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The Best Hedge Trimmers Of 2017- A Complete Buyer’s Guide

If you’ve never used a hedge trimmer before you’re probably thinking: “where do I even start?”. There are so many different types with a huge variety of features that choosing the best hedge trimmer can be challenging.

To help, we’ve created this buyer’s guide which will give you some extra information on what to look out for as well as narrow down your search with a list of five of the best hedge trimmers on the market today based on reach and power.

*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.

What To Consider When Choosing The Best Hedge Trimmer For Your Garden?

All hedge trimmers, be they electric, gas-powered, or manual, come with a huge variety of features to choose from. The most important considerations to make when choosing the best hedge trimmer for your gardening needs are:

  • Comfort: if you have a large garden with tall hedges, you need to be sure that you will be comfortable using your hedge trimmer for longer periods of time and at height.
  • Safety: as with all gardening jobs, safety is key. You need to make sure that you are not putting yourself in danger with the blade, cable, flying debris, and all other obstacles in your garden.
  • Durability: you’re likely investing a fair amount of money into buying the best hedge trimmer for your garden so you need to be sure it will stand the test of time. Make sure you choose one that is sturdy with a good warranty and great reviews.

To help you make your final decision, we’ve highlighted some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for your ideal trimmer:

Weight

All hedge trimmers are heavy, but some less than others. If you have numerous tall hedges in your garden you need to take weight into consideration before making a final choice on your preferred model.

Bear in mind that heavier trimmers are also more powerful and may get the job done quicker. If you are going to be using your hedge trimmer sparsely then a heavier one may be the best option for you.

Blades

The type of blade you choose will depend on the type of landscaping you do. Here is a breakdown of the five most common blade types and their features:

Double-Sided Blades

  • Good for intricate landscaping
  • Heavier than single-sided blades
  • More versatile

Long Blades

  • Make trimming straight lines quicker
  • Not good for intricate landscaping
  • ​Good for trimming at height

Single-Sided Blades

  • Lighter than other blades
  • Good to make long straight lines
  • Good for commercial landscaping

Double Cutting Action

  • Two moving blades for cleaner cut
  • Less vibration
  • Good for prolonged landscaping jobs

Single Cutting Action

  • One moving and one stationary blade
  • Easier to maintain
  • Typically cheaper

When choosing a blade for your hedge trimmer you should always consider its length. A small blade of 16 inches or less is perfect for smaller hedges whereas a blade of 18 to 20 inches is great for trimming medium-sized and large bushes. 

You should also take into to consideration which is your dominant hand as it may be easier to operate a double-sided blade if you are left-handed.

Tooth Spacing

You can choose the tooth spacing on your blade, but typically they are between 0.6 inches and 0.9 inches apart from one another.

It’s important to know that a hedge trimmer can cut any branch that can fit between its teeth but you will need a more powerful one for larger branches.

Cable Length

If you decide to go for an electric trimmer with a cable be sure to look at the various cable length options. They are normally 6 or 10 meters long

Cordless hedge trimmer

If you have a large garden go for a longer cable but be aware that you will most likely still need to use an extension lead to reach all your hedges.

Battery Life

If you are comparing electric clippers, it is important that you learn about the battery life and the time in which it is meant to fully recharge.

If you have found the perfect trimmer but the battery life is not good enough for you to undertake your usual landscaping jobs, you need to choose a different model or know that you can buy a spare battery at a reasonable price.

Lithium-ion batteries are currently most popular as they store more power in a smaller package. That said, they are easily damaged if discharged or overcharged beyond a certain level, so it is crucial that you understand the manufacturer’s instructions.

Comfort

The three primary features that will affect your comfort are:

  • The handles
  • The amount of vibration 
  • Balance

Choose a trimmer that has two handles and two power switches so that you can use it for multiple landscaping jobs. Electric shears, both cordless and corded, offer significantly fewer vibrations than gas-powered ones.

