7 Best Hedge Trimmers of 2024

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The Best Hedge Trimmers

best hedge trimmers
  1. Best hedge trimmer - Bosch Electric Hedge Cutter EasyHedgeCut 45

  2. Best cordless option - Ryobi RHT1851R20S Hedge Trimmer

  3. Best value for money - DEWALT DCM563PB-GB Hedge Trimmer

  4. Best budget trimmer - Flymo EasiCut 520 Hedge Trimmer

  5. Best design - BLACK+DECKER GTC18452PC-GB Hedge Trimmer

  6. Best blade length - Blue Ridge Hedge Trimmer

  7. Best lightweight option - NETTA Hedge Trimmer

Hedge Trimmer Reviews

Editors Choice
  • 45cm blade length is useful for reaching the height of medium hedges
  • Two-trigger safety feature means it can’t accidentally be switched on
  • Handle is comfortable to grip and the two triggers are light to press
  • Well balanced tool that’s easy to control even as you get a little tired
  • Centrally located triggers means it’s suitable for both left- and right-handed users

  • Lots of vibration which can become uncomfortable
  • Lacks the power required for thicker branches of over 16 mm in diameter
Blade Length
45 cm
Cutting Gap
16 mm
Weight
4.6 kg
Power
420 W
Type
Corded
Cord Length
6 m
Battery Run Time
N/A
Overall Score 4.4Read In-depth Review
Design
5
Performance
4
Power
4
Safety
4
Value for Money
5

The Bosch Electric Hedge Cutter EasyHedgeCut 45 is one of the best hedge trimmers for domestic gardens. Its blade is 45cm long which makes it suitable for medium hedges. 

With a 16mm gap between the teeth, it can tackle the majority of domestic hedges with relative ease. It can easily cut through branches of at least 12 mm thick. 

Although occasionally the blade can get jammed on thicker branches, its 420W motor means the trimmer should have enough power to work through them. This hedge trimmer isn’t intended for cutting very thick branches, but if you accidentally come across one that’s slightly larger, it should be able to get itself out of trouble. 

Weighing 4.6 kg, this trimmer is heavier than some others I’ve recommended. While it does feel lightweight initially, it may get tiring to use over time. However, this machine is helped by the fact that it feels exceptionally well balanced. Therefore, even as you start to tire, the hedge trimmer remains easy to control. The handles are also comfortable to hold thanks to the soft grips. 

Additionally, the trimmer comes equipped with a range of safety features. Two buttons need to be pressed to start it, so it’s difficult to start by accident. This also means that you should be in good control of the strimmer at all times, with two hands on the machine whenever it’s running. The triggers are centrally located, so it can be used by both left- and right-handed users. Plus, the safety instructions are comprehensive and very clear. 

Being a mains-powered unit, naturally there is the power cable to think about. This is a decent length at 10 m. Whilst you may still need an extension cable, depending on your garden, 10 m can offer a decent amount of freedom in small gardens. It’s also bright orange so it’s easy to spot against the grass or hedge. There’s nowhere to hook the cable out of the way, so you’ll need to be careful not to slice through it. 

All things considered, this machine strikes a good balance of power and ease of use. It produces a clean and accurate cut through thin branches. Therefore, it’s perfect for standard garden hedges, like the Beech hedges in my garden. If you’ve got more mature hedges in your garden, you may require a trimmer with a wider tooth gap. 

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Runner Up

2. Ryobi RHT1851R20S Hedge Trimmer

Best cordless option

best hedge trimmers Ryobi RHT1851R20S Hedge Trimmer
  • Produces a clean and accurate cut even through thicker branches of around 10 mm
  • Cordless hedge trimmer is battery powered so no need to worry about cutting through the cable
  • Comes with a 2 Ah battery and a charger included
  • Combination of weight and cordless design mean it is quite comfortable to use for extended periods
  • Rarely jams when tackling branches of 5 - 10 mm in diameter

  • The battery is slow to charge
  • Blade cover is lower quality and fiddly to fit
  • May struggle cutting through branches over 10 mm in diameter
  • Additional HedgeSweep attachment (for cleaning up debris) is not particularly effective
Blade Length
50 cm
Cutting Gap
22 mm
Weight
4.82 kg
Power
18V
Type
Cordless
Cord Length
N/A
Battery Run Time
24 mins
Overall Score 4.7
Design
4.7
Performance
4.9
Power
4.6
Safety
4.7
Value for Money
4.5

Ryobi are becoming increasingly well-known in the world of DIY, particularly for producing quality machines. This RHT1851R20S Hedge Trimmer is no exception; it’s the best cordless hedge trimmer featured here, combining quality with power.

