Having already reviewed both the EGO 56V cordless string trimmer and the EGO 15 in brushless string trimmer, getting our hands on the brand new EGO power head string trimmer seemed a logical next step. Of all the battery powered outdoor power equipment I’ve reviewed, the string trimmer is my go-to for introducing landscapers to the technology. This model continues to use a brushless motor but moves the motor to the rear of the tool to enable swapping out the heads. This essentially opens up the EGO Power Head to run a string trimmer, edger, pole saw, and anything else EGO decides to throw at it. Currently, the price for additional attachments sits right around $99. We were able to review all of them in some capacity.
The big deal with the power head system is flexibility—but also power. Moving the motor to the back—near the battery—gives it a bit more efficiency. You’re not sending all that battery power down a wiring harness to the head. Since the tool now uses a spinning shaft, it also allows for the use of the aforementioned attachments. With Home Depot selling these for under $100 each, you can end up with a pretty robust battery-powered system without having to buy full tools for each function. Of course, if you already have an EGO string trimmer, then you would presumably get into this system for the pole saw or edger.
EGO Power Head String Trimmer Features
The EGO Power Head string trimmer uses the same Rapid Reload head that has been made available for their 15-inch trimmer. If you have an older head on the 15-inch trimmer, you can actually upgrade to this one for around $29. Some of the weight has been shifted to the rear of the tool—giving it a more balanced feel. We talk about power later—but it feels like there’s more of it.
Available EGO Power Head Accessories
To cover all that this product does, I’ll start with the actual power head and then move through all of the attachments we reviewed with it. There are currently four available EGO Power Head accessories/attachments:
- String Trimmer (STA1500)
- Edger (EA0800)
- Pole Saw (PSA1000)
- Extension Pole (EP7500)
EGO Power Head System
The EGO power head (PH1400) is the engine behind any of the tools you’ll attach to it. Without a solid power train here, your edger, trimmer, or pole saw attachments won’t do much good. Fortunately, EGO seems to have done a bang-up job of engineering the power head to perform with enough speed and torque to drive their attachments with enough speed and torque to cut, trim, or otherwise bite through anything they come up against.
The safety lock-off button—included in some form in all battery powered tools—utilizes a side actuation. This type of switch differs from most, but its large size makes it a great solution. After a few tries, grasping it became second-nature while activating the trigger. Speaking of the trigger, the slightly oversized shape lets you get two fingers on it for more comfort. The rubberized grip on the rest of the handle lets you more easily use the EGO power head string trimmer (or other attachments) for extended periods of time.
Spinning the Shaft
Since the motor is behind the trigger, it actually drives a spinning shaft that terminates into what resembles a large spline drive. The parts all seem robust, so we have high expectations for overall tool longevity. To attach accessories to the power head, you unscrew the green “wing knob” (shaft lock) and depress the gray shaft-release button. You then line up the arrows between the power head coupler and the accessory shafts, and push them together until they fully seat. Sometimes it takes some wiggling from side to side, but I got better at it with practice. You’ll do this process twice when using the pole saw with the 31-inch extension.
Editor’s Note: Since EGO went with a spline drive, the system doesn’t mix with RYOBI Expand-It or other attachments currently on the market.
A couple aesthetic things on the EGO Power Head bear mentioning. One, EGO continues to use a battery release button that is on the tool, not the battery. I love this. When grasping batteries—especially large ones, it’s much easier to have a spring-loaded eject button on the tool that releases it into your hand. I’m very glad EGO is keeping this functionality across its entire line.
Two rubber bumpers located on the rear of the tool provide some protection and grip. I stand my trimmers upright more often than not. Recognizing this common occurrence, the placement of these small rubber pads is fortuitous and keeps your tool from sliding on an oily or uneven flooring surface.
The brushless motor has a high and low “gear” that is set by the top-mounted button on the EGO Power Head. Aside from that control, the variable trigger takes care of the rest. There is no “Eco” mode to conserve battery or a Reverse to switch the direction of the head. As you can imagine, defeating reverse for the pole saw and edger would require a lot more development.
