EGO Commercial String Trimmer STX3800 Review
EGO Commercial String Trimmer Set to Challenge Stihl in the Pro Market
As EGO turns its attention to the commercial OPE market, we’re spending some time seeing how these tools compare to other Pro-targeted models. The EGO Commercial string trimmer has some familiar design components that set them apart.
- 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
RecommendationThe real question with respect to the EGO Commercial line of tools lies with your requirements. Performance is stellar—no issues lie in that direction. You also won’t have problems with run-time using most of these tools. Price currently dictates that this tool will fall into the hands of professionals who need a top-performing battery-powered OPE solution.
If you work in a municipality currently phasing out gas products, you want to give the EGO STX3800 trimmer a look. Same goes for anyone seeking a way to start the job earlier, or perhaps acquire work in more sensitive areas like schools and public spaces. If you remain a casual user, this system likely won’t appeal to you—at least not yet.
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-inch minimum we like to see on Pro models, but we’ll withhold final judgment until we have a full picture of its performance.
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, it’s unusual to find a cordless string trimmer that accepts it, so we’re not surprised to find 0.095″ here.
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 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 light 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.
Primary or Supplemental?
When it comes time to decide on whether the EGO Commercial string trimmer is a primary or supplemental tool—the answer falls in between. 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.
However, the EGO Commercial Series string trimmer can also function as a supplemental tool as well. Mix it with the blower and hedge trimmer, and you get a great set for picking up earlier work and handling the Tuesday “municipality gig”. Set it back to recharge, and you can pull out the gas products for the rest of the day or week.
Eventually, battery-powered OPE tools seem destined to replace gas. Until then, we believe a tool like this can function as a bridge for some. For others, it can absolutely replace a gas trimmer. It certainly has the power and run-time.
The EGO Commercial string trimmer runs $399.99 and comes with a 2-year commercial warranty. That price lines up with Stihl’s high-end FSA 130R while others are lower.
- Greenworks GT 160: $219.00
- Husqvarna 520iLX: $299.95
- Stihl FSA 130R: $399.95
- EGO STX3800: $399.99
The price is definitely on the higher end, but it’s also designed like nothing else currently on the market. Balance that with the full scope of EGO’s Commercial lineup and their battery source as you consider pulling the trigger.
The Bottom Line
As we’ve indicated above, many reasons exist for going with a battery-powered cordless OPE solution. If you consider yourself a discerning home user on a normal-sized property, this tool probably isn’t for you. EGO makes plenty of great string trimmers that present a better value. If, however, you want to extend the capabilities of your commercial business—take a good look. The EGO Commercial string trimmer fits well with the company’s entire lineup of commercial battery-powered tools. As such, buying one gets you into a well-rounded ecosystem.
This tool provides an excellent all-day solution for anyone working in municipalities with zero emissions or low-noise rules. It functions well for playgrounds, schools, cemeteries, and other places where quieter, zero-emissions tools make good sense. The backpack provides ample power and relatively fast charging with the 3.5-hour Quick Charger. Plus, since the BAX1501 backpack provides so much power, you can be sure you’ll end up charging it at the end of the day—not in the middle.
We can heartily recommend the EGO STX3800 Commercial string trimmer for Pro users looking to add to their arsenal. As battery power matures, we’ll see if EGO can eventually pull off a Commercial blower with more than 30 Newtons of force that runs long enough to satisfy most lawncare Pros. That will truly mark a turning point in what appears to be an inevitable transition from gas to battery.
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
- Line Style Size: .095
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: $399.99