With a 50 cm blade, and powered by an 18 V motor, this cordless hedge trimmer is capable of cutting through branches around 10 mm thick. Although Ryobi state that this hedge cutter can handle branches of 18 mm in diameter, it seems more comfortable at the 5 – 10 mm mark. Still, not bad at all for a cordless hedge trimmer!

Whilst the hedge trimmer doesn’t jam frequently, it may cut slower on larger branches. It’s best to allow the diamond-ground blades to do the work at their own pace, instead of trying to force them through faster than necessary.

As a cordless hedge trimmer, there are no wires to contend with. This means nothing to potentially trip over whilst cutting the hedge, which is a definite win for safety. Plus, there are additional safety features as well. For example, this Ryobi hedge trimmer has a lock that prevents accidental adjustment of the blade whilst in use.

These factors, combined with the stability of the cordless hedge trimmer, make it feel secure to use. There’s also a blade guard included – although its quality doesn’t quite match up to the rest of the hedge trimmer.

Cordless hedge trimmers can feel a bit heavy, but this model weighs 3.1 kg with the battery pack in place. However, like most power tools, it may start to feel heavy after a while. On the plus side, this hedge cutter allows you to work more freely as there’s no power cable, so you may find that jobs get done faster anyway.

Also, fortunately, the battery doesn’t run down too quickly with this cordless trimmer. Plus, many users have described it as having power on par some with mains-powered models which is pretty good going.

All things considered, this is a powerful and practical hedge trimmer that doesn’t make excuses for being battery powered – it can keep up with other models, and do the same job as some mains-powered hedge trimmers. For this reason, I rate it as the best cordless hedge trimmer overall.

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Also Good
  • Safety switch means trimmer can't be turned on by accident
  • Battery and blade are well balanced (particularly when used with 5 Ah battery)
  • Achieves 25 minutes run time even with a smaller, lighter 2 Ah battery
  • Batteries are transferrable between many other Dewalt products

  • Ear protection should be worn as it's relatively noisy
  • The last 3 cm of the blade has no cutting teeth and they may get stuck in tough areas
  • Changing angle whilst cutting can loosen your grip on the safety switch - sometimes cuts out in the middle of a task
Blade Length
55 cm
Cutting Gap
19 mm
Weight
‎2 kg
Power
18V
Type
Cordless
Cord Length
N/A
Battery Run Time
75 mins
Overall Score 4.7
Design
4.8
Performance
4.8
Power
4.6
Safety
4.6
Value for Money
4.5

If you’re looking to get a quality machine, whilst still keeping costs reasonable, I recommend the Dewalt DCM563PB-GB Hedge Trimmer (as a bare unit). Although there’s no battery or charger included, you can use interchangeable Dewalt batteries to power this cordless hedge trimmer – you might already have some of these if you have other cordless Dewalt tools.

With a battery in place, this is one of the best cordless hedge trimmers for battery life. Even with just a small 2 Ah battery, you can achieve approximately 25 minutes run time. It might not sound like a lot, but for small/medium sized hedges this is generally more than sufficient to finish the job.

This cordless hedge trimmer has a 55 cm blade with 19 mm tooth spacing between the cutting teeth. It performs well across the majority of garden hedges and will cut through branches of at least 6 mm.

When used with a 2 Ah battery, this cordless trimmer weighs approximately 3 kg which is a manageable weight. With a 5 Ah battery, this weight increases, but the balance is slightly improved. Nevertheless, with either battery, this isn’t considered a heavy particularly heavy hedge cutter.

In terms of safety, given that this is a cordless hedge trimmer, there is no cable to cause a tripping hazard. Also, this hedge cutter has a two-step ignition process meaning that it can’t be accidentally turned on.

