I bought this item because of the reviews. We got an estimate for some hedging at our home that was over $600 so I bought this hedger instead. It's very easy to start and use. However, as I'm sure you know, it's not as light as the electric hedgers. It handled all of our hedging well except when it encountered some of the thicker branches. Even then it cut them. It just took a little longer. I saved about $250 by doing this work one time and plan to use this hedger numerous times in the future. Watch a You Tube video or two about hedging and you'll be on your way. But beware that you will use muscles you don't normally use with this activity.
Bought another brand hedge trimmer at a big box store and had to take it back after having engine problems. The Tanaka was more money than I wanted to spend but decided on it after doing some research online. I also have an ice auger and edger powered by Tanaka and they are so easy to start and smoothest running 2-strokes on the planet!
I have not personally used this trimmer. I gave it to the gentleman who does some of my garden maintenance from time to time. He was ELATED! I imagine that it is working wonderfully for him since he has not called to say otherwise.