Makita HTR5600 and HTR7610

Both of these models are powered by a 24.5cc engine, but the 5600 has a 56cm double-sided double-reciprocating blade and the 7610 has a single-sided blade. We find that both machines cut through tough Escallonia hedging with ease.

HTR5600. Image: HW
HTR5600. Image: HW

The 5600 is a well-balanced machine and it also sits well for fuelling. It has a full cast-aluminium gearbox and has bearings - not just bushes - at the top and bottom of the crank. The handle is fixed.

We like the starting mechanism. Once the engine has fired into life, a touch of the throttle is enough to take off the choke. You are not going to over-choke this one. However, we think that both the choke and primer are a bit exposed.

"It's not a bad machine," says Ayrey. "It cuts well and that is the overriding factor. It's a straightforward, easy-to-use machine and the controls are simple."

The 7610 is another back-to-basics no-nonsense hedgetrimmer. It has the same type of 24.5cc engine, cast-aluminium gearbox, pre-primer bulb and automatic switch-off choke as the 5600 but it comes with a 75cm single-sided blade so it can be used only in one direction. It cuts well and is lightweight.

Bell says: "I would be happy to use it all day, although there are a few too many wires on show for my liking - they are bound to catch in a hedge like this Escallonia. The unit just needs a little more casing."


SPECIFICATIONS
Models Makita HTR5600, Makita HTR 7610
Engine 24.5cc two-stroke, 24.5cc two-stroke
Power output 1.18hp, 1.18hp
Blades 56cm double-sided, 75cm single-sided
Weight 5.1kg, 5.4kg
Fuel tanks 0.61 litres, 0.61 litres
List price (ex VAT) £370 with cover and tools, £390 with
cover
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


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