Making Light Work of a Tall Order
Your mission for today, should you choose to accept it, fellow gardener, is hedge trimming. Nothing too impossible - just five metres of privet. Oh, and by the way - 12 feet tall at one end (3.6 metres), rising to 15 feet (4.5 metres) at the other end - and that’s after it’s been cut. And it’s on a steep slope.
The sides are no problem - my Tanaka brushcutter with a trimmer attachment sorted that out. It’s the top that’s the tricky bit, along with some of the tighter corners.
Firstly ladders, good balance and a strong nerve are required. Secondly, a tool that is ultra-light, flexible and easy to operate. So I took a further dip into the growing battery-powered world with a Redback E522D hedge trimmer - for several reasons.
Firstly, weight. Tottering around at full stretch at the top of a ladder with anything featuring an internal combustion engine is not fun. An electric machine is therefore a must, but I’ve had enough of tangled electric power cables, several of which have ended up shredded.
The Redback battery-powered option works for three reasons. Firstly, it is as light as any mains-powered electric jobbie - so long as the battery is not fitted to the machine but installed on a purpose-built belt that I bought with the machine. Yes, this means you do have a cable - the one that runs from the waist-mounted battery pack to the dummy battery in the machine. But so long as the pack is tucked firmly above your bum, the cable is so short that you’d shred your trousers before you went near it.
Secondly, it cuts - as well as anything I’ve used in its class. Big clumps of stuff 5mm thick and above will cause it to labour, but it does what it is supposed to do perfectly well.
Thirdly, the lithium battery option is looking increasingly attractive. These batteries don’t come cheap (about twice the price of the machine for the 40-volt 6.0Ah), but in the course of two hours of on-and-off trimming, the battery charge indicator dropped only one bar from four to three. And don’t forget the saving on petrol as well.
An added bonus to this is that the same battery fits my Redback leaf blower, although the leaf-blower is a whole lot more hungry when to comes to power consumption - 30 minutes on constant full blast. So maybe a spare battery beckons …