71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2012
I've been looking for a good cordless electric trimmer for a while. I've had a Black & Decker cordless electric for a few years and have been really dissatisfied. My Makita impact driver showed me just how powerful and amazing a cordless power tool can be and I figured somebody must be able to build a better trimmer by now. I wanted something with long lasting batteries, a rapid charger option, and power closer to a gas trimmer.
I thought I finally found all this in Stihl's HSA 65 and 85 trimmers. I went to my local dealer and it looked like a great product with one big downside. The HSA85 is $299 but you have to buy the battery and the charger separate. I just couldn't justify paying over $500 when all is said and done for a trimmer!
However, while I was at the store the sales guy showed me the CORE gasless trimmer and said it was basically the same thing. In fact, he said everybody who came into the store looking for the Stihl walked out with a CORE. Well, I was a bit skeptical at first but after using it for a few minutes I decided to give it a try and have been very happy with my purchase.
I'm not sure which trimmer is really better. The Stihl certainly looks much more refined, but the fact that the CORE sells for $279 and comes with a battery and charger makes it a much better value than the Stihl and more comparable to a standard gas trimmer in terms of price. Also, for residential use it comes with a 5 year warranty (2 year commercial) vs 2 years with the Stihl. It has two speed settings, which I have found very helpful, holds more line than the stihl (according to the sales guy at my yard equipment store), and the battery really does last.
I have found two downsides.
Downside #1 - tall grass or weeds get pulled in to the gap between the line housing and the motor and tangled up pretty easily. These are easy to pull out (in fact, the CORE is often strong enough to blow them out itself). I've never had anything but the standard residential electric trimmer but it seems like the motor could have a better guard around it to prevent the tangle problem. This wasn't too much of a problem for me. Plus, I don't plan on having anymore tall weeds in my yard now that I have a trimmer that lasts more than 10 minutes on a charge and power to boot! In addition to the better guard, I also wish it had a metal guide like the black and decker trimmers. This seems to make edging and saving string on rough surfaces easier. Without a doubt, I'm viewing this from a residential perspective.
Downside #2 is that there is no battery indicator on the trimmer, the battery, or the charger. I would like to have some indicator of how much battery life is remaining.
These downsides are very minor and this is certainly a 5 star product. This is the trimmer I've always wanted to own. It's like having a gas trimmer without the noise, vibration, weight, smell, or maintenance.
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2012
I rarely write product reviews; however, after learning about this trimmer from a friend, and the fact that my 2 cycle bit the dust, I needed a new trimmer. The thought of having more power than a 2 cycle and not having to use gas/oil sold me. I have only had this trimmer a few days and used it for one trimming thus far, so I cannot speak to longevity or battery life. I can say this thing has power. I was able to use the torque (slowest) setting for most of my trimming and then bumped up to speed mode for heavier weeds/grass. My old trimmer would have gotten wound up but not the CORE. It performed wonderfully. I am a shorter guy (5'6") so this trimmer is a bit on the long side for me and a bit heavier, but all things one can get used to. Plus this trimmer is designed and made in the USA (Montana)!!
64 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2012
As usual for my reviews, I'll try to give some background info and more detailed review, but first up the quick hits. I did not purchase this from Amazon, but do own this trimmer. I am not affiliated with the company in any way, and have several hundred dollars into this trimmer like anyone else.
Electric Powered, no need to mix gas
Long life battery, definitely long enough to trim my yard in its entirety
Bump head that works
Quiet, when compared to gas powered.
Two modes for higher torque. Lower power mode still powerful enough to trim the grass.
Comes with a battery and charger
Made in USA. I don't mind paying a little extra to support an American company.
Feels well put together, and not cheap like a black and decker grasshog
This trimmer overall does not seem to have as much power as my previous Ryobi did. It had enough to do the job.
It is a bit heavy, weighing in at 11lbs. I asked my wife to try it out, and she didn't mind it, but said that the weight would bother her over time.
Higher speed setting surprised me, I thought it would be faster.
Seems like it should allow more string out through the bump head, it was a smaller cutting path than I'm used to.
