Bought a Stihl Kombi battery system
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Thread: Bought a Stihl Kombi battery system

  1. Top | #1
    Oscar Leroy's Avatar
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    Bought a Stihl Kombi battery system

    A month or so ago, I bought a Stihl MSA 200 c-bq battery powered chainsaw. And after getting a chance to use it, I was very impressed. I have not used chainsaws extensively, but this took everything I threw at it and kept right on working. The battery life on the chainsaw was very good for my needs, I got through limbing and bucking a 10-12" downed cherry tree that was maybe 80 feet long with only one recharge. And that recharge happened overnight, cause I needed a recharge more than the battery!

    So I started thinking that I should look at the other Stihl tools that used the same battery. After a lot of research, I finally decided on the battery powered Kombi head, the KMA 130r. We got it with the BG-KM blower and the FH-KM "power scythe," a short hedge trimmer head. There are tons of other attachments that look interesting that I will probably end up getting. I was also thinking that if the battery powered Kombi head didn't work out, I could always buy a gas one with more power later.

    I'll review the blower in another post in this thread later, but because I have had others wondering how well it worked, I figured I'd give a first look at the Power Scythe here.

    When we bought our land, there were almost two acres of Christmas trees. My wife, the "official" Christmas tree farmer, is adamant about not using Roundup to control the weeds, which makes it very difficult to handle. When they were smaller I could mow in between the rows with my 1025r and RC2048. But now the trees are too big for that. Plus, they are on a mountainside, so there are a couple of small patches that have never been mowed due to the pucker factor of going both downhill and side hill at the same time, being constrained the rows! They have been somewhat neglected.

    One of these patches is what I decided to use as a test. Blackberries and all sorts of mean nasty weeds have taken over and are as tall as me. Here's a before picture.

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    I had made my way up the hill a bit already before I took the picture. So I tried to find the same spot to take the after picture, it's pretty close.
    Here's an after picture.

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    The timestamps on the images are about 19 minutes apart, which is deceiving. After I got to the end of the row, I started back down on the row beside it. So I figure it took me an average of about 10 minutes to get this part cleared. Oh, and after I did all I was going to (had to get to my REAL job), the battery was still showing all 4 green leds. I guess that means it had 80-100% of battery life remaining.

    After trying with a string trimmer last year and barely making a dent in it, I'm amazed by this thing! It is so much cleaner than a string trimmer, too! After I was finished, my shirt was wet from sweat, but I had none of the trash that accompanies using a string trimmer on me. I didn't feel all grimy.

    So far, this is the best weed trimming tool I have ever used. I have a pond to clean up, a long creek bank to clean up, a trail up a mountain to clear, and about 2200 neglected Christmas trees to trim and shape. I'll be taking before and after pictures of it all and adding them here.

    So far, here's the verdict.

    Good points
    - great battery life when using it on the lowest power setting
    - really cuts down thick brush and brambles with ease
    - relatively clean operation, not all the trash I'm used to with the string trimmer

    Bad points
    - it wasn't cheap (but I've bought other things that weren't cheap and didn't do what they were supposed to, so I can live with it)
    - it's not particularly light, though I wouldn't call it really heavy either - slightly heavier than my cheap gas string trimmer
    Last edited by Oscar Leroy; 06-06-2019 at 12:09 PM.
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    Tomfive's Avatar
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    Nice write-up!

    I have the scythe head for my gas powered Kombi. I like it for all the reasons you cited, cuts larger brush, and especially little or no spray like a string trimmer. The less spray is especially good when you try to take down some overgrown brush and come up on the occasional patch of poison ivy that your didn't see.. (or notice until the rash breaks out ).

    I have also used it to do a bit of trimming on my shrubs ... much like a short hedge trimmer.

    Last winter I bought into the Stihl AP battery system with a BGA85 blower. I have a backpack too, but this hand held blower is handy for the quick clean-ups, and I use it to clear the medium snows off the car in the AM. I have also left it in the car to blow off snow at work after a storm.

    I have looked at the battery chainsaws, and recently looked at the electric Kombi. Nice stuff and yes expensive.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Tom

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    Brownie919's Avatar
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    Stihl makes a pretty good battery product. I have a BGA56 that is great for blowing the grass off my mower before I put it away, blow out my garage, and blow out the toy hauler after camping trips. I still use my old gas BG55 for everything else.
    I have seen a big increase in Stihl battery powered sales with municipalities, resorts, and collleges where sound is an issue and they have "green initiatives". We've been carrying the battery stuff for 3-4 years I think but only saw an increase in the last year or so. So it will be interesting to see what the longevity is of the batteries and power units.
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    Oscar Leroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brownie919 View Post
    Stihl makes a pretty good battery product. I have a BGA56 that is great for blowing the grass off my mower before I put it away, blow out my garage, and blow out the toy hauler after camping trips. I still use my old gas BG55 for everything else.
    I have seen a big increase in Stihl battery powered sales with municipalities, resorts, and collleges where sound is an issue and they have "green initiatives". We've been carrying the battery stuff for 3-4 years I think but only saw an increase in the last year or so. So it will be interesting to see what the longevity is of the batteries and power units.
    That's one reason I decided to go with the Kombi system instead of dedicated tools - if they didn't perform as I needed using the batteries, I can always pick up a gas powered unit and use all the attachments I already have.

