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A hedge trimmer (also known as a bush trimmer or shrub trimmer) is a gardening machine primarily used for trimming, pruning, or cutting hedges and bushes.
There are various types of stand-alone hedge-trimmers, powered by gasoline, electricity, or human power. Although manual hedge trimmers are environmentally friendly, they are slow and can be dangerous. Motorized hedge trimmers are much faster than their manual counterparts, use a lot less effort, and are usually designed with safety devices so that they’ll only work when both hands of the operator are resting safely on the handles.
Gas powered trimmers are generally more powerful than electrical trimmers, but pollute the air, are harder to start, and are usually heavier. Electrical trimmers pollute less and are less noisy. These are trimmers with electrical cords and cordless trimmers that use rechargeable batteries. Cordless trimmers are easily portable, usually lightweight, have an easy start-up, have no pollutant emission, and are the quietest option of electric hedge trimmers. They are also the ideal choice for lighter tasks and smaller lawns. Cons for cordless electric trimmers include the fact that they must be recharged, and sometimes they aren’t as powerful as gas trimmers.
Quick look: the best cordless hedge trimmers I
- DEWALT DCHT820P1: the best cordless hedge trimmer on the market in my opinion – I love this machine!
- BLACK+DECKER LHT2436: best hedge trimmer for light, everyday homeowner usage
- Poulan Pro 967044601: good budget model, best for smaller jobs, easy to handle
- BLACK+DECKER LHT321FF: another inexpensive machine from a good brand, no major flaws
- Makita XHU02M1: very long run time, but a little expensive, GREAT brand for cordless power tools
What Is a Hedge Trimmer Used for?
Hedge trimmers are primarily used for shaping bushes and hedges, but they also have other uses. Many people use their hedge trimmers to cut down thick ornamental grasses. Pole hedge trimmers are frequently used for cutting low bushes as well as high ledges without having to use a ladder. Many of the best hedge trimmers handle limbs up to 3/4 inches with ease.
Hedge trimmers are useful for trimming both formal and informal hedges. Formal hedges should be trimmed 2-3 times a year, and informal hedges will probably only need trimming once a year. Trimming is best performed in the Fall and in the Spring since the majority of hedges do most of their growing during those two seasons. If you want your hedges to have a beautiful, symmetrical shape, cut off large branches first, then use strings as guidelines. Trim the sides of your hedges wider at their base so that the exposed leaves will get maximum sunlight.
How to Determine the Best Hedge Trimmer to Buy
Electric corded hedge trimmers are quiet, easy to use, and practically maintenance free. There are no exhaust fumes, pull cord, or oil or gas to mess with. They are very affordable. Their big disadvantage is that your range will be limited since you must use an extension cord. Cords can be very dangerous if they are accidentally cut! Corded electric trimmers are best for people who have a smaller yard with hedges and shrubs that lie near an electrical outlet.
Gas powered trimmers are very powerful and cut thick branches cleanly and quickly. They give you the freedom to roam around your property without being tethered to a cord. They are less environmentally friendly and tend to be more expensive than other hedge trimmers. Care must be taken to precisely mix gas and oil in the correct proportions.
Cordless hedge trimmers have become increasingly popular because of the new, long-lasting, powerful lithium ion batteries available. Cordless trimmers allow the user to roam freely around their yard. They produce no exhaust, start quickly and require neither oil or gas. If you know how to operate a cordless hedge trimmer safely, they are fun, economical, and easy to use. Cordless would be our top choice for the best hedge trimmer.
Hedge Trimmers: Types to Consider
There are three main types of hedge trimmers: electric-corded trimmers, gas powered trimmers, and battery-powered cordless trimmers.
Electric-corded hedge trimmers are powered from a house’s main power supply by a power cord that is attached directly to the trimmer. The cord length limits how far away from a power source the hedge trimmer can operate. Most people require an extension cord to increase overall operating distance. Another negative is that cords can restrict movement and get often tangled, forcing a user to backtrack.
Gas-powered hedge trimmers get their power from a gas-fueled engine. They are very powerful and can be used almost everywhere. A few negatives are – these machines require more effort to operate, they are heavier, they’re frequently smoky and noisy, they’re not environmentally friendly, and they’re the least economical to run.
Battery Powered (Cordless)
Cordless battery-powered trimmers use a rechargeable battery built into the unit. They can be operated in any location. Because they don’t have a power cord, they’re safer, since there’s not a risk of getting an electric shock. A negative is that they must recharge the battery at frequent intervals. Most newer cordless hedge trimmers only take about an hour or so to recharge.
Hedge Trimmer Safety
- Begin cutting at the bottom of a hedge and slowly work up to the top. Use a steady, slow pace.
- Never expose your power tool to wet or rainy conditions and don’t touch the tool or charger with wet hands.
- Stay alert when using a hedge trimmer.
- Eye protection is recommended, as are sturdy gloves, safety glasses, and non-skid shoes.
- Never operate when barefoot.
- Avoid accidental starting.
- Don’t overreach.
