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Is Echo’s cordless hedge trimmer as good as a petrol model?

Which? tries out Echo's £550 cordless hedge trimmer

Is Echo’s cordless hedge trimmer as good as a petrol model?

Cordless hedge trimmers have come of age, with many professional gardeners opting for cordless over petrol. At Which? we’re seeing more manufacturers bring out powerful cordless models, including the Echo DHC-200 hedge trimmer. 

This model isn’t just aimed at professional gardeners, but at anyone who has lots of hedges to cut. At £550, it’s the price of a high-end petrol hedge trimmer, but cordless models are often easier to use. We tried it out in the Which? Gardening trial grounds at Capel Manor College. Find out what we thought by reading our first look review.

Echo DHC-200

 

The Echo DHC-200 is a cordless hedge trimmer powered by a 50V 2Ah battery. The battery sits at the back of the hedge trimmer’s body and has indicator lights to show how much charge is left. Echo claims it will run for 60 minutes before it needs to be recharged.

The 62cm-long blades cut on both sides and the gap between the cutting teeth is 3cm. This means the trimmer is able to tackle thicker branches up to around 1cm diameter.

As you might expect from a larger hedge trimmer with a long-lasting battery, it’s a little on the heavy side. It weighs 4.3kg with the battery fitted, so you will need to be quite strong to use it for long periods. Find out how it compares with our best hedge trimmers.

Cordless or petrol hedge trimmers?

If you have a lot of large hedges to cut, you are better off with either a petrol hedge trimmer or a powerful cordless model. Cordless models have several major advantages. They are quieter, vibrate far less and you don’t have the smell of petrol fumes.

They also free you from the faff of having to fill up your jerry can at a petrol station and then safely transport it home. Finally, and for many people this is the deal-breaker, they are much easier to start. You no longer have to prime the engine, use the choke and pull the start cord. You just press a button.

The disadvantages are weight and cost. For cordless tools, the larger the battery, the longer it will last, but the heavier it will be. This is particularly an issue with hedge trimmers, as you’re lifting the weight all the time while you’re using them. It’s not unusual for powerful cordless hedge trimmers with large batteries to be as heavy as a petrol model.

Cordless models can also cost the same as a petrol hedge trimmer. If you have a lot of hedges to cut, you may want to invest in more than one battery, or have to wait for the battery to recharge before you can finish your job. This adds to the cost, but may be worthwhile in the long-run, compared with the cost of petrol.

Find out how to choose the best hedge trimmer.

Cordless hedge trimmers

We have reviewed a number of powerful cordless chainsaws from Stihl, Mountfield, Honda and Ego.

If you have a smaller garden, there are plenty of good cordless models for you to choose from, but beware as some models are underpowered and don’t cut well. To help you choose the right model, look at our cordless hedge trimmer reviews.

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