Best Hedge Trimmer Consumer Reports, Tips, Reviews, Ratings, and Guides in 2022
If you’re like most people, you probably think of hedge trimmers as a necessary evil. Nobody enjoys using them, but they’re a must-have for keeping your hedges looking neat. However, with the right hedge trimmer, this chore can be quick and easy. In this post, we’ll recommend the best hedge trimmer for consumers based on our in-house research and Consumer Reports testing. So, whether you’re a homeowner or professional landscaper, read on to find the perfect trimmer for your needs!
What is a hedge trimmer?
Hedge trimmers are designed to cut through dense materials, like hedges or shrubs. They’re typically composed of two blades that oscillate back and forth to maximize cutting potential. These cutting blades can be powered by gas engines or hydrostatic transmissions. Since they typically need to support the weight of the engine, hedge trimmers are heavier than other landscaping tools, like weed eaters or lawnmowers.
Most Common Types of hedge trimmer:
There are three main types of hedge trimmers available: gas-powered and electric.
Gas-powered hedge trimmers: Gas-powered hedge trimmers are the most powerful option, as they don’t have to rely on a cord or battery. However, gas engines typically require more upkeep and maintenance than their electric counterparts.
Gas-powered hedge trimmers are cheaper and lighter, but they require a lot more maintenance and don’t last quite as long. On the plus side, you’ll be able to use them anywhere without having to worry about a power outlet – making them perfect for camping trips!
Electric Hedge Trimmers: Electric hedge trimmers are very similar in appearance to weed eaters, but with smaller blades that spin at high speeds. The lack of an engine has both pros and cons; while you won’t need to replace any fuel parts, you’ll need to contend with the limitations of using an outlet. If you’re looking for something lightweight and easy to use, however, electric is generally your best bet.
Cordless/battery-powered models: These trimmers are powered by a small battery pack. While their convenience is unparalleled, cordless models typically have a very short running time and struggle to cut through thick branches.
Lithium-Ion batteries are far more efficient than nickel-metal hydride because they have a higher energy density. This means you’ll get more power from the same weight, saving you from fatigue when trimming long hedges. Make sure you check how many watts of power your battery has so that you can determine if it matches the specs sometimes given in amps.
Factors to Consider before buying hedge trimmer:
To make sure your hedge trimmer is adequately up to the task, before buying you should consider a few factors:
Cutting Capacity: Hedge trimmers have an effective range that determines how far away from the main unit you can be when cutting. In general, the longer the range, the more dangerous it is to use that hedge trimmer. However, if your hedges are wider than the cutting range of your trimmer, then it won’t be able to do much good. If you have a variety of bushes and trees to trim, consider buying at least two different trimmers so you’ll always have a backup for larger shrubs or those hard-to-reach spots.
Weight: Hedge trimmers need to hold up an engine! So, they tend to be quite heavy, often weighing over 25 pounds. This weight makes them even more difficult to use for anyone but strong landscapers. In addition, you may also notice that some hedge trimmers have larger engines, which will make the entire unit even heavier. If you’re a smaller homeowner, consider buying a lighter model that is easier to use.
Power Source: Hedge trimmers are generally either gas-powered or electric, with the power source determining how much running time you’ll have. Gas-powered models will need to be refueled every hour or two, depending on the size of your yard. Electric hedge trimmers are cheaper and lighter, but they’re limited by your home’s electrical grid – which can make them frustrating if your lawn is larger than expected.
Blades: Blades are typically made from high-carbon steel for increased strength and sharpness. Most blades are also serrated for improved cutting performance, although some models may use a stamped design instead to cut costs. Look for blades that are double-sided so you can spend more time trimming with fewer blade changes.
Length of blades: The longer the blade, the easier it will be to cut hedges. However, if your hedge trimmer has a larger range (see above), then you’ll also need to contend with increased weight. If possible, determine what your longest possible reach is and choose a model that has at least that much cutting capacity – but not more than 10 inches over!
Price: A high price doesn’t always guarantee the quality, so make sure you read reviews for any model you’re thinking of buying – even if they warn against buying cheap products! On the other hand, don’t assume that just because something is expensive that it’s good either – some budget brands can offer fantastic performance at reasonable prices.
Safety features: Look for any safety features that will reduce the chance of you accidentally injuring yourself. For example, look for models with non-slip grips and easy blade changes so you’re always safe around sharp blades.
