Most helpful positive review
135 of 135 people found the following review helpful
Useful machine for strong users
on July 12, 2005
That may seem like an odd title for a review on a Hedge trimmer but if you've read the review by "Frank" you'll understand. The NPT318 is an amazing machine.
I have the worst kind of hedges -tall 6-9feet, difficult to reach because of cramped space/sloping ground and encroaching citrus trees. The hedges are mainly bougainvillea which has awful thorns. The citrus have thorns too.It is hot and the hedges are overgrown because of record winter rains.In addition , I am not particularly strong. So, this is a good test situation.
Yes this machine is difficult to operate at full reach horizontaly, but the alternatives are worse. I have used a 2-cycle hedge trimmer - a viscious ,noisy ,stinky beast. It is heavier! I bought my Dad a 240volt (yes off the mains for use in U.K.) German pole hedge trimmer. It is more powerful but just as unwieldy .In addition you have the power cord to deal with.
I found the run time ideal - it still had plenty of charge after 45 minutes attacking the bougainvillea.By then I needed a rest anyway. I charged it during lunch and then attacked some more hedge. Some of this required me to use it at full stretch - I am 6ft with long arms +the pole -yes these are monster hedges. The machine worked perfectly. The alternative is wobbling on a step ladder ,juggling a power cord and trying to avoid the thorns. So far I've done all my hedges and the neighbor's without a scratch. It is far too hot to wear a shirt and using my old B&D with a power cord+ step ladder I would look like someone from a crucifiction scene in the movies by now. The combination of citrus and bougainvillea is bloody!
My suggestins to B&D to improve the NPT 318 are:
1.Increase the voltage from 18v to 24v. This will increase the run-time/decrease motor weight/increase power.
2.Make the battery and charger interchangeable with other B&D equipment.
3. Use lighter-weight metals(magnesium alloy?) for the blade and pole. The weight of the battery isn't a problem because of it's location on the handle.
4. Consider offering an extending pole like Remington use on their pole chain saws.
5. Design the NPT 318 so you can use it without the pole - like a conventional cordless hedge trimmer.
6. When Black & Decker have a prototype they can test it on my bougainvillea !:-)