I’m a longtime user of the Stihl Kombisystem and have raved about it in the past. But a lot has changed in the last few years as competing companies have brought their own multi-attachment systems to market.
It’s only fair to consider whether these new offerings rival what has come to be the defacto multi-attachment yard tool system for professionals and homeowners alike.
My goal here is to outline all of the key features, similarities, and differences between the Stihl Kombisystem and its top competitors. We will also look at which system is the right choice for you depending on your situation and needs.
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This comparison review is extensive. I wanted you to have as much information as possible to make a buying decision but if you just want the bottom line, here it is:
The best multi-attachment yard tools on the market are:
- Stihl Kombisystem
- EGO Power+
- Maruyama Multi-Cutter
- ECHO Pro-Attachment Series
These are by no means the only systems of their kind on the market. Just about every major tool manufacturer has released its own version of a multi-tool attachment system. But these have been on the market for a while and are deserving of a spot on our best-of list.
Which Model is right for you? Each has its own benefits but here’s who each company’s multi-attachment offering is best suited for:
Reliable company history with offerings for both residential and commercial customers. Stihl offers the Kombisystem in both gas and battery-powered options.
Who’s It For?
Best choice for lawncare professionals who prefer to stay with a single brand and are already invested in the Stihl ecosystem.
Click here to find a local Stihl Dealer (Link to Stihl)
Powerful battery-powered multi-attachment solution with 6 available attachments covering the most common yard tool needs.
Who’s It For?
Best for residential customers seeking a gas alternative or not wanting to deal with the hassle of maintenance and repair of a combustion engine.
Click here to shop Ego tools (link to Amazon)
This primarily commercial-focused company offers a multi-tool gas system with a whopping 14 available attachments. Dealers are located throughout the US though not in all states.
Who’s It For?
Best for professionals who require access to an extensive offering of attachments for every conceivable situation.
Click here to find a local dealer (Link to Maruyama)
ECHO Pro Attachment Series (PAS)
With offerings for both commercial and residential markets, ECHO is quickly becoming a worthy rival to Stihl with a growing fanbase for its reliability and service. With 14 attachments, they have the largest offering available in the residential marketplace.
Who’s It For?
Though the company offers commercial level services, ECHO is best suited for residential customers who want to balance their yard obsession with a budget.
Click here to shop for ECHO multi-attachment tools (link to Amazon)
Why Choose A Multi-Attachment Yard Tool System?
These systems are not for everyone but if you are looking to use multiple yard tools and only have to deal with maintenance on one engine, this may be exactly the option you are seeking.
I chose the Stihl Kombisystem at a time when it was the only multi-tool yard care system that I knew of. I needed to be able to edge, weed, and do other tasks but didn’t want to deal with the headache of maintenance for multiple engines.
It’s an amazing concept. Choose a power head unit and just add attachments as needed. Switch from a string trimmer to blower to pruner in seconds is such a sweet experience!
With the most well-known brands in the world now providing competing technologies, it’s getting a little harder to decide which brand to go with.
This guide is intended to help provide clarity in making that choice.
How To Choose The Right Multi-Tool System For Your Needs
Keep the following considerations in mind as you make your buying decision.
The first consideration is the size of your lawn or commercial space. Start with a basic head unit, then build your system with one or two attachments. Most residential spaces will only need a couple of attachments and one head unit.
Commercial operations may need more than one size powerhead and multiple attachments, depending on scope. A commercial company usually has a preference for a certain manufacturer and therefore have the supplies to maintain that particular brand.
Support For Needed Attachments
The second question to ask how many obstacles are in the yard, such as garden beds, pathways, or driveways. Edgers and string trimmers are extremely useful for creating crisp, clean lines around flower beds and driveways.
Commercial companies need to consider the time to change attachments and their associated maintenance costs such as blades, oils.
All models support the most basic of yard tool needs but each manufacturer’s list is not all-inclusive. So make sure that the model you choose supports the attachments that you will need to do your work.
Gas Or Battery-Power
The third consideration is whether to go with a gas or battery-powered model. Just a few years ago, electric yard tools were too underpowered to consider as serious contenders.
