This article is going to look at the cordless electric Lawn and & Garden tools systems available for 2018.
This article is already out-of-date. Check out the Best 2019 Cordless Systems here: All The Best Cordless Battery Operated Walk-Behind Mowers 2019
Cordless-electric outdoor power equipment has evolved to the point where it is a good choice over gas-powered yard tools. In fact cordless electric yard tools now outsell the gas equivalents. It’s now time to take a serious look at what’s available and what is the best for you. I see hundreds of articles expounding the virtues of this cordless mower and that cordless string trimmer or blower but almost no reviews that include the complete line of tools each brand’s battery covers.
It doesn’t make a lot of economic sense for you to buy the best of each the way these articles want you to do, for example, an EGO string Trimmer, a Troy-Bilt leaf blower and a DeWalt chainsaw. You end up spending $150-$200 extra for each tool just for batteries. It’s really advantageous when you can have just two or three of the same batteries that will work in all your cordless yard tools. Some of the battery systems I will list will even work in your cordless hand tools!
Hi, I’m Paul Sikkema. Don’t know me? Check out this About Page or my YouTube page #mycountryacre #todaysmower #movingsnow
A few things to remember when shopping for cordless Lawn and & Garden Tool Systems.
Battery voltage is not a measure of performance. A 36-40 system can be just as powerful as a 56-80 volt system. Battery capacity in amp-hours (AH) and the battery voltage (V or Volts) together gives you the power available. Amp Hour x Volts = Watt Hour. For example, a 5 AH battery will last twice as long as a 2.5 AH for the same voltage. But a 40 volt 5 AH battery will give you about the same power available as an 80 volt 2.5 AH. Watt Hour is the easiest way to compare different batteries and battery system. Watt Hour is not always listed in the specs but is printed on the battery itself.
The efficiency of the electric motor will also determine how long a battery lasts. Most of the current reliable brands have switched to the high-efficiency brushless motors and a few have gone to the patented CORE system. Many of the systems now come with 1 hour quick chargers so you can be using one battery and have another one charging quickly. If you are trying to rotate them too fast through the charger thermal overload protection will keep them from overheating and ruining the battery.
Remember, the cost of the initial product includes the battery and charger so that is like buying the item and 3 or more years of gas, oil, and filters all up front. Once you have a product or two with batteries you can buy just the “bare tool” without the extra batteries and charger. That will save you considerable money. So, the initial cost is higher but when you look at total operating costs, not just purchase price cordless electric starts to make real sense. Typically a hedge trimmer or string trimmer costs just 2 cents per hour to operate—which is about 95 cents per hour less than a comparable gas unit. What does that mean? If the battery-powered unit cost $100 more than the cost of a comparable gas-powered unit it will start paying for itself around the 100-hour mark. If you have more than one tool using the same battery the savings over gas-powered will show up quicker.
Lots of marketing terms:
Smart Cut Technology, ARC Lithium Design, MaxLithium, Brushless Motors and Smart Lithium Battery Tech. These are marketing terms and the engineering is not specific to that one tool or brand. Brushless systems now have speed/load sensors built-in that increase the torque/speed when the load is greater and reduce the power/speed when the load is light – saving battery life. The Lithium batteries and chargers used in these kits have overload and overcharging tech built-in so they don’t explode or melt down your workbench. Most cells are wrapped to pull heat away from the cell. I’m not aware that any of the chargers have built-in battery cycling, cell balancing and or battery peaking tech.
One more little marketing detail on voltage. Here in the U.S., the brands are allowed to “fudge” the voltage label. For example, maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload on a fully charged battery) is 20, 56, 60, and 80 volts. So, that is the number they typically use on the label – i.e., Pro 80V or 40V MAX. Nominal (actual working) voltage is 18, 46, 54 and 72 volts. – i.e., a 58-volt battery is not better than a 56 volt. This will also affect the Watt-Hour label on the battery. Some manufacturers are using peak voltage to figure Watt Hours. The actual battery capacity is less.
It’s important to look at the whole package: the battery in conjunction with the motor and the tool being used, along with the ergonomics and overall engineering. It’s not simply a matter of how big the battery is.
An essential line of lawn & garden cordless tools, in my opinion, would include: Just my opinion –
- String Trimmer for weekly trimming .065-.080 line. This works well for most suburban yards. Most brushless systems now use .080 or higher. If you have rock or brick landscape borders or chain link fence you may want a string trimmer with thicker .080 or .095 line.
- Debris/Leaf Blower strong enough to move leaves on your lawn. Today many of the brands have leaf blowers that are as strong as a handheld gas blower. (400 cfm plus)
- Hedge Trimmer. Great for bushes, hedges and even trimming off prairie grass in the spring.
- Pole Saw. 10-12 foot reach is nice.
In addition, the following would make the tool line even more versatile.
- 16-inch Walk-Behind Trim Mower. Most riding mowers can get close enough to obstructions that a 16 inch trim mower is all you need.
- Chain Saw. If you have lots of older, mature trees an electric chainsaw is very convenient for making dropped limbs small enough to handle. At this time there are only a few brands that have chainsaws heavy-duty enough for cutting a cord of firewood.
Additional tools that would be nice but most of us don’t have to have:
- Heavy duty string trimmer .80 line or larger. The larger line allows you to clear that strip of tall weeds and grass you forgot out behind the shed.
- Walk-Behind Mower at least 19 inches. Some of the brands now have 19 and 21-inch walk behind mowers that are capable of mowing your small yard. (40-60 minute runtime) Some even have metal decks and are self-propelled
- Garden Weeder/Tiller
- Backpack Blower
- Jaw Saw
So let’s take a look at the complete line of tools the different brands offer and the performance of each line as a whole. I’ve broken the list down into two groups – Residential and Commercial. Note: some of the brands offer more than one line – I’ve just included the latest system.
Residential Cordless Systems
Update: I just posted an article on four cordless string trimmers I’ve tested. I’ll include the trimmers here and you read all about my findings here: Brushless String Trimmer Shootout! DeWalt Flex-Volt, Toro PowerPlex, Stihl AP, Troy-Bilt CORE
Please click on the link to read more and buy! I make a small commision when you purchase from Amazon and The Home Depot. There is no order or preference to this list.
1. Toro PowerPlex Brushless
I have six string trimmers from different brands I use for long-term testing but when I want to trim my yard I almost always grab the Toro PowerPlex. With the battery, it’s under 9 lbs and has plenty of power to trim my landscaping on my one-acre lawn. I have over 600 linear feet of landscape beds, chain link fence, and trees to trim around. I can trim the entire property twice on one charge of the T90 battery.
This system is missing a walk-behind mower. If you want to go total-electric look at the DeWalt 20 volt, Troy-Bilt CORE, Stihl AP, Ryobi 40 volt and EGO Power+
Toro PowerPlex 40 volt system. Buy Here: Amazon is the best choice
- Toro PowerPlex 51482 Brushless 40V Lithium-Ion dual line 14″ Cordless String Trimmer, 2.5 Ah Battery & Charger Included
- 480 CFM 150 MPH leaf blower,
- 24-inch hedge trimmer,
- 13-inch single line trimmer/edger,
- 14-inch chainsaw,
- double capacity T180 battery.
