Tried and tested

Consumer editor Julia Heaton picks a best buy heavy duty petrol brushcutter to tackle those tricky areas of the garden that mowers are unable to reach.

Best buy is RYOBI RBC-430SBS

RYOBI RBC-430SBS

£229.99 B & Q

Build **** This unusual 4-stroke engine machine is new to the brushcutter market. The quality of materials and great design makes the Ryobi stand out amongst its peers. One qualm though is the pathetic instruction manual and set up diagram sheet which is difficult to follow – get your dealer to do this and explain how the cutting heads work. Its output is 0.8hp and it weighs just 4.9kg.

Features ***** Comes with two nylon cord trimming heads and metal cutting blade. The 4-stroke engine is carbon neutral certified. I liked the way I could quickly half its length for easy storage. It is also designed to take other Ryobi attachments such as a hedge trimmer, which makes this a very flexible piece of kit.

Performance ***** Just as powerful as its 2-stroke petrol counterparts but I didn’t think that it was any less noisy. This was a comfortable machine to use with wonderful hand grips, near-perfect balance and no mixing fuel to worry about. The handles are really well designed and it starts very easily making the Ryobi a pleasure to use.

Value ***** The design, great ergonomics and comfort are what makes this such a good machine and it is worth every penny.

SCORE: 19/20

Other Petrol brushcutters tested:

I’ve also tested five other models with standard 2-stroke engines. See below for prices and star ratings

STIHL FS 56 £340 SCORE: 18/20

MITOX 260L (U): Rochford Garden Machinery £169.00 SCORE: 16/20

HUSQVARNA 143R11: £499.99 SCORE:16/20

ECHO SRM-220ES £281 SCORE: 13/20

EINHELL BG-BC 30/1 £169.99 SCORE: 11/20

For a full run-down of these see our 26 June issue. For back issues (01202) 440840