But major advancements in lithium battery technology has balanced the scale and made cordless electric yard tools a viable solution for even large yards.
Not sure if battery-powered is right for you? Read my overview of Gas vs Electric: 6 Reasons To Use Battery-Powered Yard Tools
If you are not mechanically inclined or are just turned off by the idea of repair and maintenance commitments that come with a gas-powered unit, choosing a battery-powered multi-tool solution may be perfect for your needs.
And the cost of ownership over its life is less than a gas model (source).
Warranty & Dealer Network
Always consider the warranties for each company and its dealer network. If a powerhead breaks down, how far do you need to travel to get it fixed? Is a dealer down the road? How fast do parts arrive, if ordered online?
The companies highlighted below are each strong reputable firms with extensive networks for their consumers. Do not overlook these intangibles when building a system.
A Note on Maruyama Dealer Service
I’m not sure if this was only my experience but I feel compelled to share it. I contacted two dealers in the Houston area. Both confirmed that they do provide repair & servicing for Maruyama products but only if purchased from them. They do not service products purchased from another dealer.
I have never encountered this with Stihl dealers. They’ve always been more than helpful in servicing any Stihl product that I’ve brought to them.
If you are a professional and considering these two brands, I’d do a little research on your local Maruyama dealer’s service practices before investing in that line.
I did reach out to Maruyama for clarification on dealer service and repair policies regarding this practice. Unfortunately, I did not receive a response. If I do, I will update this post.
At the end of the day, staying within budget is an important part of the decision-making process. Prices fluctuate at little but as of this writing, here’s a breakdown of sample costs for just the powerheads:
Multi-Attachment Yard Tool Powerhead Cost Comparison
|Stihl||KM 131 R||$429.95||Northern Tools|
Now, understand that this comparison is prone to error a little. Some of the manufacturers offer multiple powerhead models. I tried to stay close in power but was limited by the availability at each store.
Still, this does paint a picture. Stihl and Maruyama are primarily commercial-focused companies and are priced accordingly. They are rock-solid brands but with quality comes a cost.
How To Compare Multi-Attachment Tools
In order to make the best buying decision, it’s important to really compare your options with an apples-to-apples approach. Each company’s offering is being evaluated on the following criteria:
- Company History & Reputation
- Primary Market (Residential or Commercial)
- Head Units Offered (Gas, Electric, or Both)
We will cover all of these but here’s a quick-reference of the number of attachments available from each company for their multi-attachment system.
|System||Attachments||Head Units Marketed|
|Stihl||12||5 Gas and 1 Electric|
And just so you are clear on who these products are marketed to and their warranties, here’s a breakdown of that information as well.
|Stihl||Residential and Commercial||Battery Products – 3/2 Years |
Gas – 2 Year Limited
|EGO Power||Primarily Residential||5 Year Limited|
|Maruyama||Primarily Commercial||5 Year Comprehensive|
5 Day Buyback Program
|ECHO||Commercial and Residential||5 Year Consumer / 2 Year Commercial Warranty|
Now, let’s delve deep into each of these companies and the multi-attachment yard tools that they offer.
Company History And Reputation
Stihl began as an idea in 1926 to make the Forestry industry easier. Andreas Stihl became obsessed with transforming the back-breaking work of muscle power and axes and designed the first two-person chain saw.
The company is now represented in over 180 countries. Over 80 models of Stihl equipment is sold by over 9000 authorized dealers around the world.
Stihl Professional Kombi System is the ultimate multi-attachment tool platform. The Kombi System comes in two configurations, gasoline-powered and electric.
Stihl gives the professional landscapers a choice of capacity and displacements to power through any job. Professionals see the distinct advantages of multi-head systems.
There are big huge benefits to maintaining only one engine while having the right tool at the right time. Stihl puts a great deal of engineering time into producing a piece of equipment that is both functional and ergonomically sound.