Overall, I’d say this is the best cordless hedge trimmer if you already have a compatible Dewalt battery. This will make it great value for money. It’s a good choice generally for standard gardens; it doesn’t eat through battery power too quickly, yet is sufficiently versatile to be appropriate for most jobs.

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4. Flymo EasiCut 520 Hedge Trimmer

Best budget trimmer

best hedge trimmers Flymo EasiCut 520 Hedge Trimmer
  • 10 m cable is a reasonable length and may allow work in small gardens without extension cable
  • Good performance for a budget option
  • Lightweight design is manageable for most users

  • Doesn’t always give the neatest finish - some stems may be bent as opposed to cut
  • Some users have found the safety button a little stiff to use
  • Lacks the power required to tackle thicker branches
Blade Length
50 cm
Cutting Gap
19 mm
Weight
3.84 kg
Power
500 W
Type
Corded
Cord Length
10 m
Battery Run Time
N/A
Overall Score 4.6
Design
4.5
Performance
4.5
Power
4.5
Safety
4.7
Value for Money
4.7

Buying a hedge trimmer can turn into a costly affair, but there are still some budget options on the market that do a good job – you just need to find them! The Flymo EasiCut 520 Hedge Trimmer is a lightweight, low-cost, easy-to-use machine, that works well on small/medium jobs.

It the best hedge trimmer for anyone on a budget, delivering enough power to be a useful asset to the garden. Of course, at this price you can’t really expect it to have the strength of more premium models, but Flymo is still a reliable, trusted name in the world of gardening, and their hedge cutter is nevertheless worth considering.

One factor that likely keeps the price of this trimmer down is that it is a corded electric hedge trimmer – cordless tools are generally more expensive. However, despite being a mains-powered model it does have a fairly generous cable length, at 10 m long, which helps improve its practicality. In small gardens, you may not need an extension cable.

The hedge trimmer’s teeth are spaced out at 19 mm intervals along the 50 cm blade, so, for reference it has roughly the same size specification as the Dewalt hedge trimmer featured on this page.

In terms of performance, this electric hedge trimmer works as you would expect. No major surprises (neither good nor bad), just a basic hedge trimmer that will cut standard garden hedges such as conifer bushes and privet hedging.

For a budget hedge trimmer, it’s definitely got a lot going for it. It works well for standard domestic jobs, has a good cable length and a reasonable blade length too.

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  • 45 minute battery life makes it possible to do the majority of tasks
  • Cordless design means there’s no cable to accidentally cut through
  • Lighter weight than many battery-powered trimmers makes it more manageable
  • Transferable batteries with other compatible BLACK+DECKER products
  • Anti-jam system works well to encourage blades to 'backtrack' out of jam

  • Charging isn’t very fast and takes a few hours
  • Blade guard is not particularly high quality
  • May require slower sweeps and movements to cut through thicker branches
Blade Length
45 cm
Cutting Gap
18 mm
Weight
3.4 kg
Power
18V
Type
Cordless
Cord Length
N/A
Battery Run Time
2 - 3 hours
Overall Score 4.6
Design
4.7
Performance
4.5
Power
4.6
Safety
4.6
Value for Money
4.5

Considering that this is a cordless hedge trimmer, the BLACK+DECKER GTC18452PC-GB Hedge Trimmer is a very manageable weight. Coming in at just over 3 kg, this cordless trimmer offers a good combination of freedom and control, making it one of the best hedge trimmers in terms of design.

Slightly smaller than the majority of hedge trimmers featured here, this BLACK+DECKER Hedge Trimmer has a 45 cm blade. This is lined with teeth at 18 mm intervals. In terms of cutting power, this cordless hedge trimmer can cut through the majority of branches up to 10 mm in diameter. It’s also fitted with an anti-jam mechanism which can help occasionally ease it through slightly larger branches too.

With this mechanism, you can press a button on top of the hedge trimmer if the blades have jammed in a branch. This will cause the blades to re-track, and remove themselves from the jam.

Whilst generally a powerful cordless hedge trimmer, it does have its limitations, and slower sweeps may need to be taken to achieve the same results as a mains-powered model. However, one thing that shouldn’t cause too many problems is the battery life.

