Can you recommend any handheld cordless grass edging/trimmers for edges on ornamental lawns? Or are there other alternatives to long-handled or short-handled shears?

A: Edging up lawns and grass paths ranks among the most tedious of garden jobs. Recently I thought I had found an answer in the Bosch cordless ART 26 Li. This is a lithium ion battery-powered grass trimmer that uses plastics blades.

It is a great unit for storage and transport - the telescopic shaft shrinking the length so you can carry it in your wheelbarrow or the cargo bed of a small turf vehicle, along with other tools. It is lightweight, weighing in at just 2.4kg. When not under load the blade turns at 7,400rpm.

The ART 26 Li is good as a simple and economical grab-and-use tool for trimming around trees or the legs of benches and in light conditions is capable of trimming 1,000m. Tough conditions will see battery time drop to enable about 75m to be cut.

The head can be quickly adjusted for edging mode. It is not difficult to use but I personally found my fingers tingling after around 15 minutes. Manufacturer recorded vibration is 2.5m/s2. It may be that damaged blades can increase vibration, so a pocketful of spare blades is necessary.

Flymo also offers a couple of trimmer/edgers. I have tried neither and note that new versions are now available, the previous being subject to a product recall.

Wolf-Garten offers battery shears for lawn-edge maintenance and a non-powered cutting wheel - part of the brand's Multi-Change Lawn Care & Weeding system. A clear benefit can be gained if other tools in the multi-change system are used. This is something HW hopes to test in the near future.

SHINDAIWA HEDGE TRIMMER

I have just tried the new Shindaiwa DH2200ST hedge trimmer and it is a dream. It is one of the lightest petrol-powered versions I have seen, yet it is speedy and comfortable to use. The rear handle quickly twists between three set positions when a lever is lifted. And the vibrations are dampened by an effective four-spring system. I ran out of hedge before I tired.

The DH2200ST has a 21.1cc engine and with a 58cm blade - 48.4cm effective cutting length - it races through the work. It cut privet and fuchsia and did a neat job on leylandii.

This is one machine you do not mind switching off for a while because you know it is going to restart first pull of the easy-to-pull recoil.

Sally Drury has been reporting on product developments and testing kit for 28 years. The advice given in this helpline is independent.

Email your questions to sally.drury@haymarket.com


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