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Compare the best hedge trimmers

You'll need the right tools to create a perfectly manicured yard.

A well-groomed yard can really boost your home’s curb appeal, and the right hedge trimmer can do most of the work for you. With electric, cordless and gas-powered models to choose from and prices ranging anywhere from $60 to $500, it’s important to shop around.

Compare popular hedge trimmers

NameAvg. price
TypeBlade length (in)Weight (lbs)Purchase
Makita XHU02Z
Makita XHU02Z
$200.00Cordless22″7.4Buy now
$29.99Cordless16″4.55Buy now
$125.00Cordless22″7.5Buy now
Greenworks Corded Trimmer
Greenworks Corded Trimmer
$45.00Corded22″7Buy now
Data obtained February 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Why should I consider a hedge trimmer?

With a hedge trimmer, grooming your hedges, bushes and other plants around your home is a breeze. It’s quicker and easier than trimming by hand and requires much less elbow grease. A hedge trimmer also lets you turn your hedges into intricate shapes for a perfectly manicured look.

Aesthetics aside, regular trimming can also improve the health of your hedges, allowing you to remove dead or diseased portions and promote growth.

When is a hedge trimmer not a good idea?

If you don’t have many hedges or bushes that need regular trimming, you can probably pass on hedge trimmers.

If you prefer to keep things on the wild side, save your money and hire a professional when you’re ready for a trim.

What types are available?

If you’re buying a hedge trimmer for your garden, there are three main options to choose from:

  • Electric hedge trimmers.
    • Lightweight, quiet, quick-starting and inexpensive
    • Easy to use and maintain
    • Good for smaller yards, close to the house
    • Don’t offer as much power as petrol-powered models
    • Be careful you don’t accidentally cut the cord
  • Cordless hedge trimmers.
    • Battery-powered hedge trimmers provide freedom from power cords
    • Strong and quiet performance
    • Less vibration than a gas-powered model
    • May be able to use the battery to power other tools from the same manufacturer
    • Battery and charger may be sold separately
  • Gas-powered hedge trimmers.
    • Make fast work of hedge trimming jobs of all shapes and sizes
    • Can be used anywhere
    • Noisier, heavier and vibrate more than other options
    • Require more maintenance

How to compare hedge trimmers

Once you’ve chosen between electric, cordless and gas power, take a look at the features and the performance of a variety of hedge trimmers. Electric hedge trimmers tend to be the cheapest models, so expect to pay more if you choose a cordless or gas-powered model. Most hedge trimmers fit within the $79 to $399 price bracket, but there are outliers at either end.

When comparing your options, consider the following factors:

  • Your hedges. What type of hedges will you be trimming? Older, well-established hedges and bushes, might need a model with extra power to tackle thicker branches. The area you need to cut may mean you’ll want a longer blade and longer runtime for the job.
  • Blade. Most modern hedge trimmers have double-sided blades and come with a variety of blade lengths. Most blade lengths range between 16 and 24 inches, but can be as short as six inches on smaller models, or up to 28 inches on large, gas-powered machines.
  • Cutting diameter. Some manufacturers will list the maximum diameter their trimmers can cut. Pay attention to this number if you plan on tackling large branches and need a larger cutting diameter.
  • Comfort. Test how comfortable a trimmer is to hold. Wraparound handles and/or rotating handles should allow you to easily hold the trimmer to cut at a variety of angles. Note that electric and cordless models offer less vibration than a gas-powered hedge trimmer.
  • Battery life and charging time. For a cordless hedge trimmer, check the runtime from one charge and how long it takes to fully recharge the battery. Most batteries take an hour or less to recharge. If you want extra runtime, find out how much an additional battery pack will cost.
  • Safety features. Safety features include:
    • Hand guard. Protects you against debris.
    • Automatic brake. Instantly stops the blades.
    • Anti-jam function. To remove material caught in the blades.
    • Safety switch. Keeps the machine off until you hold both handles.

Always remember to wear eye, ear and hand protection, and close-toed footwear when using a hedge trimmer.

Compare popular hedge trimmers

Bottom line

If you want to buy a hedge trimmer to help tame your yard, compare your options based on how much you want to spend, the type of trimmer and how big of job you have planned.

How did we choose these products?

We considered the type, size, price, comfort and overall features of each product to create our list of the best hedge trimmers. We also took online reviews into account.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use a hedge trimmer to cut branches?

Hedge trimmers aren’t powerful enough to cut through very large branches or tree stumps, but you can cut smaller branches and twigs, depending on the model.

When should you cut hedges?

Pruning is best done in the winter or spring, and maintenance cutting is usually done in the spring or summer. Depending on the type of hedge and look you want, you may need to trim them up to three times per year.

Can I use a chainsaw to trim hedges?

Technically, yes. However, hedge trimmers offer more precision and are generally safer for this type of work. Chainsaws are better equipped to cut larger branches and trees.
Image: Shutterstock

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