Battery technology is creating a seemingly endless sea of new and innovative products that are quickly placing emissions-free, cordless technology into the hands of consumers, where previously gas was the only available option. Yard tools are tougher than your typical cordless power tool because they typically demand sustained power over longer periods of time than a drill gun or even a product like a finish nailer. Because of this, we look favorably on products such as the Black and Decker Hedgehog Trimmer NHT518 which uses NiCd batteries in place of gas or dragging a cord. Those who are adamantly against adding emissions to the atmosphere will jump at any new cordless option, but the real test is whether a tool has mass market appeal. At this point, most products, including this one will likely take a few more years and product iterations before mainstream users dump their gas products for new cordless tools.
Black and Decker Hedgehog Trimmer NHT518 Features
The Black & Decker 18V Cordless Hedgehog Hedge Trimmer is easy to configure for use. Since it is cordless, the primary advantage is having a quieter, gas-free tool that won’t force you to drag an electrical cord behind you when traipsing all over your lawn to trim the hedges. Also, since there is no combustion engine, maintenance is much easier and ,most users will find themselves replacing the batteries before having to perform any real work on the simplified motor.
The new Black and Decker NHT518 18V hedge trimmer has a 3/4-inch cutting capacity – that means that you can work your way through branches that are pretty thick in diameter. This is an advantage over smaller trimmers that only go up to 3/8-inch and is, in fact, the highest cutting capacity allowed by current UL standards. As you’d expect, though, the harder you use the tool, the shorter the battery life will be. An integrated front-mounted auxiliary handle and guard make the tool comfortable to use and you can easily see the work area. The NHT518 hedge trimmer uses dual action blades to cut branches faster and cleaner with 40% less vibration than a standard single action solution. This is due to the counteraction provided by the opposing blades which works to eliminate the vibration of having just a single blade movement. Since there is no gas, there is also no starting cord, and pulling a simple trigger begins the motor with no effort on the part of the user. While a corded model will be lighter for those looking to completely simplify the power-to-weight ratio, this is still an excellent option for those who want freedom or movement and need to leave behind the difficulty of starting a gas-powered product.
The Black and Decker Hedgehog Trimmer is reasonably lightweight at just 6.4 pounds, including the battery, and you can cut for about 20 minutes on a single charge. Since the Black and Decker NHT518 comes with two batteries, we think most users will be able to complete most yard work without having to wait for the included 8-hour battery charger to do its work.
Overall this is a promising tool, and one that will likely get more widespread consumer acceptance as battery technology advances and more professional features can be added and sustained with the technology.