8 Best Hedge Trimmers | Electric, Gas & Cordless

I reckon you’re here because you decided to buy a new hedge trimmer and have been blinded by the array of products on the market, all claiming to the world-beaters. 

What a coincidence…that’s exactly what this article is all about, trimming through the fluff and getting down to business of finding the best hedge trimmers for home use.

So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what makes a great hedge trimmer and lead you to the ideal product for your hedge maintenance. Then, let’s talk a little bit about how to use it effectively and safely.

Finding The Best Hedge Trimmers

The first and most noticeable comparison when looking at power tools tends to be the source of power. Electric machines are the most common application for home use, but there are some great gas-powered models out there too.

So let’s start right there and make sure you know a little bit about the differences allowing you to make an informed buying decision. 

Electric Hedge Trimmer

First up, let’s cover cordless electric trimmers. These trimmers operate using a rechargeable lithium battery that gives us as operators the freedom and flexibility to trim without a power cord literally holding us back.

You’re free to move around your yard and avoid tangling the cord around trees or plants, making a cordless hedge trimmer by far the best machine if you want a high level of maneuverability.

On the downside, buying a cordless battery-powered trimmer will require that you re-charge the battery. For large gardens or long stretches of hedge you may need more than one charge per session. So if you’re interested in a battery-powered trimmer take a note of the following criteria:

Battery Amp Hour (Ah)

Lithium batteries are the drive behind the machine so if you want to get the job done in one hit then you need to understand the battery Amp Hours of the unit you buy.

Amp Hour (Ah) is the power rating for how long the battery will run. A trimmer that draws 3 amp of power per hour, will run for 60 minutes when powered with a 3.0 Ah battery. So in short the higher the Ah the longer you will have to get the job done before your battery drains.

Multiple Batteries

I recommend you buy multiple batteries and always have them charged so you can blast through the job and be done with it. I have a set of DeWalt power tools… a strimmer, a hedge trimmer, and a pole saw all of which use the same size battery, so consider doing the same and have a bunch of batteries for your matching power tools.

Batteries Not Included

Look out for whether batteries are included. Lithium cells are not cheap so manufacturers often sell tools without batteries, on the basis that many customers may already have a power tool with a compatible battery, as I explained previously.

So just keep a keen eye on what you are getting for your money.

Charge Time

Battery charge time is not the biggest concern to me, especially when I have multiple units already charged. But it may be a consideration for you. Generally, a decent battery will take 40-60 minutes to charge. A 2 Ah battery will charge must faster than a 5Ah battery, as they store different amounts of power.

20v Vs 40v Trimmer

The two most common power outputs for cordless hedge trimmers are 20v and 40v, but which one you should get? With a 40v, you will get a longer-lasting battery capable of delivering more power over time, letting you cut through thicker foliage more easily.

However, the problem is that 40v units tend to be much heavier than 20v ones, meaning they are not always the best for getting at hard-to-reach areas. They are also often much more expensive to purchase in the first place.

Gas Hedge Trimmer

Gas hedge trimmers are the most powerful option you can go for. If you have a large amount of garden to cover, or you have particularly thick hedges, then a gas-powered trimmer is worth considering.

Traditionally favored by professional landscapers, gas hedge trimmers used to produce more power than their electrical counterparts and were free from the limitations of a power cord. But nowadays high-power electric trimmers can more or less match gas, especially for domestic use. If you’re working commercially on heavy-duty hedgerows then gas would be the way to go.

Plus, there are some downsides to gas machines. They are noisy, smelly harder to start, and need refueling with gasoline. They also cost significantly more than electric trimmers and require regular maintenance.

Corded Hedge Trimmer

Finally, I have corded electric hedge trimmers. These are the most common type of hedge trimmer due to their reliability, ease of use, and lower initial purchase price.

Powered by mains electricity, they are only suitable where a connection is possible. You will more than likely need an extension cable if you cannot plug directly into a wall socket, so this is a limiting factor.

However, despite limited maneuverability, they make up for this by never running out of power. Unlike gas or cordless hedge trimmers, you will never have to refill the tank or charge the battery.

Gas Vs Electric Hedge Trimmer

If you’re struggling to choose between the two, then consider these points; how much do you have to cut back, and what is your budget, is it typical domestic hedgerow species that you will be trimming?

If you have extensive amounts of thick foliage with heavy branching, then a gas trimmer will suit you best. Professionals favor it for a reason. Just bear in mind that although this is the most powerful and versatile option, it is also the most expensive and dangerous.

For 95% of domestic hedge trimming, an electric trimmer will be the best choice.


Best Hedge Trimmer Reviews

Here’s my breakdown of the best hedge trimmers from each category. I have reviewed and tested each one extensively to make an informed choice and get your garden looking perfect.

