If you’ve ever attempted to trim your hedges, you’ll know it’s quite a lot of work.
If you use the wrong tool to get it done, you’ll probably feel stressed out and maybe even experience some aches and pains – it’s not worth it.
Hedge trimmers can take this important gardening task from stressful to super-easy.
What types of hedge trimmers are there?
You can find electric or gas-powered hedge trimmers that help to make your work so much safer and convenient, without taking up too much of your time.
If that sounds good, you’ll want to know what type of hedge trimmer is best, as well as which specific hedge trimmer models are worth your time.
Let’s jump into this guide to the best hedge trimmer: trim with perfect accuracy and remarkable ease of use.
We’ll start with a table looking at five of the best rated hedge trimmers that you can find on the market so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the dizzying variety of these power tools in your local hardware store.
Best Hedge Trimmer – Reviews & Buying Guide For 2020
Best Cordless Hedge Trimmers Winner: BLACK+DECKER Cordless Hedge Trimmer
Black + Decker is a trusted brand when it comes to power tools and their cordless hedge trimmer is a must to consider if you’re in the market for a hedge trimmer that will make cutting branches and tidying up the garden a nicer experience.
- Rechargeable battery
- Wraparound handle
- Shearing blade
- This hedge trimmer makes use of a 40-volt lithium ion rechargeable battery.
- Just one charge of the trimmer will enable you to trim hedges in a 6000-square feet area.
- The trimmer has got dual-action blades that produce less vibration, thus contributing to the ease and comfort of using it.
- It has a shearing blade that can cut branches that are ¾-inch thick, making it useful for a variety of tasks, such as cutting bushes and shrubs.
- You know that using powered gardening tools can sometimes lead to bodily aches and pains because they’re not always comfortable. But this trimmer changes that. It’s got a wrap-around front handle. This makes it comfortable to grip no matter the angle at which you’re holding it.
- It comes with everything you need in the pack: the trimmer, the lithium ion battery, and the charger.
- Some people who have purchased this hedge trimmer have reported that it’s a bit loud during use. That might be a concern for you, especially if you live in close proximity to neighbors.
- Other people have reported that dirt has the habit of collecting on the trimmer’s rail. This, however, can be successfully eliminated by ensuring you clean the trimmer after every time you use it.
- The last thing you want to experience if you own a battery-powered hedge trimmer is to have to wait a long time for it to charge before you can use it. This trimmer charges in just one hour!
- It offers 2400 cutting strokes per minute.
- The front handle has been designed in such a way that you can wear gloves while holding it without feeling any discomfort or losing the ability to feel the tool.
- The trimmer comes with a cord-retention system, which means that it won’t accidentally unplug.
- It’s got a light and compact design that will make using it for big gardening tasks a breeze, even if you’re a beginner.
- The steel blades on this hedge trimmer are resistant to rust and they stay sharper for longer, therefore making them easier to maintain.
- There’s a charge indicator display on the hedge trimmer that shows you how much battery life you have available. This will prevent you from running out of juice during an important task.
This Black + Decker hedge trimmer costs $129.00. It’s one of the best battery hedge trimmers to tackle unruly hedges in a more convenient and comfortable way, without you working up a sweat or feeling stressed.
Runner Up: DEWALT DCHT820B Hedge Trimmer
This is another hedge trimmer that gives you power, efficiency, and comfort when you need to clear away branches in your garden. While it doesn’t make the top spot in our list, it’s right up there with the best of them and also backed by a trusted brand. Let’s check out its features.
- Easy-start trigger
- 22-inch long hook-toothed blades
- Can cut branches up to ¾-inch in thickness
- This hedge trimmer provides 2800 cutting strokes per minute. You can easily cut branches that are ¾-inch thick.
- It’s got an easy-start trigger so that the hedge trimmer will come to life quickly.
- The blades of this hedge trimmer are 22 inches long, so you can tackle large shrubs with ease while the length is also useful for smaller tasks, such as when you need greater precision in hard-to-reach places.
- One of the biggest drawbacks of this hedge trimmer is that the battery and charger don’t come included with the trimmer. You have to purchase those separately.
- Some people who have purchased this trimmer and used it for a while have reported that while it works well to cut branches, it doesn’t have the same amount of power as what they’re used to with gas-powered hedge trimmers.
- The battery that’s used to power this hedge trimmer is 20V, which is a lower voltage as compared to other trimmers on the market.
- The blades of this hedge trimmer are not only sharp but they’re designed in such a way to make your hedge trimming much easier: they’re hook-toothed and double-sided for more efficient trimming.
