How to Buy a Hedge Trimmer
Trimming your hedges and trees is a lot of work. If you try to get it done with shears, you’ll find yourself spending a significant amount of time and wearing yourself out needlessly. One simple purchase can make a huge difference in how much time and energy the job takes, and most people who make the investment are glad they did.
Hedge trimmers allow you to get your hedges and shrubs looking just right without it taking up too much time or energy. The right hedge trimmer makes the work efficient, safe, and fast. If you’ve realized it’s time to invest in a hedge trimmer, or you’re ready to replace one that’s getting old, here are the main things you need to know to find the right one for you.
Survey Your Yard
The first thing you need to do before starting your search is to really give your yard a close look. Finding the right hedge trimmer for you will require having a good idea of:
- The type of hedges you’ll be using it on.
- The height and thickness of those hedges.
- How accessible they are – are they close to walls or the fence, for instance?
- The size of your yard.
These factors will play a significant role in figuring out the right size and level of power you’ll need from your hedge trimmer. If you have a large yard and big hedges, a more powerful model will make the work move faster. If your hedges are located close to a fence, you may appreciate a shorter hedge trimmer that’s easier to maneuver in the tight spaces. Finding the right hedge trimmer largely depends on the job you’ll be doing.
Types of Hedge Trimmers
Hedge trimmers can have one of two power sources: electricity or gas. Your first big decision in choosing a hedge trimmer is which type of power you prefer.
For most home users, electric hedge trimmers will be the best choice. They’re more lightweight and thus easier to use. They’re more affordable. They’re quieter. And they’re easier to start and maintain than gas models. The main area where electric hedge trimmers fall short is when it comes to power, for especially big or tough trimming jobs, the work will be slower and more difficult than with a gas hedge trimmer.
Electric hedge trimmers come in either corded or cordless options. With a corded hedge trimmer, you’ll have to do deal with extension cords as you work and stay within a set distance from the outlet the whole time, which is inconvenient. Corded hedge trimmers make the work easier as you can go as far from the outlet as you need, don’t have to trail cords behind you, and can use the trimmer for as long as the battery charge lasts.
If you have a larger yard with big hedges, then a gas hedge trimmer may be worth the buy. They cost more, weigh more, and are harder to use (especially for beginners), but they can take on tougher jobs faster. If you’ll be using your hedge trimmer for commercial purposes, or if you have hedges that are particularly large, thick, or unruly, then a gas hedge trimmer will make the work easier.
Note: If you’re new to hedge trimmers, start with an electric hedge trimmer. They’re easier to maneuver and safer to use when you’re getting the hang of things. If you find the electric hedge trimmer isn’t powerful for your needs after you’ve become adept at using it, then consider upgrading to gas.
Factors to Consider When Buying Hedge Trimmers
Once you’ve determined the needs of your particular yard and figured out the best type to go with, you’re ready to think about the other various factors and features different hedge trimmers have to offer. Here are the main things to take into consideration during your search.
Hedge trimmers are powerful tools, but the amount of power you can wield with a trimmer varies by product. The main indicator of power is the power source.
Gas hedge trimmers will bring a higher level of power to hedge trimming than electric models. But electric models offer a variety of power levels as well. Those with a high voltage can tackle harder jobs faster than some of the more affordable models that come at a lower voltage.
The level of power you need is entirely dependent on the types of hedges you’ll be trimming, their size, and the amount of power you’re comfortable wielding.
With hedge trimmers, the main things you’ll pay a premium for are higher power and greater convenience. The most affordable hedge trimmers will be corded, lightweight models that are best for simpler jobs. These can cost as little as 30.
When you add in the convenience of a cordless model, the minimum price jumps up to around 60, but your ability to trim more hedges from further away from the house increases significantly. Things like a higher-powered battery, longer blade, and faster charging time can all add to the cost as well, but make bigger jobs easier.
Gas hedge trimmers routinely cost more than electric ones, starting at around 250 and going up to over 500 in price. The higher-cost gas models are useful for contractors and businesses, while most home users should be able to satisfy their needs with a more affordable choice.
Hedge trimmers come with a range of blade lengths. Longer ones can make it easier to trim your hedges more evenly, or they can be difficult to manage and unwieldy if you’re working in a tight space.
For most typical hedges, an 18” blade will work just fine. If your hedges are larger than usual, a 20” blade or larger might make the work easier, if you have the room to maneuver it. If you’re new to hedge trimming, starting with a shorter blade is recommended, as it’s safer when you’re still getting used to the work.
The main two issues to be aware of when it comes to your blades (other than length, that is) are how far apart the blade teeth are, and whether your blades are single or double sided.
The distance between the blade teeth, or blade gap, affects how useful your hedge trimmer will be for different types of branches. Commercial hedge trimmers usually have blade gaps of an inch or more, but many home users will be satisfied with smaller blade gaps in the 3/8 to ¾ inch rage.
Single-sided blades are safer and easier to maneuver with since you can easily keep the side of the trimmer with the blade faced away from you. For people who are experienced with hedge trimmers though, a double-sided option can speed up how fast your trimming work is, since it cuts on both sides at once.
A hedge trimmer’s weight has a big impact on its ease of use. Heavy hedge trimmers are harder to hold aloft and can wear even experienced users out quickly, but they tend to be more powerful. Lighter models will be much easier and safer to use in general, particularly for anyone new to using a hedge trimmer.
