Having struggled along with various electric hedge cutters for years I decided to go down the petrol route. Oh why didn't I just do that before!
The hedge-cutters came next working day. The packing box was huge (small coffin sized, himself reckons it's to store my limbs when I chop them off) but not overly heavy. Then 2 days of heavy rain meant I had to wait. After enduring lengthy instructions from himself on how to start the machine (eye roll - yeah I can read an instruction book too you know) he was rather miffed that I mixed oil and petrol in the perfect ratio and got it started first time with no problem at all - not bad for a mere woman. At 4.3kg they are one of the lightest cutters I've seen and so cause far less strain on your arms. As with all petrol powered jobbies they are fairly noisy so I'd definitely recommend ear defenders which have the added bonus of blocking out himself saying I've missed a bit. Not the cheapest cutters but certainly not expensive and their performance has meant that to me they are worth their weight in gold (and at £30.68 a gram at current gold prices that's a lot more than I paid for them). I've only had them for 2 weeks but I know now that my life just wouldn't be the same without them. My only teeny weeny criticism (more of a wish really) is that they don't come with a mixing bottle so I improvised with a plastic jug and a medicine spoon. A mixing bottle would've been nice.
Swivel handle moved with ease and meant I could trim the front of the hedge without trying to get into a yoga pose. The acid test was the top. The hedge is largely of forsythia, viburnum and a vile spreading snowberry bush which get really woody. I've seen other reviewers saying that these cutters go through hedges like a hot knife through butter and my word do they ever. Even the snowberry bush which, over the years has proved nigh on impossible to cut, bit the bullet. A job that usually takes me an hour with electric cutters, hedge loppers & made up swear words took 20 minutes max. The comparatively light weight of these cutters, even with a full tank of juice, meant my feeble woman's arms still worked after using them. Himself came out when I was mid sweeping up and was gutted that I'd finished thus neglecting him the opportunity to play.
What can I chop down next? Joy of joys a long back garden full of shrubby stuff has succumbed to my new toy. My poor old chipper has been working overtime and I now have 3 builder's merchants 1 tonne bags full of chippings. Next job will, with his agreement, my neighbour's 90 foot long privet hedge. He has a "gardener" - and I use the term gardener very lightly - who we call Arfer (cos he only does arfer job) who cuts along the sides of the hedge but never the top. Said hedge is now taller than his kitchen extension and incredibly woody. We've tried to keep it at bay to a certain extent from our side but electric cutters just don't have the welly - not to mention my poor arms. I'm looking forward (yes looking forward) to getting at it and returning the sun to my garden.
This may be traditionally a boys toy but now is most definitely this girls new BFF!