Pros: Commercial grade hedge trimmer. Its a STIHL, they don't make cheap crap. Swivel handle.
Cons: A little on the heavy side. Price, but you get what you pay for.
I just picked up the STIHL HS 85 at a local store that sells only the best. I had a piece of crap Excaliber made by Weedeater. The recoil spring for the pull string broke after about 40 hours of use. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON CHEAP JUNK.
I used the STIHL HS80 today and it performed well. I haven't had much experience with STIHL, (I normally get the Husqvarna stuff) but most guys think that it is quality equipment. The salesman at the store said that it would last 6 to 7 years if you used it every week, like a contractor. I might use mine about 1 to 2 times a month, so I think that my HS80 will last 10-15 years.
The HS80 seems like it is well made. The blade is very firm (compared to the blade on my excaliber, it was very flimsy). The HS80 had decent amount of power. Its a little tricky to start, but once you get it warm, it starts right up. The engine is 25 cc and is commercial grade (the salesman said that the engine was made in Japan). It has a brake clutch (when you engage it, it keeps the blade from going back and forth, for added safety, like the brake on a chain saw).
The trimmer is a little on the heavy side, but hey, its a commercial grade trimmer that is design to run and run. Other than that, I like it so far. It came with one year commercial use warranty and a two year homeowner warranty (parts and labor for the entire time).
Compared to my Excaliber, the HS80 is a good trimmer. Stay away form the Weedeater brand of power equipment, they are junk. Spend the extra money and get something that will last. I've gotten to the point, that I will not buy power equipment unless it is commercial grade equipment!!! You will save money in the long run.
Have used the HS85 a bit more. Once you get the steps down to start this thing it starts right up. The swivel handle is great. It makes it alot easier to do the sides of bushes because you can twist the handle and lock it into place. Very happy with this trimmer so far.
Have used this trimmer a bit more. I would say that it can get a little bit heavy, however it will cut larger size branches on bushes. So if you are concered with it being to heavy, I would get a lighter model. I will keep mine because it is very powerful and will cut threw largers bush branches, but it does get heavy after using it for a while.