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When it comes to feeling proud of your abode and peaceful at home, a well-manicured yard can make all the difference. And when you give the hedges a fresh cut yourself instead of hiring someone else, you not only save money, but you also get bragging rights. In order to find the best tool to manage this achievement, there are a lot of things to consider: Do you want an electric trimmer, or would you prefer a battery-operated or gas-powered model? Do you need an extended hedge trimmer for extra-tall trees, or will something smaller and more detail-oriented be better? Then there’s the question of cordless vs. corded trimmers. Since we can’t all be Edward Scissorhands, here are the best hedge trimmers on the market to keep your lawn fresh this summer.
- Best heavy-duty: Poulan Pro Gas-Powered Dual-Sided Hedge Trimmer
- Best for small spaces: Sun Joe Cordless Grass Shear / Shrubber Handheld Trimmer
- Best for topiary precision: DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- Best for beginners: WORX WG261 20V Power Share Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- Best budget: BLACK+DECKER Electric Hedge Trimmer
The best hedge trimmers: Reviews & Recommendations
The best hedge trimmers run the gamut from powerful gas models to easy-to-maneuver cordless ones. They range from quiet to loud, including a plethora of affordable options as well as more high-end models worthy of a landscape artist or, well, you!
Take a look at your yard—and the shrubs and hedges within its parameters—to help inform your purchase. How much space do you have? What’s the heaviest tool you feel comfortable operating? Do you need something that can maneuver through tight spaces and encompass hard-to-reach corners? Read on to find the best hedge trimmer for every inch and acre of your outdoor space, whether you consider yourself a landscape artiste or you’re just getting comfortable with the world of flora.
Best heavy-duty: Poulan Pro Gas-Powered Dual-Sided Hedge Trimmer
Although this easy-to-start gas trimmer is more than 11 pounds, a comfort grip and anti-vibration functionality help reduce fatigue. A rotating rear handle helps you keep control no matter the angle. And the full-crank, 23cc two-cycle engine assures maximum cutting performance.
Best for small spaces: Sun Joe Cordless Grass Shear / Shrubber Handheld Trimmer
At just 2.5 pounds, this 1,200 RPM tool with an ergonomic handle includes both hedger and shear attachments, so it adapts to whatever kind of shrubbery you’re trimming. It has a rechargeable 7.2-volt lithium-ion battery (with charger) for easy cordless operation. Interchangeable 4- and 6-inch blades mean you can do all sorts of grooming.
Best for topiary precision: DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer
This trusted brand’s trimmer has a 22-inch laser-cut, hooked-tooth blade and, thanks to a high-capacity 5.0Ah lithium-ion battery, runs up to 2,800 strokes per minute. (Note: The battery and charger are not included.)
Best for beginners: WORX WG261 20V Power Share Cordless Hedge Trimmer
This 20-volt 22-Inch cordless hedge trimmer weighs just 5.5 pounds and is easily maneuverable in multiple directions. It clocks 2,600 revs per minute with minimal vibration and guarantees the flattest tops around. At just $85, with battery and charger included, it’s pretty reasonable too.
Best budget: BLACK+DECKER Electric Hedge Trimmer
At just 16-inch, this streamlined, dual-blade corded hedge trimmer has the ability to trim shrubs and branches up to 5⁄8-inch thick. Multi-finger, trigger-pull functionality means less fatigue as you work, and coordinating items (gloves, safety glasses, leaf-collecting bin) are available for purchase separately.
Things to consider when shopping for the best hedge trimmers
The best hedge trimmers for someone who lives in a wooded area among tall trees and a plethora of lush shrubs calling out to be sculpted into squares, pyramids, and spirals won’t necessarily work for another person with a 10-square-foot patch of grass and one lonely hedge. But everyone deserves a pleasant, natural space, and if you have a green thumb (or you’re determined to develop one), there are numerous kinds of outdoor power equipment tools that have as many—or as few—features as you need.
