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Petrol or electric?

I have been running stihl  AP battery range tools for about 5 years now, and was told back then they were more powerful than the  petrol equivilents, but is this still true?

Mainly in regards to the hedge trimmers and strimmers.


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  • also if I am going to go to petrol, what is a good petrol hedge trimmer.. ideally long reach.


    • Hi Rob, 

      personally I couldn't think of a single reason to go back to a petrol based operation., maybe if I had a few employees with an eye to costs.. I don't use Sthil but prefer Pellenc(which is a different system to the AP s you have)I think it's going on 4 years now and apart from a few issues with a motor have had no problems. I'm cutting hedges everyday for 4 months solid , so I need reliable machines. Going back to petrol now would mean an increase in weight  of handling,fumes and noise..I keep my old Echo for rough stuff and clearing if you get me..

      Thats my tuppence worth anyway, best of luck with how you choose to proceed!!




    • Rob, not a fan of battery but our go to petrol hedgecutters are Echo HCAS 236 ES around £510 inc vat, 2year commercial warranty. Not a long reach but semi long reach which cope with most jobs, we even use them for small topiary. They are totally reliable and the blade quality is excellent, stay sharp for months even afrer chewing through stuff we should use loppers on, cannot recommend highly enough best machines we have ever bought .

  • morning , I use both petrol and AP powered 


    they both have there positives and negatives , petrol tools are way more powerful and there are jobs (like yesterday) where my battery tools cannot complete the job!!


    it'll be a great day when we can have the same power using both types of machinery , but it's not here yet with the stihl systems! 

  • I use kombi systems. I have in petrol km94 and battery kma 135r the battery systems are a bit heavier but I find you don't get the fatigue like you do with petrol noise and vibrations, intial outlay is high for the battery set up but well worth it. I use a lot of the strimmer and hedge cutter attachments and I can't fault it.

    • That's a major plus on the battery systems. I used to come wrecked from a days cutting, now I find that not to be the case and I would wager that I'm faster  at my work now than years ago, because of that weight differential.I can also listen to something without the volume at 10... Battery systems are expensive , but I can't think of any work that they are not suitable for in a normal working season..I'm can only talk about the Pellenc helion that I use of course...

  • FSA135 (R) strimmer has great power, I would say the work rate is about equivalent to a 35cc to 38cc engine. Same with my new Ego STX4500. In fact both are just too powerful for fine lawn edges where I still use Stihl FSA85 which is more precise. The big strimmers use battery power up quickly of course. As for Stihl battery hedge cutters, the HSA130 with it's various blade options are a big step up in power/ build quality from the HSA86/HSA100, but the AP battery has to be worn in a belt pouch and attached with a cable. Not generally a problem once used to it. For long reach battery the Stihl HLA135 is a good machine, it's not a telescopic model though

    • PRO

      When I invested in battery hedge trimmers I kept my petrol as back up but rarely had to use them as battery is adequate  

      The only exception is I prefer the petrol machines for hedge reductions and a petrol blower for Autumn leaf clearing . 

      Echo petrol hedge trimmer has proved to be bullet proof and ultra reliable .

      The Stihl petrol combi I still use with the blower attachment and used it as a long reach hedge trimmer with the extension shaft before battery I found it to be more balanced than my Stihl battery long reach to be honest as the cutting head feels heavy in use but the battery long reach is much nicer to use on account of no fumes and no hot engine . 

      I organise my work load so I do not run out of battery power   .



  • PRO

    The strimmers are great but the hedge cutters are utterly under engineered for pro use. I have had 2 hla66 and a hla 85 give up.on me in the last few weeks and they are just out of warranty. Prior to this I have more sets die on me and they are not cheap to replace.

    I have now ordered 2 sets of DeWalt long reach and have already purchased a set of Makita xgt single sided hedge cutters that I'm very impressed with, the DeWalt have yet to be delivered so can't say how they are but they are 1/3  the price of Stihl.

    • yes the HLA65/66 and HLA85/86 being mechanically the same machine with different long reaching handle length, they are ok for lighter use. HLA135 is much more robust with motor at the back driving the blades via a shaft. More powerful too, faster but heavier than the HLA66. I tend to use HLA135 mainly for hedge tops, where being horizontal the weight is not such an issue and it will cut thicker material without complaint

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