Having just returned from the Husqvarna Silent City Media Event, we wanted to wrap up our evaluation of the Husqvarna 536LiL 36V string trimmer and see what this battery powered tool could do. There was the question of whether it could hold its own (or ever outperform) comparable gas models, and we wanted to know just how well it compared to other battery powered string trimmers on the market. Of course, we’ll need to do a cordless string trimmer shootout to really see what’s up, but for now we gave the Husqvarna 536LiL string trimmer a workout and got a really good feel for the tool. We had already been impressed with the Husqvarna 36V chainsaw performance and features, so with that under our belt the new string trimmer seemed like a great addition to the 36V lineup.
Husqvarna 536LiL 36V String Trimmer Features
The first thing you’re likely to notice about the Husqvarna 536LiL 36V trimmer is the side-loading 4.2 Ah battery. It takes up nearly half of the “body” of the tool, much like the motor of a gas powered model might. Unlike a traditional gas-powered model, however, the actual motor (which is brushless) is located right at the head of the tool, meaning there’s no drive shaft in the tube of the 536LiL, and that’s one more moving part that won’t break on you or require any maintenance. It also drastically reduces weight. This string trimmer is also fit for use with the Husqvarna Fleet Services system and app, so you can better track your workers, tools, and job sites.
The membrane controls are simple to use. After loading the included 4.2 Ah battery into the Husqvarna 536LiL trimmer, you simply push the power button for 2 seconds and pull the trigger with your fingers while your palm depresses the safety switch (the process sounds more complex than it is). Unlike most string trimmers (including most battery powered models I’ve used save the new Makita XRU07), Husqvarna includes a separate button to reverse the direction of the head. There’s also a brake on the Husqvarna 536Lil, so when you let off the trigger, the spinning head stops within two seconds. It makes the tool very safe to use and easy to manipulate when you’re reversing the direction.
Husqvarna 536LiL 36V String Trimmer Specs
- Battery: 36V 3.0 Ah (standard, 4.2Ah available)
- Motor: Brushless
- Shaft speed: 5500 RPM
- Cutting width: 15.75″
- Line diameter: .08″
- Equivalent vibration level (ahv, eq) rear handle: 0.5 m/s²
- Sound power level: 96 dB(A)
- Sound pressure level at operator’s ear : 81 dB(A)
- Weight w/battery: Price: $399 (tool only)
Husqvarna 536LiL 36V String Trimmer Use
Cranking up the Husqvarna 536LiL string trimmer was a bit surprising—as in, it was surprisingly quiet. I’ve used several different battery powered string trimmers, and the Husqvarna 536LiL was quieter than most. Noise level at your ear is around 81 dB SPL. This is a number Husqvarna gives, but we corroborated it with a Radio Shack SPL meter. What Husqvarna doesn’t tell you is that the noise level drops 10 dB down to 71 dB SPL when you’re operating in Eco mode—that’s really quiet. If you’re doing work in HOA neighborhoods, city parks, or areas like cemeteries that absolutely require less noise, then a battery-powered solution like this is going to get the job done while making you look very, very good to your clients.
More than just being quiet, this battery powered Husqvarna trimmer also had that subtle but undeniable feel of being well-balanced—like it had a lot more power than it was letting on about. Having ridden in my brother-in-law’s LS2-equipped Chevy Trailblazer SS, I understand the feeling. Once I began to use the Husqvarna 36V trimmer—and believe me, I didn’t waste any time putting it to the tall grass I had let go for two weeks in the Florida rain—I could feel all of that quiet power released through the string at the end of the shaft. The grass didn’t stand a chance. Heck, my dwarf jasmine didn’t stand a chance. I had to hold back from finding small trees to decimate…a good string trimmer makes the work easy.
The included string is the recommended 2mm (.08″), and while you may be tempted to replace it with a slightly larger diameter 0.095″ string, I’d encourage you to re-examine your technique. Most grass doesn’t require full throttle, and the Economy mode lets you work longer while still trimming tall grass effectively. It also does a better job of protecting border obstructions like siding from getting marked up by a full speed (or larger diameter) string.
Editor’s Note on loading string: Be sure to follow the winding direction on the bump head when loading new string. If you don’t, then the bump mode will only work in the reverse direction—something that will drive you nuts if you’re feeding line more aggressively.
The balance of the Husqvarna 536LiL 36V trimmer is excellent. I tend to mount my handles backwards to give me a bit more leverage, but that didn’t seem to matter with the 536LiL. It just felt right, and I got a nice gentle left-to-right arc while I walked and trimmed the grass against fences and the surrounding landscaping. I also really appreciated the reverse direction button, as I do tend to use a trimmer to edge and trim against the sidewalk, and the swap in direction keeps the grass clippings on the grass instead of on the path.
When I was tackling my toughest challenge—trimming back the dwarf jasmine ground cover that pours over the top of landscape blocks across the front of a downtown bungalow—I ran into another great use for the reverse direction switch. Because of this review, I had waited too long before trimming back the jasmine. Consequently, it had grown to lengths of 12 inches or more. At that length, it didn’t take much to get it wrapped around the end of the shaft. A simple press of the reverse button pulled me out of the weeds in no time, and I could continue with my trimming.
The Husqvarna 536LiL 36V trimmer, above all, runs long enough on a 2.0Ah battery to trim an 1/8 acre yard at least twice. Now, I live in a downtown area, where the lots are hardly large or unwieldy, but one of the houses where I trim has a row of dwarf jasmine that takes some energy. With the optional BLi520X battery backpack I can trim and edge the lawn and trim the hedges…for about a month.
If you want to ditch the gas, and you’re looking to move into a battery powered platform, it’s hard to pass up on Husqvarna—a company successfully operating in the commercial markets overseas, and now here in the U.S. as well. If you want Pro power and Pro performance, Husqvarna has it, and the Husqvarna 536LiL 36V trimmer is a great “starter” tool to get you into the platform. Add to that the power of the Husqvarna Fleet Services options and software, and you’re looking at a platform that can grow with your business and help you stay on the top of your game.