Ease of Use
As just addressed, weight is one of the biggest factors in ease of use. The other factor that makes a big difference is a hedge trimmer’s power source.
Gas models require more maintenance and can be harder to control, while electric models are more lightweight and easy to start. Cordless electric models provide even greater ease of use, since you can take them anywhere without having to keep up with a cord.
In addition to these main factors, a number of features play a role in ease of use. Some hedge trimmers allow the option of an on lock, so you don’t have to press the trigger the whole time you’re working.
Wraparound handles make it easier to hold the trimmer comfortably for long periods of time. A rotating blade makes it easier to hold your trimmer at different angles when you’re maneuvering around a fence or wall. And a cordless hedge trimmer that comes with an extra battery can save you the trouble of having to wait on a charge to finish a project.
No matter what type of hedge trimmer you buy, it’s important to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe use and a long life for your hedge trimmer. All hedge trimmers will require some maintenance, but the amount of work you have to do will vary based on a few factors.
With gas trimmers, you’ll need to stay aware of how much fuel they have and refill with the right mix of oil and gas whenever needed. You’ll also need to replace the spark plug periodically and keep the intake vent clear. At the end of the season, you should run stabilizer through the engine and make sure you store the trimmer properly.
For all types of hedge trimmers, you need to keep an eye on the blades and make sure they stay sharp. You may need to sharpen the blades you have or replace old blades with new ones from time to time to keep your hedge trimmer in good working order. And you’ll need to keep your hedge trimmer clean in between uses as well.
With a tool as powerful as a hedge trimmer, safety has to be a top concern. High-powered blades are nothing to take lightly. Anyone new to using a hedge trimmer should take care to go with a lightweight model with good safety features and follow all instructions carefully. Even those who have been using hedge trimmers for years should be careful not to get complacent and always treat the blades with care during use.
Many hedge trimmers come with features designed to add some safety to their use. Tooth extensions make it easier to keep the blades further from your body. Some hedge trimmers automatically cut power to the blade as soon as you release the trigger, so there’s less risk of an accident. And some include front-handle shields that help you avoid moving your hand too close to the blade during use.
At least as important as any features that come with the hedge trimmer are the precautions users choose to take as they work. It’s recommended that you use safety eyewear and gloves while using a hedge trimmer to reduce your own risk and, for louder models, invest in some earplugs or other hearing protection equipment as well. And make sure to read over all information provided by the manufacturer before using a new hedge trimmer so you can follow their safety guidelines when you use your new tool.
Electric hedge trimmers are often far quieter than gas-powered ones, which is a big benefit to users that hate loud noises and want to avoid upsetting their neighbors.
If you do need the power of a gas hedge trimmer though, be prepared to buy earplugs or some other form of hearing protection. If you’re concerned about the noise levels of a hedge trimmer you’re considering, check the reviews to see if customers mention how loud it is, or get in touch with the manufacturer to see if they can provide the decibel level to give you an idea of what to expect.
Ideally, you want to choose a hedge trimmer you can count on for years to come. Powerful machines like this have a lot of parts that can potentially break and your best bet is to look for a brand with a strong reputation that provides a good warranty on their products.
Customer reviews can also usually give you a glimpse into how long you can count on a hedge trimmer to last. But at the end of the day, how you use it and how well you maintain it will play a key role in its lifespan as well.
- Cordless — A cordless electric hedge trimmer is easier to use and makes it possible to go further from the house as you work without issue.
- Tooth Extensions — Tooth extensions put more distance between the hedge trimmer’s blades and your body, decreasing the risk of getting cut.
- Dual Switches — Dual switches require both hands to use the hedge trimmer, which increases the safety.
- On Lock — An on lock makes it easier to use the trimmer for long periods of time, since you don’t have to hold the trigger down the whole time.
- Off Lock — An off lock reduces the risk of someone accidentally turning the hedge trimmer on and is particularly recommended for anyone with kids in the house.
- Wraparound Handle — A wraparound handle makes it easier to hold the hedge trimmer more comfortably while you work.
- Warranty — A good warranty tells you the manufacturer stands by their product and provides peace of mind that you shouldn’t have too many problems.
Hedge Trimmer Brands
With any power tool, brand reputation matters. A reliable brand can be counted on to make sturdy and powerful products that can do the job and last a long time. To help you identify the hedge trimmer brands you can trust, we looked at user reviews of hedge trimmers made by a number of top brands in the space. Here’s a summary of what customers have to say about them.
Black Decker sells a range of affordable electric hedge trimmers that largely satisfy customers. Reviewers say they make hard jobs easier, are powerful, and are lightweight. Battery-powered models get praise for lasting a long time and not taking long to charge. Most reviewers have plenty of good things to say and very few have any complaints.
While Dolmar’s hedge trimmers don’t have too many customer reviews online, the ones they do have say a lot. Customers say their hedge trimmers are quiet, cut well, and are well designed for safety.
Efco offers gas hedge trimmers that mostly get positive reviews, but with a few complaints mixed in. Happy customers say their trimmers are easy to start, easy to use, and last a long time. One reviewer especially mentioned liking that the hedge trimmer was designed to point the exhaust away from the user. A few complain about their model breaking soon after purchase or needing frequent filling. Reviews suggest you’ll probably be happy with Efco, but you may have some issues with certain models.
