ope awards lg

Outdoor power equipment (OPE) has been around for a long time with key improvements along the way. But like nearly every other division of the 2017 Pro Tool Innovation Awards, lithium-ion technology is making its presence felt here as well. It’s not all about the battery, though. Even traditional gas and electric equipment benefits from better engineering and modern technology.

Winner – Battery-Powered Lawn Mowers

EGO Power+ 21″ Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Ego Power Plus 21 In Self-Propelled Lawn MowerWhat they said: 

The new 21” EGO POWER+ Self-Propelled Lawnmower is the first and only battery-powered, self-propelled mower. It delivers all of the power and torque of gas mowers, but without the noise, fuss and fumes. Powered by EGO’s high-capacity 56-volt 7.5 Ah ARC LITHIUM battery, the EGO POWER+ Self-Propelled Lawnmower delivers up to 60 minutes of run time. The self-propel variable-speed control means you pick your pace. Durability in all weather conditions (ipx4) and bright LED headlights mean you choose when to mow. Building on the success of its predecessor, the EGO POWER+ self-propelled Lawnmower features the same compact storage configuration, push-button start and one-handed 4-wheel height adjustment. The advanced 7.5 Ah ARC LITHIUM battery charges rapidly and is compatible will all EGO POWER+ products.

What we say:

When Pro Tool Reviews did their Lithium-ion lawn mower shootout last year, they were impressed that so many mowers had reached real legitimacy when it comes to run time and power. As they tend to do, EGO stepped it up from there and delivered the first self-propelled model on their 56V platform. They built it on the foundation of their successful first generation mower, leaving features we love—like the fold up storage and one-handed height adjustment.

Price: $549

For more information, click here.

Winner – Battery-Powered Handheld Blowers

EGO Power+ 530 CFM Blower

Ego Power Plus 530 CFM BlowerWhat they said: 

The EGO POWER+ 530 CFM Blower is the next, big step up in power and convenience for cordless blowers. It is the MOST powerful cordless, blower in the industry, as well as the #1 rated. Equipped with turbine fan engineering, inspired by advanced aeronautics technology. The NEW compact, lightweight design weighs in at 7.4lbs with the included 2.5Ah battery. The advanced EGO POWER+ 56V ARC Lithium battery uses industry-leading technology to deliver Power Beyond Belief and is compatible with all EGO POWER+ products.

What we say:

It’s been a good run for EGO’s 530 CFM blower as an upgrade to their original model. Thanks to its combination of performance and value, it just won Pro Tool Reivew’s Cordless Blower Shootout. And that pretty much sums it up – the EGO 530 CFM Blower is so good in every aspect we looked at that it beat out 15 other models, including Husqvarna and Stihl. Still making excuses not to give EGO a shot? It’s time to lay them down.

Price: $199

For more information, click here.

Winner – Battery-Powered Backpack Blowers

EGO Power+ 600 CFM Backpack Blower

Power+ 600 Cfm Backpack BlowerWhat they said: 

The new EGO POWER+ 600 CFM Backpack Blower performs better than many gas-powered models; it’s also 8 times quieter and weighs half as much as comparable gas blowers. Turbine-fan engineering moves air at a staggering 600 CFM. Variable-speed control allows you to dial the power up or down for superior control, from 320 cubic feet per minute to 600 cubic feet per minute, and the turbo button gives you max power for heavy-debris-clearing power. The Backpack Blower’s high-efficiency brushless motor delivers longer run time, low vibrations and an extended motor life. The advanced EGO POWER+ 56V battery uses industry-leading Arc-Lithium technology to deliver Power Beyond Belief and is compatible with all EGO POWER+ products.

What we say: 

600 CFM is one of the benchmarks battery-powered blowers need to reach in order to get the nod from commercial Pros. EGO’s Backpack Blower is the first to arrive, and they did more than just pack high performance in their system. They also designed the blower to be controlled very easily and fit your frame in a more comfortable way than other options. This combination of ergonomics and performance is something EGO is becoming well-known for in the OPE sector, and you won’t find it with any other brand.

Price: $208.95

For more information, click here.

