Come spring, and gardeners will be out with their hedge trimmers. Trimming hedges, however, is not only a labor intensive job, it also takes up a lot of time. But it must be done. Shrubs and hedges are kept neat and healthy with these relatively simple machines.
Gone are the days of manual hedge trimmers. There are electrical trimmers in the market, as well as those that run on batteries or petrol.
With so many options at online stores like Amazon, it can be difficult to choose the best one for you. Looking at the reviews for each trimmer and asking questions about the product is a good way to start looking for the right trimmer.
This review also aims to guide gardeners who want the best for their garden, but are unsure of what to buy.
Best Hedge Trimmers 2018 (Table):-
|Best Hedge Trimmers||Editor Ranking||Review||Price|
|Black & Decker HH2455||#1||Read Review||Check Price|
|Black & Decker LHT2436||#2||Read Review||Check Price|
What is a Hedge Trimmer?
A hedge trimmer is a gardening tool with one or two blades for cutting and pruning hedges or shrubs (bushes). Trimmers can be manual, in which case they are shaped like large scissors or pruning shears.
They can also be powered by battery and petrol. But electric trimmers are the most popular types of trimmers. These machines have a long blade like a chainsaw. They are quite simple to use, armed with a little common sense. Electric trimmers are also relatively cheap.
A hedge trimmer can be stand-alone, which is what most people use in households. It can also be mounted on tractors. Such trimmers are not that common. These trimmers usually have a hydraulic boom, which is a mechanical movable arm. At the end of this arm, there is usually attached a large hedge trimming attachment. These trimmers can be used on farms, on the streets by local councils, and on other agricultural or recreational land.
Why do you need a Hedge Trimmer
For a gardener, a hedge trimmer makes light work of trimming hedges. Overgrown hedges don’t look good. How do you tell if your hedge is overgrown? If it’s too woody, too leggy or spindly, if the leaves are yellowing in patches, you’ll know that it’s time to trim your hedges. Rows of thick, healthy hedges can be a great way to define boundary lines and borders, and keep pets and kids inside. These hedges need regular feeding, watering, and pruning to look their best. A hedge trimmer will make one of these tasks easier.
- Hedges need to be trimmed in late winter, when the plants are asleep and aren’t producing any buds. But keeping your garden trim and manicured is not easy. If your hedges need serious pruning, hand shears will not help. An electric hedge trimmer will make your work easier.
- A hedge trimmer will let you trim hedges precisely, in the shape that you want. Most hedges naturally grow wider at the top. This puts lower branches in shadow, and there is poor quality growth in these lower leaves. When you trim a hedge, you should give it a shape with a wide bottom and a narrow top. A hedge trimmer that is made for precision trimming will help you cut an even line along the hedge’s edges.
- A good hedge trimmer will make your job as effortless and easy as possible. If you get the right model for your needs, you will have your hedges trimmed and neat in an hour or two, without a lot of sweat and tears.
Factors to Consider when you buy a Hedge Trimmer
Buying just any hedge trimmer won’t do. Since there are different types of hedge trimming machines, you have to think about what your needs are. Do you need an electric trimmer or is a gasoline trimmer better for you? Keep the following things in mind when you buy.
- The size of your garden: Do you have a small garden? Electric hedge trimmers are handy for use in smaller gardens. But even if your garden is too large, you can get an extension lead and take your trimmer as far as it will go on its tether.
- Power: Electric trimmers typically range in power between 400W and 900W. Cordless trimming power is measured between 18V and 19V. The power packed in gasoline trimmers is usually measured in cc, most ranging between 20cc and 40cc. How much power you need will depend on how thick and dense your hedges are.
- How long the blade is: Trimmers with longer blades will help you cut hedges faster. If you have large hedges that need a lot of work to trim, then buy a trimmer with a longer blade. On the other hand, if your hedges are small or quite manageable, then a trimmer with a shorter blade will work fine.
- Double or single-action blades: Double action blades have two blades that work in opposite directions to cut like a scissor. These trimmers are more expensive than single blade trimmers, but they also give you more power and vibrate less.
- The tooth gap: The tooth gap is the width of the gap between two teeth on the blade. Blades that have wider gaps between teeth will be better at cutting thicker branches. For thinner and more delicate branches, a trimmer with smaller gaps works best. You have to carefully consider what kind of trimmer you need, to avoid destroying your hedge.
- Weight: You’ll spend a lot of time carrying the machine around in your garden. Make sure it is a weight that is comfortable for you to carry.
- Extra features: Hedge trimmers these days come with many extra features. Some of the features that might interest you include a hand guard for safety and a collection system that will keep hedge clippings out of your lawn and easier to dispose of. Other features you may like could include:
- Automatic brake, which is a safety feature that will protect you from accidents.
- Double position trimmer, which lets you control the cutting angle and adjust it up to 90 degrees. This feature makes it easier for the gardener to trim across the tops of hedges.
