Best Hedge Trimmer  - Interactive Buying Guide
Finding the best hedge trimmer for your needs can be an issue with so many different models available these days.
There are numerous considerations to make when making a purchase such as gas vs electric, size, brand, power, weight and blade length.
I've done a stack of hedge work over the years, so I've utilised this experience and further research to come up with a group of products that I hope will meet the needs of everyone that visits my site.
I will cover off all the questions you have to make an informed purchase decision that results in the right product for the right price.
If you can't wait to see my best hedge trimmer, I've dug out a nugget, the Tanaka 20 Inch unit slips under the price radar as the 30 inch model is often promoted but the 20 inch saves you cash being smaller and for most people the 20 inch version will be fine.
Big Gav's Best Overall
Tanaka is probably not know to most folk but any commercial lawn care operator will know about there products.
I loved my Tanaka hedge trimmer and the Tanaka TCH22EAP2 21cc inch version I think is great by for anyone who needs to do a lot of trimming or simply wants a commercial grade product that will last many years.
The warranty of 7 years reflects the quality of the product.
Big Gav's Best Cordless Option
If a gas powered hedger is not your thing then the Dewalt DCHT860M1 40 Volt is a viable alternative. This unit will last for up to 70mins and has a sizeable 22 inch cutting blade. Consider this product if you have small to medium size work to be done. Larger jobs are fine but you may need a spare battery or wait for recharge.
Big Gav's Best Value Option
If your budgets tight and you dont have a huge amout of hedging then the Black+Decker LHT2436 is a worthy consideration.
The blade is a great length at 24inches and is dual action.
|TCH22EAP2 21cc||Price not available||Gas|
|20 Inches||Up to 3/4 Inch||87 Decibels||N/A||9.5 Pounds||Dual Blade||Pull|
|Echo HC-152||Price not available||Gas|
|20 Inches||Up to 1/2 Inch||N/A||N/A||11.8 Pounds||Dual Blade||Pull|
|DEWALT DCHT860M1 40V||Price not available||40 Volt |
|22 Inches||Up to 3/4 Inch||Low||Up to |
|11.9 Pounds||Dual Blade||Yes||3 Years|
|Greenworks 22102||$49.99||Corded 4amp||22 Inches||Up to 5/8 Inch||Low||Unlimited|
Req Ext Cord
|5.8 Pounds||Dual Blade||Yes||4 Years|
|BLACK+DECKER LHT2436||$129.99||40 Volt|
|24 Inches||Up to 3/4 Inch||Low||Manuf says |
up to 6000
sq feet per
|6.9 Pounds||Dual Blade||Yes||2 Years|
|GreenWorks 2272 7.25'||$399.99||40 Volt|
|20 Inches||Up to 5/8 Inch|
Height to 6.5 feet
|Low||Up to |
|9.6 Pounds||Dual Blade||Yes||4 Year tool|
2 Year Battery
|Shindawa M242||Price not available||Gas|
|Power head only||Power head only||N/A||N/A||10 Pounds||Power Head only||Pull|
|Shindaiwa 65003||No products found.||Attachment only||20 Inches|
|N/A||N/A||N/A||5.2 Pounds||Dual Blade||N/A||5 Year|
Best of The Best Tanaka 20" Hedger
The Tanaka 21cc hedger running the 20" blade provides a good size length and weight for many applications. Considering this is a commercial grade product I think this represents excellent value for money.
If you are not familiar with the brand, Tanaka have been in the small engine manufacturing business a long time and utilise "Japanese" small engine technology. Their products are generally commercial grade and the warranty of 7 years reflects this.
The throttle handle is adjustable so you can turn it according to the cutting position you like.
I have always used Tanaka hedgers in my business and they are reliable, powerful and cut well.
If you think you will only use your hedger once or twice a year or don't like the thought of mixing fuel for the two-cycle engine, then consider my next option the DEWALT 40Volt Cordless.
Class leading warranty of seven years
Powerful engine and cuts up to 3/4"
Commercial grade product
Two-Cycle engine requires fuel mixing
Gas hedgers can be difficult to use at first
Battery options would be better if you only need to trim once or twice a year
Best Cordless Trimmer DEWALT-40Volt Cordless
If mixing gas is not your thing then the DEWALT DCHT860M1 40V is a good alternative.
The lithium-ion battery delivers up to 70minutes of runtime and this can be managed with a visual battery indicator.
The DeWalt has a good size cutting blade length coming in at 22 inches.
