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HL 56 K (0°)

An extended length hedge trimmer with a convenient short shaft ideally suited for homeowner and entry-level landscaper use.

HL 56 K (0°)
HL 56 K (0°) is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 10.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Carburetor didn't make it 1 year Carburetor need to be replaced 10 months after purchase. The good news is that it was under warranty. The bad news is that it needed service at the height of the commercial repair season (spring). It took 3 weeks to get it repaired due to volume of business this time of year. Only thing that I don't like about the machine is the small fuel tank. Everything else is fine. It should be for the price.
Date published: 2019-06-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from First use Just purchased this morning and finished trimming about 100ft of Yews that are 10ft wide. It took a few minutes to get the hang of good control to shape and not gouge my shrubs but by the time I was done I was satisfied with the benefit of the pole design. Didn't need to use a ladder this year. It almost seems the blade guard interferes with its cutting ability because the tip seems to cut better than were the orange blade guard is, not sure if its removable.Slightly disappointed with its overall cutting ability. struggled to cut some small 1/4 to 3/8 inch branches. Considering its a gas powered I expected a little better cutting. Overall happy with purchase and not having to use a ladder.Expect quality and dependability to be very good
Date published: 2019-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More than just hedges ! I bought this tool for cutting along 1000 feet of 20 foot hedges that were gradually over the years taking my property over. That's what I bought it for... ! What I didn't realize is that, the tool is also GREAT for cutting tall weeds, including Johnson Grass ! The worst enemy to our weed trimmers !Anyone that has put their weed trimmers into tall Johnson Grass KNOWS the outcome is stopping and pulling the grass out of the spinning head that gets clogged with the grass ! So.. Would I recommend it ? Absolutely !
Date published: 2019-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trim Starts right up, cheap to do maintenance and upkeep. It gets the job done! Weighs maybe 20lbs.
Date published: 2019-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great machine for a beginner too First time using it and loved it. Never used this kind of trimmer before.
Date published: 2018-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have needed this for years and finally took the plunge - WHY DID I WAIT? We have 4+ acres of land. The acre that surrounds the house is bordered with several types of vegetation to keep the yard private. I've got evergreens that have grown into a wall, a large patch of bamboo and along one edge that borders a swamp, a mix of vegetation that includes some kind of vine that has pretty much interwoven all the shrub trees and created a green wall. In the past, I've used the large scissor style hedge trimmers, lopers, and the string trimmer to keep the borders looking well. This past winter, we had a very heavy wet storm that took down a lot of trees and really made a mess of the yard border. Lots of bamboo down, a couple evergreens broken, and the vine invaded shrubs were a tangled mess. After two weekends of hacking away at the problem with virtually no progress due to all the various types of flora, I knew I needed something else.The vines and bamboo would wrap around the string trimmer and leave me with a mess to cut and clean. Virtually useless. The chainsaw would not cut any of the small stuff. And switching from shears to the lopper on every other cut was taking forever. I have an old electric hedge trimmer which I use to keep the bushes in front of the house properly shaped, but it didn't work well at all on the border items. Part of that might be the long extension cord runs, but mostly just because of the sheer volume of vegetation that needed to be hacked away.. I took some photos of the various types of flora I needed to remove and then visited my local hardware store which is a Sthil dealer. He looked at the pictures, asked about the electric hedge trimmer and then laughed. In his opinion, I needed a "real" hedge trimmer. He brought me to the selection and started talking about a mid-level machine and how the power and reach of the device would make quick work of all but the thickest of branches. We discussed the pros and cons about the smaller machine or the larger one. Finally, I asked about the model in question here with the extended reach. Well, it was more powerful than any of the 'regular' trimmers we were looking at. It was heavier. But I felt I had a better reach too. I had the electric one for the fine pruning of the front bushes, so I didn't see a need for a 'delicate' touch. I needed brute force and the ability to go from the ground to the top of the 'walls'.The next step was to look at the modular system. I could get a longer reach, and could even add extensions. But the tool was MUCH heavier, didn't balance as easily, and use of the sling would be almost mandatory. - a pain when you need to stop to clear what you just cut. And, nearly double the price once you added together the powerhead and the large trimmer bar. The Mistress of Finance has to be kept happy, so despite visions of swapping implements, I controlled my inner tool wielding ape. Given all these factors, I decided that the HL 56 K was most likely the tool I needed.So, how did it work?WONDERFUL!I started in on a mix of brambles, scrub sumac, and "the vine" and with the exception of a few branches that needed the lopers, I was pretty much able to just carve the mess like a Thanksgiving Turkey. After the first pass, I clipped off the thicker branches and raked the mess out. While the kids carted the clippings off to the mulch area with the tractor, I went back in and used the trimmer to clean up the 'wall'.The next area was a larger sumac tree which had broken and fallen into the yard. It was a mass of vines and other scrub. I could not even get to the trunk to cut it free. Oh, and did I mention the thistle? Yea, 1" long razor sharp thorns. Not climbing in there either. Once again, I simply carved out large sections of the flora, carefully loaded it into the cart with gloves, and opened up the larger tree, to which the