GreenWorks sells a wide range of electric hedge trimmers that earn strong reviews across models. Customers say they’re powerful, the charge on them lasts a while, they’re easy to use, and they last a long time. Based on customer reviews, GreenWorks is a brand you can count on.
Husqvarna’s hedge trimmers earn mixed but predominately positive reviews from customers. Many models earn positive reviews for being easy to use, working well, and being quiet. Some get complaints for not being as powerful as expected and not lasting very long. Check the reviews of the particular model you’re considering to make sure you go with one that people are happy with.
Milwaukee sells electric hedge trimmers that are well reviewed by customers. Reviewers say their hedge trimmers are powerful and easy to use. Reviews suggest they’re a solid choice for a convenient, cordless hedge trimmer.
Poulan Pro provides gas hedge trimmers with mixed reviews. Some customers say their trimmers are powerful and a good value for the price, while others complain that they’re too heavy and the blades break too quickly. Positive reviews outnumber negative ones, but it’s worth giving them a look to know what you’re getting into.
Remington sells highly regarded electric hedge trimmers. Customers rave about the quality of their hedge trimmers and compare them favorably to other brands they’ve tried in the past. They say the trimmers cut great, are easy to use, and are very powerful. This is a brand with a stellar reputation amongst customers.
Ryobi makes electric hedge trimmers that most customers are happy with. Customers say their hedge trimmers work well, are easy to use, and that the batteries last a while. For a convenient electric hedge trimmer, they’re a safe bet.
Snapper’s electric hedge trimmer is well reviewed for being easy to use, powerful, and lightweight. Customers are pleased with the value for the price and the convenience of using the trimmer. Reviews point to a high likelihood that you’ll be happy with Snapper.
Tanaka sells gas hedge trimmers that customers are routinely pleased with. They say they’re easy to start and lightweight enough to use for a while without your arms getting tired. On the whole, their reputation is solid.
A good hedge trimmer can make tending to your yard much easier, but its’ crucial that you find a model that’s the right level of power for your needs and safe for you to use. Spend some time looking through your options and consider how well matched each option is to the type of work you know you’ll be doing with your hedge trimmer.
About Our Team
Kristen Hicks is a copywriter and lifelong learner that turns her curiosity toward exploring a number of interesting and educational subjects for CompactAppliance.com readers. She lives in Austin, TX with an excitable dog, an ever-growing book collection, and a (usually) well-stocked wine rack. You can find her on at @atxcopywriter.
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
What would happen if you cut your extension cod by accident…i plugged another extension cord and my hedge trimmer won’t turn on…did I break it?
My question is what to do with a cordless hedge trimmer once the rechargeable battery stops recharging? I have a 6-volt Black and Decker cordless hedge trimmer that I have no idea how to exchange the battery (preferred) or how to properly dispose of it.
Hi, I have a black and decker cordless hedge trimmer. I do not know how to sharpening hedge trimmer blades?
Look for a replacement battery on Amazon and dispose of the used battery at an e-waste or hazardous waste site. Most cities and small towns have sites or collection days.
Really great information, thanks for the share and insights! I will recommend this to my friends for sure.
The 9 Best Cordless Hedge Trimmers of 2023
Michelle Ullman is a home decor expert and product reviewer for home and garden products. She has been writing about home decor for over 10 years for publications like BobVila.com and Better Homes Gardens, among others.
Andrew Hughes is a certified arborist, member of the International Society of Arborists specializing in tree heal care, and reviews tree content on The Spruce’s Gardening Review Board. He founded and runs Urban Loggers, LLC, a company offering residential tree services in the Midwest and Connecticut.
Rich Scherr is a seasoned technology and financial journalist who spent nearly two decades as the editor of Potomac and Bay Area Tech Wire. The Baltimore native also covered the technology scene for LocalBusiness.com and has been a regular contributor to the sports pages of The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post.
Cordless hedge trimmers help you keep your yard looking neat and tidy by pruning hedges and shrubs into shape. These power garden tools have dual blades that move back and forth very quickly to evenly cut away excess foliage and twigs.
“Cordless hedge trimmers offer superior convenience, compared to corded or gas-powered hedge trimmers,” notes Noah James, professional landscaper and owner of Liberty Lawn Maintenance. “You can easily prune those hard-to-reach spots such as high hedges or around garden furniture, and the cordless design also makes storage easier, since there are no cords to wrap up or tangle with other corded tools. Plus, cordless trimmers tend to be lighter in weight than their corded counterparts, making them easier to handle and less cumbersome when working on larger projects.”
We evaluated cordless hedge trimmers based on power, battery runtime, effectiveness, extra features, ease of use, and overall value.
DeWALT 22-Inch 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- Compact and lightweight design
- Hardened steel blades with hooked teeth
- Long battery run time
- Battery recharges quickly
If you are looking for a robust hedge trimmer that easily cuts through branches up to 3/4-inch in diameter, keeps your hedges looking evenly trimmed, chews through tall ornamental grasses such as fountain grass, and helps you shape and prune all manner of shrubbery, then we recommend the DeWALT 22-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer. Our top choice has a 20-volt, 5 amp-hour battery that gives you plenty of power and a long run time. Depending on how you are using the tool, you can get up to an hour or so of battery power before needing to recharge. A battery-life indicator alerts you when the charge is running low. When it’s time to recharge, it only takes around 90 minutes before your battery is ready for action once more.