Lastly, a hedge trimmer with dual-action blades will give you more balance as you will have two blades moving simultaneously rather than one active and one stationary blade. Just because you have a double-sided trimmer does not mean that it has dual-action blades.

The Best Hedge Trimmer For Your Plant Types

The best hedge trimmer for you will depend on the types of hedges, plants, and shrubs you will be working with. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the different types of hedges and which trimmer is best for the job:

Small Or Short Hedges

When it comes to small or short hedges, the best hedge trimmer will depend on how much manual labor you are willing to do. If you want a little exercise you could use a pair of hand shears.

If you want something with a bit more power, go for an electric trimmer with a 16-inch blade. If your hedges are close to a mains supply, you can go for a corded hedge trimmer, if not, opt for a cordless one to make the job easier.

Although heavier and noisier, the power that comes with a gas-powered hedge trimmer could be handy if your hedge has larger, stronger branches or if you have numerous plants that need to be seen to.

Tall Hedges

Tall hedge trimmer

Tall hedges are generally more difficult to maintain but with the help of a long-reach trimmer, you won’t even need a ladder in most cases.

Because you will constantly be reaching up, we recommend an electric trimmer as a gas-powered one is considerably heavier.

Whether you choose cordless or not will depend on your personal preference. If you have a large garden, consider a cordless trimmer and buy additional batteries so that you can get the job done in one day. 

You need to remember to choose the right blade according to the type and width of the hedges you are trimming.

Wide And Thin Hedges

If you have thick, sturdy hedges that will require more power to get through, choose a gas-powered hedge trimmer with a long blade. For more commercial jobs, consider using a one-sided trimmer. When it comes to thinner hedges, you could stick to hand shears or an electric trimmer.

A cordless trimmer would be easiest to maneuver and double-sided clippers can be used for more decorative landscaping.

Additional Features You Should Consider

Although comfort, safety, and durability should be at the forefront of your decision, the best hedge trimmers also come with additional features. If your decision comes down to two awesome trimmers you could also look at:

The Head

Most modern hedge trimmers have a rotating head making it easier to cut both horizontally and vertically without changing your positioning. Aside from being less tiring, it is also a safer choice.

A Tray

Also known as a hedge clipping collector, you can now buy a tray that attaches to your trimmer to make cleaning up that little bit easier. It’s also a great way to keep your neighbors on side as you won’t be leaving clippings in their garden when trimming the hedges between your houses.

Noise Volumes

When choosing your hedge trimmer you need to consider your neighbors, local noise regulations, and your well being. Typically, a gas-powered hedge trimmer will produce noise at 97 to 103 dBA whereas an electric one will produce noise at 90 dBA.2

Although both are loud and require hearing protection, the more noise, the more likely you are to get tired, upset your neighbors, and break your neighborhood’s noise regulations.

The Warranty

All hedge trimmers traditionally come with anywhere between two and four years of warranty. But you need to be aware of what damages this covers. In most cases, if you use your hedge trimmer for commercial use, your warranty will not be valid.

The Different Types Of Hedge Trimmers

There are various types of hedge trimmers, but the most common and popular ones include:

  • Manual shears: they are the most old-fashioned type of hedge trimmer on the market but are great for trimming small hedges. They’re also the cheapest and the most eco-friendly. They’re not great for larger landscaping jobs.
  • Gas-powered clippers: by far the most powerful, these trimmers operate with petrol and are great for larger jobs. Gas-powered hedge trimmers are normally noisier, heavier, and slightly more expensive.
  • Electric hedge trimmers: perfect for small gardens, electric trimmers are cheaper, lighter, quieter, and easier to get started. They are available both corded and cordless, meaning they can be powered by a rechargeable battery.
  • Long reach trimmers: some see this type of trimmer as safer as it does not require you to get up a ladder for higher jobs and it puts more distance between you and the debris. Long reach trimmers can enable you to reach anywhere between 6 and 7 feet high.

2017’s Best Hedge Trimmers

Now that we have gone through some of the features you need to look out for as well as a recap of the various types of trimmers on the market today, here are our top picks based on reach and power.