2. Stihl Cordless System
Like many of the brands in this article Stihl is a very well know name that makes high-quality products. Currently, they offer three lines of cordless systems. I tested the commercial AP Series and I highly recommend it if you want the very best on the market. Stihl is dealer only so you have to go to a local dealer to figure out if it is the best system for you.
Note: Stihl is not available online – you have to buy Stihl through your local dealer.
- Cordless Lawnmower
- Hedge Trimmers
- Pole Pruners
- Cut-off machine
- All sizes of batteries including all-day backpack style.
DeWalt has three lawn and garden systems, the 20V MAX for residential, 60V FLEXVOLT for construction professionals, and the 40V MAX Professional Landscaper
3. DeWalt 60V FLEXVOLT
This line is new for 2017 and unique in that the batteries will also work with your 20V MAX and FLEXVOLT tools.
- DEWALT DCST970X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX String Trimmer, 3.0AH battery at Amazon >.080 and .095 line
- DEWALT DCBL770X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Handheld Blower, 3.0AH battery at Amazon
- DEWALT DCCS670X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Brushless Chainsaw, 3.0AH at Amazon
4. DeWalt 20V MAX Residential Cordless System
This line is a good choice if you trim every time you mow.
- DEWALT DCST920 20V Lithium Ion XR Brushless String Trimmer at Amazon >.080 line
- DEWALT DCBL720 20V Lithium Ion XR Brushless Blower at Amazon
- DEWALT DCHT820 20 V Max Hedge Trimmer at Amazon
5. Kobalt 80-Volt Max Residential Cordless System
- Kobalt 80-Volt Max 16-in Straight Brushless Cordless String Trimmer >.080 line
- Kobalt 80-Volt Lithium Ion (Li-ion) 500-CFM 125-MPH Heavy-Duty Brushless Cordless Electric Leaf Blower
- Kobalt 80-Volt Max 26-in Dual Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- Kobalt 80-Volt Lithium Ion (Li-ion) 18-in Brushless Cordless Electric Chainsaw
- Kobalt 80-Volt Max-Volt Brushless Lithium Ion (Li-ion) 21-in Deck Width Cordless Electric Push Lawn Mower
6. Ryobi Outdoor Products Residential Cordless System
I just want to point out that Ryobi has an absolutely mind-boggling array of tools in their 18 volt ONE + system. The lawn & garden tools are good for small lawns but they have some specialty tools that no one else has. For example RYOBI ONE+ 18-VOLT CHEMICAL SPRAYER at The Home Depot. This is the handiest tool for applying Round-up or Weed-B-Gone.
I’m not going to list the entire line of ONE+ but you can read more here: Ryobi ONE+ System at The Home Depot
7. Ryobi 40 V Residential Cordless System
- 40V STRING TRIMMER / EDGER at Home Depot >.080 line
- 40V-X EXPAND-IT STRING TRIMMER at Home Depot >.080 line
- 40V HEDGE TRIMMER at Home Depot
- 40V JET FAN BLOWER 300 cfm at Home Depot
- 40V BRUSHLESS 14 IN. CHAIN SAW at Home Depot
- 40V-X 10 IN. Expand-it ATTACHMENT CAPABLE CULTIVATOR at Home Depot
- 40-VOLT 20″ BRUSHLESS MOWER $299 with battery and charger! at Home Depot
- 40V 20″ BRUSHLESS SNOW BLOWER Non-self-propelled single stage. at Home Depot
Ryobi 48 V Riding Mower
There is only one yard tool in the Ryobi 480 line but it’s important that I list it here.
- Ryobi RM480e 38 in. Battery Electric Riding Lawn Mower at The Home Depot
- Ryobi RM480e 38 in. 100 amp Battery Electric Riding Lawn Mower at The Home Depot
8. EGO Power+ System at The Home Depot Residential Cordless System
EGO Power + has gotten a lot of press over the last year and it is a good residential system but please remember – What I think or what Tools In Action or thesweethome.com thinks is the best is not always the best for you. If you are already committed to a battery platform or your neighbor loves his system don’t feel you have to buy what we say is the best. Feel free to ask comments below and I’ll help you decide.
- 56V Cordless Self-Propelled Lawnmower
- 56V 575 CFM Leaf Blower
- 56V Carbon fiber String Trimmer >.095 line
- 56V Hedge Trimmer
- 56V 145 MPH 600 CFM Cordless Backpack Blower
- 56V Single Stage non-self-propelled Snow Thrower.
Troy-Bilt CORE Residential Cordless System
Troy-Bilt CORE has gotten NO press but I have to say it’s the “sleeper” system of all the residential cordless lawn & garden systems for 2017. Troy-Bilt markets to residential customers but the CORE system was designed as a commercial cordless power platform. It uses the patented CORE motors that are the strongest brushless electric motors currently used. In addition, they are some of the highest efficiency electric motors so they can use smaller amp-hour batteries for the same amount of work. The CORE motors have a lifetime warranty.
- Troy-Bilt CORE TB4200 40V 16-Inch Straight Shaft Cordless String Trimmer Kit at Amazon
- Troy-Bilt CORE TB4300 40V 545-CFM 125 MPH Cordless Electric Leaf Blower Kit at Amazon. Largest CFM Handheld blower!
- Troy-Bilt CORE TB4400 40V 22-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer Kit at Amazon
- TB510 CORE™ Push Mower at Troy-Bilt Metal Deck!
- TB610 CORE™ FWD Self-Propelled Mower at Troy-Bilt Metal Deck!
Husqvarna has a great line of commercial cordless yard tools including a 26 AH back-pack battery
Milwaukee has a small line of M18 Fuel Commercial cordless yard tools that use the same battery as their power/hand tools. Don’t let the 18 volts fool you. Higher voltage does not mean better performance. Milwaukee understands battery tech and brushless motor tech and their 18 volt is more powerful than most 56 volt and higher systems. They just introduced a chainsaw to go with this system and when it’s available I’ll put a link in here. What’s interesting is the price is very comparable to the residential systems.
- M18 FUEL 18-Volt Lithium-ion Brushless Cordless String Trimmer Kit at The Home Depot >.080/.095 line
M18 FUEL 100 MPH 450 CFM 18-Volt Lithium-ion Brushless Cordless Handheld Blower Kit at The Home Depot
- M18 FUEL 18-Volt Lithium-ion Brushless Cordless Hedge Trimmer Kit at The Home Depot
SnowJoe/SunJoe Residential Cordless System at The Home Depot
Snow Joe – Sun Joe Shop at Amazon
SunJoe/SnowJoe has a line of cordless that includes a 2-stage self-propelled snow blower but they are missing one important piece in their system – a string trimmer. If your yard is too big for a cordless trimmer or you don’t need one then the Snow Joe line makes sense. By the way, the 2-stage snow blower throws snow very well and it’s extremely quiet.
