Best hedge trimmers for 2020: 7 corded, cordless, petrol and electric buys

Our pick of the best hedge trimmers will make fast work of neatening your garden, shaving off the effort it takes to shear

Best hedge trimmer: Bosch AHS Electric Hedge Cutter lifestyle image
(Image credit: Bosch)

The best hedge trimmer will make light work of regular garden tasks and there’s little more that's satisfying (once it’s done, at least) than a perfectly trimmed border hedge. 

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best hedge trimmers from bish-bash-Boschs to lightweight cordless models, all of which will help make light work of all your trimming-related tasks.

Find more garden buys on our dedicated hub page.

What is the best hedge trimmer?

The best hedge trimmer you can buy, in our opinion, is the Bosch AHS 70-34 Electric Hedge Cutter. Read our full review below.

Not got time to read the whole guide? We've listed our top three hedge trimmers below along with their cheapest prices right now.


Best hedge trimmer you can buy: Bosch AHS Electric Hedge Cutter, green and black

1. Bosch AHS 70-34 Electric Hedge Cutter

Best hedge trimmer you can buy: this Bosch trimmer is kind to backs, but hard on branches

Best for: Power and comfort
Power: Electric, 700W
Cordless?: No
Blade length: 70cm
Weight: 3.9kg
Reasons to buy
+ Light, back-friendly design + Powerful performance 
Reasons to avoid
-Cord will be annoying for some

The fact that this hedge cutter has earned an AGR certificate for its superior back friendliness is partly testament to why it’s made our top spot, but it’s also our winner for the fact that it doesn’t cut down on power for the sake of that comfort. Its impressively light 3.9 kilogram body still packs a 700-watt motor, putting considerable heft behind the laser-cut, diamond-ground blade for cutting performance that left users very impressed indeed. Our only complaint? It's not cordless. But if you can live with that, then it's well worth it.

Shop more hedge trimmers at Tooled-Up

Best lightweight petrol hedge trimmer: McCulloch Superlite Hedge Trimmer, black and yellow

2. McCulloch Superlite 4528 Hedge Trimmer

Best lightweight petrol hedge trimmer: all the oomph of petrol without dragging you down

Best for: Lightweight petrol
Power: Petrol
Cordless?: Yes
Blade length: 45cm
Weight: 4.8kg
Reasons to buy
+ Powerful, but not too heavy + Easy to start 
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy if used for long amounts of time

It might not seem it compared to some of our electric picks, but for a petrol trimmer this is, indeed, ‘superlite’. But despite coming in at just 5 kilograms, McCulloch’s Superlite trimmer shows why petrol is still landscapers’ first choice for powerful performance. Users loved how easily it managed to slice through even thicker branches and its ability to handle big jobs like really overgrown hedges, as well as how simple it was to start compared with other petrol models. Put simply, for all the power of petrol, with a lot less of the faff you might expect, give this one a go. 

Shop more hedge trimmers at Very

Best hedge trimmer for medium hedges: Black & Decker Hedge Trimmer, orange and black

3. Black & Decker GT6060 Hedgetrimmer

Best hedge trimmer for medium hedges: safety first, followed by sturdiness

Best for: Medium hedges
Power: Electric, 600W
Cordless: No
Blade length: 60cm
Weight: 4.46kg
Reasons to buy
+ Two-step on-switch for safety + Sturdy but lightweight 
Reasons to avoid
-Isn't cordless

The thoughtful design of this Black + Decker hedge trimmer make it tops for safety and convenience. The two-handed starting switch means it can’t be started by accident, either by you or any little hands that might come across it in the shed or garage, and it features cable retention to safely and securely manage the lead while you’re mid-lop. Reviewers found it to be user-friendly too, even the self-confessed gardening loathers say it feels sturdy and safe, but is still lightweight and easy to manoeuvre. 

Find more hedge trimmers at Amazon

Best hedge trimmer for speed: Honda Hedge Cutter, red and black

4. Honda HHH25D75ET Hedge Cutter

Best hedge trimmer for speed: cutting down on vibration and upping adjustability, this cutter is all about the comfort

Best for: Speed
Power: Petrol
Cordless?: Yes
Blade length: 72cm
Weight: 6.6kg
Reasons to buy
+ Low-vibration operation + Ergonomic adjustable handle 
Reasons to avoid

If the prospect of a powered hedge trimmer leaves you quaking, you might want to consider this Honda model. Not only is it specifically engineered to operate with minimal vibration, it tops up the comfort with ergonomic controls and an adjustable handle, both intended to minimise fatigue while you go about your business. It also allows you to change your grip for cutting the face of the hedge as well as the height. It’s not all sweetness and light though, and that fierce double blade and four-stroke engine takes care of even thick branches. 

