By now you might have heard about the Troy-Bilt Flex system of interchangeable lawn & garden tools, where there is a gas engine base unit and different tool attachments. Honda just came out with something similar, the VersAttach system, which features 2 small engine options and handheld power tool attachments.
Both have a belt-driven overhead cam (OHC) engine design, for less noise and maintenance, and allow the tools to be used in any position. They also feature an oil-immersed timing belt, easily accessible spark plug, and easy access for draining and refilling oil.
Honda VersAttach powerhead engines seem to be based on a single engine design, which Honda says meets all 50 states’ emission regulations.
Honda UMC425: powered by GX25 mini 4-stroke engine
Honda UMC435: powered by GX35 mini 4-stroke engine
Both powerheads are said to feature best-in-class lightweight gas engines, with the UMC425 delivering clean, powerful, and quiet performance of a larger engine in a compact package, and the UMC435 being equipped with Honda’s most powerful engine for handheld applications.
Both powerhead models appear to be quite compact, and so the main difference looks to be that the UMC435 is more powerful.
- Line trimmer
- hedge trimmer
Each VersAttach attachment connects to a powerhead by means of a SureLoc joint locking system, which is operated tool-free.
Information is limited right now, but expect for pricing and other details to be more available starting next spring when the Honda VersAttach outdoor power tool lineup launches.
I find myself hoping that Honda partners with a power tool brand to offer a cordless powerhead unit as well – don’t you?
Interchangeable and modular tool attachments aren’t new, and this isn’t the first handheld outdoor power tool system. Other modular tool systems include interchangeable hand tools, Troy-Bilt’s Flex large equipment system, and of course several power tool systems such as Ridgid JobMax, Black & Decker Matrix, and Craftsman Bolt-On.
The benefit for Honda is the simplicity in only having to design one main engine. Their One Engine for All description in press materials suggests that both engines used in the two powerheads are similar enough that they share much of the same design.
The benefit for users is the cost savings and convenience of having just one engine and multiple tool attachments.
Honda is a reputable name in gas engines and gas engined outdoor power equipment, and so it will be interesting to see how well the VersAttach system works and whether consumers are drawn to it or not.
Modular and interchangeable power tools often comes with compromises. What do you think are the tradeoffs in this Honda VersAttach system?