- Sun Joe iON 40-Volt Cordless 16-Inch Lawn Mower w/ Brushless Motor
- Sun Joe iON 40V 4.0 Ah Cordless 3-in-1 Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher with Brushless Motor
- Sun Joe iON 40-Volt Multi-Angle Cordless 8-Inch Pole Chain Saw
- Sun Joe iON 40-Volt Cordless 16-Inch Chain Saw w/ Brushless Motor
- Sun Joe iON 40V Hybrid Cordless or Electric 16-Inch Lawn Mower – Corded and Cordless!
- Sun Joe iON 40V 4.0 Ah Cordless 12-Inch Garden Tiller/Cultivator
- Snow Joe iON PRO Series 21-Inch Cordless Single Stage Brushless Snow Blower – non-self-propelled
- Snow Joe iON 80V Max 5.0 Ah Cordless Self-Propelled (Two-Stage) 3-Speed + Reverse Snow Blower w/ Dual Port Charger
Black & Decker Residential Cordless System
Black & Decker has just introduced 60V MAX walk-behind mower. No word yet if there will be a yard system with trimmers, etc that will go with it.
The primary battery for the yard tools at this time is the 40V MAX* Lithium.
Black & Decker, Stanley and DeWalt are all the same company. Both B&D and DeWalt have 20V MAX tools but they are not compatible with each other. But the 20 V MAX B&D cordless tool line use the same batteries as lawn tools.
Black & Decker 40 V MAX line at Amazon
Black & Decker 20 V MAX line at Amazon
Snapper Cordless System
Snapper has two lines – a 60 volt and 82-volt system. The price is surprisingly competitive!
Snapper 60 volt Outdoor Tools at Amazon. The 82-volt system is the newest model.
Snapper 82 volt Outdoor Tools. at Amazon. RECOMMENDED!
Remember it’s the battery’s Watt-hour rating that matters, not the voltage. The batteries may seem small but they have the same Watt-hours as 40 volt with twice the AH.
Commercial Cordless Systems
I’m not going to spend a lot of time reviewing the commercial systems in this article. I’ll list the brands I am aware of and give you a quick summary of the system they offer. If you want a commercial grade system Green Industry Pro Magazine has a very good article here: Battle of the Batteries
DeWalt 40V MAX (dedicated 40V commercial system – not compatible with 20V and Flex-Volt)
DeWalt has a nice solid line of 40-volt commercial outdoor tools including an extended reach hedge trimmer! Check them out at the link above.
Cub Cadet CORE at Tractor Supply
I’m not sure if the Cub Cadet cordless system is considered commercial duty but I’ll put them here. Cub Cadet decided to produce a modular system. One powerhead that fits a string trimmer, blower, and hedge trimmer.
As a homeowner, you probably have never heard of Shindaiwa but it is one of the heaviest duty commercial lines available. They have a 56-volt commercial string trimmer, blower, and hedge trimmer.
Other manufacturers currently making commercial cordless lawn & garden tools: These are all dealer only items.
Echo Professional Grade 58V
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This is a very poorly written article. Paul starts out with an immediate fallacy and poor use of terms: “Battery voltage is not a measure of performance. A 36-40 system can be just as powerful as a 56-80 volt system.”
What does he mean by powerful? What does he mean by performance? Duration? torque? Paul doesn’t say and perhaps doesn’t know. Yes, the higher the voltage in the battery, the more powerful the electric motor can be and thus increase torque available to the user. That is what “powerful” means to me. Of course, more power=higher electrical draw=shorter battery life depending on the Ah of the battery. Higher Ah=more cells=longer battery life (you’ll notice the higher the Ah, the physically bigger the battery has to be (more cells). Paul misleads because he lacks knowledge. This article is worthless without the knowledge of how to apply terms accurately and how to measure “power” and “performance”
Hi Jeff, Oh padawan you have so much to learn. I suggest you spend some time learning about steeper/brushless motors and PWM controllers. Once you understand them and how they are designed you’ll understand that voltage has nothing to do with performance. More cells also does not equate to more AH – more cell capacity does. Take your time – I’ll wait.
Very helpful thanks Paul 😎
Hi Paul, great article! I have about a 1/3 of and acre and already have a pretty extensive collection of DeWalt 20 volt tools but I’m considering adding an additional manufacturer in 40 volt. My current wish list is a blower and string trimmer with the possibility of other helpful yard tools down the road. Is it worth the expense to add another brand or stay with DeWalt?
Hi Travis, I also use DeWalt tools so I really wanted the 20V lawn tools myself but after testing them against the others they are wimps. I’ve tested most of the “Name Brand” string trimmers including the 20V, 40V, and Flex-Volt DeWalt. The DeWalt has three things I don’t like. 1. The 20-volt trimmer has no power and the push mower quickly runs out of battery. It’s barely a good trim mower and I don’t recommend it at all for mowing your lawn. 2. DeWalt decided to use their hand tool brushless motors in the string trimmers. Because of that, they have vents in the head that you have to clean out the vents – plus I feel they will not last using them in wet areas. 3. Because they use the hand tool motors they also are geared – and the gears in the head are noisy.
I suggest reading this new article: All The Best Cordless Battery Operated Walk-Behind Mowers 2019. The first six mowers also have a good line of other yard tools to go with them. I’m very partial to the Toro FlexForce. The dealer only Stihl AP battery line is expensive but the BGA 85 blower is the most powerful blower on the market. The FSA 90 R is a true commercial string trimmer. And – they just added the KMA 130 R electric Combi-Head which is going to be a game changer for Multi-Task Tools.
The EGO line is also a great choice.
Paul thanks for your advice about the DeWalt tools! What is your opinion of Ryobi’s lineup? While I have been a lifelong proponent of Stihl equipment and still have a couple of their chainsaws, their battery powered equipment is a little beyond my finances. I just bought a really nice Honda HRR mower last year so I don’t anticipate needing to replace it for many years. I’m inclined to look closely at the Toro, EGO or Milwaukee tools. Which one do you recommend more?
Hi Travis, I suggest reading this new article: All The Best Cordless Battery Operated Walk-Behind Mowers 2019. The first six mowers also have a good line of other yard tools to go with them.
The Ryobi 40 volt is one of the top five choices. Their handheld trimmers, blowers, etc. all rate as some of the best.
So, far I like the Toro and I’ll be testing the mower, trimmer, and blower over the next 3 weeks.
If you have or want Milwaukee tools the Milwaukee yard tools make perfect sense because all their tools use the same 18-volt battery platform. The tools are a lot more powerful than the 18 volt Ryobi and 20 volt Dewalt. I have the Chainsaw, blower and trimmer here. The saw is the best electric on the market and outperforms all homeowner gas saws. The trimmer is as good or better than all the other brands including EGO. I keep the blower in my garage and use it all the time to clean my driveway.
Paul I went ahead and purchased the Milwaukee string trimmer and blower combo yesterday that was advertised at Home Depot and was very impressed with the power of both. Thanks again for your help and direction.
I’ve been doing some minor projects in the yard over the last couple of days and I’m continually impressed more and more with the power and battery life of the Milwaukee. I have been eyeing them for a couple years as a couple of close friends and my employer use their tools exclusively(and it’s a very very large nationwide construction company). To anyone on the fence about which brand to invest in, you will not be disappointed in Milwaukee.
