The Toro 51490 electric bush trimmer is an excellent tool to know about if you have a modest-sized garden with shrubs and hedges.
This hedge trimmer runs on corded electric power and uses powerful, dual-action cutting blades to shear through twigs, leaves, and even small branches. This tool can make easy work of taming overgrown foliage and reshaping it into an appealing landscape.
This review will tell you the pros and cons of this garden tool, who it’s perfect for, and what kinds of work you can accomplish with it.
Toro Hedge Trimmer Pros and Cons
Toro 24v Hedge Trimmer Product Highlights
This Toro hedge trimmer is designed for cleaning up hedges and shrubs in small to moderate-sized yards. Its compact size, low weight, and comfortable two-point grip handle make it versatile in a wide range of situations. Its most important features are:
- 22-inch cutting bar
- Hardened, dual-action blades
- 4-amp electric motor
- Cuts up to nine-sixteenth inch-thick branches
- Comes with a blade sheath
The Toro 51490 is a trimmer with an affordable price tag, solid construction, and a strong cutting blade capable of handling medium-density shrubbery with up to 9/16-inch diameter branches. It’s designed and recommended for residential and not commercial use.
You’ll need an outdoor-rated extension cord to power this trimmer, but once you plug it in, you have unlimited runtime to complete the job. Continuous runtime is one of the most significant advantages of a corded electric hedge trimmer over battery power and gas. Compared to gas, this trimmer also runs fume-free, another benefit for the operator and the environment.
Choose an extension cord with a wire gauge suited to the cord’s length and the amperage of the tool, which in this case is 4-amps. Longer extension cords require a heavier gauge wire. Refer to an online chart if you need help matching the cord length to the wire gauge. Using an undersized cord puts undue stress on the motor, can damage it, and void the warranty.
Corded garden tools have the downside of needing a long extension cord to power them. The cord adds significant weight as you drag it around behind you while you work. It’s also can be a trip hazard, and you have to be mindful not to cut the cord with the trimmer as you go. Also, rolling up a long, heavy extension cord after you finish work can be a job by itself, especially for people with less upper body strength.
Nonetheless, a corded tool gives you a lot of freedom to work as long as you want without needing to stop to recharge a battery or add gas to a fuel tank. In addition, cordless tools spare you from breathing toxic gas fumes while you work.
An extension cord retainer clip at the base of the tool ensures that the cord stays plugged into the machine as you move around. However, we noted some buyer complaints about the cord retainer not working as well as on other models. It appears that the space for the cord is a bit tight, but you can overcome the issue by using a bigger loop in the cord before inserting it into the clip.
Once you have the trimmer plugged in and ready to go, turning it on and off is straightforward: Release the trigger lock with your thumb, and then pull the trigger located on the underside of the handle, and the blades start oscillating. A black plastic shield at the base of the blade protects you from scratches and scrapes as the vegetation begins to fly away.
You cannot lock the trigger into the on position for safety reasons, and it can get a bit tiring to hold the trigger down for prolonged amounts of time. Wearing heavy work gloves can relieve some of the stress on your hand and fingers. In addition, the handle around the trigger is padded, which takes some of the strain off of your hands.
We noticed that the cut vegetation could be a bit ragged at times, and some buyers have commented on this also. This problem might be due to the shape of the small space on the blades meant to retain the twig before the blade edge slices it.
On this trimmer, the space has an oval shape rather than a tight V-shape as on some other blades. This design difference might cause the twig to move slightly as its cut, resulting in a less than perfect-looking cut in some situations.
However, cutting slowly and going over the surface a second time usually removes any unevenness from the first cut. The blade length is long enough to make this a helpful trimmer for reaching the center of a wide hedge. On the other hand, it is not so long that it quickly becomes hard to hold in an extended position, as can be the case with trimmers with longer blades.
The trimmer has a front and a back handle giving you steady control over the machine as you change position and cut at different heights. Both handles are padded; however, the rear handle does not pivot from side to side as it does on some top-end hedge trimmers. The handle’s fixed position can produce fatigue in the wrist after working for a while.
Maintenance for this tool is minimal, and the main task is wiping down and lightly lubricating the blade with an oil that is non-toxic to vegetation. The tool comes with a blade sheath, which helps keep the blade sharp and clean and prevents injuries from the sharp blade tips when the device is stored or transported.
Compared to other hedge trimmers, this one has a medium range of power and is best suited for light and medium-duty trimming of small and moderate-sized hedges. Its most significant advantages are its low weight and extended runtime from a corded power source.
Toro Corded Hedge Trimmer Main Product Features
– Power Source
The power source for this trimmer is a 4-amp electric motor that drives the cutting teeth. The motor gets its energy from a standard 120-volt home outlet. The trimmer has a non-grounded, two-prong plug type, although you can still connect it to a three-prong extension cord.
Keep in mind that the longer the extension cord is, the more power you lose to the resistance in the wire. So by using an extension cord no longer than you need to reach where you’re working, the tool will get the maximum amount of power it can from the outlet.
Corded power is a significant advantage for people who want to spend minimal time maintaining and using a power tool.
The overall length of the cutting blade is 22-inches. It is made from hardened steel to prevent rust and keep the cutting surfaces sharp. This blade cuts through branches up to nine-sixteenth inches thick with ease. However, this tool is not built for really tough cutting of thicker material so that it won’t handle massively overgrown brambles or large branches.
The dual-action design of the cutting surfaces reduces vibration in the handle and makes it comfortable to run the tool for extended times. The cutting blades oscillate at 2,400 strokes per minute, ripping through twigs, leaves, and small branches. The included blade sheath is a helpful accessory that is included with the trimmer.
– Size, Weight, and Ergonomic
The Toro 51490 electric bush trimmer dimensions are 36-inches long, eight inches high, and 8-inches wide. The weight is 6.35 pounds, putting this tool solidly in the class of low-weight hedge tools. The low weight makes it easy to use this trimmer on the vertical faces of hedges and above shoulder height.
Besides the comfortable weight, both handles are padded and soft, but the lack of a mechanism for locking the trigger in the on position is a drawback for some people using this tool for extended times.
The warranty is for a two-year period, and you need to register it online within 30 days of purchase to activate it. Unfortunately, no warranty card is included in the box to mail back, so online registration at the Toro website is the only way to do it.
Toro 51490 Conclusion
This 22-inch hedge trimmer is a solidly built tool ideal for residential maintenance of shrubs and hedges. It is not designed for daily operation or highly challenging work, but it does a reasonable job for regular garden care.
The tool’s low weight, low maintenance requirements, and good balance make it easy and comfortable to use, although the need for a long and heavy extension cord is a downside for some buyers.