The 22-inch, hooked-teeth, double-sided blades are made of hardened steel to stay sharp longer, so you can keep cutting without worrying about dull blades. The maximum speed of this trimmer is 2,800 strokes-per-minute (spm), but the speed is not variable. It’s fast enough for power and slow enough for control, however, allowing you to shape your hedge or shrubs to your liking without accidentally removing too much foliage.
SHALL Cordless Grass Shear & Hedge Trimmer. 7.2V Electric Shrub Trimmer 2 in 1 Handheld Grass Trim
At only 7.5 pounds, this is a lightweight hedge trimmer that won’t wear you out before your yard work is complete. It has a comfortable, wraparound handle that dampens some of the tool’s already reasonably minimal vibration and provides a secure grip. One downside, however, is that this DeWALT hedge trimmer does not include a blade sheath to cover the blades when not in use, so you’ll need to take extra care when storing it. The hedge trimmer comes with a battery and charger.
Price at time of publish: 198
Blade Length: 22 inches | Maximum Cut Diameter: 3/4 inch | Weight: 7.5 pounds
BLACKDECKER 20V MAX 22-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer
This BLACKDECKER cordless hedge trimmer combines a reasonable price with quality, making it a double winner. Its 22-inch double-sided blades slice cleanly through branches up to 3/4-inch thick, as well as large hedges and other shrubs. Designed for reduced vibration, the tool has comfortable, textured handles with a large trigger to reduce hand fatigue when your pruning sessions run long. And you’ll be able to work for those long stretches without having to recharge the 20-volt, 1.5-amp-hour battery, as it can trim as much as 3,000 feet of hedge on a single charge. However, it does take quite a while to recharge the battery—as much as four hours for a full charge.
The speed of this hedge trimmer is a maximum of 2,400 spm, which is average for these tools and hits the sweet spot for accuracy and power. At 7.8 pounds, it’s fairly light, and its compact size makes it easy to maneuver around your hedge. The hedge trimmer comes with a battery and charger, but it does not include a blade sheath, so be sure to store the tool where the sharp blades won’t be exposed.
Price at time of publish: 109
Blade Length: 22 inches | Maximum Cut Diameter: 3/4 inch | Weight: 7.8 pounds
Best for Thick Branches
EGO Power HT2500 25-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- 40-minute run time per charge
- 1-1/4-inch cutting capacity
- Handle can rotate 360 degrees
- Handle can be set to five different angles
This powerful hedge trimmer from EGO has 25-inch double-sided blades with a 1 1/4-inch cutting capacity, so you can quickly cut through even large branches on mature hedges, thick vines, or overgrown shrubs. The tool runs on a 56-volt, 2.5-amp-hour battery (sold separately) that provides up to 40 minutes of cutting time on a single charge. And with two speed settings—the maximum speed is 3,200 spm—you can go faster when you need more cutting power, and slower when you want to extend battery runtime or you are carrying out more precise cuts.
The handle can be rotated 360 degrees and set at five different angles, so you’ll be able to adjust it to reach awkward spots or carry out tricky cuts. An electric brake-stop cuts the tool’s action off almost immediately for increased safety. And the high-efficiency, brushless motor keeps the power coming until your yard work is done. With a 56-volt battery, the hedge trimmer weighs 12.8 pounds, making it a heavier option than many others listed here, considering that this is a larger tool with a large battery. It’s also somewhat more expensive than many of our other picks, but we think the large cutting size and power are worth the price.
Price at time of publish: 230 without battery
Blade Length: 25 inches | Maximum Cut Diameter: 1-1/4 inch | Weight: 12.8 pounds
WORX WG252 2-in-1 Power Share 20-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer
For trimming the tallest hedges or the largest shrubs, we recommend this offering from WORX, which comes with a telescoping pole that provides up to 12 feet of additional reach. There’s an on/off switch at the base of the pole, so no need to bring the running tool back down to shut it off. The head can be set at 10 different angles, and the handle rotated up to 180 degrees, so even when you are trying to reach into tight or awkward spots or trim intricate designs, you’ll be able to configure this hedge trimmer just the way you need it. Its slim design makes it easy to maneuver between branches or around trunks. And at only 7.6 pounds, it’s light enough so that you won’t quickly tire out, even when working above your head.
The double blades are 20 inches long and can cut branches up to 5/8-inch thick. That’s not the largest cutting capacity, but it’s sufficient for most branches found in the typical backyard. Its top speed is 1,340 spm. The tool comes with a 20-volt, 2-amp-hour battery, and a charger. It also includes a protective sheath to cover the blades when not in use.
Price at time of publish: 150
Blade Length: 20 inches | Maximum Cut Diameter: 5/8 inch | Weight: 7.6 pounds
WORX WG261 20V Power Share 22-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer
It might only weigh 5.5 pounds, but that doesn’t mean this cordless hedge trimmer is a lightweight when it comes to cutting power. The 22-inch double blades slice cleanly through branches up to 3/4-inch thick, leaving your hedges and shrubs looking well groomed. And since the tool is so light, you can easily lift and turn it to reach even the tough spots near the back of your hedge. The comfortable, thick handle makes it easy to keep a grip on the trimmer and helps reduce vibration. The maximum speed of this hedge trimmer is 2,600 spm.
The battery and charger are sold separately, so if you don’t already own a 20-volt WORX battery, you’ll need to purchase those as well. While runtime varies greatly, depending on how you are using the trimmer, you’ll generally get 20 to 60 minutes on one charge. Be aware that unless you have the quick-charge charger, it can take several hours to recharge the battery. The trimmer does come with a protective blade cover, but some buyers complained that it is flimsy.