The included battery can achieve a run time of around 45 minutes which is good going for a cordless hedge trimmer. It can also be swapped out for another 18 V BLACK+DECKER compatible battery, so there’s the potential to extend the run time further.

As with a lot of hedge trimmers on this page, there is a two-step starting switch to avoid accidental ignition, and a blade guard for safer storage. In what appears to be a common theme, it seems the quality of the blade guard does not quite live up to the rest of the machine.

Nevertheless, this is a capable tool that is one of the best hedge trimmers if you’re looking for a well-designed, lightweight cordless option. Plus, it has a great battery run time too. Overall, this cordless hedge trimmer wins out in terms of its overall design. Considering how light it is, it’s incredibly manageable for a cordless hedge trimmer.

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6. Blue Ridge Hedge Trimmer

Best blade length

best hedge trimmers Blue Ridge Hedge Trimmer
  • Lightweight construction means it does not easily cause fatigue when used for a prolonged period
  • Long blade of 65.5 cm makes it easier to tackle taller 6 ft hedges
  • Easy to handle and suitable for those who lack the upper body strength to handle heavy power tools
  • Has sufficient power to handle the majority of hedge trimming tasks found in a standard garden

  • 6 m cable may be too short for some gardens
  • Quite loud meaning that ear protectors should be worn
  • Black cable can be difficult to see in the hedge trimmings and there is a danger of cutting through it accidentally
Blade Length
65.5 cm
Cutting Gap
16 mm
Weight
2.78 kg
Power
600 W
Type
Corded
Cord Length
6 m
Battery Run Time
N/A
Overall Score 4.4
Design
4.3
Performance
4.4
Power
4.4
Safety
4.5
Value for Money
4.4

Despite having the longest cutting blade on this list, at 65.5 cm long, the Blue Ridge Hedge Trimmer still remains very lightweight at 2.78 kg. It’s the best hedge trimmer for blade length overall.

It’s the second lightest hedge trimmer featured here, but the blade length is longer than any other model. This combination makes it suitable for cutting tall hedges without suffering from arm fatigue.

This electric hedge trimmer is capable of cutting through branches up to 16 mm in diameter – that’s how large the gap is between the teeth on its blade. It can cope with anything it might encounter in a standard garden hedge. Plus, thanks to the blade length, it’s not difficult to tackle tall 6 ft hedges either.

This hedge trimmer comes equipped with several safety features including a two-hand safety switch, blade break and hand guard. However, it is relatively noisy so ear protection should be worn as well.

As a mains-powered hedge trimmer, there is of course a power cord to contend with. The cord on this Blue Ridge Hedge Trimmer is 6 metres long, which isn’t quite as generous as some of the 10 metre cables featured on some hedge trimmers on this page. You’ll likely need to use an extension cable.

Also, an additional note on the power cable: it is a black colour, instead of a more visible orange, and can be quite easy to lose sight of amongst the hedge and clippings. Therefore, extra vigilance is required so as not to accidentally cut through it.

All things considered, particularly paying attention to the size and weight of this machine, it’s one of the best hedge trimmers for anyone looking for a lightweight model with a long blade. This could particularly help those who lack upper body strength, but will no doubt benefit many gardeners in general.

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7. NETTA Hedge Trimmer[ SAVE 17% ]

Best lightweight option

best hedge trimmers NETTA Hedge Trimmer
  • Lightest hedge trimmer featured: at 2.4 kg it's easy to manoeuvre and hold for extended periods of time
  • Capable of cutting through most small/medium branches of standard hedges
  • Good budget option that combines value with reasonable performance
  • Sufficient power for standard, occasionally gardening

  • Struggles to cut through thicker branches
  • Short 6 m power cable will likely require the use of an extension cord
  • Short 41 cm blade length isn't as suitable for tall hedges as longer blades
Blade Length
41 cm
Cutting Gap
16 mm
Weight
3.24 kg
Power
500 W
Type
Corded
Cord Length
6 m
Battery Run Time
N/A
Overall Score 4.4
Design
4.3
Performance
4.3
Power
4.4
Safety
4.5
Value for Money
4.4

If weight is your main concern when using power tools, the NETTA Hedge Trimmer is the lightest model featured here, weighing in at 2.4 kg. It’s the best hedge trimmer if you’re looking for a manageable model that isn’t too heavy.

