STIHL KombiSystem multi-function tool set – what it is, how to use it, and our review of how it performed for a summer gardening DIY project…
Have you heard of the STIHL KombiSystem? We hadn’t until very recently. But as long-time users and lovers of STIHL tools and products, we were really excited to have the opportunity to give this new battery-powered multi-function power tool system a try.
*This post was sponsored by STIHL. We received STIHL Kombi product in exchange for this content. All opinions, bad puns and cheesy pictures of me wearing safety gear are my own. Please read our full disclosure policy here.*
In this post, we’ll tell you all about this versatile, lightweight and easy-to-use system, show you how to use the tools, battery backpack, and several of the 13 available attachments, and share our review of how the STIHL battery KombiSystem worked to complete a big summer garden overhaul.
In this post, we’ll cover:
This post will discuss the following:
• What the STIHL KombiSystem is
• How to Setup and Operate the STIHL Kombi Tools
• A Review of the KombiSystem’s Performance on a Summer Gardening Project
What Is The STIHL Battery KombiSystem?
The KombiSystem is a battery-powered multi-function toolset that utilizes one motor which can be quickly and easily coupled with over a dozen attachments that each tackle a different landscaping or outdoor project.
Instead of buying individual outdoor power tools such as a leaf blower, hedge trimmer, tree pruner, edger, weed wacker, etc. the STIHL KombiSystem can handle all of these projects and more.
Check out this video to see the STIHL Battery KombiSystem in action, and step-by-step assembly and usage instructions:
Instead of storing lots of bulky and expensive individual power tools, you can utilize just one motor and all the attachments you’d need for almost any outdoor job you can dream up.
How To Operate The STIHL Battery KombiSystem
Speaking as a woman who is also an avid DIY’er, I know that power tools can often be intimidating to operate. Beyond intimidating, they are often unwieldy, heavy, and built to be used by someone with a male build. So frankly, I expected more of the same from this set.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to see that I was completely wrong. More of our thoughts on the system later. Right now, let’s go over how to operate it.
Step #1: Attach STIHL Kombi motor to the battery power supply.
One plug. That’s basically all there is to it.
The STIHL Battery for the KombiSystem pictured all the way to the left. It’s built as a lightweight (12-pound) slim backpack.
There is a power cord on the backpack that plugs into the KMA 130R motor (seen on the far right above). The other items pictured are several of the available STIHL Kombi attachments we’ll discuss later.
Note that there are handy arrows on all the pieces of equipment which show you exactly how to align the connections (the one on the motor is a bit hard to see in these photos so I’ve circled it, but it’s not difficult to see in real life).
With the power cord from your backpack now connected to the motor, you are ready to add an attachment.
Step #2: Connect Desired STIHL Kombi attachment.
There are currently 13 attachments for the STIHL Battery KombiSystem. These include the following:
Attachments Available for STIHL Battery KombiSystem
*local pricing information for the system is available at STIHL.com
- BF-KM Mini-Cultivator
- BG-KM Blower
- FBD-KM Bed Redefiner
- FCS-KM Straight Lawn Edger
- FCB-KM Curved Lawn Edger
- FH-KM 145° Adjustable Power Scythe
- FS-KM Brushcutter with 4 Tooth Grass Blade
- FS-KM Line Head Trimmer
- HT-KM Pole Pruner
- HL-KM 0° Straight Hedge Trimmer
- HL-KM 145° Adjustable Hedge Trimmer
- KB-KM Bristle Brush
- KW-KM STIHL PowerSweep
The process to add any one of the attachments to the STIHL Kombi motor is a quick, simple, one-step connection.
Align arrows on the motor and attachment.
Then tighten the handle. Done.
If you want to watch the process in action, it can be seen in the video that is located toward the top of this post.
Step #3: Get to work!
And that’s all there is to it! Plug the battery into the STIHL Kombi motor, and add your attachment. You’re off to the yardwork races!
There’s a quick toggle on the motor to allow you to change the power level on your tool at any point.
Once again, a handy arrow points the way. Toggle up to increase power, down to decrease. In order to turn on the power, you’ll have to release the orange safety latch (the long, skinny button seen just to the right of my hand above).
Keep this safety depressed while using the trigger, located on the flip side of the motor handle.
Don’t forget your safety gear, of course. Cover those eyes, ears, hands, etc. while you work.
Step #4: Recharge STIHL Kombi Battery as Needed.
Our AR 1000 backpack lithium battery is said to last for up to 7.5 hours without requiring a recharge. I can attest that we worked a full afternoon on our summer gardening project using the KombiSystem, and at the end of the day, the battery still had 4 out of 6 of its battery life bars remaining.
When it’s time to recharge, it’s as simple as plugging the backpack into a charging station. STIHL makes several charging stations. The one we have is the AL 500 series charger, which is the fastest available. It will be 100% charged after only 35 minutes!
Summer Garden Project & STIHL Battery KombiSystem Review
Truth? When STIHL reached out about giving their new battery Kombi system a try, we weren’t super pumped to do it. Why? Well, we’ve tried some battery-powered tools in the past, and own some as well. Bottom line? They’re usually super underwhelming in terms of the power capabilities.
The general consensus has always been that gas-powered tools provide the best power output. But the STIHL team reassured us that the pros that have tested these tools were really impressed with the power capacity.
