Makita DUH551Z cordless hedge trimmer

Makita DUH551Z - image: HW
Makita DUH551Z - image: HW

Want to trim box or yew? Need to tackle overgrown hawthorn? Why take two trimmers to work when one will do? This one will do it all and it has a twist handle to offer safe and convenient working positions.

The DUH551Z is a cordless trimmer powered by two 18V batteries, working in series to supply energy to the 36V DC motor drive system. These batteries are commonly used in Makita power tools and many garden products, including its brushcutters, blowers, knapsack sprayer, chainsaw and lawnmower units.

Having two batteries makes the back end heavy, but that does relieve stress on the front arm. Braund finds the front handle chunky but likes the power that oozes relentlessly from this machine.

Fitted with a 550mm double-sided blade, this trimmer doesn't shy from branches up to 18mm in diameter. Gripping the throttle gives a soft start to the blades but what we like is the variable speed control. Braund clicks the dial through the speeds from one to six, each step resulting in a higher stroke rate from 1,000-1,800/min. "I like that," he confirms. "It's a useful feature to have a choice of constant speeds."

Hoare clicks the rear handle left and right, returning it to the centre. There are five positions, locking at 45 degs and 90 degs to make vertical and angled trimming easy and fast. "It's an advantage to move the handle around - and it has a confident click to let you know it is secure," notes Hoare.

Makita's expertise in the battery tool market shows in the clear-to-read battery capacity warning lamp. A trigger time of around 1.5 hours is possible, depending on the condition of the hedge and the blade speed selected. Charging time can be as quick as 22minutes, with 80 per cent reached in just 10 minutes.

Makita DUH551Z

Want to trim box or yew? Need to tackle overgrown hawthorn? Why take two trimmers to work when one will do? This one will do it all and it has a twist handle to offer safe and convenient working positions.

The DUH551Z is a cordless trimmer powered by two 18V batteries, working in series to supply energy to the 36V DC motor drive system. These batteries are commonly used in Makita power tools and many garden products, including its brushcutters, blowers, knapsack sprayer, chainsaw and lawnmower units.

Having two batteries makes the back end heavy, but that does relieve stress on the front arm. Braund finds the front handle chunky but likes the power that oozes relentlessly from this machine.

Fitted with a 550mm double-sided blade, this trimmer doesn't shy from branches up to 18mm in diameter. Gripping the throttle gives a soft start to the blades but what we like is the variable speed control. Braund clicks the dial through the speeds from one to six, each step resulting in a higher stroke rate from 1,000-1,800/min. "I like that," he confirms. "It's a useful feature to have a choice of constant speeds."

Hoare clicks the rear handle left and right, returning it to the centre. There are five positions, locking at 45 degs and 90 degs to make vertical and angled trimming easy and fast. "It's an advantage to move the handle around - and it has a confident click to let you know it is secure," notes Hoare.

Makita's expertise in the battery tool market shows in the clear-to-read battery capacity warning lamp. A trigger time of around 1.5 hours is possible, depending on the condition of the hedge and the blade speed selected. Charging time can be as quick as 22minutes, with 80 per cent reached in just 10 minutes.

Specification
Blade 55cm double-sided
Maximum cutting thickness 18mm
Stroke rate Variable from 1,000/min to 1,800/min
Weight 5.1kg including battery
Recommended battery Makita 18V Li-ion (x2), sold separately
Vibration level 2.5m/s2 left and 2.5m/S2 right
List Price £305 + VAT (body only)
Tel Makita UK - 01908 211678
Blade 55cm double-sided
Maximum cutting thickness 18mm
Stroke rate Variable from 1,000/min to 1,800/min
Weight 5.1kg including battery
Recommended battery Makita 18V Li-ion (x2), sold separately
Vibration level 2.5m/s2 left and 2.5m/S2 right
List Price £305 + VAT (body only)
Tel Makita UK - 01908 211678

Tested This Issue
- Stihl HLA 65
- Makita EH7500W
- Stihl HLA 85
- Makita DUH551Z
- Cobra LRH40E
- Hyundai HYHT36LI

Review Panel

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.


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