AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/20/20 10:58 a.m.

Scattered among the parts cars and junk piles I have various plants that keep growing and need to be cut back periodically. My thought is that if I keep them trimmed into interesting shapes, it will redirect the focus off my scrap pile(s) and prevent the neighbors from complaining. "Oh yes... Mr AAZCD is a bit odd, but at least he keeps his hedges trimmed."

My problem right now is that the only working trimmer I have is an old electrical corded one. A long extension cord on a hedge trimmer is an accident waiting to happen - that has not quite happened yet. One of my junk piles contains four trimmers, two gas and two cordless. I need a new one and am not sure which way to go: Gas or Cordless? Which brand/model?

My main concern about cordless is that in the past, the batteries I've used were junk (Black & Decker) and did not last through a whole season (I have about 7 batteries in a junk pile). The gas trimmers have worked pretty well for me. They made it through a couple seasons before becoming damaged from abuse and neglect - they are not tolerant of being jammed in a chain link fence or cutting down small-ish trees.

While doing some essential shopping (masked and carrying hand sanitizer), I saw a Stihl cordless and almost bought it on impulse. I stopped myself since I had done absolutely no research on them.  As for all things power and tool related, I want to know - What does the GRM Hive recommend?

Shopping preferences: My only local stores are Tractor Supply, Atwoods, Lowes, and Walmart. Amazon for most of the online stuff. I'm cheap; not the guy that's going to pay top dollar for the best brand, but will jump on a deal for a quality factory refurbished item.

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/20/20 11:04 a.m.

What battery ecosystem do you have right now? I'd go with DeWalt or Milwaukee, because I already have other tools of each. 

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/20/20 11:13 a.m.
mtn (Forum Supporter) said:

What battery ecosystem do you have right now? I'd go with DeWalt or Milwaukee, because I already have other tools of each. 

I have some older DeWalt 18v tools that held up for a long time. Mrs AAZCD bought me a Worx 32v blower that has worked out well. I just started migrating to the Harbor Freight Bauer brand for my newer cordless. I haven't seen any lawn tools that are compatible with the Bauer yet. I'll take a quick look at HF to make sure...

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/20/20 11:16 a.m.

Oh look, HF does have one. Anyone have experience with it?

Trent (Generally supportive dude)
Trent (Generally supportive dude) PowerDork
4/20/20 11:19 a.m.

At this point I have am all in on the Ryobi 40V yard tool system. The mower, the weedeater and as of yesterday the chainsaw. 

I will probably buy the hedge trimmer in the next few months. If the chainsaw and weedeater are any indication, the hedge trimmer will be great.

 

stafford1500
stafford1500 Dork
4/20/20 11:23 a.m.

 

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/20/20 11:23 a.m.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-80-Volt-Max-26-in-Dual-Cordless-Electric-Hedge-Trimmer-1-Battery-Included/1000386901

 

I currently have the 80 volt Mower and Line trimmer. Battery life is good, and they have a 5 year warranty. I did have one fail prematurely, so I walked into Lowe's, they grabbed me another one, and I went on my way. And if you want to spend more, they have batteries with as much as 2.5x the amp hour rating of what you get when you buy the tools.

I bought both of these separately, so I have 2 chargers and 3 batteries. I'll likely add the leaf blower at some point this year as well. Not only for the yard, but it will make "sweeping" the garage must easier and drying the cars after a wash.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
4/20/20 11:26 a.m.

I'm a Kobalt/Greenworks 80V guy.

Blower, hedge trimmer, string trimmer, and polesaw. The polesaw is a fairly new addition with about 1 year of use but the others have been in service for 4 years now without any issues. The hedge trimmers usually just get used once/season, but they've handled all of my shrubs around the house + cutting back a 150yd brush line on the edge of the property.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/20/20 11:30 a.m.
STM317 said:

I'm a Kobalt/Greenworks 80V guy.

Blower, hedge trimmer, string trimmer, and polesaw. The polesaw is a fairly new addition with about 1 year of use but the others have been in service for 4 years now without any issues. The hedge trimmers usually just get used once/season, but they've handled all of my shrubs around the house + cutting back a 150yd brush line on the edge of the property.

How do you like the pole saw? I've been considering getting that to trim the branches I can get to in my yard. Then let the pros get the stuff farther up.

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
4/20/20 11:36 a.m.