This lightweight hedge trimmer is relatively small, with a blade length of 41 cm, but it’s still efficient enough to cope with standard garden hedges. Of course, if the hedge is particularly large, the job will take longer than if using a hedge trimmer with a longer blade.

Overall, the 500 W motor results in a machine that cuts through most small and medium branches; however, it may struggle with thicker or woodier stems. Even so, it’s still the best hedge trimmer featured here if you’re after something lightweight that will help with occasional cutting jobs.

It comes with a 6-metre power cord, which is not considered particularly long in the world of power tools, and an extension cable will likely be required unless working right next to the mains outlet. Also, accidentally cutting through the cord has been reported by some users – so this is something to be aware of.

In terms of other safety features, this hedge trimmer has a two-step safety switch, meaning it can’t be turned on unintentionally, and a small hand guard.

Overall, this is a useful, lightweight hedge trimmer that’s suitable for occasional hedge trimming. The only limit is the length of its blade. Due to its weight, it’s the best hedge trimmer if you want a light machine for small jobs. It’s also very reasonably priced considering its capabilities, so it seems to successfully combine three important factors of weight, value and performance.

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Product Tester

In this review, I tested a range of hedge trimmers. Of the tools I tested, I identified the best overall hedge trimmer, plus the best cordless, budget, and lightweight option. I also pinpointed the tool that offered the best value for money, blade length, and overall design. Here are the key elements I assessed:

  • Design: When it came to design, the first thing I considered was the product’s weight vs. comfort levels. Any models that were heavier than 4 kg received lower marks, as these became heavy after prolonged use, making them less suitable for the average gardener needing to use them for long durations. If the model was heavy but well-balanced and designed with soft grips and easy-to-reach handles, this received a higher rating, as these models typically offered more power while remaining comfortable to use.
  • Performance: I assessed the power cable length of all mains-powered hedge trimmers, and any models offering less than 10 metres were marked down, as this reduced their usefulness in bigger gardens. Likewise, cordless models with a battery run time of less than 30 minutes and longer charging times were rated lower, as these also weren’t suitable for long-term use. One big thing with hedge trimmers is jamming, so I tried each model against various vegetation – if it jammed, I marked it down on performance.
  • Power: Models with a 420 W motor were rated highest, as these offered the most power. However, 12 V models were also suitable for most garden uses and tended to be less weighty, so these received high marks, too. Any hedge trimmers with power below 600 W were marked down, as this lack of power affected the types of hedges you could use it on.
  • Safety: When assessing safety, I looked for features such as a two-step safety switch, hand guards, centrally located triggers, and safety instructions. Hedge trimmers that offered all or most of these were given top marks, whereas models that were lacking in more than two of these areas were deemed less safe.
  • Value for Money: The hedge trimmers with the best value for money were those that were able to cut hedges of varied sizes, from small shrubs to large, tall hedges. I looked for hedge trimmers with a 16 mm gap between their teeth, as this allowed them to handle most domestic hedge jobs with a maximum cutting capacity of at least 12 mm. I also considered each model’s design, performance, power, and safety and how these measured up to their price point.
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Alexandra's Smart Buying Tips

  1. The two most popular styles are mains-powered trimmers and cordless electric hedge trimmers. Mains-powered hedge trimmers are best suited to small/medium gardens. Their cables can be restrictive in larger spaces. Cordless hedge trimmers are less constrictive in terms of movement, but their batteries only last 20 – 45 minutes.
  2. If you choose a cordless hedge trimmer, it helps to get a spare battery. This way, one battery can be on charge whilst you’re working, and you won’t ever have to cut the job short.
  3. The size of hedge trimmer you should by will depend on the size of your hedge. For small hedges, manual shears or an electric hedge trimmer with a 40 cm blade will suffice. Medium-sized hedges require an electric trimmer with a blade of at least 40 cm. If you’re tackling larger hedges, look for a blade of 45 – 70 cm to quickly get through the job.
  4. The tooth spacing between cutting teeth is also worth considering. Younger hedges have thinner branches, so a small 15 – 20mm gap is ideal for those. For thicker branches, you’ll want a bigger cutting gap of at least 30 mm. 

