Fitted with a 75cm blade, of 35mm pitch, this unit falls between Stihl's rough-cutter and trim-cutter machines. It is a general-purpose unit but gives an excellent performance and cuts quickly.
One tester said: "It gives a really good cut. There's no tearing of material and it is even capable of munching through 0.5'-thick material."
Bell could not get on with the grip and struggled to maintain a working position, although Gardner and Ayrey both found it comfortable and easy to use.
All testers think the vibrations are relatively low, due to the gearbox being fitted with roller bearings and a rubber/spring anti-vibration system isolating the engine from the handles. The manufacturer's record vibration level is 3.2m/s2. Components are covered so there should be little chance of snagging. We also like the snap-on air-filter cover.
Power output 1.2hp
Blades 75cm single-sided
Fuel tank 0.6 litres
List price (ex VAT) £319.14
Contact Emak UK, 01543 687660
The test was conducted in December so there was no fear of disturbing nesting birds. Conditions were cold with heavy downpours of rain; material cut included an Escallonia hedge.
THE REVIEW PANEL
Andre Gardner, grounds manager, Bridgwater College - Cannington Campus
Faith Ayrey, gardener, Bridgwater College - Cannington Campus
Graham Bell, senior gardener, Bridgwater College - Cannington Campus