Picking a GOOD product line

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  • Updated 4 years ago
The importance of choosing a good product line from a good company cannot be overstated, especially when investing heavily in a cordless tool lineup. Another way of saying, "You get what you pay for."

I was speaking with my neighbor the other day, who was asking me about my Ego tools.

A friend of his had bought a cheap cordless string trimmer two years ago. The battery failed recently and, to his surprise, they are no longer available! He spent $150 on a tool that is now useless because he can't buy a new battery for it.

This seems to be true for a LOT of cheaper brand tools. I peruse the iles at Lowes, Home Depot, and other big box reno stores quite often, and I'm constantly seeing battery and tool lineups that are being cleared out, despite being only a couple years or so on the market. This seems to apply mostly to store brand tools, but other better known brands are certainly not an exception either. The biggest offenders seem to be based on 18/20V hand tool platforms.

Even some of the larger companies are guilty of this. The most obvious in my recent memory is Dewalt. When I was first looking at Lithium-Ion cordless hand tools, Makita and Dewalt were the two on my radar. I ended up getting lucky choosing Makita, and did so based on their fan cooled batteries that seemed far superior to Dewalt's. Lo and behold, Dewalt dumped that early Li-Ion pack design (the one with the post that worked in their existing XRP tools) after only a couple of years and launched a whole new platform based on a design very similar to Makita's.

Had I bought into that early Dewalt line I'd be hung out to dry now... sure those batteries are still available, but they stopped investing in new tools for that lineup and those old tech batteries sell for more than the newer better ones. Makita has now had the same battery system for 10 years, and continue to add to it.

I guess what I'm saying is, you kinda get what you pay for. Up here in Canada, Lowes is still selling their 40V Kobalt yard tools... I suspect Canada is some sort of "clearing house" for their obsolete merchandise. Knowing that they moved so quickly from a 40V platform to an 80V platform that are not compatible with each other, I wonder how stable the design of their 80V stuff will be over time?

Dewalt recently launched a line of 40V yard tools into a market full of higher voltage platforms. Will history repeat itself and see them dumping those in favor of a more marketable lineup? Dewalt are not known for leaving themselves in a vulnerable marketing position; they are the ones who started the "max" voltage rating on their tool batteries, claiming 20V for their system even though it operates at 18V nominal, just like everyone else's tools.

I joked around a lot with a guy I used to work with. He would buy cheap tools and mock me for spending more on better tools. I told him an expression my Dad told me a long time ago: The poor man usually pays twice.

Sure, that's not always true, but quite often I see people complaining that the cheap tool they bought has failed, or is just not nice to use, and they are either just dissatisfied with their purchase or in a position of having to buy again.

Ego, to me anyway, has made a lot of "right" moves. It is a fairly new brand, but the message they are sending about all tools and all batteries/chargers being compatible is extremely comforting, and continues with their recently released line of higher capacity batteries.

The technology and design of the batteries is second to none. The warranties are great. The tools are robust and confidence inspiring, and the company behind it all, Chervon, is a tool manufacturing powerhouse that's been around for a long time.

They may not be the cheapest tools on the market, far from it in fact, but I have faith that when my seven year old battery pack finally gives up, a new pack will be just a few clicks away.

Keep up the good work, Ego! Here's to the first year of flawless service from your tools, and to many more to come.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Posted 4 years ago

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Jennifer VandeWater, Community Manager

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Official Response
Thanks Blue! You're going to make us blush.