While it’s possible to maintain your hedges with hedge shears, you might find yourself working all day with little to show for it after all is said and done. Thankfully, there are many amazing hedge trimmers on the market that can quickly and effectively restore your hedges to their former glory. However, there are a few things you will need to consider before you can find the perfect hedge trimmer for you.
Why buy a hedge trimmer?
Simply put, it’ll take more than great pruning shears to ensure your hedges are manicured and beautiful all year long. Luckily, hedge trimmers tend to be affordable and effective tools that are capable of trimming thick and thin branches alike. There are also plenty of models on the market that feature lightweight, easy-to-use designs that ensure that almost anyone can use them to achieve well-manicured hedges.
What should you look for in a hedge trimmer?
- Cutting Capacity: The first thing you should do before buying a hedge trimmer is size up your bushes and hedges. Hedges with dense growth and thick branches will require more power and a higher cutting capacity than your average small domestic garden hedge. If you’ll be trimming branches that are wider than 0.75 inches, you will want to begin looking for a heavy-duty option, such as a great gas-powered hedge trimmer.
- Power Source: Each type of hedge trimmer has its advantages and drawbacks. Cordless, battery-powered models are typically very light and convenient but lack the power of other hedge trimmers. Electric corded hedge trimmers tend to be very powerful but are less convenient due to the necessity of having a power cord or extension cable trailing you. Finally, gas-powered hedge trimmers are often great for heavy-duty jobs but tend to be heavier and more expensive than other models out there.
- Blade Length: A longer blade will make your work go by quicker but can be hard to maneuver depending on the weight and balance of the hedge trimmer you’re using. However, for big yards with a large number of hedges to trim, you can’t go wrong selecting a hedge trimmer with a long blade and an intelligent, easy-to-use design.
Should you buy a single-sided or double-sided hedge trimmer?
Both single- and double-sided hedge trimmers have their advantages. Single-sided hedge trimmers are great for trimming straight sections of hedge and are often lighter and easier to use than double-sided hedge trimmers. However, double-sided hedge trimmers are often the superior choice when shaping your hedges requires more than just a straight cut. That being said, the added weight of double-sided hedge trimmers (not to mention the double-sided blade) make them tricky and somewhat dangerous to use above chest height.
DEWALT DCHT820B Hedge Trimmer
This hedge trimmer features impressive power for a cordless option and has no trouble cutting thicker branches.
Pros: If you love the convenience of cordless power tools, this battery-powered hedge trimmer from DeWalt is the best of the best. Featuring a powerful motor and a 22-inch hooked-tooth blade design, this hedge trimmer can quickly and easily cut through branches 0.75 inches thick. It gets amazing battery life out of its 20V batteries. Additionally, while this isn’t the lightest option around, it’s well-balanced with an easy-to-use trigger mechanism, ensuring it’s fairly simple to use without getting fatigued.
Cons: This product’s weight makes it slightly difficult when tackling tricky overhead cuts if you lack arm and shoulder strength. Additionally, at this item’s price point, it would be nice for DEWALT to include a sheath to protect the hedge trimmer’s sharp blade.
Bottom Line: While this isn’t the most heavy-duty or lightweight hedge trimmer on the market, it’s one of the few battery-powered hedge trimmers out there that can be reliably trusted to tackle tricky jobs. As such, if you have a troublesome blackberry bush in your yard that has given other hedge trimmers a hard time, this one is a great candidate for the job.
BLACK+DECKER BEHT150 17-Inch Hedge Trimmer
This budget-friendly hedge trimmer sports a lightweight, easy-to-use design and a surprisingly powerful 3.2-amp motor.
Pros: For those seeking a fantastic deal, this offering from BLACK+DECKER offers outstanding quality, power, and design that belies its budget price point. Featuring 17-inch dual-action hardened steel blades and a lightweight design that resists excessive vibration, this is a very simple hedge trimmer to manipulate for amazing results. While you will need an extension cord to use this tool, it does well to ensure the cord stays plugged in while you’re working and well away from the work area.
