I’ve used loads of Pellenc products and I’m always excited to test their gear. The first was around 12 years ago and they never seem to disappoint. Pellenc were producing quality battery-powered products long before the recent surge in popularity – they are leaders in battery technology and it shows with an impressive range of landscape maintenance tools.
Pellenc’s new Alpha range sees on-board batteries with a choice of two sizes, but also the option to fit the battery in a harness on the operator’s back.
The Excelion Line Trimmer I used had the smaller capacity 260 battery fitted and I was surprised with how light the battery was. They are typically heavy but this one is only 2.6kg. The larger 520 battery that is also compatible with this machine weighs only 1kg heavier at 3.6kg. The weight of the batteries when inserted into the brushcutter balances the machine perfectly for comfortable operation. A total unit weight of 6.2kg with the 260 battery reduces operator strain and enables use and manoeuvring the machine with ease.
A padded shoulder strap with wrap-around pectoral support adds to ease of operation and operator comfort, although it would often not be necessary unless using for extended periods because the machine is so light and well balanced. The loop handle is adjustable without tools by turning a knob for on-the-job adjustments to suit multiple operators or tasks.
Battery run times are the biggest issue for this type of machine in the commercial environment and this is where Pellenc stands out from the crowd. With the larger 520 battery fitted, total run times are up to 3.5 hours. Feedback from contractors using this is that this equates to at least a full day and often two days use out of a single charge when mowing regular residential lawns. This long battery life allows contractors to charge the battery overnight and know that it is ok for use the next day.
Charge times vary depending on the charger and there are three options – a 2.2Ah, 3.4Ah and a fast 7.6Ah. Charging times are long for the 2.2Ah and 3.4Ah models, however this is not an issue when the battery can last all day.
The Excelion Alpha Line Trimmer is the best battery powered machine of this type I have used. Its power is comparable to quality petrol powered machines and it is just as easy, if not easier to use. It has an impressive cutting path of 400mm and can cope with 3mm nylon in its quick load bump feed head. The guard is large enough for protection but not overly large or cumbersome like many others allowing the operator to see the contact point even when inverted for line cutting along paths and curbs. Three speeds enable the operator to choose depending on the type of material being cut. Changing between speeds is achieved via a simple push button on the top of the rear handle with an easy to see light display showing, which speed has been selected. In each speed the trigger is progressive like a petrol-powered machine.
While flat snipping around edges and trees I found the middle speed more than adequate, which conserves battery power and when line cutting edges and attacking longer material the higher speed was easily equivalent to the Excelion’s petrol-powered rivals.
Digital display on the battery and on the top of the rear handle shows remaining battery power allowing the operator to check levels at a glance.
It is no secret that Pellenc tools have historically been at the pointy end of the price range, but you pay for what you get and this is quality gear from a pioneering company in the field of battery-powered tools. However, the Excelion Line Trimmer is extremely well priced at $649 for the skin and $648 for the 260 battery and 2.2Ah charger. It would definitely be my choice if I was looking to purchase a battery powered line trimmer.