Coalition volunteer Steve Patton demonstrates one use of a gasoline powered long handled dual-action blade hedge trimmer for keeping kudzu under control. The photograph shows Steve cutting down vines at ground level, plus any small brush smothered in kudzu. Note that he is wearing eye and ear protection. August 2007.
The tool is designed for trimming hedges. The long reciprocating blades are ideal for shaping hedges into flat shapes. Cutting tools with rotating cutters, such as string trimmers, can easily foul when kudzu or other vines wrap around the rotating element. Hedge trimmers with reciprocating blades do not have that disadvantage. The long handle minimizes back strain while "mowing" down kudzu vines on the ground, while cutting off vines crossing over property lines, or while reaching up high to cut off vines from trees during gapping. However, the device is not designed to operate upside down, and gasoline flow to the engine can cut off when it is inverted while reaching up into trees. Its only other major disadvantages are its several hundred dollar cost, and its lack of general availability.