Like the HS 82, Stihl 87s also come in an R and T version, but these are single-sided machines. They feature the same engine as the HS 82s, same stroke rates and tooth spacings, but are only available with 75cm blades to give the broad sweeping motion that Prangley prefers.
"This is my favourite," she declares. "This is the workhorse. What’s more, I can get in tight to the hedge and see where I am going. It is nicely balanced and that gives you confidence because you know your movements are going to be smoother and you will get a nicer cut."
Handy also finds this a truly professional machine. He likes the electronic ignition module and sprung switch that ensure easy and trouble-free starting.
The laser-cut, diamond-ground blades are sharp. There are leg guards on all the Stihl units and a bump stop on the HS 87s. The trimmer version, HS 87 T, costs £489 + VAT.
Engine 22.7cc 2-MIX
Output power 0.7kW (1hp)
Blade length 75cm
Blade type Single-sided
Tooth spacing 38mm
List price £489 + VAT
Tel Stihl — 01276 417610
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.