Hi Travis, I agree, The Milwaukee Trimmer is very well built and will last. They have the new M18 FUEL 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless String Trimmer w/ QUIK-LOK Attachment Capability W/ 9Ah & 6Ah Battery at a very good price right now. They have Trimmer, pole saw, edger, and extension attachments for it!
I’m curious about authors or any other opinion of Jonsered. Costco now has their full line. I’m debating between that and Ego like.
Hi John, Jonsered is a name owned by Husqvarna and it appears they are replacing the Poulan/Poulan Pro names with it at various retailers. (Lowes is one of those companies that wants their own brand names so they don’t have to price match other retailers)
So far the Jonsered products are consumer grade. The EGO is also sold as a consumer grade but is a step up in quality, durability and design.
Hi Paul, I purchased the Kobalt 80 V Trimmer with 2 batteries.. We are trying to go to batteries as much as possible.. We have a residential yard , about 1/3 acre. With a LOT of leaves and acorns. My son is looking at a back pack battery blower for us for Christmas. but said that he was told the Kobalt backpack it is out of stock until March 2019. My wife said she definitely can’t use the gas backpack we already have but a battery one she could do. Looking for a suggestion as to how we can still use the batteries we have…I guess I bought the 80V because I thought it would be more powerful than say a 40V. My current gas blower blows about 200-250-MPH. So when I look at the battery ones they blow about 125-140 MPH. Someone else said the Kobalt back pack may be going obsolete.. Maybe they will come out with something else. What determines the MPH?
Hi Cas, CFM is a better measure of output for leaf blowers. The higher the CFM – the more leaves it will blow. If you look at your blower it probably has a CFM of 450-550.
Pretty comprehensive. I myself have gone with the ryobi one+system simple for the sheer volume of tools. It’s not just about lawn care but total home maintenance. Of course having a small tractor with bucket and pto make the bigger stuff manageable.
While I trust your advice was sound, I ended up going with the Milwaukee. I figured I would be investing in a chainsaw and blower along with a circular saw and hammer drill in the future and I liked the idea of being able to use the 18V 9.0ah batteries in the all of the tools.
In terms of the trimmer – it has far more power than I had anticipated. It chopped down all of the tall weeds and grass I threw at it with plenty of power to spare.
You should consider a formal review of the product! So far it has been fantastic!
Hi Justin, Great! I’m glad you like it. I just discussed buying trimmers that use your power tool batteries in this article: Brushless String Trimmer Shootout! DeWalt, Toro, Stihl, Troy-Bilt.
I stated there, “Before I discuss the remaining two trimmers I want to say: The best brushless string trimmer right now for most people is the Toro Power Plex and the best brushless string trimmer on the market is the Stihl FSA 90 R but it may not be the best trimmer for you.
If you just need a trimmer for weekly mowing tasks I actually suggest getting a trimmer to match your cordless drill batteries. For about $100-$150 you can get a bare tool DeWalt 20 volt, Ryobi 18 volt, or Milwaukee 18 volt. These are all quality, brushless motor string trimmers and they will do the job well for you. Don’t fall for the hype of having to have a separate high voltage battery for your yard tools.“
Thanks for the amazing post. I hope the blog is still active. I have found it to be helpful but still have a couple of questions for you. I am debating between a few different products and would like your opinion.
1. EGO 15-inch 56V Lithium-Ion Electric Cordless String Trimmer w/Rapid Reload Head with Battery and Charger ST1502SF (this comes with two 56V batteries – one 2.0ah, one 2.5ah)
2. Toro 14-inch PowerPlex 40V Max Brushless DC String Trimmer 2.5ah Model 51482
3. WORX 56V 13″ CORDLESS STRING TRIMMER & WHEELED EDGER WG191 (comes with two 56V batteries too 2.5ah each…I think)
4. Dewalt 13-inch 20V MAX Li-Ion Cordless Brushless Dual Line String Grass Trimmer with Battery & ChargerDCST920P1
Can I get your thoughts? I believe all of the models above are brushless. I also think EGO has started using a new brushless system. My yard is about a 1/5 acre.
Hi Justin, I’ve been testing the Toro PowerPlex, Stihl FSA 90 R, DelWalt Flex and 20 volt, Troy-Bilt 40 volt and EGO brushless.
The Toro is my pick. Toro really did their homework and built a rugged but very lightweight trimmer. I also like the blower and hedge trimmer a lot. I have all these trimmers and it’s always the one I pick to trim my lawn.
The best deal on the Toro is at Amazon: Toro PowerPlex. I just picked up the bare tool 51690 Brushless 40V MAX 480 CFM 150 MPH blower through Amazon Warehouse for $65. The box was banged up – otherwise it was brand new!
That said, If you have DeWalt 20 volt tools – buy the DeWalt. I do like the power of the Flex-Volt over the 20-volt trimmer though. Did you know they now have a walk-behind that uses the 20-volt batteries?
EGO gets a lot of press and I really like their self-propelled mower but I think their trimmers are overpriced.
The WORX is a toy and everything else you listed will last twice as long.
Thank you so much for your feedback. I reside in Canada where the prices aren’t so favourable. I can get the EGO with two batteries for $299, the Toro with the T90 battery for $250, or the Dewalt DCST920P1 for $250 (all in CDN funds). There is also the Milwaukee M18 FUEL string trimmer with battery and charger for $399 or Oregon ST275-A6 (40V 4.0ah) for $329. As you can see, I am all over the map. I am concerned about battery life which is my only hesitation the Toro’s low watt-hours.
Any further thoughts given the pricing?
Hi Justin, The Toro is very efficient and I can get 40 minutes or more of run time out of the T90 battery. Remember you don’t need to leave it running like you do with a gas model when you walk from one are to the next to trim. It also trims very well at half-throttle so the battery can last even longer.
If it takes you longer than that to trim just slap the battery on the charger and have a cup of coffee. You don’t have to charge the lithium battery fully each time you use it. Plus when you are done you can leave the battery on the charger. It won’t hurt the battery at all.
You know, I hadn’t considered that the unit is not running at all times. You have completely changed my view on what 40 minutes of battery life actually means!
I just bought a 40v Ryobi mower from Home Depot. I did not even take it out of the box yet so I cant speak to how well it works. But I have 2 lawns to cut, so I wanted to purchase an additional battery as there is a storage spot on the mower for the extra battery. I can just switch em up and go. However, my Home Depot only had 2.6AH 40v replacement batteries for Ryobi, and my mower comes with a 5AH battery. So I asked one of the workers if the 2.6AH battery will work on the mower. He told me that there is not enough amps in the 2.6AH battery to start the mower. Is that true? Its like $100 in store for the 2.6AH battery. I can order a 5AH battery on line for I think $160. I understand that the 2.6AH will not last as long, but if I can get an additional 10-15 min out of it, I would not need anything more. Will the 2.6 work on my device? And should I go back and buy it? Or should I shell out the extra $60 for the 5AH battery?
Hi Tom, The 2.6AH battery will work. Of course, you’ll get about half the runtime. In other words, if the first battery will mow for about an hour on a charge the 2.6 should mow for about 30 minutes.
If you decide to go all cordless electric that smaller battery will come in handy. It’s the perfect size for a string trimmer or hedge trimmer because it’s half the weight of the 5 AH. Hedge trimmers and string trimmers don’t need the larger capacity batteries and it makes them much lighter to use.
