Crow’s Nest: A little electric

October 14, 2022

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Man using an electric handheld brush cutter to remove invasive plants

Photo: Daniel Barringer

We are dipping our toes into the offerings of electric tools for land management with a new battery-powered Kombi system. Nearly all of our existing equipment is gasoline or diesel powered and this particular tool offers a few advantages, the greatest being that it can be used with all of the interchangeable tips (brush knife, chainsaw tip, string trimmer, etc.) that we already have.

Above and below, Cody tries it out on Japanese angelica tree (Aralia elata) at Hildacy Preserve on a recent workday held there. You can see a wire going to a battery he is carrying in his backpack.

Man using battery electric brush cutter

Photo: Daniel Barringer

This tool appears to be as powerful as our lighter-duty gas equipment, the battery lasts a while (and we have two), recharges quickly, and it is proving to be the tool we’re most likely to pick up when we head out. This last says a lot.

The electric tool is quieter, does not emit pollution around the operator, and shuts off when you’re not actively squeezing the throttle. It starts easier and there is no mixing up two cycle gas or yanking a starter cord. The tool itself is lighter than our gas engine ones, though the battery is heavy (but can be carried on a belt or backpack, not in your arms). We think this is the future of landscaping tools and we are happy not to subject ourselves or our neighbors to any more noise than is necessary. If we end up using a little less gasoline, then that’s a plus too.