Amied at: Pro Users who need quieter mchines and good dust dampening.
Pros: Powerful and more compact than a two stroke machine, but just as capable.
The Husqvarna K3000 fits into my category of interesting and useful machines since it is a big, powerful disc cutter with an electric motor. The advantages of electric power are many. The K3000 is quieter, lighter than its two stroke equivalents, unpolluting and fume free. Singlehandedly, it banishes loud two stroke motors and their accompanying hassle. No need to pack fuel or a spare spark plug and there is not the hassle of struggling with a starter cord on a cold morning. All I needed to get the K3000 started was a 110V site transformer and an electrical power source.
Electric power makes the K3000 an ideal machine to use in semi enclosed spaces where there might not be enough ventilation to prevent a build up of petrol fumes and it is also useful where irritating engine noise could be a problem. Worksites near schools and hospitals for example, should aim to keep noise pollution to a minimum.
For “dry” dust collection an optional special dust collection shoe can be purchased that fits under the disc, dust is then sucked from there into a powerful industrial vacuum extractor. For this review I had the “wet” version that uses water to dampen the dust, and it also has the side effect of cooling the cutter. Some of the readers might now be scratching their heads and saying that a “wet” dust dampening system and an electric machine really shouldn’t be paired. Husqvarna, of course, has got there before us. The all-plastic body is fully earthed and very well sealed against splashes from the dust damping water. In the UK the K3000 is mostly used with a safety site 110V transformer but in other places there is an earth fault circuit breaker built into the power cord that will cut the current immediately if there is a problem.
Reassuringly, the power cables are heavy and covered with insulating rubber so could withstand both wear and water. Just don’t clean the machine after use with a hose or pressure washer, because that would be pushing your luck and the boundaries of good insulation.
The K3000 can be used with different types of cutting discs and I was sent a large 350 mm diameter diamond disc for my testing. Mounting it is pretty easy because the socket spanner is included in the kit and there is a handy spindle lock for quick and easy tightening and loosening.
Once the disc is mounted you can definitely feel that the weight of the machine has increased from a dry 8.5 Kgs to over 10kgs. Nevertheless this is still a bit lighter than some of the petrol powered disc cutters on the market and my back certainly noticed the difference after a few periods of working with the machine.
The “wet” option for dust control is quite a clever solution because it is flexible. The K3000 uses a standard Gardena hose connector for the wet system so it is quite possible to connect the machine to a hosepipe with suitably adjusted water pressure and flow to control the dust output. However, not all situations have a handy hosepipe around, so Husqvarna have delivered the WT 15 water reservoir. This tank is a large-ish, translucent 15 litre water tank with a big screw type filler cap that makes it easy to fill via hose or jerry can. Some systems that deliver water for controlling dust use air pressure created by the user having to vigorously pump to create the air pressure needed to drive the water to the machine and the disc. The trouble with this system is that if the air pressure runs out unexpectedly, the user can be left with no water to control the dust. Or else one has to have an assistant to ensure that some quick work on the pump can be done to start the water flow again.
Husqvarna’s system is ingenious and makes use of the ubiquitous rechargeable Li ion battery pack. Concealed in a robust casing on top of the water tank is a place where a small water pump, powered by the battery, is used to pump water down the 12mm diameter hose to the Gardena connector on the disc cutter.
The charger and battery are stored together in this casing so they should be difficult to lose, and a clever system of winding the hose round the base of the tank makes for easy storage and portability.
Although it is a small diameter, the 12mm diameter hose delivers enough water to the disc cutting edge to ensure that dust is effectively controlled without wasting water. The reinforced hose is about three metres long so the tank can be positioned safely away from the machine and the operator.
A simple push switch on the top of the tank is used to start the water pump. About 40cm away from the rear handle the water hose and power cable are yoked together so that the operator knows exactly where both of them are. Included in this arrangement is a flip switch that is used to control the flow of water. Thus the operator has all the controls near to hand and has no need to return to the water tank to switch off the water, for example.
I tried out the K3000 in both delicate and demanding cutting. The delicate was cutting up a piece of 20mm thick marble into fairly accurately squared pieces. Of course I needed full PPE gear of goggles, ear defenders, appropriately rated breathing mask, hard toed boots and workwear.
Harder work was cutting up some 50mm thick paving slabs that needed adequate support so that the blade could not be trapped or pinched.
I can’t say that I noticed that the K3000 had any different levels of power than a two stroke machine, but levels of vibration and noise were definitely more comfortable and therefore seemed to make using it safer and more manageable and for the marble cutting, more accurate. The dust management system worked a treat because the water is delivered very close to the point where it is created, so not a lot of it escapes. Given the choice, I think I prefer electric power to two-stroke power, and with the bonus of excellent dust control, the K3000 is a winner.