As always, I will continue to test and update this list with the latest and greatest hedge trimmers. But for now, I recommend the following hedge trimmers as the best options on the market right now.


1. DEWALT Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer 22″

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Specification

  • Power: 20v Battery
  • Blade length: 22-inch
  • Max Branch Width: 3/4 inch
  • Weight: 8.8 lbs

Next on our list of the best hedge trimmers for 2021 is another from the big brands. DeWALT is known for its electrical tools, so I was excited to try their latest hedge trimmer out.

Much like with the Black + Decker, the DeWALT is advertised as being able to cut through branches up to ¾-inch thick. It passed this test with flying colors, and I found I could get through thicker branches that were closer to ⅞-inch thick.

The trimmer itself is cordless, with a 20v battery that provides up to 12Ah. You can choose which of their 20v batteries you’d like. They range from smaller and much more compact models to larger ones that will run for longer. I really liked having this option as it means you get the best for your specific needs. Not everyone needs a big bulky battery that lasts longer. For some, the smaller and lighter version will be much better suited.

The friction clutch was also a great addition. It meant that if you get caught on a particularly thick set of branches, the transmission and motor are protected. This gave me more confidence during testing to have a go at some thicker branches, and the DeWALT demonstrated its ability with real class. DeWalt yet again shows its premium pedigree in the power tool market.

Check DeWalt price on Amazon

Pros      

  • Multiple battery options up to a huge 12 Ah
  • Friction clutch
  • Works with the whole DeWalt 20V product range, including Weed Eaters, Blowers, Saws, and more.

Cons

  • Nothing of note

2. WORX 20V Power Share 22-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer

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Specification

  • Power: 20v Battery
  • Blade length: 22-inch
  • Max Branch Width: 3/4 inch
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs

Next up, we have one of the lighter models on the list. The Worx WG261 is another cordless trimmer that will perfectly suit those not looking for maximum strength.

It features a lightweight design and supreme ergonomics that made this one of the most maneuverable and easy-to-use strimmers that I tested.

Its D-shaped front handle felt sturdy and gave the grip necessary to closely and accurately trim most areas. I also felt that at just over 5lbs, including the battery, this was a great option if you need to climb a ladder while trimming, or if you want to be able to trim your hedge regularly without having to set up heavier tools.

While it does lack slightly in the power department, it still cuts up to ¾-inch thick branches. This is what Worx advertised, and during testing, this is what I found. However, you could feel it begin to struggle as the branches got a bit thicker.

Much like with both the Black + Decker and the DeWALT options, if you have other Worx tools, then you’ll be able to use the interchangeable 20v battery with them. Very handy if you’re already a Worx customer.

Check Worx Price here on Amazon

Pros      

  • Super lightweight and maneuverable
  • Good cutting power

Cons

  • Not suitable for larger projects

3. Black+Decker 20V Cordless Hedge Trimmer 22″

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Specification

  • Power: 20v Battery
  • Blade length: 22-inch
  • Max Branch Width: 3/4 inch
  • Weight: 7.68 lbs

The Black + Decker 20V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer is a great bit of kit. Its versatility and mid-market price point will suit the average person’s domestic needs.

The Black + Decker name is synonymous with DIY around the home and in the yard. They’ve been making products to a good standard for years, and this one is no different.

I loved the simple styling and was impressed with the 22-inch blade. For cutting back hedges at home, this should be more than enough, and the 20v battery lasted well during testing. Black & Decker claims it will cut up to 3,000sq. ft. per charge, and we’re inclined to believe them.

It also features what they call a PowerCut function. This gives the user more power at the touch of a button, allowing you to cut through particularly thick branches.

I tested this on branches up to ¾ inches thick, the limit this cordless trimmer is supposed to be able to cut through. I actually found it was able to cut through thicker thanks to this added power feature. However, I wouldn’t recommend using one of these if you had a large amount of thicker branches to get through. While the blade was good, it could risk damaging the motor.

If you are already a Black + Decker customer, you’ll be pleased to know that this comes with a Power Connect battery meaning you can interchange it with other Black + Decker products. This is a great feature that many of the top brands have. It helps make working with battery-powered tools much easier and more affordable.

Check Black+Decker price on Amazon

Pros      

  • Good quality product from a reputable brand
  • Power Connect battery makes it compatible with other Black + Decker products.
  • Lightweight battery with a good running time

Cons

  • The plastic guard tends to come loose

4. Greenworks 22-Inch Dual-Action Corded Hedge Trimmer

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Specification

  • Power: 4 Amp Corded
  • Blade length: 22-inch
  • Max Branch Width: 5/8 inch
  • Weight: 5.7 lbs

The next hedge trimmer I am recommending is the Greenworks 4 Amp 22-inch dual-action. This one stuck out as an excellent option for those on more of a budget. It still packs a punch and competed with some of the more expensive models but comes in at a much more wallet-friendly price.