Best Long Reach Hedge Trimmer

If your hedges reach higher than eye level and you are constantly going up and down a step ladder to get your landscaping done, you should consider investing in a long reach hedge trimmer. Here is a short description of our winner of the long reach category:

Winner: The GreenWorks 22272 G-MAX 40V 20-Inch Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer

For a long reach, cordless, pole hedge trimmer, you can’t ask for anything more than what this GreenWorks model has to offer. It is perfect on so many levels, a key reason why it is our one and only contender for the long reach trimmer category.

This trimmer is completely electric, it therefore requires no gas, no pull cords, and significantly less maintenance.

It is famous for producing less noise than traditional trimmers, has an instant electric start feature, and is light and easy to use.

Click on the image to check out the hedge trimmers on Amazon.

The GreenWorks 22272 G-MAX comes with the highest quality 20-inch dual-action steel blade making it durable and perfectly balanced while offering you the best performance you can get from a long reach trimmer.

In addition to the above, the blade has a ⅝ of an inch cutting capacity that allows for easy trimming of a variety of bushes, hedges, and plants without the need for you to pull out various tools to get the job done.

Thanks to this trimmer’s pivoting head, you’ll be able to adjust the blade to a choice of three different positions to do your landscaping from multiple angles.

Its most impressive feature has to be its G-MAX 40V Li-Ion Battery System which comes with either a 2AH or 4AH battery and charger. To top it all off, this GreenWorks trimmer is compatible with other of the brand’s models including the 29462, 29472, and 29482.


Most Powerful Hedge Trimmers

Many who decide to purchase a hedge trimmer need it for more robust landscaping purposes. You may find a more powerful clipper better if you have to trim through thicker branches or if you have a larger garden.

Either way, here is our list of most powerful battery-powered, electric, and gas-powered trimmers:

Best Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer

Winner: The DEWALT DCHT820P1 20-V Max Hedge Trimmer

Delwat has been a long respected name in the industry as it was the first to introduce portable electric tools for residential workers. It is, therefore, no wonder that we voted its DCHT820P1 model the winner of the most powerful battery-powered hedge trimmers on the market.

The DEWALT DCHT820P1 20-V Max Hedge Trimmer is one of more than 100 products that are part of its fastest growing system.

Its unquestionable power stems mainly from its blade which is able to cut through branches that are ¾ of an inch thick.

Dewalt DCHT820P1 20 V max hedge trimmer

The 22-inch blade is designed with hooked teeth and made of hardened steel. This coupled with its battery pack that has a powerful high output motor and laser-cut allows for clean, fast, and easy cuts to the toughest branches.

The DEWALT DCHT820P1 has a compact and lightweight design and weighs a modest 7.5lbs. As a result, it is easy to start and maneuver causing less stress on your arms, neck, and back.

Powered by a high capacity 5AH lithium-ion battery, this trimmer requires no gas and therefore less maintenance. It also comes with a 3-year limited warranty, 1 year of free services, and 90-day money back guaranteed offer.


Runner Up: The BLACK+DECKER LHT2220 20V Lithium-Ion Hedge Trimmer

Second in line in our list of most powerful battery-powered hedge trimmers is Black & Decker’s LHT2220 model. Aside from being considerably cheaper than other trimmers of its kind, the Black & Decker LHT2220 is a well-rounded machine that focuses on power and comfort.

Lithium-Ion hedge trimmer

The combination of its cordless design and the fact that it causes 40% fewer vibrations than most other battery-powered trimmers on the market today make it easier and less tiring to use.

Not only this, it comes with a full wrap-around front handle with a cushioned gripping area giving you maximum comfort no matter which direction you choose to cut in.

Because of its maneuverability, it is perfect for cutting hedges high and low, removing deep growth, as well as more precise and ornamental landscaping. It is also fitted with a shield to the handle, stopping debris from harming your hands and arms.

The Black & Decker LHT2220 hedge trimmer comes with a 22inch dual-action blade that is able to quickly cut through branches that are up to ¾ of an inch in diameter, making it perfect for some of the thicker shrubbery or overgrown parts of your garden.

