Milwaukee 2828-21 String Trimmer Kit Review

Tool Box Buzz rating:

Milwaukee 2828-21 String Trimmer:

Milwaukee 2828-21 String Trimmer

4.5/5
Manufacturer: Milwaukee
Model number: 2828-21
Price: $423.00 Kit
Power source: Battery
I was in search of a string trimmer for my small suburban landscape of 6,000 sf +/-. The Milwaukee 2828-21 String Trimmer immediately caught my attention. Why? For the size of the area, I did not need a commercial trimmer such as a Tanaka, Red Max or Stihl gas-powered unit. I only need it once a week for 24-26 weeks a year. I did not want to deal with mixed fuel, or any fuel given the issues with ethanol in small engines. Also, I have a number of  Milwaukee M18 cordless tools in my collection.

When I heard about the Milwaukee 2828-21, I made a decision to consider it as I could utilize my existing Milwaukee platform batteries to refuel it. My needs are relatively small and infrequent. More along the lines of homeowner frequency of use vs a commercial landscaper. I compared the Milwaukee 2828-21 String Trimmer to my experiences using mixed fuel gas trimmers in both the commercial landscape and golf course maintenance industries.

As every tool has its sweet spot, I found the 2828-21 String Trimmer to be ideal for anything a homeowner can throw its way. It is impressive for this application.

Milwaukee 2828-21 String Trimmer Specifications

Specifications
Assembled Length73.6 in.
Assembled Height10.5 in.
Assembled Width13.0 in.
Shaft TypeStraight
Line AdvanceBump
Weight11.5 lbs
Line Size Furnished,080 in.
Line Size Maximum.095 in.
Maximum Cutting Path16 in.
Shaft Length60 in.
Battery TypeLithium Ion
Battery Amps6.0 Amp
Battery Voltage18.0 v
Manufacturer Warranty3 Years Limited

Price:

I was looking to spend $200+/- for something comparable to the Echo 21.2 CC sold at the home depot for $219. The Milwaukee 2828-21 String Trimmer sells at the Home Depot with Charger for $249. It was a bit more than I wanted to pay but I do not mind paying more for good quality and reliability. The Milwaukee 2828-21 is comparable in price to the Toro 60-volt Model 51830 @$200 and the Greenworks 60 volt Model # ST60L413 @$254.

Milwaukee 2828-21 String Trimmer Design:

The Milwaukee 2828-21 String Trimmer design is similar to a commercial straight shaft trimmer and it does a better job than curved shaft trimmers for getting under obstacles. The weight distribution is heavier at the head compared to an engine-powered gas trimmer but was overall well balanced. I was able to keep good control of the trimmer at all times.. The handle and the trigger grip are comfortable and easy to hold onto.

Replacing the line in the Milwaukee head is much easier than on a commercial bump feed where you need to wind the string on the spool. In the case of 2828-21 you need only cut  6’ of replacement string and the head will feed and wind for you. This is much better and easier than removing and winding spools.

The electric motor is located above the cutting spool and its housing is made of plastic. I am concerned about the motor bumping into obstacles and wonder if the head design will hold up over time. I would sure like to see an aluminum housing similar to the Toro for better motor protection.

Could Do Without:

The switch for Hi/Low or Rabbit/Turtle to me was not useful. When trimming you want to run a trimmer at full throttle or full speed. If you run at low RPM’S you beat the grass blades to death as opposed to slicing through them. When you best them apart, the grass turns yellow and straw-like. It is a similar result when you cut grass with a dull blade – it just beats the grass not cut it. The trimmer cut extremely well on Hi-speed. I was really impressed with the smooth and constant power of the trimmer.

Assembly

The Milwaukee 2828-21 trimmer was very easy to assemble. Just a few screws and nuts and it goes together well.
Weight of the tool is 11.5lb or ½ lb. less than the Toro and 2 lb. less than the Greenworks. It felt well balanced.
The storage of the trimmer fit well on one of my rubber-made tool rack carriers and it took up less space than units having a gas engine.