This Black + Decker hedge trimmer costs $149.00. It’s powerful and will get the job done, even if you need to cut some of the toughest branches in difficult spots of the garden. That said, it might not be the right model for you, which brings us to our first alternative product to consider.
Alternative 1: CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Hedge Trimmer
This hedge trimmer has been called a power saw! Here’s why it’s one of the best outdoor power tools to own.
- Cut branches up to 1 ½ inches in thickness.
- Versatile battery
- Charges in 40 minutes
- You can cut branches that are up to 1 ½ inches with this hedge trimmer, making it much more versatile than some other hedge trimmers on the market.
- It’s got 22-inch dual-action blades.
- The battery can charge within 40 minutes! That’s a really short time and perfect for squeezing in a gardening session on the cuff.
- One of the biggest drawbacks to bear in mind is that, while it can charge really quickly, the battery only lasts for between 20 and 25 minutes.
- If you’re doing labor-intensive tasks, you might become frustrated with this hedge trimmer that is said to have to go over branches more than once in order to achieve a clean cut. So, it might not be the right product for you if you’re looking for a hedge trimmer that’s more powerful.
- When you have completed your tasks, you can conveniently store your hedge trimmer with what the company calls their VersaTrack hook. The VersaTrack system is a system developed by the company that helps you better organize your tools on the wall of your garage or shed. It makes use of a rail onto which you can attach your tools, such as this hedge trimmer, and it can carry up to 75 pounds of weight per foot. The hook is an integrated part of the tool.
- The lithium-ion battery in this trimmer is energy efficient and can be used in other outdoor tools, making it nicely versatile.
- The trimmer has what’s known as a bale handle. This makes it comfortable to grip and use, while also making it easier to control.
- The battery and charger are included in the pack.
This Craftsman hedge trimmer cost $181.80. While it does have a few drawbacks of which you should take note, it does redeem itself with its positive features. It’s probably best for you if you don’t have tough gardening tasks as it’s perfect for use around the home.
Alternative 2: Greenworks Corded Hedge Trimmer
This hedge trimmer is perfect for people who are on a strict budget but don’t want to waste their hard-earned money on a product that they will have to replace after a few months. Let’s check out its features!
- 18-inch steel blades
- Electric hedge trimmer (no battery)
- Cord lock feature
- This Greenworks hedge trimmer can easily cut through 3/8-inch thick branches.
- It’s equipped with 18-inch dual-action steel blades.
- It comes with a cord lock so that it won’t get unplugged while you’re working.
- This hedge trimmer doesn’t come with a battery so it can only work with electricity. This can be frustrating at times, such as if you want the ease and freedom of movement that comes with using a battery-powered hedge trimmer.
- The power cord moves only six inches past the handle. This means you will probably need an extension cord.
- The tool isn’t as powerful as some other rated hedge trimmers on the market.
- This hedge trimmer comes with a four-year guarantee, which is much more than the industry standard.
- People who have purchased this hedge trimmer have reported that it doesn’t vibrate during use, which makes it feel more comfortable to use.
- Other people have commented that this hedge trimmer is really easy to use to shape branches and hedges. This is mainly because of its strong blades as well as how easy it is to move the hedge trimmer around.
This Greenworks hedge trimmer costs $46.97. It’s got four-and-a-half stars on Amazon, coming in as one of the most highly-rated hedge trimmers, so you can’t go wrong with it! Best of all, you won’t have to spend a lot of money to get a high-quality product.
Best Gas Trimmer: Echo Gas 2-Stroke Cycle Hedge Trimmer
Maybe you’re interested in purchasing a gas hedge trimmer instead of an electric one. There’s no doubt that gas trimmers have their advantages. The best one to purchase is this one by Echo. It’s a gas hedge trimmer that has a two-cycle 21cc engine. Let’s jump into its features!
- 20-inch blades
- Heavy-duty air filtration system
- Tip guard included
- This trimmer has 20-inch blades that are double-sided and double-reciprocating razor-edge blades. This is important to help you achieve cleaner cuts.
- It comes with a fuel capacity of 13.2 fluid ounces. This is a lot more capacity than what you’ll find in competing brands’ hedge trimmers and it’s very useful because it means you can work for longer without refuelling it.
- It’s really easy to maintain this hedge trimmer, thanks to its tool-less air filter cover.
- The hedge trimmer can cut branches that are up to an inch in thickness.
- It comes with a commercial duty air filtration system to increase the lifespan of the trimmer’s engine.
- It has a tip guard that prevents wear and tear on the blade tip. This is extremely useful when you have to cut branches that are very close to the ground or a fence. A tip guard will also help to prevent injury, such as if you accidentally move the hedge trimmer a little too close to your body.
