Hedges are a timeless garden feature. These living walls are a great way to create a boundary without the dullness of garden fences. They can also absorb groundwater and dampen noise pollution. They are essential habitats to provide shelter and food for wildlife.
Everyone loves neatly trimmed shrubbery. However, it’s not easy to get the job of trimming done. You need a tool that is designed to be fast, mobile, and powerful in order to get your bushes looking their best. The right hedge trimmer can make a huge difference in creating straight hedges or turning garden shrubs into beautiful sculptures.
How do you choose the right hedge trimmer? The market today offers everything, from heavy-duty, contractor-grade hedge trimming machines to electric hand-held shears. There are many things to consider, including electric vs. gasoline, blade type and length, the gap between the blades, and so much more. This shopping guide will provide you with information on these issues.
Best Hedge Trimmers
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Powerful trimming
- Soft grip handle
- Dual-action blades with sharpness
- Power source: battery powered
- Item weight: 5.7 pounds
- Blade length: 22 inches
- Occasional battery life complaints. It’s better to choose the option with an extra.
4 used from $77.75
- Good for the elderly
- Easy to handle
- Sharp dual-action blades can cut a maximum of 3/4 inches
- Blade length: 22 inches
- Item weight: 5.5 pounds
- Not powerful enough for large projects
- Don’t need extension cord any more
- Trim hedge efficiently
- Comfortable grip
- Blades: dual-action, 22 inches long
- Item weight: 10 pounds
- Not for heavy-duty trimming on thick hedges
- Screws may be loose after a period of use.
1 used from $23.54
- Compact and lightweight for all gardeners
- Comfortable and well-balanced to use
- Sharp blade for fast cutting
- Blades: dual-action, 17 inches long
- Item weight: 3.9 pounds
- The front guard is a bit flimsy.
- Lightweight and maneuverable for ladies
- Helpful in light landscaping work
- Cut small shrub, grass, and hedges efficiently
- Battery and charger included
- Not good at trimming larger shrubs
What to Consider When Buying a Hedge Trimmer?
- Gas-powered hedge trimmers
Gas-powered hedge trimmers generally outperform electric trimmers in terms of performance. There won’t be any power loss as your battery runs out, and you don’t have to worry about keeping within the limits of your extension cord. They are lightweight, weighing in at around 10 to 20 pounds, and are well-known for their durability. They are also as portable as battery-powered models.
However, there are some drawbacks. Gas-powered trimmers can be more harmful to the environment. This type of hedge trimmer is noisy and requires frequent maintenance. It also emits exhaust gases. It will require you to mix oil and gas for the two-cycle motor. You may have difficulty getting it to start. In addition, these trimmers also have additional fuel costs.
Modern gas hedge trimmers don’t smell as bad as they used to. These gas hedge trimmers are powerful and can be used all day. They are preferred by professionals, and you may also prefer them if you have a lot to cut.
- Corded electric hedge-trimmers
The corded electric hedge trimming machine uses electricity directly. The best thing about a corded electric hedge trimmer is its electric supply will not stop as long as you simply plug it into the outlet and press the trigger to start the trimmer. You can trim hedges consistently in your entire garden.
Corded hedge trimmers are lightweight and typically weigh from 3.5 to 7 pounds. It is friendly to the elderly, women, and people who have long task to complete. You can finish your task quickly and without worrying about interruptions.
They are efficient and more powerful than battery-powered versions due to their larger motors inside.
In addition, corded hedge trimmers are kind to the environment as they release zero emissions and are quiet in use. They are also low-maintenance trimmers for small gardens or yards.
However, sometimes the corded electric hedge trimmers can prove to be problematic. The major drawback of the corded models is that they have to always be connected to a power outlet in operation. So that they have a limited range.
They can only be used in dry conditions. And their cords must be properly protected from wearing and tearing because it can be costly to replace the cord. Also, the corded trimmer may stop working if there is excessive damage. You could also endanger your safety by accidentally cutting the cord during trimming. It does happen.
It is important to be aware of the location of your cord when you buy a hedge trimming tool. It’s important to not accidentally run your trimmer through the cord or step on it. You might consider a gas-powered model if you are looking for a versatile and durable hedge trimmer that can be used for extended periods of time.
- Cordless Hedge Trimmers
Cordless hedge trimmers are much more reliable than corded versions. You can use them as a handheld tool and don’t need to worry about damaging the wiring by accidentally cutting it with a trimmer. Also, you don’t have to worry about being close to a power source or limited extension cords.
They will not emit any harmful chemicals to the environment. This could be the right choice for you if noise is a concern (for example, near a school).
While cordless electric hedge trimmers can be as simple to use as corded ones, they are heavier (between 7-18 pounds) and have more power. Some cordless electric trimmers can match the power of small to medium-sized gas machines when fully charged.
Battery-powered hedge trimmers are easy to use wherever you are. Just like their corded counterparts, they are quiet and require minimal to no maintenance.
All you have to do is make sure it’s fully charged. You can easily know the power percentage because the battery-powered bush trimmer usually comes with an attached battery charger. When the battery is fully charged, there is an indicator on the charger.
However, cordless hedge trimmers can lose power when the battery runs out, and charging times can be frustratingly long. After being fully charged, the trimmer battery will last only a certain amount of time. You will see a decrease in trimmer performance as the battery power drains, which will cause interruption when doing a long job.
