I bought this hedge cutter to replace an old Bosch machine which had a slightly smaller blade length, but the same 16MM tooth capacity. The old machine had suddenly developed a short circuit somewhere inside, and expired with a loud bang and a flash. I thought of having it repaired, but decided that the cost of a new replacement would not be much more (£60) so binned the old one, which I now regret.The AHS 50-16 works well, is reasonably quiet and light and is easy to use, so why the disappointment? Firstly, on taking it out of the box and removing the protective sheath from the blades, I was amazed at how flimsy the cutting blades are. On the old Bosch they were made from cast steel - now they are of pressed steel, which is by comparison extremely thin and much less durable. In use the old blades used to eventually blunt, but were easy to sharpen with a file. Undo 4 screws on the base and the blades came out. Not now. The blades seem only to be liberated by unscrewing about a dozen screws and separating the plastic motor cover/handle into two. The instructions give no help here, advising that if the blades need sharpened or get a dent the machine should go to a qualified repairer. So my feeling now is that I've swapped a hedge cutter which without much effort I managed to keep in excellent condition and commendably sharp with little effort for one that seems to have a delicate blade (by comparison), and no user maintenance possibilities, which have been designed out. Even if the blades got damaged, whereas with the old Bosch it would have been the work of a couple of minutes to replace them, now it will be a trip to a repairer.
I'm genuinely disappointed. I liked the old Bosch for its reliability, sturdiness and the ease of maintaining the blades in good cutting condition. I think that Bosch have cut manufacturing costs a tad too much - perhaps also with an eye on a flow of cash from user maintenance costs?