Good Stuff. Thank you.
I have a Kobalt 80V strong trimmer that works great. (but is a bit heavy, and line is limited — i think they eliminated the chain saw)
Looking to get a 14″ + or- Chain Saw and a backpack blower. (Hedge trimmer may be down the line). Thoughts on great chain saw/backpack blower providers? Large (3 acre) yard, that is one third wooded.
Hi Don, If you want the power of a backpack the only option right now is the Stihl AP Series BGA 100 Blower. Now, the system is set up different than a gas-powered. You carry the blower/motor like a handheld but the battery is in a backpack. This system is a strong as Stihl’s gas blowers. Check it out here: https://battery.stihlusa.com/battery-series/. Click on the AP series tab.
Husqvarna also has a similar system but I have not had a chance to work with it.
Mean Green Mowers also has a backpack blower but they don’t have a chain saw.
Hi Paul, any experience with Greenworks 40v or 80v tools?
Hi Jeff, This article, even though it was written just last year is very out of date. The products available have exploded and I’ve had a chance to test most of the major brands. The Greenworks is “just another” cordless system. The new GMAX DigiPro 40 volt system is the best choice for their products for quality and long life.
For the homeowner with less than one acre, I really like the Toro PowerPlex 40-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Cordless Brushless system. All the equipment is very lightweight but has plenty of power and battery life to do any job around your yard.
The best on the market is the Stihl AP Series. The AP series is a true commercial grade system and is just as tough as their gas-powered equipment. They also have a residential AK series that I highly recommend. You can only by Stihl at a dealer.
Looking for the best 40-60v cordless dual line trimmer that gives me the best overall raings on operation power, battery life, charging time, possibility for attachments, warranty etc…just the best overall machine. Thanks for your help.
I should have been more specific. I’m looking for a residential grade inder $200 with charger and battery.
Hi Dave, Good luck. I have not found one that is any good for less than $200 complete. If you want any battery life at all you have to go with the brushless systems. Yes, I’ve looked at everything on the market.
Remember, just about all of these are “systems” and the battery/charger can be used in other attachments. So, I’ll still suggest the Toro because it has a decent blower, hedge trimmer, and chainsaw so you only need one battery to run them all. I really like the power and how long the battery lasts. Check out Toro’s page: Toro PowerPlex.
But, do you have Dewalt 20 volt or Ryobi Lithium tools? Those are both decent trimmers and you already have the batteries! They are great for residential lawns.
What do you think about the ECHO 58 volt system? I didn’t see where you have commented on it.
Sally, I have not had a chance to test the ECHO 58. Right now my favorite system for homeowners is the Toro PowerPlex. If you have Dewalt the FLEX is also a good system. For heavy duty and commercial use the Stihl AP Battery system is by far the best on the market.
Hi Paul, I just bought a house and new to gardening and all of these tools. For my yard, I think I will need a leaf blower (3 trees), trimmer/edger and a hedge trimmer for now. I have a small lawn (the total lot size is less than .25 acres with house occupying most of the area). Which brand of tools and what power will be sufficient for my needs? Thanks.
Hi Sara, Cordless electric is the way to go now days, but. There is good stuff and bad stuff and unfortunately how much it costs is not a good way to judge the equipment.
I’ve been testing different cordless systems all summer and right now I like the Toro PowerPlex the best for most homeowners. The price is reasonable. All of the components are quality, top-notch. I can’t find any real down falls with the string trimmer, hedge trimmer, blower, chainsaw and battery.
Here is the link to Toro’s page. Toro Homeowner Tools. Home Depot and Amazon carries the line. I suggest buying one piece, say the blower with the T90 battery. Then as you need them or can afford them add the other items. You only need one battery.
By the way, I like the 14 inch brushless trimmer a lot.
=William von Rentzell
I have 3 different battery systems; my 24v sealed lead acid battery packs for my Neuton 14″ mower, my 40v Li-Ion battery packs for my Snow Joe 18″ snow blower, and my 18v Lithium packs for my Ryobi One + string trimmer and 22″ hedge trimer. I have to say the last item listed is the best purchase I’ve made in yard equipment. I picked the Snow Joe over the Ryobi snow blower because of the lower battery capacity with Ryobi in 2014. The One + tools were bought 1 and 2 years ago respectively. The Neuton; I bought my first 13 years ago which was the only cordless mower with removable battery packs at the time. I bought the same size replacement 2 years ago as the original’s motor bearings were going and some plastic parts molding flaws had become cracks. The reason I stayed with the 24v Neuton system is that I like the super ease with which I can reload the battery packs with standard 12v off the shelf SLA batteries for under $50 and in about 5-7 minutes, the easiest SLA packs to do so with, .using one torx screwdriver and maybe a pair of needle nosed pliers if the sta-con connectors need a little squeeze tightening. .
I bought a Troy Bilt Trimmer after reading your reviews. I was very impressed with the battery life and power, but I just returned my second unit due to the battery housing being so flimsy. The first one cracked while I was hitting the head on the ground to release some trimmer line and the downward force on the head created enough upward force on the battery housing that it cracked. Amazon was good enough to replace the product, but when I opened the box of the replacement unit, the battery housing was loose. I had to return it and I will not try Troy Bilt again. Have you heard of others with the same issue?
Hi Dan, Yes, I have one here that’s broke in the same place. Mine actually came with the two front screws that hold the battery slot to the trimmer laying in the bottom of the box. I never got around to exchanging it but it appears there is more than one and the battery holder is too flimsy.
It’s a shame because I really like the C.O.R.E. motor and the easy load head.
I wish I read your article before I bought 32V WORX GT 2.0. I have 2 questions. Per your article in US, maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload on a fully charged battery) is 20, 56, 60, and 80 volts. why WORX production said 32V? 2nd can I use 32 V battery in 20V tool that also WORX product? Thanks.
Hi Yang, That list was just meant to be examples and not an entire list. It seems that the industry just lists what they want so you have a hard time comparing to the other brands.
In almost all cases different voltage batteries have different mounts so that you can’t use them on other models. Right now the only one that lets you switch is the DeWalt Flexvolt system.
Thank you very much to reply. Is that theoretically can be switched if both batteries have same mounts?
Hi Yang, I would never put a higher voltage battery on an appliance even if it did mate up. You could wreck you item, or in the worse case burn up the item or blow up the battery.
Thanks for the reply! That Ego link I gave is actually a brushless motor. I confess I returned the greenworks pro, and bought the Ego yesterday, before I saw your reply. I haven’t used it, but just playing with it in the house, I have a good comparison of it and the greenworks pro. The trigger looks identical, but feels so much better on the Ego. The motor starts right away, compared to a delay on the greenworks pro. It feels really nice and easy to control the speed. Some nitpicks, like another reviewer said, the handle is weird, but usable. Also I really liked how the battery on the greenworks pro just dropped in a hole, then you press it in. The Ego is open, and you have to line it up on a rail, and slide it in. The Ego is more powerful though, so overall a better purchase.