Take care when operating on uneven grounds, on slopes, and in slippery conditions. Don’t wear jewelry or loose clothing when operating a hedge trimmer. Make sure that the motor is completely stopped before clearing a blockage or cleaning. Keep all body parts away from cutting blades. Carry your hedge clipper by its handle and make certain that the cutting blade is stopped. Keep this appliance away from children. Only use your trimmer in daylight.
How to Maintain Your Hedge Trimmer
First of all, don’t use water to clean a cordless hedge trimmer; it’s very possible that it could damage its internal mechanics. Lubricate the blades after each use to keep the blades from rusting, and to make sure that the blades will continue to slide easily in the future. After lubrication, turn on your hedge trimmer to make certain that lubricant manages to coat the blade thoroughly. Hang your trimmer in a dry, clean area.
Some hedge trimmers can be sharpened. Make certain that your blades are sharp by using a flat-crosscut sharpening file. If the blades can’t be sharpened, and you’ve noticed that it occasionally has gotten snagged on branches, you will need to have the blades replaced.
Best Hedge Trimmer Brands
- Poulan Pro
- Sun Joe
Cordless Hedge Trimmer Reviews
1) DEWALT DCHT820P1 20 V Max Hedge Trimmer with 5AH Pack
- 22-inch laser cut, cuts branches up to 3/4 inch thick
- Lightweight and compact 7 1/2 pound design minimizes arm stress and maximizes maneuverability
- Features a 5.0Ah high-capacity lithium-ion battery
- Security trigger should be placed on the handle and not on the trigger
The DeWalt DCHT820P1 20 V Max Hedge Trimmer is ready to go right out of the box. Its blades are a good length to reach hard to get areas, and are extremely sharp. It’s much lighter than most gas trimmers, and it cuts through hedges like a pro. Several reviewers remarked that this hedge trimmer is superior to the same size product from Black & Decker.
The DeWalt Hedge Trimmer comes with a 3-year limited warranty, a 90-day money-back guarantee, and 1 year of free service. Satisfied customers remark on its great balance, longer blade, and more aggressive cutters. More than one person has the opinion that using this hedge trimmer was akin to “cutting through butter with a very hot knife.”
This high-quality product can run from several hours to all day long on one single battery charge. It is more expensive than other brands currently on the market, but it is worth it because of its power and dependability. Older people and those suffering from herniated or bulged discs will find this product very lightweight and easy to operate. Buyers commented that the heavy sheath is good for storage, and the special blade design with rounds at the edges minimizes or eliminates unintentional cutting.
A DeWalt hedge trimmer does away with the problem of cutting through the extension cord. It conveniently accepts the wide range of other DeWalt battery packs. It works so well that one fan compared it to a light saber! It trims holly bushes, azalea bushes, boxwood and privet hedges handily, and its recharge time appears to be less than an hour. It also easily handles berry bushes and small maple branches.
2) BLACK+DECKER LHT2436 40V Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- Dynamic 40-volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery provides a long run-time to enable the toughest of jobs
- Dual-action 24″ blade vibrates significantly less than any single action blade
- Each charge allows approximately 6,000 square feet of hedges trimmed
- A few users found the battery to make a strange clicking noise.
The Black & Decker LHT-2436 40 volt cordless hedge trimmer ranks high on the list of good hedge trimmers available on the market today. This model has a professional shearing blade which rapidly cuts branches 3/4 inch thick or less. It features a wrap-around front handle which supplies a very comfortable gripping area over all cutting orientations. Users of this battery powered hedge trimmer will be amazed at how well it performs. Its battery pack is interchangeable with the B&D edger/trimmer combo as well.
This quality product emits substantially less vibration and is lighter than any gasoline powered hedge trimmer. The charge takes about an hour and lasts for 1 to 5 hours. A nice feature is the 3 lights showing battery charge level. One light means 1/3 charge, 2 lights means 2/3 charge, and 3 lights indicate a full charge. Not having to cart around a heavy extension cord is a big plus. This machine is well balanced, and the blades are plenty sharp enough to cut cleanly through small branches.
This Black & Decker cordless hedge trimmer is half the price of more expensive brands and performs quicker and does a cleaner job. Its extra blade length provides a more even cut than other models, and it does its job quietly. This machine can cut a length of Japanese boxwood shrubs with a minimum of effort. If you advance this trimmer slowly, it will cut well without overheating. Not having to tear down and set up using a thick cord is so much easier and a significant time saver. Imagine – no more tedious cord rewinding! This trimmer is well worth the cost and functions flawlessly as a lightweight, powerful hedge trimmer.
3) Poulan Pro 967044601 40V Dual Steel Hedge Trimmer
- Has a rotating rear handle which makes for a perfect hand position while sculpting or making vertical cuts
- 24-inch dual-action blades provide even cutting and extended reach for very professional looking results
- Has a generous cutting capacity to trim branches of approximately 3/4 inches or less
- Works well but has a cheap appearance
The Poulan Pro 40V Dual Steel Hedge Trimmer has a powerful lithium ion battery which provides the runtime, performance, and power of typical gas-powered tools without the inconvenience of harmful emissions, or the storing and mixing of fuels. Its convenient features include its cordless power, an instantaneous push button start, and no frustrating pull cord to deal with. It is ergonomically designed and runs quietly.
