In this guide we’ll take a look at the best hedge trimmers for the UK market.
I've compared design, performance, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
In this guide we’ll take a look at the best hedge trimmers for the UK market.
What is The Best Hedge Trimmer?
More Detailed Hedge Trimmer Reviews
A top of the range Bosch model that we highly recommend is the Bosch AHS 70-34 Electric Hedge Cutter. It’s more heavy duty, not to mention around three times the price of our previous Bosch trimmer. However, for those of you with larger hedges, this should be your go-to. This trimmer is highly robust and powerful, with a 700W motor making it ideal for larger hedges.
While this model weighs in at 3.9kgs, Bosch have done their best to make it as easy to use as possible. The ergonomic handle with a soft grip and see-though hand guard, ensures a safe working position and minimal strain on your back and arms. It’s comfortable in any position, meaning you can easily switch around if you start to get a little sore.
A few extra functions are a tip protector, which ensures you don’t damage the blade if you need to cut along walls, and a sawing function which enables you to cut through branches of up to 38mm in diameter. The 70cm laser-cut, diamond ground blade with a 34mm tooth opening boasts a powerful cutting performance, enough to tackle large hedges and stubborn branches with ease.
Purchasing this particular Bosch model requires choosing from a variety of options. You can purchase it as a stand-alone model or, if you need a little extra length, with a safety adapter. Finally, a safety RCD adapter can be purchased, combined with the extension lead if required.
All in all, this robust and powerful hedge trimmer is great for stubborn branches and thicker hedges. While it doesn’t provide quite the ease of use as the 45-16, it’s a solid choice for anyone who has slightly more work to do when it comes to getting their hedge looking spic and span.
Like the 45-16 model, this hedge trimmer comes with a 2-year guarantee, which can be extended to 3 if you register with MyBosch.
A great choice for those with small to medium hedges is the Bosch AHS 45-16 Electric Hedge Cutter which, we can assure you, sounds more intimidating than it actually is.
This lightweight Bosch model weighs just 2.5kg, yet still packs quite a punch with a 420 W motor. It’s ideal for smaller sized hedges, cutting through small and medium sized branches with ease.
In terms of ergonomics, this Bosch trimmer ticks all the boxes. The soft grip handle ensures ultimate comfort and safety in any working position. Its lightweight size means you’re unlikely to be punished with arm or back aches and pains. Once you get into the swing of it, we think you’ll find using this hedge trimmer a total breeze.
The 45cm diamond ground blade with a 16mm tooth opening provide a clean, precise cut making your hedge looks even neater, and it comes with a protective blade cover for when you’re not using it. Both buttons need to be pushed down for it to work which, although can be slightly inconvenient, is a welcome safety feature if you’re accident prone!
The only slight gripe we have with this Bosch hedge trimmer (and it’s a very slight gripe), is the length of cable. If you have a large garden, you will certainly need an extension cable which you will need to buy separately.
Finally, this product comes with a 2-year guarantee. If you register the product with MyBosch within 28 days of purchase, this warranty will be extended to 3 years.
Versatile, ergonomic and powerful, this Bosch hedge trimmer certainly gets our vote as the best one for small to medium hedges.
If you’re cringing slightly at the price of hedge trimmers, we’ve got you covered. While the Bosch brand is reliable and high-quality, the prices can be a little eye-watering, and that’s where this Flymo EasiCut 460 comes in. It’s the perfect budget option, providing a cheaper alternative to other hedge trimmers without compromising on quality.
The powerful 450W motor makes it great for smaller to medium sized hedges, and the central handle position ensures both safety and comfort.
The dual-action 45cm long cutting blade, alongside the 19mm blade gap makes this electric hedge trimmer a super little gadget. It’s easy to use and lightweight, ensuring a neat finish and a hedge to be proud of. While it may not have quite the comfort of the Bosch products, the price tag more than makes up for it, and it certainly gets the job done!
The 10-metre cord isn’t overly generous, but an extension cord can easily be purchased. Like the Bosch, this product requires two buttons to be pushed for it to work, and it also comes with a protective safety cover. In fact, it can also be purchased with a pair of protective glasses, an essential safety accessory. These glasses are both scratch and fog resistant, making the job even easier.
We haven’t found this budget product compromises on durability either. While it may lack some of the finesse of the other trimmers on this list, for those of you who want something both safe and effective without having to dig too deep into your pocket, the Flymo EasiCut 460 is a fantastic choice.