This product is a good choice if you have a small to medium amount of hedging but may be frustrating if you go past the battery limit (approx 70mins run time)
If you have a lot hedging and trimming or more than the designated 70mins of charge time a corded or gas hedger might be a better option.
No fuel mixing
No engine to start
A solid brand
Good gas powered engine alternative
Power readout for battery time management
A little weighty at 11.9 pounds
Work time limited by the battery duration use
Could be problematic for above the shoulder work
Cordless Value Option Black + Decker LHT2436
If you want a cordless hedger but the budget doesnt extend to the Dewalt then the BLACK+DECKER LHT2436 is a good value proposition. It has many of the DeWalt features at a budget price.
For example you get a 40 volt battery and 24 inches of cutting blades. Runtime is diffiicult to compare but the manufacturer claims upt to 6000 sq feet per charge. It beats the DeWalt on weight coming in at 6.9 pounds.
I personally would pick this if I had a small amount of trimming and also shaping that can be difficult when you have a heavier unit.
Good value for a 40 volt machine
Good length cutting blade
Run time difficult to calculate
Warranty not as good as other manufacturers
Best Value Corded Trimmer Greenworks 22102
It's hard to go past the Greenworks 22-Inch Corded hedger when it comes to value for money.
If you don't have too much hedging to do and the budgets tight then this could be the way to go.
Aside from the price, its appeal comes from no fuel mixing and is a nice weight at 6.3 pounds.
It has a good length blade at 22 inches and unlike a battery unit, as long as you can get to power you can trim for as long as you like.
Keep in mind this is a corded hedger and that means using extension leads which can be frustrating to use.
Good size cutting blades
Needs a power cord extension lead
Good for light-medium work only
Safety an issue when using cords
Best Long Reach Hedger Greenworks 2272
When you have taller trimming to do, getting the right product is really important.
Avoid at all possible, going up ladders to do hedge work.
It is dangerous and one of the main places I have seen and experienced accidents. Hedging requires constant back and forth movement and this can easily contribute to a loss of balance.
Utilising a long reach trimmer can alleviate this problem by staying on the ground!
The GreenWorks Pole Hedger 40V is a good affordable option if you have a few taller areas in the garden that need a trim. It has a reach of approximately 7.2 feet and is cordless.
I like the cordless option here as a cord can be problematic when you are looking up a lot and not noticing where the cord is.
No cords getting in the way or fuel to mix
A good length that covers a lot of different applications relating to height work
Good power output at 40 volts
Limited by battery duration
May not reach taller hedges above the length of the unit
Best Gas Long Reach Hedger Shindaiwa Power Head
OK, this option is a bit left field but may be a good one depending on your situation.
I have included the Shindaiwa M242 Power Head because it can take all sorts of products including a pole hedge trimmer.
I have personally used this combination and it was one of my favorite tools. This is because once you have the head you can add a weed eater attachment and that can reduce costs by not having to pay for an additional weed wacker.
The head comes in at 24cc which is a good amount of power for both hedging and weed eating should you choose to buy the wacker attachment.
If you find the height is still not long enough with the hedger attachment then you can also buy an extension from Shindaiwa that extends the reach of the trimmer even more.
This is an expensive alternative but if you have lots of trimming then this may be a worthy consideration.
Shindaiwa products are also commercial grade and will last a long time.
Flexible application ie. you can add a weed eater which reduces overall gardening costs
Commercial grade product
Japanese engine technology
Heavy with both head and hedger attachment
Takes skill to trim over head particularly with a gas hedger
More maintenance being a gas engine
Considerations When Purchasing A Hedge Trimmer
Gas Vs Corded Electric Vs Cordless
Gas powered hedge trimmers are the tried and tested performers of hedge trimmers.
They generally have the best performance specs and will comfortably cut small branches.
They also tend to be heavier than the corded variety and are not always easy to use.
If it's a two-cycle model then you have fuel mixing considerations, which can be an issue for some people.
Gas trimmers are ideal for commercial jobs and definitely if you have a lot of trimming to do.
If you don't have much trimming then electric equivalents are definitely worth considering.
Cordless Electric Hedge Trimmers
Battery technology has come a long way and this provides cordless electric hedge trimmers as a viable alternative to corded or gas powered trimmers.
My personal preference would be to go for a cordless trimmer as I really hate having to worry about a cord dragging around and also how it impacts on my cutting ability.
If you have a small amount of hedging to do and have lots of shaping then these are a good option.