The Poulan Pro has a 40-volt battery which works on a number of other Poulan Pro tools. This hedge trimmer comes with a 4-year warranty (a 2-year charger and battery warranty) and is guaranteed to make your work faster and easier. Charging the battery takes approximately 1 hour. Reviewers remarked that this product worked wonderfully right out of the box and far surpassed their expectations.
Users of this machine experience less fatigue and arm pain and appreciate the fact that it gives a superior performance without having to use oil, gas, or cords. It slices easily through 3/8 inch branches and is very tough, light, and versatile. It rapidly cuts through 6′ tall ornamental grass, wax leaf ligustrums (privet shrubs) and viburnums without skipping a beat. It even gives wild brambles a run for their money,
This hedge trimmer has reliable performance and weight that is appreciated by many reviewers. They also appreciated the 40-volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Because it only weighs 11 1/2 pounds and is very quiet, it can be used by older people and is guaranteed not to disturb the neighbors. The Poulan Pro can be easily stored or kept plugged in for simple recharge.
4) BLACK+DECKER LHT321FF 20V MAX Lithium POWERCOMMAND Powercut Hedge Trimmer
- 22″ dual-action blade ensures decreased vibration while trimming, allowing you to work longer and complete the job faster
- 20V MAX lithium-ion battery provides extended operation time
- Two year limited warranty
- Doesn’t cut as clean as other electric hedge trimmers
- Not as lightweight as other products
The Black & Decker 20V MAX LHT321FF 22″ Hedge Trimmer is ranked as one of the best hedge trimmers in today’s marketplace. This model has a speedy cordless trimmer featuring POWERCUT and can trim approximately 3,000 square feet using only one charge. It features low vibration, ergonomic grips, and a powerful 20-volt MAX lithium-ion battery, as well as a 22-inch dual action blade which guarantees less vibration while it’s trimming. This model cuts branches up to about 3/4 inch in diameter.
Other features of this high-quality trimmer include MAX, which stands for a maximum initial battery-voltage of 20 volts (MAX is measured without a workload), compared to other trimmers that have a nominal voltage of 18. This unit weighs 7.8 pounds and comes with an LCS1620 charger. Many reviewers state that this machine maintains excellent cutting capability without any perceivable power loss when trimming.
The Black and Decker MAX LHT321FF trimmer makes short work of ferns, thick grasses, and vines, in addition to branches up to 3/4 inches. It is lightweight and easy for seniors to use. Upgrading to a cordless trimmer dramatically decreases hedge trimming time. The power button on top decreases RPM and increases power, allowing it to take on 3/4″ to 1″ limbs with ease. One reviewer with grandchildren commented that this machine comes with a great safety lock that stymies his grandchildren when they pick it up and try to turn it on.
The Black & Decker LHT321FF MAX uses the same batteries as a number of other B&D devices. Not having a cord frees up the user to be able to cut bushes and shrubs located in inconvenient places in the yard that could never be trimmed before.
5) Makita XHU02M1 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 22 Hedge Trimmer Kit
- Provides approximately 2 hours of run time using the lowest setting on the 4.0Ah battery BL1840B
- Increased cutting speed of 1,350 SPM delivered by the Makita-built mower
- 5 cushions inside the motor housing provide an anti-vibration design that helps to minimize any vibration
- Pauses frequently when cutting through thicker branches
The Makita 18V XHU02M1 LXT Cordless Hedge Trimmer is considered by many people as one of the best hedge trimmers available in the market today. This model features a 22-inch blade for increased cutting capacity, and a special battery-capacity warning system – the motor stops and a light goes on to indicate that the battery needs to be recharged.
This hedge trimmer kit is a favorite of contractors and landscapers who need to have a cordless alternative to gas-powered and corded outdoor power equipment. Makita stepped up to the bar with this outstanding hedge trimmer, featuring lower noise, much less maintenance, and zero emissions. The Makita Lithium-Ion 18V battery has the quickest charge time in its category, so it spends less time on the charger and more time working.
The Makita-built motor of the XHU02M1 delivers approximately 1,350 SPM for increased cutting speed. It weighs a light 7.4 pounds, which makes for reduced operator fatigue. It has a lower noise level of 87dB(A), which means that it’s 25% quieter compared to other cordless trimmers. Another special feature is this machine’s two handed operation – its motor becomes activated only when the top handle and switch are both engaged. This safety feature means that if either hand slips out of its grip, this machine shuts down instantly, so there’s no danger of any injury to fingers or hands.
Another feature of this hedge trimmer is its soft rubberized grip, which provides extra comfort for the operator. It has very sharp blades which slice through 1/3 inch to 3/8 inch branches easily. It comes with a plastic sheath which will protect the blades when they’re not being used. This power tool, charger, and battery are warranted free of material and workmanship defects for a period of 3 years after purchase.
After careful consideration of a large number of cordless hedge trimmers, we recommend the DeWalt 20 V DCHT820P1. Reviewers overwhelmingly favored its