1. What kind of shrubs and hedges will you typically be trimming?
Obviously, you want your hedge trimmer to offer versatility—maybe your backyard is huge while your front yard is more modest—but whatever model you buy should be easy to use and work efficiently. Blade size is the No. 1 thing to consider when investing in a trimmer. As a rule, opt for less than 16 inches for small to average-size hedges, 18 inches for average-size hedges, and 20 inches or more for large, thick hedges and branches.
2. How do I decide between a gas hedge trimmer, an electric hedge trimmer, and a battery-powered hedge trimmer?
Let’s start with the easy part: A battery-powered hedge trimmer is great because it doesn’t need to be plugged in and doesn’t require fuel, so you’re free to roam—emissions-free—and merrily trim away. The downside is that once the battery runs out, your tool will be out of commission until it’s been recharged, so this style is best for small jobs. Electric options are also emissions-free; however, they depend on an electrical charge, so you can’t use them in rainy weather, and your reach is limited by the length of the cord. Gas-powered hedge trimmers are powerful and portable, but they can be cumbersome and require gas. Also, they’re typically more expensive. Still, if you’re working with a large surface area, gas may be your best bet.
3. How important are comfort and lightweight design?
When you stop and think about what power trimmers do—as opposed to, say, manual shears—you realize they can probably get quite heavy. The good news is, they don’t have to be. If an ergonomic model or one that won’t cause physical stress or strain is your top priority, eliminate gas trimmers from your list. Battery-powered and electric hedge trimmers are typically lighter than their gas counterparts, but they’re not necessarily lightweight. A cordless handheld model can be as light as 2.5 pounds, while some corded varieties can weigh over 10 pounds. That may not sound like a lot, but if you’re planning to work all day, it’ll add up. Be sure to check the specifications before making your purchase.
4. Are you a brand loyalist?
If you tend toward one particular brand when it comes to your outside work gear, you’re in luck: There’s a wide range of companies that make outdoor tools at multiple price points. From the Black and Decker hedge trimmer to the Dewalt hedge trimmer, not to mention the various Milwaukee, Stihl, Ego, Echo, and Ryobi tools—if you prefer a specific make and model, it’s out there. But more important than the brand are your particular needs. Would you like a trimmer that’s cordless, so you can roam freely? Or, perhaps, a long-reach trimmer for those hard-to-get-to nooks and crannies? Think of functionality and brand as equally essential aspects of your purchase. If your favorite company makes the right kind of tool you ultimately need for the job at hand, that’s a win-win.
5. Are you looking to save money?
Good news! You don’t need to spend the major dough to get your yard in tip-top shape. While it’s true that you can spend hundreds on the best hedge trimmers, if you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank, there are some good options. For example, you can get 7.2 volts of power in a trimmer with multiple attachments for under 40 bucks.
Q: What is the difference between a hedge trimmer and a hedge cutter?
The basic difference between a trimmer and a hedge cutter is that a trimmer is a bit more delicate than a cutter. If you’ve got a heavy-duty task (large bushes, thick branches), you may want a hedge cutter. If you only intend to do some light pruning, tidying, or more general upkeep of your already lovely shrubs, grab a trimmer instead.
Q: Which is better, a corded or cordless hedge trimmer?
Whether you need a corded or cordless model depends on your need to roam vs. your desire for a constant supply of power. A corded trimmer, no matter how long it is, will keep you tethered to a power source, but that power source will be constant. It’s also more energy-efficient. A cordless trimmer lets you roam to the ends of the earth (should you need to trim a bush there), but it will only last as long as your battery does before needing a charge.
Q: What should I look for when buying a hedge trimmer?
What you should look for when buying a hedge trimmer depends entirely on your personal needs. If you’ll be trimming greenery up high, you need an extended pole or long-reach hedge trimmer. If you have a lot of work to do and no time to stop and recharge, find something corded, so you can plug it in and forget it. The best hedge trimmers for you should get the job done quickly, safely, and efficiently.
The final word on shopping for the best hedge trimmers
If the top item on your to-do list is getting your yard in fighting shape, then it’s time to purchase a hedge trimmer. Finding the best hedge trimmers for your needs is all about the space you’re working with, whether you want an electric cord or need room to wander, and how much money you prefer to spend. Figure that out, and it’s time to chop, chop!