Unfortunately, the convenience of a battery also adds considerable weight to the product and sometimes even more than a gas equivalent.
Batteries also lose power as they are used and have a limited user cycle per charge.
Corded Electric Hedge Trimmers
The two big advantages of electric corded trimmers are they are usually lightweight, and they don't run out of power.
This provides a viable alternative to a gas equivalent.
The downside is they are not suited for heavy trimming or commercial use.
The cord is always a consideration for safety and working in wet conditions is not ideal for obvious reasons.
How Much Should You Pay For A Trimmer?
IIf there is one thing I have learned during my time as a mowing contractor is that you always get what you pay for.
Sometimes paying a little extra for the right machine can save considerable money due to its ability to do the job you want it to do. When it comes to hedgers its just the same.
Buying a cheaper machine that's not built to do what you want it to do will inevitably cost a lot more in the long run.
Gas trimmers tend to be more expensive but generally have better performance and their weight is usually more than corded models and sometimes cordless. Price range $90 - 500+.
Electric corded models are lighter and cheaper than both gas and cordless models. They are usually light and easy to use but not suitable for all trimming conditions. Price range $25 - 200+.
Cordless trimmers have come a long way and can have excellent power outputs. Some higher end models provide a real alternative to their gas equivalents. Having no power cord is a real benefit and the smaller models are ideal for small shrubs that require a trim. The downside is they can be expensive and heavy depending on the model. Price range $35 - 400+
Will A Hedge Trimmer Cut Branches?
A hedge trimmer will easily cut through branches but it depends on the model.
Having done lots of hedge trimming I recommend to not cut branches with your trimmer but use some secateurs or loppers.
Your trimmer will cut through branches but it quickly blunts the blade or worse still may jam up the cutting teeth.
I have even seen the mechanism where the blades fit into the body of the trimmer damaged from jamming up on a branch.
NOTE: IF YOU DO JAMB YOUR BLADES, TURN THE MACHINE OFF OR UNPLUG BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO FIX THE JAMB
Usually the blade type you end up with is determined by whatever model of trimmer you get.
My advice here is, don't worry too much about the blade type, just buy the right machine for the job you have and budget.
What is more important is KEEPING THE BLADES SHARP. Blunt blades quickly make your life hard and you won't get a good finish, the blade will "hack" the foliage you are cutting.
When you do need to get the blades sharpened, do not do this job yourself. Get a professional to sharpen them, and don't take them out of the unit, take the complete trimmer to a mower shop or someone who specializes in sharpening hedge blades.
Sharpening hedge blades is difficult, and they can be equally problematic when removing or replacing (depending on the brand). I see so many reviews of these products but no one talks about this issue.
If you are experienced in hedge trimming then a long blade 30+" is fine and will quickly trim lots of foliage.
If you are not experienced a big blade will become heavy real quick and your arms will feel like dropping off.
A good size is around 20" for a novice but even this depends on what you are cutting.
If you have lots of small bushes then a cordless trimmer with a shorter blade will be better.
Maintenance Of Trimmer And Blades
When using a gas powered trimmer a once a year tune-up for both engine and blades would be ideal.
Blades should be sharpened by a professional so it is a good time to get both done when servicing.
Electric units obviously are generally maintenance free on the power side but need the blades sharpened when required.
Getting the blades sharpened once a year is probably OK unless you are doing lots of work.
What really helps the blade mechanism is lubrication (particularly when you have two reciprocating).
Spray on a some WD-40 or the equivalent to ensure smooth interaction of the cutting mechanism
Please look at the following recommendations, most of which I have experienced the hard way.
- Never attempt to pull the blades out and sharpen yourself unless you have experience in this area.
- Always turn the machine off when fixing blade jambs or moving location
- Be careful when swinging from side to side when trimming. One of the most common accidents I have seen is someone slash themselves with the hedger or someone nearby!
- Always wear eye protection as little pieces of a branch can fly out after being cut.
- Always try to cut standing on the ground.
- Going up a ladder with a trimmer (particularly a gas model) is dangerous.
- Consider a pole hedger if you have a lot of elevated work. Or perhaps call in a professional.
- Wear ear protection when using a gas trimmer.
The Final Word On Hedgers
The right hedger depends on your experience, budget and the amount of work you have.
If you don't have too much work to do then a cordless option is a worthy consideration
If you don't have the physical capacity for a gas or even cordless options then a corded hedger will be the lightest option.
All the best in your purchase decision.