Size: If you’re buying a gas-powered hedging tool, don’t forget that it’ll need fuel! Check the size of your storage cabinet and make sure that it can handle any equipment you want to use.
Comfort: While most people will find hedge trimmers uncomfortable, the more comfortable they are, the less likely you are to injure yourself while trimming. Look for comfort features such as padded handles and ergonomic designs so you aren’t in pain after just a few minutes of work.
Brand: Some brands charge more than others but sometimes it’s worth paying extra for quality – especially if high quality is something you’ve come to expect from them in the past! On the other hand, some budget brands can be surprisingly effective at cutting down your hedges, so make sure you read reviews before you purchase.
Design: Consider your requirements before you look at the design – do you need to be able to reach those hard-to-reach branches? If so, find a model with an extender that can extend both up and down. Do you have a lot of bushes or hedges that need cutting regularly? In this case, it may be worthwhile going for a cordless model – especially if safety is your top priority!
Usage: Some people only want a hedge trimmer to trim shrubs on their property, while others also use them around trees. Consider what you’ll use yours for carefully before making your purchase!
Warranty: Look for models that come with guarantees as well as offering long warranties just in case something goes wrong during the first few months of use. The longer the warranty, the better protected you are in case something goes wrong.
Material: Plastic is cheaper to manufacture than metal but it’s also less durable – especially if you’re working in extreme temperatures. If possible, look for models that can withstand both hot and cold climates, so you aren’t forced to buy multiple trimmers throughout the year.
Noise: Gas-powered models tend to be louder than electric ones, but most cordless models will also make enough noise that you’ll annoy your neighbors. If possible, look for models with reduced noise output so everyone has a chance to relax on the weekends without running indoors!
Safety: If you need to trim any bushes or shrubs near roads, make sure that your model complies with safety regulations. In most countries, gas-powered models will be automatically tested for safety while cordless ones may not – but it’s still a good idea to check that they meet all applicable laws if possible.
Height: Some people are happy to use one arm when cutting down tall branches while others prefer not to lean over. If you have no problems with bending or are just looking for a way of trimming bushes without leaving the comfort of your chair, find a model that can extend high enough, so you don’t need to stop!
Width: If you’re looking for a model that can handle multiple jobs, look for one with the largest cutting width possible. This will save you significant time when it comes to trimming larger areas of shrubbery!
Ergonomics: Ergonomic designs often come at a cost, but they can make all the difference between injuring yourself and enjoying your weekend activities. Some people’s arms get tired after just 15 of use so consider what you’ll use your hedge trimmer for before buying!
Storage: If you’re planning to buy a model with an extender, think about where you’ll store it when not in use. Some models are only effective at cutting down tall branches once fully extended, meaning they can’t be stored on the ground or under furniture!
Price: Hedge trimmers can cost anywhere between $100 and $500, depending on what you want them to do. If the budget is tight, look for cordless models made by reputable companies – but make sure that the brand has enough support should anything go wrong. On the other hand, if you can afford to spend more money now, find a model that comes with every feature imaginable, so your investment lasts for years to come!
Maintenance: Some models will require little to no maintenance, while others need regular cleaning and oiling. If you can afford it, buy a model that comes with an automatic battery charging station, so you don’t have to worry about taking it in for professional repairs!
Corded versus Cordless: Cordless models are more expensive than corded ones, but many people prefer them because they don’t get tangled or caught. If you live in an area with little to no shrubs, save yourself some money and buy a model that runs on batteries!
If you plan on buying a gas-powered model, make sure it complies with safety regulations in your country. In some places, gas-powered models will be tested automatically while cordless ones will need to be inspected – so check before making your investment!
Never operate your trimmer without protective equipment because debris may fly out and injure you or others nearby. If possible, buy one that comes with an adjustable blade guard to protect yourself from early accidents!
If you need to use your hedge trimmer near roads or other areas where people are walking around, consider buying one that complies with safety standards. Gas-powered models are usually tested for safety, but battery-powered ones might not be – if possible, choose the former just to stay on the safe side!
The Pros and Cons of hedge trimmer:
There’s no need to lug heavy gear around or get sweaty by running for hours on end. If you’re looking for a way of staying active while at home, this might be the solution!