Price at time of publish: 86 without battery
Blade Length: 22 inches | Maximum Cut Diameter: 3/4 inch | Weight: 5.5 pounds
EGO POWER 56-Volt 24-Inch Dual Cordless Electric Hedge Trimmer
With a 56-volt, 2.5-amp-hour battery that runs up to 60 minutes before it needs to recharge, along with a high-efficiency brushless motor, this cordless hedge trimmer from EGO has plenty of power. And the 24-inch, hardened-steel double blades let you quickly prune and shape even large, mature hedges without much strain or fuss. The trimmer has a maximum cut capacity of 1 inch, which isn’t the highest of our picks, but is certainly enough for most typical backyard hedges and shrubs. You can also use it to slice through overgrown decorative grasses and patches of overgrown weeds.
For extra safety, this hedge trimmer has an electric brake that stops the blades immediately, once you release the trigger. As those blades are moving at 3,000 spm, that’s an impressive feature. The tool weighs just a bit over six pounds, so it’s quite light for easy handling. It comes with a protective blade cover, the battery, and a fast charger that only takes 50 minutes or so to recharge the battery. Note that a handful of buyers have complained that they have received an older-generation battery that doesn’t have quite as long runtime, so check your delivery as soon as you receive it.
Price at time of publish: 185
Blade Length: 24 inches | Maximum Cut Diameter: 1 inch | Weight: 6.1 pounds
Best for Tall Shrubs
RYOBI 18-Inch 40-Volt Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer
If you have an especially tall hedge or large shrubs, then a regular hedge trimmer might not provide enough reach to prune the tops. And perching on a ladder while working with a bladed tool isn’t always safe. This pole hedge trimmer extends up to 8 feet, making it easy to reach up high. Plus, the head pivots so you can angle it just how you need it for reaching awkward spots or shaping your plants. The tool weighs 7.8 pounds, which is a bit heavy, but it comes with a shoulder strap that helps distribute the weight for more comfort when using the tool in lengthy sessions.
The blades of this trimmer are 18 inches long and double-sided, allowing you to work over long stretches of hedge quickly. The maximum speed is 3,000 spm, but with the variable speed control, you can set it to a slower speed if desired when you need better control, such as when shaping topiary. The tool is powered by a 40-volt battery, which is sold separately, so if you don’t already own a Ryobi battery, you’ll need to purchase one along with its charger. The trimmer has a 5/8-inch cutting capacity, which is not as large as many other hedge trimmers, although it’s sufficient for most small-to-medium hedges and shrubs. It comes with a sheath to cover the blades when not in use.
Price at time of publish: 179 without battery
Blade Length: 18 inches | Maximum Cut Diameter: 5/8 inches | Weight: 7.8 pounds
Makita GHU02M1 40V MAX 24-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer
If you need or want a professional-quality tool that has exceptional power and can run for up to six hours on a single battery charge, then you might want to splurge on this cordless hedge trimmer from Makita, which is loaded with great features. To start, it has three speed settings with a maximum of a whopping 5,000 spm. Should the blades jam, there’s a reverse setting that generally will clear the problem quickly. A tip guard protects the end of the bar from damage. The hedge trimmer is designed to withstand harsh weather, dust, and moisture, and resist overheating or overloading. That means this beast of a hedge trimmer can keep on working without a hiccup, tackling large hedges, overgrown shrubs, too-tall weeds and grasses, and branches up to an impressive 1 3/8 inch in diameter.
At 9.5 pounds with the included 40-volt, 4 amp-hour battery in place, this isn’t the lightest hedge trimmer, but the five-position rotating handle and anti-vibration design help keep you comfortable while you work, and the 24-inch double blades get the job done quickly. Once you do need to recharge the battery, the included fast charger takes only 45 minutes or so before the tool is ready to work some more. All in all, this admittedly expensive hedge trimmer is an impressive tool that might be overkill if you only have a small hedge or a few shrubs, but it is a worthy investment if your yard is circled by big hedges or hefty shrubbery.
Price at time of publish: 549
Blade Length: 24 inches | Maximum Cut Diameter: 1 3/8 inches | Weight: 9.5 pounds
Sun Joe HJ604C 2-in-1 Cordless Grass Shear Hedger
Not everyone has a big yard with equally large hedges and shrubs. If you just need to keep a small garden tidy, then the Sun Joe 2-in-1 Cordless Grass Shear Hedger is just the ticket. This compact, lightweight tool easily converts from a hedge trimmer with a steel 6-inch double blade to a grass trimmer with a steel 4-inch shear blade, giving you two tools in one. This versatile option is ideal for grooming small hedges, shaping up shrubs, trimming lawn grasses and weeds, and other general yard-tidying tasks. The cutting capacity is only 1/3 inch and the top speed is 1,250 spm, so this isn’t the right tool for large, woody shrubs or hedges, but it’s enough for the shrubs in a typical small yard.
The trimmer is powered by a 7.2 volt, 1.5 amp-hour battery that is built into the tool, so while it can be recharged when needed, it is not replaceable. The charger is included, and when fully charged, you’ll get up to 40 minutes of work time, depending on how you are using the trimmer. At only 2.5 pounds, this super-lightweight trimmer won’t tire you out, but remember that it’s only for very small shrubbery or grass. Try to cut large branches with it, and you’ll find that the gears give way, or the tool jams.
