Similar to some other products reviewed here, the Bolens BL160 Weedwacker is a small but powerful unit that combines a basic construction with enough voltage to clear basic weeds and long grass.
This yellow and black unit is a model that relies more on stable, traditional construction than a ton of additional features. The Bolens BL160 Weedwacker is a gas trimmer that utilizes a 25cc two-cycle engine with a 10 oz. fuel tank. It weighs a small 11 lbs. and has full dimensions of 10 x 9.5 x 75 in., making it ideal for small yards that need regular trimming but nothing much larger. The head is capable of cutting a 17 in. swathe using two separate strings, and it is the right size to work in tight corners or along fences, driveways, walkways, and gardens.
The name of the game with the Bolens BL160 string trimmer is minimalism. The manufacturer did not spend too much money in research and development with this model, making it one of the least expensive options on the market. It costs a low $70 to $90 and is light enough to pick up and carry anywhere. Because of its compact size, this gas trimmer is ideal for small yards and should not be used on medium to large areas because it simply does not have the juice to remain in use.
So, what are the positives of this weedwacker? The basic construction actually works in the Bolens BL160’s favor, since it can be held aloft using a shoulder strap and carried into tight spaces. The straight shaft and its accompanying handles are adjustable, so people of all heights can operate this trimmer without trouble. The mechanism that allows for adjustments turns smoothly and doesn’t get stuck like so many others do, meaning you can move the shaft to fit your needs without a struggle.
Another nice feature of this weedwacker is the ability to replace the strings. This is one of the most important characteristics of any trimmer, because there is no point in using the tool if you can’t even replace the most important material it needs. The head of the Bolens BL160 is small but opens easily so you can remove cracked and broken strings without muss or fuss. Once a broken string is removed, all you have to do is fish the new one through the first hole, around the central ring, and then out the second. The entire process can be completed in less than two minutes!
A sturdy debris shield is included with this model, so you don’t have to worry about rocks and other hard things smacking you in the feet, shins, or other crucial extremities. The plastic shield is also easy to clean and can be adjusted as needed to suit different areas around the yard.
A couple of the downsides of this model are pretty obvious. Perhaps the first and foremost is that the Bolens BL160 does not support the use of attachments, which almost every other modern string trimmer does. These attachments replace the head and typically allow you to do such things as turn the straight shaft into a blower, a different type of trimmer, and even a small gas-powered chainsaw. Unfortunately, you will see none of that here. There also is no anti-vibration feature, so your arms will shake and become sore after using this weedwacker for an extended period of time.
Despite this, the Bolens BL160 string trimmer does come with a limited 2-year warranty to help cover regular wear and tear, and customer service is highly responsive to calls and emails. So, you’ll have to invest little money during the initial purchase and can also rest easy knowing the device is protected.
As one can imagine, this Bolens Weedwacker is pretty decent to run. The vibrations can become tiring, but the trimmer itself is lightweight and easy to use without any major performance issues.
Overall, the Bolens BL160 Weedwacker is a device that has few highs but also no devastating lows, making it great for individuals on a budget who don’t want to spend a ton of money on their lawn but would still like to eliminate weeds and tall grass.
A couple of great features are the warranty, the accessibility of the head, and the reliability of the small engine. This device is unlikely to break down and will be a reliable source of weed elimination with few issues. However, it does vibrate a lot and has a tiny fuel canister, so it only works best when used for short periods of time.
This is definitely a trimmer meant for small yards, not large ones.