I just bought one of the Kobaly 80 volt ones. It's a beast. Cuts the E36 M3 out of everything. Down side is it's so heavy that I cant swing it more than about 30 minutes or i cant lift my arms the next day. I got it more for clearing hedgy brush at the back of the property, and it's great. If I were just trimming nice hedges I would have been far happier with the next one down that was half the weight with the same size bar.

 

Btw, I have that same orange corded B&D trimmer. I armored an extension cord with heater hose for the first 5' after frying one. The mice are the cord off but I'm going to fix it so I have one that's lighter weight than the Kobalt.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
4/20/20 11:38 a.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

No complaints. I've cut some limbs roughly 4" without a fuss. It's nice and quiet compared to gas, and takes less time to use too

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/20/20 11:47 a.m.

Reading through, I'm thinking 20v stuff is passé now, at least for lawn equipment. A couple reviews of the HF Bauer trimmer said that it was not up to the standard of the other Bauer tools. Lowes is nearby and the 80v Kobalt is taking the lead....

Woody
Woody MegaDork
4/20/20 11:48 a.m.

I have the thing that attaches to the bottom of my gas powered weed whacker and I love it. They're about $100 from Lowes/Depot. The beauty of it is that you can use it low, hockey stick style and very effectively trim poison ivy and pricker bushes without walking right in there.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/20/20 11:51 a.m.

I have the whole 40v Greenworks ecosystem including the hedge trimmer and pole saw. They strike the right balance between performance and weight for my suburban double lot. The nice thing is that there are two battery sizes, so you can run the smaller/lighter battery for small or quick jobs and the big one when you need it. I find that having two of the small ones is perfect because by the time I'm done, the other is done charging. I just hot swap them all day.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/20/20 1:48 p.m.

I'm a huge fan of gas stuff.  I detest cords, and every single one of my extension cords is now 3' shorter and has a replacement female end on it BECAUSE OF HAVING OWNED a corded hedge trimmer.  I have never had the issues that people complain about gas stuff, and I don't do anything special.

IMO, Stihl makes the cream of the crop.  Husqvarna and Red also make high quality stuff.

Anything you buy at box stores will be cheaper-sourced parts, assembled by a third party, and slapped with a sticker.  Having said that, it's not entirely a bad thing.  Yes, quality will be down.  As a former warranty repair guy for HD, the process kinda went like this:

HD and Lowes in the 90's:  We need to sell brand name lawn equipment in our stores, and we have the world's largest buying power.  Let's pressure the big brand names into making cheaper stuff so we can buy it super low and sell it for less than dealers and still make a profit

Customers in the 90's: This stuff is crap and I will never buy an [insert brand name] again.

Suppliers in the 90's: Umm... duh.  you're selling crap and this is bad for our reputation.  Good luck with Black and Decker, the only brand left willing to sell to you.

---------------------

Box stores in 2000s:  Ok, we'll pay for the good stuff... well, crap, we're not making a profit on this.

Customers in the 90's:  This isn't any cheaper than the dealer, and we all remember what happened the last time I bought a [thing] from a box store.

Suppliers in the 90's:  We're not selling anything in your store, so why are we going through this headache?

------------------

Today, the chinese stuff is getting so good that all of them are made there.  Dealers are holding them to a higher standard and they are producing much better stuff.  Now we're back to the 90's scenario, its just that the "second-class" chinese stuff is still pretty darn good.  In the past it used to be that you got the good stuff from the dealer which was built in a Scandanavian country or the HF-level crap from HD or Lowes.  Now, the difference between the two is very minimal.

If you buy from Amazon, there is a VERY good chance that what you are getting is the same thing you'd be getting from one of those tool liquidation stores in an outlet mall; the box store version that was RTV'd  (return to vendor).  This could mean that someone bought it and opened it and didn't use it but the packaging is gone/damaged, they found it too difficult to use, they flooded it and it wouldn't start, etc.  It could also be brand new, but part of a special black friday shipment where they were assembled by a cheaper bidder and sold in huge quantities.  Again, not bad, but just be aware of what you're getting.  You have a better chance of getting a good one if the Amazon seller is the brand name of what you're buying.  If it isn't, it is a liquidation company that bought refurbed or returned items and replaced parts that showed use (if any)

For instance, THIS one is a Husqvarna trimmer on Amazon sold by Husqvarna.  It is likely a brand new trimmer just like from the dealer at a slightly reduced $277 price because Amazon.

