Saturday 29 November 2014

Best Buy... hedge trimmers

Sarah Stack

Published 02/03/2014 | 02:30

From top: Flymo EasiCut 450; Black & Decker GTC1850N; Bosch AHS 50-26

Compared: Flymo EasiCut 450, Black & Decker GTC1850N and Bosch AHS 50-26

Flymo EasiCut 450
€64.99

The Flymo EasiCut 450 is one of the cheaper hedge-trimmers available in Woodie's DIY.

It boasts a dual-action cutting, making it possible to cut either vertically or horizontally, with a top switch operated by the palm for horizontal cutting and a longer grip for cutting the side of a hedge easily.

This also makes it east to trim the top of a hedge and swathes on the sides.

The 450 is one of the lighter hedge-trimmers on the market, but might still be too heavy for older gardeners or those with a weak grip.

Noise and vibration are quite high but are just acceptable.

It is quick on conifer hedges, leaving a neat finish, but is one of the slower machines on a deciduous hedge.

The coiled mains cable – at 12 metres – makes it easy to keep out of the way when using and storing and the blade is 45cm long.

Some users have said the blade sheath can be tricky to align when fitting.

Black & Decker GTC1850N
€84.99

The GTC1850N is an 18-volt cordless hedge-trimmer, giving you the ability to work over a large space anywhere n the garden without the hassle of the cord or extension lead – or accidently cutting through it.

The battery – which is said to last for half an hour – is also interchangeable with other 18V Black & Decker cordless tools.

The hedge-trimmer is easy to use and, with a 50cm blade, is powerful enough to get through conifer branches.

Tests have shown it can easily cut branch stems 15mm across and makes a decent attempt on a hedge, struggling only a little on the thicker growth, giving an acceptable appearance at the end.

Handles and switches on the GTC1850N are comfortable but catches on the battery need some effort to release and the blade sheath is tricky to line up and slide on.

And while it feels slightly heavier than some, noise and vibration are not a problem with the trimmer.

Bosch AHS 50-26
€169.99

The more expensive AHS 50-26 is a corded electric hedge-trimmer with a 50cm blade and wide teeth.

It's the smallest and lightest of Bosch's middle-range of products, but is effective, cuts extremely well and is easy to handle.

But at 3.4kg, its weight might still be an issue for some gardeners.

The Bosch machine has more power and is said to be ideal for mid-sized hedges.

It cuts through conifer and deciduous hedges at ease, leaving a perfectly clean finish, and its front four teeth can even go through branches wider than its 30mm tooth spacing.

The AHS 50-26 boasts large, well-designed handles and switches that give gardeners a great choice of hand positions for cutting the top or sides of your hedge.

It is comfortable to carry and it is easy to slide the blade sheath on and off.

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