chainsaw made quick work.Onto the bamboo. The snow did a number on this. Thick mats bent well into the yard. I'd started to hack away at this before with a string trimmer and shears. And frankly, it looked terrible. The HL 56 K was the tool for the job. I was not shocked when it took time to carve out a ground to top cut. The bamboo is thick and tough. But I was very surprised how the machine never felt as if it was struggling. Steady pressure and the thick mat seemed to just fall away. Slice after slice came down easily. The result was a very nice stand of bamboo. The cut pieces pulled back into the mass and the new straight growth became the facing 'wall' Almost a layered look with the older growth behind standing tall over the younger frontage. I had to clean up a lot down at the base where the remains of broken stalks lay on the ground, but the trimmer worked there as well once I 'fluffed' the stalks off the ground with a rake. Even the places I'd already spent hours hacking at came out great and in only a fraction of the time. Onto the wall of evergreens. I'd already pulled out the tree that had broken. But the remaining boughs were not at all smooth. The string trimmer can only really keep new growth in check. It can't cut back older growth that is moving outward. While I took a shower in the short needles which ended up in all my clothing, I simply swung the trimmer from ground to as high as I could reach and made a nice clean wall. I did have to go back with the lopers and a step-ladder to cut back larger branches which poked out here and there, but it was far easier a job than I'd had before and the results were a very uniform frontage. No irregularity due to stuff the string trimmer could not cut.I finished up the yard border by trimming the entrances to the various trails that run from the yard to the back meadow area. And I was even able to trim back several overhanging trees so that the smaller branches were not hanging into the trail. In the end, the border to the yard was the cleanest it has ever been, the 'walls' are straight and they reach up as high as the wall is tall. Even the tallest evergreens were trimmed up as high as I needed. I've not been able to do that since I stopped trying to use the string trimmer on a step-ladder. A bit higher and I'd have had an issue, but the trimmer was easily held vertically overhead with just one hand to clip those highest of branches. For me, that was a reach of about 12-13 feet high. Yes, if I had to trim that high a lot, I'd need a different method, but for the few places I needed to go that high, it worked fine. I really liked the fact that I never had to stoop. To reach the ground level was just a matter of pointing the tool down and being careful not to touch the cutter directly on the ground. In almost every situation, I could very easily hold and use without needing any odd body position. At the worst, I had to twist my hand a bit to operate the throttle. I did like the fact that the machine ran in any orientation, never leaked a drop of fuel, and no matter where I touched it was never concerned with touching hot engine parts. These kind of things should be a no-brainer these days, but far too many power tools skimp on the little things. Glad to see Stihl is still not doing that. As I read in another review, the quality does not seem to have suffered as time has gone on. I also love the fact that I never had to add fuel the whole 4+ hours I was working in the yard. Sure I did not run the tool non-stop, but knowing I can fuel up and have the operating time to go do real work and not worry about dragging along a fuel can is a real plus.The machine is fairly simple to use. I find the indicators on the choke to be a little confusing. I swear, the "choke off" icon looks more like "full choke". Still, once I figured that little thing, everything else made sense. I did read the manual later (all 2 pages that were not the legal warnings to explain to boneheads not to do dumb things) Even that wasn't real clear on the choke settings. Like my chainsaw, operating the throttle opens the choke automatically, so one less thing to deal with. I don't think I'll ever need the 'half-choke' position, because like my chainsaw, it only takes a half-hearted pull to get a warm motor started again. If my past experience is any guide, I doubt I'll ever need to pull this more than twice. The throttle is easy to operate and once held, never gets in the way. A couple times I had to reposition my hand to get both the safety and the trigger to depress properly, but it wasn't a big deal - the safety isn't at all in the way. For the record, I only use pre-mixed Stihl fuel. Yes, there are cheaper brands, but I've never had any fuel issues. Heck, even storing my chainsaw for 18 months with fuel in it has never resulted in any starting issues. I expect the same with this tool. That kind of "ready to go" reliability is nice. Chances are this tool will see more service than my chainsaw as I trim out that yard perimeter every few weeks. Yes, it is a little more expensive than just filling up at the pump, but I never have to worry about mixing or if the fuel is good. Life is too complicated to deal with bad gas and mixing oil on top of it.I have not given a dependability mark as I've only used the tool once, but I have other Stihl tools and even other brands which date back to the 1990's and still start and run as well today as they did when new. Dependability comes more to good maintenance. However, when you start with a high quality product, keeping them running is not a chore. Stihl has always been well built and at this time I see no reason to doubt that my new trimmer will be any different.
Date published: 2018-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wanted the big rotating head trimmer but for the price I choose this and have made it work I have 1 1/2 acres and the bitter sweet, berry, hedges I planted, and my favorite the Wisteria that when not controlled looks like a crazy mythical Greek goddess. I set out over a weekend and put a good haircut to most of these items! Would like a little more reach but I will make it work!
Date published: 2018-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stihl SOLID The one thing i can still count on is a brand new Stihl product is going to run as good or better than the old dependable one i am replacing. Thanks Still for being predictable!
Date published: 2017-08-15
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