Gone are the days of sore arms and feeling exhausted after trimming your hedges – the manual shears are barely used anymore thanks to modern hedge trimmers that basically do the job for you.
Now that recent technology advancements have allowed hedge trimmers to become available and affordable to every homeowner, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying a freshly trimmed garden with a cup of coffee instead of feeling worn out and heading straight to the sofa.
Still, hedge trimmers being so popular means that there are many types and models, and this can be a little too overwhelming if you're a first-time buyer. That's why we're here to help!
Hedge trimmers come in different types: gas, corded electric and cordless electric. But first, there are 3 major things you need to ask yourself before you even step into the store.
1. How Big is Your Yard?
If you want the whole process of trimming your hedges to go as smoothly as possible, this is the most important thing to consider before buying a hedge trimmer.
You wouldn’t want to carry a heavy trimmer around a big yard just for trimming a few hedges. And if your hedges are close to a fence, you’ll need a smaller trimmer that’s easy to maneuver.
For larger yards, it’s best to choose a powerful cordless model as they are the most lightweight and there’s no cord to get tangled in any of the surroundings.
For smaller yards close to a power source you might be better off with a corded trimmer, considering they are slightly cheaper.
2. What Types of Hedges Will You Trim?
The best hedge trimmer will largely depend on the size and type of hedges in your backyard.
For small trimming jobs you might not even need a hedge trimmer altogether. Still, there are plenty of cordless options for small trimming jobs that will take care of the trimming faster without hurting your budget.
For bigger hedges, consider a more powerful trimmer with a longer blade. Gas trimmers are the most powerful, but they are meant for continual use by professional gardeners so you might be better off with an electric trimmer. It’s cheaper, easier to use and will easily tackle any thicker branches.
If by any chance you have hedges taller than eye level, you’ll definitely need a lightweight cordless trimmer so you can hold it high without tiring your arms. Alternatively, you can also get an extendable hedge trimmer.
3. How Often Will You Trim?
If you only plan on using your hedge trimmer a couple of times a year, you might want to stick to a smaller and more budget-friendly trimmer.
For more frequent use, however, it's wise to invest in a gas hedge trimmer or a more powerful cordless model. In the long run, this will save you both time and money.
And now, after getting a sense of what your trimming needs are, it’s time to dive further into the different types of trimmers and find the perfect hedge trimmer for your requirements.
Types of Hedge Trimmers
Gas hedge trimmers are usually used by professional gardeners as they are made for tougher jobs and continuous use. They are heavy, more expensive, and are harder to use for beginners.
Additionally, they require frequent gas change and emit dangerous fumes. So, if you don’t have super old hedges with thick branches, an electric model might be a better solution for you.
- More powerful
- Faster cutting
- Extremely loud (up to 103dB, very close to the human pain threshold)
- Difficult to start
Electric hedge trimmers, on the other hand, are much more lightweight and easier to use, hence their popularity with homeowners. They are perfect for small to medium trimming jobs and start at the push of a button.
The main disadvantage of the corded hedge trimmer is the cord, which you wouldn’t want interfering with your trimming. Additionally, it’s also a safety hazard, so be careful not to trip over it or cut it with the trimmer.
- Easy to start
- Easy to maintain
- Limited distance with the cord
- Dragging the cord behind you is inconvenient
Cordless hedge trimmers offer all the benefits of the corded trimmer, minus the cord. They have become much more powerful in recent years, and can even be superior to some corded models.
What’s best about cordless hedge trimmers is that they require almost no maintenance – when you’re finished, all you need to do is put it in the storage and you’re all set.
- You can trim anywhere
- Very easy to use
- Not suitable for jobs longer than an hour
Now you know which type of trimmer is best suited for different jobs, but what about all the technical details that vary between models? Well, here’s a quick overview to help you familiarize with the features and make a more comprehensive decision.
Hedge Trimmer Features
Generally, the longer the blade the faster you will cut your hedges. You can also reach further with longer blades, eventually saving time and effort. However, longer blades are much heavier and difficult to maneuver, so choose one according to your hedges.
This is the spacing between the teeth and determines the trimmer’s cutting capacity. Thicker branches require a wider tooth gap. Most modern hedge trimmers come with teeth spacing between 0.5-1.5 inches.
Single versus Double Blade
Most hedge trimmers today use double blades, meaning two sets of blades move against each other to cut through even the most stubborn branches. Double action blades are always the better option as they are more efficient and vibrate less.
A rotating handle will allow you to reach difficult areas and trim around fences. By making it easier to trim at different angles, you will be much less fatigued and do the job faster.
A good hedge trimmer will make an easy job out of tending to your yard, and will eventually save you a lot of money and effort. Just make sure to carefully follow the information in this article so when you finally choose the perfect hedge trimmer for you, you’ll know that you got your money’s worth.