The Toro 51490 is a lightweight, corded hedge trimmer with basic features. It has a moderate cutting diameter and a small engine, so it is not capable of heavy-duty trimming tasks. This hedge trimmer is best for basic tasks in a small garden.
Offering 2,400 cutting strokes per minute, this electric hedge trimmer can handle branches of up to 0.5625 inches. This relatively small maximum cutting diameter limits the versatility of the hedge trimmer, only allowing you to use it effectively for light maintenance or shaping tasks. This model has a hardened steel dual-action blade for durability and comfortable vibration reduction. You get a blade sheath to protect it during transport, and you can keep the blade safely stored.
The 4-amp engine produces no emissions but is not particularly powerful. The power cord negates the need for a battery pack or fuel tank, making the hedge trimmer comparatively light at 6.35 pounds. However, this 150-foot cord does restrict your movement and reach considerably, since it is short compared to the average American yard.
For certain tasks, you likely will want a long extension cord with the machine. With the hedge trimmer's cord retention feature, you can loop the extension cord through the slot in the base of the handle and over the cord retainer, and then you connect the power cord to the extension cord. This prevents the cord from disconnecting if you accidentally attempt to extend beyond its reach.
For safety, the Toro 51490 has a debris shield directly behind the blade, protecting you from flying cuttings. This shield doubles as a hand guard that keeps your hands from connecting with the blade should you lose your grip. The upper and lower handles both have an ergonomic design with padding for comfort and reduced muscle fatigue. However, the handles are fixed in place, so you have no rotation capabilities for flexibility of movement. Since this model weighs only 6.35 pounds, though, it is still reasonably easy to use either vertically or horizontally and above shoulder height.
The Toro 51490 covers the all the basics for a hedge trimmer. You can lift, maneuver and hold it without difficulty. However, it has a relatively short power cord, demanding the use of an extension cord, and the small engine makes it unsuitable for heavy trimming tasks. As a basic, lightweight, simple hedge trimmer, it is suitable for small gardens and light maintenance tasks.