Long reach hedge cutting tools
The first long reach hedge cutters were heavy, cumbersome petrol powered machines reserved for the professional contractor, but as manufacturers have turned their attention to the home user market, machines have become lighter, cheaper and much better designed.
Long reach hedge cutters and trimmers are the ideal tools for maintaining taller hedges without the need for a ladder. The range of machines available include basic telescopic electric models for the home user through to more powerful fixed length petrol powered units ideal for everyday use.
Electric telescopic long reach hedge cutters
Gardena THS 400 & THS42
Fully extended, the Gardena THS400 offers 180cm (5ft 11″) of reach for trimming hedges and shrubs. The shaft is telescopic, which means you can adjust the overall length to suit the job in hand. The angled cutter head on the THS400 is adjustable through 84 degrees for cutting the hedge top or shaping shrubs, and can be rotated through 180 degrees to allow for maximum versatility when cutting the sides of hedges. The angled head also means you can trim growth at ground level.
The Gardena THS 400 weighs 4.3kg and is powered by a relatively small 350W motor (more powerful electric hedge trimmers will use 500W-750W motors), ample for the majority of general hedge trimming. If you’re looking to deal with woody, thicker stemmed material, you’ll find a petrol powered machine far more suitable. The cutter blade is double sided and measures 40cm. If you can envisage the 12 metre power cord presenting a problem, the Gardena THS 42 is a battery powered cordless version of the THS 400. Overall, these Gardena models are cleverly designed hedge trimmers perfect for the home user.
The Gardena THS400 is available to buy at the following online stores.
Stihl Electric long reach hedge trimmers
German machinery manufacturer Stihl make some of the finest garden and forestry machinery available, and 2008 sees the introduction of an electric long reach hedge trimmer range to compliment the Viking (also part of Stihl) electric long reach hedge trimmer range.
Stihl HLE 71 & HLE 71K long reach hedge cutters.
The Stihl long reach electric hedge cutters are fixed length shaft machines offering a powerful 600W motor for increased performance and a 50 cm cutting blade. Two models are offered, the only difference being the overall length. The Stihl HLE 71 weighs 5.9kg and measures 2.54 metres (8.3ft) whilst the HLE 71K weighs 5.6kg and is slightly shorter at 2.11 metres (6.9ft).
The cutting heads fold flat against the shaft for easy storage and can be adjusted through 135 degrees for trimming hedge tops, sides and ground cover. Both hedge cutters incorporate a lightweight harness which attaches to a loop on the shaft – not essential for general use but it can help to reduce fatigue when cutting larger hedges.
Although the Stihl HLE 71 and 71K machines cost a little more than most other electric long reach hedge cutters, you are getting a lot of machine for your money from one of the best manufacturers around. These are the ideal long reach hedge cutters for owners of medium sized gardens. Also worth consideration are the Viking range of long reach hedge cutters.
Petrol long reach hedge cutters.
Petrol powered long reach hedge cutters are normally fixed length shaft machines rather than telescopic and are available in lengths ranging from 2-2.5 metres. Although petrol powered machines are noisier and heavier than electric, you have complete freedom of movement and a lot more power at your disposal when it comes to dealing with thicker stemmed hedges.
Multi tool petrol hedge cutters
If you have a number of different tasks requiring different tools such as a strimmer, brush cutter, edger, hedge cutter, it makes sense to buy a multi tool that will accept various attachment instead of spending on separate machines. One engine for multiple tasks.
Two machines that offer hedge cutting and strimming capabilities are the MTD Lawnflite hedge trimmer/ brush cutter combi machine with adjustable cutting head, and the EFCO combi machine, again with an adjustable hedge cutting head. Both machines are available for under £300.
For even more versatility, the 23 cc engined ECHO Multi Tool 2400 offers a variety of attachments such as a chainsaw pruning head, cultivator, hedge trimmer, blower and lawn edger.
Flymo XLT 3000
Available from Garden Centre is the Flymo XLT 3000 petrol powered combi machine that offers a choice of 6 attachments including a hedge trimmer, cultivator and chainsaw pruner.
Although more well known for their lawnmowers, Flymo is actually owned by machinery giant Husqvarna, a Swedish company with as much expertise as anyone else when it comes to garden machinery.