With a one-metre cutting width, the Samson seems huge in comparison with other kit in the test. This is a twin-bladed machine and its heart is a powerful 15hp Kawasaki FC420V engine.
After instruction on the controls the tester starts the engine. "That's noisy. Is there something wrong?" he enquires. Assured that the machine is running okay, he heads off for the long grass and tall weeds along the woodland edge.
Samson has four forward gears and one reverse plus diff lock. It has no problem wrestling and pulverising tall grass, thistles or brambles. Samson is impressive, even commanding. But how did our tester get on with the controls?
"I was concerned at first but when you get used to them they are fine and the machine, although it is big, has great manoeuvrability," he says. "There's plenty of power and it does a good job. Leaning back on the handlebars allows you to get at material that is waist height."
The RE61HO85 is a smaller machine but is no less punishing. Power comes from an 8.5hp Honda engine and there are three forward speeds plus a single reverse. Like Samson, there is a differential lock on the rear wheels and two front casters aid manoeuvrability. Another tester finds the machine comfortable to operate.
"It has adjustable handlebars so it matches your height. It is also easy to use and handles well," he says.
There's no doubt that both the Samson and the RE61HO85 are robust and both do an excellent job in rough vegetation. The extra width of the Samson has its advantages in terms of productivity but we have to say we prefer the RE61HO85 as it is substantially quieter.
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