Keeping this in mind, my top pick is the Bosch AHS 45-16 Electric Hedge Trimmer. It’s a mains-powered tool with a 6 m cord, most suitable for use in a small/medium garden. Thanks to the 420 W motor, it’s capable of cutting through reasonably thick hedge growth between 10 – 20 mm in diameter. It has a 45 cm blade and a 16 mm cutting gap between its teeth, so it’s suitable for small and medium hedges. It’s also lightweight (2.6 kg), so is comfortable to use for prolonged periods.

Compare Product Features

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature you want to see.

  • Bosch Electric Hedge Cutter EasyHedgeCut 45
    best hedge trimmers Bosch Electric Hedge Cutter EasyHedgeCut 45
    • 4.4
    • 45 cm
    • 16 mm
    • 4.6 kg
    • 420 W
    • Corded
    • 6 m
    • N/A
  • Ryobi RHT1851R20S Hedge Trimmer
    best hedge trimmers Ryobi RHT1851R20S Hedge Trimmer
    • 4.7
    • 50 cm
    • 22 mm
    • 4.82 kg
    • 18V
    • Cordless
    • N/A
    • 24 mins
  • DEWALT DCM563PB-GB Hedge Trimmer
    best hedge trimmers DEWALT DCM563PB GB Hedge Trimmer
    • 4.7
    • 55 cm
    • 19 mm
    • ‎2 kg
    • 18V
    • Cordless
    • N/A
    • 75 mins
  • Flymo EasiCut 520 Hedge Trimmer
    best hedge trimmers Flymo EasiCut 520 Hedge Trimmer
    • 4.6
    • 50 cm
    • 19 mm
    • 3.84 kg
    • 500 W
    • Corded
    • 10 m
    • N/A
  • BLACK+DECKER GTC18452PC-GB Hedge Trimmer
    best hedge trimmers BLACK+DECKER GTC18452PC GB Hedge Trimmer
    • 4.6
    • 45 cm
    • 18 mm
    • 3.4 kg
    • 18V
    • Cordless
    • N/A
    • 2 - 3 hours
  • Blue Ridge Hedge Trimmer
    best hedge trimmers Blue Ridge Hedge Trimmer
    • 4.4
    • 65.5 cm
    • 16 mm
    • 2.78 kg
    • 600 W
    • Corded
    • 6 m
    • N/A
  • NETTA Hedge Trimmer
    best hedge trimmers NETTA Hedge Trimmer
    • 4.4
    • 41 cm
    • 16 mm
    • 3.24 kg
    • 500 W
    • Corded
    • 6 m
    • N/A

How to Choose the Best 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, and a lot of different information online, working out how best to create a crisp, tidy hedge can be confusing.

Firstly, choosing the best hedge trimmer will require some thought – it depends what your garden is like as well as your own physical capabilities. Then it comes down to technique as well.

Here’s some useful information to help you find the best hedge trimmer:

Choosing a Trimmer Based on Your Hedges

You’ll need to choose the best hedge trimmer based on your hedge type.

Small/Short Hedges

If you have a small hedge and don’t mind a bit of manual work (and potential arm ache), you could just reach for the manual hand shears.

These are the best hedge trimmers for quick, small jobs, especially if there’s the odd rogue branch sticking out. However, if you’re trying to drastically cut back a whole hedge, or it’s longer than a few metres, the best hedge trimmer for the job will be mechanical.

Handheld shears are a good choice for pruning ornamental bushes, but again, they’re not big enough for full hedge trimming.

If you’re working with small hedges, this article on ‘When to Prune Box Hedges’ might come in handy.

Alternatively, electric hedge trimmers with a cutting blade of 30 – 40 cm are the best hedge trimmers for smaller gardens and hedges. You will find that you are able to cut the hedge quickly.

For small hedges, the hedge trimmer’s blade gap (the space between the teeth on the blade) should be between 15 – 20 mm. This will generally mean that the hedge trimmer can cope with branches up to 20 mm in diameter.

You are unlikely to require a telescopic pole hedge trimmer if you only have short hedges.