Initial Thoughts/Reservations about a Battery-Powered Multi-Tool System
So, we decided to give it a try. We liked the idea that we could kind of have a one-and-done solution for almost all our yard work needs with one set. It would potentially save us storage space in the shed, which was also appealing.
The job we tasked our new KombiSystem on was creating a summer garden from this jungle of weeds you see above that had been inhabiting our garden plot for the past 2 growing seasons.
It was no small task. The plot of ground we wanted to plant measures about 10′ across by 20′ long.
STIHL Kombi Cultivator Attachment
After taking down the old garden fence and mowing the weeds over with our mower, we started turning the soil over with the Kombi cultivator attachment, seen above.
And we both were truly impressed with both the power and the function. The cultivator attachment did a great job of tilling up the soil. We did have old weed barrier installed in the bed, so we’d have to intermittently stop the tool in order to remove weed barrier which would wrap itself around the device. But it wasn’t difficult or time-consuming to do so.
I’m only 5’3″ while Dave is over 6′. While this tool was long in length, it wasn’t difficult for me to use, mostly because it’s really lightweight compared to other tools that you could use for this function. AND, it isn’t loud!
Gas-powered tools tend to not only stink, but they can be so hard on your ears. Granted, we always try to remember ear protection, but I was really surprised about how quiet these tools were. Not saying you could operate it in your infant’s nursery during naptime or anything, but compared to other power tools, this system was pretty doggone quiet.
It took us about 45-minutes to one-hour to till up our garden plot using the cultivator attachment, which I thought was pretty remarkable considering the size and condition of the soil before we started.
STIHL Kombi Bed Redefiner Attachment
The next attachment we tried for the garden was the bed redefiner.
Dave has a thing for professional-looking mulch beds and edges. He always comments on them in other people’s yards or at resorts when he sees them. It makes me laugh. So I can’t tell you how excited he was to give this tool a try.
Now, we have never owned a tool like this in the past, so I don’t have much anything similar to compare it to, but Dave loved using this attachment.
We chalked off the boundaries we wanted for the garden bed then Dave ran the bed definer around the perimeter. The attachment created a straight, deep (about 3″) edge in no time.
It took him about 10 minutes to use the tool around the entire perimeter. And it never got hung up. And he didn’t need to go over it again. It was a one-run-and-done situation.
Once he had completed the perimeter edge, he decided to put the cultivator attachment on again to create planting rows! He ran the tool in sections across the length of the bed to create perfectly straight lines for us to plant our veggies. It looked so professional when it was done!
STIHL Kombi Blower Attachment
The final attachment we used for this gardening project was the blower. We already have a nice gas-powered leaf blower that has been the go-to here for years. Problem is that although Dave loves it, I never use it.
Gas-powered tools and I don’t get along well. I never remember how to prime them, which levers to pull for the choke, the sequence of what you do first, second, third, etc.
And even if I did remember all of those basics, getting the pull-starts to actually work has ALWAYS been a challenge for me. So I’ve opted to either leave all the jobs that required that tool for Dave to handle on his own. Or if there’s a really small job that requires a blower, I have a tiny battery-powered blower that I’ll use for things like getting debris out of the garage.
But the battery on our smaller blower tool only lasts 20-30 minutes TOTAL. You can’t really accomplish all too much with that kind of battery life. So I was actually super impressed with the STIHL Kombi blower attachment. Not only is it very simple to start, but it’s lightweight enough that I don’t struggle at all to use it (it’s definitely lighter than our gas-powered blower).
Dave loved it as well. Before he tried it, he really doubted its’ ability to perform at the same level as his beloved gas-powered blower. After trying it though, he felt its’ power was completely on par with the gas blower, and he liked not having to deal with the gasoline smell. Plus this tool was definitely less loud than the gas-powered counterpart we own.
Overall Thoughts on the STIHL Battery KombiSystem
This was our first voyage using the Kombi system. We have several more attachments, including the Adjustable Hedge Trimmer and the Pole Pruner, but we’ll probably be waiting till fall cleanup time to give those a spin. We’ll definitely report back as to how it went with those as well.
All in all, we were shocked at how much power this battery system had. Neither of us has ever used other battery-powered tools that came close to measuring up to the power this STIHL system has. Not only that, but the battery life and the speed of charging the battery are really superior to any other system we’ve encountered.
As a smaller-framed female, I guess it would be even nicer from my standpoint if the tools were a bit more petite, but let’s face it, I’m not exactly their mainline target being 5’3″ and 120 pounds. Despite that though, when compared to other powered tools we own and I use, these were much lighter weight (the battery backpack weighs just over 12 pounds, the motor weighs about 7) and WAY easier to assemble, start and operate.
Not only that, but we both agreed that not having to deal with the smell of gasoline, and the loudness of our typical gas-powered tools was really a great bonus.
And speaking of bonuses, aside from the awesome Kombi set, STIHL also sent us something that I couldn’t finish this post without mentioning. What’s that, you ask? CHAPS. Yep. Got my own sexy STIHL chaps, friends. Quite the combo coupled with the sultry orange hard hat, earphones and face protector trio.
Don’t be jealous. You can get some of this awesome sauce, too. Hit up your local STIHL dealer, ASAP. I’m pretty sure this pic will have everyone and their mom on a mad dash over to their STIHL shop right away 😉.
Thanks for hanging out with us today. And if you have any questions about this STIHL system that we didn’t get to, just leave me a comment below, and we’ll try to get them answered for you!
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