Battery:

Having the battery fit my M18 charger base was nice. Battery life is 6.0 Ah which is 2/3 more than Greenworks and almost 3x more than Toro. I was able to cut my lawn 6 times or every month-and-a-half before the battery needed to be charged. This is easier than purchasing fuel, mixing, and pouring without spilling into the small tank mouth opening. Battery charge time was about 1 hr 45 minutes. Voltage is listed as 18V and the competition units list 60V batteries.

Milwaukee 2828-21 String Trimmer Operation:

The tool was balanced in my hands. As noted, the head is a bit heavier than the battery end or handle end, but it balanced well as it cut. I keep the timer in the high RPM mode as it cuts best. The low RPM mode is not useful, and my turf stand is healthy and thick.

One note I saw in the manual for use was to not tip the trimmer to cut edges of walks and beds vertically. That makes no sense as this is one of the standard operations/tasks of a trimmer. I ignored that comment and the trimmer worked just fine cutting the grass along the cobbles stone and brick walkway and the edges of the plant beds.

Cutting string replacement was easy and well designed. Cutting weeds from a brick walk chewed up the line against the hard surface but this happens with any trimmer line. I wonder if a larger diameter line can be added to helps this? The cutting width at 16” was sufficient and worked well.

Warranty :

Milwaukee offers a 3yr. warranty.

Final Thoughts on the Milwaukee 2828-21 String Trimmer:

The cordless battery-powered Milwaukee will fit the bill for maintaining my small suburban landscape and allow me to not have to deal with dealing with fuel and its inherent problems with high ethanol-gasoline fuels.

One other bonus of battery power over gas is the smell of the product. My clothes will not smell like two-stroke and my wife will be happier!

But perhaps the best feature of this tool is the ability to use it without the need for hearing protection. The only sound it makes is the string whizzing through the air. I can also use 2828-21 at times when a gas-powered string trimmer would be a nuisance to the neighbors.

The Milwaukee 2828-21 cuts well and is user-friendly. The charging is easy and the tool is easily cared for. The unit is well balanced. Considering a more durable head/motor material may offer better protection and the use of a low RPM option on the thumb switch vs variable speed with one throttle seams of no use.

The Milwaukee 2828-21 Fits My Needs:

Without a basis for comparison, I am not sure how the power of an 18V would compare to a 60V as far as cutting through thick grass and getting the job done but the 18V performed well for me. The product has a great benefit for single homeowner use. I would not consider it for commercial use as the time it takes me to trim my lawn after I mow is about 10-15 minutes or over six cuts or 1 – 1.5 hrs. of run time. It would take a few batteries for a commercial crew to get through a day.

I highly recommend the Milwaukee 2828-21 trimmer to any homeowner looking to jettison the gas or add to their outdoor power equipment (OPE). Milwaukee offers a very comprehensive lineup of OEP to keep platform compatibility. The 2828-21 is a great tool to begin your OPE tool inventory. In addition, Milwaukee is a great platform to be on for construction tools as well as OPE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author

Stan Durlacher

Stan has been a project manager in the Boston commercial real estate and construction market since 1978. He is currently a Project Executive for a major Boston Construction Manager, building High Rise apartment and office buildings. Two of his current projects are Air Right Developments over the Mass Turnpike in downtown Boston. One of the hallmarks of his career has been innovative problem solving. As Assistant Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Stan was instrumental in bringing the hydromill slurry wall machinery and technology to Boston in the 1990’s for use on the Central Artery Third Harbor Tunnel Project. Stan has been an avid woodworker since college and brings an innovative point of view to this field. He owns an 1886 farmhouse near Concord, Mass and his skills and time are never idle for long. His barn and attached spaces serve as his ever-expanding workshop. Stan is a self-avowed tool hound. In 2013, Stan decided to design and build his own CNC router. This machine has become a centerpiece of his woodworking and his craft focus Stan will share many of the ways that this innovative technology has solved many current problems and how CNC will begin to impact the woodworking and home renovation businesses.

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2 Comments

  1. Arnie Kopp

    Does this trimmer have a variable speed control? I use the slowest speed possible when I am trimming around fence posts so as to minimize damage to the posts. Thanks

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Just with the trigger

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