Taller hedges can be a little trickier to work with, but luckily you don’t have to be the BFG to get your tall hedge looking spic and span. This Einhell GC-HH 9048 Electric Hedge Trimmer is your knight in shining armour when it comes to trimming those hard to reach places.
So how does it work? Well the adjustable handle extends up to 50cm meaning you don’t have to risk your life up a ladder. The cutting head can be tilted and adjusted to suit any position, making it extremely ergonomic and easy to use. This Einhell model packs plenty of power, boasting 900W with laser-cut and diamond-ground blades. It trims and cuts through hedges, shrubs and bushes with ease. The cuts are clean and precise, so your hedge will look great from top to bottom.
While the Einhell’s 5.3kg weight may put you off, it really doesn’t feel this heavy – the motor is situated at the base of the unit and not at the cutter end, making it quite well balanced and easy to hold. The rotating rear handle also means it’s easy to switch up the position if you get tired.
Again, our only gripe is that the cable is slightly too short (this seems to be a recurring theme). However, an extension cable will obviously solve this.
You didn’t think we could stay away from the Bosch products for long did you? Another great Bosch product is this Isio Cordless Shrub and Garden Shear Set which is a great option for those of you who can’t face messing around with cords (or in fact, extension cables).
This compact and lightweight shrub shear is powered by an integral 3.6V lithium-ion battery which, when fully charged, can run for up to 50 minutes. The anti-blocking system (ABS) prevents stalling and allows you to cut continuously for this time. Thicker grass will not cause the Isio to stop or block. Instead the micro-electronics detect the thick grass and will instantly adjust the running direction of the blades. It is this innovative technology that makes this product our favourite of all the Bosch tools.
The multi-click system means that switching between applications is easy. Whether you want the grass shear, shrub shear or even a sprayer (which is sold separately), you can be sure that the Bosch Isio will make the job as easy as possible. The comfortable soft-grip handle and 550g weight make it extremely comfortable to use for long periods of time. It’s a lot smaller than many other shaping or edging shears, making it easier to reach tucked away places and offering a more precise and accurate cut.
Charging the Bosch Isio is a doddle for even the most dedicated technophobes. The simple, mobile phone-style charger displays a green light when charging and the four-stage LED battery clearly shows you how much better is left. When the green light begins to flash, you have 20% battery left and when the indicator turns red, the Isio requires charging.
Surprisingly for us, we don’t have any gripes with this product. It’s lightweight, easy to use and does what is says on the tin – with slightly more style and ease than similar products we have tried. It can also be purchased with a telescopic handle accessory. If you’re still not persuaded, the Bosch Isio won RHS Chelsea’s Garden Product of the Year in 2014. Not too bad at all.
Garden Hedge Trimmer Buying Guide
If your garden hedge strong resembles your Sunday morning bed hair, it might be in need of a haircut.
For the inexperienced hedge trimmer, this may feel slightly overwhelming. With such a huge variety of hedge trimmers on the market, as well as a wealth of information online, making your hedge the envy of your neighbours can feel like an impossible dream.
A good hedge trimmer is a modern-day miracle. Choosing a hedge trimmer however, can be tricky, and will require some thought. Here’s what to consider before you dive into the world of hedge trimmers.
Type of Hedge
The size and type of your hedge is the first consideration. If you have a small hedge and don’t mind a bit of arm ache, you could just go for the hand shears. However, with so many hedge trimmers on the market specifically designed for smaller hedges and at a great price, why waste your energy? Smaller hedge trimmers will do a great job and neatening up those pesky branches, and it’ll require far less work on your part.
If you have a larger hedge, you’ll need something slightly sturdier and more powerful, although bear in mind this’ll also mean heavier. This means that comfort should also be a factor. We recommend buying from a reputable brand if you’re in need of something powerful. While low budge options can be tempting, hedge trimmers are a dangerous piece of machinery and need to be operated with care. Buying from a reputable brand will ensure every measure is in place to make the trimmer as safe as possible.
Weight & Comfort
Comfort is another factor. If you have lots of hedges that need to be trimmed you’ll need something ergonomic and easy to use, preferably something with a shoulder strap. Similarly, if you are buying something for larger hedges, it’ll likely be a bit heavier. We recommend trimmers that have the motor at the base, you’ll find it more comfortable and easier to balance. If you find yourself getting sore or tired, take a break and come back to it later.
