Summer is here, and with it, your hedges are flourishing and no doubt you’ve realized that it’s time to get yourself a hedge trimmer and roll up your sleeves to get things under control.
In this article, I have set out to answer some of the common questions I get asked from readers looking to buy a hedge trimmer for the first time. Or perhaps people who have owns a gas or corded model and were considering a battery-powered hedge trimmer.
So let’s jump in and start off by addressing what you should be looking for when purchasing a hedge trimmer this summer.
- What To Look for When Buying a Hedge Trimmer?
- How Much Does a Good Hedge Trimmer Cost?
- What Are the Three Types of Hedge Trimmer?
- What Is Better, an Electric or Gas Hedge Trimmer?
- What To Look For in a Battery Operated Hedge Trimmer?
- What Voltage Is Needed for a Hedge Trimmer?
- Is a 20 Volt Hedge Trimmer Powerful Enough?
- How Long Do Cordless Hedge Trimmer Batteries Last?
- How Long Does a 20 Volt Battery Last on a Hedge Trimmer?
- How Many Amps for a Corded Hedge Trimmer?
- What Does Brushless Hedge Trimmer Mean?
- How Long Do Hedge Trimmers Last?
- What Size Hedge Trimmer Is Best?
- What’s the Difference Between a Hedge Cutter and a Trimmer?
- Can I Use a Hedge Trimmer if the Hedge Is Wet?
- Choosing the Best Hedge Trimmer
What To Look for When Buying a Hedge Trimmer?
When looking for your new hedge trimmer at the store or online, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options, loudly proclaiming its superiority. Many factors determine the quality of any hedge trimmer, including power, cost, blade type and length, weight, ease of use and maintenance, safety, and durability.
Read on for details about what makes a hedge trimmer stand out in a crowded market and offer you good value for money.
How Much Does a Good Hedge Trimmer Cost?
Lightweight, corded electric trimmers are the most affordable models on the market, with an average price of about $30.
Battery-powered trimmers occupy the middle tier of cost, at around $60-$200 depending on the technology used. The battery itself makes up a large part of the price tag, as it will determine the run time and consequently the efficiency.
Gas-powered trimmers are generally reserved for commercial applications nowadays and will run you anywhere from $250 to $500. They tend to be the most powerful machines, and, as such, are priced for professionals.
How much a reasonable hedge trimmer costs depends on your willingness to pay for power and convenience. Personally, I always like to buy a high-quality power tool that will not fail, such as a Makita, DeWalt, or similar. So I suggest you should consider being prepared to pay up to $150 for a quality battery-powered hedge trimmer.
What Are the Three Types of Hedge Trimmer?
Hedge trimmers generally come in 3 types or technologies:
- Gas-powered 2-cycle or 4-cycle engines
- Electric corded
- Cordless Battery-powered
Gas trimmers are beefy units that can quickly tackle large, thick, and unruly hedges. However, they tend to be heavy, costly, and unwieldy. Not to mention loud, have high emissions, and require engine servicing and maintenance.
Electric corded trimmers, by contrast, tend to be very lightweight, affordable, and easy to use. However, corded trimmers can only reach as far as their power cords will allow them. For many residential applications, a corded trimmer will do a great job.
Battery-powered trimmers take the benefits of electric models and add the portability of a rechargeable battery pack. However, you can only use the battery for so long before needing to charge. I use a Makita hedge trimmer and have several 5.0Ah battery packs so I can change them as I need.
What Is Better, an Electric or Gas Hedge Trimmer?
For most homeowners, an electric trimmer is a better investment, whether corded or battery powered. Electric trimmers are cheaper, lighter, quieter, and require virtually zero maintenance.
So your main decision is done you need a corded or cordless product.
When it comes to power, though, gas trimmers have the advantage. You can buy high-voltage electric trimmers that rival the trimming power of mid-range gas models, but be prepared to pay a premium for these. I would say $200 upwards for a powerful battery trimmer.
What To Look For in a Battery Operated Hedge Trimmer?
The two primary things to look for in a battery-operated hedge trimmer are battery run time and voltage.
The average battery-powered hedge trimmer lasts 40 minutes to an hour on a single charge. However, there are models produced that go up to 2 hours between charges. The duration of the battery is determined by its storage capacity in Ah (Amp hours) and the amperage drawn by the motor of the trimmer. I would recommend aiming for at least 2.0Ah of battery storage.
Voltage is a rough indicator of how much power the trimmer produces. Typical hedge trimmer battery voltage ranges between 20 to 80 volts.
What Voltage Is Needed for a Hedge Trimmer?
The voltage in a hedge trimmer depends on what kind of hedges you need to trim. For most suburban yards, 20 volts is enough. However, if you have tall, thorny hedges or a large yard, a light-duty aim for a 36V-volt model or higher.
Is a 20 Volt Hedge Trimmer Powerful Enough?
A 20-volt hedge trimmer is designed to accommodate most residential scenarios, from trimming hedgerows and pruning bushes.
I have used 18V, through to 36V for all of my residential work and never experience any issues with the power level. Generally, the weak link tends to be battery capacity and the strength of the blades.
How Long Do Cordless Hedge Trimmer Batteries Last?
How long cordless hedge trimmer batteries last depends mainly on the model. The average cordless hedge trimmer lasts between 40 minutes to an hour between charges.
This number will decrease over the life of the trimmer. An average hedge trimmer battery should last about 300-500 charge cycles or about 2-3 years.
