Wonder Whip: A look at the Oregon ST275 electric trimmer/edger

Published on Wed, 06/25/2014 - 7:12am

Most landowners have some sort of trimmer—aka weed whacker, weed eater, or weed whip—for regular upkeep around their acreage. Average trimmers—read two-stroke gas-powered—may fit the bill for most, but those looking for a robust option with a greener footprint and less noise should check-out the Oregon ST275. 

While electric trimmers have always been easy to start, quiet, and exhaust-free, their downfall has been short battery times—or worse, extension cords—and not enough power and torque to get the job done. For a long time, this gave the advantage to gas-powered weed eaters for serious work. 

That is until now: Oregon’s ST275—part of their 40V MAX line of cordless tools—has plenty of power and torque to keep up with even the best gas powered trimmers for everyday use. It also has plenty of battery life to last long enough for standard trimming and edging chores, lightyears beyond the electric weed eaters from just a few years ago.

 

Giving it gas        

When comparing the ST275 to a standard gas trimmer, the differences jump out: The ST275 has no pull cord, no priming, and no gas tank, making it effortless to start and use immediately.

Battery power also eliminates the ongoing need to buy and mix gas, saving of both time and money. Gas-powered trimmers are also heavy and difficult to balance. The ST275 sidesteps this with its lightweight design, making it a cinch to balance and easy to maneuver.

 

Battery benefits

Battery power eliminates a lot of the negatives about most gas trimmers on the market, and not just the obvious: The ST275 is very easy to charge with the included charger and a standard 110V power outlet. The battery slides easily into the machine and comes out for charging with the press of a button.

Noise levels on gas powered trimmers are generally very high and call for the use of hearing protection. With the ST275, noise is at a minimum. Silent while idling, the ST275 is still much quieter than gas powered machines while in use—four times quieter, according to Oregon. At its loudest, all you hear is the sound of the line hitting the weeds.

 

Adjusting from trimming to edging mode.Pluses:

Cut edging time in half with no gas fill up or pull-cord start time

• Easily reach any area due to much lighter weight than gas-powered trimmers

• Stringing is a breeze with a reliable bump feeder and an easy to restring internal coil

• Supplied with Platinum Gatorline line that is break resistant and offers a longer usable lifetime than average lines

• Environmentally sound with no gas consumption or emissions while in use

• Flip down guide quickly and easily goes from trimming to precise edging

 

Things to watch for:

While a gas-powered trimmer will still have more power than this machine, the 40V ST275 has more than enough power to deal with the standard tasks encountered in most yards and gardens. Still, it may not be able to tackle larger, hardier plants with thicker stems. If you often run into these types of plants, this may not be the ideal trimmer.

Another concern is the fairly loose safety trigger above the primary trigger. Although the safety trigger does what it needs to do, it seems like it would be easy for an accident to happen. Oregon recommends removing the battery before restringing or working on the head of the machine to avoid any accidents. And since the ST275 doesn’t actually turn off, taking the battery out before storage is also a great way to avoid accidental damage to the machine or nearby items.

 

Overall:

Unless you’re doing commercial landscape- or highway department-level work, Oregon’s ST275 will handle the majority of trimmer/edger jobs around the property with less effort, noise, and time—I don’t think I’ll miss the two-stroke fumes.

 

MSRP: $419.99    Oregon, Blount Inc. Portland, OR    oregoncordless.com/US

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