- The blades are precision ground and laser cut so that they remain sharper for longer, thus being easier to maintain.
- One of the drawbacks you might encounter when using this hedge trimmer is that it sometimes takes a bit of time to come to life and warm up.
- Another drawback, although it might not be a big deal, is that the hedge trimmer doesn’t have a rotating rear handle.
- This hedge trimmer has a long rear handle. This, combined with its front handles, make using it very comfortable.
- The company is one that’s trusted in the industry, and it offers a five-year guarantee on this hedge trimmer.
- This hedge trimmer is built with a rigid support bar. This is useful because it enables you to cut in a straighter, and more precise, way.
- When you use a gas hedge trimmer that has an exhaust facing downwards, this can cause you to burn and damage your plants if you’re reaching above them to cut branches or hedges. This hedge trimmer by Echo is a game-changer because its exhaust faces forward so it won’t harm your plants or shrubs.
This Echo hedge trimmer is one of the best gas hedge trimmers. However, it’s currently unavailable for purchase from Amazon, but you can find it for approximately $300 from other websites, such as Sears.
This is quite an expensive product, especially when compared to some of the other hedge trimmers we’ve featured in our guide, but it has many benefits while being a durable product that you’ll enjoy using for many years to come.
Hedge Trimmers FAQ
It’s clear to see from our reviews that a hedge trimmer can be a real investment in the maintenance of your garden, making your tasks much easier.
But, what kind of hedge trimmer is best and how should you take care of your hedge trimmer so that you can increase its lifespan?
Let’s answer these questions and more.
Gas vs Electric what’s better for your garden?
If you’re not sure if you should purchase a gas or electric hedge trimmer, this section will help you make the right decision.
Let’s look at important information pertaining to gas vs electric hedge trimmers. We’ll start with the benefits of using gas-powered hedge trimmers.
Gas trimmer benefits
Gas-powered hedge trimmers have some notable benefits for homeowners, especially those who have large gardens and need to cut their hedges and bushes on a regular basis.
They have the following advantages over electric hedge trimmers:
- They can be expensive to purchase, but they will last for many years.
- Gas trimmers offer a greater number of strokes per minute as compared to other types of trimmers. This means that you can get through your gardening tasks much faster.
- They can be heavier than other types of trimmers, which is why some models will come with safety features such as tip guards. This prevents the blade from getting too close to your body, therefore preventing injury.
- You can use a gas hedge trimmer in damp weather as you don’t have to use any cords or batteries to power it, which can feel like a bonus when you have to get an urgent trimming task done.
Electric trimmer benefits
As we’ve seen in our reviews, it’s easy to find the best electric hedge trimmers that are battery operated to make your life easier.
Obviously, the battery-powered models are great because they offer you greater range of motion when using them so that you’re not limited to the power cord length.
This can also make using them safer. There are battery-powered hedge trimmers that have decent battery life, such as ones that give you up to an hour of use, so that you don’t have to cut your gardening tasks short.
Some of the biggest benefits of electric trimmers include:
- They tend to be cheaper than gas-powered hedge trimmers.
- You don’t have to worry about maintenance much because you won’t have to service your electric hedge trimmer.
- Electric hedge trimmers tend to be lighter than gas trimmers, which makes them easier to carry and hold during use. This also makes them perfect for both beginners and advanced gardeners.
- Since they don’t release gas emissions, they are safer for the environment and easier to use because you don’t have to store gas. If your trimmer is rechargeable, remembering to charge it when need be is all you need to do. Many electric trimmers on the market will also have battery life displays on them so that you can see when you need to charge them.
To further help you choose between purchasing a gas or electric hedge trimmer, here are some drawbacks of both types of trimmers to consider.
Electric hedge trimmers drawbacks
- Electric trimmers can result in you lacking enough battery life if you need to do intensive hedge trimming. While some models will charge within a short space of time, they might only give you half of that time to work on your trimming tasks.
- If you’re using the extension cord this can be problematic, such as if it’s too short for the area in which you need to use the electric hedge trimmer.
- Electric hedge trimmers can be expensive to repair.
- They tend to have fewer strokes per minute as compared to gas-powered hedge trimmers. That said, you can find electric hedge trimmers that have excellent strokes per minute. An example that we featured in our reviews is the Black + Decker Cordless Hedge Trimmer that gives you 2400 strokes per minute.
Gas-powered hedge trimmer drawbacks
- Gas hedge trimmers can be costly to purchase.
- They need to be filled with gas and oil in order to work.
