How To Choose The Best Hedge Trimmer – 2018

How to choose a hedge trimmerMany of us face a choice of a hedge trimmer at some point of our life. It can be seasonal hedge trimming in your own garden, end-of-tenancy garden clearing, help to your grandma or simply upgrade from shears to an engine powered hedge trimmer. And after quick research you’re  like a kid in the candy store, facing different price/shape/length/type of power hedge trimmers. This guide is made to simplify your choice, helping you to choose right hedge cutter for your needs without trowing money away for a features you won’t even use.

It’s few main factors  you have to keep in mind when buying a hedge trimmer:

  • How tall are your hedges? Are you OK to work on the step ladder?
  • How far are they from the nearest electricity access point? Will it be possible to stretch an extension lead?
  • How many shrubs/hedges are there to cut? How long will it take?
  • How neglected are those hedges? Will you have to cut through thick branches?

Motive Power Of Hedge Trimmer

There are 3 main types of hedge trimmers – corded electric trimmers, cordless electric trimmers and gas powered trimmers. Each of those types has it’s Pros and Cons. One can be more appropriate to use in some particular case, at the same time it will be easily outplayed in different conditions. Let’s have a look at them:

 

corded lectrick hedge trimmerCorded Electric Trimmer – This type of hedge trimmers will perfectly suit small to medium sized garden with shrubs located not to far away from a house or any other source of electricity. Usually this is the cheapest and lightest type of hedge trimmer because is doesn’t require attached battery or full tank of gasoline. Also electric engine is much lighter than gas powered, but of course is doesn’t produce same amount of power. On the other hand you will constantly have to check position of the electric cable to avoid cutting it.

 

 

cordless electric hedge trimmerCordless Electric Trimmer – This type of hedge trimmers can be used even in farthest corners of your big garden. Of course you will have an absolute freedom of movement and you won’t need to be worried about accidentally cutting the cable, but battery’s lifetime usually is very limited (even for top of the range models it rarely exceed 1 hour) and it usually take good few hours to charge an average lithium-ion battery. So if you are sure that battery’s lifetime will exceed a time that is required to cut your hedges, this is an absolute gold.

 

Tip: Many gardening and power tool manufacturers are now offering fast battery chargers that have shown in practice that they are able to charge one battery during the lifetime of the same battery. More info about it you can get from my recent Black+Decker LHT2220 20V Cordless Hedge Trimmer Review.

 

Gas Powered Trimmer – as well as cordless electric trimmer you have a freedom to move and ability to use it in a garden of absolutely any size, and with gas powered cutter you also can do it for pretty much unlimited amount of time as most of the trimmers don’t even need a brake by the end of each tank of gas. Gas powered trimmers are usually most powerful type of hedge cutters that will definitely come in handy when cutting thick branches of hedges that were neglected for a while. But if you are planning to buy yourself a hedge trimmer from a well known brand you have to be ready to pay for it.

 

Types Of Hedge Trimmers

As well as motion power, hedge trimmers can be divided into 3 main groups by shape and purpose of them.

 

One Handed Hedge Trimmer – Usually those are cordless electric trimmers, that were designed to be used by holding them in one hand. This type of hedge trimmer will suit you if you got really small hedges, shrubs or little fancy shaped bushes to cut. Low weight and ability to hold it in one hand will let you to perform like a pro on small buxus, privets or any similar small leafed shrubs. Because those little blades doesn’t require big engine and much energy to move them, even little 3.6V lithium-ion battery would be enough to have 40 minutes to 1 hour work time.

Pros – Low weight and are very easy to use. Most of one handed hedge trimmers can be turned into lawn edge shears by changing it’s blades.

Cons – Pretty useless on big shrubs and hedges.

