Keeping your hedges and trees nicely trimmed can be a real chore, especially if you have a large yard. Trying to it all with a pair of garden sheers can take a long time and make you hate your own garden. No to mention that some spots will be difficult, or simply impossible, to reach with garden sheers.
Hedge trimmers are tools invented to solve those problems and more. With the best hedge trimmer, you can do the work in almost no time at all while staying completely safe. It can even turn trimming your trees or hedges into an enjoyable experience for you, something that you will look forward to.
So, if you’re ready to make the plunge and invest in one of these machines, here are the most important things you need to know when getting one.
Why Buying a Hedge Trimmer?
Getting a hedge trimmer when you’re used to doing your work with sheers can be a difficult transition. There are plenty of people who see hedge trimmers as difficult to use and creating more hassle than they’re worth, but that is far from the truth. Once you get into the swing of things, using a hedge trimmer will significantly cut down on time needed to maintain your yard.
Hedge trimmers aren’t as complicated as some make them out to be. In essence, they are rather simple and use a chainsaw-like blade, but with bigger and longer teeth that are wider apart for cutting light, bushy materials. Almost all trimmers have two blades, placed on opposite sides of the tang – some have one stationary and one moving, while others have both of them moving, just in opposite directions, for better cutting.
Hedge trimmers, despite their name, can be used on things other than hedges. You can use them to trim bushes or trees, they can even be used on weeds and grass if need be, and some even have different attachments that can turn them into pole saws or even something else. They can be extremely versatile machines. You can also use them not just to trim, but to shape your hedges the way you want if you have the skill and the know-how.
While they are simple machines, hedge trimmers have been improved over the years and now come in a variety of forms with a wide array of different functions. This makes it difficult to pick out a good one, especially if you’re new to using them. Don’t sweat it though, because we are here to help. We have gathered some of the best products out there right now, compared them and even offered some user reviews to properly inform you on the most important aspects of hedge trimmers.
With that in mind, here are the products that we gathered.
Meet the Hedge Trimmers
The Good: It offers great quality for a low price, good blade length and amazing runtime.
The Bad: Lacks the standard safety features most trimmers have.
The Bottom Line: For a low price, you get a real quality machine that excels above the competition in all areas except its safety.
The Good: It’s a solid hedge trimmer that is sure to last for years.
The Bad: Expensive and doesn’t come with a battery.
The Bottom Line: Even though it’s a decent product overall, it has trouble justifying its high price point.
The Good: Offers a great host of extra features, making it highly adjustable and versatile.
The Bad: It’s difficult and possibly dangerous to use when those features are engaged.
The Bottom Line: Sadly, while the extra features are useful, they are possibly not worth using. It’s still a decent product though.
We’ve listed the short version here, but for our full reviews and opinions, head on down below.
All of the Factors Considered
While hedge trimmers are certainly not overly complicated machines, every manufacturer is trying to outdo the competition, and so there’s plenty of variety on the market. So much so that it might be difficult to make a smart choice when purchasing one, as all the various extra features and marketing spiel might distract you from what’s important. We can help bring your attention to the important points, though – so here’s a listing of the most important things to consider when it comes to hedge trimmers.
There are a couple of different ways a hedge trimmer can be powered, and that can greatly influence the amount of strength it has.
Gas powered hedge trimmers are first up as the biggest and most powerful, but also noisiest and messiest, with a lot of need for maintenance.
Electric variants are less powerful, but they are more lightweight, produce no fumes and are far less noisy. Corded variants exist as well as those that run on batteries and require no cord.
Depending on what you pick, gas, cord or battery, the power of the motor will be indicated by the horsepower, amperage or voltage respectively. The stronger the motor is, the stronger the cutting power of the trimmer, meaning that it can handle tougher brush and thicker branches.
