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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought myself 3 acres of $#@! to clean up :ROFLMAO:.

I'm a country boy who went off to the big city for school and 25 years later I'm coming back to the country at least part time. So I'm starting from scratch tool-wise except for the shovel and wheelbarrow the previous owner left behind.

Now that I'm realizing just how much of a mess I've gotten myself into I'm seeing that I'm going to need a chainsaw, weed whacker, and leaf blower, and possibly a push mower to get into the nooks and crannies where the tractor won't fit.

I hadn't really given electric much thought until a friend raved about his Ego tools, and that made me think maybe I could go all-electric. They seem to get solid reviews as a mid-range tool, but they also kind of look like plastic transformer toys so I don't know how well they'd hold up to somewhat regular use, particularly in the first year as I play catch-up for years of neglect. I don't think I need commercial-grade equipment but definitely going to put more use on it than a typical suburban homeowner out of the gate.

I'm also willing to pay some premium in cost and usage limitations for the convenience of not having to maintain three or four small engines. I'll also pay more for US/EU/Japan-made stuff, when it's not total overkill to do so. I have a Dewalt 20V max drill that I like, but I don't think that system is beefy enough so I'm starting pretty much from scratch.
 

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Below is a dewalt and Milwaukee thread on the site you can search and get thoughts from. I have a whole complement of Milwaukee outdoor yard tools and I’ve been very satisfied. I don’t see me owning another 2 cycle power tool.

Here is one


Here is the other.
 

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I’m not sure you will find a single do it all system, but 2-3 brands mixed together will probably get what you want. I have seen a Dewalt 60v saw in action and was impressed, but I have a gas pro saw in the same size and weight range, so it wasn’t anything I’d buy. I did just get a 20v 12” Dewalt chainsaw and it’s a good limb saw, I cut ~4 6”x30’ birch trees into firewood and brush on a 5aH battery.



You can see there are several good saw options, but prices vary wildly. You can buy a lot of red or yellow batteries for the price of getting the stihl to match a mower or hedge trimmer.
 
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Look at what is out there and figure out which tools you'll actually use. Pick the system that has the tools you need and stick with it as much as possible. Once you buy the first 2 (or 3!) tools you can buy any other "bare" (i.e. sans battery and charger) tools and use the same batteries.

I bought a DeWalt 40v leaf blower/weedwhacker combo because I got an absolutely killer deal on them and then picked up a matching chain saw shortly afterwards. They all use the same batteries and it's rare that I'd use any 2 of them on the same day so battery sharing isn't an issue. Of course, as things go, DeWalt promptly discontinued the 40v setup and came out with the same set as 60v. Such is life.

I've had no problems with any of the DeWalt stuff in 4 years but I suspect you'd get the same thing from people that bought Milwaukee, Stihl, etc... Personally, I don't see a big difference in quality between the big name brands. I'd just recommend staying away from the low end brands or brands you never heard of before.
 
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I've been using the Greenworks 40v system for several years now and have had good luck with everything except the snow thrower...it quit but called in a warranty claim and they shipped out a new one. I have a couple acres but don't do a ton of weed-eating but got the attachment capable weed-eater head that I also have the edger, hedge trimmer, cultivator, and brush cutter(MTD) attachments and it powers all those well. Also have other tools, the leaf blower, pole arm saw, and chain saw. I think 3 acres of hard use and you'll be going through batteries quickly and needing to recharge a lot. I have 2, 4ah and 1, 2ah battery but typically only go through 1 4ah in normal weekly lawn care. Got the extra batteries as I bought tools as it's cheaper that way. The newer tools have larger ah batteries, like 5-7ah and I've even seen some of the mowers coming with 10ah so if you have the larger batteries you'll have longer run times. My guess is initially you may run into times when you would hate having battery equipment if it's really overgrown but you could get by with enough batteries. After getting it cleaned up you probably would be fine. I love having equipment that is ready to go with a push of a button, don't have to mix any fuel and can walk between trees/sections without running the motor. Also there is less vibration from the tools which makes it easier to run not to mention everything is lighter weight. The leaf blower is probably the biggest drain on batteries and I have a lot of driveway so that is my only weak point from my usage. They offer 60v and 80v now and I look at those sometimes thinking of upgrading my tools but really I have no need for more power, everything works...well maybe more power for the snow thrower but I've been happy with my electric tools.
 

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I have a Greenworks 80V push mower and it more than suffices for the nooks and crannies including some bigger areas I don’t want to put the tractor on. Plenty of power and battery life and it comes with 2 batteries and a charger. I use Stihl AP300 weed eater and blower. Kinda slowly went cordless as I got tired of fetching gas and mixing it. There’s a couple things I haven’t converted over like my chainsaws and a hedge trimmer I got my eye on but I’ll get to it.
 
