When it comes to dealing with Mother Nature, I’ll take all the help I can get. Whether it’s weeds taking over the garden, the lawn creeping over the sidewalk, or out-of-control tree limbs, having the right tool to tame the problem makes the job much faster and easier. Unfortunately, this usually entails purchasing several specialized tools – a string trimmer, an edger, and a pole saw, for example. The EGO folks have come up with a way to provide you with all three – or any combination – and save you some storage space, and some money, in the process. They sent us their EGO Power Head System to evaluate; let’s see if this trifecta of yard-tamers has what it takes to earn a spot in YOUR garage.
What exactly is the EGO Power Head System? Good question. It’s a modular system based on a single power head, with three (so far) components that can be quickly attached to deal with various landscaping chores. We’ll take a quick look at the Power+ Power Head, and each of the three available attachments.
The EGO Power Head System – The Power Head
The EGO Power Head system uses a beefy EGO 56V Arc Lithium battery, which provides plenty of juice to spin the high-efficiency brushless motor. The unit is compatible with any EGO 56V Arc Lithium battery, so if you have other EGO 56V tools, you’re set. Once that motor starts spinning, it drives a splined shaft, which transmits plenty of speed and torque to whatever is attached to the other end.
The Power Head has an adjustable front handle, so you can find that perfect balance point. The handle is padded, and very comfortable to hold. A High/Low speed selector sits atop the head, so you can dial in the right amount of power. The unit has a large trigger, to make it easy to use, and a safety lock-out, so it’s not TOO easy to use.
The EGO Power Head System – The String Trimmer
One tool pretty much everyone needs is a string trimmer, and the folks at EGO designed a very nice one for the EGO Power Head System. The trimmer uses robust .095 cutting line, and can cut a 15” swath. It uses the traditional “bump feed” method to spit out more line when needed. A feature I really like is the Rapid Reload head, which is MUCH easier and faster than reloading line on a traditional head; simply feed the line through from the outside, and twist to wind it in.
The EGO Power Head System – The Edger
Got a lawn that’s trying to take over the world? Use the edger attachment that’s made for the Ego Power Head system to draw a line in the dirt. The edger uses an 8” blade, and is adjustable to cut a mini-trench up to 4” deep. Like all the components of the The EGO Power Head system, it’s water resistant, with an IPX4 rating.
The EGO Power Head System Pole Saw
The final – and I think the most fun – component of the EGO Power Head System is the Pole Saw. Our yard is surrounded by trees, and there’s always a dead limb to cut out, or a branch that whacks me in the face when I walk past. The pole saw uses a 10” Oregon bar and narrow-kerf chain, and has an automatic lubrication system, so you don’t have to worry about constantly re-lubing the chain as you work.
The pole saw gives you pretty good reach – I measured it at 91” end to end. EGO also has an optional 31” pole extension available, for those branches WAY up there…don’t forget your Dino helmet (more on that later).
Some Assembly Required – But Not Much
Assembly of the EGO Power Head components is very simple. For the power head, the only assembly required is to attach the lower handle, with the included Allen wrench. For the string trimmer, the same wrench is used to install the guard around the cutter head; it comes with cutting line pre-loaded. The pole saw just needs some oil in the tank, and the edger pops out of the box ready to go to work.
When you’ve decided on your plan of attack, installing the chosen component onto the power head is simple. Line up the arrow on the shaft of the accessory with the arrow on the tip of the power head. Slide it into the recess on the shaft of the power head until it clicks, tighten up the big wing nut, and slide a battery into place. And that’s it – you’re ready to trim/edge/cut!
The EGO Power Head Trio Plays in The Yard
I’ll preface this portion of the review by stating that the individual in the photos and the photographer are both fairly tool-naïve. Despite their enthusiasm for a yard that looks reasonably well manicured, they are by no means experienced with a variety of edgers, weed whackers, or pole saws with which to compare these tools. Nevertheless, they graciously volunteered to put the EGO Power Head System through its paces, so they could offer a homeowner’s opinion. Their incentive? The individual in the photo is my son-in-law and the photographer is my daughter, and I may have intimated that if they want to continue trying out cool tools for free, feedback would be required from time to time…
In The Groove With The EGO Power Head Edger
The testing ground, aka their yard, is about two-thirds of an acre, with four fair-sized garden areas in the front and three in the back that get mulched each summer. My son-in-law wanted to keep the lawn from encroaching on the beds, and to define the edges of some of the messier garden beds. Since his previous method of accomplishing this involved a flat-bladed shovel and a lot of grunting, he was very happy to take this tool for a test run.
