Best Hedge Trimmers
If you have ever owned or used a chainsaw, then you should be very familiar with the concept of a hedge trimmer. While this is used primarily to cut back bushes, hedges, and shrubs, they do resemble a chainsaw in a lot of ways. Yet, even if you have never physically used a chainsaw and have no idea to relate to this, do not worry as there is hope for you yet. Hedge trimmers are not convoluted and complex machines and you can easily learn the basics. But, our goal is not to teach you how to become skilled in using one but to ensure you know how to purchase one. That can be accomplished by simply reading on.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Equipped with a vibration dampening system
One of the most powerful motors out there
Made of premium materials to withstand the test of time
Top 10 Picks
1. Tanaka TCH22ECP2
Equipped with a vibration dampening system
One of the most powerful motors out there
Made of premium materials to withstand the test of time
Can be complicated to use for novices
It is a bit on the heavy side
When the first power tool was ever conceived, the idea must have been to make life easier with more power. Well, if that is what you are looking for then by golly that is what you are going to get with our first pick.Read more
With its 21cc two-cycle engine, this is easily one of the most powerful motors that have ever been implemented into this type of a landscaping tool. On top of this, the blade is extra-long at 30 inches and can tackle thick branches with virtual ease.
Unfortunately, for some, this is powered by gasoline and as such, you will have to deal with the fumes that are created by the fuel consumption.
Ease of Use
While this is a bit on the heavy side, which is not exactly uncommon for gas-operated models, it is built with a five-position rear handle. This helps to enhance the versatility and ergonomics of the handle. Also, this is designed with a vibration dampening system.
Even though the fumes are inevitable for a gas-powered model, the forward facing exhaust system does help matters. Because of this integration, the fumes will be directed away from you.
One of the simplest, yet beloved features of this trimmer is that it operates at a low decibel level. Most versions of its kind can be unbearably annoying but that is not the case here.
If you are a professional landscaper or simply need to trim heavy bushes and shrubs, this could be the answer to the problems you have been enduring. Then again, environmentalists may shy away due to the gas operation.
2. DEWALT DCHT860M1
The battery life is superb
There is no foam padding on the front grip to make rotating easier
Will make quick work of larger branches
Very heavy for being electric
Dewalt is one of those manufacturers that consistently produce top-of-the-line power equipment and their 40-volt trimmer is certainly no exception. Instead of being powered by gas, this unit is run by Dewalt’s 40-volt battery pack eliminating the need for it.Read more
The notion that electric trimmers can’t perform is ludicrous and Dewalt shows you why. Their model sports a 22-inch blade that can handle branches up to ¾-inch thick.
A four amp hour, 40-volt battery pack powers this machine and because of this, you never need to worry about buying gasoline. Just ensure the battery is charged and ready to go.
Ease of Use
There is both good and bad here. To start on a positive note, foam padding on the front grip has been ditched and this makes trimming at any angle easier. However, this is quite a heavy machine and could use more rubberized over-molding for enhanced comfort.
Despite the rather short blade at 22 inches, this will actually aid in flexibility and so will the less intrusive blade guard.
Overall, the battery life for this is quite impressive. As one tester noted, they were able to utilize the battery for two hours shredding both large and small areas and still had plenty of juice leftover.
If you are in the market for an electric hedge trimmer that is not hampered with an awkward cord hook-up, you need to look further into this machine. Heck, even the power generated is up-to-par with what most of you will desire.
3. BLACK+DECKER LHT2436
The steel blades have been pre-hardened and are rust-resistant
Powered by a high-performance 40-volt lithium battery
Run with an exclusive power drive transmission
The handle is fixed and can’t be rotated
Speaking of manufacturers who develop fantastic pieces of equipment, how about BLACK+DECKER? While electric trimmers typically are not as powerful as gas-operated models, this can still cut through branches up to ¾-inch thick.Read more
The combination of the 40-volt battery and the steel blades that are both pre-hardened and rust-resistant, ensure that this bad boy can handle branches up to ¾-inch thick and trim up to 6000 square feet per each charge.
As compared to normal NiCd batteries, the lithium-ion batteries that are integrated into this machine will hold a charge up to five times as long. Plus, the charger is also energy star qualified.
Ease of Use
First off, both the lightweight design and the compact design of this unit make it easier to operate. Secondly, it is designed with a full wrap-around front handle for enhanced grip and comfort.
