This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. I wanted to fit a catchy title in, but there was barely room to squeeze in all the tools and accessories for this review (AND giveaway)! If you have ever been annoyed with having to buy an entire arsenal of dedicated outdoor power equipment tools, Milwaukee has a new Quik-Lok system that aims to simplify your life. While you can get started with just the main power head and string trimmer, you can also order the Quik-Lok edger, pole saw, and hedge trimmer. An extension pole is also available, which comes in very handy with the pole saw and hedge trimmer, or if you’re 10′ tall can don’t want bad posture when whacking weeds. Also, one very lucky Home Fixated fan will win the entire set of Milwaukee Quik-lok tools covered here. Read on for our review of the Quik-Lok system Milwaukee sent to us, and for details on how you can get a chance to win a brand new set for yourself.
Milwaukee Quik-Lok Basics and Batteries
If you’re already invested in team red (ideally with some of their high capacity M18 batteries) then we have good news – you won’t need to rush out to buy a charger or batteries to use the Quik-Lok system. We used their 9.0 AH battery most of the time, and with anything but the string trimmer, you’ll find a little battery goes a long way.
For folks like us that are already big Milwaukee M18 fans, one of the most compelling things about the Quik-Lok system is that it uses whatever M18 batteries you already have. Better yet, once you own the Power Head, all you’re buying are the various attachments you need. So, unless you have a compelling need to whack weeds while using a pole saw, one Fuel Power Head powers any of the Quik-Lok accessories. In other words, you don’t need to buy (and store) a dedicated power tool for each application. Here’s a quick promo video from Milwaukee:
The Milwaukee Quik-Lok Mechanism
Using each Quik-Lok attachment is pretty straight forward. First things first, you’ll want to remove the battery so you don’t accidentally pole-saw someone or something. Sure, the trigger mechanism has a safety, but you never can be too safe with tools capable of destroying body parts or prized foliage. You’ll see a little sticker with an arrow, which lines up with the side of the Power Head that has a button on it. If all goes well, you’ll feel the accessory snap into place and then you simply tighten it up with the lock knob.
For the most part the system is very intuitive, however I still managed to not fully insert one of the accessories. This resulted in an unpleasant sound rather than the smooth operation of the tool. I quickly realized my mistake, but it wasn’t obvious when looking at the attachment point.
Milwaukee thoughtfully included a sticker on each attachment. The sticker points out the orientation of the attachment, but it also has a horizontal black line which ideally should give you a visual confirmation of the accessory being fully inserted. Instead, it appears to be a random horizontal line. The stickers on the attachments we tested were sometimes right next to the Quik-Lok release button, and sometimes an inch or more away. It would have been nice if the stickers were added in a location that also visually confirmed full insertion. Long story short, just make sure you fully insert each attachment before locking it down with the lock knob.
Milwaukee Quik-Lok M18 Fuel Power Head and String Trimmer
To start your new Milwaukee Quik-Lok addiction, you’ll want the buy the 2825-20ST Power Head and the 49-16-2717 String Trimmer. These come bundled together, tool-only style, meaning you’ll need your own Milwaukee M18 charger and batteries to get the party started.
We assume this was chosen as the starter bundle because everyone has weeds. Milwaukee lets you predetermine your swath of destruction in either 14 or 16″ diameters. Changing from one swath size to another simply involves loosening a screw and flipping over the metal cut-off that sheers any excess line. Speaking of line, this string trimmer uses .080″/.095″ (2mm/2.4mm if you want to be all metric-ky).
The RPM of the swath of destruction is variable thanks to the variable speed trigger on the M18 Fuel Power Head. It goes from 0 to 4,900 on the lethargic bunny setting, or 0 to 6,200 on the sprinting rabbit setting. You’ll find these fast and slow settings on the power head unit, conveniently labeled with a turtle or bunny. I initially used the sprinting bunny setting (pretty sure Milwaukee is going to trademark “sprinting bunny”), but eventually realized even the lethargic turtle setting had plenty of zip to clear weeds as well. Milwaukee turtles are pretty zippy.
