If you’re not familiar with EGO, they make a ton of quality Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) like lawnmowers, string trimmers, blowers, chainsaws and more. What I am really excited about is their new introduction of a snowblower and backpack blower from last year. If you need to catch up on them, you can learn more about Ego at their website. Three years ago we were contacted by Ego to check out their new lawnmower. I talked with their marketing guru, Stephen in great depth about their new line. I told him I was a little skeptical for two reasons. First, I had never heard of Ego and second, I have tried battery powered OPE and it really doesn’t impress me. While I love the ease of battery powered tools, I just love the power of gas and it just can’t be beaten. Being the guy that Stephen is, he quickly wanted to point out why my concerns were outdated. First, he noted that Ego Power Tools are backed by a company called Chervon, which is a global powerhouse company. At the time I had heard of Chervon, but it really didn’t mean anything to me as I never dealt with them. As for my second concern, he said he agreed about battery technology and OPE, but he just said give this lawnmower a try as he thought I would have a different outlook. So I figured while I may not like battery powered OPE, there have to be some readers that would be interested in them. So he sent over a lawnmower, blower and string trimmer and I had the summer to use it. After using the lawnmower, blower and trimmer, he was right. I changed my mind as these three products lived up to their expectations.
Long story short, I ended up giving away my gas powered mower, blower and string trimmer. While I was hooked on EGO, I wasn’t completely sold on the system for three reasons. First, I understand that Chervon backs the EGO product, but I wasn’t sure how much their heart was into the brand. Was this a brand that would be around for two years and then just disappear like we have seen happen in the marketplace in the past? I mean what happens if we recommend a product to the crew, then EGO decides it’s not worth going forward and stopping these tools? Now everyone is stuck with tools for a company that is no longer around? My second concern was the battery technology. For me, anyone can develop a product and stick a battery in it and call it revolutionary. Yes, I understand it is harder than that, but I think you get the point. For a battery to truly be good, it takes a ton of money and research to make a battery take the abuse of heat build-up, weather conditions and all the other factors. So my question was what technology really goes into these batteries? Are the circuit boards good? Does it handle heat well? I had a ton of questions and concerns about the batteries. My third concern was what’s inside the tools? Yes, they look cool on the outside, but is the inside of the tool really quality? A user can’t see the inside, so it’s easy for a company to save money by having sub-par parts inside. Even if the parts inside the tool are quality, are they tested for longevity? Are they tested on the lines before they go out to the consumers? Again, I had a ton of questions about the quality of parts and testing for longevity? Now over the last two years we have been talking about and showing you new EGO products and I found out one thing that was common among our readers. Time and time again I heard the same concerns from our readers. We get a ton of emails asking our opinion of various products. We received a lot of emails about EGO since they can be on the pricey side. Before people dumped hard earned money into the EGO brand, they wanted to know what they were getting for it.
So now this brings me to our trip to China to finally get these questions answered. If you are a regular follower of Tools in Action, you know we had a chance to visit EGO in China and see first hand. Now to note, again EGO is owned by Chervon which is a global brand with manufacturing, testing and offices in China, North America and Europe, so this is just one of the locations we had a chance to visit. I have never been to China, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Everyone I talked to told me stories about China, even though they have never been there. I heard bad stories about manufacturing and more. I always took this with a grain of salt since they were telling me these stories over their iPhone which was manufactured in China. I never took the time to explain my thoughts that while some cheaper items are made in China, there are plenty of quality products that come out of there also, such as this computer I am typing on, my iPhone, my fridge and more. For me, it’s really about the company backing the manufacturing. Apple takes their products seriously and they watch to make sure items are tested and manufactured correctly.
Well, the same holds true for EGO and I think this is because they have a global company backing them, not some small, inexperienced company. During this trip I learned a ton about Chervon, but that will be in a different article as I want to focus on EGO for now. Anyways, I was blown away by my visit. Not only was I taken back by my initial thoughts of China in general, but I was amazed by the EGO plant we saw and what is going into this brand. I learned a ton and my eyes really opened up and that is what I want to share with you today. So I would like to go over the three major concerns I talked about above. The company behind EGO, the battery technology and the manufacturing process.