There are two main types of blades – single-action and double-action. Both variants have two jagged blades on them, but the difference is in how they work. Single-action trimmers have only one moving blade – the other one is stationary. When it comes to double-action types, both blades move in opposite directions from each other. Double-action blades are usually more comfortable because the blades can cancel out most of the vibration they produce, meaning it is better for extended use. However, they also use more power for not a lot of additional cutting power – meaning that single-action blades are more power efficient and will be able to run for a longer time. This is especially important when it comes to battery powered trimmers.
As you can see, both types have their upsides and downsides – make your pick.
The length of the blade is what determines how big an area you can cut in one swath – the longer the blade, the faster you will get the job done. Well, in theory – in practice, bigger isn’t always better. With a longer blade, the trimmer also becomes more difficult to use and is less maneuverable. Considering what you need it for, how large your hedges are, and striking a good balance is the key here – you don’t want a thirty-inch blade if you only have a small box hedge.
One of the reasons for using a hedge trimmer over sheers is that they’re more comfortable. Lighter hedge trimmers provide that, making them easy to use and maneuver around tighter spaces or strangely shaped hedges. Lighter weight means they’re also easier to use for overhead work.
The problem is that lighter modes are usually weaker and if you need something for more heavy duty work they just won’t cut it. That’s why it could be worth it to compromise and get a heavier machine that will get the job done better and faster. You should carefully consider what you need and then make your final choice.
While they aren’t as dangerous as something like a chainsaw, hedge trimmers can still hurt you if you’re not careful with them. That’s why most of the come with various safety features that make sure they’re easy to use, and you don’t have to worry about harming yourself or others. The most common safety features is a hand guard that will stop debris from hitting you. Another is a dual safety switch, meaning that the blade can’t turn on until you are gripping both handles. There are various others that might be helpful, but if they are badly designed they may just be a hindrance, so take that into consideration.
Now that we’ve gone over all of that, here’s how our top picks fared when graded in these categories.
In-depth Reviews of 3 Hedge Trimmers
Powerful Cordless Motor
Powered by a strong and durable 40-volt lithium ion battery, this hedge trimmer can put out enough power to work on even the toughest of hedges while remaining operational for a long time. It can cut branches up to ¾ inch thick with no problems.
Both blades of this trimmer move, ensuring up to 40 percent less vibration than with single-action blades while providing clean cuts that won’t harm the health of your hedge. The blades are also pre-hardened and resistant to rust for extra durability.
Long, Strong Blade
With a blade this long, you will never have to worry about your hedges again. Measuring at 24 inches, this beastly blade can trim any hedge in no time at all, while remaining light and maneuverable, able to get into any spot to trim and shape the bushes to your liking.
Made from durable parts that don’t weigh a lot, this hedge trimmer is only 6.9 pounds. That, combined with its design, makes it easy to use even for extended periods of time and overhead work.
Safe for Everyone
The full wrap-around front handle ensures that this trimmer will be comfortable to hold, while the soft rubber grips make sure it won’t slip from your hands while you’re using it.
Who Should Buy This Product
People on a budget should look into this product, first and foremost, but it’s rather great for almost everybody, come to think about it. It offers great value for the price, having a long, quality blade with dual-action, being able to cut efficiently and quickly. It also has a powerful motor and a battery that can last a long time.
What to Watch Out For
The biggest turn-off when it comes to this trimmer is the fact that it lacks a lot of the safety features that have become the standard in recent times. It can be operated with one hand, and it does not have a good hand guard, meaning that you will most likely have to wear gloves when using it. Luckily, the grips are big enough to allow for that.
Overall, this is an amazing product for this price, it offers a blade of great length, with dual-action, it has a battery that lasts for a long time while not having a high recharge time, and is quality all-around. However, it lacks some of the more obvious safety features that it should have. It’s a great hedge trimmer, but that might be a deal-breaker for some.
Strong High-output Motor
The 20V battery that powers this motor ensures that it has more than enough power to cut anything you might need, handling branches up to ¾ inches thick. It’s a small powerhouse.
Long, Durable Blade
The blade is 22 inches long, able to easily trim any hedge you might have while still being light enough for anybody to handle. It’s also durable and won’t break or bend even if it comes across tougher branches that it cannot cut.
