It may be long reach but this Cobra is electric. It comes with a 10m cable so in most situations it will need an extension or a generator. With no suitable power source at Cannington, it was tested on a range of hedges including beech and privet in Birmingham and Penzance.
The LRH40E is powered by a 500W electric motor and has 39cm double-sided blades. Those two facts alone will put off most professional users and, in truth, this machine is not for everyone. Nevertheless, the quality of cut is high, especially for a domestic machine. A downside, however, is that cutting a hedge with such a short blade takes longer.
By simply pressing and holding a button, the articulating head can be adjusted to the required angle. Releasing the button locks the head in place so the hedge can be shaped as desired. Not overly long, yet easily reaching typical garden hedges, the Cobra is easy and manoeuvrable and the controls are comfortable.
With an attractive price, like the Hyundai, this could be a suitable machine for those starting a garden round or for a professional gardener with only a small amount of cutting each year — but with an appropriate and available power source.
Blade: 39cm double-sided
Maximum cutting thickness: 20mm
Stroke rate: 3,300/min (no load)
Total length: 1.85m extended/1.43m closed for transport
Rated power: 500W
Cable length: 10m
List Price: £100 including VAT
Tel Henton & Chattell — 0115 986 2161
Tested This Issue
- Stihl HLA 65
- Makita EH7500W
- Stihl HLA 85
- Makita DUH551Z
- Cobra LRH40E
- 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.