Stihl HSA 56 vs Bosch EasyHedgeCut 45: cordless and electric hedge trimmers go head to head

What's the best option for hedge clipping – cordless or electric?

Stihl HSA 56 vs Bosch EasyHedgeCut 45
(Image credit: Stihl | Bosch)

If you’ve had a gander at our guide to the best hedge trimmer and want to know more about some of the featured models, first take a look at our comparison between the Cobra H5024V vs Gtech HT 50 and then come back here to see how well the mains-powered Bosch EasyHedgeCut 45 fares against the battery-powered Stihl HSA 56.

Both of these Germanic models perform the task of hedge trimming exceptionally well, but the big question here is whether the cheaper mains-powered Bosch is a better bet than the battery powered Stihl.

Let’s fire them up and find out.

Stihl HSA 56 vs Bosch EasyHedgeCut 45: design

Stihl HSA 56

Stihl is the preferred brand of professionals – and for good reason

(Image credit: Stihl)

The obvious main difference between these two models is that one (Stihl) runs on battery power and the other (Bosch) one requires a mains source. This means that, at 3.7kgs, the cordless Stihl HSA 56 is about 1.1kgs heavier than the Bosch EasyHedgeCut 45 and you will notice that extra weight after about 20 minutes of use. But on the other hand, you could expend almost as much energy grappling with the Bosch’s 10-metre cable. 

Both of these models are very similar in terms of blade length (45cm). A blade bar of 45cm is often considered to be the optimum length for most users. While it won’t cut a swathe as deep and wide as a 60cm model, it will be easier to control and feel less heavy in the hand. The Stihl’s spacing between each blade tooth measures 30mm against the Bosch’s 16mm and these figures dictate the width of stalk or branch each is capable of handling – in this instance 16mm for the Stihl and about 10mm for the Bosch. Hence, if you want to trim your hedge back quite dramatically, the Stihl is the better option since it will handle larger branches.

The Bosch is powered by a 420-watt motor that will never run out of juice though you will need to keep an eye on where the cable is at all times. It’s more difficult to equate the power of the Stihl’s 36-volt lithium-ion battery but take it from me that it has loads of grunt for the task in hand. It comes with a smaller-capacity AK10 battery that provides up to 40 minutes of running time. That said, it will also accommodate both the AK20 and AK30 batteries which run for up to 80 minutes and 120 minutes, respectively.

Both models are equipped with a safety switch built into the grip handle on the front and this needs to be engaged while pulling the power trigger. This means you cannot use either model one handed, even if you had forearms like tree trunks.

Stihl HSA 56 vs Bosch EasyHedgeCut 45: performance

Bosch EasyHedgeCut 45

You can't really go wrong with a Bosch, even if it has a cable attached

(Image credit: Bosch)

In brief, the Stihl HSA 56 is definitely the better trimmer in my opinion. Its blades seem sharper and the wider spacing between each tooth reduces snagging when trimming thicker stalks. A running time of 40 minutes is very reasonable for hedge trimming which can be quite tiring, especially if you don’t feel as fit as you used to. Of course, the very best thing about the cordless Stihl is that it provides total freedom to snip and shear anywhere in the garden without having to worry about a trailing cable and, in some instances, even a heavy extension lead.

Conversely, the Bosch is a bit lighter in the hands and therefore a little easier to use for longer periods of time, though it does occasionally snag itself on thicker branches where the Stihl piles on through. There’s also that 10 metre cable to constantly think about.

Stihl HSA 56 vs Bosch EasyHedgeCut 45: verdict

If you have quite a bit of hedging in the garden and have no desire to traipse a long cable around, the Stihl HSA 56 is an obvious choice. It’s a remarkable performer on all types of hedging and it rarely snags on thicker stalks. However, at around £225, it does cost more than twice the price of the Bosch EasyHedgeCut 45 (£109) which does the same task almost as well.

Derek Adams
Derek Adams

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version. He now writes for T3, and a number of its more low-rent rivals.