Price at time of publish: 39
Blade Length: 6 inches | Maximum Cut Diameter: 1/3 inch | Weight: 2.5 pounds
If you want a powerful hedge trimmer that chews through branches up to 3/4 inch thick, runs for up to an hour before needing to be recharged and has hook-teeth blades that make smooth, quick cuts, then our top recommendation is the DeWALT 22-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer. If budget is a concern, then we recommend the BLACKDECKER 22-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer, which also has a 3/4-inch cutting capacity, although not as much power as the DeWALT model.
What to Look for in a Cordless Hedge Trimmer
Before buying a cordless hedge trimmer, think about how you’ll use it. Do you have extensive rows of large hedges on your property, or do you only need to trim a small hedge or a few small shrubs? Are you generally cutting thick branches or thin stems? Do you spend only a few minutes pruning, or are you often carefully shaping your hedges for half an hour or more? The answers to these questions will help you narrow down your options to the cordless hedge trimmer that’s just right for your needs.
When it comes to choosing a cordless hedge trimmer, one of the most important considerations is the blade length. There are hedge trimmers with blades less than 12 inches long, and oversize hedge trimmers with blades that stretch over three feet in length, but for the average homeowner who is looking to tidy up the yard, a tool with blades between 18 and 22 inches is just right for tackling hedges, shrubs, and small branches. Our top pick, the DeWALT 22-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer, is ideal for most gardens.
If you have a small garden with correspondingly small shrubs, you want to also use the hedge trimmer for clipping weeds or grass, or you mostly will use the tool to keep container plants looking their best, then a cordless hedge trimmer with blades shorter than 18 inches is sufficient. The Sun Joe Cordless Grass Shrubbery Shear has a 6-inch hedging blade and combines the functions of a hedge trimmer and grass shear in one versatile tool.
Once you go much beyond 24-inch blades, you are generally entering the realm of heavy-duty tools used by professional landscapers, arborists, and gardeners who often need to prune seriously overgrown shrubbery with thick, woody branches. Unless you have a large property with many large shrubs or an extensive hedge, you probably won’t need a trimmer that’s more than 25 inches long. The longer the blade, the more awkward it can be to wield the tool easily.
Cutting Capacity and Strokes Per Minute
There are two numbers you’ll want to consider when choosing your battery-powered hedge trimmer: cutting capacity and strokes per minute (spm).
Cutting capacity refers to the thickness of the branches the trimmer is capable of handling. Most battery hedge trimmers have cutting capacities of 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch, but powerful models often have cutting capacities of 1 inch or more. The EGO Power 2500 25-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer has an impressive cutting capacity of 1 1/4 inches.
Strokes-per-minute is a rating of the speed at which the tool’s blades saw back and forth. Generally, most cordless hedge trimmers for home use have an spm of 2,000 to 3,000. Noah James, professional landscaper and owner of Liberty Lawn Maintenance notes, “Cordless models sometimes come with adjustable speed settings so you can choose the right speed for different jobs. This allows you to work efficiently while still keeping your hedges looking neat and trimmed.” The Makita 24-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer has three speed settings.
Because you’ll be holding your hedge trimmer without support for the entire time you are using it, a heavy tool can really wear out your arms. Luckily, most cordless hedge trimmers aren’t too heavy; as a general rule, their weights run between 5 pounds and 10 pounds, with heavy-duty, longer-bladed models being at the top of that range. The WORX 20-Volt Power Share 22-Inch Hedge Trimmer weighs a mere 5.5 pounds, making it one of the lightest full-size options.
Noah James notes, “Lighter hedge trimmers tend to be easier on your hands over extended periods of use than heavier ones do, while adjustable handles allow you to customize your grip for maximum comfort during use. Look for features such as soft grips and vibration-dampening technology which further reduce fatigue during use.”
Battery Power and Run Time
Most of today’s cordless hedge trimmers geared toward the average homeowner run off 20-volt batteries, although 40-volt options are also popular. Professional or heavy-duty tools might use batteries as powerful as 80 volts. While it’s easy to assume that a higher battery power is automatically better, it’s important to remember that generally, the more powerful the battery, the heavier it is, which can become a major factor during long sessions of yard work. Generally, if you just have a few shrubs or an average hedge to trim, a tool with a 20-volt battery is more than sufficient to get the job done.
According to Noah James, one of the most important considerations in a cordless hedge trimmer is the battery run time, which is the length of time the tool can run on one charge. It’s a number that can be difficult to pin down, as run time varies greatly depending on how you are using the tool. For example, the run time will be longer if you are cutting through softer foliage and very thin twigs than if you are muscling through thicker branches. As a general rule, most manufacturers of battery-powered hedge trimmers claim that their tools can run for 20 minutes up to an hour or so before needing a recharge. If you expect to often need longer than that to complete your yard work, it’s helpful to buy an extra battery so you can have one charging while the other is in use.
In general, if you are making a transition from gas to battery-powered equipment, make sure the brand you choose has all the equipment and tools you would like to switch over to and that can be compatible with other pieces you may want in the future. It is much more cost-effective to purchase battery-powered tools if you do not need to buy new batteries and chargers with every new piece of equipment.