  THIS one is the same Husqy for $299 on their website. 

THIS one is an Amazon refurb unit for $269.

Also, another big factor.  They're all more or less getting closer to being the same.  Poulan, Husqvarna, Craftsman, and Weed Eater brands are all owned by the same company.  Ridgid, Dewalt, Bosch, Porter Cable, Black and Decker, Skil, Ryobi, and Homelite are all now owned by one umbrella under Home Depot.  They mix and match certain things, like Homelite's pressure washers are still assembled by Robin, Skil's jigsaws are outsourced from someone else, etc.  It's important to note... they are all still assembled separately with some unique parts, but many of the parts are the same thing brand to brand, like this string trimmer part.  They're all in each other's beds.

BUT... having said that... for not much more money than big box stores or Amazon, you can get a top of the line Husqy or Stihl.  I wouldn't hesitate to buy a heavily used one.  They're very high quality.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/20/20 1:48 p.m.
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) said:

I just bought one of the Kobaly 80 volt ones. It's a beast. Cuts the E36 M3 out of everything. Down side is it's so heavy that I cant swing it more than about 30 minutes or i cant lift my arms the next day. I got it more for clearing hedgy brush at the back of the property, and it's great. If I were just trimming nice hedges I would have been far happier with the next one down that was half the weight with the same size bar.

 

Btw, I have that same orange corded B&D trimmer. I armored an extension cord with heater hose for the first 5' after frying one. The mice are the cord off but I'm going to fix it so I have one that's lighter weight than the Kobalt.

This is why I bought the little strap attachment for my trimmer. So the my shoulder can help carry the weight vs just my arms.

With a corner lot and a sidewalk that goes to the driveway, and a sidewalk that goes to the other street.............it takes a while to edge the entire front yard.

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
4/20/20 1:56 p.m.
z31maniac said:
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) said:

I just bought one of the Kobaly 80 volt ones. It's a beast. Cuts the E36 M3 out of everything. Down side is it's so heavy that I cant swing it more than about 30 minutes or i cant lift my arms the next day. I got it more for clearing hedgy brush at the back of the property, and it's great. If I were just trimming nice hedges I would have been far happier with the next one down that was half the weight with the same size bar.

 

Btw, I have that same orange corded B&D trimmer. I armored an extension cord with heater hose for the first 5' after frying one. The mice are the cord off but I'm going to fix it so I have one that's lighter weight than the Kobalt.

This is why I bought the little strap attachment for my trimmer. So the my shoulder can help carry the weight vs just my arms.

With a corner lot and a sidewalk that goes to the driveway, and a sidewalk that goes to the other street.............it takes a while to edge the entire front yard.

If i were trimming regular hedges that would probably be great. Clearing brush I need more reach and swing, plus I'm cutting a lot of crap at ground level.

Also, there's no way I will have a yard with THAT many hedges that I have to trim regularly!

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/20/20 2:07 p.m.
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) said:
z31maniac said:
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) said:

I just bought one of the Kobaly 80 volt ones. It's a beast. Cuts the E36 M3 out of everything. Down side is it's so heavy that I cant swing it more than about 30 minutes or i cant lift my arms the next day. I got it more for clearing hedgy brush at the back of the property, and it's great. If I were just trimming nice hedges I would have been far happier with the next one down that was half the weight with the same size bar.

 

Btw, I have that same orange corded B&D trimmer. I armored an extension cord with heater hose for the first 5' after frying one. The mice are the cord off but I'm going to fix it so I have one that's lighter weight than the Kobalt.

This is why I bought the little strap attachment for my trimmer. So the my shoulder can help carry the weight vs just my arms.

With a corner lot and a sidewalk that goes to the driveway, and a sidewalk that goes to the other street.............it takes a while to edge the entire front yard.

If i were trimming regular hedges that would probably be great. Clearing brush I need more reach and swing, plus I'm cutting a lot of crap at ground level.

Also, there's no way I will have a yard with THAT many hedges that I have to trim regularly!

I wouldn't either! We were hoping to be planting stuff right now in the front beds............but plans and all that. 

Our Preferred Partners
uuyLomNx7Z6vizbZhvcHgoAtu3W5EPj3YESM87i5fdQpYHETKFAVJMFi5ld5em70