Its ⅝-inch cut capacity was more than enough to cut through most garden hedges. Although this isn’t quite the load that the pricier hedge trimmers can cope with, it’ll make light work of the vast majority of garden branches.

It also features a really lightweight frame, so if you’re after a trimmer that is easy to handle, this could be the one for you.

Something to also bear in mind when thinking about the Greenworks is that this is a corded trimmer. It lacks the versatility of the cordless models, but you won’t be needing to recharge any batteries any time soon!

I really liked this during testing, it was one of the quietest trimmers I’ve tried out, and the molded grip made it an easy tool to use for extended periods.

Check Greenworks price here

Pros      

  • Very lightweight
  • The quietest trimmer on the list

Cons

  • The ⅝-inch cutting capacity will struggle with thicker branches

5. Kobalt 40-Volt Max 24-in Dual Cordless Hedge Trimmer

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Specification

  • Power: 40V
  • Blade length: 22-inch
  • Max Branch Width: 3/4 inch
  • Weight: 6.3 lbs

The Kobalt 40v Max is an excellent option if you’re looking for a cordless trimmer with a bit more power than the standard 22v models.

I tested this and could instantly tell the difference. Not only is the blade 24 inches rather than 22, but the 40-volt battery means it lasted considerably longer than the other cordless trimmers I tested.

In terms of looks, there is nothing to really get excited about, the Kobalt looks good without being striking.

Like many of the other big brands that I tested, the Kobalt features a battery that is interchangeable with other products from the same manufacturer. Although annoyingly, the battery and charger are sold separately.

I liked how easy to start this trimmer was. Just plug in, hit the on-switch, and you’re away. However, there is a lockout switch to stop it from being too easy to turn on and therefore dangerous.

Although not as light as some of the other cordless trimmers, at 6.3 lbs it’s still more than easy enough to maneuver around your yard.

Check Kobalt price here on Amazon

Pros      

  • Powerful, long-lasting battery
  • Quick charge time
  • Adjustable cutting speed

Cons

  • Battery and charger sold separately


6. Ryobi 22 in. 18-Volt Cordless Hedge Trimmer

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Specification

  • Power: 18V
  • Blade length: 22-inch
  • Max Branch Width: 3/4 inch
  • Weight: 8 lbs

The Ryobi is a highly regarded portable hedge trimmer, and I have to say, it lives up to expectations.

Featuring an 18v battery, the Ryobi is one of the least powerful hedge trimmers to make my list. But despite this lack of power, it’s a brilliant trimmer, and one that I think will appeal to lots of yard work enthusiasts.

The 22-inch blade is standard and does just as good a job as any of the other trimmers that made my list. It also includes a rotating handle as well as a wrap-around one, allowing you to cut your hedge from all angles.

I found these features worked well. I could simply and quickly alter the angle at which I wanted to cut, while the slightly smaller body means it’s nice and portable. Suitable if you’ve got a lot of hedges to trim.

I also found the hedge sweep function to be very useful. It collects trimmings as you cut your hedges and shrubs back, making cleaning up afterward much easier and saving valuable time.

Check Ryobi price here

Pros      

  • 18v battery lasts surprisingly well
  • The hedge sweep function is handy

Cons

  • Battery and charger sold separately

7. Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 22″ Hedge Trimmer

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Specification

  • Power: 18V
  • Blade length: 22-inch
  • Max Branch Width: 3/4 inch
  • Weight: 9 lbs

Another titan of the tool world, Makita, has released a hedge trimmer. It’s certainly one of the best in 2021.

I’m a fan of Makita tools and was excited to try the XHU02Z, despite only featuring an 18v battery. The anti-vibration padding worked well while I was trimming, and the Star Protection computer controls seemed to do their job of protecting the trimmer from overcharging and overheating.

This trimmer came with the most additional features out of the ones I tested. Although that might not be for everyone if you like features like a battery capacity warning system, then make sure you check the Makita out.

Although this is another excellent Makita power tool, it wasn’t as comfortable to use as some of the others. Maneuvering your wrists and adjusting the angle at which you’re cutting seemed a little awkward at times. Nothing that you couldn’t learn to overcome, but something to think about.

Overall I liked the Makita and it certainly cut my hedges well. I enjoyed the additional features and its ruggedness. Although I’ve never had to use them, I am reliably informed that the Makita customer service is very good, should you run into any issues.

Check Makita price on Amazon

Pros      

  • A sturdy trimmer from a reputable brand
  • Some of the best batteries on the market

Cons

  • Can be uncomfortable if used for a long period of time

8. Toro 51490 Corded 22-Inch Hedge Trimmer

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Specification

  • Power: 4 Amp Corded
  • Blade length: 22-inch
  • Max Branch Width: 9/16 inch
  • Weight: 6.35 lbs

Another excellent budget option comes in the form of the Toro 51490. It’s another corded trimmer that boasts a 22-inch blade with the ability to cut through branches up to 9/16-inch thick.  