Timing was perfect on our string trimming adventures. I had let our backyard become completely overgrown with nothing but weeds for the sole purpose of testing the Quik-Lok String Trimmer (at least that’s what I told my wife while I was “cultivating” the weeds and doing zero yard work in that area). These weren’t dainty weeds either. Weeks of
neglect purposely allowing growth, meant these weeds were thick, strong and healthy.
Despite their strength and numbers, the Quik-Lok string trimmer decimated the weeds ranks as you can see in the time lapse below. The string trimmer has a typical bump feed that did what it was supposed to. Despite a healthy-sized debris shield, the tool still managed to spray the area with little chunks of mutilated weeds. As with any string trimmer, a face shield, or at minimum eye protection is a must. The String Trimmer was fairly comfortable to wield, and that comfort increases if you attach the optional shoulder strap.
The Milwaukee Quik-Lok Pole Saw – 49-16-2720
One of the more fun and surprisingly versatile attachments we tested was the Milwaukee Quik-Lok 10″ Pole Saw. Unless you’re dealing with very short shrubs and trees, you’ll likely want to pair the pole saw attachment with the Quik-Lok 3′ Attachment Extension (49-16-2721). We used the extension with just about all of the pole saw cuts we did (and with the hedge trimmer as well). The last thing you want to do is to start trying to climb ladders while wielding the pole saw, or any other attachment for that matter. Pole sawing can lead to a whole multitude of mishaps, and for that reason, we strongly encourage you to read the owners manual and follow all manufacturer’s safety precautions. You know, things like wearing head / face protection and staying REALLY far away from electrical lines (and your friends).
Before you get cutting, you’ll want to fill up the oil reservoir. We like Stihl BioPlus Bar and Chain Oil, which is a vegetable-based oil that’s biodegradable and won’t poison your yard while you trim it. Milwaukee conveniently made the oil reservoir translucent so that you’re less likely to run the tool dry. Like just about every electric chainsaw we’ve run across, this little one will tend to leak oil, so we recommend you pour out the extra oil when storing it.
Also on your to-do list before and especially shortly after initial use is to make sure you have proper chain tension. The chain should not be sagging off the bar, and it should snap back when you pull it about 1/8″ and let go. Once you have your oil filled up and chain tension dialed in with the included scrench, you’re ready to start pole sawing!
First up on our pole saw adventures was pruning some dead branches off several pepper trees. The 3′ extension was definitely a requirement on this one. While the saw feels a bit top heavy with the extension, there was no way I was going to safely reach the branches being trimmed without it. Even with the extension, I had to hand over the pole saw to my 6’7″ friend who graciously provided his yard as a testing ground for the Milwaukee Quik-Lok system.
The performance of the Milwaukee Quik-Lok pole saw was remarkable. The saw made its way through branches incredibly fast. The saw sports a hook on the bottom which can either be used for leverage during cuts, or to pull branches with. While the branches we were trimming were not monsters, they certainly would have taken some effort with a hand saw. The Quik-Lok pole saw made for very quick, very clean cuts.
Eager to find new victims for the pole saw, I also went after some palm trees fronds. Several palm trees were growing in a tight, low to the ground cluster. Apparently to deter anyone from pruning them, their fronds brandished rows of fearsome 3″ spikes. But the Quik-Lok Pole Saw couldn’t care less about spikes, or other branches that were in the way. I simply sent the saw in amongst the spikes and it cut one branch after another. The hook on the bottom of the saw came in especially handy for hauling branches out of the thicket.
Early on in Home Fixated history, I remember another editor telling me the cautionary story about how his supposedly fireproof chaps caught on fire while working with a gas powered pole saw. I was especially grateful for the cordless M18 Fuel power source for this tool, which resulted in a much lower risk of my pants spontaneously combusting. Another win for cordless power!
The Quik-Lok Hedge Trimmer – 49-16-2719: Hedges, Prepare to Get Quik-Scaped!
The hedge trimmer is another Quik-Lok accessory where I highly recommend having the 3′ extension available. Since I was confident the Milwaukee Quik-Lok Hedge trimmer (and just about any other hedge trimmer) can handle the light stuff, we went straight for abusive trimming tasks.