First, is the concern of Chervon sticking behind the EGO and if they are in it for the long run. Without a doubt they are in this for the long run. Not only did we get to meet and talk with the president, he was open with everything. We heard his story and how he really wanted to develop a company that was different and cutting edge. He isn’t about developing a product and being happy, he is about pushing the limits. He really does believe in developing not only a product, but a quality product where other companies have to play catch up. He has no problem dumping a ton of money into this line to make it the best product available on the market. They opened a brand new plant which shows me that they are in it for the long run. We saw a ton of new products in development such as the snowblower, backpack blower and a ton of other new products we can’t talk about. I could go on and on about why I think they are in it for the long run, but I will also touch about this later in the article.
My second concern with battery technology was also answered. After dealing with EGO for the past couple of years, I knew they had a great battery. After seeing what goes into these batteries, all I can say is other power tool companies could take a page out of their book and also develop a great battery. Battery technology is a pretty secretive process, so I can’t really go into everything, but we had a chance to see it first hand. EGO does so much with their batteries such as testing every single cell and they put an epoxy over sensitive areas on the circuit boards and end caps to protect it. They studied the placement of each battery cell to help dissipate heat correctly. Heck, they even spend the extra money and time to cover each battery in a green sleeve to protect them from heat. All I can say is they don’t take their batteries lightly. While some companies look at a battery and just see a power source, EGO looks at their batteries like the brain of the operation and takes it very seriously. I know it’s a short time period, but I have four batteries that for the past two years have all worked flawlessly. In fact, last year I left one outside for winter just to see how it would work this spring. I put it in the blower and it still runs like a champ.
As for my third concern with quality inside the tools, again this was put to rest. Time and time again, we saw so much testing. Not only testing with new and creative products, but also with current products. We saw a ton of different lines assembling and manufacturing various items. It was amazing how many people on each line were testing before it moved to the next person in line. Then again when the product was fully assembled, they tested every single product before it went into a box. As far as the quality of the internal parts, they are truly quality parts. When some companies develop a product, they look at their bottom line and what the final cost will be to the consumer and how much profit each product will make. While I understand that you have to have profit in order to survive, it was time after time that I hear over and over that quality was so important. They know that quality is costing more, but that is what’s important to EGO. I really wish I could show you more, but as you know some things we just can’t and you have to take our word.
All I can say is it was not only a mind-blowing experience but a huge eye-opener. To truly see the company and employees behind EGO makes me a true believer. I don’t make many smart moves, but giving away my gas powered tools and switching over to EGO was one of the smartest moves I have made in a long time. I think it’s great that I can finally put my concerns behind me with EGO and move forward. As an FYI, while they did pay for our trip to EGO, they didn’t pay us to write an article. In fact, they said they didn’t even care if we cover the event. They really just wanted to show us the company and process. The real reason I wrote this up was first to share it with you as I know people had the same concerns as I did. Second, of all, I was just very excited. In today’s disposable world, we accept that products can be sub-par. We buy them, use them and toss them out. I think it’s great that there are still companies who desire to make quality products, push the limits and produce quality products for the consumers.
Here is a look at the inside. It’s amazing how clean and up to date the facilities are.
Below is part of the large field where they test mowers. Also, this guy has a ton of trees to cut in order to test the chainsaw. This is just a fraction of how they test the final product.
We actually had a chance to work on the line and put together our own blowers. Don’t worry, these were ours and weren’t packaged and sold. Notice the bead of sweat on Dan’s forehead. We both were a little dizzy after having to work.
I got in trouble, so I had to mow the whole field. I tried to talk my way out of it after the first ten minutes, but it didn’t work.
Wow, someone likes his cheeseburgers. One more cheeseburger and people will start asking when I am due.