Here’s a sample of the powerheads from the gas-powered Stihl Kombisystem product line.
|Model (Head Unit)||Displacement||Engine Power||Weight||Fuel Capacity|
|KM 91 R||28.4 cc (1.73 cu in)||0.95 KW (1.27 bhp)||4.4 kg (9.7 LBS.)||710 cc (24.0 oz)|
|KM 94 R||24.1 cc (1.47 cu. In.)||0.9 kw (1.2 bhp)||4.0 kg (8.8 lbs.)||540 cc (18.3 oz.)|
|KM 111 R||31.4 cc (1.9 cu. In.)||1.05 kw (1.4 bhp)||4.4 kg (9.7 lbs.)||710 cc (24.0 oz.)|
|KM 131 R||36.3 CC (2.2 cu. In.)||1.4 kw (1.9 bhp)||4.4 kg (9.7 lbs.)||710 cc (24.0 oz.)|
The KM 131 R is the most powerful and certainly intended for professionals but the only discernable difference is in the displacement. Otherwise, all of the offers are very close in comparison.
The Electric Kombi System gives professionals and homeowners immense advantages when keeping their lawns clean and well-trimmed.
The Electric Kombi is lightweight and with an excellent ergonomic design making the system suitable for professionals.
|Model (Head Unit)||Weight||MAX RPM/Settings|
|KMA 130 R||3.2 kg (7.1 lbs.)||8500 RPM Level 1: 0 – 6300 RPM Level 2: 0 – 7200 RPM Level 3: 0 – 8500 RPM|
Stihl provides a backpack system for their electrical products, giving professionals an advantage when out in the field. The high performance and sleek design powers multiple tools in the Electric Kombi platform.
But a backpack battery system can be a bit much for a homeowner.
This video from YouTube goes over the KMA 130 R in detail.
Stihl offers over 14 interchangeable attachments for the Kombi System. Two examples include:
- The BK-Km Mini Cultivator is a great tool for tight spaces and mixing up flower beds and planting areas. The attachment is lightweight and ideal for rejuvenating topsoil.
- The BG-KM Kombi Blower attachment should be in every landscaper’s toolset. Air-velocity ranges from 121 – 157 mph at the nozzle, for a wide range of lawn debris.
But there are lots more attachments. Let’s run through them just so you understand the expandability of this system.
Lawn Edgers and Bed Definers
The Kombi system offers three edgers for a variety of home and professional jobs. The FBD-Km Bed Redifiner is a durable piece of equipment with an open deflector, adjustable depth, and powerful blade.
The Straight Edge FCS-MM is perfect for driveways and solid pathways. The Straight Edge features a straight shaft. Use the FCB-KM Curved Shaft Edger for precise edging pathways and flower beds.
Trimmers, Pruners, and Scythe
Stihl has built a comprehensive platform with a multitude of different tools. The FH-KM Power Scythe has been designed for precise cutting needs. The Kombi HT-KM Pole Pruner and HL-KM Straight Edge Trimmer are extremely useful tools for keeping difficult trees and bushes under control. Add the HL-KM Adjustable Hedge Trimmer, and you have a complete arsenal for any gardening or landscaping need.
String Trimmers and Brush Cutters
The Kombi System shines when describing the trimmers and cutters. The FS-KM Line Head Trimmer is used for any hard landscaping or home use. The FSB-KM Curved Shaft Trimmer is perfect for getting into hard areas and precise cutting. Use the Brushcutter with the 4″ Grass Blade for the toughest cutting assignments. These tools can be used for any commercial landscaping or home use.
Brushes and Power Sweeps
Stihl designed the Kombi System for all types of landscaping and home use. The KB-KM Bristle Brush is ideal for after job cleanup on concrete surfaces. Use the KW-KM Power Sweep for tougher jobs around the home or commercial areas. These power sweep attachments can be used for a variety of needs, like keeping driveways and walkways clean and crisp.
Stihl has built a winner with the Kombi System. The variety of accessories and a large number of attachments make the system useful for any commercial or home needs.
The big plus for Kombi is the huge array of head units. Choose from a number of power options. Another big win for Kombi is the Electric model and its capacity to use any other attachment in the Kombi portfolio.
There is no doubt the Stihl Kombi System will continue to grow in accessories, attachments, and technologies. Unfortunately, this brand comes at a higher cost so it’s better suited for professionals.
Company History And Reputation
EGO is a modern success story. In 1993, the companies bright story began. Their ambition was to build a complete cordless platform, free from gas, noise, and fuss.