Due to the implementation of the dual-action blade, the vibration percentage is lowered by approximately 40 percent compared to single action blades. Plus, there is an indicator panel that displays how much battery life you that will illuminate with the push of a button.
As this is a cordless system, you never have to worry about accidental unplugging and the overall nuisance of using a power cord. In addition, once it is charged once, the battery should only take around an hour to reach full capacity.
One of the few omissions that would have made this even better is a handle that could rotate. While the rotation can then be a struggle, the sheer convenience of a powerful, electric motor and the dual-action blade make up for it.
4. Worx WG291
It is lighter than comparable gas models
The 24-inch blades reduce operator fatigue by minimizing vibration
The required lithium-ion battery is included
Heavier than most cordless trimmers
What is impressive about this next model is it sports even more straight-up power than the previous two electric models with its 56-volt battery. Yet, this does come at the expense of the weight and thus, some buyers will find this too hard to handle for longer timeframes.Read more
Due to the 56-volt battery that powers this beast, it can deliver power only seen from a gas-operated model. In addition to this, the cutting diameter of the dual-action blades is ¾-inch. Oh yeah, and the blades are fully hardened and factory-sharpened.
The lithium-ion battery that is needed to power this machine is included with your investment. Furthermore, the charger to recharge the battery is also included.
Ease of Use
On the plus side, the dual-action blades do minimize vibration and the large full wrap front handle makes side cutting much easier. Yet, at just over 10 pounds, this is a bit heavier than other electric models.
To prevent accidental cutting, Worx included a blade tip protector. Also, the transparent hand guard manages to increase your visibility when cutting and there is also a battery power indicator.
This is another electric model that does not need a physical connection to operate. With the power of the integrated battery, you never have to worry about extension cords being tangled.
There seems to be a convenient feature at every turn with this model and that alone makes it one of the most compelling hedge trimmers on this entire list. While the weight holds it back a bit, this is still a masterful piece of equipment.
Backed by a two-year limited warranty
Designed with anti-vibration technology to reduce arm stress
Features dual action blades that will cut in either direction
Multiple buyers had to spend to tweak the carburetor
Despite the impressive specifications and performance benefits of this next tool, it is worth noting that more than a few buyers claimed they had to tweak it right out of the box. If you can live with this possibility, you can get a beast of a machine.Read more
At its core, this is special because of its 21.7cc, two-cycle engine that powers it. Of course, the 23.7-inch stainless steel dual-action blade also helps as it will cut through limbs that are ¾ inches thick.
This is the second gas-operated model on this list and this has the same issues as the other (and all). Yet, what is nice is when the machine is off, the stop switch will automatically return to the start position and this makes starting it up easier.
Ease of Use
For a gas-operated trimmer, this is actually lightweight. Yet, at 10.8 pounds it is still not exactly light. Although, the vibration of it is significantly reduced thanks to the dampeners.
As the rear handle was designed to be adjustable, cutting the sides and top of hedges has been made superiorly easier.
Despite the fact that everything has been done to make starting this a breeze, such as a smartly designed engine and starter along with a carburetor air purge system, it is somewhat inexcusable that tweaks to the carburetor may need to be made before you can use this.
From top to bottom, this is one of the best landscaping tools you will ever find. It is a bit deflating that adjustments may be necessary straight out of the box, though.
6. Echo HC-152
There is a muffler equipped to reduce the overall noise
The shorter blades provide you with enhanced precision
Features steel reciprocating blades that are laser cut
The shorter blades will increase the duration of your projects
There is nothing to dampen the vibration
A few omissions, such as technology to dampen the vibration, keep the HC-152 from ascending any higher on this list. However, it goes without saying that its powerful and quiet engine and shorter blades that increase precision are quite compelling.Read more
Do not get it twisted, the 21.2cc engine of this trimmer makes it suitable for larger areas. However, the 20-inch reciprocating blades do make it a bit more time-consuming than it would be with longer blades.
What is nice about this design is it sports a clear fuel tank. Due to this, you can easily and conveniently see how much gas you have left inside.
Ease of Use
This is probably the biggest issue, or issues, that are present here. First off, it weighs 11.7 pounds without including the gasoline. On top of this, there is no vibration reduction present. Of course, the ergonomic rear handle and extra-large front handle are very nice.
For added safety, which is never a bad thing, there is a hand guard and a debris shield at the base of the blade. Additionally, a muffler has been integrated and this will direct gas emissions away from you and reduce the noise.