- Blade cover, to keep blades safe from kids and damage when storing.
- Anti-jamming system, a safety feature which will stop the blades immediately if they jam. The system will then reverse the blade direction so that the blockage is removed.
- Anti-vibration, which is especially useful in gasoline trimmers, to reduce strain from vibrations.
What Trimmer Types and Designs to Consider?
Trimmers come in various types and designs. Some trimmers are meant for specific jobs. Think about what kind of job you need the trimmer for.
- Electric trimmers: These are usually lightweight machines that are quite affordable. They will have to be connected to mains sockets, so they are best used in smaller gardens.
- Cordless trimmers: Long leads can be messy. You can also trip over long leads when you’re pulling the trimmer around a large garden. Your pets and kids can trip over the lead too. There could be accidents. A cordless hedge trimmer will remove any doubts that you may have about long, tangling cables. Cordless trimmers are rechargeable. When you buy cordless, make sure that the unit has enough running time for the size of your garden.
- Battery powered trimmers: These cordless trimmers are good for light, regular trimming in small gardens. If you buy this type of trimmer, make sure you check the battery life. Many trimmers come with short battery lives before they need a recharge.
- Gasoline hedge trimmers: Gasoline trimmers are usually cordless. As you would probably expect, they are more powerful than electric hedge trimmers. Small household gardens don’t need gasoline trimmers. These trimmers are usually useful for cutting and trimming thick, woody branches of old and overgrown shrubs and hedges. Don’t buy a gasoline hedge trimmer if you live in a noise restricted community. It can be very noisy. It is also heavier than the standard electric trimmer. Think about these things before you go for a gasoline trimmer. Also know that this type of trimmer will need more maintenance.
Some other specific trimmer designs to consider:
- Pole Trimmer for tall hedges allow you to reach up high.
- Grass and hedge shears for small hedges are good for detailed work. They may also come with a pole for work at higher reaches.
- Pole pruners for branches that are high and thick
- Multi-tool trimmers or attachments, which let you do many other things besides trimming.
With the hedge trimmer buying advice out of the way, it is time to look at two of the best hedge trimmers 2018 has brought us.
Top 2 Best Hedge Trimmer Reviews 2018
Now you know how to buy a hedge trimmer. But there are still so many choices, it can be difficult to decide which one to buy. The two machines on this list are both from top power tools and hardware manufacturer, Black & Decker.
Both trimmers have long 24 inch blades. One is an electrical trimmer while the other is cordless. Let us take a closer look at the machines.
This machine from Black & Decker is the cheaper of the two, since electrical trimmers are quite inexpensive. The price is especially impressive given the fact that the machine has dual blade action, which makes it vibrate less and produce less strain. The blades are strong, hardened steel and are designed to cut branches that are ¾ inches thick. The 24 inch long blade lets you cover a lot of ground when you cut. A smaller blade can feel cumbersome after using this machine.
The trimmer is quite light at 6.5 pounds. One feature that stands out in this unit is the 180 degree rotatable handle. The soft rubber grip has two buttons on either side. You can quickly rotate the handle for easy cutting. This handle makes it easy to reach branches whether you’re trimming horizontally or vertically. The machine is designed in such a way that you don’t have to overreach when you trim large shrubs. These are features that are not often seen on trimmers.
As long as you let the 3.3 Amp machine do its job in a fluid motion, you should be pleased with the results that you see on your hedges and shrubs.
- Value for money
- Lightweight, balanced and comfortable to use
- Soft, rotatable handle offering great control
- No overheating
- No overreaching
- Struggles with branches thicker than ½ inch
- May be underpowered for 24 inch blade
Overall, this trimmer is a good everyday trimmer for small gardens. It is great value for money, easy to carry and maneuver, and leaves your hedges and shrubs looking neat and tidy. Make sure not to use it on branches that are too thick and woody. The trimmer doesn’t have an automatic brake, but after power-off, the blades stop in a short time.
This cordless model from Black & Decker can be purchased at half price without batteries. There are pros and cons of buying trimmers powered by a battery that needs to be recharged. But as far as cordless models go, the LHT2436 is a powerful model with a long 24 inch blade that can cut up to 6000 square feet of hedge per charge.
This model is also lightweight like the HH2455, weighing a similar 6.9 pounds. It has a light, powerful Lithium Ion battery that may have pushed the price up. The battery charges quickly as well, and you may be able to trim a 50 feet long medium-sized hedge and a few extra shrubs at least three times before the battery needs charging again.
- Value for money
- Good performance on medium sized branches
- Lightweight and well-balanced
- Battery charges quickly
- Small battery, easy to remove from body
- Solid construction
- The first installation of the battery can be a little tedious
Both hedge trimmer models on this list are worth buying. Both are easier to use and lighter than gas powered trimmers. However, neither of the models is for heavy duty trimming of hedges that are thicker than an inch. For more heavy duty work, you should look at gas-powered trimmers from reputed manufacturers.