Tested and proven to trim up to 3,000 square feet of hedges in just one charge, this Black & Decker model is powered by a 20-volt MAX lithium-ion battery and is also compatible with all of the brand’s other 20-volt MAX line of tools.

Weighing a mere 5.7lbs, this hedge trimmer comes backed by a 2-year limited warranty, but can also be bought with either 3 or 4 years of protection at an additional cost.


Best Electric Hedge Trimmer

Winner: The Black & Decker TR117 3.2-Amp Hedge Trimmer

Another one of Black & Decker’s hedge trimmers makes it onto our list of top trimmers, but this time in the electric category. For such a compact and lightweight electric trimmer, the TR117 packs a serious punch.

Black & Decker hedge trimmer

Similarly to its counterpart mentioned above, this hedge trimmer is designed to cause 40% fewer vibrations than others of its kind while offering a dual-action blade for better balance and maneuverability.

It comes with a 17-inch blade that his made of pre-hardened, rust-resistant steel to ensure maximum durability. This also means that you will not have to invest as much time and money sharpening it at your local servicing center.

Thanks to its 3.2amp engine, you can trim hedges with branches of up to ⅝ of an inch at 3,500 cutting strokes per minute without the need for gas. Because it’s corded, you’ll be equipped with consistent power allowing you to get your landscaping done in one go.

It comes with cord retention to prevent accidental unplugging and a lock off switch to stop any unwanted start ups.

It weighs a very small 4.3lbs and comes with a built in T-handle and full-length trigger for maximum control and comfort. Lastly, as with most Black & Decker tools, you’ll benefit from a two-year limited warranty.


Best Gas-Powered Hedge Trimmer

Winner: The Poulan Pro PP2822 22-Inch 28cc 2 Cycle Gas Powered Dual Sided Hedge Trimmer

Equipped with a 28cc 2-stroke engine, Poulan Pro’s PP2822 gas-powered hedge trimmer is extremely powerful allowing you to cut through virtually anything. It is also extremely fuel efficient meaning you won’t have to worry too much about the extra cost of gas.

Generally, speaking gas-powered hedge trimmers are more tiring to use because they are noisier and vibrate more than other types.

This Poulan Pro model has a handle designed to reduce vibrations to avoid any repetitive strain on the arms, back, and neck.

The PP2822 has a spring-assisted starter making it less bulky and clumsy to get going.

It comes fitted with a 22-inch, dual-sided, serrated, rotating blades with a swivel position handle allowing you to change landscaping positions easily.

Aside from being more comfortable, the swiveling hand mechanism is great for trimming with precision making the P2822 perfect for jobs of all kinds. Although gas-powered trimmers are known to be heavier than others, the Poulan Pro PP2822 may come in at 18lbs but it is very easy to get used to as it designed with balance in mind.

The exhaust on the Poulan Pro 2822 hedge trimmer is located on the left-hand side meaning it is not ideal for those of you who are right-handed. It comes with a 2-year warranty with the option of buying an additional 3 or 4 years of protection.


Best Hedge Trimmer On The Market Today: Our Verdict

It would be hard to choose one over another in this list because of the variety of categories we have to deal with. The best hedge trimmer for you will have to depend on the size of your garden, the types of plants you have, and the style you want to trim them in.

If you need something on more of a commercial level, a gas-powered trimmer like the Poulan Pro 2822 will be perfect for you, especially as it still offers precision thanks to its dual-sided blade.

On the other hand, light trimming that doesn’t require as much power can be done with a more eco-friendly trimmer such as one of the battery-powered or electric trimmers mentioned above.

Remember to go cordless if you have a larger garden and are concerned about cutting through or tripping on the cable.

Men trimming the hedge.

Lastly, if you need to tackle high hedges and don’t want to constantly go up and down a ladder, the GreenWorks trimmer is perfect as its lightweight, cordless, and prides itself for its low vibration design.

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