An entry-level model with an attractive price, this hedge trimmer still comes with a two-year commercial or five-year domestic warranty providing that you have it serviced by the dealer in the first 12 months of its working life.
Power comes from a new 21.2cc engine giving an output of 0.58kW. With its vertical filler, the tank is easy to fuel. We find the engine easy to start but it seems to labour when making cuts, perhaps because it is a double-reciprocating trimmer. "This doesn’t feel as though it is cutting at its most efficient," suggests Handy.
On the positive side, this is a well-balanced machine and it is lightweight. Vibration is not a problem. The twin blades are laser cut and precision ground. They are sharp and should last.
But the leg guard and part of the blade assembly are black. While this makes for a lovely colour combination with the bright-orange body, black is difficult to see against a yew hedge.
The controls are simple, self explanatory and well positioned, although we smile at the old-school metal on/off switch. This traditional Echo switch continues to be used on many of the company’s products because it is so strong.
Engine 21.2cc two-stroke
Output power 0.58kW
Effective cutter length 49.9cm
Blade type Double-sided
List price £299.17 + VAT
Tel Echo Tools — 0800 597 7777
Tested this issue
Hyundai HYT2622-II & HYT2318
Stihl HS 82 RC & HS 82 T
Makita EH7500S & EH7500W
Makita DUH551Z Twin 18V
Makita UH5570 & Makita
Stihl HS 87 R
The Review Panel
Matt Handy, senior gardener, Cannington Walled Gardens, Somerset
Claire Prangley, gardener, Cannington Walled Gardens, Somerset
Cannington Walled Gardens are looking superb. Lying within the grounds of a medieval priory, there is tremendous atmosphere at this site, complemented by classic and contemporary features such as the "hot" herbaceous border, blue garden, subtropical walk and Victorian-style fernery. There is also a botanical glasshouse.
The gardens have a long history, but what we see on the ground today has been developed since 2004 and was officially opened by HRH the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, in 2009.
In the gardens, both separating and linking the various spaces, yew hedges are now ready for a trim. What will be best for these young hedges? We ask the gardening team to test out some of the newest hedge trimmers available on the UK market, including battery, electric and petrol-powered models. Conditions on the day of the test were hot and sunny.