Trimmers - Rear motor, power head, carbon body , standard non-carbon

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 3 months ago
  • Answered
Hi Ego guys, 
Is there a site or area that can easily explain the difference of the 4? 
What's the main difference between the Rear motor and power head? 
- I already know the power head can switch attachments. But is there any additional benefits to the rear motor? I have a Stihl FS55R and only use 1/2 the power. But it's nice having that extra torque when i'm edging or going through thick weeds. 
- Also, do all your trimmers rotate cut clockwise? 

I asked the other types just because I'm sure others would want to hear an official response. 
Photo of Jason135

Jason135

  • 180 Points 100 badge 2x thumb

Posted 3 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Ken

Ken, Champion

  • 73,500 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Official Response
All of Ego's trimmers spin clockwise, except for the powerhead trimmer, which is counterclockwise.

The powerhead has a 2,000 watt motor that has to be on the rear because of how the attachment system works, turning a steel driveshaft that runs the length of the tool. The other trimmers have slammer, direct-drive motors.

The powerhead attachments have driveshafts and gear boxes, so they're mechanically a little more complicated, and a bit heavier. But then you do have the option of additional attachments. The powerhead also has plenty of power.

Not to say the standalone trimmers are underpowered. But the additional power does help with a lot of the other attachments, like the cultivator and pole saw.
Photo of Sibyl Smith

Sibyl Smith

  • 6,786 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
It's nice to know the extension pole for the power head system also works with the string trimmer - for reaching down into and across ditches.

My goal is to convert a string trimmer into a brush cutter/pole saw of sorts using a round Renegade Razor saw blade - so I won't have the maintenance of a chain to sharpen and oil!  

Plus, as a senior female, my children/grandchildren won't let me have a chain saw. 
(Edited)
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,564 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Agree with most said here. One exception is the newer rear motor 15" trimmer stand alone tool. 
There can be some other confusing features on the trimmers. Straight shaft vs hinged shaft. While it's true that all of EGO's trimmers have straight shafts, the term straight shaft as used by EGO means no hinge in the shaft. 
The carbon shaft on the powerload trimmer is nice. Doesn't seem to make the trimmer any lighter but there is less vibration transmitted along the shaft as compared to the aluminum models. 
Photo of Sibyl Smith

Sibyl Smith

  • 6,786 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Do you think the reduction of vibration protects the motor?
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,564 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Sibyl, no. I think it makes it nicer for the operator.
Photo of Ken

Ken, Champion

  • 73,500 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Also note that the hinged trimmers are that way only so they can be sold in smaller boxes so they're easier to get home from the store. Once they're bolted together they're meant to stay that way. They're not designed to be folded and unfolded repeatedly for storage.
Photo of William E Hanson

William E Hanson

  • 19,416 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Personally I like the versatility of the power head and ability to switch attachments quickly. And the constant additions to the attachment line up. The economy of this speaks volumes for most residential users and minimizes storage requirements.
Photo of Jason135

Jason135

  • 180 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
Ok, so is the rear motor (ST1534) clockwise or counter? And when you say powerhead, are you just referring to the multi tool one? As all the products on their site specify power+ units.

As much as i like modularity; i'm happy when a tool does one things correctly. 
Photo of Jason135

Jason135

  • 180 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
Ok, so is the rear motor (ST1534) clockwise or counter? And when you say powerhead, are you just referring to the multi tool one? As all the products on their site specify power+ units.

As much as i like modularity; i'm happy when a tool does one things correctly. 
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,564 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Power head = multi-tool

Powerload = the carbon fiber shaft string trimmer stand alone tool.

Power+ is EGO's marketing name.
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,564 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
And I will agree. I like the stand alone tools. I worry if the power head (motor) part of the power head system breaks then I have a bunch of attachments I can't use. Having said that, I do have the power head with a couple of attachments because they aren't available as stand alone tools (cultivator, longer hedge trimmer, and I think I'm going to be getting the brush attachment).
Photo of William E Hanson

William E Hanson

  • 19,416 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Jason, I think all EGO standalone string trimmers are clockwise except the string trimmer attachment for the power head is counterclockwise.

