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.
What is the Best Hedge Trimmer?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Strong and effective Bosch-powered trimmer!
This Bosch AHS 70-34 Electric Hedge Trimmer is a powerful 700 W tool that will make light work of large hedges. It has an ergonomic handle and see-through hand guard for safety. The blade is 70 cm and the sawing function will allow you to cut branches of up to a 38 mm diameter.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Hedge Trimmer Reviews
Bosch AHS 70-34 Electric Hedge Trimmer Review
Without a doubt this Bosch AHS 70-34 Electric Hedge Cutter is the best tool around. For those of you with larger hedges, it’s is an absolute must-have!
This trimmer is highly robust and powerful, with a 700 W motor making it ideal for larger hedges.
While this model weighs in at 3.9 kg, 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 achy.
A few other features include the tip protector, which ensures you don’t damage the blade if you need to cut along walls, and a sawing function. This will enable you to cut through branches of up to 38 mm in diameter.
The 70 cm laser-cut, diamond-ground blade boasts sheer power, plenty tough enough to tackle large hedges and stubborn branches with ease.
Purchasing this particular Bosch cordless hedge trimmer 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.
If you are looking for the best hedge trimmer on the market, look no further than the Bosch AHS 70-34 Electric Hedge Cutter.
Bosch AHS 45-16 Electric Hedge Trimmer Review
The perfect choice for those with small to medium hedges is the Bosch AHS 45-16 Electric Hedge Cutter. The ’45’ refers to its 45 cm long blade, and ’16’ to its 16 mm tooth opening.
This lightweight Bosch model weighs just 2.5 kg, 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 comfort, this Bosch trimmer ticks all the boxes:
The soft-grip, ergonomic handle ensures ultimate comfort and safety in any working position. Combined with its lightweight size, you’re unlikely to be punished with arm or back ache.
Once you get into the swing of it, you’ll find using this hedge trimmer a total breeze.
The 45 cm diamond-ground blade with a 16 mm tooth opening provide a clean, precise cut, making your hedge look even neater. 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 is a welcome safety feature as it means no-one can start it going accidentally!
The only slight gripe I 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 can buy separately.
Versatile, ergonomic and powerful, this Bosch hedge trimmer is certainly up there when it comes to looking for the best hedge trimmers.
If you have small to medium hedges, this is a great choice.
Flymo EasiCut 460 Hedge Trimmer Review
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 best hedge trimmer available on a budget, providing a cheaper alternative to other cordless hedge trimmers without compromising on quality.
The powerful 450 W motor packs a real punch, and makes it great for small to medium sized hedges. The central handle position also ensures both safety and comfort.
The dual-action, 45 cm long, cutting blade, alongside the 19 mm 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 m mains 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.
I don’t believe that durability is compromised just because of the lower price either.
Whilst 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.
If you’re after the best hedge trimmer on a budget, you’ve got it right here!
Einhell GC-HH 9048 Electric Hedge Trimmer Review
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 picture perfect. 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 50 cm 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 from ground level.
It also packs plenty of power, boasting 900 W of sheer power with laser-cut, diamond-ground blades. This mighty machine 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 5.3 kg weight might seem offputting, 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, my 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.
If you are looking for the best hedge trimmer to access hard to reach places, the Einhell GC-HH is a must have!
Bosch Isio Cordless Hedge Trimmer Review
You didn’t think I’d stay away from mentioning Bosch products for long did you? This trusty brand is back with another great product; 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 extension cables.
It’s no surprise that the Bosch Isio won RHS Chelsea’s Garden Product of the Year in 2014!
This compact and lightweight shrub shear is powered by an integral 3.6 V 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 one of my favourite Bosch tools.
The multi-click head-changing system means that switching between functions 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 550 g 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: the simple, mobile phone-style charger displays a green light when charging and the four-stage LED battery clearly shows you how much charge 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, I really don’t have any major gripes with this product. I suppose battery life could be a drawback, but 50 minutes is a surprisingly long time when trimming in the garden.
It’s lightweight, easy to use and does what is says on the tin – with slightly more style and ease than similar products.
If you’re looking for the best multi-functional cordless hedge trimmer on a budget, look no further than the Isio Cordless Shrub and Garden Shear Set.
Things to Know Before Buying a Hedge Trimmer
If your garden hedge strongly resembles your Sunday morning bed hair, it might be in need of a haircut.
For the novice gardener, hedge trimming 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.
Choosing the best hedge trimmer for you will require some thought. Here’s what to consider before you dive into the world of hedge trimmers:
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 reach 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 with a longer reach that is slightly sturdier and more powerful. Bear in mind – this’ll also mean heavier.
Therefore, comfort should also be a factor. We recommend buying from a reputable brand if you’re in need of something powerful.
While low budget options can be tempting, hedge trimmers are impressive, sometimes dangerous, pieces 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.
Comfort is another factor to consider.
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.
I recommend looking for 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.
You generally have three options when it comes to trimmers – cordless, mains powered or petrol. For this article, we’ve only focused on cordless and mains powered as these are the most popular choices.
Petrol trimmers are extremely powerful, but can be too heavy for casual garden work.
Mains-powered 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 battery. 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, the best hedge trimmer for you will likely be cordless model.
Cleaning the 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.
- Lay your hedge trimmer on a stable, flat surface.
If you are cleaning your hedge trimmer immediately after use:
- Use 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.
- 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.
Sharpening the Blades
Sharpening a hedge trimmer should be done, ideally, after 50 hours of work. Don’t wait until they show signs of wear.
- Wear thick gloves.
- Remove any dirt before sharpening.
- Only sharpen the cutting edge.
- Make sure the blades are aligned.
How to Sharpen the Blades
- 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 downwards strokes 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 – it’s tough work as it is just to get them to optimum sharpness!
Hedge Trimmer FAQs
- 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.
As a rule of thumb, Evergreen hedges will need to be trimmed 2 – 3 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.