When the bulb on the top of the engine is activated, it will draw fresh fuel into the engine and force air out of the carburetor. The result is an engine that is easier to start.
Some gas-operated power equipment is just too obnoxiously loud to be considered usable. Thankfully, this is not one of those tools and instead is a quiet machine that can still dish out power.
A shield is equipped in front of the auxiliary handle
Is not restricted by the use of a cord
Features a very low weight with even weight distribution
Does not sport rotating handles
Very basic model
Sometimes, you do not need the most powerful or the most advanced machine to get the job done. Sometimes, you simply need a tool that is going to perform without wearing you out in mere minutes. That is exactly what you are getting from Kobalt.Read more
Even though this is best suited for small to mid-size areas, the 24-inch steel dual-action blade can still cut at 2800 strokes per one minute and handle cutting diameters of up to ¾ inches thick.
What is nice is that you do not need to worry about gasoline or power cords with this model. Instead, simply charge up the battery and rinse and repeat as needed.
Ease of Use
With a wide loop-style auxiliary handle and a reasonable weight of 6.3 pounds, this is one of the easiest trimmers to maneuver and handle.
Not only can you freely cut over your head and either horizontally or vertically, but there is also a hand shield in front of the handle that protects you from the blade and flying debris.
One nice feature of this model is the battery packs are interchangeable with all the tools in Kobalt’s 40-volt line. In addition, it will stay at max capacity until it dies.
If you already own a Kobalt power tool that is a part of their 40-volt line, this is perfect for you as you do not even need to spend extra money on the battery. Of course, be wary that this specific model is basic in nature.
8. Garcare Multi-Angle
Features a six-position pivoting head
Designed with a cord lock prevention system
Can be extended to reach higher areas
The trigger does not lock into the on position
Can be tiring to use because of its weight
Probably the best aspect of this next entry is the versatility it provides. Even though it is a bit heavier than other electric models, it sports a six-position pivoting head that allows you to trim bushes at any and all angles imaginable.Read more
This is powered by a 4.8-amp motor and sports a cutting capacity of 3/4-inch. In conjunction with the 20-inch laser cut blade, all this adds up to a machine that is ideal for tall hedges and shrubs.
Although this is an electric hedge trimmer, it is corded. As such, you will probably need to utilize this with an extension cord to tackle some areas.
Ease of Use
While this can be tiring to use over time, with a weight of nearly 11 pounds, the main handle does sport a soft rubber grip and the aforementioned six-position head does make cutting easier.
The main extra feature of this power tool is that it can be extended from 7.1 feet to 9.2 feet with its aluminum telescopic tube. This will come in handy when you need to reach higher areas.
To ensure that the power cord does not constantly become unplugged, this has been designed with a shoulder belt and cord lock system.
If you need to reach taller areas with more precision, this may be the tool for you. Now, it can be a bit awkward to use because of its weight and length. Yet, it’s pivoting head sure makes life easier.
Both the weight and the short blade make maneuverability easy
All exposed metal components are isolated from the internal electricity
Sports dual-action blades to reduce vibration
Lacks the power and blades to handle thick stems
Does not come with a protective sheath
Is it a fair assumption to believe that not everyone can afford a top-end hedge trimmer? Certain manufacturers have solved that issue and as long as you can live with a model that can’t handle professional and extensive trimming, you can still be satisfied.Read more
With a 2.7-amp engine, 18-inch steel blades, and a maximum cutting capacity of 3/8 inches, this is ideal for light trimming duties and small tasks.
Due to the fact that this is powered by electricity, it has no emissions and is rather quiet in operation.
Ease of Use
At just 5.1 pounds, this is one of the lightest models on this list. Also, the dual-action blades reduce vibration. But, a front auxiliary handle could have been improved as it is just a small bare bar.
This is all about safety and that is evident with the extra layer between you and the electrical system and the fact that the internal electrical components are isolated from any exposed metal.
Thanks to the cord retention hook, the power cord will not come undone as often. But, you will most likely need an extension cord with this.
Those of you who are seeking a simple model that will not tire you out and can get your small hedges trimmed up to look improved, you will be digging this trimmer.
10. Earthwise 2-in-1
Sports a 150-degree rotating head
Can be extended to reach much higher areas
Pretty much eliminates the need for ladders
Is limited in terms of its power and proficiency
Many buyers have complained about the weight
Much of what was just documented for the Greenworks model could be copy and pasted here. Yet, one obvious distinction is this model is a 2-in-1 doohickey. With a push of a button, it can be transformed from a pole trimmer to a handheld 18-inch blade.Read more
While not even close to the power of a high-end gas trimmer, this model can still cut through small branches and bushes with ease.