Today EGO is an industry-leading manufacturer and one of the largest tool builders in the world. The company produces over 10 million units per year and is represented in over 65 countries around the world.
EGO Power Multi-Head System is the ultimate cordless multi-head system. If you are a homeowner or landscaper, sick of gas and the outrageous sounds from other systems, try the EGO Power.
|Model (Head Unit)||Motor||Battery||Controls||Features|
|Power Head PH 1400||High-Efficiency Brushless Motor||EGO 56V ARC Lithium (Compatible)||Hi/Low Speed Selector Adjustable Handle Front Lock-Off||Water-Resistant Construction Multi-Part Compatible|
The Ego’s 56V ARC Lithium Battery is a true advancement in power tools. Patented ARC-Lithium technology provides constant power from start to finish, unlike nickel-cadmium, which has a dramatic dip in force at the end.
EGO gives this description of their ARC-Lithium technology.
” Our Arc Lithium 56v battery is designed to sit on the outside of the tools, so they won’t overheat; also, the Arc technology has been designed to allow the cells to dissipate any residual heat (source).
The PH1400 Powerhead is the central piece to the EGO Multi-head System. The head unit offers an extremely high efficient brushless motor and is compatible with any other battery and attachment EGO offers.
The cordless head unit is extremely user-friendly with convenient controls and quiet operation.
EGO offers a full line of batteries and chargers, and all are compatible with EGO’s full line of power tools. Choose from a 5.0 AMP, with charging times of 40 to 100 minutes to the powerful 7.5 AMP 56V battery. Each battery provides a 3-year warranty with exceptional technology and two rapid chargers are available separately.
EGO is quickly advancing battery technology into the commercial space with its Commercial Backpack Battery. Ergonomic design and fast charging, work with every tool in the EGO line.
The backpack is resistant to extreme weather, making it perfect for commercial use. EGO has built plenty of useful technology into the backpack like variable speeds to match the job and carbon fiber construction to reduce vibration.
Attachments and Combo Kits
A full line of useful tools is available for the EGO Multi-Head System.
- A String Trimmer with a cutting swath of nearly 15″ is a leading industry attachment. A rapid reload head makes this a convenient feature.
- Another useful tool is the Power Edger with 8″ blade and heavy-duty construction.
- The 9.5″ Cultivator Attachment can be used for freshening up flower beds and other distressed areas.
Trimmers, Saws, and Brushes
Add the 20″ Hedge Trimmer for large landscape jobs, like overhanging branches and larger brush. Dual-action blades and large 1″ cutting action.
The trimmer offers an exclusive 12-position articulation cutting angle. A 10″ Pole Saw can is used for tougher cutting assignments. The Pole Saw comes with an automatic lubricating function. A Bristle Brush Attachment can be used for convenient cleanup of driveways and walkways.
EGO has made it easy to get started with their system by offering different configurations for a variety of uses. Below are a couple of these combos with links to Amazon.
- MHC1502 – Head Unit plus 15″ String Trimmer, 8″ Edger, 5.0AH battery and standard charger
- ME0800/Head unit and 8″ edger (Battery Not Included)
The EGO Power Multi-head System is a great framework for keeping lawns and yards well-kept. At this point, the system is more aligned to the residential customer than commercial; however, their battery technology is only getting better.
EGO is gaining ground in the commercial space with its ergonomic battery backpack and accessories.
The future is electric, and battery technology is gaining ground on gasoline power. And let’s not overlook pricing. The EGO system is extremely affordable compared to the other multi-attachment yard tool systems.
Click Here to view the EGO Power+ tool system on Amazon.
Company History And Reputation
Maruyama has a long, rich tradition. Founded in 1895, the company is celebrating its 120th year in business. Maruyama started in business building fire extinguishers, then moved on to produce manual sprayers in 1918.
Through the decades, their technologies have helped in disaster prevention equipment and industrial 2-cycle engines. Maruyama continues to manufacture world-class commercial-grade equipment.
Maruyama Multi-Cutter Systems are some of the finest commercial landscape tools available. The Multi-Cutter Platform is built exclusively for large landscape operations and grounds maintenance. Each engine in the Multi-Cutter system is gasoline-powered and a 2-stroke.