Few examples from Amazon.com:

MLG Tools ET1205 $27 Sun Joe HJ602C $25 Sun Joe HJ604C BLACK+DECKER GSL35 $38

Please click on the picture to make your way to Amazon.com

 

Regular Hedge Trimmer – Classic hedge trimmer as we all are used to. Requires two hands to operate with blade that can be anything between 18 and 40 inches. They can have single or double sided blades as well as single or double action blades, be with or without catcher plate, rotating rear handle etc. Pretty multi-purpose tool that will let you to cut small, medium or even large hedges or shrubs if you don’t mind to be standing on the top of the ladder.

Pros – Can be used for pretty much any type of hedge cutting.

Cons – Good and reliable hedge trimmer can also be quite expensive.

Few examples from Amazon.com:

BLACK+DECKER HT22 $50 BLACK+DECKER LHT2436 $90 DEWALT DCHT820P1 $180 Husqvarna 966532302 $280

Please click on the picture to make your way to Amazon.com

 

Long Reach Hedge Trimmer – In case if you got really tall hedges, then long reach hedge trimmer is what you need. Of course you can always use classic hedge trimmer and a step ladder, buy safest way is to be standing with your feet on the ground. There are 3 most popular types of long reach hedge trimmers, ones with constant length of a shaft, extendable shaft and ones with ability to put additional bit of shaft. On most of them you can also change the angle between blade and shaft. Most of petrol long reach trimmers will also let you to change a hedge trimmer bit to string trimmer, blade brushcutter or even long reach chainsaw bit. Usually it’s much cheaper to get such a set of tools then buying them separately.

Pros – Ability to cut tall hedges while standing on the ground safely. When buying a petrol long reach you can have a great deal on whole set of garden tools.

Cons – Trickier to use than classic hedge cutter.

Few examples from Amazon.com:

GARCARE $90 Greenworks 22272 $115 PROYAMA 42.7CC $259 Sun Seeker 26cc $200

Please click on the picture to make your way to Amazon.com

 

Hedge trimmer buying F.A.Q.

Q: How much does is cost to buy a hedge trimmer?

A: It really depends on what type of hedge trimmer does your garden require and how much are you ready to spend on it. For example corded electric hedge trimmer would cost something between $30 and $100, at the same time gasoline powered one will rarely be under $150 but can easily go over $700.

 

Q: Do I need any additional equipment for hedge cutting?

A: There are two things I would highly recommend you to get together with a hedge trimmer, safety goggles/glasses/visor (especially is cutting through dead or dry wood), pair of gloves and ear plugs/earmuffs if you got a petrol trimmer. Steel toe boots would also be great thing to have, but least thing you can do to protect your feet is not to wear flip flops whilst operating a hedge trimmer.  This list can also be extended by protective trousers (which can cost you as much as a decent corded electric trimmer itself) and anti vibration gloves, but how tight your budget wouldn’t be, please don’t skip first two things on this list.

 

Q: Which is better Gasoline or Electric powered hedge trimmer?

A: It’s absolutely up to you. If your hedges are far away from a nearest source of electricity you can use gasoline powered trimmer of be using really long extension leads (possibly few plugged one into another). Second option is less time effective but more environment friendly. So it’s all about your priorities.

 

Q: Which hedge trimmer brand to buy?

A: Every brand has it’s ups and down. For example when I’m buying a hedge trimmer for myself I usually have to choose between Husqvarna’s lower weight or Stihl’s resistance to bad quality/wrong mixed gasoline. And because I’m using it on daily basis it’s not about money at all. But remember that if you buy cheaply, you pay dearly. Paying a bit extra for Makita or DeWalt electric hedge cutter will give you that extra “peace of mind” by knowing that you don’t have to buy a new hedge cutter every time you decide to cut your hedges.

 

Q: When is the best time to cut hedges?

A: Most of the hedge requires at least two cuts a year. I’m trying to make first cut of the year before birds start actively nesting (never later than second week of March) and second cut is usually carried not earlier than October. Some maintenance cuts can be done between two main ones, but always make sure there are no occupied nests inside the hedge.