Once again, this is an electric trimmer that will require a power cord. In addition, an extension cord will practically be mandatory.
Ease of Use
First off, the 150-degree rotating head that sports six different positions is fantastic. Yet, for such a basic model and power supply, it is shocking that it weighs as much as it does.
This is actually a 2-in-1 model and can be used as either a handheld trimmer with an 18-inch blade or as a pole trimmer to reach tougher areas.
Essentially, what this model does is eliminate the need for ladders which can be unsafe to use with a powerful tool that can cut through human flesh.
Truth be told, this should not be seen as a replacement for a gas powered hedge trimmer. Instead, it is a unique tool that can be used in several different ways.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
What good is a power tool that can’t perform up to the standards that your current project requires? Spoiler alert, the answer is it will not be much use to you at all. So, when it comes to hedge trimmers, the first and most important assessment point is their power. But, the amount of power you will need is going to be fluctuated based on your needs. For example, if you have a larger yard with multiple thick and bushy shrubs, you may require more manpower. Yet, for smaller areas and smaller diameters, you may be able to get away with a less powerful machine.
Even though electric trimmers can sport impressive amounts of power, gas trimmers are generally the preferred version if power is the most important criteria. Then again, the efficiency of the machine is also important and this is why you also need to pay attention to the blade or blades. The primary feature to look for here, outside of the length as longer blades will accomplish the job quicker, is whether or not the blades are dual-action. Outside of reducing vibration, this can also speed up your trimming adventures.
When it comes down to it, a hedge trimmer is either going to be powered via electricity or gasoline. The choice to which one you prefer is ultimately up to you but know this, each has their distinct advantages and also disadvantages. To start, let’s begin with gas-powered hedge trimmers. As previously mentioned, these are often preferred for larger areas and heavier hedges as they are typically more powerful. Then again, they also tend to weigh much more than battery-operated models. Because of this, they can be more of a chore to handle for extended periods. Oh yeah, and you have to deal with emissions as well.
Despite their lack of power, generally speaking, battery-operated are often preferred because of their lack of maintenance (as compared to gas models), ease of handling, quiet nature, and convenience. Also, do not think that battery-operated models can’t get the job done as that is simply untrue.
Ease of Use
No matter which way you slice it, handling a power tool such as this for extended periods is going to wear you down. Still, it is important to assess the overall handling of these machines as some can wear you down at an accelerated rate as compared to other models. One of the main design features, so to speak, to pay attention to is the weight. Even though it may not seem like much at first, a 15-pound trimmer can prove to be much more of a hassle than a 10-pound model. But, there is more to it than just the weight.
In addition, take a ponder at the design of the handle. For enhanced comfort, look for wraparound handles and versions that can rotate. The former helps to enhance the overall comfortability over time and the latter allows you to cut in multiple positions much easier. Oh yeah, and you may want the vibration kept to a minimum. Outside of looking for dual-action blades which will assist with this, look for a vibration dampening system as intense vibration can increase your fatigue drastically.
When we say “features”, we merely mean any extra perks that hedge trimmers have that are worth looking into from a buyer’s perspective. To be honest, there are quite a few of them so buckle your seatbelts. First off, it is important to understand that these tools are dangerous and can easily slice human tissue if you are not careful. So, it is never a bad idea to keep a keen eye out for safety features. For example, how about a hand guard or a hand shield at the base of the blade or in front of the auxiliary handle to keep you safe from both flying debris and the blade itself? Or, for gas models, how about something as simple as the fumes being directed away from you?
Of course, for battery-operated trimmers, it is nice to gauge the current battery level so look for an indicator panel of some kind. In addition, noise can come into play. For the noisier gas-operated trimmers, perhaps a muffler has been integrated to drown out the noise a little? Any and all of these features can be beneficial, so keep a lookout.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Having a kept garden and lawn can not only be visually pleasing but financially too. Keeping the hedges trimmed and beautiful can increase the value of your home. Luckily, with the help of these modern machines, it isn't even a difficult task.
It is a good idea to keep a pair of pruning sheers on you while trimming the hedges. If you attempt to cut a branch that is in a hard to reach area or is too thick you could end up either causing harm to the machine or ruining your beatiful display.