Counterpoint, it's cheaper to replace a power head than an entire tool.
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,564 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Maybe. For example; the power head is $149 at HD without battery and charger. 
15" rapid reload string trimmer (not the carbon fiber one) without battery and charger is $129 at HD. 
Original 24" hedge trimmer also $129 without battery and charger.
The new (ish) edger with rear motor is definitely more than just the powerhead but it only sells with battery and charger right now. Typical for a new product from EGO. At some point it'll be available without battery and charger.

So, not always less expensive. But, always worth checking pricing.

And, it just depends on how one feels about only one motor powering several tools, more running time for one motor than each stand alone tool since each of those have their own motor.

I'm a hard sell. LOL
Photo of William E Hanson

William E Hanson

  • 19,416 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Considering I'm a light user, it would be an overkill with standalone tools. If I ran a ranch or grounds maintenance service, yes.
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,666 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Jason, sorry for the slight hijack. Hope you have the info you need now to make a decision between all the offerings.
Photo of Jason135

Jason135

  • 180 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
Is the rear motor string trimmer (ST1534) clockwise or counter? 
I have the powerhead. I'm just trying to see if there was a counterclockwise dedicated unit besides the powerhead. 

I've used a modular units in the past and ended up tossing an outdated brick of all attachments. 
(Edited)
Photo of William E Hanson

William E Hanson

  • 19,416 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Jason135, best I know, the answer is no on counterclockwise dedicated EGO string trimmers. I wouldn't put EGO into any credible comparisons with other brands; been there myself.
Photo of Jason135

Jason135

  • 180 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
clockwise is a deal breaker. powerhead(multi-tool) it is. Thanks all. 
Photo of Sibyl Smith

Sibyl Smith

  • 6,786 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Jason,  What is the advantage and your reason for preferring counter-clockwise?
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,666 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I've wondered this too. And not just with Jason as I've seen it posted more than once. It seems one could get used to either rotation.
Photo of William E Hanson

William E Hanson

  • 19,416 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Suspect the preference of direction one walks the trimmer.
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,666 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Well, yeah. But how hard is it to walk the other way? Maybe since I'm ambidextrous it makes no difference to me.
Photo of Sibyl Smith

Sibyl Smith

  • 6,786 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Here's Popular Mechanics on the subject:  
"Spin DirectionThe biggest thing I see people struggling with when they use a string trimmer is spin direction. Just as a circular saw needs to eject sawdust as it works, a trimmer needs to eject debris from its cut path. If your trimmer spins counter clockwise, it ejects material from the left side of the tool and cuts best with the right side. So if you're moving along a walk, curb, or low fence, keep the right side of your body closer to the work, which will position the head of the tool so it can cut and eject to the left. If you go the opposite way, you'll eject material into the cut path, and there's nowhere for it to go. It piles up along your cut line, bogs down the trimmer, and makes scalping (cutting too much of the blades of grass) inevitable."

It's a good article with tips on other aspects of using a trimmer.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/reviews/a9608/how-to-use-a-string-trimmer-like-a-pro-160...
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,666 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
That's true. But if it ejects to the right when spinning clockwise, then just keep the left side of your body closer to the work when spinning clockwise so it can eject from the right. 
Photo of Sibyl Smith

Sibyl Smith

  • 6,786 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Does it make a difference for left and right handed people?
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,666 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I'm left handed but am pretty ambidextrous with most things so it makes no difference to me.
Photo of William E Hanson

William E Hanson

  • 19,416 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
It just depends upon several things; your landscape layout and whether you prefer walking inside your lawn or outside. If one lives on a busy street, it matters where you're walking.
Photo of Jason135

Jason135

  • 180 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
classic straight trimmers turn counter clockwise. And edging is made easy by flipping the unit sideways and walking backwards. If it turned clockwise, you'd have to walk forward. Maybe some can do this; but I'm just used to edging while walking backwards. 