EGO Power Head String Trimmer
As a trimmer, the EGO Power Head system provides plenty of power, though not many frills. Perhaps it doesn’t need to. Every time I grabbed it, it worked. In fact, it worked REALLY well—with way more power than I needed for string trimming. Remarkably, the yard I was testing it on allowed me to use the tool at least twice before recharging the 5.0Ah battery pack I used. Vibration seemed less than most of the tools in our best battery powered trimmers shootout. The power head shaft does produce a tiny bit more vibration than the EGO 15″ string trimmer, but not much. Clearly, some attention to ergonomics and feel occurred when developing this system.
But Weight, There’s More!
I initially thought I wouldn’t like moving weight to the shaft and rear of the tool. After all, the battery is already there—that’s enough weight, right? Using the tool for a few hours on and off, I quickly became accustomed to the new distribution away from the front of the trimmer. In fact, this is more akin to what Pros are used to with their gas-powered models. EGO actually increased the balance of this tool, even while adding some weight. How much weight? The Power Head weighs 5.9 lbs. and the string trimmer head weighs 3.25 lbs. With the 2.5Ah battery, the total package is just under 12 lbs. Compare that to the 15-inch string trimmer and you’re looking at an additional couple of pounds.
I’m a fan of the Rapid Reload head, and the EGO power head string trimmer includes that (as expected). Compared to the original head in their 12-inch and 15-inch trimmers, the Rapid Reload head simply saves time. You just cut off length of line, feed it straight through the head, and then twist the spool to wind it up.
EGO Power Head Edger
Having some extra power comes in handy when the EGO Power Head gets connected to the 8″ edger attachment. With it, I was able to trim up some very difficult jasmine that borders the front yard.
The EGO Power Head Edger uses an 8-inch “bar” that slices through grass, roots, and vines like there’s no tomorrow. It will edge up to 4-inches in depth. You set that depth by adjusting the guide wheel along the depth-adjusting guide bar. No tools are required for this—you just loosen up the green knob and move the wheel up or down along the rail. A debris flap makes a valiant effort to keep dirt and clippings down while edging. The edger attachment also comes with a removable guide plate that I left on as it gives me a nice “curb feeler” for squaring up driveways and sidewalks.
I liked the natural sight line EGO included across the top of the blade guard. This helps you know exactly where that 8-inch blade is going to cut. It removes most of the guesswork.
After the blade wears down cover time, it can be replaced using the included multifunction wrench. You can use any right-sized wrench, but you do need to pin the shaft to keep it from spinning. EGO also allows you to easily replace the guide wheel. The company recommends the transmission gears in the case be checked and/or lubricated about every 50 hours of operation. Unless you’re a commercial user, once a season should do it.
EGO Pole Saw
The EGO Pole Saw is possibly the most anticipated tool in the new Power Head line. The 56V line of tools has lacked a decent pole saw since the tools arrived in The Home Depot. Now, you can add both the pole saw attachment and a 31-inch extension to the EGO Power Head system and take care of those higher limbing duties. The saw uses a standard 10-inch Oregon bar and chain, so you can get replacement chains just about anywhere.
Balance of the EGO pole saw was decent, with a nice small set of bucking teeth to rest against the limb during cutting. With a pole saw, you want to let the head of the tool do your work for you on your final cut. Good positioning and a steady, smooth cut should do the trick. In our case, we were removing smaller limbs from an old oak tree to trim it up.
Getting oil in the pole saw head was a simple matter, and it didn’t take long to get to work. The saw cuts quickly, and does a nice job of pulling itself into the cut. One thing we did wish for included a longer extension. just a few more inches—perhaps a 36-inch extension—would have made a world of difference. Right now you get around 91-inches with the Power Head and pole saw, and over 120-inches (just over 10-feet) with the extension pole inserted.
The EGO Power Head system offers plenty of power and ease of use. It’s nearly foolproof and has the basic attachments you need to get most pruning and trimming tasks accomplished. We’re wondering if a tiller or a brush cutter may be in the future—we’ll have to wait and see. Also, an articulating hedge trimmer attachment would be nice for taller hedges. But that’s what you do when a good product comes along—you dream of more things that can accompany it. I suppose that’s an indication that EGO has once again provided a great landscaping product with mass appeal.