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Corded tools

Hi there, first post on here for me.  Been lurking for a while always seeming to end up here when googling so had to sign up! I've recently set up my new gardening business maintaining small domestic gardens. I already have a mix of Stihl petrol tools on Aspen. I am however needing a few more tools and wanted to push being green and eco which works with my ethos. On searching through the Stihl and Husky catalogues I see they do a few several corded "pro" models corded of hedgetrimmer (Hse81) and chainsaw 420EL . Battery stuff seems a great idea, but it's very costly and I'm not completely under the spell of it being super green with the ethics involved with the mining of resources to build batteries. So after my ramble, does anybody actually use corded tools successfully? I appreciate there are many limitations but I can see in some scenarios there may be some benefits? Many thanks

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  • For a few years I used the HSE 71. Mine has the 28 inch blade set but I believe it is now only available with the 24 inch blade set, so get the HSE 81. Although the 28 inch replacement blade sets can be bought swapped out. The reason I had this was to avoid the noise and the fumes of a petrol hedge cutter. I used a small petrol generator and an extension cable. So I was so far away from the generator that I could barely hear it.

     I then moved to a Stihl HS 56 C-e [I got fed up with the cable issues], but now I have moved on to the Stihl battery range, which is the best thing I ever did.

    But, to get back to your question, yes, the HSE 71/81 is an exceptional hedge cutter. It will do commercial work all day. It sounds like you will be plugging into the customers electric, so I assume they are all okay with that.

    As regards to how ‘green’ the batteries are, all I can say is that I would normally use quite a lot of two stroke through the hedge cutter which now I don’t. The batteries also last a long time in the hedge cutter. The AP 200 will do two and a half hours of trigger time, which saves about four tanks of two stroke. The batteries last a very long time [many years], by all accounts, so that is fairly ‘green’ or ‘eco’ in the long term.

    The battery kit is only costly if you are starting from scratch and need to buy batteries and a charger. After that initial cost the bare tools are quite reasonably priced, especially with the dealer discount.

    My advice would be go straight onto the battery kit. I wish I had done it years ago.

    • PRO

      Totally agree with Vic. Go cordless, there are simply too many issues with having a lead attached. I do agree with your point about the sourcing of the batteries not being environmentally friendly though, nor is the disposal. 

  • PRO

    And another thumbs up for battery.. T

    the cord is going to cause more problems than it cures...is it long enough, has it got tangled, has that elderly client tripped over the extension...the list goes on and on

    • PRO

      Those machines possibly have a place in a remote setting where there is access to a power supply . I wouldn't want to use them in a domestic setting as a contractor 

  • thanks for the insights. I think as you all say battery is the best way to go in the majority of scenarios. Part of me was wondering if I was missing a trick with corded tools.

  • I have battery hedge cutter and the adaptor to enable wearing battery on belt (to reduce tool-weight) with a short cord to hedger cutter. I've cut through it twice :( I've changed to using a lighter, shorter-runtime, battery in the tool. I don't know if corded tool would be less prone to that? maybe the longer cable would be easy to "wear" to avoid accidents.

    • I have repeated my mantra quite a lot recently on the forum but it seem to fall on deaf ears, but here it is once again.

      Buy an Easy Lift Harness. It WILL change your life. No more thinking about how heavy the machine or the battery is. With the ELH the hedge cutter and battery weigh NOTHING. It becomes weightless.

      I would no more cut a hedge without using my ELH than to cut it using nail scissors.

      I cannot understand why all pro gardeners don’t use one.

      • I have presumed ?? that ELH is only relevant to long reach / pole hedge cutter?

        My comment of chopping the cable was on a short/regular hedge trimmer ... I don't think that would happen with long reach (as the blade is so far away from operator), and I find weight of short hedge trimmer with smaller battery is fine, and I like the agility (but that might be just me?)

        I'm invested in henchman platforms for cutting tops of hedges (and thus not needing long reach hedge cutter) ...

        ... but I am going to try long reach instead, and if that goes OK I might well then want a harness to take the strain, instead of platform. but I don't think long reach, with the head swivelled over, is going to cut the whole width of the tops of my hedges, if that's the case I'll have to use platform anyway, and won't have much use for long reach

        I'll also be interested to see if I can use long-reach for the sides (lower down). I cut to a string to get a straight side, and in some places use spirit level to get consistent angle of batter-from-vertical, I'm not sure that I am going to be able to work to a straight line with the cutting head several feet away from me ... but I haven't tried it

        Still expecting to need platform for e.g. Pleach where some of the work (whilst I'm up there anyway) is secateur-pruning and tying-in, but I'll be plesantly surprised if long-reach (and potentially ELH too) improve my current use of short hedgecutter.

      • I would guess.....certainly in my case........... that a lot of people don't have a problem with the weight and really don't want the hassle of wearing it..  Personally, I tend to switch between a mower, hedgecutter, strimmer and blower... each one for short periods,  so really wouldn't want the hassle of keep connecting/unconnecting it + it's just another thing to fill the van up with.  Really long hedges with a longreach hedgecutter could be handy I guess though personally, I rarely use one as I find I can get a far better and closer finish with the standard length blade.   

        • Hi Kris and Graham, 

          I hadn’t considered that there may be a misconception as to what the ELH is for and that it wrongly might be thought of as only be for a pole hedge cutter. The ELH is absolutely for a normal [non pole] hedge cutter. This is primarily how I use it, with the hedge cutter.

          I think you guys would really benefit from trying one out. Cutting a long tall hedge, which may take a few hours, is physically challenging, but not when using an ELH.

          The ELH is very quick and easy to put on taking only a few seconds, about as long as putting a strimmer harness on.

          It’s not just that the hedge cutter becomes weightless [as if that isn’t enough], but also that you can use the hedge cutter at arm’s length for extended periods, as when reaching across the top of a hedge, because it has no weight. We all know the strain of reaching across the hedge without any assistance.

          I use my ELH when also using steps. You just use it in the same situations as normal hedge cutting.

          I don’t know where you guys are located, but if you are anywhere near north east Derbyshire then you are both welcome to come and try my ELH. I can certainly find you a hedge to try it on.

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