I’m really loving this electric tool idea, and I have been thinking about looking harder and finding an even better brand, which is why I came back to your page…and found your reply. I’ll check out that toro and also ryobi you mentioned. btw, I liked what you said about the troy built core, but several reviewers on amazon are complaining about the line feeding. ughh I really want a nice working unit.
Ok so looking at the manual of that toro, I don’t want to deal with spooling the line like that. I don’t have the experience you have, but in my mind I would rather have a rapid head and replace it every couple years than deal with that. Just my opinion though.
toro manual: https://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdfImages/22/226d420a-81b1-4b38-8524-09521b9cfb4f.pdf
Hi Greg, It will be interesting to see if cordless trimmers will be treated as repairable items in the future or just throw-aways when the head or something else wears out. Right now the only trimmer I am aware of that has a replacement head is the Stihl FSA 90 R.
By the way, Oregon has the best head in the industry but I don’t know if they will have it available for the cordless trimmers in the future. Oregon Gator SpeedLoad
Hi Greg, Yes, I really want to like the Troy-Bilt. But I’m having issues with the way the battery mounts. The mount is not strong enough. I won’t comment on the line feed because at this point I think that’s the trimmer line – not the trimmer itself.
Lots of useful pointers here, thank you. I’m wondering about the use of two lines- I take it this is really desirable for heavier usage? I gather that an automatic feed system is ‘superior’ to the bump system. Opinion? Thank you!
Hi Sandra, That’s actually a very tough question to answer. In general the more you pay for the trimmer really tells you how good the head is – not whether it’s automatic or bump feed.
For, example the auto-feed head on the Troy-Bilt CORE is very nice and I’d recommend it but the auto-feed heads on WORX, Craftsman or other $100 brands are horrible.
DeWalt, Ryobi, Toro, EGO, ECHO all have good bump feed heads. The best head on the cordless, brushless trimmers is the one on the Stihl FSA 90 R. It is by far the best.
Twin cutting line gives you two cuts per revolution so it cuts twice as fast. Twin line also cuts more evenly and doesn’t dig in and grab like the single line trimmer can on tough grass. All good trimmers use twin line heads.
when checking trimmer ratings !Dewalt isn’t mentioned in the top 5 I was considering the 20 v 5amp dual string . the ratings seem to mention black7 DECKER 136 single string and 65 versus 80 / these reports are getting more confusing .brushless ,brushes single string 65 ,80 or 95 what to do close eyes and grab one???
Hi Rich, if you are reading someone else’s list’s I have no understanding of how they are rating them – except for the fact that most of them are just trying to get you to buy something from them through Amazon….. I personally thing the Black & Decker is the a piece of junk compared to the 3 DeWalt’s.
.065 line is the cheap, homeowner line you find in the $29 corded string trimmers. That line only cuts grass. .080 or .95 is ten times stronger, will last longer and will cut heavy weeds.
Dual String, .080, Brushless is the way to go.
Thank you for the information .Makes it more easy to buy ,as the gabs trimmer never last and have gone through 3 and are hard to start ,will try the cordless Dewalt
Dewalt 2o v or Robi 40v weed wacker is the dealt worth the $40 more
thanks for the information.been having trouble with gas power weed eater Thought I would try a cordless . so now will have to decide between the 20 volt DEWALT OR THE 18 VOLT RYOBI
most of the reviews are misleading. thank again . also the older I get the weight can be more of a concern
Yes, thanks for this Blog as it is hard to wade througt the manufacturers’ specs and make sense from it. For instance, I am on the DeWalt website and comparing three string trimmers. They are the FleVolt 60 Max system, Lithiom-Ion XR Brushless 40V Max (4 amp hrs) and the same one with 6 amp hrs (concerned with weight). The last one is the heaviest at 13.0lbs while the Flex Volt one is only 12 lbs. My concern is the Flex Volt one has only 3 amp hrs and you say this is the best measure of running time. The question is,”Is the new Flex Volt going to run out of power sooner than the others”?
Hi Sally, When you get the chance please read the first half of this article. It explains who to figure out the power available from a battery.
What is really confusing is the Brands are all trying to get you to think their product is better because of voltage (volts) or current (amps or AH). In reality it’s the combination of the two (Watt Hours – WH) that tells you the truth.
So to tell you the amount of power a battery has just multiply the volts times the amps. Volts X Amps = Watt Hours WH. (Watt hour is listed on the battery in fine print.)
1. So the DEWALT DCST970X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX String Trimmer, 3.0AH battery is 60 volts times 3 amp hours for 180 Watt hours of battery capacity. 60v X 3 AH = 180 WH
2. The DEWALT DCST920P1 20V MAX 5.0 Ah Lithium Ion XR Brushless String Trimmer has 20v X 5 AH = 100 WH
3. The DEWALT DCST990M1 40V MAX 4.0 Ah Lithium Ion XR String Trimmer has 40v X 4 AH = 160 WH
4. The DEWALT DCST990H1 40V MAX 6.0 Ah Lithium Ion XR String Trimmer has 40V X 6 AH = 240 WH
So the 60 volt FlexVolt is the second most powerful of the 4 DeWalt trimmer/battery kits sold.
Paul, This is a great overview! Thanks for the time and effort you put into this. There isn’t nearly enough useful information out there on battery powered lawn tools like this.
I’m very curious as to what your thoughts on are on my options. At this point i want to get the following tools, listed in order of usefulness to me: trimmer, chainsaw, hedge trimmer, blower. I also wouldn’t mind getting/may someday get: polesaw; construction tools such as, reciprocating saw, oscillating multi-tool.
I only have a Ryobi 18v One+ drill, driver and 10″ trimmer so i’m not heavily invested in that ecosystem. I don’t foresee myself using construction tools as much but i’m drawn to DeWalt’s flexvolt system for both lawn and construction tools for flexibility’s sake. I’m interested in Milwaukee’s Fuel 18v system due to flexibility as well. At this point I think i’ll either start investing in one of those two ecosystems and sell my Ryobi stuff or stick with Ryobi for 18v and go with EGO for lawn tools. All that considered, any advice?
Hi Aaron, I have the Dewalt 60 volt Max trimmer here and I like it a lot. It has all the power of a gas model and uses the same batteries as the FlexVolt power tools. By the way, The 20 volt Dewalt hedge trimmer is all you need unless you are doing commercial work so I don’t see a need for a FlexVolt hedge trimmer.
I’m in a similar situation. I have a full set of Craftsman C3 tools but I really want a tool system and lawn equipment that uses the same battery. I looked at the Milwaukee, Ryobi and Dewalt. I had to rule out Ryobi because I don’t have a Home Depot within 100 miles and I ruled out the Milwaukee because of the cost of the other tools. Dewalt has a full range of tools and even a whole group of power tools that are affordable for the homeowner.
Thanks for the input. What if you did have a Home Depot near you? What else do you dislike about Ego’s products other than some of them not being brushless? What do you think about Ego’s new ‘power head’ adapter system for trimmer, edger, pole saw?
@Aaron, If you really need a pole saw or edger then a split shaft trimmer may be a good investment. Edging takes a lot of power so expect to buy an extra battery if you have more than 50 feet or so to do.
