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Hedge cutters

Good morning, hope everyone is enjoying this nice weather. I use a echo hca265 hedge cutter. Due to poor running and being a pig to start when hot  my dealer replaced the carb and piston/rings a few months ago under warranty but it's running poorly again already. This is my 4th echo and the only one I've not been happy with.  I usually keep them 3 seasons and then replace, this one is just into its 3rd season so I was hoping it would last the year out, Anyone else had problems? Thinking of trying a stihl or what would others suggest? Any help would be appreciated, regards, martin. 

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  • PRO

    Not sure if there is much to compare between Stihl and Echo I find them both good brands within their capabilities . 

    I have an Echo HC 1501 now four years old which starts first pull everytime and has done lots of work and still feels and sounds like new apart from a bit of rust on the blade bar . 

    I use a stihl kombi mostly 94 i get on well with the hedge trimmer attachment i find it great for general hedge cutting and topiary , Also had other stihl hedge cutters and generally they have served me well but i come from a generation that bought things to last so i try and base my buying decisions on that policy but a big issue now as i get older is the weight and balance of anything i use , The Echo i use feels heavy now compared to what it used to four years ago but the Stihl feels light and performs well 

    Generally though i feel we all like value for money and high performance i dont know if paying more money for machinery makes anything better and in what way or if it lasts longer .  





  • I switched to a battery operated Stihl HLA 65 pole cutter a couple of seasons ago. I use an AP300 battery with an AP200 back-up battery.

    It's been a good buy. The batteries last longer than I need for a day's trimming at various locations, the trimmer is fairly light and the blade cuts well. I've since bought another one and wouldn't go back to petrol. I haven't had any problems with them whatsoever.

    • I switched to the hla 85 long reach and the normal 25 inch battery hedgetrimmer (cannot remember the model number)  and wouldn't go back, however drizzly day like today in North East I have to revert back to 2 stroke,

      I cannot get a definitive answer off my stihl dealer whether these are showerproof, or can be used on wet hedges despite a sign on with a tick for using in th rain

  • Hi Martin,

    I have an echo HC-281 and never had a problem with it. Easy started compared to previous models and tough . Not as tough as the sthil hs81R which to me is the ultimate ,if your looking for reliability backed up with sheer 'beast' power.

    This is the first full year I have been using battery operated pellenc helion compact. Its early days but the dramatic effect on the operator is startling. It's difficult to quantify how less fatigued you are at the end of the day. Currently , and it is early days, I would say I am a out 1/3 faster too on work compared to last year. Yes you have to charge it yourself at home but it's a small price to pay. Summer Osteopath visits have been obliterated.  It's not perfect as it can be awkward moving tripods ladders around., sometimes the cord gets stuck a little in hedges too, but these are very minor details . The work I do is 99% on established hedges. I keep the other machines now as back up for the dirty work.

    It is however very expensive. Mine set me back €2000(£1795)-battery-cutter-65cm blades.that I understand can be very off putting ,but for me it has been a revelation.


    Hope this helps 


    • Hi, thanks for the replies, not sure if I'm ready to join the rechargeable revolution yet but it's certainly worth looking into. Less weight less noise and no engine to think about. I'd just be concerned about battery life and having access to power to charge the spare battery. 

      • PRO

        Battery powered gear : So so depends on the type of clientele & sites you have.

        We have nearly have a ‘teams’ worth of Stihl battery gear after being lent complete demo set last year.

        Is it good ? It’s getting there but we’re sure the next generation gear & batteries will improve and become fully capable. 

        Is it robust ? It’s clearly lighter-weight in areas to reduce power drain. Time will tell of its longevity. I’d also like to see ‘rubber bump stops’ around the battery opening, especially on long handled gear as you end up placing the unit on the ground ‘battery first’

        Are run times good ? We only use the very latest, higher capacity AP300s ( not the earlier type with ‘black’ end panels’). For light to medium work, run time is acceptable esp if you regularly visit and maintain the site. However, using the fast chargers and 12v inverters means we can recharge almost to 100% in ~ 30 mins - ie travel time between sites gets us out of jail

        Any good for commercial contractors ? Combination of build quality, light weight construction, minimal ability to self repair and finally run time when doing blitzes etc mean we feel we can’t rely on it without petrol engine back ups. I also feel it’s going to be easy to break the casings where the batteries slot in.

        Are backpack batteries the answer ? Not according to our guys. They feel restrictive, heavy and sweaty on days like today. However, some of that would be resolved by repeated use.

        Is it the way ahead ? Absolutely, but feel it’s the next generation of machines / batteries that will swing it.

        My View ? Use it where it makes sense or can be justified without adopting a fanatical approach and trying to save the world 

        p.s. the ‘whole cost of life’ and affect on the environment can be worse than petrol when taking in ‘cradle to grave’ costs & impact. Mining lithium thru to recycling spent batteries is damaging to the environment.

      • I use the back pack battery system Martin. Plenty of life for a days work. I'd be dubious as to buy into rechargables. Far too faffy at the minute. I got given a weeks trial of the pellenc from my local garage. They stock the big three. Pellenc Husqvarna and Sthil. For back pack they rate them in that order.

        I'd agree with nearly everything Gary says below.I would add that when your getting on into your 40s  , you gotta start thinking of the body a bit more and treating it better. I'm in the camp that if something makes your life easier, then get it.Thats if your gonna be using it 5-6 days a week for 3-4 months of the year at least...maybe get a weeks trial and decide then..


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