There are many options on the market. The battery hedge trimmers with higher-amp batteries or two battery slots are a little more expensive but they are powerful and efficient.
If you are going to complete a longer project, it is better to prepare several spare batteries and get them fully charged, so that you can swap out a dead battery with a fully charged spare anytime.
Another problem is that your trimmer’s power output will drop if the battery begins to degrade. Although some trimmers have a built-in no-fade supply, they are likely to last less time. The decision to choose a corded model or a cordless one depends on your individual situation and preferences.
- Blade length
What is the ideal length for a hedge trimming blade? Commonly, a blade spans 17-22 inches. This length is suitable for most people. Blades can be as short as 12 inches or as long as 25 inches.
Although there are no set rules regarding the size of a hedge blade, it is recommended that you choose a blade that is slightly longer than the hedge’s width if you are trimming formal hedges.
The longer the blade, the faster speed of the blade, the more difficult it will be to control.
- Blade type
The teeth of hedge trimmer blades are located on either one or both sides. For straight work, single-sided blades are better than double-sided ones (because they won’t cut on the backstroke). For shaping and topiary, double-sided blades work well.
Single-sided blades are safer because you don’t have to cut away from yourself. However, they can be dangerous for right-handed people. Although lefties will soon adapt, they may prefer a dual-action blade.
Most hedge trimmers come with one fixed and one oscillating blade. The two blades can be moved in tandem on high-end machines to make a quick, clean cut.
- Blade gap
Buyers should also consider the blade length and blade type before purchasing a hedge trimmer. The blade gap is the distance between the blade’s teeth and the maximum branch circumference that the tool can cut.
A blade gap of 3/8 to 3/4 inches is the average for an “amateur” hedge trimming machine. The blade gap of a professional hedge trimmer can, however, be as large as 1 inch, which can handle larger woody hedges.
The weight of a hedge trimmer has a significant impact on its ease of use. The weight of gas hedge trimmers can range from 10 to 20 pounds. Your ability to lift heavy items will affect how easy or difficult it is to do the job.
Heavier hedge trimmers can be difficult to lift and can cause injury to even the most experienced user. However, they are likely more powerful. For anyone who is new to the use of a hedge trimmer, lighter models are easier to handle and safer.
Some machines have a rotating handle. This makes it easy to switch from horizontal to vertical cutting.
You can extend the time your cordless hedge trimmer can be used by having extra batteries on hand. You can simply remove the battery and insert a new one when it runs out.
Eco-friendly hedge trimmers don’t emit harmful chemicals, as well as noise pollution, to the environment. When you are choosing a gas-powered trimmer, you should always be concerned about gas emissions and noise reduction. Look for a hedge trimmer with CARB- or EPA- compliance.
You may be able to work comfortably for longer periods of time with gas hedge trimmers that have noise and vibration reduction.
It can be frustrating to find your corded electric hedge trimming machine unplugged. This can be prevented by a cord lock.
Trigger locks allow you to work indefinitely without having to hold the trigger. This feature is popular with professionals who work long hours.
Your landscaping success can be affected by the distance your hedge trimmer can reach with or without a ladder. A few hedge trimmers are able to reach distant shrubs or hedges by their design. A long-reaching hedge trimmer is a good choice if you have tall hedges that are seven feet high or more.
With a protective sheath, you can handle the trimmer safely from the sharp blade. And the plastic sheath can protect the blade.
An automatic brake or auto-shutoff will stop your blade instantly to ensure safety. Dual safety switches are available on some blade trimmers. Both must be pressed to allow the machine’s operation. Some have “Off” locks that are designed to prevent children from activating them.
Your hedge trimmer blade can become dull and rusty if it is not taken care of properly. It’s important to learn some tips to maintain your hedge trimmer blade.
- After approximately 50-60 hours of use, sharpen your blade.
- Only sharpen the cutting edges. You can sharpen your blade by yourself with a small file.
- Sharpening your hedge trimmer blade can be challenging. It’s not a shame to hire a professional to complete the task. Pros have special machines that speed up and accurately complete the task.
- After each use, turn off the trimmer and spray the entire blade in WD-40 or other protectants/lubricants. After the spraying has been completed, turn on the machine again and move the blade around a few times so that the spray touches all its components. This is especially important if the blade has been used in moist conditions where moisture can cause rust.
- Sometimes older gas hedge trimmers can develop an “idle”, where the blade will move back and forth even though the trigger is not pressed. Double down on safety precautions or stop using the trimmer altogether if this happens.
How to Use a Hedge Trimmer Safely?
- Be sure to read all the fine print before using any type of hedge trimmer.
- When using a hedge trimmer, always wear your eye protection. We recommend that you use ear protection if you are using a gas-powered trimmer.
- Be aware of your surroundings and be alert for other vehicles and people. Keep scissors and trimmers out of reach of children.
- Take care when using your blade. Don’t touch the blade until it has completely stopped. Protect your hands from cuts and snags caused by sharp branches. The majority of hedge trimmer blades have small extensions that protect the teeth from injury. However, it is always safer to be safe than sorry.
- Be mindful of the cord when you are using an electric trimmer. When working with ladders, cord management is even more critical. You can loop the cord through the handle of your trimmer, or through a rope attached to your arm. This will prevent the cord from hanging near the blades of the trimmer.