I tend to try and decipher the difference between marketing hype and actual performance. EGO has been able to get more marketing hype than anyone on the cordless trimmer market (Worx used to hold that title)
The EGO was the first system to have a reasonably priced cordless trimmer that will replace a gas model. They got all the blog and youtubers on board early and were able to get front and center at The Home Depot. Because of that they have built a decent name brand.
But my job here is to help you find the best for you – not sell you the most popular product.
Is there anything wrong with EGO? No. In fact I really like their self-propelled mower.
Is it the best for you? Myself I want one battery system to power all my cordless tools. So the DeWalt, Milwaukee, Ryobi systems are my first choice. But I also know the engineering behind the CORE motor (Troy-Bilt) and it is superior to everything on the market.
Great information Paul. I started to be very interested in the Troy Bilt system, but then I read a few reviews on Amazon and now I am wondering. Poor battery life and the recommended trimmer line size is not available are a couple of the issues raised. What do you say to that?
Hi Dan, I have a Troy-Bilt CORE,
Battery life is very subjective. If you run it on high speed and full throttle all the time the battery will only give you about 20 minutes. If you do your weekly trimming like I do – low speed at half throttle – the battery will last an hour. That said, the battery for the Troy-Bilt CORE is about the same size as everyone else’s. 160 watt hours.
The watt hours are listed right on the battery label but no one lists it in the specs. Just take the real volts times the amps to get watthours. V X A = WH. Real volts is 18, 22, 36, 46, 54 and 72. In other words a 56/58 volt listed product is most likely 46 working volts so you take that times the current rating.
Trimmer line. I learned many years ago never buy residential trimmer line from a hardware store, home center or Sears. Go to the biggest commercial lawn and garden dealer you can find and but from them. Their line will last three times longer than the hardware stores and it’s fresh so it won’t randomly break off. I’ll bet you didn’t know trimmer line goes bad…That’s for another time. I used .080 line in the Troy-Bilt and it worked great.
So far I’ve used the DeWalt 60 volt MAX, Troy-Bilt 40 volt and Stihl FSA85. I have the Dewalt and Troy-Bilt at home. All 3 are as good as gas. I’m waiting on the new Toro 40 volt, Echo, Greenworks 80v and the EGO Brushless.
I saved all my trimming to test these trimmers so some of my grass was over a foot tall.
I didn’t like the trimmer line in the Troy-Bilt. It was a spiral-wind and all it wanted to do was dig into the grass and caused me to scalp the area I was trying to trim. I trimmed about 20 feet of a chain link fence, and got really pissed off at the string. I changed it out for .080 commercial and the CORE trimmer was then the best trimmer I used in a long, long time. I can run it on low and half throttle and it still does a great job of trimming.
Yes, it’s a long trimmer. I like long trimmers so I can get under bushes and stuff. I can also stay farther away from the cutting end. I was wearing shorts when I trimmed with it. By the way, it’s only 1 inch longer than the 60 volt MAX Dewalt.
Thank you very much for your comments/help. I am not a very good student and really don’t like doing research and I trust the information you provided so I made a purchase of the Troy Bilt trimmer (I have owned Troy Bilt gas products in the past so I am not totally blind to them). I made the purchased through the “Buy Amazon” link on your site. Hopefully you can confirm that it worked ok for your compensation.
Hi Dan, Thank you, I like the Troy-Bilt a lot. As with most new trimmers you will want to get extra trimmer line right away. So, while you are waiting for the trimmer go to a commercial lawn & garden dealer and get a small spool of .080 -.095 line. Get the smooth line – not the type with edges. A year’s worth of trimmer line will cost about $10.
Hi Paul – thanks for the help on another thread with the lawn mower. Loving the Craftsman Pro Series so far.
Now I’m looking at what my best bet is for a cordless string trimmer… and also probably a hedge trimmer and leaf blower on the same battery system.
I have about 1.5 cleared acres, and about 15 or so trees… but about half of those are big poplars, with a lot of exposed roots that need a fair amount of attention with a string trimmer. The house is also a ranch, so a lot of perimeter to trim, with a pool and shed in the back to trim around. Altogether, it’s probably 800+ linear feet of trimming, plus the bases of 8 trees with exposed root systems.
I saw some good prices online for the B&D LST136 40V Max trimmer, which seems to have gotten mostly good reviews (and its share of bad), but you don’t have it listed as recommended above. The blower and hedge trimmer aren’t a priority (have corded versions that work well enough for now), but definitely need a string trimmer that won’t die on me in just a couple of summers.
Also trying to keep an eye on the budget, since the mower/protection plan just set me back a bit. Is the B&D system worth it, do you think? Or should I look at the next pricing tier up?
Hi Matt, I’m currently working on a string trimmer article but I’ll give you a draft:
– Brushless motors are by far the best for the money. These motors will last 4-10 times longer than brushed systems and they have better efficiencies so a battery will last longer in use.
– If it does not say brushless assume it’s a brushed motor.
– The brushed trimmers I’ve tried so far all have more power than the brushed motors and most rival a 28cc or larger 2-cycle gas trimmer for power. The have variable speeds, high/low speeds and load sensing.
– They also use .080 or larger trimmer line.
– A good brushless system will cost you around $250 with battery and charger. You can buy the next tool – blower, hedge trimmer, chainsaw without the battery and save a lot of money.
– One battery should do the trimming you have because I’m finding low speed is plenty for weekly/bi-weekly trimming.
– So far I’ve used the DeWalt 60volt MAX, Troy-Bilt 40 volt and Stihl FSA85. All 3 are as good as gas. I’m waiting on the new Toro 40 volt, Echo, Greenworks 80v and the EGO Brushless.
The B&D LST136 40V Max trimmer is not brushless so I won’t test it. I may test the B&D LST540 brushless but it’s so much less than the other trimmers that it may not be competitive.
Well my research and dealer visit came up with another brand that is supposed to be commercial grade and superior to the others we spoke of. Do you have an opinion on the Shindaiwa battery operated hedge trimmer and blowers? I saw them today and was impressed. Thanks.
Hi Robert, this article only deals with good cordless electric tools for homeowners. There are about another 25 brands out there of commercial (read expensive) cordless tools. For example, Husqvarna has a battery backpack that will run a commercial grade string trimmer for 10 hours. Even DeWalt makes a 40 volt product that costs twice as much as their 20/60 volt product but it will last for years on the back of a commercial crew’s truck. This market is exploding so fast that it’s pretty much impossible to keep up with all the commercial and homeowner stuff.
To answer your question, Shindaiwa has been making great commercial 2-cycle tools for over 20 years. They were the first on the market to make the power broom. I’ve owned a few brooms and trimmers myself when I had the landscape business. I don’t know their cordless product but I know the brand well enough that I’m sure it’s good. In other words, Shindaiwa doesn’t make junk and they would never put a product out that would break right away for the commercial operators. As a homeowner it will last – probably forever.