As their name suggests, hedge trimmers are typically used to cut hedges and bushes, quickly slicing away unruly branches and restoring them to a neat, clean shape. They can also be used for clearing overgrown grass and weeds, as well as managing small vines, but you’ll always want to keep your trimmer’s cut capacity in mind. To cut through thick branches, it’s safer and more efficient to use a chainsaw.
There are two basic styles of hedge trimmer bars: those with teeth on only one side, and those with teeth on both sides of the bar. Most battery hedge trimmers are double-sided, but you can find a few models with a single-sided bar. Neither style is necessarily better; the right choice depends on your needs and how you’ll use the tool. Double-sided trimmers let you prune with sweeping, back-and-forth movements over your hedge. That makes it easier to create precise shapes or neatly flatten the top of an unruly hedge. Double-sided trimmers are especially good for left-handed people. On the downside, because the blades are on both sides of the bar, it’s easier to injure yourself if you aren’t paying attention while you’re working. Single-sided trimmers, which are most often used by professional landscapers, have blades on just one side of the bar. That gives the tool a little more power, which is helpful when tackling thicker shrubs or small branches. These trimmers are also a little bit better when you have a long, flat surface of hedge to trim. However, as a general rule, single-sided hedge trimmers are not as versatile as double-sided ones.
Like any bladed tool, a hedge trimmer can cause injury if not used correctly. Always remain alert while using your hedge trimmer, and dress in fitted clothing that isn’t loose enough to become caught in the blades. Wear heavy work gloves and eye protection whenever you are using your hedge trimmer. Today’s cordless hedge trimmers generally have several standard safety features worked into their design. Look for a tool with a front handle guard to prevent your hand from sliding forward, a blade brake that immediately stops the tool when you release the trigger, and a safety switch that must be pressed down before the trigger is squeezed to start up the trimmer. Hedge trimmers with padded handles and vibration-damping mechanisms are also important features, as they can cut down on hand and arm fatigue.
- Blades shorter than 18 inches are good for small hedges and shrubs.
- Blades that are between 18 and 24 inches are the sweet spot for most homeowners with average to large yards that have many established shrubs. These hedge trimmers are ideal for large hedges, big shrubs, and even small branches.
- Blades longer than 25 inches are ideal for large hedges, overgrown shrubs, and small branches.
- The longest hedge trimmers, which can be over 30 inches, are best left to professional landscapers and gardeners.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Michelle Ullman, who is a writer specializing in home and garden products. She has been writing for The Spruce since 2020, covering a wide range of home improvement products, including power and hand tools, painting supplies, landscaping tools, and tool organizers. To choose the best cordless hedge trimmers for this article, she consulted dozens of customer and third-party reviews and websites, and considered each product’s power, cutting capacity, battery life, blade size, and price point. Noah James, a professional landscaper and owner of Liberty Lawn Maintenance, offered further input and advice.
TRIGGER WARNING! What is the best type of hedge trimmer?
Today, lets take a deep dive into which types of hedge trimmers are preferred among the lawn care pro community.
Should you consider a gas hedge trimmer? Or a battery powered one?
Well, you better brace yourself, cause it’s going to be a bumpy, very opinionated ride.
Lets get on the road, and see what lawn care pros have to say about which hedge trimmer they prefer.
The Great Gas Vs. Battery Operated Debate
Look, one of the greatest debates among the lawn care community is whether battery operated equipment is better than the gas powered competition.
This is perhaps the only debate in the lawn care community that rivals the great Guard or No Guard rivalry.
So as we tread carefully forth, we must carefully consider the pros and cons of each power supply option for the hedge trimmer.
It’s true, and regardless of your overall opinion there are certainly benefits to each source of power. So lets take a look.
But before you get to far, make sure to read our guide on pruning bushes.
Pros and Cons of Battery Powered Hedge Trimmers
Here’s the deal, there are a lot of pros to battery powered hedge trimmers.
Trim weeping mulberry tree with Milwaukee hedge trimmer attachment #shorts
The pros of electric hedge trimmers are:
On the other hand, there are great limitations that electric powered hedge trimmers face. These limitations are:
We will look more at what these pros and cons mean in a practical sense in a moment. But first let’s look at the pros and cons of gas powered equipment.
Pros of Gas Powered Hedge Trimmers
Hands down, gas-powered equipment has long been the preferred source of power among the lawn care community. And with good reason to.
Some of the reasons lawn care pros may prefer gas powered hedge trimmers include:
Of course, not everything is roses with gas powered equipment either. Some of the downsides to gas powered equipment include:
Ok, with all of that in mind, what do landscapers and lawn care professionals have to say about which option is better?
Which hedge trimmer do landscapers prefer, gas or electric?
Here is where the opinions run deep. Brace yourself!
There is no simple answer to this question, it really comes down to personal preference, and you will see that in a moment.
Despite the advantages to both, the overwhelming consensus among lawn care pros is gas powered hedge trimmers are superior. With over 85% saying they prefer gas over electric.
And less than 15% opting for a battery powered hedge trimmer. Despite the overwhelming amount of votes going to gas powered equipment. Landscapers had a lot of good to say about electric equipment too.
Electric Hedge Trimmers Can Give You An Early Start
One landscaper reports using electric trimmers in the early morning to get a head start to the day. Then switching to gas later in the day. Using the electric hedge trimmers allows you to work around noise ordinances and annoying your clients’ neighbors.