I purchased this trimmer from a competitor of Amazon last month after a good bit of research into trimmers available on the market. The past few years I have owned a black and decker "grass hog", a Ryobi straight line trimmer that I picked up from Home Depot, and more recently a straight edge "Weed Eater" from Walmart. The grass hog worked okay, but quickly found that the batteries would only get around 10 minutes on a charge so I got rid of it. The Ryobi worked very well and was a high powered trimmer, but only lasted a couple of years before the engine started having some problems that I couldn't fix personally. The weed eater, never worked right outside of the box. I've also used several other types of trimmers over the years, so I have a little bit of experience in using them and knew what I wanted.
So my search started as usual with Google. I found some of the top rated trimmers, and started doing a good bit of reading and research in person as well as online. I narrowed down my trimmer choices to a Husqvarna 128L, Echo 21.2cc, Stihl FS45. At this point I had not even heard of a Core trimmer. I went and looked for the Core, and it was really nice... next stop was to a local store to check out the other two. They didn't have any Husqvarna's so sight unseen I decided against it. The Stihl was okay, but I definitely preferred the Echo. One of the guys in the local shop asked me what I was going to use it for, and showed me the Core trimmers. The build quality of them was professional, and they had good things to say about it in the shop. I took a brochure, went and did some more research, and basically here I am. It came down to taking a shot in a dark for lack of reviews. The echo was really nice, and I'm sure I would be happy with it... but I HATE dealing with mixing gas, and I believe is the result of the other trimmers downfall (despite doing it correctly). I purchased the CORE, hoping for the 30 day guarantee as my backup plan.
My yard is about 1/3 of an acre with a wooden fence, so I have that to contend with. Due to down trimmers, this was really the first trimming of the year for my yard. On average I would say about 6" grass, mixed with some larger weeds and such, so it was a heavy load for it, but not like I was cutting brush. The trimmer did everything I asked for it, and had more than enough charge to finish the yard. I was a bit surprised that the "more power" option was already pressed during my trimming. The low power option isn't impressive in my opinion, but it did cut the smaller bits of grass with no troubles. When it got larger just hit the button and take care of business. The bump head did just fine when I needed more string, although I think there should be more string out at a time, the range seemed rather small. The trimmer head itself did very well in not getting twisted weeds wound around it, that was a problem with all previous trimmers I have had. There were a couple of times that it did get into trouble, but I let off the "gas" and it unwound itself easily.
Overall with the trimmer, I'm happy that I have it, and I will not be sending it back. I don't really know how much battery life I have left, as the other commenter mentioned. That is a little bit bothering, but I figure I should get one more trimming out of the deal. I don't believe that this trimmer is perfect, it has a few quirks in there that I don't feel take away from it. Compared to a gas trimmer it doesn't have the power, but it also doesn't have to hassle with gas. Its nice popping the battery in there, squeezing the trigger and going. Its spinup is quick, and you are off to work.
Lastly, I am happy with the trimmer, and think it's a good product. Its not perfect at all, but I can't think of a better electric trimmer on the market. So with that criteria I'm going to give it 5 stars. If this was a direct 1-1 comparison with a nicer gas trimmer it might be a 4 star.
*EDIT* I did another trim of the yard without recharging the battery, and it still worked just fine. I haven't logged an hour, but I'd say I've probably got about 30 minutes into it with no loss of power. I did notice what the other reviewer mentioned about it seemed to take a little bit to wind up, but like him I'm unsure if it was the perception of the noise or what. Its definitely a whole lot quieter than a normal gas trimmer. It seems more like a buzzing than a 2 cycle engine. I have elected to not send this back, and will be keeping it. If anything worthy of updating pops up, I will update my review.
*EDIT 2* I finally ran the unit out of juice on the 3rd edging without recharging. I believe that I got the advertised time from the battery and I'm pleased with it. I didn't get 70 minutes, but considering I did run it probably half the time on high speed I feel it did pretty well. There was no warning that the battery was low, other than my mental timer, and once its out of juice its out. If that is a problem for you just keep that in mind. I'm still happy with it and I'm finding that I will edge the yard moreso now. Where a few months ago I would avoid edging just because I didn't want to have to deal with the gas ones. Sure this is a bit more expensive, but to me its worth it. I think if you are in the $200 range for an edger, and you hate dealing with the gas like I do, you will find that the $50 - $80 jump will likely be worth it. And if not, send it back!