Dual Blade Action
The dual-blade action of this hedge trimmer ensures that it will smoothly cut through anything you might put in front of it and ensures clean, efficient cuts that won’t bring harm to your plants.
Weighing in at only 7.5 pounds, this trimmer is easy to hold for long time periods and offers a great power-to-weight ratio, better than most comparable products.
Double Handle Operation
Both handles need to be pressed for this hedge trimmer to run, ensuring that you won’t get your hand caught in the blades at any time and that it won’t harm you if you ever happen to drop it.
Who Should Buy This Product
This one is great for people who need a rock-solid battery powered hedge trimmer that won’t fail them and will remain in working condition for a long time. It’s durable and strong with good specs, especially when it comes to the length of the blade and the safety features.
What to Watch Out For
It’s not as strong as it might seem at first and it can’t cut some thicker branches, it can get stuck even on half-inch ones. In addition to that, it’s an expensive piece of kit, more than its brethren – especially when you consider that it doesn’t come with a battery and you have to buy that separately.
This hedge trimmer is more than a decent product, offering rather great specs in every area. However, even that is not able to make up for its high price, especially when you take into account that you have to buy the battery as well. It’s a shame, it’s a fine piece of kit, but at this price, you might not want it.
Incredible Battery Power
The battery inside is extremely powerful at 40 volts, allowing this hedge trimmer to reach the power necessary to cut even branches almost a full inch thick. The power it has is almost unparalleled.
The dual-action blade is designed for easy, clean cuts that will create no mess. Also, they also vibrate less than single-action blades, allowing you to use the trimmer for a long time without feeling uncomfortable.
The blade is 20 inches long, allowing for great reach and maximized cutting speed. The reach can be even greater when you factor in the shaft, allowing it to reach anywhere you might need it to.
The weight of this product is only 9.6 pounds, which is low when you consider the extendable shaft that it has. With such a low weight, it’s easy to carry around and use.
This hedge trimmer cannot be operated without the use of both hands – you will never have to worry about accidentally turning it on and cutting yourself or someone close to you. For extra comfort, the unit also features an extendable shaft, up to six feet in length and a pivoting head that can cut in three different positions.
Who Should Buy This Product
Anyone looking for a versatile hedge trimmer with amazing reach, able to work in a variety of conditions, should look no further – this is the trimmer for you. The extendable shaft combined with the pivoting head makes it able to reach almost anywhere and cut in a variety of ways. It’s not too shabby on the other specs as well, but that’s the standout thing about it.
What to Watch Out For
The downside of this product is directly connected to its greatest upside. The telescopic shaft and pivoting head are what make this trimmer heavier than the average, making it difficult to use for extended periods of time. In addition to that, it’s also hard to control when fully extended, making the utilization of the telescopic handle risky even at the best of times.
What this product offers that the others don’t is great versatility, allowing it to cut in various positions and with high reach. It’s not too shabby when it comes to other specs as well, featuring a strong, long-lasting battery. However, the extra features that are its selling point are also difficult – and sometimes dangerous – to use. That will make you think twice before buying it, even though it’s a great product at its base.
The Best Pick – BLACK+DECKER LHT2436
There’s a throng of different products out there, each offering something different, something unique, something useful only to a limited amount of people. Still, that’s what makes them good, and that’s why it’s impossible to pick a single product as the “best” one. However, when it comes to this roundup, the best hedge trimmer for us is the BLACK+DECKER LHT2436. It simply offers the best value for the price out of all these products, and there’s no arguing with that. It even outperforms multiple similar, but more expensive products in various areas, like the blade length or the power of the motor. It’s just an amazing product all-around, and at a poultry price.
While we do consider our best pick to be a superb machine, some of the others we listed here might fit your needs better. You should consider all of the info we presented here and make use of them to get yourself a good hedge trimmer. We hope all of this was helpful to you and, if you’re so inclined, share it with others who might find it useful. Have a good day and good luck trimming.