In our latest review, we drop into the battery operated hand tool department with the Husqvarna 520IRX strimmer review. The battery operated market is something of a new addition to the sport turf industry, but one that is grabbing a fair amount of traction for convenience and ease of maintenance.
- Li-ion powered battery – For longer lasting battery usage
- Two way rotation
- High Handle bars
- Max run time with standard battery – 80 mins
- Efficient brushless motor
- Silent operation
- Lightweight and well balanced
- Save mode – for maximum battery runtime
- Low maintenance
- Cutting width 33cm
- Weight inc battery – 5.0kg
- Harness and blade attachment included
- Tap ‘n’ go feature-button spool allows for easy use of strimmer wire.
- 2 years warranty
Battery over engine
It really is a debate that is going to become more apparent as the battery operated machinery becomes more widely available. There are most certainly key features of both that beats the alternatives version. However, having really taken our 4 day trial of the Husqvarna 520IRX to it’s limits, it’s clear to me that a battery operated strimmer is a lot more appropriate and manageable than that of the engine operated machines.
Firstly, and one of the key bug bares of mine when using an engine operated strimmer, is the mass of vibrations it produces. The battery strimmer just doesn’t give you that issue, in particular this Husqvarna model. This kind of machinery, when operated by an engine, has been a key cause of health issues for groundsmen.
The health and safety aspect of machinery is becoming more and more prevalent and as such these battery operated alternatives provide a massive tick in that particular box.
You tend to find that with engine operated strimmers, blowers, hedge-cutters and similar tools, they all need regular maintenance to keep them performing as they should. They require precise measurements of both 2-stroke oil and petrol and an overdose of either can and does create major problems. Those concerns are completely eradicated with a battery powered alternative, as is the cost those repairs would create.
Before I undertook this particular review, a lot of groundsmen had questioned whether or not the battery powered strimmer would provide anywhere near as much power as an engine operated one does, I must admit it was also a question I wanted an answer to as well.
This particular model with the battery we had on our trial (BLi200), took me by surprise, I have to admit. To say it ripped through the tougher of the vegetation is somewhat of an understatement and provided all of the power you’d expect and would want from this kind of machine. The power of the 520IRX allowed the job to be done quicker as a result, as it prevented me from having to go over the same areas or from standing in one place for more than a couple of seconds.
Tackles most undergrowth
I found that the vast majority of the 300m worth of space I was aiming to cut back, was predominately common ragwort (the yellow flowering tall weed you often find caterpillars have infested in the summer), Brambles most of which were dead and woody, long grasses and the standard thistles and dandelion weeds.
Throughout me ploughing through the vegetation I barely noticed or felt as though there was a moment where the 520IRX struggled and it certainly never stopped. I did find that towards the end of it’s battery runtime that its strength was reduced and it did then begin to struggle to cut through the woody brambles. However, it didn’t stop cutting through the lighter grasses and dandelion weeds at any point.
From one full charge I had the strimmer running at full outage for a full one hour and 30 mins, at which point the battery dropped from 2 of its 3 battery indicators to one. I wanted to test its ability on on bar of charge and found even at that level it cut through long grass areas but struggled with everything else. I placed the battery on charge using the QC330 charger and within 30 minutes I had 3 full bars of battery once again, these are shown on the battery itself.
On the control panel on the right handle of the 520IRX, you can operate the machine in a battery saving ECO mode. This allows for a less powerful operation but does allow you to get more than 2 hours out of the battery. The eco mode still allows you to cut through a lot of the light weeds and grasses.
- For me personal, I struggle to look past the fact that each of these machines do not come with a battery or charger as standard. The bit about this that doesn’t sit right with me the most is that the machine itself costs upwards of 300.00 at most dealers. This is fairly pricey for a strimmer, but then to find out that if that’s all you bought then you wouldn’t be able to operate the machine because there’s no battery included is a little baffling.
It’s like buying a lawnmower but the manufacturer takes the engine out and it has to be purchased separately! I can’t help but feel more of these would be sold if the manufacturer provided a basic battery and charge with each machine. Rather than making their customers spend upwards of 100.00 more to operate their new strimmer.
- There is a stand out question that only the test of time can answer and that is surrounding the longevity of the batteries themselves. Do they last? Is there a possibility that the batteries may need to be replaced 3-4 years down the line? The thing with an engine is that if well kept and initially well built, the operator can get years and years out of it without issues.
Can the batteries in these machines match that level of quality over a long period of time? Or will it wear with usage? Something that may not be a proper ‘con’, but certainly it’s a point worth considering.
Key ratings– The Husqvarna 520IRX strimmer review
Comparability to engine operated – 8/10 – The battery wins for weight distribution/manoeuvrability/Flexibility/Power but the question of the batteries longevity still lingers.
Power – 9/10 – The 520IRX powers through most vegetation with a fully charged battery.
Manoeuvrability – 9/10 – The battery operated strimmersare without doubt easier to manoeuvre than an engine operated option. The weight and balance are a key feature.
Flexibility – 8/10 – The machine has the ability to get through a lot of varying weed and grass types. The interchangeable levels of battery that all fit this machine makes it a great option to have.
Battery run time – 8/10 – Personally, I feel the cheapest battery in the range (Bli100) could do with more than the 40 minutes run time, however the batteries up from the cheapest option are all upwards of an hour and a half running time.
Battery charge time – 9/10 – The fact the batteries charge up very quickly balances out the running time issue for the cheapest battery in the range.
Price – 6.5/10 – The score would be more of an 8 or 9 out of 10 if there was a battery and charger included in the list price. It’s a sticking point I can’t overlook.
Overall rating – 8.2/10
Final summary-Husqvarna 520IRX Strimmer Review
Would I take the plunge and buy a battery operated machine over an engine operated alternative? Yes, with all of the above considered I would. I think the run time is similar to what you’d get from an engine version before it runs out of petrol, so there’s no real issue there. The batteries generally will cut the need for services probably by something like 90% and that in turn saves money.
I’d like to see a battery and charger included for the price of these machines as I have mentioned, but that is something the manufacturers may consider with models in the future. Overall, the Husqvarna 520IRX blew away my expectations and achieved more and got through alot more work that I had initially expected.
This machine is available through GGM Groundscare at a list price of:
520IRX £349.00 unit only
520IRX + Battery BLi200 + Charger QC330 = £667.99
Please contact GGM who will be happy to discuss any discounts that maybe available on the models in this article.
Husqvarna 520IRX strimmer review, by Alex Fitzgerald (Groundsman)
If you enjoyed this have you have Alex last review-https://turfcareblog.com/kubota-l1361-l2351-review/