Are you ready to ditch the gas can and forever say goodbye to pesky 2-stroke engines that, for no matter how hard you try, never seem to run right come springtime? The big three tool manufacturers have hit the summer of 2017 running with cordless string trimmers, blowers, hedge trimmers and even chainsaws that operate Read more
Are you ready to ditch the gas can and forever say goodbye to pesky 2-stroke engines that, for no matter how hard you try, never seem to run right come springtime?
The big three tool manufacturers have hit the summer of 2017 running with cordless string trimmers, blowers, hedge trimmers and even chainsaws that operate on the same batteries you have in the shop or on the job.
Banking on the more power is better philosophy; these cordless yard machines are delivered with large capacity battery packs. The same batteries running high demand tools like right angle drills, rotary hammers and saws.
Whether you’re tired of finicky small engines or have better things to do with your time than make that last minute run to the gas station just so you can mix up a gallon or two to trim out the yard, these tools are definitely worth looking twice at.
Here is a quick rundown of my own experience with the Dewalt 60V, Milwaukee 18V and Makita 36V OPE. Watch for additional reviews as more tools are arriving weekly here at The Hub.
Milwaukee M18 FUEL String Trimmer
New product/tool design engineers are always tasked with designing the next best thing, the fastest or most powerful tool that will turn heads and ring in sales. One guiding principle in design is the “KISS” method. Standing for “keep it simple stupid” but it’s not necessarily a negative connotation in the final production model of the M18 string trimmer.
With a simple safety locking throttle trigger, high/low speed selection and a single 9.0Ah battery pack this trimmer is as simple as it gets. Oh yeah, and its extremely powerful. The 14”-16” cutting swath and straight shaft are perfect for clearing thick overgrowth or manicuring your 9th hole-like lawn.
I only wish my video turned out a little better but you’ll have to take my word for it, this 18V tool is a beast when considering power and runtime. You’ll want to have a 9.0Ah battery but you’ll only need one to finish your yard. I trim about an acre and can complete the job on about 2 bars.
Dewalt 60V MAX String Trimmer If you’re familiar with the new FLEXVOLT tool lineup from Dewalt then take a look at this trimmer. Running on a single 60V 3Ah FLEXVOLT battery, this cordless trimmer has a ton of power upfront and decent battery runtime. Motor placement is different than all the others in this category in that it’s placed directly at the head/end above the line spool. Like the other two here the 60V MAX uses full-sized trimmer line, which absolutely rocks when comparing these trimmers to early models of electric/cordless trimmers. I have run this trimmer thru some pretty tough paces and have been thoroughly impressed with its power. I’m a little concerned with the amount of debris buildup on the motor housing but I believe most of that is from using it to clear heavy overgrowth in the field out back. Typical yard usage would likely not cause such buildup and therefor not pose a problem to the motor itself.
Makita 36V String Trimmer
If you’ve got a couple Makita 5Ah batteries and enjoy a tool truly designed with the user in mind then look no further.
The Makita XRU09 string trimmer has an outer rotor brushless motor direct drive system which provides for high power and high torque. The engineers included nearly all the bells with this one giving it two speeds and even reverse. You might be wondering “why reverse” and the answer is simple really. When clearing tall grass or weeds in heavy overgrowth areas the head of any trimmer will likely be wrapped up over time; the reverse rotation setting allows for quick clearing of the trimmer head and in my opinion that simple genius in design. They added a switch and circuitry to run the motor backwards for a short duration, why didn’t the others do that? I personally like the ergonomics of this trimmer best. Its also smoother and powerful enough to handle all my trimming needs over nearly and acre of yard and landscaping. Videos are still in the making.
Cordless outdoor power equipment [OPE] is not entirely new but the application of today’s battery technology coupled with the performance of highly efficient and powerful brushless motors has created a whole new level of tools for both residential and commercial use. Although Dewalt’s DCCS670X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX brushless chainsaw is considered the homeowner’s Read more
Cordless outdoor power equipment [OPE] is not entirely new but the application of today’s battery technology coupled with the performance of highly efficient and powerful brushless motors has created a whole new level of tools for both residential and commercial use.
Although Dewalt’s DCCS670X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX brushless chainsaw is considered the homeowner’s tool, separate from the 40V MAX commercial lineup, this chainsaw further expands the usefulness and value of investing into the FLEXVOLT tool platform. Arguably more agile than the 40V MAX chainsaw given the more compact battery pack [60V, 3Ah] it weighs in a full pound lighter [12.2lbs]. As one of three 60V MAX OPE tools this model is equipped with a low kickback 16” Oregon brand bar. Chain break, auto oiling and tool-free chain tensioning round out the saw’s main features.
Ratings from the Dewalt engineering team have it set at approximately 70 cuts per charge on 6”x6” pressure treated pine. Our tests shown in the video included various diameter log and stump cutting ranging from 5” to 14” oak. Our time in the woods allowed for 100 cuts, requiring one battery change at cut number 64. In total the saw consumed 1 & 2/3 batteries.
This isn’t plumbing related…
A few of our friends on social media have asked why we’ve been showing the cordless OPE so much this spring, noting it isn’t plumbing or hvac related. While I’d totally agree these tools are a bit off our scope of product and trade focus I’d offer up the fact that most people have a use for these tools at home AND on the job site. The blowers for example are a huge time saver over a push broom, the chainsaws could prove useful as well but overall I find them truly exciting because of how well thought out and powerful they are. Given I already have invested heavily into cordless tools for my business, expanding the utility of my own batteries into helping me get some work done around the yard is attractive. Besides, who wants to deal with the incessantly fickle 2-stroke motor with its annual carburetor issues? With these battery tools you just insert a battery off the truck, pull the trigger and go. Very cool indeed plus tools like the chainsaw ans trimmer are extremely quiet allowing for that one last pass thru trimming up the yard at 9:30pm, likely without your neighbors even knowing it!
Back to it
The saw performed flawlessly in everything we threw at it. Honestly I was impressed over and over at the power available as I pushed the saw searching for it’s limitations. The oak hardwood was fell earlier this spring but only cleared to make way for a future building site, no rot was present which made these tree trunks prime for challenging the saw.
So you may be wondering if the newest generation of battery operated outdoor power equipment is worthy for the pro jobsite and to that I’d have to honest and say these tools will not completely replace a gas engine model in all instances but as you can see in the video Dewalt’s chainsaw has packs some power and provides a considerable runtime overall. I own other Flexvolt batteries and will consider this my new chainsaw of choice because of the power and agility it offers. Add to that the fact that this electric motor comes complete without a 2-stroke carburetor and the hassle of annual starting issues. As the battery OPE offering continues to expand by all major tool brands we are looking forward to testing out additional tools as they come to market so please watch for those reviews soon.
Dewalt’s OPE warranty as stated on their website is as follows: 3yr Limited, 1yr Free Service, 90day Money Back Guarantee.
Local retail pricing (Minnesota): $329.00
Available online and in stores now. Check out @acmetools or Home Depot for this and other FLEXVOLT tools by Dewalt.
Not paid content. This review is one of many performed by the mechanical-hub.com ProStaff, a team of skilled trade professionals who love tools and sharing info with our industry friends. A special thank you to Heather Aune, my lovely wife for helping with not only the camera work for this review but also testing out the saw herself, a significant task given she’s never even touched a chainsaw in her life before this test!