Since real men don’t read instructions, the EGO Power Head edger was put together sans manual and was up and running in no time. This ought to be a fairly good indication of the tool’s ease of use – if someone inexperienced with most lawn and power tools can get it assembled and operating properly with no sage advice from a meddlesome father-in-law, the tool must be legitimately straightforward.
The edger was easy to use and cut a nice, clean line in the dirt. As he quickly discovered, however, in the process of cutting that nice, clean line, it tends to fling dirt, mulch, grass, debris, or whatever else lies in its path. Assuming you enjoy not having this debris protruding from your eyeball, this is one tool for which eye protection is not optional.
In this same vein, if you live in a neighborhood with lots of walkers, like my son-in-law’s, it pays to be mindful of whether people may be walking nearby, so you can avoid launching lawn chunks their way. Assuming you like those people. He also learned the hard way that it’s probably wise to relocate your vehicles if they may be within the radius of flying dirt, unless you feel like hosing everything down afterward.
If you have rocky soil or are planning to use the EGO Power Head edger near a rocky garden wall or curb, use caution. Sparks fly when the edger comes into contact with rocks. This can be fun to watch, but it’s not the best thing for your blade…
Overall, the tool was easy to operate, made quick work of edging the beds, and was much easier on the back and knees than manual digging. He liked it and said he would happily use it again.
The EGO Power Head String Trimmer Makes The Weeds Tremble
After a quick pop and click, the edger tool was switched out to become the weed whacker. Thankfully, my son-in-law has used one of these fancy gadgets before – and even owns one – which enabled him to make an even more credible evaluation. First and foremost, he was a big fan of not needing to mix up the gas and oil, and felt that the battery-powered tool had as much power as his own traditional weed whacker.
The battery had enough juice to weed whack the front walk, around the edges of the property (a corner lot), along the fenced back yard, and then some. Although it was mostly used to cut down the tall grass that the mower can’t reach, it sliced through everything nicely. But take note – if you have old wood or a weak fence, this weed whacker may be risky! It stripped the stain right off the lowest boards in the fence when it was trimmed.
All told, they were fans of the convenience and power of the weed whacker, and would have loved to keep it. Sadly for them, I’m a miserly old tool fanatic who who wanted to put the EGO Power Head trimmer through its paces on some weeds closer to home.
The EGO Power Head Pole Saw Branches Out
Finally, it was Paul Bunyan time. Sort of. My daughter’s yard has a handful of medium-sized trees, which my son-in-law forever wants to trim and my daughter forever wants to preserve untouched. Since my 6’2” son-in-law mows the lawn, and does not enjoy crouching or getting whacked in the head repeatedly each time he mows, he won the discussion over whether and to what extent to try out the pole saw.
He started out by sawing off quite a few small, low-hanging branches, mostly so that he would have better clearance when mowing. The saw sliced through the small ones very easily, and weight-wise was well balanced in his hands. He then moved on to larger or higher branches that were unhealthy or dead.
After trying the first large branch, he was ready to call the saw a screaming success. However, partway through the next branch, the saw made some sort of beeping noise, and he noticed the chain had come out of alignment. It popped back on very easily. But about two branches later, the chain came off completely from the track and was hanging off the saw.
Since he was not about to give up his chance to clear out unwanted branches this easily when my daughter was semi-willing, he disassembled the head and cleaned out the sawdust. After reassembling it, it worked very well for the rest of the branches, including branches 6″ in diameter or more.