Other Factors to Consider
This section is actually directed related to the power source of the trimmer. For both gas-operated and battery-operated models, there are unique features to look out for that add much-needed convenience to the machine. Starting with the latter is not so much a special feature but more so something you need to assess. This is alluding to the battery life and how much is offered to you on one charge. If you need to recharge the battery every couple of hours, it may not be suitable for your needs. Also, if a power cord is required for operation then look for design integrations that help prevent the cord from being unplugged. This could include a cord retention hook, for example.
As for gas models, the main feature or features to look for are implementations to make starting the engine easier. Even something as simple as the bulb on the top of the engine drawing fresh fuel in while forcing air out of the carburetor will do the trick.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why is a fuel-oil mixture necessary?
When and if you get your hands on a gas-operated hedge trimmer, you may notice in the directions that the engine requires an oil and fuel mixture. If you are a novice when it comes to small engines, you may have no idea why. Thankfully, it is quite simple and it is not difficult to achieve, either. The reason for this is because of the two-cycle engine that is used in most hedge trimmers. Instead of having two separate reservoirs to separate gas and oil, this type of engine does not and the oil and gas mixture will keep the engine lubricated at all times.
If you go with straight gasoline in a two-cycle engine, in fact, you will ruin the engine within mere minutes and it is highly recommended that you avoid that.
q: What type of lubricants can be used?
No matter what type of tool you are using, if it sports metal blades then proper lubrication is going to come into play. The question is, then, what lubricants can be used for the blades on most hedge trimmers? For starters, the original owner’s manual could have the answer and it is important that you check there first. Granted, of course, that you still own this manual and did not throw it out right away (which is never advised anyway). In the unfortunate circumstance that you can’t find it and you have no other paperwork, you may have to wing it.
Thankfully, most oil that is designed for common tools should do the trick. For example, you should get away with lubricating the blades with WD-40. But, always reference the manufacturer’s information to err on the side of caution.
q: How do you sharpen trimmers?
Just as the blades on these machines need to be properly lubricated, they also will need to be re-sharpened when they begin to dull. When a blade is dull, their performance suffers dramatically and they can also become a safety hazard as you try harder to get them to cut. For a tool like a hedge trimmer, this can cause it to tear hedges instead of cutting them cleanly. But, if you have the proper equipment then you can bring dull blades back to life. To begin, go ahead and grab some protective goggles and gloves for safety.
You also will need to remove the bolts that are holding the blades together to separate them. Once you have done that, secure each blade with a bench vice or other piece of equipment. Now, begin using a metal file to sharpen the blade. But, keep in mind to push in one direction and not back and forth and to keep the file at the same angle as the cutting edge.
q: Why does the blade stop working on some hedges?
This here is a very simple question to answer but it is one that you may end up having before the end of your trimming adventures. What happens when you are trimming and the blades become jammed and suddenly stop working? Well, for starters, remember that these tools are designed to trim and not cut. If you are attempting to saw a giant log with this trimmer, you will be disappointed as that is not the purpose. But, it could just simply be that the twigs and the branches you are trying to trim are too thick.
Keep in mind that certain models can trim higher diameters than others and if you have thick shrubs you need to be trimmed, aim for superior blades.
q: How do you clean blades safely and properly?
Look, blades are sharp and it does not take a genius to alert you of that. Caution must be taken when you are dealing with blades on a hedge trimmer but the problem is they will need to be cleaned from time to time. So, you will physically need to handle them. As such, always clean them with gloves to protect yourself from accidental slippage. Now then, the best way to clean your blades is to remove any debris that has gotten lodged into the teeth. Yet, if any residue has already hardened then you may need to clean a little further.
For a deeper clean, you can use a stiff brush with soap and water. However, do not leave any moisture on the blades as this can cause corrosion if you are not careful. Afterward, apply lubricant to be safe.
q: Are hedge trimmers dangerous?
This could just be the most important information to take with you while you are physically using these machines. Again, they sport blades that rotate at high speeds and therefore, they are dangerous. With this in mind, there are general safety precautions to take while you are handling one. To minimize any injuries, wear appropriate garments such as long-sleeve shirts and shoes. Additionally, use safety gear such as gloves and possibly safety goggles to prevent debris from penetrating in your eyes. Oh yeah, and never use a power tool such as this on unleveled ground as that is asking for disaster to strike.
Above all else, though, simply familiarize yourself with the machine and learn how to operate it properly. The more knowledgeable you become, the less risk there is for you and others.