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Are Stihl’s £99 garden power tools a bargain?

Which? tries Stihl's new cordless hedge trimmer and strimmer

Stihl has released a new range of tools for small gardens. The company is best known for its powerful machines for professionals, and we have seen many Stihl Best Buys in the past. But can these budget tools meet our high expections? 

The range includes a cordless strimmer, hedge trimmer, leaf blower and shrub shearers – all with features that should appeal to those with your average back garden. So the strimmer has the option of blades instead of a strimmer line, and the hedge trimmer is light and easy to use.

Cordless technology really makes sense in the garden as you don’t have to worry about trailing an electric cable behind you, and possibly chopping through it. Neither do you have to weight, noise and vibration that petrol models bring. These tools have an 18V Li-ion integrated battery, so you don’t take it out to recharge it. Instead you plug the tool into the mains.

Stihl has a great reputation for designing excellent, powerful tools that are easy to use. The FSA 45 strimmer and HSA 45 hedge trimmer matched Stihl’s more powerful models well for design, but were they as good as our Best Buy strimmers and Best Buy hedge trimmers?

Stihl FSA 45 strimmer

This cordless strimmer has the option of blades as well as strimmer line, as many gardeners find lines difficult and frustrating to use. The sturdy plastic blades clip onto the strimmer head and spare blades are stored on a handy holder under the handle.

The shaft can be extended and rotated by releasing a button on the handle, while the head is easily rotated using a lever. The robust plant guard snaps firmly in place and can be used as a guide when edging the lawn.

We tried it out on long grass and lawn edges. Read our first look review to find out how well it managed these tasks.

Stihl HSA 45 hedge trimmer

This cordless hedge trimmer has a 50cm long blade with 24mm spaces between the teeth. It’s light at just 2.3kg, and we found it very easy and comfortable to use. But did it slice through the thick stems of hawthorn and beech hedges as cleanly as it managed to cut our box topiary? Find out in our first look review.

Is Stihl reliable?

Stihl is a firm favourite with professional users, and Which? members have also had their say on the reliability of Stihl’s hedge trimmers and strimmers.

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