EGO Commercial String Trimmer Set to Challenge Stihl in the Pro Market
EGO turned its attention to the commercial OPE market a while back, and we spent some time comparing these tools to other Pro-targeted models. The EGO Commercial string trimmer has some familiar design components but with a design shift that clearly sets it apart from its residential counterparts.
- Carbon fiber shaft
- Metal motor housing and trigger
- Quick handle adjustments
- Professional performance as a primary option in noise and emission-sensitive areas
- On the high end of the price scale
EGO Commercial String Trimmer Performance
One of the first things we noticed about the EGO Commercial string trimmer is its 15-inch cutting swath. That’s slightly smaller than the 16- and 17-inch diameters we see on many Pro models. However, making the switch from gas to battery comes with some necessary behavior changes to get the most from any system.
EGO sticks with 0.095″ line on this trimmer—and the spool holds up to 29 feet. It’s the size we expect from Pro string trimmers and popular on higher-performance cordless models. Many of our Pro lawn crews prefer 0.105″ line as a tougher option. However, not many battery-powered string trimmer are rated for it as a way to conserve battery power.
EGO Commercial String Trimmer Design
Battery and Connection
One of the biggest design differences from EGO’s residential line is the use of their backpack battery and minimalist connector. Rather than rehash it here, check out our standalone review of the EGO backpack battery. Incidentally, the Commercial tools also work with the BH1001 backpack link—just disconnect the plug from the battery casing.
When connecting the backpack to the tool, you actually need to connect it from the front of the trimmer motor body. It seems odd at first, but it actually puts less strain at the connection point than it would on the back. It also moves the cable towards your body, compacting your footprint and eliminating a potential snag point.
Carbon Fiber Isn’t Just for Racing
EGO’s resident Product Guru and cyclist, Kyle Selph, first showed us his concept for a carbon fiber string trimmer shaft on what would become EGO’s PowerLoad String Trimmer. Just like the carbon fiber you find in racing bikes and racecars, it’s a ridiculous combination of strength and lighter weight. It also won’t bend or lose its shape over time.
In fact, EGO is so confident that they guarantee the shaft for life.
Metal Where You Don’t Expect it
The EGO Commercial string trimmer uses metal in two places we didn’t expect to find it—for the motor housing and the trigger. It’s a move that adds durability. It also adds some additional weight, but not as much as we feared.
But here’s the thing: not even Pro gas string trimmers use metal motor housing and triggers. So is it overkill or is EGO forward-thinking?
Their market testing says Pros appreciate the extra durability on the motor housing where it most commonly contacts the ground and on the trigger that sticks out, begging to hit something and break off.
Nearly every cordless string trimmer has a brushless motor, but some manufacturers place it above the head while others keep it at the top of the tool. A direct drive on the head is mechanically simpler but shifts weight forward. It also requires a longer run for the electrical wires and misses out on the potential for high-torque gearing. Putting it at the top of the tool requires means it has to turn a driveshaft, but it also allows more freedom in gearing choices and shifts the weight closer to your arms. Another added benefit has the brushless motor receiving power almost directly from the power supply. Finally, this design is the only one that makes multi-head technology possible.
EGO chose to stick the motor at the top of the tool, and we like that choice. Be sure to tell us what you think of that call in the comments below!
What happens when you get a cyclist involved in tool production? You get things like the carbon fiber shaft and quick clamps! EGO forgoes wing nut and hex bolt handle adjustments with a simple quick clamp. It’s quick and easy. It also allows multiple users to handle the tool more comfortably.
Just One Regret…or Two
While we really like the overall design, some users may find themselves bummed that the PowerLoad system didn’t make the final cut on this model. Its simple push-button loading is an innovation we really like from the residential lineup. For Pros, however, simplicity wins, and the robust, tried-and-true design of their AH3800 bump head makes a lot of sense. It also provides an independent center hub that reduces friction when activating the bump feed mechanism.
We also noticed the lack of a reverse direction button. Reversing the direction of the trimmer works great for detangling the head and blowing debris to the correct side of a walkway without having to change directions. Since the tool works off a brushless motor, this shouldn’t prove a difficult addition. EGO seems to have opted for mechanical and electronic simplicity (over features) in the design.
Is the EGO Commercial String Trimmer Primary or Supplemental?
When it comes time to decide on whether the EGO Commercial string trimmer is a primary or supplemental tool, the answer is that it’s a primary tool in our opinion. Professional landscapers who need to move into the realm of quieter, emissions-free outdoor power equipment can confidently use this as a primary trimmer.
The BAX1500 backpack battery delivers 28amp-hours of 56V run-time. That equates to almost four 7.5 Ah batteries. With a backpack battery, you can run this tool all day long. With the amount of actual trigger time between this, the hedge trimmer, and blower, it’s possible for a residential crew to cover the entire day on one charge.
Just keep in mind that using a battery as a primary power source requires behavior changes. If your crew is the type to take the guard off and run 23 inches of line, it’s going to be tough to make this work for you if you don’t make some adjustments.
EGO Commercial String Trimmer Price
The EGO Commercial string trimmer runs $399.99 and comes with a 2-year commercial warranty. Here’s how that stacks up against Husqvarna and Stihl on the high end:
- Husqvarna 520iLX: $299.99
- EGO STX3800: $399.99
- Stihl FSA 135R: $409.99
The Bottom Line
Pro’s know the benefits of battery power: low noise, no emissions, no gas, and far less maintenance. However, performance, runtime, and durability are all obstacles to making the switch unless local regulations require it. The EGO Commercial string trimmer takes care of the runtime and durability concerns with ease. EGO’s performance is definitely where we expect it to be for professional work, but it is a change from using high-end gas trimmers. In our opinion, it’s a change that’s seriously worth your consideration.
EGO Commercial String Trimmer Specifications
- Model: EGO STX3800
- Shaft Length: 42″
- Maximum cutting path diameter: 15″
- Recommended Line Diameter: 0.095″
- Width: 7.874″
- Depth: 71.811″
- Height: 4.331″
- Weight: 14.3 pounds
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: $399.99