Residential models can start from $100 and go up to $500 but it’s possible to find them cheaper if you shop around. Many models come with every feature imaginable so if you can afford it, don’t hesitate to pay more for an ergonomic design and reliable parts!
Professional-grade trimmers can cut through thick branches with ease, but their lightweight counterparts aren’t far behind in terms of power. Buy cordless models made by reputable companies and they will last you many years without breaking down or losing power!
Plenty of models come with safety features to prevent you from injuring yourself. Look for ones that are easy to use and store, lightweight yet powerful enough to get rid of thick branches in just minutes.
Some models are over 1m tall which could make them difficult to store under furniture or on the ground. If possible, buy one that can be dismantled quickly so it’s easier to put back together later!
The frequency of maintenance depends largely on the model but, gas-powered trimmers need more attention than their cordless counterparts. Battery-operated models might not be compliant with your country’s safety standards for this reason – even if they’re advertised as such!
Cordless models are powerful enough but if you need something more powerful, look for professional-grade ones that run on gas.
If your model is made by a reputable company, it’s likely to last longer because spare parts are easier to find. If the brand isn’t very well known or doesn’t have good reviews, make sure you can return or exchange the product easily in case anything goes wrong!
Who needs a hedge trimmer?
Everyone! Hedge trimmers are great for keeping your hedges neat and uniform. However, they can also be useful if you need to cut down overgrown trees or shrubs in the backyard or on the side of your home. If you just want to maintain uniform bushes along your property line, though, it may be more economical to simply buy several smaller weed eaters instead of one heavy-duty unit.
How much should I spend?
Like most power tools, there’s typically much correlation between price and quality. If you want the best model on the market, expect to pay several hundred dollars or more. If your budget is limited, it’s possible to get a good residential trimmer for $100-$200 which will cut through thick branches with ease (just make sure it complies with safety standards in your country!)
How much maintenance does a hedge trimmer require?
It depends – cordless models won’t need any maintenance if they’re simply used around the house but many gas-powered units come with special oil that needs to be added every so often. Make sure you check the owner’s manual carefully before investing!
How long do batteries last?
It varies by model and some lithium-ion batteries can last up to 500 charges. However, if you buy one that has a nickel-cadmium battery, expect it to last around 20 charges at best. You’ll also want to buy several spare batteries so you can charge them overnight and still use the trimmer during the day.
How does Hedge Trimmer Work?
It’s a simple process! A cordless trimmer is powered by a rechargeable battery while a gas-powered model runs on fuel. Once you start it up, the blades spin quickly and can slice through thick branches in minutes!
Can I use a hedge trimmer indoors?
Yes, but make sure there’s at least 1m of clearance above your head – if not, keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case something goes wrong! Cordless trimmers are safe to use around pets and small children because they don’t produce any fumes or noise pollution. If you have no choice but to run an extension cord from outside to get electricity, remember that gas-powered models create carbon monoxide which could be fatal for small children.
How do you sharpen a trimmer?
An electric model can last years without needing any maintenance but make sure you buy one that complies with safety standards in your country. Gas-powered units should be sharpened by a professional once every 2 years or so depending on how frequently you use them.
How should I clean my Hedge Trimmer?
You can clean a cordless trimmer with soap and water after every use. Gas-powered models are trickier to maintain – most have gas tanks, oil reservoirs, filters, levers, buttons… Make sure you have several hours when you first buy one because they require a very thorough inspection before they can be used!
What is the difference between an electric hedge Trimmer vs petrol Hedge Trimmer?
Electric models are typically less heavy compared to gas ones but don’t run as fast or last as long. They’re also much quieter when in use which makes them more suitable for residential areas where noise pollution could be an issue. A corded model needs to always stay close to an outlet while a cordless trimmer gives you more freedom.
A gas-powered unit is heavier because it needs several moving parts to work. They can also be much louder when in use but are typically more powerful which makes them ideal for serious landscaping jobs. Most models come with a 2-stroke engine which creates pollution and noise – if you don’t like the idea of polluting the air, opt for a 4-stroke model instead!
Are battery hedge trimmers as good as petrol?
It depends on the model. Higher-end cordless trimmers come with lithium-ion batteries which can last up to 500 charges if they’re properly maintained. The power is comparable to a 2-stroke gas engine but it’s considerably more expensive – expect to pay at least double for a decent cordless trimmer!
