Propane Doesn’t Cut It for Residential Trimmers

In 2009, LEHR Technology unveiled propane-powered string trimmers for residential use under its own name and the Craftsman brand. But the tools didn’t catch on among consumers. Craftsman has no propane-powered string trimmers in its current lineup, nor does LEHR sell any online. LEHR sells replacement parts and string reels, and a scattering of websites sell now-discontinued LEHR propane trimmers.

And propane isn’t likely to return in the foreseeable future in the category. Manufacturers tell Consumers Digest that the cost savings of using a propane canister instead of filling a 15-ounce gasoline tank on a string trimmer, which might not have to be refilled all season, depending on your trimming needs, are insignificant. Consequently, manufacturers don’t see that as appealing to consumers, and that lack of interest doesn’t justify a re-engineering of their products for homeowners.

The only situation in which propane seems to have a foothold is with landscapers who use propane to power commercial lawnmowers. But those lawn professionals burn more fuel and cover hundreds of acres of ground compared with yard-care professionals who use string trimmers or, of course, the typical homeowner. In other words, it makes economic sense to have professional propane-powered equipment. But for now, propane-powered engines are staying only in the commercial-lawnmower market.