- They require regular maintenance, such as when it comes to replacing their filters.
- Unlike in the case with an electric hedge trimmer, you’ll have to winterize your gas hedge trimmer, such as by removing its gas before you put it away for storage.
- Gas hedge trimmers are usually heavier than electric ones.
It’s clear to see that both electric and gas hedge trimmers have advantages and disadvantages.
Choosing the right one depends on many personal factors, such as how intensively you intend on using the hedge trimmer as well as which one will be easier or more cost-effective to operate.
Can hedge trimmers cut branches?
In our earlier reviews of the best hedge trimmers, many of the products we featured mentioned how well hedge trimmers can trim and cut branches, with some being able to cut branches that are thicker than one inch.
However, there are some important things to bear in mind when it comes to using your hedge trimmer to cut branches.
Hedge trimmers are ideally built so that they can cut thin and lightweight twigs, as well as leaves.
This is because their grooves tend to be around ¾ of an inch to half an inch in diameter, which is usually not sufficient to cut larger tree branches.
Now, if you have a hedge trimmer that’s extremely powerful and heavy-duty, such as one that has larger grooves, it’s still not going to be strong enough to tackle tree branches.
This isn’t just about the groove size but also how hedge trimmers work.
These power tools make use of a cutting action that moves back and forth, which makes them useful when you want to cut thin branches or clean up bushes.
But, hedge trimmers are not meant to replace garden tools for cutting purposes, such as pruning shears.
It’s important to check your hedge trimmer manual before you use it on a variety of branches, to be sure that it’s meant for the job you wish to undertake.
The manufacturer will clearly specify the thickness of branches that the trimmer will be able to cut. If you go above that, you risk damaging your trimmer, so it’s best to avoid it.
What about brambles?
When it comes to cutting brambles, which are prickly and tangled bushes, this certainly can prove difficult with the use of a hedge trimmer.
The reason is because the tool can become stuck in the brambles, and this makes it difficult – even unsafe – to operate and control it.
However, if you have smaller, more flexible areas of brambles that you wish to cut, then you could use your hedge trimmer to clear them away.
Bear in mind that you might have to do multiple passes over the same area to get a clean cut.
How to sharpen hedge trimmers?
Keeping your hedge trimmers sharpened is a must to ensure the best quality work.
In order to sharpen your hedge trimmer, you need to follow some important tips. (Note: we’ve outlined how to sharpen hedge trimmers in greater detail in the article, “How To Sharpen A Hedge Trimmer.”)
- To sharpen your hedge trimmer, you’ll need a flat file. To use it properly to sharpen the trimmer’s blade, make sure that you file towards the cutting edge.
- Then, lift the surface of the file when you move it back down the blade. You don’t want to move the file up and down along the surface of the blade as that could cause it to become blunt. You want to apply the file in one direction with every stroke.
- You should also make sure that you use the file at the sharpening angle that’s been mentioned in the technical data of your tool’s operating instructions. If the hedge trimmer manual tells you to sharpen the blade in a different way, always follow those instructions to ensure you maintain the quality of the product.
- Don’t remove too much material from the blade when you sharpen it, as that could damage the hedge trimmer. Bear in mind that the abrasion limit is 5mm. Never file more than that!
- Take your time when sharpening the hedge trimmer’s blade and make sure you use the same number of strokes for both cutting edges. This will ensure that the blades are all the same length.
Now that you know how to sharpen your hedge trimmer, you might be wondering how often to do so. The important thing is to sharpen your trimmer when it’s looking a bit dull.
You can tell that your hedge trimmer will benefit from having its blade sharpened if it keeps getting stuck or jammed during use and/or the branches that you cut with it look frayed instead of having a clean cut.
Those are all signs that your hedge trimmer needs to sharpen up a little!
How to clean hedge trimmers?
Along with sharpening your hedge trimmer now and then, it’s also important to ensure that you keep your hedge trimmer clean.
This should be done every time you use your hedge trimmers. While that might sound like overkill, there’s a good reason for it.
When your hedge trimmer cuts through small branches, twigs, and leaves, small amounts of sap get stuck on the blades.
These can accumulate and cause the blades to get stuck during use.
If that wasn’t bad enough, dirty hedge trimmer blades can increase friction. This can make the trimmer’s motor overheat during use!
So, you definitely want to ensure that you clean your hedge trimmer often.
Luckily, you can easily clean the blades of your hedge trimmer without it becoming a chore. Here’s how you should do it.