I'm not a landscaper, but i'll give it a shot:
I believe pulling/dragging the trimmer towards me has more stability edging than pushing forward.  So people would say "go buy an edger". I have an edger. An edger is great ; but once you've created the track, a trimmer is 10x faster maintaining that clean cut. 
So I edge once a month and trim weekly for a crisp lawn cut. 
Photo of Sibyl Smith

Sibyl Smith

  • 6,786 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Thanks for explaining your reasons for wanting a counter-clockwise tool!

Interesting technique, but walking backwards won't be for me.

I do all my edging with a lightweight inexpensive string trimmer/edger combo that flips from horizontal for trimming to vertical for edging - and I mostly walk alongside the tool head.

As I edge, also groom inside the grass edge moving the string inside the edge to remove weeds and grass stolons   This leaves a clean space about 4 inches wide between the grass and the pine straw mulch.   It all gets done in a single pass.  

Edging along the sidewalk, I remove about a 3/4 inch swath back from the edge of the concrete, keeping the soil below the level of the concrete so the walk can drain after a rain.  

Then I blow away the loose dirt and grass trimmings and it's done.

I'm planning to buy a power head multi tool, extension pole and string trimmer attachment to convert into a brush trimmer using an 8 inch round saw blade for brush cutting  and limb pruning, maybe later get an extra string trimmer for edging/trimming, when my cheap trimmer/edger wears out.

Best wishes for success with your new tool!
(Edited)
Photo of William E Hanson

William E Hanson

  • 19,416 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Likewise, I edge with a string trimmer; the only drawback is potential debris being kicked up towards your face, but wearing eye protection helps. With the power available, string trimmer does an excellent job of edging with less hassle and expense of another tool. Personally, I don't want a deep gap between lawn and hard surfaces.
Photo of Sibyl Smith

Sibyl Smith

  • 6,786 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
The gap serves to prevent sand/dirt washing onto the sidewalk and water standing after a rain.   I love that it keeps my sidewalks clean and dry - no sand to sweep, no slime or mold making them slick.
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,666 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Those gaps were always a bane when we were kids. They like to grab bicycle tires and next thing you know you're on the ground. Not a fan of those gaps as you might imagine. As well, I don't have any slime or mold even with a nice neat edge without a gap.
Photo of szwoopp

szwoopp, Champion

  • 103,908 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
What kind of bike were you riding as a kid Mike that your tire would get stuck in a 1/8" edger gap
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,666 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I was referring more to the 3/4" or more wide gap that Sybil mentions. Lots of people do that, or even wider. 1/8" isn't a problem at all.
Photo of szwoopp

szwoopp, Champion

  • 103,908 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Ahh I see now.
I have only seen large edges around trees / flower beds etc.
I have never seen it along a sidewalk.  Glad my neighborhood landscaping did not follow that practice.
Photo of Sibyl Smith

Sibyl Smith

  • 6,786 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
I see your point.  I rode a wide-wheel bike with no gears (now called dune bike) which was all we had back then.   I still have two of them - with fenders! - both Schwinns.   

It was way before the racing bike craze.   We rode on sandy unpaved roads and it was a pile of deep loose sand that caused us to lose balance.   

You are evidently a decade or so younger than me.   :8-) 
(Edited)
Photo of Sibyl Smith

Sibyl Smith

  • 6,786 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Just to be clear - I trim the grass back about 1 inch from the sidewalk and whip out the dirt 1 inch below the sidewalk.  This makes it easy to use the string trimmer as an edger without cutting the string against the hard surface.   It's all win-win-win for me.
(Edited)
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 69,666 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Sibyl, I'm 63 so I don't know if I'm younger or older than you. 
Photo of William E Hanson

William E Hanson

  • 19,416 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Since my yard is supposedly maintained by a grounds maintenance service from the HOA, they literally dig deep and wide ruts that turns into miniature rivers when it rains hard. Our terrain is rolling hills with almost no flat surfaces. After I repaired those ruts, I asked to to skip my yard on edging. Then I edge myself with a string trimmer without leaving any gap.
Photo of Sibyl Smith

Sibyl Smith

  • 6,786 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
OK - my little trimmer/edger goes clockwise, so I walk toward the right, standing on the sidewalk or street, with the tool head at my side.   This kicks the trash/sand behind my tool and the shield prevents it from flying toward me.