When it comes to shrubbery, there are two ways that people go. You can either leave it a natural or you can trim it. Mostly that decision is based upon personal preference and the style you’re trying to create. But for those who are using that shrubbery for a hedge, in place of a fence, it usually makes a lot more sense to trim it, than to leave it alone.
Of course, once you start trimming it, you’re going to have to keep trimming it. This is especially true of fast-growing shrubs, like bugambilia. Take it from me, if you’re going to grow a bugambilia hedge, you’re going to have to trim it weekly; and I lived in an area without a lot of rainfall.
Trimming hedges with manual trimmers is a pain, especially if you have a lot of hedge to trim. Fortunately, there are other options we can count on; powered options.
When we talk about powered hedge trimmers, there are three options to consider:
- Gas hedge trimmers
- Electric (corded) hedge trimmers
- Cordless (battery operated) hedge trimmers
Generally speaking, the gas hedge trimmers are the most powerful and are used primarily by landscaping professionals. While corded electric trimmers are still more powerful than cordless ones, the gap between them has become increasingly smaller; small enough that the convenience of the cordless ones makes up for the difference.
Just about all cordless hedge trimmers today are made with Li-Ion batteries, which gives them a longer charge life, faster recharge time and full power up until the battery dies. All of that is a huge improvement over previous rechargeable battery technologies. With two batteries, one can literally cut continually, as one battery will recharge sufficiently for use, while the other is running the trimmer.
3 Best Hedge Trimmers – Comparison
|Poulon Pro PR2322 Dual-sided Hedge|
|Black & Decker BEHT100 Electric|
|Garcare 4.8 Amp Electric Hedge|
Best Gas-Powered Hedge Trimmers – Review
If you’re needing sheer power, then gas is the way to go.
1. Husqvarna 122HD60 Gas Hedge Trimmer
This great unit from Husqvarna provides plenty of power to trim even the most stubborn hedges with its 0.8 HP, 21.7 cc engine. The 24-inch knife gives plenty of cutting length for any hedge you might own.
Husqvarna has put a lot of effort into making this a nice unit to work with. Its low noise and low vibration design help to reduce operator fatigue. Vibration dampeners reduce stress on arm muscles and hands. The rear handle is adjustable to help the trimmer be more ergonomic to use. Smart Start engine technology purges air from the cylinder and carburetor, making it easier to start the next time.
- 21.7cc, 0.8 HP engine
- Smart Start technology for easy engine starts
- Stop switch automatically returns to the “start” position on shut-off, helping make starting easier
- 24-inch knife
- Low noise
- Low vibration
- Adjustable handle
- A bit heavier than electric units, at 10.8 pounds
- A bit pricey
2. Poulon Pro PR2322 Dual-sided Hedge Trimmer
Poulon Pro is a well-known name in chainsaws and other outdoor power equipment. They provide something a little different with this hedge trimmer, in that it has a two-part or two-stage blade. The section closer to the engine has larger guides, for handling branches up to one-inch in diameter, while the tip of the blade is designed for smaller branches.
The 23cc engine on this hedge trimmer provides 0.9 HP of power, making it a bit more powerful than the Husqvarna. It’s also a bit heavier. But it includes that larger engine, anti-vibration technology. The rear handle is designed to rotate, making it possible to hold the trimmer comfortably, either horizontally or vertically.
- Higher power 0.9 HP engine
- Low vibration technology
- Rotating handle
- Dual-section blade, designed specifically for handling larger branches up to one-inch in diameter
- 22” knife length
- Good price
- A bit heavier at 11.1 pounds
3. SunSeeker MTF261 – 4 in 1 MultiFunciton Trimmer
SunSeeker is a brand that many may not be familiar with, as they focus on the professional landscaper market. But that’s actually good news for the rest of us, as professionals don’t have time to waste on poor-quality equipment. If it works for the pros, it should really work for us.
This is actually a multi-function tool, with interchangeable heads. So while it is a great hedge trimmer, it is also a pole saw and weed eater, with a brush cutting blade at the same time. That makes it much more versatile for you. The 26cc engine is even a bit bigger than the Husqvarna and the price is lower. The robust design has been created with long life in mind.
- The multi-function design gets you a lot for your money
- Provides hedge trimmer, line trimmer, brush trimmer and 10” pole saw in one package
- Cutting heads are easy to change
- 26cc engine provides good power
- The starter is designed for easy pull and quick starts
- The through-crankshaft motor is designed for long life
- Pole saw head is articulated for multiple cutting angles
- Excellent price
- I always get nervous about multi-units, not knowing if they will last
- Hedge trimmer attachment is a bit shorter
Best Electric Hedge Trimmers – Reviews
If you’re looking for the best deal, take a look at these electric trimmers. Lower cost than the cordless ones, they also pack a bit more power.
1. Makita UH6570 Electric Hedge Trimmer
Makita is a great company, making high-quality professional power tools. So it’s no surprise that their electric hedge trimmer would be high quality as well. They have a reputation for well thought out designs, which shows here as well.
This hedge trimmer comes with a 25.5-inch blade, which runs at 1,600 SPM (strokes per minute) and handles branches up to ½” in diameter. The dual-handed switch requires that both hands be on the tool for it to operate; a great safety feature. The handle is not adjustable but is designed with multiple grip locations to make it ergonomic and comfortable. A large, transparent guard permits a good view of the work area while protecting hands from getting in the way.