What you’ll need before you get started:
- A bowl
- Soapy water
- Scrubbing brush
How To Clean Your Hedge Trimmer
- Now that you have all the items you need to give your hedge trimmer a good clean, you’ll need to wet the cloth with the soapy water.
- Then, while holding the hedge trimmer so that it points downwards, you should wipe the first side of the trimmer’s blade with the wet cloth. Always point the hedge trimmer down so that water won’t accidentally get into its motor.
- Take your scrubbing brush (you could also use an old toothbrush if you have one handy) and scrub the blade’s teeth. Make sure you pay more attention to any areas on the teeth where dirt has built up. This is especially important to do if you haven’t cleaned your hedge trimmer in a while.
- Take your cloth again and wipe down the areas on the blade where you’ve scrubbed it clean.
- When one side of the blade is clean, turn the trimmer around and clean the other side in the same way.
- Once that is done, you’ll need to wipe down the whole blade with your cloth. This is to remove any leftover debris while also removing moisture.
- Make sure you dry the trimmer well. It might not be enough to use a dry cloth to eliminate all the moisture – it could easily get trapped in hard-to-reach places – so put the trimmer somewhere safe outside so that it can dry properly.
When you have cleaned your hedge trimmer, there’s something else you need to do before packing your hedge trimmer away: you need to lubricate it.
This will increase the lifespan of your trimmer while also ensuring that it’s kept in good condition.
To lubricate your hedge trimmer, you’ll need to:
- Put the hedge trimmer down on a flat surface, such as your work table in the shed.
- Take oil that’s suitable for trimmer blades and carefully put some oil on the edge of the teeth of the blade. You can use any type of engine oil on your hedge trimmer.
- Pro tip: If you own an electric model, you should spray the oil onto the blade or rub it into the blade with a cloth instead of dipping the tool into oil.
- When you’re done, take a cloth and wipe away any excess oil.
It’s often recommended that you should lubricate your hedge trimmer before and after use.
However, as long as you commit to cleaning and lubricating it after every time you use it, this should be enough to keep it in good condition.
How to get rust off of hedge trimmers?
If your hedge trimmer is starting to look rusty, you’ll want to eliminate the rust as soon as possible. Here are some steps you should follow to get rid of rust.
- First, make sure you have a steel wool pad. You want to use this to scrub off the rust that you can see.
- Next, you need to lubricate the hedge trimmer blade with some mineral oil. This is important to soften the rust that you can’t scrape away. With the use of a cloth, apply the mineral oil and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
- Then, scrub the rust with your steel wool pad.
- Make sure you use a different cloth to wipe away any excess oil from the blade before moving on to the next step.
- By now, you might still see that there’s some rust on the trimmer. Don’t worry – you can clean away this stubborn rust by putting lemon juice and table salt in a bowl.
- You’ll need two parts salt and one part lemon juice. Stir this well to create a paste. Then, apply this paste onto the areas of the blade where there is still rust.
- Leave this paste on the blade for about two hours.
- When the two hours are up, get a steel wool pad and this this to scrub the rust.
- When you’re done and can see no more rust on your hedge trimmer, use a damp cloth to remove the rust and paste.
- Make sure you dry the blade well with a cloth before you store the hedge trimmer away.
To prevent rust from becoming a problem in future, you should always follow the right steps to prevent it.
- Clean your hedge trimmer according to the steps we outlined earlier in the article after every single use. Lubricate it before you pack it away.
- When storing your hedge trimmers, make sure you keep them high off the ground. This will help to prevent them coming into contact with moisture. You can store your hedge trimmer by hanging it on the wall in your indoor structure or placing it flat on a high shelf. Make sure it’s securely in place so that it can’t be moved and damaged.
- Keep your hedge trimmer indoors, such as in a garage or shed, so that it can’t be damaged by being exposed to the elements. Also make sure it’s in a clean and dry place that’s free of any moisture and humidity. These are the enemies of your power tools and should always be avoided!
After reading this buying guide, it’s clear to see that a hedge trimmer is an essential tool if you want to keep your garden looking beautiful and manicured.
But which one should you purchase?
It really depends on how much use you’ll get out of it and what features are most important to you.
In this article, we’ve looked at some of the best hedge trimmers on the market so you can find the right one for your hedge-trimming needs.
We’ve also featured some common questions pertaining to the maintenance of hedge trimmers, such as how to clean them and prevent rust from damaging them.
Remember, it’s easier to prevent your hedge trimmers from becoming rusty than it is to treat them!
Even so, if it’s happened that you’ve neglected your hedge trimmers a bit and they’ve got some areas of rust to show for it, don’t worry – with our guide to eliminating rust, your hedge trimmer will look as good as new in no time.