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Ryobi RY18LTX33A-0 ONE+ Cordless Grass Trimmer review: Less pain, more gain

Our Rating :
£99.00 from
Price when reviewed : £160
inc VAT

Lighter than most heavy-duty trimmers, this ergonomic powerhouse can still handle tougher grass and weeds


  • Lots of power
  • Selectable speeds
  • Comparatively light, ergonomic design
  • Uses Ryobi ONE+ batteries


  • Not the greatest edging tool
  • Short battery life in fast mode

The Ryobi RY18LTX33A-0 adds to the Japanese brand’s existing line of cordless grass trimmers with a new 33in model featuring a two-speed brushless motor that enables you to prioritise either battery life or cutting power at the flick of a switch. Plus, thanks to a neat rotating trick, it can go from trimming to edging duties with ease.

Ryobi claims that the new design and metal shaft make for a lighter, more balanced trimmer with improved ergonomics and an adjustable cutting width, but how does it work out in practice? I’ve been using the RY18LTX33A-0 in my garden over the last week to find out.

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Ryobi RY18LTX33A-0 ONE+ Cordless Grass Trimmer review: What do you get for the money?

A fairly large, medium-duty trimmer with an 18V brushless motor, an adjustable 28 to 33cm cutting width and an auto-feed 1.65mm line. With a maximum speed of 6,800rpm, it’s well equipped for tackling areas of tough and overgrown grass, not to mention weeds that aren’t too thick or woody.

While some smaller, lighter strimmers favour a more compact design with a handle on the top, the RY18LTX33A-0 sees the battery slotting neatly into place in the control unit at the top end of a long shaft, just behind the handle with the activation and variable speed triggers, and then has a secondary grip further down. This design balances the weight of the spool, guard and motor at one end with the weight of the control unit and battery at the other, which – in theory – makes it more comfortable to use for longer periods.

While I’ve seen trimmers that convert to edgers by rotating the cutting head by 90 to 180 degrees, the RY18LTX33A-0 takes a slightly different tack: a squeeze of the release button on the left-hand side of the control unit and then rotating the control unit itself supports the cutting head with the line spinning vertically rather than horizontally.

It’s a shame that the mechanism for changing the cutting width isn’t so clear. The instructions tell you practically nothing and, in fact, the only way I could find to adjust it was to unscrew the small blade that chops the line as it passes and screw it back in the other way around.

The RY18LTX33A-0 requires a little assembly: the shaft arrives in two sections with a chunky cable running through, and needs to be fitted together with two screws to hold them securely in place. After that, the guard also needs to be screwed into position around the cutting head. However, the pictorial instructions are relatively clear and I had everything put together in less than ten minutes.

The RY18LTX33A-0 uses the same ONE+ batteries as the rest of Ryobi’s cordless range, making it practical to buy a charger and one or two batteries and use them across several power tools. Of course, you’ll need to buy the battery and charger separately, and we would recommend going big on the former – in our tests, a 5A battery managed between 24 and 30 minutes, so you might find that the cheaper 2.5A and 2A units simply don’t last long enough.

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Ryobi RY18LTX33A-0 ONE+ Cordless Grass Trimmer review: How easy is it to use?

Once assembled, things are pretty straightforward. All you need to do is hold the top trigger down to activate the strimmer, then squeeze the bottom trigger to start it up and control the speed. A rocker switch on the top flicks between the Fast and Slow settings, giving you the choice of longer battery life when you’re just giving patches of unruly grass a quick tidy, and more power when you’re trying to cut through thick grass or chunky weeds.

At 2.5kg, this isn’t a lightweight tool – especially with a 730g 5A battery to contend with – but the design works reasonably well to spread the weight across both arms and shoulders. I didn’t feel I needed to take a break in strimming before the battery ran down, and I certainly found it easier on the shoulders than the Bosch AdvancedGrassCut 36 or Cobra GT3024V. There’s some vibration in the lower grip and it puts out quite a lot of noise – I measured 75dB to 85dB while trimming, with odd peaks of 95dB while cutting heavy weeds – still, it’s nothing unusual for a larger cordless model, and you should be wearing ear guards when you’re trimming, anyway.

The RY18LTX33A-0 is a line trimmer, with a length of plastic line spinning around at 6,800RPM to slash through over-long grass and weeds. The line wears out or splinters off while cutting, with new line feeding out automatically from the spool until it’s emptied, at which point you’ll need to replace it. While the instructions for some trimmers suggest that you wind a replacement line onto the original spool, Ryobi (safely) assumes that most users won’t want the bother. It’s perfectly possible to repopulate the spool with your own 1.65mm line, but replacement spools aren’t hideously expensive – roughly £4.50 for a single reel, or £12 for a pack of three.

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Ryobi RY18LTX33A-0 ONE+ Cordless Grass Trimmer review: How well does it trim?

The RY18LTX33A-0 does a great job of basic trimming duties. I first used it to trim some messy patches and it left a nice, clean cut on shorter, finer grass and had no issues getting through thicker clumps. I then took it to deal with some longer, rougher grass and weedy patches on my rear lawn, prior to mowing, and it made short work of these as well. I did experience one complication when some tall ryegrass wound itself around the spindle, slowing and then jamming up the motor, but that had more to do with the state of my garden than any inherent faults with Ryobi’s trimmer.

I liked that you can leave it on the slow setting for the light stuff, then switch to fast when you need some extra oomph. You can also use the trigger to vary the speed by relaxing or tightening your grip as required.

However, I’m unconvinced by its efficacy as an edging tool. The rotating action on the control unit works well enough, but the length of the shaft and the angle of the head leave it feeling slightly awkward. Plus, unlike some other light trimmers, there’s no wheel to keep the head in position as you move it along your border. It works but it hardly excels and, if you spend a lot of time edging, I think the Bosch UniversalGrassCut 18-260 or Cobra GT3024V might be a better choice.

As mentioned earlier, testing the RY18LTX33A-0 with a 5A One+ battery, I found the charge lasted about 30 minutes when I kept to the slow speed, or around 23 minutes when using a mix of slow and fast. While that’s probably going to be enough to cover most small and medium-sized gardens, if you have a larger plot you might want to keep a spare battery to hand – particularly since it took my 2.0A charger just a fraction under two and a half hours to recharge the 5A battery.

Ryobi RY18LTX33A-0 ONE+ Cordless Grass Trimmer review: Should I buy it?

If you’re looking for a grass trimmer with the power to do more, the RY18LTX33A-0 should certainly be high up your shortlist. It’s lighter and easier to handle than some more heavy-duty trimmers, like the UniversalGrassCut 18-260 or the, admittedly excellent, Worx WG183e, but it still has ample muscle to deal with tough and weedy areas of the garden. It’s not so hot as an edging tool, but the same complaint applies to its heavyweight rivals.

With the total cost coming in between £250 and £300 – once you’ve factored in the price of a battery and charger – it’s more expensive than the Bosch, but the Ryobi is better balanced and more versatile.

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