery delivers 9AH at 20V but only around 3 AH when used to power 60V tools.
The split shaft design is not as practical as the DCST922B. Unlike the 20V XR string trimmer, you can’t simply press a button and fold the handle. The more industrial DCST970B requires tools to split the shaft and it is not recommended that you do this regularly as the internal wires are not designed for this. For daily transporting, you should not split the shaft.
The DeWalt DCST970B and DCST970B may share some common DNA but they are intended for different applications. The 20V MAX XR 14” model is the ultimate homeowner string trimmer. It could also be considered a reasonably affordable, entry-level professional machine.
The uber-powerful DeWalt DCST970B 60V FlexVolt 15” string trimmer is intended for heavy-duty work. Landscapers and farmers will appreciate the extreme durability and immense power that is provided by this quite magnificent machine. As a more industrial-type string trimmer, some user-friendly features had to be sacrificed.