Below is a sampling of the powerheads offered for multi-attachment systems by Maruyama. All have a fuel tank capacity of 20.03 oz. and come with a five-year warranty.
|Model (Head Unit)||Displacement||Dry Weight|
|M270QC||25.4 cc||10.4 lbs.|
|M27QC||25.4 cc||10.4 lbs.|
|M30QC||30.1 cc||10.1 lbs.|
|M30QC||30.1 cc||10.1 lbs.|
Each head unit in the Multi-Cutter platform is similar in configuration, keeping parts and maintenance costs under control. Major differences include displacement and power applications.
Powerhead units feature a Quick Connect application for efficient and easy attachment changes, simply insert the attachment and twist.
From the beginning of holding a Multi-Cutter, a user can feel the tough commercial quality of the Maruyama.
From head units to attachments, each part is ergonomically designed for commercial long-term daily use. For example, an adjustable throttle control feature incorporates a kill switch with an anti-vibration grip.
Every head unit features an easy pull start system with an ergonomic handle.
Multi-Cutter attachments are commercial grade equipment used by professional landscape companies and each unit is built to last for years of heavy daily use.
The Murayama support system is an excellent resource for any landscaper, and there is no better warranty in the business at 5 Years. Drive Shafts have a Lifetime Warranty. That being said, do keep in mind my experience mentioned earlier.
Maruyama offers three excellent trimmers for any commercial landscape trimming job.
- The QC-HT features a 24″ fixed blade for hard to reach areas.
- QC-HTS 18″ and QC-HTS 24″ trimmers feature an articulating action with a degree of angle from 132° to 270°.
String Trimmers and Brush Cutters
Two heavy-duty string trimmers and one landscape blade attachment are available.
The QC-S and QC-ST feature a 4.5′ twist head. These models are perfect for cutting in and around dense wet grass.
The Multi-Cutter Landscape Blade is offered in two sizes, a 4 tooth and 8 tooth configuration. These Landscape blades will cut through anything and should be handled with care by professionals who know what they are doing.
Edgers and Cultivators
Two metal bladed edgers are available with the Multi-Cutter. The QC-ES is a straight shaft, and the QC-E features a curved shaft for precise control in edging and redefining flower beds. The QC-T is a multi-bladed cultivator that can handle any tough bed touch up.
Maruyama has made the tough job of tree-top and shrub pruning a lot easier, choose from two configurations. The QC-PS10 features a 10-inch blade and a 28.5″ shaft length. For really extreme pruning, go with the QC-PL10 which has a 10-inch blade and a 59″ shaft.
The Maruyama line up is made for commercial landscapers and large farm-like properties. Anything less than that, and you have purchased too much equipment. The Multi-Cutter system stands up to any other commercial equipment maker in the industry. Innovative designs and attention to detail make this toolset hard to beat.
Maruyama offers a complete line of equipment and accessories. The company provides synthetic and original oils for their engines along with grease products and chainsaw oils.
Compared to the Stihl and EGO systems, Maruyama is a strictly heavy-duty commercial product. For professionals or owners of large farms, the Multi-Cutter platform is ideal.
Company History And Reputation
ECHO has been around for about 40 years, incorporating under its current name in 1978. The ECHO brand is one of the most recognizable in the world. In North America, the company sells its products through 10 distributors who service over 6,600 dealers.
The majority of products built by ECHO are produced in the United States. The company maintains an aggressive growth strategy through collaborations with Home Depot and other large-box retailers.
ECHO Pro Attachment Series (PAS) is a comprehensive platform suitable for residential and commercial consumers. The ECHO PAS Series is a well-built and powerful head unit with plenty of useful attachments.
Below is a comparison of powerheads for the ECHO multi-attachment system. Each comes with a two-year commercial/5-year residential warranty.
|Power Head||Displacement||Fuel Capacity||Dry Weight|
|PAS-2620||25.4 cc||20.05 oz.||9.9 lbs.|
|PAS-225||21.2 cc||14.02 oz.||9.3 lbs.|
Each PAS engine is a 2- stroke built from high-grade magnesium. The engine also consists of a two-stage filtration system to keep everything cool and clean.
