Best cordless hedge trimmer: top 5 buys for achieving the perfect cut

These are the best cordless hedge trimmers to help you achieve flawless hedges with minimum effort

person using the Bosch AHS 50-20 Lithium-Ion Hedgecutter, the best cordless hedge trimmer in our round-up, on a hedge
(Image credit: Amazon)

The best cordless hedge trimmer will give your hedge a professional finish, with minimum effort. To make it onto our 'best of' list, a hedge trimmer needs to be easy to use, reasonably lightweight, and work on even thicker branches if required.

Our list brings together the best cordless hedge trimmers out there, both battery operated and petrol options for those who prefer them. Each product has a detailed description and specs such as battery life (so you know how long you have for each chop) and weight (so you can limit the chance of arm ache in the process). 

After you've chosen the perfect cordless hedge trimmer, check out the best lawn mowers to get your garden even neater.

What is the best cordless hedge trimmer?

We think the best cordless hedge trimmer you can buy is the Bosch AHS hedge cutter. It's powerful, has a long blade and it charges quickly. Scroll down for more on our top pick.

The best cordless hedge trimmers

Bosch AHS 50-20 Lithium-Ion Hedgecutter, the best cordless hedge trimmer overall

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Bosch AHS 50-20 Lithium-Ion Hedgecutter

Best cordless hedge trimmer you can buy: with a powerful and protected blade, this hedgecutter lets you get the closest of shaves

Specifications

Best for: Thick hedges
Battery or petrol: Battery
Battery life: 50 minutes continuous cutting
Power: 18V
Weight: 2.5kg
Blade length: 100mm

Reasons to buy

+
 Really powerful 
+
 Blade tip protector for a close cut 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Charger is huge 

This Bosch hedge cutter takes our top spot for its ability to provide the oomph you’d look for in a petrol model, with the lighter weight and less fiddly powering of an electric cutter. Its clever anti-blocking system means your adventures in landscaping won’t be cut short by any particularly robust branches, and its blade tip protector allows you to cut closely along walls and paths without risk of damage. Reviewers raved about the long blade – suitable even for hedges over two metres – the quick-charging battery, and the sheer power, making this our best all round hedge cutter. 

BLACK+DECKER 36 V Lithium-Ion Anti-Jam Hedge Trimmer

2. BLACK+DECKER 36 V Lithium-Ion Anti-Jam Hedge Trimmer

Best cordless hedge trimmer for smooth operation: with anti-jam and a powerful blade, this trimmer sees to it that you won’t be slowed down

Specifications

Best for: Rarely jams
Battery or petrol: Battery
Battery life: 60 minutes
Power: 36V
Weight: 3.8kg
Blade length: 55cm

Reasons to buy

+
 Great anti-jamming mechanism 
+
 Impressive battery life 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Holding down three switches can be tiring 

Some reviewers were a little suspicious at how quiet this trimmer was when turned on, wary that that might mean a lack of power, but not so. Lightweight, but not flimsy, with a running time of around an hour (compared to our first choice's already impressive 50 minutes), this is a great trimmer for domestic use, with its big feature being its anti-jam system. However, reviewers found this didn’t often come into play, as the 55cm blade was so adept at cutting through whatever they threw at it. 

BOSCH Cordless Edging Shear Set

3. BOSCH Cordless Edging Shear Set

Best cordless hedge trimmer if you want a small handheld model: hefty equipment not for you? Keep smaller shrubs in shape with this lightweight trimmer

Specifications

Best for: Small handheld
Battery or petrol: Battery
Battery life: 50 minutes
Power: 10.8V
Weight: 900g
Blade length: 10-20cm

Reasons to buy

+
 Ideal for smaller jobs 
+
 Can be operated with one hand 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Can’t cut through thick wood 

Weighing in at under a kilogram, this compact hedge trimmer is the best cordless hedge trimmer if you want a lightweight option, making it a good bet for gardeners with mobility problems or arthritis, or those who tire easily. Unlike our first two picks, it’s not big hedges that let this handheld trimmer shine – rather, it comes in extremely handy for shorter hedges and more detailed work, such as keeping shaped boxes looking sharp. With its ability to be use single-handed, and its petite quick-charging battery, it’s a handy option to keep around for smaller jobs.

