Victa V-Force Lithium cordless hedge trimmer VLH4058UO
The brand Victa Mower evokes plenty of nostalgia in suburban Australia. Hot summer Saturday afternoons loud with the sound of cicadas, kids swinging on the hills hoist and the smell of fresh cut lawn.
Victa has a long history in Australia, pioneering the domestic rotary mower since 1952 and recently reached the astounding figure of eight million mowers sold in over 30 countries. Pretty amazing for a mower invented by a bloke called Merv in a backyard in suburban Australia.
I remember my dad’s mower: a Model 5 from the 1960s we fondly called the ‘toe cutter’. The mower that refused to die patched up a 100 times with fencing wire and scrap. For me, Victa has such a deep history and brand nostalgia; to the point that a few years back I restored a Victa Model 5 – Series 1 as an ode to all dads mowing the lawn in the 60s and 70s in thongs with a tinnie in hand.
Unfortunately due to all this nostalgia, the Victa Cordless Hedge trimmer and I instantly got off on the wrong foot. Here I was busy thinking about the personality of old machines with their maintenance demands, removing spark plugs and developing blisters from pull start cords; what I was presented with is a sleek, modern, minimal maintenance tool. The Victa hedge trimmer is instantly boring. It is missing all those quirks and vintage design cues that my nostalgic ‘vintage tool’ frame of mind was looking for.
Out of the box the tool is ready for use. Just charge the 40 volt Lithium battery for around two hours and it is good to go. No fuel mixing, no priming, choking or starting procedure. Picking up and correctly holding the tool, your palm automatically presses the safety switch on the front handle, then on the rear grip you release the trigger lock with your thumb and press the main trigger and it goes – perfectly.
Running it through its paces the Victa V-Force Hedge Trimmer is a gutsy domestic use machine. My garden is mostly comprised of native shrubs that rarely get trimmed back. The Victa did its job well with the 550mm long double sheer action-cutting blade trimming branches that were up to 15mm thick. Its lightweight design at 4.9kg made operator fatigue minimal and the ergonomic 180 degree swivel rear handle makes the hedge trimmer easy to use in all situations.
In my test, I ran out of stuff to trim after around 40 minutes of constant hard use and the battery level gauge still showed half full; an impressive result as I worked it hard.
Like so many manufacturers, Victa have cleverly made their battery packs interchangeable with a complete system of V-Force tools from mowers to blowers and you can buy each tool naked without the battery. This means once you invest in the battery it gets very affordable to set up a complete garden tool system.
The Victa V-Force Hedge Trimmer utilises the best modern technology available, making it an easy to use, efficient part of a versatile tooling system. It does not evoke the old timey back shed tinkerers’ nostalgia that I was looking for, but it does present a tool that works exactly as it should: safely and efficiently; and if this makes it boring I can live with that, because it beats hand shears any day.
Jason Waterhouse is renowned for his sculpture, but also creates interiors, furniture and fabrication work for artists. Jason is the director of artist and makers’ space Stockroom and men’s ware store NOTOWN Outfitters in Kyneton, Victoria.