What kind of oil should I use in my petrol Hedge Trimmer?
You need to use 2-stroke oil which is available at most supermarkets and hardware stores. The ratio will vary depending on the type of engine you have – check your owner’s manual or ask a professional before adding any oil!
How long do electric hedge trimmers last?
It varies by brand and model – lithium-ion batteries typically last between 100 and 500 charges if they’re properly maintained. Try to buy one with a nickel-cadmium battery instead of an older type because it doesn’t suffer from memory effects! You’ll need several spare batteries as well so you can charge them overnight and still use the trimmer during the day.
Do cordless hedge trimmers work well?
Yes, but only if the battery is fully charged. Most models can trim for 20-30 minutes on a single charge which isn’t as good as petrol alternatives. Cordless trimmers are well suited to medium-sized gardens and regular maintenance is essential to ensure they don’t break down. If you’re looking for an all-round solution, cordless trimmers work best when combined with another machine such as a lawnmower or hedge cutter!
What attachments will fit my hedge trimmer?
Most cordless models come with several blades and guards which can be used for different purposes:
Vertical blades cut vertically instead of horizontally.
Angled blades cut at an angle.
Turbo blades spin faster than the usual ones.
Parallel blades cut parallel to the ground.
Vertical parallel blades do both at once!
What’s better corded or cordless hedge Trimmers?
If your garden is relatively small, cordless trimmers are a good choice because they’re easier to move around and don’t limit your movement as a cable does. They also give you more freedom – no dragging an extension cord behind you! However, they’re often less powerful which limits what you can do with them. If there are tall trees in your yard, make sure the trimmer is long enough to reach them as well! Corded trimmers are suited to large gardens because you can place them anywhere.
What is a 2-stroke engine?
It’s an internal combustion engine equipped with 2 pistons – a mixture of gasoline and oil is used as fuel. The two moving parts need to spin much faster than a 4-stroke engine which makes it more powerful but also louder and creates more pollution. Modern 2-stroke engines use electronic ignition systems, catalytic converters, and oxygen sensors to reduce emissions so they’re not as harmful as they used to be!
What length hedge trimmer is best?
Longer models are less suited to smaller jobs but allow you to work faster. For larger jobs, professional landscapers prefer shorter trimmers which come with a longer blade so they can cover more ground in each pass. If you spend most of your time trimming around trees and bushes, opt for a model with an adjustable head so you don’t have to bend over as often!
What fuel should I use in my petrol Hedge Trimmer?
Regular unleaded gasoline is fine but make sure it doesn’t contain too much ethanol. E10 gas is safe for most engines if you can’t find anything else! If the trimmer has a catalytic converter and oxygen sensor, don’t buy gas with more than 10% ethanol because this reduces its performance and can damage those components over time.
How thick of a branch can a hedge trimmer Cut?
It depends on the trimmer’s blade length and design as well as its engine power. Petrol models have more torque so they can chop thicker branches, but cordless trimmers often struggle with anything bigger than a few inches in diameter. In any case, never try to cut branches that are thicker than the branch guards – it won’t work, and you might damage your equipment!
Can I use a chainsaw as a hedge trimmer?
No! A chainsaw’s blade is much shorter and wider than a hedge trimmer. It has different features as well – it needs to be able to cut thick branches quickly for example, which means it shouldn’t have a long handle because that will limit your movement.
Are our hedge trimmers worth it?
If you have a garden with lots of trees and shrubs, they’re worth it because the trimmers make short work of even thick branches. However, if your yard is mostly grass, buying one could be an unnecessary expense!
What is a good length for a hedge trimmer’s blade?
Most blades are between 30cm and 60cm long which means that you can adjust their position based on what you need to cut without exposing too much body. Professional landscapers prefer shorter blades because they’re easier to maneuver while homeowners often like longer ones because they make it easier to trim topiaries and other shapes – the choice is up to you!
Hedge trimmers haven’t changed much over the years, but most models now come with everything you could need for hassle-free trimming. If safety is your main priority, look for electric cordless models that offer reduced noise output and comply with safety regulations – although these tend to cost more than similar models made by the same brand! On the other hand, if ease of use is more important, consider purchasing a model designed without extenders so you don’t need to worry about where and how far it can be used. Finally, make sure you understand what the trimmer can do and choose your blades accordingly.