    The battery longevity will be interesting to see. But I will definitely get my money's worth if today's test run is any indication.
    SulleyBear likes this.

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    I have a gas model I got with the power broom. That’s heavy. I’ll add a pruning saw not to far in the future. It has way more power than needed for the broom. Even loaded up it hits the rev limiter around 2/3 throttle. I thought about the blower but apparently the big gas head is to much for it and destroys the driveshaft. No biggie.
    Gizmo2, rtgt, SulleyBear and 1 others like this.

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    Oscar Leroy's Avatar
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    We finally had an hour of sunshine for me to get out and do something with. Still using the power scythe, I worked on the bank of our driveway.

    Before
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    10 or so minutes later, it looked like this. After
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    I didn't use any extension or do any excessive reaching, and it got about 3 or 4 feet cleared up the bank. It wasn't easy work - in fact, the easiest part was the briers, blackberries, etc. There was some long thin wiry grass that was growing in clumps that took the most effort to clear. Bumping up the power level to 3 (most was done at 1 to conserve battery life) made that work better.

    I ended up stopping halfway down the drive cause my wife asked me to clean up around the bee hive. It was getting so grown up that she couldn't see the entrance and couldn't tell what the bees were doing from a distance. I don't have any good pictures of that, and I didn't clean up extensively. Cause, you know, there are a lot of bees buzzing around there! I didn't have any bee suit or anything, just walked up and approached from behind, stretched out the cutter and made a few passes around the front, step back and let the bees settle down... repeat as necessary. I'll hit it again one evening as it's getting dark and they are settled in for the night.

    Then we had to try it out around the main drive for a bit, that was a breeze cause it had been weedeated a week and a half or so ago. And then we had to try it a little on the creek bank. Just to see how it would do.

    Next came the pond. The water is probably 2 to 3 feet below ground level. Here's an action shot of the power scythe head in action. This is about as far down as I could reach without bending down.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I did around the pond a bit, no before shot but hopefully you can tell where I actually cleaned it up. If not, maybe it's not worth it!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    By then it was starting to get overcast again. We have had 3 or 4 days of rain and today is supposed to be rainy as well, so I packed it in. And again, the REAL job was calling... This was maybe 45 minutes of using it, and it still had 2 green leds on the battery. I'm pretty sure the battery can easily outlast me using this thing.

    I'm really loving the power scythe, it's exactly what I needed. It is still as hard work as weedeating, but it accomplishes so much with that effort!

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    I can tell that Meagerhair likes his new Battery tools.......They are very, very handy, especially with the Power unit and ability to change tools on the same power shaft.

    Nice thing is as Meager Hair pointed out, the attachments work with either the gas powered 2 stroke professional head or the 58v battery head. That's a great feature as the tool heads are the bulk of the purchase expenditure. I have not found anything that the battery tools can't do, which the 2 stroke tools can do.

    I have the bed re-definer and the rototiller head and they both demand a lot of power from either the 2 stroke or the Battery. The bed re-definer and the rototiller chew the batteries up pretty quickly compared to the trimmer and other attachments, but the battery still lasts plenty long for the project / task.

    The "Brand Name" battery tools (Stihl Kombi / Echo Pro) with the changeable attachments are a very handy tool and much better than buying and owning a dozen different tools with their own drive units, whether gas or different batteries.

    I really like that my batteries have a 5 year warranty from the manufacturer, as the batteries are the possible large expense to replace with these tools. The tools themselves and the power heads likely won't have any issues as they are well made and I have been using them already for years with the 2 stroke power head without any issues.
    Toughsox likes this.

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    cc1999's Avatar
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    I bought a very similar setup a couple months ago.

    For the Kombi I have the pole saw, and weed eater, I added a separate chain saw, blower, and push mower all using the same batteries.

    I have 4 batteries total.

    I have been very impressed so far.

    I will say I initially had some trouble with the Kombi setup and the way that Velcro batter pack belt loop setup was working. The Velcro kept giving up and dropping the battery pack on ground.
    I have since bought the Stihl accessory back pack to hold the batter packs, and I am very happy with how that is working out. That was a well spent 40 bucks for that back pack setup.
    Toughsox likes this.
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    FYI -
    My local Stihl dealer said they've seen problems with the battery contacts inside many of their tools. He recommend cleaning out accumulated dirt and adding a small amount of dielectric grease occasionally to ensure a good connection when the battery is inserted.
    cc1999 and Toughsox like this.
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