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I have the Ego 16" chain saw and hedge trimmer, both in 56v versions I think. They are both good strong tools that will handle every day clean up and trimming tasks.

As chainsaws go my gas powered saw doesn't have to worry one bit about loosing it's place in the tool shed.

I have the 20v dewalt handheld leaf blower. That thing works great for clearing the deck and blowing dust off of things. If I need to clean up the lawn driveway my gas powered backpack blower comes out.

The battery powered stuff is great and getting better all the time. I really like the dewalt 60v flexvolt batteries. They have a ton of power and fit just about any 60v 120v or 20v tool in the current line up. I really like having the one size battery that works in all my tools.

Starting out from scratch with that much land I would go with gas powered first and battery later.
 

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My feedback on yard battery tools is limited to my experience with the my DeWalt 20v hedge trimmer and my short lived DeWalt 20v string trimmer. The string trimmer was purchased to replace an Echo 2 stroke straight shaft string trimmer that was fine and worked well, however after one session string trimming with it. In my use, it seemed wildly underpowered and even with a fully charged 4AH battery, after about 25-30 minutes of use, it was drained. The string trimmer was sold a week after purchase and replaced it with a commercial rated Stihl 2 stroke. The hedge trimmer on the other hand has been fantastic for the 2-3 times a year it's used, plenty of power to trim hedges and since it's used so infrequently, dealing with fuel related problems are not existent.

More background - I'm pretty heavily invested in the DeWalt 20v Ecosystem (8 total tools I think) which helped influence the decision to purchase the 20v string trimmer. I'd venture a guess that a "select volt" 60v version would likely have the power to do what I wanted, but not having anything in that voltage, I didn't want to invest/take the chance and didn't need a 9AH battery for the other tools in the collection.

Edit: Just reading this after posting - I agree with the below.

Starting out from scratch with that much land I would go with gas powered first and battery later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As chainsaws go my gas powered saw doesn't have to worry one bit about loosing it's place in the tool shed.
What's the line where you reach for the gas saw versus the electric? I've watched those test videos where the guy cuts a stack of 9 4x4s and that seems to be getting near the upper end of what I'd need it to do. I have a few larger trees to remove but I'm going to pay a guy to do those since it's been a long time since I've dropped 50-60' trees and I'm not comfortable doing that on my own just yet.
 

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What's the line where you reach for the gas saw versus the electric? I've watched those test videos where the guy cuts a stack of 9 4x4s and that seems to be getting near the upper end of what I'd need it to do. I have a few larger trees to remove but I'm going to pay a guy to do those since it's been a long time since I've dropped 50-60' trees and I'm not comfortable doing that on my own just yet.
It really depends on the job I'm doing and not just the size of the tree. The battery saw is slow to cut compared to the gas saw. So time saved grabbing the easy to use battery saw is time lost when multiple cuts are involved. Particularly going above say 3-4 inches in diameter.

If you are clearing brush and small limbs where you occasionally need to cut something you pruners of loppers can't get the lightweight battery saw is great. Just pick it up and cut.

Cleaning up a fallen limb from a dead tree or storm damage I'll grab my gas saw. Actually pretty much anything that is firewood worthy and not food for the wood chipper is a gas saw job. My gas saw is a 60cc Makita ( really a Dollar saw with different color paint). I've had that saw going on 13 years now and put many hours on it. It still starts up perfectly and will sit there and idle until it runs out of gas. Best running saw I've ever used.

The dewalt 60v line of stuff is expensive stuff to buy but the tools typically are more powerful than the corded counterparts. I can't say enough good things about the dewalt 60v grinder, I love that thing. The only cordless power tools the tool crib at my work hand out are dewalt 20v and 60v cordless tools.

The thing I like the least about my Ego saw and hedge trimmer is that they are the only cordless tools I have that can't take a dewalt battery. I have at least 14 dewalt cordless power tools just to keep all the batteries the same.
 
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I don’t have much experience with electric lawn tools or gas powered lawn tools. But I agree with most people here, buy gas powered first so you can get everything cleaned up and then switch to battery power. I have a dewalt grass trimmer and love it but if I had to do anything more then weekly trimming it wouldn’t be worth the hassle. Maybe in a few years the battery tools will be better but for now they seem like occasional small job tools
 

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What's the line where you reach for the gas saw versus the electric?
I use a pretty simple rule of thumb (because I'm a simple minded guy!). If I have to fuel up the gas chainsaw I want to use the full tank. If a job is only to cut up a limb or two, the cordless saw gets used. Spring and fall pruning are all done with the cordless. When I get a truck load of logs delivered and it's time to cut 8 cords of firewood, the gas saw comes out.