There has been plenty of ergonomic engineering built into the PAS shaft. A cushioned throttle control for easy grip on long assignments and a cushioned left or right-hand grip. The quick-change coupler makes going from one attachment to another easy and fast.
- PAS-225SB, this kit includes the 21.2 engine and a Speed Feed 400 Trimmer Head.
- PAS-225VP, includes the 21.2 engine, the Speed Fee Trimmer with a 17″ cutting swath and curved shaft edger.
- PAS-225VPB, this kit comes with a 21.2 engine, Speed Feed Trimmer, and powerful direct drive blower assembly.
Echo’s collection of tools and attachments are extensive. The company’s equipment ranges from cordless lawnmowers, blowers, to a huge selection of hand tools and professional spraying systems. The line-up of tools is engineered for the toughest of commercial use.
ECHO also offers an extensive line of accessories, oils, and greases to keep the equipment running properly.
Edgers and Bed Redifiner
There are two metal bladed edgers to choose from.
The Straight Shaft Edger Attachment and Curved Shaft Edger Attachment are perfect for precise use around flower beds and driveways. With the metal deflector and blade, consumers can expect years of solid use.
A Bed Redifiner Attachment is the PAS specialty tool for cutting out large swaths of grass and shaping flower beds.
Blower, Cultivator, and Sweepers
The Pro Attachment Series Blower is designed for heavy commercial use. The Blower can reach 117 mph, and 373 cfm, the attachment features a solid drive shaft for long-term durability.
There are two surface clean sweeper attachments to choose from.
A ProPaddle Sweeper with a 22.5-inch sweeping path and the ProSweep Attachment are perfect for either residential or commercial applications.
The Cultivator Attachment is ideal for touching up flower beds and getting a garden ready for planting. The tool features a 6.5-inch cutting swath and high torque tilling action.
Trimmers and Brushcutters
The ECHO PAS Brushcutter Attachment can cut away heavy grass and underbrush for any commercial and residential job. The tool comes with an 8″ blade, 8 and 80 tooth blades are available.
The Pro Attachment Series of tools gives consumers three choices of string trimmers.
The Curved Shaft Trimmer Attachment provides a 16″ cutting swath. The Speed Feed Trimmer and Pro-Torque Attachments can handle any precise cutting assignments. Changing from one tool to the next requires no special tools and just a twist.
Hedge Trimmers and Extensions
A Professional Grade Hedge Trimmer Attachment for the PAS system features a 21″ double-sided blade, tip guard, and aluminum support bar. Without an extension, the Mid-Reach Trimmer can be used for trimming in tight spaces and smaller landscape areas.
The Articulating Hedge Trimmer is a commercial-grade attachment for hard to reach areas and taller trees and shrubs. A special gear case allows for articulation of 135°. Easy storage with a fold flush feature.
The PAS system gives consumers three extensions for reaching into the hardest of spaces. A Power Pruner Extension and two 3′ attachments are available.
The Pro Attachment Series of tools and Power Heads is substantial and far-reaching. ECHO makes it easy to get started with their equipment. Whether the is residential or commercial, ECHO is a strong contender.
ECHO delivers a powerful system that will grow as your needs expand.
Compared to the Stihl Kombi System, EGO Power, and Maruyama Multi-Cutter, the ECHO Pro Attachment Series holds its own. The dealer network for ECHO is worldwide and any consumer should consider this as a strong positive.
Click here to check pricing and availability of ECHO PAS (link to Amazon)
So it comes down to this. If you are a professional, the Stihl or Maruyama brands are best suited for the daily grind that you’ll put these tools through. For the home user, the ECHO or EGO Power+ are better solutions depending on your preference for gas or battery-powered system.
If you choose to go with gas, make sure that you keep to a regular maintenance schedule. Avoid ethanol fuels as it can wreak havoc on small engines. And before you get bogged down in what type of fuel to use, read my comparison of Stihl Motomix against popular alternative premixed fuels.
Stihl Kombisystem (Sold through dealers – link to Stihl)
EGO Power+ (Link to Amazon)
Maruyama Multi-Cutter (Sold through dealers – link to Maruyama)
ECHO PAS (Link to Amazon)
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