At Horticulture Week we tell it as it is, and the long and short of it is that we are very keen to retest this machine when we can get it to work.
From our inspection, we reckon this should have a lot going for it — including a blade that angles through 13 positions through a 135° arc, while also folding 180° for transport. It has Makita’s 25.4cc four-stroke MM4 engine. It should deliver 1.03hp and 1.1Nm of torque and it should be minus that painful whine that tends to be associated with many two-stroke units.
Another advantage is that running on unleaded eliminates the risks of getting the two-stroke mix wrong. The MM4 engine has a pressurised lubrication system, enabling it to be used at any angle.
The EN4950H also has a new gear drive transmission that converts the rotary shaft drive into cutting strokes for the 49cm-long blade. This gear drive system is designed to handle far greater power loading than the traditional rotating disc assembly of poly trimmers — but we cannot comment on that.
The machine arrived, as did all the others, in a box and delivered by a courier. Oil was supplied, as was an Allen key. We fuelled up with unleaded, fed in the oil and attached the head as per instructions in the manual. It took half a dozen or so pulls to fire up the engine, but then it’s brand new — straight out of the box. However, squeezing the trigger would not make the blades move. Back to the manual. We cannot see that we have done anything wrong.
After 20 minutes we abandoned testing it for fear of causing some damage. We look forward to putting this machine through its paces, just as soon as we can.
Blade: 49cm double-sided
Stroke rate: 4,200/min
Engine: 25.4cc four-stroke
Weight: 6.9kg without battery
Fuel tank capacity: 0.6 litres
List Price: £145 + VAT
Tel: Makita UK — 01908 211678
Tested This Issue
- Stihl HLA 65
- Makita EH7500W
- Stihl HLA 85
- Makita DUH551Z
- Cobra LRH40E
- Makita EN4950H
- Hyundai HYHT36LI
Sam Braund, grounds worker, Bridgwater College, Cannington Campus
Keith Hoare, grounds supervisor, Bridgwater College
It is time for the last clip of the year and at Cannington, the land-based studies centre of Bridgwater College in Somerset, the grounds staff are tasked with trimming the cherry laurel hedge alongside the car park of the department of animal management.
Time then to ask grounds worker Sam Braund and supervisor Keith Hoare if they would use a selection of recently introduced hedge trimmers.
As battery technology continues to improve, we have two such models from Stihl, both long-reach units, to tackle the hedge, which is more than 3m high. We also have battery tools from Hyundai and Makita, both being standard format units for regular hedge-cutting work. Another long-reach unit is the electric powered Cobra, supplied by Henton & Chattel, and we have a four-stroke petrol cutter with a massive reach from Makita.
Finally, because Braund loves engines, we have a standard format, petrol engined machine from Makita. Which ones will impress our testers?
Conditions on the day of the test were hot with bright sunshine. The hedge presented a wide range of branch diameters up to 25mm in thickness.