For petrol-engined machines, these are lightweight. They sit well on the ground for easy fuelling and they prove easy to start. Both have 22.2cc two-stroke engines and both benefit from forward-facing exhausts so as not to blow emissions straight into the operator’s face. But that is where the similarity ends.
The S version [picture 5] is a single-bladed machine. Prangley likes single-bladed trimmers and finds this one particularly lightweight for a petrol unit. While vibration levels are not an issue — in fact, they seem remarkably low — the vibration-damping system does seem to cause some flex in the whole of the machine. The way it "floats" is almost unnerving. Prangley wishes there was a bump guard.
The W model [picture 6] is double-bladed and has a five-position rotating rear handle, which both testers appreciate. But Handy does not like the trigger.
He has been cutting the yew hedge for some minutes and then tries to let go of the trigger. He can’t. A finger of his glove has become trapped fast between trigger and trigger housing. It takes a hard tug to free the glove and stop the engine. Phew — panic over. But we love the battery and electric ones (see below).
Engine 22.2cc two-stroke
Output power 680W
Blade length 75cm/75cm
Blade type Single-sided/double-sided
Max branch diameter 21.5mm/21.5mm
Fuel tank capacity 0.4 litres
List price £523 + VAT/£574 + VAT
Tel Makita UK — 01908 211678
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.