Paul: I am looking to possibly start using a battery operated hedge trimmer followed by the blower and when my lawn mower goes, a battery operated lawn mower. I have looked at the EGO and Stihl. The EGO hedge trimmer I felt was too long and heavy awkward at 24″. The Stihl had an 18″, 20″ and 22″. The Stihl does not have a self propelled lawn mower EGO does. However yesterday I hit on the Troy Bilt system and was impressed. The EGO bothers me a bit in that if the product needs repair I have not received a good vibe from EGO or Home Depot. Stihl and Troy can go to a local shop. What is your opinion re: starting to use one of these systems for home use? Thanks.
Hi Roberts, Yes! I like the Troy-Bilt a lot! I especially like that they took the same best quality metal deck that CR states is the best all-around mower and put the CORE brushless engine on it. It won’t be the cheapest but it will be the best all around. In addition they have the strongest leaf blower, a good string trimmer and the hedge trimmer. Once you get a tool and a battery or two then you can buy just the bare tool and save some bucks. I really want to get this system for myself because I know the engineering that went into the CORE motor and it’s the best out there.
I’m also impressed with the ECHO Cordless Tools and the new-just announced Toro 40 volt system.
For some reason the EGO+ is getting more positive press than I think it deserves. Most of the tools are not brushless and the old brushed technology they are using will not hold up near as long as the Troy-Bilt, Echo and Toro systems. I EGO is moving towards brushless but…..
Stihl has too many options and most dealers don’t carry all of them or the latest versions. So I’m just trying to ignore Stihl until they make the website easier to use.
Thank you very much for your answer. It was most helpful and will really assist me in making my decision.
Have you tested the Stihl products (blower, hedge trimmer, pole trimmer)? Wondering how they compare to Milwaukee or DeWalt.
Hi Bill, I just picked up a Stihl yesterday! They have been selling so well that my dealer has not been able to keep them in stock and has been back ordered over a month!
How do they compare? The Milwaukee trimmer is a good value if you already have Milwaukee Tools and want to stay with one battery system. It has plenty of power for your normal weekly/monthly tasks. The blower is a little wimpy and is good for clean up after mowing but won’t be a good choice for mowing lots of leaves.
DeWalt has three systems. A 20 volt, a 40 volt and a 60 volt Flex. The 20 volt is similar to the Milwaukee – it’s a good choice if you want to keep one battery for all your tools and will work well for trimming every time you mow. The blower is also only good for blowing grass off the driveway, etc.
The 40 volt is their commercial system. It has longer battery life and is built to handle weekly trimming for multiple lawns. The blower is stronger and works great for cleanups.
I have the 60 volt Flex version and it’s a very nice string trimmer. I can recommend it if you are thinking of buying other 60 volt Flex tools. It has plenty of power to perform all the trimming around your acreage or hobby farm and is a good replacement for a $200 gas trimmer. I like the balance of the trimmer a lot. I don’t have the blower yet but the YouTube reviews are showing it has enough power to clean leaves out of flower beds but lack the air volume to clean the leaves off your lawn.
Stihl also has three systems. The AI system uses integrated batteries and it looks like it’s designed for the small suburban homeowner who doesn’t want to mess with gas powered anymore.
The AK System is the next step up and looks like it’s designed for the average homeowner with 1/2 to 2 acres. It only has a hedge trimmer, blower, chain saw and one string trimmer.
The Stihl AK System is the one I bought yesterday. It is the high end residential and commercial system and has a great variety of batteries, trimmers, pole pruners and lawn mowers. The blower will clear leaves from your lawn, the pole pruner will actually reach farther than their gas models and the chain saw has the power of a good commercial gas powered one. I have not had a chance to cut grass with the trimmer yet but it has the snap of a top-of-the-line gas powered model and is really balanced well. It features the same commercial head as their gas models. I’ let you know if there are any negatives over the next few weeks.
Thank you for all the detail! Look forward to any updates!
Thanks for the suggestions.
Is it worth getting an older 18 volt drill/driver repaired? It died several years ago and I replaced it with another 18 volt one on sale, but I do not like it as well. I do really like the new 20 volt drill/driver set and it is much lighter.
Would you recommend an extended warranty? I have never had good luck with first year anything…
Hi Sally, Most of the time it will cost over $69 to repair a cordless drill out of warranty. When you can buy the Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Cordless Lithium-Ion 1/2 inch Compact Drill at Amazon for $99 with battery and charger it’s never worth it. Amazon also offers the 4 year plan on that drill for only $13.24.
Thanks for the article.Very timely for me. I am currently thinking about getting rid of two of my chainsaws, a very old, very lightweight 14″ Stihl (nice for limbing) and a regular Craftsman 16″. I want to keep my Husqvarna 455 Rancher. My local repairman says I have no business owning all these chainsaws (70 yr old, 130 lb, 5′, 3″ Grandmother). But, I live alone on a small farm (10 ac) in the country and do have need of chainsaws from time to time. I am very satisfied with the Craftsman twin cylinder 48″ (some fancy trany) lawn mower that you suggested two years ago, so I am looking for your advice again.
I also have a complete set of DeWalt (love my tools!) 18v battery hand tools. I converted to Lithium about five years ago when the second Ni-cad died. I have never looked back! I now own the two pack DeWalt 20v brushless drill/ driver and impact driver and am thinking about selling the old 18v set (7 tools) and upgrading to a new 20v set. I am telling you this so you know a bit about this old Grandma.
My question is, would you sell off the old 18v set and purchase the new 20v set or is something better just around the corner? I am selling the two old chain saws as my repairman suggests and have been thinking about a battery operated one for limbing (I am having trouble getting all these gas engines started…Arthritis getting bad). You mentioned the 20v chainsaw will work on the new tools. Also looking for a new trimmer. My older Stihl string trimmer (don’t remember model) but has interchangeable heads (I only ever bought the trimmer part) jumped time and is now dead as we can’t get it apart. Sooooo…You said they also have a trimmer. I live in the country on ten acres, but mow only about one of them. I spray fence lines, but do trim around the chicken coop and barns about once a month.
This DeWalt line looks good for me and if the batteries would all be interchangeable with my hand tools…well, it sounds too good to be true. Please help. Thanks!
Hi Sally, Welcome back! Brushless motors in your 20v DeWalt tools are the latest and greatest. They give the same battery 20-30% more run time and the tools are more powerful.
I don’t expect DeWalt to get rid of the 20v MAX system for many years. It offers a complete line of tools and they are constantly adding to it. In my opinion I would not sell off all the 18 volt tools just to buy a 20 volt system. Instead buy the DEWALT DCA1820 Dewalt Battery Adapter for 18V Tools, 20V at Amazon. This adapter will allow you to use your 20 volt batteries in your old 18 volt tools. As you old 18 volt tools die then buy the 20v MAX replacement.
I can tell that you are used to having decent power in both your chainsaws and your string trimmer so I am going to recommend the DeWalt FLEXVOLT yard tools over the 20 volt. The FLEXVOLT system is the latest and it’s really great that these new batteries will also work in your 20 volt tools. The FLEXVOLT string trimmer and chainsaw will have a lot more power than the 20 volt models. If you buy both the trimmer and the chainsaw with batteries then you will have plenty of battery for a hour or more of cutting limbs.
DEWALT DCST970X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX String Trimmer, 3.0AH battery at Amazon
DEWALT DCCS670X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Brushless Chainsaw, 3.0AH battery at Amazon