If you are looking for a lightweight long reach hedge trimmer, the Ryobi RPT 400 will make a great choice it is very popular and is getting good reviews online and I found it at a great discounted price on Amazon UK – save £23.51 on MRP and get it for only £76.48
The Ryobi RPT 400 Long Reach Hedge Trimmer specifications
- Weight: 4 kg.
- Motor: 400 Watts.
- Blade Length: 40cm.
- Pole Length: 65-100cm.
- Overall Length: 195-230cm.
- Cutting Capacity: 17mm.
- Articulating Head to 135º.
- 2-Year Manufacturers Warranty.
- Power Source: Electric – 8m (26ft) Cable.
When you look at these specifications, it is immediately striking that the 400 watt motor and 40 cm blade length are less than that of many general purpose electric hedge trimmers, which come with somewhere in the region of 600-700 watts and 60-70 cm blades.
Also, the cutting capacity of 17mm (just over ½”) – meaning that the maximum thickness of twig is can comfortably deal with is 17mm is not as large as the cutting capacity on some general purpose models. This is due to its specialized purpose, which is to enable any gardener to trim tall hedges without having to resort to a stepladder.
This is a specialized tool, and this is reflected in the various design compromises, such as a smaller and lighter motor because of its positioning at the end of a pole and hence a shorter blade and smaller cutting capacity. Some competitive long reach trimmers have longer blades but a much more limited cutting capacity. Overall, this seems to be a more practical compromise for any gardener with tall hedges that are reasonably regularly trimmed and which therefore, do not become overgrown with thick, twiggy growth.
Many reviews of the Ryobi long reach hedge trimmer said that it would be better with a harness, because of its weight. Now, it isn’t really that heavy, but the weight is unbalanced due to the positioning of the motor. Because of this factor, many reviewers only gave it 4 stars, although there were many 5 star ratings as well. If you are lightly-built, the lack of a harness might present problems. But remember you will be working with it at full extension mostly in a near-vertical position, where this imbalance would not be so troublesome.
One user only gave it 1 star, because it kept cutting out and couldn’t handle the width of his “many hedges”. He went back to using a Ladder and a Bosch standard hedge trimmer with 60cm blade. The Bosch has a 34mm cutting capacity; double that of this machine and a much more powerful motor. It appears he hadn’t properly evaluated his requirements and he was attempting to cut thicker growth and had wider hedges than could be comfortably handled by this long reach hedge trimmer. To blame Ryobi for his error in judgement seems unfair.
Some reviewers liked the blue warning light which signals when the tool is “live”. This is a good and necessary feature. Hedge trimmers are dangerous; a 17mm cutting capacity can take a finger very easily.
There were some complaints about the positioning of the controls as well, but this is something that I found pretty easy to get used to.
Most reviewers were happy with the performance of the Ryobi RPT 400 and pleased as punch at being able to reach the tops of even 10ft hedges with ease, without the use of a cumbersome stepladder.
Quality of manufacture is also good, with no complaints in this regard.
This is an excellently priced model and this is the best price I have seen. As long as you trim frequently enough so that you aren’t faced with excessively thick growth and have moderately wide hedges then you shouldn’t have a problem.
If you are in the market for a long reach hedge trimmer and use it within its limitations, then you can expect excellent performance from this Ryobi Long Reach Hedge Trimmer.