The best hedge trimmers: corded, cordless, petrol and electric

Our best hedge trimmers make short work of tall borders and shave off the effort it takes to shear

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It might be hard work, but there’s little more 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-Bosches to lightweight cordless models to help make light work of all your trimming-related tasks.

If you have a big garden or simply don’t want to run the risk of slicing through the power cable – it’s happened before, and we’re sure it’ll happen again, although fingers crossed not to you! – look for a cordless hedge trimmer such as the McCulloch Superlite or the Bosch Shrub Shear Set, or for more options, our dedicated list of the best cordless hedge trimmers. 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 and petrol 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 like Ryobi – they have a lot to offer for a small price. 

Bosch AHS Electric Hedge Cutter, green and black

1. Bosch AHS 70-34 Electric Hedge Cutter

This Bosch trimmer is kind to backs, but hard on branches

Specifications
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 

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. 

McCulloch Superlite Hedge Trimmer, black and yellow

2. McCulloch Superlite 4528 Hedge Trimmer

Offers all the oomph of petrol without dragging you down

Specifications
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 

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. 

Black & Decker Hedge Trimmer, orange and black

3. Black & Decker GT6060 Hedgetrimmer

Safety first, followed by sturdiness

Specifications
Best for: Medium hedges
Power: Electric, 600W
Cordless?:
Blade length:
Weight:
Reasons to buy
+ Two-step on-switch for safety + Sturdy but lightweight 

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, saying that it felt sturdy and safe, but was still lightweight and easy to manoeuvre. 

Honda Hedge Cutter, red and black

4. Honda HHH25D75ET Hedge Cutter

Cutting down on vibration and upping adjustability, this cutter is all about the comfort

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

If the prospect of a powered hedge trimmer leaves you quaking, you might want to consider this Honda model, which is specifically engineered to operate with minimal vibration, and tops up the comfort with ergonomic controls and an adjustable handle, both intended to minimise fatigue while you go about your business and allow 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 4-stroke engine takes care of even thick branches. 

Bosch Cordless Shrub Shear Set, green and black

5. Bosch Cordless Shrub Shear Set

This petite shearing set is ideal for those little details and the odd tidy

Specifications
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 

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. 

Gtech Hedge Trimmer, grey and green

6. Gtech HT05-Plus Hedge Trimmer

Reach great heights with this extendable, adjustable trimmer

Specifications
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 

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 1.7 metres, 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 10 feet. Uniquely, the head also adjusts 120 degrees, letting you ace those tricky angles. 

Ryobi Hedge Trimmer, grey and green

7. Ryobi RHT6560RL Hedge Trimmer

Tidy while you trim with this nifty little gadget

Specifications
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 

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.

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