Echo HCR-185EC hedgetrimmer

Echo HCR-185EC hedgetrimmer - image: HW
Echo HCR-185EC hedgetrimmer - image: HW

The first thing we notice about this new hedge trimmer is that it is quite flush. The rear handle is designed so that the frame base is higher than
the blade.

You can get in close to the hedge and the trimmer runs smoothly across it without bumping and snagging. The blades are laser cut
and precision ground.

The second thing we notice is that the on/off is a sliding switch. "I much prefer this to the old-school switch on the 1501," says Handy. Both he and Prangley are impressed with the handle. It rotates easily through five settings to allow for comfortable positioning and is strong.

"It is a nicely balanced tool," adds Prangley. "And I like having the extra settings on the rotating handle. It means you don’t have to compromise."

Emissions are not a problem from this clean machine, with the exhaust blowing away from the user and the hedge.

Perhaps because it is so new, we feel that the engine does not run as smoothly as we would like, but the finished cut cannot be faulted. We would just be happier if the leg guard was not black.

Specifications

Engine 21.2cc two-stroke
Output power 0.58kW
Effective cutter length 74.4cm
Blade type Double-sided
Weight 5.3kg
List price £415.83 + 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
LXT cordless
Makita UH5570 & Makita
UH6580 electric
Echo HCR-185EC
Stihl HS 87 R
Echo HC-1501

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.


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