Winner – Battery-Powered Hedge Trimmers

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Hedge Trimmer Kit

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Hedge Trimmer KitWhat they said: 

The M18 FUEL Hedge Trimmer has the power to cut ¾” branches, cuts up to 30% faster, and provides up to 2 hours of run-time per charge. The handle placement and weight distribution provide the best combination of balance and control.  The 24” blade trims more material in a single pass, increasing reach and productivity, while the blade tip guard prevents damage to the property and the blades.

Similar to what Milwaukee uses in it legendary Sawzall, a robust slider crank mechanism provides increased durability and an all-metal gear case enclosure protects the critical gear drive system from jobsite abuse.

What we say:

Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel Hedge Trimmer has been a pleasant surprise as a first generation tool. But then again, that should be no surprise from the inventors of the Sawzall on a tool that shares a foundational concept. With true Pro-level blade length and capacity, it powers through even thicker hedges. When you finally get tired of the maintenance and emissions of gas, give this yard taming beast a call.

Price: $299

For more information, click here.


Winner – Battery-Powered String Trimmers

EGO Power+ 15″ String Trimmer With Rapid Reload Head

Ego Power Plus 15 In String Trimmer With Rapid Reload HeadWhat they said:

The number 1 customer complaint with any string trimmer is line replacement. EGO has taken this pain point away with the NEW EGO 15″ Rapid Reload trimmer head. The 15″ EGO POWER+ String Trimmer features the new Rapid-Reload system to quickly and easily load new cutting line. The 15-inch cutting swath, bump-head line advancement and professional-grade 0.095 inch cutting line make quick work of yard clean ups. Compatible with all EGO ARC Lithium batteries for Power Beyond Belief.

What we say:

EGO’s 1501-S String Trimmer won our cordless string strimmer shootout last year and little has changed in their latest model. What has changed is for the better. The standard head has been replaced with a new Rapid Reload head to make line changes easier. There’s nothing worse than stopping in the heat of the day to change a tangled up mess of string. EGO’s move makes the 1500SF easily one of the best models on the market when you consider its performance, ergonomics, and price.

Price: $129

For more information, click here.

Winner – Battery-Powered Multi-Attachment System

EGO Power Head System 15″ String Trimmer & Edger Combo Kit

EGO Power Head System 15 String Trimmer & Edger Combo KitWhat they said: 

The new 15” String Trimmer and Edger combo is compatible with the EGO POWER+ Power Head System, making it convenient and efficient to get all your lawn trimming and edging needs accomplished. Equipped with the new EGO Rapid Reload head, rewind your line faster and easier, to help get the job done. The 15” cutting swath, bump-head line advancement, and professional-grade 0.095” cutting line deliver professional grade results. The EGO Power Head edger attachment has quick and easy depth adjustment to make edging around your sidewalks and driveway easy. The advanced EGO Power+ 56-Volt 5.0Ah battery uses industry-leading Arc-Lithium technology to deliver Power Beyond Belief and is compatible with all EGO Power+ Products.

What we say: 

Have you noticed that everyone seems to have a battery OPE line these days but almost none of the new entries have a multi-attachment system? That’s because most lack the power to tackle duties like edging and pole sawing on a string trimmer platform. EGO breaks the mold with their Power Head system, giving you the power to turn your string trimmer into a yard-taming beast.

Price: $399

For more information, click here.

Winner – Battery-Powered Chainsaws

Makita 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 14″ Chain Saw

18V X2 LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 14 In Chain SawWhat they said: 

Landscapers and contractors are demanding more cordless alternatives to corded and gas-powered outdoor power equipment. Makita is meeting demand with an expanding line of cordless OPE, including the 18V X2 LXT (36V) Brushless Chain Saw . With zero emissions, lower noise, and considerably less maintenance, the XCU03Z is a welcome solution for cutting and trimming applications. It’s powered by two 18V LXT for 36V power and run time, but without leaving the strongly-preferred 18V battery platform. And with the efficient Makita outer rotor brushless motor with direct drive system, users get high power efficiency that is equivalent to a gas chain saw.