“I have Both, Depends on the Situation”
Some lawn care professionals simply carry both, and will use one or the other depending on the situation. And it’s widley reported that gas powered equipment is preffered fro larger jobs. While electric is perfect for smaller jobs.
Gas Powered Hedge Trimmers Are Better for Larger Jobs
Hands down, gas powered hedge trimmers are more powerful, making them better for larger jobs. You also don’t have to worry about having extra batteries while you are on a bigger hedge trimming project. Simply keep gas and oil on hand and you can trim for hours and hours on end.
Alternatives to Hedge Trimmers
So, being the creative bunch they are. Some of the landscapers we asked had their own interesting alternatives to gas and electric hedge trimmers.
In fact, 2 different landscapers reported preferring “a vegan” to trim hedges.
Both would appear to be rather expensive and impractical tools to get the job done.
On a more serious note, some lawn care professionals simply opt to use manual pruning tools like these to get the job done.
Selecting the Right Equipment at the end of the Day
Look, it really does come down to your preferences and what your needs are. Unlike the cut and dry nature of selecting the best weedeater, hedge trimmers are more complex in nature.
For landscapers gas powered hedge trimmers are broadly preferred. But for the average homeowner or a lawn care professional that rarely prunes hedges, an electric hedge trimmer will do the trick.
Despite the overwhelming consensus that gas powered is preferred over battery in the lawn care community. Keep in mind part of that comes down to the stigma many landscapers have toward battery powered equipment.
It’s true, battery powered equipment has come a long way, but it still doesn’t completely par up to traditional lawn care equipment. And even when or if it does, convincing the lawn care community is a different challenge all together.
What Can Hedge Trimmers Be Used for?
Hedge trimmers are versatile tools, that can be used for more than just shearing hedges into shape. They’re also great for clearing overgrown grass, weeds, shrubs and bushes. Take a look at at some examples of what hedge trimmers can cut.
What Is a Hedge Trimmer Normally Used for?
Hedge trimmers are simply gardening tools that are used to cut, trim, or prune plants in the garden and the yard. There are many different types of hedge trimmers and different designs, which means that buyers have a lot of choices to make when shopping.
Traditionally hedge trimmers rely on gas, but nowadays there are more and more that use electricity as their power source. Using a gas power hedge trimmer makes keeping the hedges around the home and the yard clean and neat much easier and ensures that the job will be completed faster.
While these trimmers are generally used to trim back hedges and bushes and keep them looking their best, they have other uses, as well. As long as your hedge trimmer is in good condition, working well, with sharp blades, they can power through more than you might think.
Can a Hedge Trimmer Cut Branches?
Hedge trimmers are generally used to keep hedges and bushes looking their best, but it can be really tempting to try to cut larger branches with them, especially when in a hurry to finish the yard work. Since hedge trimmers are designed specifically to trim back the tips of smaller branches on hedges, but they do not have the necessary power to cut through thick branches.
Even though they have very sharp blades on them, hedge trimmers aren’t powerful enough to handle branches, especially very thick ones. It’s a much better idea to turn to a chainsaw when you need to cut through large branches, as chainsaws are designed for this use.
Hedge trimmers have a cutting action that goes back and forth, much like a reciprocating saw. While this makes these pieces of equipment great for taking down small twigs and trimming up bushes, they simply don’t have all of the necessary power to handle branches.
Typically, hedge trimmers can cut up to 1/2 inch comfortably. Anything thicker than that is not recommended to cut with a hedge trimmer. In any case it is better to try and avoid cutting thick branches too often, as doing so will dull your blades rather quickly.
Can a Hedge Trimmer Cut Bamboo?
Bamboo can grow really quickly, leaving homeowners wondering how they are going to control it in and around their yard. Turning to a hedge trimmer to help maintain bamboo can be a good idea, but only at certain times.
Homeowners who want to clear their land of bamboo will not be able to use a hedge trimmer to complete this work, as the hedge trimmer simply doesn’t have the power and strength to cut through the thick and hard bamboo. The blades of the hedge trimmer are too small, and mature bamboo is simply too thick to be affected.
In this way, thick and mature bamboo is much like branches, and even a powerful hedge trimmer won’t be able to power through it.
However, homeowners who want to control the very top of the bamboo or the branches may be able to do so with a pole hedge trimmer. Of course, it is a good idea to really consider how thick the tips of the bamboo is, as well as how hard and sturdy it is.
While hedge trimmers may be able to cut through thinner and more flexible tips and branches of bamboo, as soon as the bamboo starts to harden, then the hedge trimmer will struggle and can easily break.
Can a Hedge Trimmer Cut Grass?
Clearing large areas of grass with a hedge trimmer can make short work of this task and allow you to efficiently mow down grass without making a lot of passes over the same area. Of course, taller grass, such as in a field, is going to be much easier to cut than shorter grass in a yard, which is something to take into consideration when thinking about this option for grass maintenance.
Before trying to cut grass with a hedge trimmer it is important to clear the area of any obstacles such as rocks or branches, as these can break the hedge trimmer. Also, make sure to put on safety clothing and tie back long hair, as it can be dangerous to use a hedge trimmer with loose clothing or hair that could get caught in the equipment.
Kneeling down is easier than trying to bend over, especially when the grass is very short. By keeping the blade completely horizontal and parallel to the ground it is possible to cut the grass. Make sure to avoid hitting the ground with the blade, as this can cause a lot of damage to the hedge trimmer.