Product Review: Stihl HSA 56 Battery Hedge Trimmer
(Disclosure: I was sent a free Hedge Trimmer to try out and Review.)
Recently I was contacted by the nice people at Stihl to see if I would like to try out their new battery-powered compact HSA 56 Hedge Trimmer, and as one entire boundary of my garden is privet hedge I jumped at the chance.
I had to wait for a dry day as I hate cutting in the wet, I find I mostly end up wearing all the trimmings, which is not a good look.
I normally cut my Privet hedge 2 – 3 times a year depending on how much growth it puts on, I also have to climb up step ladders to trim the top, I have a shorter privet hedge at the front of the house alongside my driveway. I usually tackle both of my hedges with an electric hedge cutter jobby, which requires an extension lead to an outdoor socket, fitted with RDC (residual current device) which should prevent me from blowing myself up if I should happen to chop through the electric cable.
I found this was quite a powerful cordless hedge trimmer that cut quickly and cleanly on my large hedge, the 45 cm long blade length made it very manoeuvrable on smaller, tight angles on my hedge and it’s also light and comfortable to use.
The battery took 45 minutes to charge, the battery I had which was an AK 10, and had an average run time of 40 minutes depending on the thickness of stems you are cutting. However I managed to trim the side and top of my back garden hedge with battery power to spare.
There is also the option of a AK 20 battery with a run time of 1 hour 20 mins, which is 0.4kg heavier, again depending on the thickness of the stems you are cutting through.
The Hedge Cutter overall weighs 4.1kg which is the same weight as my usual electric jobby, but of course the Stihl HSA 56 has no cable attached for me to have to keep feeding around objects such as garden furniture, my pond and the cat which is a usual downside of corded equipment.
There is a battery lock which lets you store the battery within the hedge cutter without the fear of it falling out, or being accidentally started by small persons who often ‘want to help’, you just have to push the battery in further until it locks into place before it will start. There are the usual dead-mans switches fitted so you cannot start the cutter with out both hands firmly on the handles, there is also a switch lock that prevents unintentional button pressing.
There are also battery-charge lights that show you how much charge is left, whilst in use. An essential feature in my book.
I found this Hedge Cutter very easy to use, I was climbing up and down my step ladders with ease and quickly and happily cutting away, I only had the intention of giving my hedge a light trim before the winter, but I ended up reducing the height of the hedge on my side. The downside of which means I had loads of clippings to rake up.
This is a fantastic piece of gardening equipment, which was easy and a joy to use. The technology in cordless garden equipment has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and Stihl have been at the forefront of the advancements.
The battery used with the Stihl Compact Cordless system is compatible with other Cordless kit with in the range.
The Cordless Chainsaw, Cordless Hedge cutter, Cordless Leaf Blower, Cordless Grass Strimmer all take the same rechargeable battery system.
The Cordless Hedge Cutter system I received RRP’s at £199 or £149 for just the tool.