Should have bought this years ago
I love this trimmer. I haven't had this more than two days, so my dependability rating is purely a guess, based on my other, older Stihl equipment (FS 85 trimmer and 036 Pro chainsaw).
I don't make money at this job, but I do have to cut about 200' total of hedges with parts over 6’ tall, twice a week in the springtime, then tapering to every 2 weeks as the summer heat picks up and the growth slows. After 18 years learning the Zen of keeping these straight and sharp, I'll call myself an
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expert. I bought this HS 82 T to supplement my FS 85 which has an adjustable angle trimmer on the end of a 5’ rod. That FS 85 has been great for the last 15 years, but I've grown tired of swinging the relatively short trimmer on the end of the long and heavy stick. I would've tried the 40" 87 T if it came in double-sided, but my hedge type only does well when I swing the cut in both directions to keep the branches only pointing outward not vertical, and I didn't want to walk twice up and down their lengths. This also looked better than the 87 T to flip upside down and use above my head.
For my job, this trimmer is fantastic. It has a lightweight aluminum stiffener along the length of the bar that's not too tall to get in the way. Mine didn't come with the nifty semi-circle protector at the tip as in the picture, but my FS 85 didn't have one either, and I haven't had a problem from the occasional ding onto the sidewalk.
The exhaust being ported toward away from me and toward the cutter is more than welcome. It’s a much quieter running machine than the FS85, with none of its “ding ding ding” of the centrifugal clutch.
The weight on this felt much lighter than the similar trimmer from another brand that I tried. They’re nearly the same dry weight on paper, but for me it's not about total weight, it's about the balance. I need to swing the trimmer a zillion times, and for that this trimmer is a dream, beating the other hands down.
One thing that surprised me is that I also really like the rotating trigger handle. At first I thought it too gimmicky, but it really is easier to use the trimmer when the handle is oriented right. I especially like putting it sideways, then the trimmer feels more like it’s in chainsaw mode. Very comfy. I hope I don’t wear out the mechanism, as the plastic-on-plastic swivel handle is the one thing I’m a little worried about for long-term durability.
The vibration isolation works very well. I didn’t come in after work with my fingers still vibrating from gripping the trimmer for hours, as always happens with using my FS 85. I’d even tried special gloves to reduce the nerve damage, but their thick foam made the work harder. With the HS 82 I got no such problem, and was only wearing regular leather work gloves.
With the weighted fuel filter, the trimmer works great in any orientation -- sideways, pointed up or down, and upside down while over my head. I had no fuel feed problems, and speaking of fuel, it seems to be fairly fuel efficient too, which is nice.
In summary, the specs of this trimmer met the specs for my task, and the rest of the features have made me very happy to use this fantastic tool.