Cons: While this product’s small, lightweight design makes it easy to handle, its shorter blade length isn’t ideal for those with large yards. Of course, its corded electric design will also be a huge drawback to many, so those seeking a cordless hedge trimmer won’t be satisfied with this product.
Bottom Line: This product offers a ton of value at its price point, especially for those with small, manageable yards. While this isn’t a suitable hedge trimmer for trimming extra-thick branches, it’s still a versatile product that can be wielded by almost anyone, thanks to its smart design. For its price, it’s hard to ask for more than that.
Greenworks 22-Inch Corded Hedge Trimmer
This electric hedge trimmer stands out due to its incredibly sharp 22-inch blade and maneuverable design.
Pros: The Greenworks 22-Inch Corded Hedge Trimmer is another excellent option for those who don’t mind a corded design want to save a little money. This hedge trimmer features a very powerful 4-amp motor, and its 22-inch dual-action steel blade slices through most bushes and shrubs like a hot knife through butter. You will probably also love how lightweight and easy to maneuver this hedge trimmer is despite its longer blade length.
Cons: While this product touts a “convenient cord lock,” many reviewers have noted that the cord retention could be better. While bending over to pick up the extension cord every so often won’t irk most people too much, this is a factor worth considering for those who are on the fence.
Bottom Line: Although this hedge trimmer’s 0.5625-inch cutting capacity is not suited for heavy-duty jobs, this tool is powerful and sharp enough to tackle a myriad of hedge trimming applications with ease. So, if you’re looking for a lightweight corded hedge trimmer that is built to last more than a few seasons, this is your most reliable choice.
Sun Joe 21-Inch Electric Telescoping Pole Hedge Trimmer
This hedge trimmer features a telescoping pole that extends to nearly 8 feet for extra-tall hedges.
Pros: If your yard has shrubs or hedges that are too tall or wide for a conventional hedge trimmer, this option from Sun Joe is your best bet. Featuring a sharp, rust-resistant steel blade and telescoping pole that provides up to 13 feet of overhead reach, this product will help you ditch the ladder and manicure tall hedges with speed and precision. Its head is also nicely adjustable and pivots to ensure you’re able to approach your shrubs from the right angle.
Cons: One drawback to this hedge trimmer is that its 8.8-pound design can feel pretty heavy when held overhead for prolonged sessions. Nevertheless, this is one of the best hedge trimmers you can buy in terms of reach and convenience.
Bottom Line: Trimming tall hedges can be a tiring chore no matter what product you use, but the Sun Joe 21-Inch Electric Telescoping Pole Hedge Trimmer makes the process as streamlined as possible. While this hedge trimmer is a bit pricier than other corded models, its adjustability and telescoping pole are bound to save your shoulders from a lot of strain when caring for tall hedges.
Poulan Pro PR2322 22-Inch Hedge Trimmer
This gas-powered hedge trimmer stands out for its outstanding cutting power and comfortable grip.
Pros: The Poulan Pro PR2322 22-Inch Hedge Trimmer is a great time-saver for those with a large yard and thick, demanding hedges. This hedge trimmer features a powerful 23cc engine and 22-inch dual-sided blades to make quick work of thick branches that would give most battery-powered hedge trimmers some problems. While this isn’t the easiest hedge trimmer to maneuver, its vibration-dampening design helps to mitigate user strain during tough jobs.
Cons: Realistically, this is probably not an ideal hedge trimmer for those who lack arm strength, even if it’s far from the heaviest gas-powered trimmer on the market. That being the case, be prepared to switch hands every so often since using this product for prolonged periods will likely tire you out.
Bottom Line: Although Poulan Pro is more well known for its chainsaws than its hedge trimmers, this model definitely sports the power and reliability that have made it a popular brand. While this isn’t an excellent product for those seeking something lightweight, those who want to save time completing demanding jobs will find a lot to love here.
Whether you have a couple of bushes to trim or weeks’ worth of brush piles to cut and clear, finding the right hedge trimmer for the job isn’t always easy. Be sure to closely consider the demands of your application so that you can invest in a tool that is tailor-made for the task.