Medium Hedges

The best hedge trimmers for a medium hedge will be electric, with a cutting blade over 40 cm long.

If the hedge is mature, you should look for a hedge trimmer which has at least a 30 mm gap between each of the teeth on the blade. If it’s a younger hedge, you may be able to get away with a smaller gap.

Depending on the height of the hedge, you may benefit from a telescopic pole hedge trimmer. This comes down to whether you can comfortably and evenly trim the top of the hedge without one.

Large/Tall Hedges

For large hedges, the best hedge trimmers will have a blade length of 45 cm+. You can even find hedge trimmers with 70 cm blades which you might consider if you have a lot of big hedges.

Of course, the longer the hedge trimmer’s blade, the more hedge you can cut in one go. However, larger hedge trimmers are heavier machines so you may have to reach a compromise.

Cutting the tops of tall hedges can be made a lot easier by using the a telescopic hedge trimmer.

When buying long, telescopic tools like these, I suggest looking for one with the motor positioned at the handle-end of the tool. Telescopic hedge trimmers can get top heavy if the motor is positioned higher up.

Although electric hedge trimmers will be plenty suitable for large hedges, some might consider using petrol hedge trimmers instead. Petrol hedge trimmers are only worth considering if the hedge has particularly thick, tough branches.

READ NEXT: The Best Telescopic Pole Hedge Trimmers

Hedge Type

As mentioned above, it’s not always just the physical size of the hedge that’s important, but the size of the branches you’re looking to trim.

These can vary depending on the type of hedge and its age.

Younger hedges will have thinner branches, so a hedge trimmer with a small blade gap (15 – 20 mm) should be sufficient. More mature hedges may have thicker branches, requiring a hedge trimmer with a bigger blade gap of 30 mm+.

Weight and Comfort

Comfort is another factor to consider – especially if you’re going to be holding the hedge trimmer for a long time.

It goes without saying that larger tools, designed for large hedges, will be heavier. If you need a big hedge trimmer, choosing one with a supportive shoulder strap can make a big difference. This will allow the weight of the hedge trimmer to be distributed more evenly across your body.

At the end of the day, you need to feel in control of the hedge trimmer, even if this means getting a smaller one because it’s lighter, and spending longer on a job.

The selection of ‘best hedge trimmers’ featured on this page vary in weight. They weigh between 2 – 5 kg. Holding a 2 kg weight for an extended period is significantly different to holding a 5 kg weight for the same time, so you need to consider your physical capabilities.

As with all power tools, if you find yourself getting sore or tired, take a break and come back to it later. There’s no point risking safety just to try and finish a job quicker. Ultimately, the best hedge trimmer will be the one that you find comfortable to use.

READ NEXT: How to Remove a Hedge

Mains Powered vs Cordless Hedge Trimmers

You generally have three options when it comes to hedge trimmers: corded hedge trimmers, cordless hedge trimmers, and petrol hedge trimmers. For this article, the focus is predominantly on corded hedge trimmers and cordless trimmers. These are the most popular choices for non-professional use around the home.

The best petrol hedge trimmers are extremely powerful, but can be too heavy for casual garden work. They are useful for cutting back very thick branches, particularly in areas that are not close to a power source.

Mains-Powered Hedge Trimmers

These are usually lightweight, especially as they have no battery to add additional weight, and can be very powerful.

These are the best hedge trimmers for gardens with small/medium hedges and can often trim branches of up to 45 mm in diameter.

They tend to be lighter than petrol hedge trimmers but also have slightly less power. However, you’ll generally find that a mains-powered trimmer has more power than a cordless model.

The biggest downside of using a corded electric hedge trimmer is being restricted by the cable. Often the power cable is only around 6 m long. Of course, you can use an extension cable, and you don’t have to worry about running out of power, but you do need to be careful.

Accidentally cutting the power cord is a surprisingly common incident. 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

The main benefit of using a cordless hedge trimmer is that it gives you more freedom to move around your garden compared to a mains-powered machine. However, they often cost more than their tethered cousins.

Although budget cordless hedge trimmers are hard to find, you’ll get a better deal if you buy a bare unit. This is particularly useful if you already own a compatible battery.

Deciding whether a cordless hedge trimmer is right for you will depend on a variety of factors.

Batteries generally last 20 – 45 minutes – this can vary depending on the cordless model. Depending on your garden size, and how many hedges you have, this might be enough or it might be too little.

However, you can often buy more than one battery, so you can charge one whilst using the other. But, of course, this is an additional cost.

If you have a big garden, you might still decide that it’s worth using a cordless hedge trimmer. They can be very convenient. You don’t have to deal with the cable of a mains-powered model, or the weight of a petrol hedge trimmer.

As long as your hedges don’t have very thick branches, a cordless model will be a viable option. Big jobs will just take longer if you have to wait for the battery to recharge.

READ NEXT: The Best Cordless Hedge Trimmers

Staying on Top of Maintenance

Cleaning the Blades

Cleaning the blades of your hedge trimmer is an important, albeit mundane, job. It will help your hedge 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 the blades of your hedge trimmer is the best way to ensure it lives a long and happy life.

First off:

  • Ensure the hedge 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.

Then, 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.

Or, 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 regularly. It’s estimated that a hedge trimmer’s blades should be sharpened after  every 50 hours of work. Don’t wait until the blades show signs of wear.

General Advice:

  • Wear thick gloves.
  • Remove any dirt before sharpening.
  • Only sharpen the cutting edge.
  • Make sure the blades are aligned.

How to Sharpen the Blades

  1. The best way to sharpen a hedge trimmer is using a flat file.
  2. 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.
  3. Repeat this for all other teeth, making downward strokes only.

Whilst over-sharpening is a risk, it’s unlikely to happen when sharpening the blades by hand – it’s tough enough work just to get them to optimum sharpness!

Hedge Trimmer FAQs

Preparing to use your hedge trimmer will vary depending on whether it is a battery hedge trimmer, mains powered, or fitted with a petrol engine.

However, in use, you will find that you use similar techniques across the board:

  • Begin cutting at the bottom of the hedge and work your way up. Use gentle brush-like strokes and don’t try to cut too much of the hedge in one go. Instead, make several shallower passes 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 hedge 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 hedge 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.

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.

The following is a good guide for when to cut different hedges:

  • 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.

This really depends on the size and age of the hedges you have in your garden. 

The first thing to think about is the blade length. If you’ve got short hedges, you don’t need a very long blade. A blade of around 30 – 40 cm should be sufficient. 

For taller hedges, you’ll want a blade length of over 45 cm. This will allow you to reach further up the hedge and work with greater efficiency, cutting more hedge in one go. Some hedge trimmers have blades up to 70 cm long. If you have very tall hedges, you may prefer one with a telescopic handle. 

The other consideration is the blade gap. For most routine trimming work, a blade gap of between 16 and 20 mm will be sufficient. This tends to be suitable for most young hedges. More mature hedges may require a thicker tooth gap, in some cases up to 30 mm. 

Hedge trimmers can cut through thin branches. Depending on the power and tooth gap, they may be able to cut through  branches around 20 mm thick. However, even petrol powered hedge trimmers will lack the horsepower to tackle tree branches. For these types of branches, you’ll need a chainsaw. 

Generally speaking, it’s possible to cut hedges when they’re wet. Don’t cut hedges whilst it’s raining as using machinery during this time could pose a safety risk.

When possible, wait a while after it’s stopped raining before cutting hedges. The longer you wait, the less water droplets will be sitting on the hedge itself. Cutting a hedge at this point will risk you getting wet and also will reduce the traction of the hedge trimmer’s blades on the branches.

Ensure the trimmers blades are sharp and properly lubricated. Any water left on the teeth can cause rust, so ensure you allow your trimmer to dry after use. Make sure the ground is not too wet and slippy. If it is, wait before using any garden tools.

In the UK, we have a thing called the ‘high hedges’ legislation. This means that complaints can be made about hedges that are over 2 m tall. Local authorities do not automatically take action if a hedge is above 2 m tall. They will only take action when a complaint is made. 

For example, if you have a tall hedge and it casts a lot of shade into your neighbour’s garden, they could complain and ask for it to be made shorter. Sometimes, the council will decide what height the hedge should be cut down to.

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