Summer is in full swing and before you invite friends and family over to swim or have a barbecue, you want to make sure your lawn looks in tip-top shape. This includes shaping up those hedges to be clean and pristine.
We’ve gathered the best hedge trimmers on the market so you can have a better understanding of the wide variety of options at your disposal. All these hedge trimmers are cord-free so you don’t have to worry about an extension cord not reaching those hedges along the back fence. We’ve included hedge trimmers that can reach tight spots, one that’s gas-powered, and those with different cutting lengths and thicknesses.
Choose the hedge trimmer that’s right for you (and be sure to tackle your hedges in the morning before it gets too hot).
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Our top pick for cordless hedge trimmers is the SnapFresh Cordless Hedge Trimmer. It arrives nearly fully assembled at your door. You only need to attach the handle and a guard with a couple of screws. The 22-inch double blade isn’t the longest among the hedge trimmers on this list, but its average length, and has the capacity to cut through branches that are .55 inches.
To keep you safe while trimming, the SnapFresh Cordless Hedge Trimmer has a dual-switch design meaning you have to hold the start button and trigger switch at the same time. At only 4.74 lbs and with little vibration, it’s easy to maneuver this hedge trimmer.
After charging the 20V 2.0AH lithium-ion battery for about an hour, just slide it onto the trimmer base, and you’re ready to go. Once you’re done with your project – whether it’s trimming hedges or light brush – slide the plastic blade cover on and store it properly.
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Tall bushes and hedges can pose a problem when trimming. Using a ladder can be dangerous and cumbersome, making it a wise decision to invest in a pole hedge trimmer, like the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer.
As the name implies, this hedge trimmer has an 18-inch dual-action blade that sits atop a pole. It can trim hedges up to a height of 10 feet and can cut through branches that are 7/16-inch thick. It weighs 7.7 lbs, so it’s fairly easy to hold and has been designed to produce 40 percent less vibration than other pole hedge trimmers which mitigates the fatigue that comes with trimming your hedges.
The top, back, and bottom of a hedge are the trickiest parts to reach, but this BLACK + DECKER has a 180-degree, five-position head, so you can get it all. BLACK + DECKER notes that their 20-volt MAX lithium-ion battery lasts longer than other 18-volt NiCad batteries, which is nice if you have a large hedging project.
The Greenworks Pro 80V 26-inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer has been described by some users as a ‘beast.’ It’s outfitted with a 26-inch blade which is pretty long for a hedge trimmer (they run between 18-48 inches). Although battery-powered hedge trimmers aren't usually heavy, this one is bulky at 11.5 lbs.
The Greenworks hedge trimmer has a 3/4-inch cutting capacity, though some reviewers claim it can cut through 1/2 -inch thick limbs. With a 180-degree rotating rear handle, you can trim your hedges at multiple angles. Outfitted with a 2 Ah Battery, you can get up to 60 minutes of cut time, according to Greenworks. And if your hedge trimming job takes longer than 60 minutes, you'll be glad to know that the battery charges within 30 minutes.
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MILWAUKEE’S Electric Tools 2726-20 FUEL Hedge Trimmer has a battery that boasts 2 hours of run-time per charge! That’s massive considering most batteries have a run time of 60 minutes. It doesn’t hurt that the hedge trimmer is designed to cut 30 percent faster too, meaning you get done with your job much quicker which may help with the battery life.
Outfitted with a 24-inch blade that can cut through ¾-inch branches, this hedge trimmer is built for tough hedge trimming jobs. And thanks to a tip guard, you don’t have to worry about damage to your blades or even your house's siding if a bush is placed alongside your home.
Gas-powered hedge trimmers may be costlier than battery-powered trimmers, but they’re phenomenal when it comes to performance. The Poulan Pro PR2322 Gas-Powered Hedge Trimmer has a 23 cc 2-cycle full crank engine that can tackle the wildest hedges. The anti-vibration technology helps reduces fatigue and the 22-inch blade can cut limbs that are up to one inch thick -- an impressive feat!
At 11.1 lbs (not including the gas), it’s a little on the heavier side, but it may be worth the effort for a hedge trimmer that will last longer and outperform most battery-powered hedge trimmers. Use the rotating handle to attack your hedges at different angles.
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What to look for when buying a hedge trimmer
Pay close attention to the blade specifications of the hedge trimmer you’re considering because length does matter. Anything below 20 inches will work for small or average-sized hedges. Larger, full-grown hedges will require a longer blade – typically something that’s 20 inches or above, though we recommend 24 inches and up.
You’ll also have to decide between single or dual-sided blades. Single-sided blades only have ‘teeth’ on one side of the blade and they typically have longer blades that can be used for landscaping purposes. Double-sided blades are more popular because they allow for maintaining your shrubs, offer cleaner cuts, fewer vibrations, and can be used for topiary shaping.
Left-handed people may also find double-sided blades easier to use.
Cutting capability is just as important as the blade length. The more powerful hedge trimmers can cut up to 1/2-inch thick branches. (You wouldn’t use a hedge trimmer to cut anything larger).
Hedge trimmers can be powered by electricity (via extension cords), battery, or gas. Like many power tools, gas-powered hedge trimmers last longer and offer more power, but they tend to be heavier and more expensive. Cords can get in the way when using an electric hedge trimmer, but you never run out of a power source.
Battery-powered hedge trimmers are becoming more popular for their lightweight structure and easy-to-use capabilities, but be conscious about battery life and how long it takes to recharge a battery. If you have a lot of hedges in your yard, a gas-powered hedge trimmer is a better choice.
Rotating handle or pivoting head
We are big fans of hedge trimmers that have rotating handles or pivoting heads because it allows you to get into spaces or at angles that are difficult to access. Pole hedge trimmers with 180-degree pivoting heads are ingenious because they allow you to trim the top, side, and bottom of a hedge.
Comfort and safety
Trimming your hedges isn’t an easy job. Look for hedge trimmers that are lightweight and are outfitted with technology that reduces vibration. Trust us, your arms will thank you.
Safety features can be very useful. Most hedge trimmers will cut the power when you release the trigger (but that’s not to say all do!), while others require two-handed operation to work. Some hedge trimmers will have a tip guard that prevents you from harming your siding, say if your hedges are located against the house.