The XCU03Z has a 14” guide bar and the Makita-built motor with variable speed delivers 0-3,940 FPM for increased cutting speed, but with less noise. It has zero emissions and reduced maintenance: there’s no engine oil to change, no spark plug to replace, and no air filter or muffler to clean. And there’s no need to drain the fuel for storage. Simply pick it up, load two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries, and the saw is ready to use. Convenience features include a “tool-less” chain adjustments, a front hand guard engineered to actuate chain brake when engaged, an electric brake for maximum productivity, and more.

What we say:

Makita made a great move with the XCU03 18V X2 LXT Chainsaw by setting the batteries on either side of the handle. That helps keep the balance in check and the weight closer to the center of the saw. Since that issue has been resolved from the last model, it’s all about performance – and this is a saw that’s hot-knife-through-butter smooth in our testing. While you expect that in dimensional lumber tests, cutting through 12″ oak will expose flaws on this class of saw – and we didn’t find anything to complain about on cutting performance.

Price: $389

For more information, click here.

Winner – Battery-Powered Snow Blowers

EGO Power+ Snow Blower

Ego POWER+ SNOW BLOWERWhat they said: 

The new EGO POWER+ Snow Blower is the only cordless snow blower that’s as powerful as gas. Featuring Peak Power technology, it combines any two ARC Lithium batteries for the power to clear heavy, wet snow. Built with a high-efficiency brushless motor and a 21-inch wide intake, this snow blower can handle what the city snow plow leaves behind. Easily adjust the variable-speed auger to control how far the snow is thrown. With a 35-foot throwing distance, remote chute adjustment and robust steel construction, it’s the industry’s first cordless snow blower with the power and performance of gas but without the noise, fuss and fumes. The EGO snow blower kit includes two (2) 5.0Ah batteries and the Rapid Charger. Experience Power Beyond Belief with the EGO POWER+ Snow Blower and the entire EGO POWER+ lineup.

What we say: 

We’ve reviewed a few battery-powered snow blowers in our day, and they usually leave us less than impressed. But when we first got behind the wheels of EGO’s 56V Snow Blower, we knew they’d just opened the battery conversation wide open. With a throw up to 35 feet, this model clears driveways and paths like no other model in the battery division. Add to that near zero maintenance – you just charge the battery and go at the first snowfall – and everyone on the block will be jealous of how quickly and easily you get the job done.

Price: $411

For more information, click here.

Winner – Gas String Trimmers

Dirty Hand Tools 22″ Walk-Behind String Trimmer, Kohler Engine

What they said: 

The Dirty Hand Tools High Wheel String Trimmer has a unique patented trim ball. The trim ball is designed to make changing the cutting height easy, by simply turning the bottom of the ball. Part of what makes the trim ball so unique is the 2-inch blades that the string attaches to. This allows the trimmer to take on tougher growth.

What we say: 

Ask your chiropractor what OPE tool is doing the most damage to your back and there’s a good chance he’ll tell you it’s consistent use of a string trimmer. Getting the weight off your back and arms and onto a set of wheels is one thing, but wrapping it up in a machine that can tackle really overgrown areas is another. Dirty Hand Tools’ 22″ Walk-Behind String Trimmer offers the cutting swath of a push mower with a blade/string combination that makes it possible to reclaim neglected areas of your property. Paired with a Kohler engine, you’ll get the job done in time for the noon kickoff.

Price: $349.99

For more information, click here.

Winner – Augers

Trophy Strike 120V Lithium Ion Battery 8 Inch Ice Auger (107309)

What they said: 2017 Pro Tool Innovation Awards - OPE - Augers - Trophy Strike 120V Ice Auger

The Trophy Strike 120 Volt Lithium Ion Battery 8 Inch Ice Auger will offer best in class ice hole drilling. When running against the competition we were able to drill 96 holes on one battery charge in 20-inch thick ice on our 120-volt system vs. competition which did 65 holes on one charge. We were also able to drill 20 holes in just 2 minutes 47 seconds. While results may vary, we are confident that this is the level of performance that ice fisherman can expect from the 120-volt line of Trophy Strike ice augers.

What we say:

When it’s cold outside, gas engines really don’t like to start. That’s why battery-powered models are so attractive in colder climates, but even they have their limitations. Trophy Strike makes an ice-specific auger that gives you the power and runtime you need to enjoy a day out on the water, er, ice. So get your buddies together, grab the shelter, and bring home some walleye.