Ryobi One+ 18V OPT1845 Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer, the best cordless hedge trimmer for tall hedges

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Ryobi One+ 18V OPT1845 Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer

Best cordless hedge trimmer for tall hedges: this telescopic-armed trimmer keeps those hard-to-reach hedges in shape

Specifications

Best for: Tall hedges
Battery or petrol: Battery
Battery life: 40 minutes
Power: 18V
Weight: 6.4kg
Blade length: 17cm

Reasons to buy

+
 Extends to reach taller hedges 
+
 Trimmer can be angled

Reasons to avoid

-
 Rather heavy 

This Ryobi model is our best trimmer for tall hedges for a couple of reasons. Namely, the telescopic extending attachment, which makes getting to those just-out-of-reach spots a cinch, and the 135° articulating cutting head, with four positions for versatile trimming.

The only downside is that some found it a little heavy, so that’s worth bearing in mind if you have trouble lifting. However, the heft of this hedge trimmer actually comes in useful when cutting larger hedges. 

McCulloch Superlite 4528 Hedge Trimmer, best lightweight cordless hedge trimmer

5. McCulloch Superlite 4528 Hedge Trimmer

Best lightweight cordless hedge trimmer: a powerful petrol trimmer that starts with a light touch

Specifications

Best for: Lightweight petrol trimmer
Battery or petrol: Petrol
Power: 22cc
Weight: 5kg
Blade length: 45cm

Reasons to buy

+
 Light for a petrol trimmer 
+
 Very powerful 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Some found it cut out occasionally 

Unlike many petrol hedge cutters, this McCulloch model is designed for easy start-up, thanks to a soft-start system and primer. It also sees to another common complaint about petrol mowers, the weight, coming in at a comparatively lightweight 5 kilograms (our previous electric pick, by contrast, is 6.4 kilograms).

Despite its lack of back-breaking heft, it still slices through thicker branches with ease.

How to buy the best cordless hedge trimmer

Unlike their tethered cousins, electric cordless hedge trimmers don’t suffer from the main downside that occasionally makes landscapers turn to petrol: that is to say, you can roam all over the place with them without having to drape multiple extension cords across the lawn. Nor do you run the risk of accidentally cutting the cord – trust us, it happens! 

Blade length

The main choices you have when it comes to buying a cordless hedge trimmer are between different blade lengths and between electric or petrol trimmers. While blade lengths might be fairly self-explanatory (tall hedges? Go for a long reach trimmer. Just a bit of box out in the front garden? A blade up to 45cm should be ample) there are some differences that need teasing out between the two types of power before you buy.

Weight vs power

Cordless hedge trimmers are also lighter and tend to be cheaper than petrol hedge trimmers, and with the advent of the 36V battery, they’re getting to be comparatively powerful too. That said, many reviewers of cordless hedge trimmers have found that the batteries can be unreliable and some don’t hold charge well, and when the cost of replacing batteries over the trimmer’s lifetime comes into play, the initial outlay for a petrol trimmer might not seem so bad. Plus, when it comes to getting through tougher branches, petrol really comes into its own, so for bigger garden jobs you might want the extra power.

Having said that, the best cordless trimmer models should reliably give you between 40 minutes and one hour of battery charge, and let's face it: trimming a hedge for over an hour will probably tire you out (and drive your neighbours mad). So, a cordless hedge trimmer should be perfectly fine for all but the very largest gardens.

Not sure cordless is for you? Check out our pick of the best hedge trimmers that covers corded models too!

Hedge trimmer maintenance tips

Do hedge trimmers need sharpening?

Your hedge trimmer will definitely do a better job and last longer if you sharpen it regularly. You will need a whetstone (opens in new tab) and a flat file (opens in new tab) (for getting between the blades). You should clean and then moisten the blades before taking the whetstone to them. 

Do hedge trimmers need oiling?

Again, while not essential, oiling your hedge trimmers will prolong their lifespan. WD-40 (opens in new tab) applied with a cloth or brush will the trick. 

When is the best time to trim hedges?

The best time to get your hedge trimmer out is actually winter, after you hedge has gone dormant at the end of autumn, and before it breaks into fresh bud. You don't want to ever trim off tender new growth as this can do a lot of damage to your hedge. Likewise, if during a mild spell in autumn your hedge is still green, wait before trimming. 

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Anna is Content Editor at Real Homes. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. At Real Homes, she covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design. 

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