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2013
Okay, I hate those eleven page reviews that sound like someone with no life at all wrote them. This isn't one of those. But to give you some context here goes:
I'm not a small engine repair guy, a diesel mechanic or anything like that. I'm a guy who wants to mow and weed-eat, pull some weeds, then relax with a cold one and enjoy the weekend sun (living here in south Louisiana, we have plenty of it). A couple years ago I decided not to buy another $100 weed-eater that would last maybe a season or two. So when I bought my Gravely ZTR mower, I kicked in another $300+ for an Echo trimmer.
Well the Echo is a very nice machine when it runs, and for the first two seasons it did. Mostly. But for some time now it's been bogging down. Starts fine, just won't come up to speed and dies when I throttle it. So a couple of trips to the repair guy and I decided enough of this *#-@!
After a bunch of research (and I do mean a bunch), I bought this unit. I've used it twice now and it's pretty good. Good enough that I just donated my Echo. So here are my thoughts on the Core weed-eater:
It's weird that it didn't seem "powerful" as I was chewing through some 18" weeds by the road. What I really mean is that I'm used to the feeling of torque when I rev a gas weed-eater and this doesn't do that. It just spins up very quickly, very quietly, and does the job.
It's not silent by any means, but I wouldn't hesitate to start using it earlier in the AM. I usually wait until about 9 or so to not bother the neighbors.
The bump advance works well, and it's a good thing because the line pre-loaded is pretty crummy and breaks quickly. Also, the cutter on the safety seems a bit close so it cuts the line a little shorter than I would like (meaning a smaller cutting radius). After I'm sure I won't have to send it back, I'll probably just move it back myself.
This unit is nicely balanced with the battery in place and since there's no motor vibration it's a much less fatiguing machine to operate. Another negative is that the body of the throttle and safety is a bit thick. I have big hands so it's not too much an issue for me, but it seems needlessly so, and a half-inch thinner would make it way more comfortable.
The manual must have been written by a bunch of lawyers. But I couldn't find anywhere in it how long to expect a charge to take. Fortunately, it's in the description here on Amazon. About 3 hours seems about right. Pretty good, especially since I've only charged it once so far!
So how long does it last? I don't know. My yard is 100 x 160 and fenced all around. There are flower beds around most of the house, and the driveway is about 75' long. Also the road frontage (rural area) is 100'. The Core was just as efficient as the Echo in my opinion, and the Echo is supposed to be one of the very best.
I went through all of that twice so far and haven't charged it again yet. On the other hand, I don't know if it will run out in the middle of the next job this weekend. It would be nice if they ponied up another couple of bucks for a battery monitor and status indicator. I bet most of us would pay a few bucks more for that feature (I would - wasn't looking for the cheapest product but the best).
Okay, it turns out that I must not have a life after all. This review was far longer than I expected it to be. So in summary, if you're really looking for an electric option that doesn't call for a bunch of compromises, this is it. For me, anyway. Thanks for reading.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2012
Great trimmer, battery lasted as long as stated, a lot of power, very easy to use. For once a product that does what it claims. Not surprising since it is made in the USA.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2013
I love this trimmer. It's almost as good as my Shindaiwa in terms of power, but it's better for me because I hate pulling a starter string, or retuning the 2 cycle engine. The only drawback is that I'm only five feet tall, and this is somewhat long and a little on the heavy side. I have to use a "professional" harness. Nevertheless, this trimmer allowed me to cut through one acre of heavy weeds over a 2 week period (little bit every day).
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2013
I was yanking on my 2 cycle gas trimmer for the first time this year, and remembered the same nightmare last summer. It was a cheap unit, which was bought after my cheap corded unit was a disappointment too. Nobody wants to repair cheap gas trimmers because they aren't worth the cost. Sooooooooooooo, time for a change.
I spent some considerable time reading about $200-400 gas, corded, and cordless trimmers from everybody under the sun. Although it seemed extravagant to pay so much for a weed trimmer, I finally went and actually saw one and handled it. It looked sturdy, but many of them do anyway. The salesman at Murdoch's Ranch supply raved about it and the testing CORE had let them do. I was very concerned about battery life, because as an Electronic Engineer with direct experience with Lithium batteries, I knew not all are created equal. Moreover, I know that the motor is as important as the battery.
CORE claims that the motor is special, and I looked at the details. It is a technology that was commonly used in 3.5" diskette drives in computers several years ago. It is called a printed circuit motor and you can see pictures of it on their hedge trimmer product. It does not have brushes to wear out, and the stator winding is basically part of the circuit board in the middle of the motor.
