Thanks to improvements in batteries and motors, electric power is becoming a viable alternative to sub-50cc engines in residential lawn care equipment. To see how far these systems have come, just look at Oregon Products’ PowerNow cordless tool system. Known mostly for their commercial and forestry chainsaws, this company has brought their knowledge to the line, offering commercial features with all the benefits of electric power. That means less maintenance, no fuel, and ¼ of the noise of gas engine-powered equipment.
Batteries and Charging
Everything is compatible across their 40-volt PowerNow line including older equipment and batteries, so you can add new products to your collection or use new high-capacity batteries and fast charger with the devices you already own.
Each piece of equipment can be bought as a bare tool or with any of the currently available battery packs. Oregon currently offers lithium-ion batteries with 2.6, 4 and 6 Ah ratings. Every pack is built to be recharged up to 1,000 times.
Taking care of these batteries is easy: they retain their charge after months of storage, and since there’s no memory effect, they don’t need to be fully discharged and recharged to extend their life. That means you can keep a charged pack on hand when you need to do some work, then put it back on the charger afterward whether you drained it completely or just needed it for a few minutes. A power gauge is built into the end of every battery, letting you check the charge at a glance, even when it’s powering a piece of equipment.
Oregon offers two chargers for the PowerNow system. The C600 can charge a flat 1.25 Ah battery packs in 60 minutes and a 2.4 Ah packs in 120 minutes. The C750 Rapid Battery Charger takes about a half hour to charge either 1.25 or 2.4 Ah battery packs.
Why buy separate devices when you only need to use one at a time? The multi-attachment system is built around the PH600 powerhead, a unit combining an electric motor and battery port. Oregon offers four attachments for the PH600:
EG600 Edger – An 8-inch cutting blade and depth adjustment wheel define pavement edges.
HT600 Hedge Trimmer – Fitted with a 15-inch bar, this trimmer has 120 degrees of rotation with 7 positions so you can keep your hands in a comfortable position no matter how you cut. The pole is 7’4”, or 9’7” when used with the EX600 extension.
PS600 Pole Saw – Fitted with a 10-inch bar and a 3.4 oz chain oil tank, this saw has a 6’8” shaft which can be increased to 8’11” with the EX600 extension.
ST600 String Trimmer – Fitted with a head that takes Gator SpeedLoad line, this trimmer has a cutting swath of 14 inches and can spin up to 5,500 RPM.
Oregon also offers stand-alone tools that run on PowerNow batteries for jobs requiring compact equipment.
CS300 Chainsaw – It wouldn’t be Oregon without a quality chainsaw offering. A new brushless motor provides 40% more torque than its predecessor, and it comes with a steel backing plate, a rare sight in this market segment. The 16-inch bar is fitted with Oregon’s PowerSharp self-sharpening system. This uses a built-in sharpening stone to sharpen the included softwood chain in just three seconds without having to remove the chain or use an awkward sharpening rig. The bar is also compatible with 91 hardwood chain, but this chain can’t use the PowerSharp system. With either chain, this model has no problem going through two to three-inch branches, and it weighs just 13 lbs. with the battery.
WL275 Portable Light – This work light can be powered by an A/C or battery power. It outputs 1,091 lumens for 12 hours on High when using the battery or 584 lumens for up to 24 hours in Low. It weighs 7 lbs.
PS250 Pole Saw – A mid-mount motor provides better balance, while the shaft can extend from 7-10 feet. The 8-inch bar comes with a branch hook for limb removal.
ST275 Trimmer/Edger – The Oregon Swift Load trimmer head has a bump feed for two lines of Advanced Platinum Gatorline. This model also has a flip-down guide for edging.
ST250 Trimmer/Edger – With a smaller head than the ST275, this trimmer is built to use 0.80 inch Platinum Gatorline.
HT250 Hedge Trimmer – Since it has no shaft and a 24-inch blade, it’s best suited for close-up work.
BL300 Blower – Moving up to 507 CFM at a maximum speed of 131.5 MPH, this blower can run up to 90 minutes. The 64.6 DB Turbo mode meets most residential noise regulations.
Getting Oregon Cordless Tools is Easier than You Think
Shank’s Lawn Equipment can ship Oregon electric tools, batteries and accessories to any address in the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit www.shankslawn.com. Live in south-central Pennsylvania or north Maryland? Stop by our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. To get here from I-81, take Exit 10 to Marion.