I liked this little trimmer when testing. It felt sturdy enough to get the job done despite being one of the cheapest on the list. It even comes with a 2-year warranty should you choose to buy one and run into any trouble with it.

The only issue that I found was that the line had a tendency to jam. This was quite annoying as I kept having to stop trimming to sort the cable out and make sure it was in the right position.

Other than that it was lightweight and got the job done. All in all a good hedge trimmer for the price, but be conscious that you might run into cord troubles while trimming.

Check Toro price here

Pros      

  • Good value for money
  • Light and maneuverable

Cons

  • The cord has a tendency to snag

How To Use A Hedge Trimmer

There are several things you need to know before you get started with your new hedge trimmer for the first time. The way you set up and operate the trimmer will depend largely on the type of hedge trimmer that you have; corded, cordless, or gas.

If you have a cordless trimmer then it is a good idea to make sure that your battery is fully charged before starting. If you have multiple batteries, make sure they are both fully charged or that you have one charging while working.

If you have a corded trimmer you will need to make sure that you have access to the hedge that needs trimming. If you cannot reach the hedge using the standard cord, make sure you have an extension that is long enough to reach your hedge comfortably. It is important that you have some slack in the cord and are not stretching it too much. This will make maneuvering your trimmer very difficult.

Finally, if you have a gas trimmer then make sure you have a full tank. It is also a good idea to have some spare gas just in case you run out.

Using a Hedge Trimmer Safely

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Make sure that you are wearing clothing that will allow you to move freely but that will provide an element of protection should you need it. It is a good idea to wear a long sleeve top, full-length pants, closed shoes or sneakers, suitable gloves, and safety glasses. Also please do not wear anything that is too loose-fitting, you don’t want anything getting caught in your trimmer blade.

Check the Weather

This may sound obvious but check the weather before you go out to trim. Water and electricity do not mix so if rain is forecast then it’s best to put off trimming until a dryer day.

Check Your Gear

Give your trimmer the once over. Make sure that all the necessary parts are accounted for and that everything is in full working order. If you notice a part is missing or not working correctly then do not continue to trim. Take your tool to a hardware store and have a professional look at it to make sure it is safe to use.

Clear Your Workspace

Get rid of any debris or anything that may get stuck in the blade or motor. This will save you from having to stop once you get going. You may also need to move things like outdoor furniture so that you can get access to the hedge.

Check for Children and Pets

Before you fire up the motor, double-check that no children or pets are running around who could come to any harm. If possible, rope off your work area so that no one can get close to you while you work. This will prevent any potential distractions during cutting. If it is not possible to rope the area off, make sure to tell everyone that you’re trimming and not to come too close.

Also, remember that you should never use more than one extension lead at a time and ensure that it does not become a trip hazard, should you use one.

How to Clean a Hedge Trimmer

Cleaning and maintaining your hedge trimmer is a fairly simple process but one that should be done after every use to help get the most from your trimmer.

First, make sure your tool is unplugged from any power source.

Next, give your hedge trimmer a wipe down with a damp soapy cloth. Get any bits of foliage that are stuck in the blade out and wipe done.

Then dry your trimmer off with a paper towel and lubricate the blades if needed. This doesn’t need to be done after every single use but should be done multiple times throughout the year if you trim hedges regularly.

If you have a gas-powered trimmer then remember to clean the air filter regularly. It will usually be released by a catch on the outside of the body – have a look in your user manual if it is not obvious. Once you’ve got the filter off, simply blow any dust out and tap it on a hard service to dislodge any residue inside. Remember though, it is usually not recommended to submerge the filter in water as this can damage the fibers and impact performance.

It is also a good idea to sharpen the teeth on your blade every so often. It can take time to do properly but will help keep your trimmer as efficient as possible. The most common way to sharpen them is by using a drill and a filing stone attachment. If this isn’t possible, a file will also work but may take longer. You can also have the blades sharpened at local service centers.

Best Hedge Trimmers Round-Up

We’ve covered pretty much everything you need to know to get your hedges looking great in no time. No matter which trimmer you decide to go for, all the ones in the list above did the job well and left my hedges looking neat and tidy ahead of the summer months.

However, my top pick has to be DEWALT Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer full of class and comfort. If your budget won’t stretch to over $100, then shoot for Greenworks 22-Inch Dual-Action Corded Hedge Trimmer which is available for under $45 as I write this article.

Please do remember all of our tips on how to use your hedge trimmer, paying close attention to the safety points. Despite the lower power outputs on some of the electric trimmers, the blades are still incredibly sharp and accidents, unfortunately, happen regularly.

Whether you want a cheaper corded trimmer or a premium model with a long-lasting battery, there’s one for you to choose from our list.