How Long Does a 20 Volt Battery Last on a Hedge Trimmer?
A 20V battery lasts, on average, about 40-50 minutes from a full charge. Heavy-duty batteries won’t last as long, and all batteries will gradually degrade over the trimmer’s life. Lithium-ion batteries are generally the longest-lasting type of battery but are also the most expensive. It will last about 300-500 charge cycles or about 2-3 years.
How Many Amps for a Corded Hedge Trimmer?
A corded hedge trimmer’s power is measured in amps. The more amps a corded trimmer has, the more energy can flow through the engine. 2.5-4.5 amps is the average power for corded hedge trimmers. Higher power hedge trimmers are generally more expensive, so consider the thickness of your hedges when you buy your hedge trimmer.
What Does Brushless Hedge Trimmer Mean?
A brushless hedge trimmer is a trimmer with a brushless motor. Brushless motors refer to how electric energy is converted into mechanical energy. In brushed motors, electricity is passed through strips of metal called “brushes.” The electricity is then conducted into a commutator, which magnetizes the motor’s coils, spinning the rotor and powering the trimmer.
In brushless motors, the rotor is a magnet, and electricity is conducted into electromagnets in the engine to keep the rotor turning. Brushless motors can generate more power in a smaller package. Brushless motors also have a longer battery life, are more durable, and create less noise.
How Long Do Hedge Trimmers Last?
How long hedge trimmers last depends primarily on what kind of hedge trimmer it is and the amount of attention given to maintenance. The average electric trimmer will last 2-3 years with proper care. Gas-powered trimmers are durable, providing 2-6 years of use if well-maintained.
Electric trimmers have one advantage over gas in the durability department; they are easier to maintain. Gas trimmers require engine prep and winterizing, while electric trimmers only need regular cleaning, lubricating, and sharpening.
What Size Hedge Trimmer Is Best?
The size of the hedge trimmer you need depends on the size of the hedges you need to trim. Sixteen inches is best for small hedges, and eighteen inches is the recommended length for average-sized hedges.
For thick, well-established hedges in the yard and garden, we recommend 18-inch blades. Hedges tend to grow wider with age, so if you stay in your home for many years, it might be best to “size up” periodically.
What’s the Difference Between a Hedge Cutter and a Trimmer?
Hedge trimmers are for light-duty, annual hedge trimming. Hedge cutters are for heavy-duty tasks, like cutting back overgrown bushes and re-shaping hedges. Trimmers are better for helping hedges maintain their current shape.
If you’ve bought a piece of land and find a tangle of green knots where a proper hedgerow should be, it might be time to rent a hedge cutter.
Can I Use a Hedge Trimmer if the Hedge Is Wet?
If your hedge is wet, you can use a hedge trimmer, but you must take extra steps to trim well while preserving your trimmer. It’s more challenging for the trimmer’s teeth to get traction on wet hedges, so make sure your blade’s teeth are sharp.
When hedges are wet, water can enter and damage sensitive parts of your trimmers, so it’s essential to keep your trimmer well-lubricated. Make sure to wipe your blade’s teeth dry after you cut wet hedges to protect against rust.
Like all things, hedge trimmers have limitations, so maybe read What Can A Hedge Trimmer Cut to see a list of common questions answered, relating to the cutting ability or suitability of a Hedge Trimmer.
Choosing the Best Hedge Trimmer
Which hedge trimmer is the best depends mainly on the jobs you need it for. This portion of the article will look at our picks for the best hedge trimmer in various categories.
What Is the Best Long Hedge Trimmer?
We recommend the Ego Power+ 24-inch 56V Battery Hedge Trimmer. Its 24-inch blade with one full inch of cut capacity is excellent for shaping established hedges. Its ultra-lightweight design ensures you can finish the job comfortably. The 56-volt battery provides 2.5 amps of edging power for 55 minutes between charges.
What Is the Lightest Battery Pole Hedge Trimmer?
You need to invest in a pole trimmer when you have trees or a thick hedge to trim and can’t reach it all with a standard trimmer. When you want a powerful battery pole trimmer that won’t break your back, I recommend the Husqvarna 36V Telescopic Pole Hedge Trimmer
This unit can handle all but the most challenging jobs at 15 lbs, with an angled head and a 14.7 ft extendable pole. This trimmer comes with a ten-position adjustable cutting head for even greater versatility.
What’s the Best Small Hedge Trimmer?
You can’t go wrong with the STIHL HSA 56 18 in 36 V Battery Hedge Trimmer when all you need is a compact, light-duty trimmer. Its 18-inch blade will handle most suburban hedge jobs, and its ergonomic, lightweight design makes it easy. It also comes with a blade tip protector, and a sheath keeps it safer when not in use.
What Is the Best Hedge Trimmer for Thick Branches?
A gas-powered hedge trimmer like the Husqvarna 322HD60 Gas Hedge Trimmer
should handle thick branches easily. It features advanced anti-vibration systems and cuts through girthy brambles and branches with 24-inch dual-action blades. It is also relatively lightweight at 12.5-pounds despite having a powerful gas motor.
When it comes time to trim your hedges, the prospect of buying a new trimmer can be overwhelming. Whether you need a compact unit for light-duty annual trimming or a heavy-duty pole trimmer to clear out your newly-purchased estate, hopefully this guide has given you more confidence that your next trimmer will keep your yard in better shape than ever!