Price: $599.99

For more information, click here.

Winner – Gas Generators

Generac XC Series Portable Generators

Generac XC Series Portable GeneratorsWhat they said:

Construction sites are hard on generators. The generators run longer. They get knocked around more, so they need to be tough. What’s more, they need to be moved easily around the job site — both by hand and with material handling equipment. We challenged our engineers to create a portable generator tough enough to meet the demands of the hardest working pros in America.

Hard work means wearing gloves, so every touchpoint on the gen-set — the fuel valve, choke lever and rocker switches, for example — is oversized so that they can be easily operated when wearing work gloves.

Quite simply, the XC Professional Series is the toughest portable generator Generac has ever built. We built it for durability, reliability, and serviceability, and we’re confident it will be the hardest working, toughest and easiest-to-use generator for any job site.

What we say:

A generator is a generator . As long as it produces enough power who cares about the details, right? Wrong. Pros care about the details. Producing power isn’t enough, you’ve got to do that over long work days and survive tough jobsite conditions. Generac’s XC Series is built to do than just survive – it’s built to thrive in these environments. Among a host of jobsite-specific features lies the G-Force engine. It’s the only pressure-lubed engine designed specifically for generators and only Generac has it.

Price: $1899 – $2499

For more information, click here.

Winner – Electric Pressure Washers

Greenworks 2200 PSI Electric Pressure Washer

Greenworks 2200 PSI Electric Pressure WasherWhat they said: 

The Greenworks Pro 2200 Pressure Washer-Greenworks’ most powerful pressure washer-utilizes a corded, electric design in combination with brushless motor technology to provide the power of equivalent gas machines without the noise, noxious fumes and additional hassle typically associated with gas powered outdoor equipment-perfect for the homeowner that wants all of the benefits of eliminating gas, without sacrificing the power to take on tougher projects.

With the ability to dispense 1.3 gallons-per-minute in water flow, the 2200 Pressure Washer is the ONLY brushless electric pressure washer with patented Smart Flow Technology. This innovative feature is comprised of digitally controlled sensors that constantly communicate with the motor to automatically adjust RPMs based on which nozzle is in-use, ensuring maximum water flow for every job. Additionally, the Smart Flow Technology ensures that the 2200 will never trip your circuit breaker. As a complement to the Smart Flow Technology, the 2200 is equipped with an easy-to-read on-board LED panel indicates the ideal application based on the nozzle currently in-use.

What we say: 

More and more tools outside of battery-powered models are beginning to realize the benefits of brushless motor technology. Greenworks takes the additional power they offer and moves into the medium-duty pressure washer class with their 2200 PSI model. When you have a brushless motor, you have electronic controls. That opens up a whole new world for tools and Greenworks takes advantage with Smart Flow Technology to electronically communicate and adjust RPM along with ensuring the pressure washer doesn’t trip your breaker. It’s a smarter pressure washer with real benefits.

Price: $269

For more information, click here.

Winner – Powered Wheelbarrows

Yardmax Power Trackbarrow with Hydraulic Assist

Yardmax Power Trackbarrow with Hydraulic AssistWhat they said: 

This machine truly helps owners save money and their back. It will fit where a skid steer can’t but with price more oriented towards the small contractor or home owner.

Yardmax track barrows are designed to safely and efficiently transport dirt, cement, stones and other heavy loads. Highly-engineered for optimal balance and control, each power barrow incorporates all-terrain maneuverability and stability, using zero turn radius to pivot limiting damage to the ground or work surface.

This model includes hydraulic assist to easily dump up to 8.0 cu ft of material, 3 forward speeds, 1 reverse, and solid steel construction.

What we say: 

Property owners and contractors have different needs than city-dwelling homeowners. The nature of the job means they have to haul more and more often. Yardmax brings out the treads with their powered wheelbarrow that looks more like a tank than a wheelbarrow. But that’s the whole point. You need to haul a bigger load over a variety of terrain and standard wheelbarrow just won’t cut it. With multiple forward speeds and reverse, you’ll be able to haul up to 8 cubic feet of material where no other wheelbarrow dares to go.

Price: $2,999

For more information, click here.