Shop more hedge trimmers at John Lewis

Best hedge trimmer for small hedges: Bosch Cordless Shrub Shear Set, green and black

5. Bosch Cordless Shrub Shear Set

Best hedge trimmer for small hedges: this petite shearing set is ideal for those little details and the odd tidy

Best for: Shaping small hedges
Power: 10.8V Battery
Cordless?: Yes
Blade length: 20cm
Weight: 0.9kg
Reasons to buy
+ Light and quick to charge + Not unwieldy for those with mobility issues 
Reasons to avoid
-Shorter blade

The delightfully alliterative Shrub Shear Set from Bosch is our best hedge trimmer for arthritis sufferers and gardeners with mobility issues or fatigue, all thanks to its light weight and ability to be operated one-handed. Of course, it won’t make light work of big hedges, but it’s perfect for neatening shrubs, detailed work, short box hedges and otherwise sharpening up the look of smaller gardens where a larger trimmer would be overkill. Users loved that the battery was so small and quick to charge, too, proving that electric trimmers are coming on leaps and bounds. 

Shop more hedge shears at Very

Best hedge trimmer for tall hedges: Gtech Hedge Trimmer, grey and green

6. Gtech HT05-Plus Hedge Trimmer

Best hedge trimmer for tall hedges: reach great heights with this extendable, adjustable trimmer

Best for: Taller hedges
Power: Rechargeable
Cordless?: Yes
Blade length: 31.5cm
Weight: 1.7kg
Reasons to buy
+ Extendable shaft – up to 1.7m + 120-degree rotatable head 
Reasons to avoid
-Not as powerful as others

Even the more vertically challenged gardeners among us needn’t worry about tackling tall hedges with this lightweight and immensely adjustable trimmer from Gtech. At under 2 kilograms, it’s much easier to lift overhead than many of its competitors, and the long shaft, extendable up to 1.7m, gives you extra reach to tackle those far-away branches – Gtech’s official word on the matter is that you should be able to trim the top of hedges up to 10ft. Uniquely, the head also adjusts 120 degrees, letting you ace those tricky angles. 

Shop the Gtech Hedge Trimmer on their webpage

Best budget hedge trimmer: Ryobi Hedge Trimmer, grey and green

7. Ryobi RHT6560RL Hedge Trimmer

Best budget hedge trimmer: tidy while you trim with this nifty little gadget

Best for: Budgets
Power: Electric (650W)
Cordless?: No
Blade length: 60cm
Weight: 4.6kg
Reasons to buy
+ HedgeSweep attachment for easy clean-up + Large cutting diameter 
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy for what it is

It’s all very well and good neatening up the tops of your hedges, only to spend ages picking rogue clippings out of the branches afterwards – luckily, this Ryobi hedge trimmer comes complete with a clever HedgeSweep attachment, which helps to clear cuttings as you work. The blade also has an impressively large cutting diameter to see to especially thick branches, and a blade tip protector, meaning you can cut close to walls and fences without risking damage. And all round excellent budget buy.

Find more hedge trimmers on Amazon

What to consider when buying a hedge trimmer

What are the legalities of trimming a neighbour's hedge?

Over half of gardeners said they would chop down a neighbour's branch without asking if it was hanging over into their garden – or even if they weren't sure what the property boundaries were. 

The potential legal repercussions of this? Your neighbour could take you to court for criminal damage, and you could face a fine. And while this is unlikely to happen, if you don't know your neighbours, you can't predict how they will feel about their foliage, invasive or not. So always ask first.

If you have a big garden or simply don’t want to run the risk of slicing through the power cable, look for a cordless hedge trimmer such as the McCulloch Superlite or the Bosch Shrub Shear Set. However, if you’re happy cord-wrangling, corded hedge trimmers tend to be more reliable in terms of power. 

The other big choice is between electric hedge trimmers and petrol hedge trimmers: where the former are lighter and tend to be cheaper, petrol trimmers usually pack a bit more power. We’ve included both types in our list but have erred more on the side of electric, as the offerings in the shops right now tend to be more varied, and with the advent of the 36V battery, are beginning to compete with petrol. 

The big names are all here, from Bosch to Black + Decker, but be sure not to unduly dismiss relative newcomers such as Ryobi – they have a lot to offer for a small price. 

For more garden-related buyer's guides and advice, visit our dedicated garden hub page.