After all that research work I finally charged the battery and had at the tall grass I had saved for a test. I was determined to see how the long the battery lasted and was prepared to do it immediately and return it just as fast if it failed in any way. Well, easier said than done. I covered ALL the edges in sight in my front and back yard, and then started hacking at hedges and bushes until my arms finally gave out 60 minutes later. Still determined, I started again the next day (without a new charge) to finally exhaust the battery. That took about 10 minutes of hedge trimming since there were no weeds left to whack! When it dies, it just dies, as they warn you in the manual. This is another characteristic of Li Ion batteries.
Now, to put that 70 minute run time in perspective, be aware that Lithium Ion batteries must go through several charge/discharge cycles before they are conditioned to full capacity. If this was the first use and I got 70 minutes of hard work out of it, then that bodes well for the future. As a further technical note, remember to discharge the battery to about 35-40% before storage for the winter; the users manual doesn't say that, but it is a fact for Li Ion batteries. Also, don't let it freeze. Li Ion batteries should take several hundred charge cycles, many more than NiCad will, and I expect to be using this years from now.
Anyway, the tool is very powerful in either mode, but simply spins a bit faster in the "Speed" mode than it does in "Torque" mode; either one cuts tall grass and weeds very well. I am amazed at the power, and several reviewers I read use these in their lawn service operations. The thing is very quiet also. The unit seems to automagically extend the trim line when needed, but the 'bump on the ground' method works equally well. The unit is lighter than other battery units (Lithium is a much lighter element than nickle-cadmium, lead-acid, or alkaline batteries), and is very well balanced also.
I sound like a fan-boy, but this unit appeals to the engineer in me, and I'm very pleased with it. CORE is supposedly planning a blower that uses the same battery, and I'm looking out for that too.
For people who want a trimmer without the hassle, and are willing to pay for it, this is the way to go. Forget the oil/gas mixing and yanking interminably on a starter cord. Pull it out of storage, charge the battery, and move onward into the weeds with fierceness.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2012
I really like this power trimmer. The only thing that I wish is that they send the trimmer with a rapid charge charger. While cutting the grass when swinging it across my body I hit the speed button with my body and because I was cutting some heavy greens I didn't notice the speed change until I finished that section. On High the battery doesn't last that long. Then I had wait 3 hours before I could get back to the trimmer again. I wish the charger was the rapid charger that comes with the trimmer so that if it happens again I don't have to wait 3+ hours to finish my yard. An extra battery and rapid charger will cost me the same price as the trimmer. Not sure if I want to spend that much to save me two hours. Although a second battery will allow me to do bigger project.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2013
i finally got up the courage to use this for the first time today. It's quite a bit taller than I am and I was a bit intimidated by it. But it works very well, and isn't nearly as scary as I expected. Since I am someone who HATES bump-feed heads (and this has one of those) I replaced the bump-feed head with a fixed-line head (made by Echo). It fits fine and is much easier to handle and to change the strings (although I haven't needed to do that yet.) When I was using it today, I hit lots of rocks and obstacles and the sting is still intact. It is quiet and non-stinky. The battery charged up quickly and seems to last for quite a while. I think I will tire before the charge wears down. It gets heavy pretty fast. I also purchased the shoulder strap, but it is pretty uncomfortable on the shoulder unless you put in some padding of your own. But it does help take up some of the weight of this monster.
Update: 8/14/13- I have now had a good chance to use this terrific tool and to get used to wielding so much power as I clean up my unruly weed collection. This is truly an excellent tool. I love it. And it does a great job. I'm very pleased that I had the bump head switched to the fixed line head because that has made changing the "string" that much simpler (even though I have only had to do it twice so far). I have some pretty vigorous pokeweed plants that spring up at the drop of a hat, and the Core has had no problem mowing them down (with 1"+ stems). I actually look forward to using it. I'm in my 70's, I'm a woman and I'm no more than 5'4" tall, but this feels like a totally manageable tool for me. Heartily recommend it.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2013
Great....Core CGT400 CGTSD Gasless Powered Trimmer, 3 Hour Charger, 1 Power Cell CORE GasLess Power...
Please note ...it is HUGE I am 5' 5" for my husband it is fine he is 5' 11"