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In September 2017, Makita recalled this product because the fuel tank could leak and pose a fire hazard. See our recall notice for more information.
Better known for its drills and skill saws, Makita flies under the radar in the gardening aisle. But this year, it has offered up some exceptional outdoor power gear. The ER2600L is an impressive curved shaft two-stroke trimmer that returned excellent scores across our horizontal, vertical and long grass cutting tests. It’s also easy to start, though it takes a couple of pulls and the cord offers a fair bit of resistance. While re-spooling line is never an enjoyable job, especially with cold fingers, we found it relatively easy to wind the two lines on to the spool and pull them through the feeder slots.
The main downsides are its poorly labelled controls (though you get the knack of the starting sequence after going through it a few times) and that the fuel tank can be awkward to fill since the spout is located too near to the ground when you lie the trimmer down. As with all curved shaft trimmers, it’s not great for taller users or for jobs where you want a long reach and big sweep radius.
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.
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.