Lightweight - light duty - useful
I bought this and a pole-saw (see other review) about 18months ago. It hasn't had heavy use till recently (god bless rain). Basically, it's a light-duty trimmer which will cut green shoots and the odd branchlet. The pivoting head is handy. It comes with a strap (same as pole-saw) which is utterly useless, unless you were taking it for a long walk, not using it. Blades seem of adequate quality, still sharp after some heavy use.
The routine: For trimming the hedge on our driveway - perfectly fine. For being light enough to use - very good....
Purchased in August 2019 at Bunnings Warehouse for $200.00.
Heavy but cuts well
This pole hedge trimmer is a specialised device that cuts well but could use some design improvements. It is very top heavy, which quickly becomes tiring. The balance is terrible, even with the shoulder strap. I think the strap and trigger are poorly placed making use awkward.
Mine also cuts out for no reason sometimes, I registered for the 6yr extended warranty so I can always get a replacement if it becomes worse.
Purchased in February 2020 for $199.00.
RYOBI 18V Pole Hedge Trimmer
Purchased off the shelf with a 2.5ah battery which has turned out to have a very short life consequently unable to finish even small jobs without recharging. There are better options
Purchased in February 2017 at Bunnings Warehouse for $250.00.
Works well for most hedges and vines
I was unsure how well this hedge trimmer would work with hedges and vines, being battery operated, but so far I've found it works as advertised. With vines such as wisteria, it just slices through the thin vines like butter. The cuts are sharp and effortless. For vines and hedges closer to 10mm-12mm, it slows momentarily and chews through them, which is expected. There were no jambs except for the occasional grab on 13mm+ branches but I don't expect this is the product for those thicknesses. It cuts through green and dead vines and thin green/b...rown branches equally well. I've used it to cut back sprouting saplings with no issues, as long as they fit in the jaws it will chew through them. The trimmer cuts down on labour time compared to manual pruning shears and allows for fast shaping. The downsides of the product are the combined cost of the main unit (skin) batteries and charger make it expensive. I purchased a Ryobi drill with the twin batteries (5 Ah and 2.5 Ah) and charger and this made the purchase of the trimmer more reasonable. I used the 5 Ah battery for about an hour and it only went down one level on the 4 level LED display. The other issue is the weight of the head. When you are reaching out from a ladder over a hedge the head is quite heavy, and when I used the extension pole from the ground I found the weight of the head at the full extension almost unbearable. There is a harness strap but its mount points make it of no benefit to the full extension (its works OK to hang the single section unit while you change positions). The poles are fixed lengths so you can't adjust the length. In fact I think I'd prefer the second pole to be half the length it is given the issues mentioned. The 2.8m length spec looks impressive but unless you have strong arm muscles you'll quickly fatigue at the full extension. (At least with Stihl style petrol pole trimmers the head weight is offset by the motor weight at the other end and it pivots well on its harness at any angle). Overall I think its a good unit that works efficiently, especially for trimming shrubs around your own height and the occasional ladder height hedge.
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