Telescopic hedge trimmers make it easier to cut tall hedges without using a ladder.
They reduce the time spent on hedge cutting, because you don’t have to waste precious minutes moving or climbing a ladder. Their extendable pole handle makes it possible to reach more of the hedge from ground level.
They also tend to have adjustable ‘head’ positions, so you can cut at several different angles too.
Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of variation between telescopic pole hedge trimmers, so it can help to know about the different styles before choosing which to buy. This is where the following information will come in handy:
Cordless Hedge Trimmers vs Mains Powered Hedge Trimmers
A hedge trimmer can be powered by either petrol or batteries (in the case of a cordless hedge trimmer). There are pros and cons to each, and then there are mains-powered trimmers as well, which have their own benefits and disadvantages.
Petrol-Powered Pole Hedge Trimmers
Petrol hedge trimmers are very powerful, they can generally cut through thicker stems and branches than electric-powered models, and they’re suitable for tougher jobs.
However, unless you have a lot of large, overgrown hedges and trees in your garden, you probably won’t require a petrol hedge trimmer for standard garden maintenance.
They can be very heavy, and quite unwieldy due to the long pole and heavy motor. Plus, combusting petrol fuel is considered worse for the environment than using electricity.
Cordless Hedge Trimmers
A cordless hedge trimmer will be lighter and easier to manage than a petrol trimmer, although they generally don’t have quite the same strength.
For the most part, a battery-powered hedge trimmer will be suitable for standard gardening jobs including regular hedge maintenance and reducing overgrown treetops. If you need to cut back a lot of thick hedge, they may struggle.
They have the advantage of being relatively light weight, although this can vary somewhat between models. Some battery-powered pole trimmers weigh as little as 3 kg, whilst other can weigh over 5 kg.
The main advantages of cordless hedge trimmers are their manoeuvrability and their weight. They can be taken anywhere because you’re not tethered to a plug, and they can be used for prolonged periods without causing fatigue.
Of course, the main disadvantage is that the battery will run out eventually. The batteries on long reach hedge trimmers will usually last for around 30 minutes, although some models may last for slightly longer, or for less time.
Checking customer hedge trimmer reviews is a reliable way to find out how long the tool’s battery lasts in the real world (as opposed to how long the manufacturer states it will last).
Mains-Powered Pole Hedge Trimmers
Whilst also not as powerful as petrol hedge trimmers, mains-powered options usually pack a bit more punch than battery-powered models.
They tend to offer a middle ground in terms of power.
Whilst better for the environment than petrol-powered trimmers, mains-powered tools have one clear disadvantage: you’re tethered to the electricity socket.
This can make them less versatile, especially if you have a large garden. Extension cables may have to be used, depending on the length of the cord provided.
On the plus side, there is no battery that might run out, no fumes being emitted, and no need to stop a job until it is complete. This can offer peace of mind to some gardeners.
Telescopic Extension Range
The telescopic extension range of a trimmer will give an idea of how much ‘reach’ you can achieve.
The trimmers featured on this page have extension ranges between 2.4 and 2.9 m.
This is how long the hedge trimmer itself extends to, but their ‘range’ includes the length of your own arm on top of that.
Standard hedges tend to be approximately 2 m tall, so an extension range of around 2.4 m would generally be adequate. Having a longer trimmer will give more flexibility in terms of what job you can do – especially if you want to reach trees too.
By nature, pole trimmers which extend to longer lengths have the potential to be slightly more unwieldy as you need to control something that is further away from you.
One further thing to consider when buying a telescopic hedge trimmer is how small it compacts down. Most telescopic trimmers, even when not extended, can still be quite long (somewhere in the region of 170 cm).
This may make them harder to use for more ‘everyday’ hedge trimming, when the extension isn’t required. So, either look for a manageable ‘un-extended’ length, or consider having a separate trimmer for close-range jobs.
Battery-powered cordless trimmers range in their battery-life capacity.
In general, you want to be looking for a hedge trimmer with battery life of at least 30 minutes to give you a good amount of time to get your hedge trimming done. Some models can only achieve around 20 minutes, whilst others might get around an hour.
Models with a long battery life can be more expensive, but it’s often good advice to spend slightly more at the start rather than end up frustrated with a trimmer that cuts out after 20 minutes.
If you already have tools of a certain make, see if their batteries are interchangeable.
If the batteries are interchangeable, you can buy a trimmer of the same make, and extend the running time of your trimmer by transferring the batteries between products.
Charging the Battery
Charging time can vary, and this is something to be aware of, especially if you don’t have the option of charging a spare battery whilst using the trimmer.
If you know you’re going to have to charge the battery partway through the job, a shorter charging time will be useful.
Some tools come with ‘fast charge’ chargers, which will usually get the battery charged in around one hour. These are worth looking out for, or buying separately, if it’s important to you.
Most long reach hedge trimmers also allow you to adjust the ‘head’ of the trimmer to change the cutting angle.
This is something which is worth looking out for, and a model with 4 – 5 different angle positions will normally be enough to facilitate the majority of jobs.
You’ll find that having access to different cutting angles not only makes cutting the top and sides of the hedge easier, but can also assist in trimming under the hedge too.
How to Use a Telescopic Pole Trimmer
To trim your tall hedges, work upwards from the bottom, using smooth sweeping motions.
Once you’ve neatened up the front of the hedge, turn off the trimmer and angle the blade at 90 degrees. Extend the handle so you can reach the top of the hedges.
You can then trim the top of the hedge from ground level, although it can take a bit of getting used to as you can’t easily see what you’re doing.
The best telescopic pole hedge trimmers have a head that can be set at multiple angles. This should make trimming the tops and undersides of hedges easier. Depending on the look you’re after, you can adjust the blade angle depending on the shape you want.
Assess your work from a distance when finished.
Remember to wear safety goggles or a visor to protect yourself from falling branches.
Back To Contents