When it comes to gardening I have very little to maintain, the back garden is more of a quarry with a few raspberry canes and a handful of tulips for one month of the year, I pretty much leave it to do its own thing, the front garden however has a large hedge on the boundary (don’t ask me what kind, its green and seems to grow at the same rate as bamboo). I normally tackle this hedge by hacking away at it with a pair of sheers until I it looks half dead, or I get bored, whichever comes first. I was excited to see the HSA 56 from STIHL arrive for review and immediately began envisioning the perfectly shaped hedge. The HSA 56 has been created for pruning shrubs or tackling hedge wrapped up in a light and simple package with a convenient cordless design making quick work of even the unruliest gardens.

The HSA 56 has a compact lithium-ion AK10 battery with a voltage of 36V and a capacity of 118 Wh, the battery life depends on the what you are hacking up but on average you get about 40mins run time with just one hour to fully charge the battery again, there is a handy charge level indicator (LED) to let you know when it’s time to recharge and the removeable battery means you could always get a spare ready to take over. As I’ve only ever used the sheers before the only sounds I’m used to is my own swearing, and I was surprised but how quiet the HSA 56 was, don’t get me wrong it makes noise, but you don’t need ear protection or anything crazy. For safety when travelling you can place the battery in position but without connecting it to the contacts so there is no way it can be accidently operated, the blade also comes with a scabbard for extra protection.

The blade tip protector means you can get near the ground or walls easier without making contact and the double-sided blades work both vertically and horizontally. The hanging eye allows you to hang the trimmer up when not in use, you can even wall mount the charger alongside it, it only weighs 3.7kg with the battery which is a comfortable weight to carry up ladders and lift above your head. You will need both hands to pull separate triggers to activate the blades for safety and there is also a locking switch to ensure you don’t accidently set it off. The STIHL HSA 56 was a pleasure to use, it made short work of my hedge and gave me a lovely clean finish, it was easy to manoeuvre, I felt in always in control with all the safety feature and the cordless design means I didn’t have to faff about with cables, extension cords, all in all an excellent bit of kit. RRP £199.99

5 out of 5

Current Cheapest Price



Loads of safety features

Easy to use



Removeable battery


Battery indicator