Updated 3 Oct 2017

Honda

UMK425L

Snapshot: The Honda UMK425L petrol line trimmer has 2 cutting lines and weighs 6.4kg. But how effective and easy to use is it?

UMK425L
Consumer score
SCORE
Avg price

$699

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Test results

Overall score
86
Cutting & trimming
?/10
Ease of use
?/10

Good points

  • Excellent vertical cutting.
  • Excellent horizontal cutting.
  • Excellent long-grass cutting.
  • Easy to use.
  • Excellent line feed.
  • Easy to re-spool.
  • Very easy to start.
  • Extremely well balanced.
  • Has shoulder harness.

But

  • Fairly heavy.
  • No edging guide.
  • Some vibration.
  • Noisy enough to need ear protection.

Review

If I needed to clear a big, overgrown garden, and had the choice of any of our tested line trimmers, I’d go for the Honda UMK425L. Powered by Honda’s smallest four-stroke (the 25cc OHC GX25), it bridges the gap between commercial and domestic trimmers, and develops some serious torque at the cutting head so it won’t stall in long, thick grass and weeds.

The four-stroke engine means no more mixing petrol and oil, and it’s quieter than many two-stroke trimmers we’ve tested, while being more fuel- and oil-efficient and emitting far less fumes. It’s also one of the easiest-starting petrol trimmer we’ve tried, and it’s easy to re-spool the line on to the cutting head. As a taller user, its length (186cm) is another big plus – I find I can’t use shorter curved shaft trimmers without considerable back strain – and it also means I can cut more with each sweep. The inclusion of a shoulder harness seals the deal.

How we test

Overall score comprises performance (50%) and ease of use (50%).

Performance is based on horizontal and vertical trimming and long-grass cutting.

Ease of use is assessed on handle comfort, shaft length, weight, balance, cutting visibility, controls, vibration, starting, line-feed effectiveness and ease of re-spooling.

Price is from a September 2017 survey.

Our recommendation
We recommend petrol trimmers scoring above 85% overall. While the performance and ease-of-use of the best petrol trimmers in our tests has hovered at or above this level for a few years, battery-electric models continue to improve year on year.

We raised the bar for the performance of battery-powered trimmers to 80% after a batch of 7 cordless models returned impressive performance in our 2017 test.

Key data

Model

Avg price
$699

Specifications

Depth range (cm)
n/a
Motor location
Top
Shaft type
Straight
Motor type
Petrol
Noise (dBA)
97
Weight (kg)
6.4
Depth positions
n/a
Telescopic handle
×
Length (cm)
186
Cutting diameter (cm)
43
Line-feed method
Bump
Run time (mins)
n/a
Charge time (mins)
n/a
Voltage (V)
n/a
Battery size tested (Ah)
n/a

More Info

Battery cost ($)
n/a
Availability
A small number of specialist dealers -- try searching online.
Notes
-

Features

Cutting lines
2
Clutch
Yes
Edging guide
×
Shoulder harness
Yes