- 4.6 AMP motor provides plenty of power, running the blade at 1,600 SPM
- Dual-hand grip requirement for safety
- Slightly longer 25.5” blade
- Tip guard to protect the blade
- Large transparent blade guard allows you to see the work area while protecting your hands
- Low noise level Low vibration
- Built-in clutch to reduce the risk of gear damage
- Multiple grip locations for operator comfort
- Handle doesn’t adjust, although with the handle design that doesn’t seem to be much of an issue
- Price is a bit high for an electric trimmer
2. Black & Decker BEHT100 Electric Hedge Trimmer
If you’re looking for a unit that’s not going to cost you a lot of money, this electric hedge trimmer from Black & Decker will provide you with the utility you need, without a lot of cash outlay. The simple, lightweight unit is optimized for two-handed operation and provides a cutting capacity of up to 5/8 inches.
This unit weighs in at only 3.8 pounds, making it great for people who don’t have a lot of hand strength. It still manages to have a 3 amp motor and a 16-inch blade. While that is smaller than other units, it’s sufficient for many applications. An amazing 3800 SPM means that this hedge trimmer is going to be fast to work with.
- Lightweight at only 3.8 pounds
- Great price
- Amazing 3800 SPM operating speed
- Cord retention to avoid unnecessary unplugging of the power cord
- Can handle branches up to 5/8” diameter
- The blade is only 16” long, which could be a problem with larger hedges
- The front handle is only a T-handle and is not padded
- A smaller motor at 3.0 amps
3. Garcare 4.8 Amp Electric Hedge Trimmer
Garcare is the brand name for Ningbo Cheery Garden Tools. They manufacture a variety of hedge trimmers and other garden tools, including this great model, with a 4.8 amp motor. This makes it the most powerful electrical trimmer we have found, able to cut through ¾” branches.
The blade on this trimmer is 24 inches long of hardened steel. Rear handle rotates 180 degrees for comfort and the tool is designed with dual triggers, so that you have to have both hands on the handles to get it to operate, just like the Makita unit. They put a full two-year warranty on the unit, showing that the company believes in their products.
- Powerful 4.8 amp motor
- Able to cut branches up to ¾” in diameter
- 24” dual-action blade
- Two-hand safety trigger switch
- 180-degree rotating rear handle
- Two-year warranty
- Good price
Best Cordless Hedge Trimmers – Reviews
Cordless trimmers provide the greatest convenience and ease of use. Like the gas models, there’s no cord to drag around; but if you’re not going to use it all the time, you don’t want a gas unit.
1. Black & Decker LHT2436 Cordless Hedge Trimmer
In the world of cordless power tools, power comes from voltage. So, the higher the voltage, the more powerful the tool. That makes this 40-volt hedge trimmer from Black & Decker a prime candidate for the best cordless hedge trimmer around.
This trimmer is rated as cutting branches up to ¾” thick. The only thing we’ve looked at which will beat that was a gas-powered trimmer. It has a 24” long blade, which is the same that we’ve seen on the better units. But it gives you more convenience than either gas powered or electric units. The only thing it doesn’t have is a rotating handle, although both front and rear handles are padded for comfort.
- 40-volt battery provides plenty of power
- Lithium-ion battery for high capacity and long-life
- State of charge indicator
- ¾” branch capacity
- Comes with battery and charger
- Padded handles
- Powerdrive transmission
- Reasonable weight at 6.9 pounds
- Good price for a cordless unit
- The handle doesn’t rotate
2. DeWalt DCHT820P1 Cordless Hedge Trimmer
While the Black & Decker we just looked at has double the voltage of this unit from DeWalt, it seems that they have similar capacity. This one is rated at handling ¾” branches as well, which frankly surprises me. I wouldn’t have suspected that, with the lower voltage. It’s a touch heavier, which might have something to do with that.
This unit’s standard Li-Ion battery has a capacity of 5.0 Ah, which is huge for a cordless tool. That means you’ll be able to do a lot of cutting, before having to run back for a recharge. The blade is a touch shorter at 22 inches, but that’s close enough it shouldn’t make a whole lot of difference. It also comes with a 3-year limited warranty and 1-year free service.
- High battery capacity
- Cutting capacity is ¾”
- 22” blade
- Fully rubberized handles for comfort
- High-speed 2800 SPM cutting speed
- A bit heavier than the Black & Decker unit at 7.5 lbs. (probably due to the battery)
- A bit pricey, when compared to the B&D
3. Worx WG261 Cordless Hedge Trimmer
If you’re looking for a good deal on a cordless hedge trimmer, take a gander at the Worx WG261. This lightweight trimmer might be a touch smaller than others, but it packs a lot into that size. At only 5.5 pounds, it’s lighter too, making it easier to work with.
While this is another 20 volt Li-Ion battery unit, it still handles those ¾” thick branches; so it’s no slouch. The blade is only 20 inches long, but that should be long enough in most cases. Yeah, the few extra inches are nice, but once you get used to it, I seriously doubt you’ll notice the difference. The wrap around padded handles are comfortable and this unit looks like one that will be a joy to work with.
- 5.5-pound overall weight
- Able to handle ¾” thick branches
- D-grip padded front handle
- Both handles are padded
- 20” blade length
- Real good price
- The blade is a bit shorter than others
- The handle doesn’t rotate
If you’ve decided that you need a hedge clipper, the biggest issue to consider is how you want it powered. We’ve looked at units that are gas-powered, electric-powered, and cordless. All will do the job for you, so the big issue is which is going to be the most convenient for your needs; and that’s going to depend on how often you’ll use it, how much hedge you’ve got to trim and where your electrical outlets are.