Electric or Cordless?
In terms of type of hedge trimmer, you really have three options – cordless, electric or petrol. For this article, we’ve only focused on cordless and electric as these are the most popular choices.
Electric hedge trimmers are usually lightweight and can be very powerful. If the cable isn’t long enough, extension cords are readily available, and you don’t need to worry that they’ll run out of battery mid-trim!
However, accidentally cutting the cord is a surprisingly common incident, so care must be taken! Working with the cable over your shoulder should make this less likely. To protect yourself in case this does happen, use a residual current device (RCD).
Cordless hedge trimmers give you slightly more freedom to move around your garden, though they often cost more than their electric counterparts. If you have a larger hedge or lots to do, you will need to buy one with a longer-lasting battery, or perhaps even purchase a spare. This will save you stopping midway through the job to charge up your trimmer. If you need slightly more freedom and don’t mind regular charging, a cordless hedge trimmer could be the best option for you.
How do you use a hedge trimmer?
Place the cord over your shoulder and out of the way so you don’t accidentally cut through it. Stand a good distance from the hedge.
Begin cutting at the bottom of the hedge and work your way up. Don’t cut too much of the hedge in one go. Instead, make several shallower cuts to ensure you end up with a hedge you’re happy with!
Trim the sides of the hedge at an angle. It should be slightly narrower at the top and wider at the bottom to help the entire hedge get sunlight. Make sure you move the cutting bar in a slow, steady pace and let the blades do the work for you.
To cut the top of the hedge, hold the trimmer level and gently guide it from left to right. If you have a large hedge or are worried about not cutting straight, stretch a piece of string or nylon line between two stakes and guide your hedge trimmer along this line.
Put the trimmer on the ground and use your hands to pull out branches or leaves. Finally, cut any dead, diseased or damaged branches out with a pair of hand pruners. Job done.
What is the best time to trim a hedge?
With so many varieties of hedges, knowing when to trim can be an absolute minefield. As a rule of thumb, Evergreen hedges will need to be trimmed two to three times a year between the months of May and September. Conifers are faster growing and will need to be trimmed more frequently – always before the end of August. Deciduous hedges should be trimmed in late August.
Yew hedges – Once a year in August or September
Leyland Cypress hedges – Faster growing so trim up to three times a year in April, July and late August.
Beech hedges – In late August and, if they have grown too much, in February.
Privet hedges – Twice a year between May and August.
Laurel hedges – Cut in either July and August.
Hawthorn hedges – Trim after they flower in June. If you want an informal look, cut every few years and leave the berries.
How do you sharpen hedge trimmer blades?
Sharpening in a hedge trimmer should be done, ideally, after 50 hours of work. Don’t wait until they show signs of wear. Remove any dirt before sharpening, only sharpen the cutting edge, and wear thick gloves. Make sure the blades are aligned which can be done by hand.
The best way to sharpen a hedge trimmer is using a flat file. Place the file along the edge of the tooth and make long, smooth strokes downwards in the direction of the cutting edge. Maintain the sharpening angle which will be given in the manual.
Repeat this for all other teeth, making downward strokes only. While over-sharpening is a risk, it’s unlikely to happen when sharpening the blades by hand – as it’s tough work and we doubt you would last that long!
How do you clean hedge trimmer blades?
Cleaning the blades of your hedge trimmer is an important, albeit mundane, job if you want your trimmer to last a long time. Hedge trimmer blades pick up a huge amount of residue when they are used which can get jammed between the blades. Leaves, twigs and feathers can all build up, which will stop your hedge trimmer from working and drastically reduce its lifespan.
Regularly cleaning your blades is the best way to ensure your hedge trimmer lives a long and happy life. Ensure the trimmer is switched off and disconnected from the power source. Wear gloves to protect your hands around the sharp blades and lay your hedge trimmer on a stable, flat surface.
If you are cleaning your hedge trimmer immediately after using, we recommend using a cloth or brush to get rid of as much of the debris as possible, because the debris won’t have had time to settle and stick to the blades. Brush as much off as you can, especially in between the blades which is where build up is usually the worst.
If the debris has hardened and stuck to the blades, you will need to use soap and water. However, you should ensure the blades are completely dry after doing this to prevent rusting and corrosion. If soap and water doesn’t work, other recommendations include soaking the blades in white spirit for a few hours. This should dissolve any remaining debris. Wipe off any remnants and then apply a thorough coat of lubricant.