Rated 5 out of 5
from Well Engineered I like all of its features. Cutting a 9 to 12 ft high hedge 40 ft long was simplified. Battery life 4 hours on AP300, completed the job without needing recharge.Some constructive criticism from a fellow mechanical engineer on future engineering updates: - Shears could be 2 inches longer, usually high hedges tend to be wider as well. Mine is 8 ft wide. It defies the purpose of buying a long cutter when you still need to use the ladder to cut the mohak in the middle of hedge after both sides are done.- Extension shaft rotates side to side when cutting head is locked at 90' angle. Maybe key or slot the shaft for better tool stability.- Shaft locking bolt thread is too agressive. Lower the thread pitch for more precise locking control. As it is leads to: too loose or overtighting.- Bottom surface of tool at battery enclosure could be rubberized/ doubleshot molding to prevent cracking when resting on the ground. I had to rest bottom on the ground every cutter head adjustment.
Date published: 2016-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5
from WORKS LONGER THEN I CAN Bought this trimmer after I'd used every other type, 2 cycle, string trimmer attachment, electric and now battery. It out performs any of the others I've tried and the battery life will out last me. I used it on full charge and after 2 hours of trimming it had only dropped 25%. Put it on charger and back to 100% in less then 30 min. The extended reach in very nice in trimming wide and taller shrubs. The trimmer's wider jaw width makes it very efficient on most bushes I've trimmed. I going back for other battery powered tools since fuel is such a problem. It's a little heavy compared to shorter, smaller tools but takes much less time to complete project.
Date published: 2016-09-13
Rated 1 out of 5
from Not happy I purchased the HLA 85 in early summer to handle a large volume of shrub trimming several times per year at home. I decided to pay more for this commercial unit on the belief that I would only need to buy a hedge trimmer one time for my intended use versus buying a "cheaper" unit and having to reinvest in another one after several years. I wanted a battery powered unit for all the inherent benefits vs. gas powered engines (noise, pollution, motor problems with infrequent use, etc.).I used the unit successfully for my early summer trimming, cleaned the blades with the Stihl branded spray and recharged it. I then used it several times again for additional work in the ensuing months. I removed the battery each time and cleaned the blades each time as recommended. When I went back to use it for fall trimming, I inserted the battery and pulled the trigger only to have the machine make a few small whirring noises (as if it was trying to start but stuck) and then saw that the battery had 3 red lights. I tried removing and reinserting the battery, putting it on the charger again for a bit and restarting but had the same result--red lights on the battery and not starting. VERY disappointed to have to bring this back to the local Stihl dealer for what promises to be a time consuming repair after just a couple of uses. Your dealer network is really inconvenient for most working people. Their hours are like a bank Mon-Fri and scant other times. This means taking time off of work to purchase something or get anything fixed. This is NOT something I'm looking forward to. I bought this unit with the hopes of not having to go back to the dealer because of this, but alas the lack of initial product quality seems to have prevented this.To the Stihl team, I bought this unit based on your reputation for building solid products and having good reviews on your site for this particular product. What a terrible experience this has been thus far. I hope there will be an option to simply replace (not repair) the unit as there is clearly a significant issue with it and I don't want to waste any more time than necessary with it.
Date published: 2016-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5
from Better Than Imagined I bought this product for home use; 2 to 3 times per year as needed. However, I have a lot of shrubs/hedges, typically a 2 or 3 day job w/ clean-up each time. I also own the Stihl blower and string trimmer (3 years old) which have served me well.Using my 3 year old battery (AP 160) I started trimming and stayed at it for 45 minutes before I took a break thinking the battery probably needed a charge while I picked up trimmings. To my surprise, the battery still had 75% life and charged to full power in short order using AP 100 charger.Cutting power was as good or better than anything I've used in the past. Loved being able to pull the trigger, trim, release trigger, move ladder (in some cases# trim some more, adjust length, trim some more and never have to stop and restart a gas engine or refill a gas tank. Super convenient! Adjustable cutting bar angle and extension pole length met every need.Very quiet as you would expect. Allowed me to start work early morning before the heat of the day without disturbing neighbors.This is a "Heavy" duty tool which takes arm strength to wield, especially with the pole extended. Weight #to me# indicates quality build; no cheap plastic or flimsy parts. What I expect from Stihl. I expect to use this product for many years.The HLA-85 paid for itself the first time I used it #compared to hiring landscaper).
Date published: 2015-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5
from Another well thought out product I've owned this tool for just a few weeks & so far I'm very impressed. I already have the battery powered saw, two ap180 batteries & the al100 charger. Being more than happy with the saw (although it has its limitations), I took the plunge & purchased the telescopic trimmer. The run time is a lot longer than the saw, easily an hour. Using this tool combined with a little tidying up in between, shifting stepladders etc. This tool + two batteries & the slow charger is easily on a par with my other cutters. It has a one year guarantee (two for the home user), & the quality you expect from stihl. Only downer is not being able to use it in heavy rain. Les noise, no petrol fumes & spillages & the customer pays to charge the battery. It just makes sense.Very pleased!
Date published: 2015-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5
from Elegant tool I'm a professional landscaper who's been watching the Stihl battery line for some time. I decided to jump in and buy the HLA 85 as my first battery powered tool purchase.So far, I'm very happy with it! It feels space age and elegant. It's incredibly quiet, the variable speed trigger is great, and my battery (AP 180) still has four green bars on the charge meter even after pruning several small hedges.This is not a light weight tool, and is built with high quality materials; the cutting side is still almost as heavy as a gas powered unit, but without the gas power head, it is much lighter to carry around overall.I'm very much looking forward to getting the other battery tools, as I feel this is the way of the future especially as battery technology matures.
Date published: 2015-03-22