The ECHO HC-152 features a powerful engine and sharp, durable blades that allow you to tackle the majority of trimming tasks. Although this gas hedge trimmer is suited to midsize and large areas, the relatively short blade makes tasks somewhat time-consuming.
The 21.2 cc engine requires 50 parts gas to one part two-stroke oil. It holds 15.6 fluid ounces in the clear fuel tank, which allows you to easily see when you need to refill it, and its substantial capacity lets you work in the yard for long periods before you have to refuel.
Weighing in at 11.7 pounds, not counting the added weight of fuel, the ECHO HC-152 is heavy compared to electric hedge trimmers. As a result, it may be challenging and tiring to use this hedge trimmer above shoulder height, particularly if you need to trim for a long time.
The engine has a muffler that reduces noise and directs emissions away from you while the hedge trimmer is in use. The bulb on top of the engine, when activated, forces air out of the carburetor and draws fresh fuel into the engine for quick startup with the engine pull cord.
The ECHO HC-152 has 20-inch sharp steel reciprocating blades that are laser cut for increased precision and durability, making clean, even cuts on each stroke so you can groom shrubs, bushes and hedges to the exact size and style you want. Despite their sharp precision, the relatively short blades mean that cutting takes longer than it would with 24-inch blades. However, the shorter blade gives more balance to the hedge trimmer and reduces the overall weight. Additionally, short blades give you greater control, making this model a good option for topiary and formal landscaping.
This gas hedge trimmer has an extra-large hoop-style front handle and an ergonomic rear handle, letting you maneuver the trimmer and providing considerable comfort for your hands, wrists and arms. However, the rear handle does not rotate or adjust, which makes working at differing angles rather awkward. At the base of the blade is a hand guard and debris shield that gives you added safety.
One thing missing from this gas hedge trimmer is a shoulder harness that would ease the burden of the machine's weight. Another obvious omission is vibration reduction, something you would generally see on a high-end hedge trimmer like this one. With nothing to dampen the vibrations, the machine can be somewhat difficult to control, and muscle fatigue can set in quickly, particularly when you trim tough material.
The ECHO HC-152 offers a quiet, powerful engine for precision cutting. It's missing vibration reduction and a shoulder harness, but it's otherwise a good fit for most trimming tasks in average-sized and larger yards.