My son-in-law figured out how to deal with the chain issue all by himself (I believe he is absorbing my skills!). EGO offers helpful videos, like the one that follows on how to disassemble and replace the bar and chain, for those who need a little extra help…
After completing a considerable amount of trimming, the EGO Power Head chain saw still had a fair bit of juice left in its battery. The extension pole was sturdy, and was long enough for him to reach the vast majority of the dead branches and limbs he needed to trim. Since no time was wasted mixing gas and oil, and pulling a starter rope 50 times, the entire project was completed while their preschooler napped. He was a fan of the saw, but was even more so of his wife’s useful advice, such as “Be careful” and “Don’t trim the live stuff.” The saw was also fairly quiet; their 4-month-old slept in the baby carrier my daughter wore while she took pictures from the deck.
This is another tool for which eye protection is a must-have, as sawdust does fly when trimming the larger limbs. A helmet is also advisable. Apparently my daughter offered him their son’s dinosaur Mohawk helmet, but he declined to wear it. Not the wisest decision ever, but it was not as misguided as forgetting to pick up the dog poop from the yard before walking around under the tree staring only straight up…
All in all, the trio of tools was a hit. They were easy to use, required little-to-no advance preparation, and were very convenient since power cords, gas, and oil were not required. They were powerful and effective enough to do their jobs quickly and well, for what are probably average, homeowner-type projects. My daughter and son-in-law said they would be willing to buy the set if they didn’t have the ability to mooch off of me, so that’s probably a good indication that the tools are worth the price and do what they’re supposed to.
The EGO Power Head Curb Reclamation Project
After my daughter and son-in-law somewhat reluctantly returned the EGO Power Head components, I had a chance to put a couple of them to the test myself. A neighbor’s yard has been stealthily spilling over the curb, and oozing into the street. I decided a Good Neighbor project was in order, so I first blew off the light coating of leaves, and got the string trimmer and edger attachments ready to go.
A fair bit of dirt was in the street along the curb, and where there’s dirt, there will be weeds. I first took the EGO Power Head string trimmer, and cut down the little street garden. The trimmer did a great job dealing with all the unwanted greenery. To reiterate a point I made earlier, when you’re doing this type of work, WEAR EYE PROTECTION. I’m glad I had mine on; little particles of asphalt and various organic materials were pummeling me most of the time I was working.
After mowing down the little street garden, I switched attachments on the EGO Power Head, inserting the edger. It really is fast and simple to swap the components in and out, and they attach very securely. I edged along the edges of the curb and sidewalk, both of which had some pretty good-sized patches of Dirt Creep. It had plenty of power to slice a nice little channel on both sides.
After the slicing and dicing was finished, it was time to clean up. I filled a large trash can with all the leaves, grass and weeds, and scraped up all the dirt – and there was a LOT of dirt – for relocation to a low spot in the back yard.
Inspired by the huge improvement in curb appeal, I went home and edged our 80’ long front walkway. It was nowhere near as out of control, but there were a couple of spots where nature was starting to have its way…after finishing both yards, the battery power indicator still glowed green.
Want The EGO Power Head System On YOUR Yard Crew?
My rookie daughter and son-in-law thought the EGO Power Head tools were great, and I agree. They feel sturdy and well-built, and it’s clear some thought went into their design. Swapping attachments is fast and easy, and for the space-challenged, having the attachments rather than three full-sized tools saves a bit of valuable storage space. I also like the flexibility you get with the EGO Power Head System. It’s nice to have the ability to buy just the components you need at the moment, knowing that you can add the pole saw, or the edger, somewhere down the line.
The components are reasonably priced, at $149 for the Power Head, and $99 each for the accessories ($49 for the 31” pole extension). If you already have a 56V Arc Lithium battery and charger, you’re set. If not, a great way to get into this system is with the EGO MST1501 combo kit, which gives you the power head, string trimmer, and a 5.0 Ah battery and charger, for $349. That’s a smoking deal, considering the battery alone is currently priced at $220. All the components in the EGO Power Head system are backed by a five-year warranty, so you can rest easy, knowing you can keep Mother Nature at bay for years to come.
Kit with power head and string trimmer, 5.0 Ah battery and charger MST1501 $349:
Power Head $149:
String trimmer $99:
Pole saw $99:
31” extension for pole saw $49: