Oregon ST275 36V Cordless Trimmer/Edger Review

The Oregon ST275 is packed with great features, including variable thottle control and Gator Speed-loader, but is that enough?

Verdict

A good machine for rough areas and large gardens although the Oregon ST275 36V Cordless Trimmer/Edger's slow battery-charge time and expensive speed-loader cord mean there are better options out there.

Pros

  • Strongly made and well designed
  • Cuts heavy vegetation
  • Quick cord-change system
  • Efficient and easy to use in open spaces

Cons

  • Tall users may need to stoop to get correct cutting angle
  • Long battery recharge time
  • Speed-loader cord is expensive

Key Features

  • Review Price: £221.25
  • Variable throttle for cutting-speed control
  • 45-minute battery life
  • Adjustable for comfort of use
  • Bump and feed double line
  • Delivers up to 6250rpm
  • 320mm cutting diameter
  • Gator speed-load cord system
  • Weight with battery 4.3kg
  • 90dB
  • 36V lithium-ion battery

What is the Oregon ST275 36V Cordless Trimmer/Edger?

The Oregon is a lightweight and well-balanced straight-shaft trimmer, designed for comfort and extended use. It has a variable throttle, allowing you to control the cutting speed and maximise battery run-time. It can tackle thick vegetation and has a long-life battery plus low vibration.

In addition, the patented Gator double-line, bump-feed swift-load trimmer head allows for fast, easy loading of the strimmer cord.

The Oregon is sold on some online sites body-only, but requires an Oregon B600E 4.0Ah Lithium-ion battery and an Oregon C600 charger.

Related: Husqvarna Automower 450X review

Oregon 36V Cordless ST275 Trimmer whole body

Oregon ST275 36V Cordless Trimmer/Edger – Design and features

The Oregon 36V is easy to assemble with a Phillips screwdriver. It’s nicely balanced, with a fully adjustable second handle that’s adjustable to cater for users of different heights. To do this, simply loosen the knob on the second handle and then slide the handle up or down the shaft.

The safety catch is on the top of the handle. You press it down to start, and pull the trigger up. The further up you pull the trigger, the faster the strimmer goes. You run the throttle fast to cut through heavy vegetation, so if there are only a few weeds to tackle then you can use the Oregon 36V on a low speed to prolong the battery life.

Oregon 36V Cordless ST275 Trimmer

The cutting head is non-adjustable. This makes the machine stronger, and better for heavy work. You can rotate the whole machine through 180 degrees for edging; you simply flick it over. It has a flip-down plant guard, plus a shoulder strap for comfort.

The Gator Speed-loader holds the strimmer cord in a “quick fill” system. The Biotrim cord is pre-wound, so it can’t fall apart in your hands. You press in two tabs to release the cord holder, snap in a new ready-formed disc of cord, peel the two ends off, feed them through the eyelets and off you go. A pack of three costs £3.74 and contains two separate lines of 2-metres long.

You can only use the pre-wound cord in the Gator speed-loader, and although it’s an easy system to use, it does work out fairly expensive. You can buy ordinary strimmer cord for as little as 6p a metre online; Biotrim cord works out around 37p a metre for a double line. The latter does have special features that justify its price, however. It’s biodegradable and resistant to cracking and breaking.

Oregon 36V Cordless ST275 Trimmer head

Oregon ST275 36V Cordless Trimmer/Edger – Charging and run-time

The Oregon C600 battery charger is compatible with the ST275 Trimmer/Edger. It’s nicely compact, with indicator lights to display the level of charge in the battery, and if it’s broken. It works silently.

The Oregon B600E 4.0Ah Lithium-ion battery that fits the Oregon C600 charger is compatible with other Oregon Cordless Tool System products, if you want to keep a range of them in your workshop and use the same battery for all. Battery life is a claimed 45 minutes. With the machine in use on full throttle, it lasted only 32 minutes; but if I’d varied the speed then it would have lasted longer.

The battery took a very long 3hrs 30mins to charge in the Oregon C600 charger. The C750 rapid charger is available to buy online for around £50.

Oregon 36V Cordless ST275 Trimmer charger

Oregon ST275 36V Cordless Trimmer/Edger – Handling and performance

The Oregon 36V was nicely balanced and easy to adjust. It was as comfortable for me to hold, at 6ft 5, as it was for my girlfriend at 5ft 4.

The non-adjustable cutting head presented a problem, though. When my girlfriend used the machine, the cutting head was parallel to the ground – as it should be. Since I’m taller, though, I could only keep the head parallel if I stooped.

The head really needs to be parallel, because if you cut at an angle then you’ll end up cutting short at the front and higher at the sides, giving a scalloped or corrugated effect to your strimmed grass.

I didn’t find the stooping too bad, but it might give some taller users backache after a while. The lack of head adjustment means that you can’t cut the top of a bank flat, either.

The Oregon flew through heavy grass in an orchard. It coped well with nettles, thistles and docks, and I only experienced a sense of losing power if I went in too hard. I found it was better to take down overgrown nettles in stages. It cut a square metre of three-inch long grass in 10 seconds on full throttle, which is speedy.

Oregon 36V Cordless ST275 Trimmer in use

Since the machine is quite long – 1.45 metres from the cutting head to the back of the handle – I could cut 3ft in-front of myself, getting a good swing, and being able to cut a wide swath. The Oregon 36V is definitely a big machine for a big area.

It may only be a minor point, but since the battery pack sits on the rear of the handle, you have to turn your body to cut to the right – or to your left, if you’re left-handed – rather than just swinging the tool. This will be an issue if you’re strimming in tight spaces. But then the advantage of having the battery pack at the back is that it makes the long Oregon 36V far better balanced for continuous, heavy work.

Oregon 36V Cordless ST275 Trimmer head in use

To edge, I turned the Oregon 36V upside down. I found the guard made it difficult to see exactly where I was cutting, but the visibility was better than on other similar machines I’ve tested.

The Oregon 36V had low vibration and the motor rarely became hot – even on full throttle. After 32 minutes of heavy work, covering 72 square metres of orchard grass, the battery finally ran out.

Why buy the Oregon ST275 36V Cordless Trimmer/Edger?

The Oregon 36V is a powerful, solidly built machine – and a good choice if you have a small orchard or a big garden to look after. It’s excellent for working large, open areas, but maybe not so easy to use in tight, enclosed spaces.

Verdict

A big machine for open areas and rough grass, nicely designed for easy use.

Score