I will mention that the chain that came with my DeWalt saw was complete garbage. I was able to use the same chain that my Stihl gas saw uses and once I put that on the DeWalt it cut significantly getter.
 

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I have traditionally been a gas powered tool person. I am partial to Echo products. I do have a Dewalt 20V chainsaw that I think is a bit slow. Like others I changed out the chain which helped a bit. I use it for really small tasks now like cutting a few pieces of wood to go into the firepit or fireplace that are too long. Still I prefer the gas tools for outside work where there is a significant or ongoing project. One reason I like Echo is positions itself as a prosumer brand which is the segment I typically buy into when buying tools. Small parts (air filters, spark plugs) are available at Home Depot and the products themselves are sold there as well. I am fortunate to have a dealer nearby as well in the event I need repairs. One aspect I like is their PAS attachments that add a number of tool to one power shaft. Gives a lot of flexibility and an al a carte option. There is a pole saw attachment but that is not a substitute for a chainsaw.
 

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Most of the battery chainsaws come with safety chain on them since they're targeted to homeowners. Usually knocking down the rakers and the safety "shark fin" will turn a meh chain into a decent one. Doesn't hurt to put a round file to the teeth either.
 
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I use a pretty simple rule of thumb (because I'm a simple minded guy!). If I have to fuel up the gas chainsaw I want to use the full tank. If a job is only to cut up a limb or two, the cordless saw gets used. Spring and fall pruning are all done with the cordless. When I get a truck load of logs delivered and it's time to cut 8 cords of firewood, the gas saw comes out.

I will mention that the chain that came with my DeWalt saw was complete garbage. I was able to use the same chain that my Stihl gas saw uses and once I put that on the DeWalt it cut significantly getter.
I like this train of thought. I've been collecting up a bunch of Stihl tools to maintain my property and hopefully a much larger future one. Everything I have now is gas. Have used gas for years, don't mind mixing and fueling, don't intend to go away from that. However, I have been looking into electric to take care of my less intensive tasks. Was trimming trees a few weeks ago and felt the gas saw was a bit overkill for the small amount of cutting I had to do. Going with that mentality, I could leave my gas tools setup for storage and use electric for the little stuff. Currently have the Kombi system, I could get the electric power head and still use my same attachments, making that a very economical transition.
 
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Currently have the Kombi system, I could get the electric power head and still use my same attachments, making that a very economical transition.
Well consider my mind blown. I have been using the gas powered Kombi system for years with a bunch of attachments and didn't know they made an electric power head.
 

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Well consider my mind blown. I have been using the gas powered Kombi system for years with a bunch of attachments and didn't know they made an electric power head.
Currently, they have a KMA130
781818


But there's also a KMA135 of unknown availability
781819


Personally, I'm going to hold out for the KMA135 because of the onboard battery. I dislike the idea of either a belt clip or backpack battery for quick jobs. Being tethered doesn't sound too convenient for something I will be picking up and setting down frequently.
 

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Personally, I'm going to hold out for the KMA135 because of the onboard battery. I dislike the idea of either a belt clip or backpack battery for quick jobs. Being tethered doesn't sound too convenient for something I will be picking up and setting down frequently.
I don't like the umbilical idea for a universal power head, either. And by the time you buy the required battery bag and optional belt ($99 and $32) the KM130 ends up costing over $100 more than the KM135. Sure, it's about three pounds lighter without the onboard battery, but the KM-135 still weighs less than the Milwaukee, which everyone seems to love.
 

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I don't like the umbilical idea for a universal power head, either. And by the time you buy the required battery bag and optional belt ($99 and $32) the KM130 ends up costing over $100 more than the KM135. Sure, it's about three pounds lighter without the onboard battery, but the KM-135 still weighs less than the Milwaukee, which everyone seems to love.
Having used the first gen Milwaukee trimmer myself, I can see why. It really is a beast. However, by the time I bought enough batteries for it to efficiently do a heavy cutting session, I would have more invested than a gas Kombi / cutting head combo. True, the batteries are multi purpose, but I still lose out on all the cool attachments the Kombi offers.
 

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I'd look at going with >40v with an outfit that will provide all the implements you need from one (maybe at least a pair) set of batteries. Some have like 2 in a mower and one in weed whacker, etc.

Wife wore out 2 Kobalt 40v brushed chain saws and is now on a Stihl with 36v battery. Stihl uses a rather excessive amount of oil on the chain. The 36v battery lasts 50 minutes of solid cutting. Check out those comparison videos. Kobalt 40v mower isn't quite up to snuff. The 40v weed whacker is good.

Ralph
 
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