Winner – Plate Compactors

Yardmax 3000lb Compaction Force Plate Compactor

Yardmax 3000lb Compaction Force Plate CompactorWhat they said: 

Available in varying compaction forces of 1,850 lbs., 2,500 lbs. and 3,000 lbs for any sized project. All models include fold-a-way wheels making it easier to transport, foldable handle for easier storage, throttle control on the handle for better movement control, and vibration absorbing mounting points on the handle bar and plate. The heavier duty model, YARDMAX YC1390, offers 3,000 lb. compaction force. Built with a Briggs & Stratton 6.5 HP OHV engine to provide the precise amount of power, this machine delivers cleaner, more fuel-efficient results. Priced at $579, this model boasts additional features including:

• Professional XR Series Briggs & Stratton engine features 208cc displacement.
• Delivers 5,500 blows per minute.
• Self-propelled drive with throttle control on the handle
• Single, stamped solid steel plate with no weld beads to prevent rusting.
• Fold-up transport wheels attached.
• Mounted, three-point handle with rubber bushings for vibration absorption.
• Fold-down handle for compact storage.
• Stamping pad available to act as a buffer between plate and surface.
• Centrifugal flyweight for optimal engine control.

What we say: 

Whether compacting soil, gravel, asphalt, or another material, plate compactors are essential if you want to get the job done right. Yardmax enters the OPE scene balancing themselves squarely between the needs of DIYers and Pros. What you end up with is a plate compactor that produces 3000 pounds of force at a price point most brands can’t meet. Don’t let that fool you, however. The Briggs & Stratton engine is from their professional XR series to run longer and work harder than any of the DIY brands.

Price: $579

For more information, click here.

Winner – Log Splitters

Dirty Hand Tools 28 Ton Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter, Kohler Engine

Dirty Hand Tools 28 Ton Horizontal-Vertical Log SplitterWhat they said: 

Relative to the competition, our patented design will allow for a real 4-way wedge system and adjustable stroke reducer. We use a higher GPM pump, larger coupler (known failure point in other designs), horizontal shaft all NPT pressure hoses (as opposed to hose clamps), dual filtration (in tank and return line), a filtered breather cap, adjustable detent valve (another known failure point), fully boxed tongue, guarded hoses, larger wedge and foot plate (1” bigger), improved hose routing and operator area. All of these little changes add up to a product that provides the best performance value in the market.

What we say:

When it comes to log splitting, I don’t know many people that will say no to a helping hand. Especially when that helping hand provides 28-tons of hydraulic force. You get fast cycle time with this model – just 10.5 seconds – along with the power to tackle just about any log splitting chores you come across. Additionally, Dirty Hand Tools identified several key failure points on many other log splitters and made more durable adjustments. Fall and winter are right around the corner. You may want to get some Dirty Hand Tools help.

Price: $1649.98

For more information, click here.


Winner – ATVs/UTVs

Hustler Maximum Duty Vehicle (MDV)

Hustler Maximum Duty Vehicle (MDV)What they said: 

Designed for heavy-duty applications, the MDV features LeveLift technology, a patented, labor-saving cargo box that allows users to lift up to 750 pounds from the ground and dump material from any point in its arc of motion. The MDV is ideal for anywhere there’s a need to lift and transport heavy materials. The all-wheel drive MDV runs at a top speed of 37 miles per hour and the vehicle has a total load capacity of up to 1685 pounds. The Hustler MDV saves time, by turning a two- or three-person job into a one-person job, freeing up people to focus on other tasks. With a simple flip of a switch, the LeveLift brings the cargo box up, back, and down, enabling loading at ground level or at any point. Once loaded, the LeveLift brings the cargo box back up and into position on the MDV.

What we say: 

Whether you’re on the farm or the hunting lease, UTV’s are an indispensable part of getting the job done so you can enjoy the fact that you live in wide open spaces. Hustler’s Maximum Duty Vehicle makes you nearly superhuman with the ability to lift up to 750 pounds from ground level and carry your load more than 35 MPH. Since the MDV multiplies your own abilities, you can spread the crew out to get more work done more quickly or just be able to do more on your own than you could before.

Price: $20,999

For more information, click here.