"It's brilliant," enthuses one. "The controls are comfortable and the whole thing is lightweight and manoeuvrable."
The 4900 weighs 4.7kg. It is at the high end of Makita's domestic range but it is a cracking machine for professional gardeners and entry-level commercial use.
Its double-sided double-reciprocating blade sliced through everything we asked of it. The twist-handle on this model gives just three positions. A pull-out lever allows the handle to twist and we find it very easy to use. Vibration is not an issue.
"I could use this one all day," says Bell. If anything needs addressing on this model, it is the exposed wiring.
Engine 21cc two-stroke
Power output 0.83hp
Blades 49cm double-sided
Fuel tank 0.4 litres
List price (ex VAT) £360 with blade cover, spanners and goggles
Contact Makita (UK), 01908 211678
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