First up, an unruly Oleander bush that was inappropriately commingling with other nearby bushes. I did the equivalent of slow-motion Karate chops with the trimmer and it powered through all but the beefiest of branches. Once you get up to about 3/4″ of an inch in diameter, it’s time for a different tool. However the gaps between teeth are generously sized, and the hedge trimmer didn’t get bogged down.
Next up, we took off some excess growth on several gigantic Bougainvillea. If you’ve ever dealt with these thorny, fast-growing monsters, you know the further you are from the action, the better. The Milwaukee Quik-Lok hedge trimmer tackled both old and new growth with ease.
The articulating head design provides all the adjustability you could want with 270 degree rotation and 13 operating positions. The robust articulating mechanism is easily controlled with a collar that slides down. You then grab the handle and rotate the head to where you want it. Releasing the handle then locks it into place as long as you’re on one of the 13 detents. With this and the other tools mentioned, don’t forget to remove the battery when making adjustments or swapping accessories. If you have medium to tall hedges to trim, the Milwaukee Quik-Lok hedge trimmer attachment is an absolute winner.
Finishing Touches – Milwaukee Quik-Lok Edger 49-16-2718
If you have used a string trimmer for edging before, (something Milwaukee doesn’t officially recommend BTW), you may have found it’s very tough to keep a precise edge. Not so with the Milwaukee Quik-Lok edger.
This edger provides a wickedly-crisp line to put a nice finishing touch on the perimeter of your lawn or flower beds. The foot of the tool features a broad, smooth wheel to smoothly ride on the surface that you are edging. The wheel has has a height adjustment to enable you to better control how deep your edging blade goes. The robust metal housing has a raised metal edge that corresponds with the blade location. This eliminates guesswork on where you are drawing the line.
A Quick Summary of the Milwaukee Quik-Lok System
Other than a lawnmower and blower, the Milwaukee Quik-Lok system can get you tackling just about any landscape maintenance task with ease. Given that Milwaukee has cordless blowers in their lineup, it would not shock us if a Milwaukee cordless mower is in the works too. We will keep you posted on that front.
Any one of the tools in the Milwaukee Quik-Lok system is infinitely less pleasant to work with when using its gas and oil guzzling two-stroke cousins. Milwaukee has successfully tamed previously loud, smelly, polluting, and hot gas-powered outdoor power equipment. The Quik-Lok delivers quiet operation, zero emissions and cool running outdoor power tools with excellent performance. In the process, you can kiss your gas and oil cans goodbye (keep your bar and chain oil though). If you’re covering enormous areas for commercial projects, dedicated, gas powered tools may still make sense (but several high capacity M18 batteries might do the trick too). For everyone else, I can’t imagine using gas power for the tasks the Milwaukee Quik-Lok system pulls off so effectively and downright pleasantly.
Where to Buy the Quik-Lok System
Milwaukee Quik-Lok M18 Fuel Power Head and String Trimmer (Tool Only) for around $229:
Milwaukee Quik-Lok M18 Fuel Power Head and String Trimmer w Charger and 9.0 Battery for around $329:
Milwaukee Quik-Lok Pole Saw – 49-16-2720 for around $164:
Milwaukee Quik-Lok Hedge Trimmer – 49-16-2719 for around $164:
Milwaukee Quik-Lok Edger 49-16-2718 for around $109:
Milwaukee Quik-Lok 3′ Extension 49-16-2721 for around $54:
Milwaukee Quik-Lok Tool Set Giveaway
What if all this Quik-Lok goodness sounds fantastic to you, but you don’t want to actually spend money to get it? Well, you could steal them, but both manufacturers and retailers don’t really appreciate grand theft. Plus, the chances of you getting out of the store with five large, bright red boxes seems pretty slim. Also, criminal records aren’t great to have.
Well, fear not my law-abiding friends! We are kicking off a giveaway of all five items. One lucky winner will be selected in May, 2019. Check out the official giveaway post on our Instagram page for all the details – and make it Quik!
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