Kärcher 18V Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer Review

Written by: - Landscape Gardener

While there were a few aspects to this hedge trimmer that didn’t appeal to me personally, that’s mainly because of the type of hedges that I have. Its reach may be good but it’s not one that I would choose for tall, freestanding hedges. However, if your hedges are on the shorter side and you’ll be trimming near walls or other hard surfaces, then the Kärcher 18 V Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer will get the job done quickly, leaving your hedge with a neat and professional-looking finish.

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Tested

Kärcher 18V Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer Review[ SAVE 10% ]

Kärcher 18V Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer Review
Overall Score 4
Design
4
Performance
4
Power
4
Noise
5
Safety
4
Value for Money
3
Max. Width
18 mm
Max. Pole Length
4m
Weight
5.6 kg
Power
18 V
Rotation Degrees
115°
Blade Length
45cm
Shoulder Strap
Yes
Safety Trigger
Yes
Battery Included
No

Although most commonly known for their pressure washers and other cleaning-related products, Kärcher also produces a range of garden tools, one of which is their 18V Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer. With promises of clean cuts and the utmost precision, I was looking forward to seeing how this hedge trimmer would hold up to the variety of hedges and trees in my garden.

How I Tested

I have several mature beech hedges around my garden, and I had saved a tall section of this for the Kärcher 18 V Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer. Its long reach combined with the hedge sweeper attachment should forgo the need for a ladder. Since I also tested out four other hedge trimmers on my beech hedges, this would also enable me to properly compare the Kärcher to its competition.

In addition to the hedge, I also tested this hedge trimmer out on a couple of sycamore trees that needed some new growth to be cut back. Although not primarily designed for tree pruning, this hedge trimmer boasts a saw function that should enable it to do just that.

Design

4

Kärcher-18V-Cordless-Pole-Hedge-Trimmer-Review-design

Just like the other hedge trimmers that I tested, this one was easy to put together – it only took a couple of minutes. Once assembled, I picked the machine up, and that’s when I noticed its first flaw – due to the heavy cutting head sitting at the end of a plastic pole, the hedge trimmer bends in the middle. Some of the other hedge trimmers that I tested also had a heavy cutting head, but they were still supported in a better way – they definitely didn’t seem as bendy as this one!

It didn’t help that there was a lack of a secondary D-handle. This would have enabled you to better balance and support the centre of the hedge trimmer, which would have made it feel a little more stable. At 5.6kg, the tool itself is on the heavy side too, which only adds to the problem.

However, putting that issue aside, there are a number of great design features incorporated into this tool. Although its 45cm blade length is pretty standard among cordless hedge trimmers, the fact that those blades are diamond ground means that they’ll cut neatly and sharply.

The head of this machine is adjustable – there are four positions to choose from, with a total range of 115°. The extension pole is optional too. Using the tool without makes it feel a little sturdier, but adding it in gives you a total reach of 4m. This was longer than any of the other hedge trimmers that I tested, making it ideal for people with tall hedges.

There were a couple of other features that this hedge trimmer had that the others I tested didn’t. The first is a saw function that enables it to cut through thicker branches. It also comes with a hedge sweeper attachment – slide this onto the blade and it’ll sweep your hedge clippings onto the ground for you, rather than leaving them sitting on top of your hedge. 

Performance

4

Kärcher-18V-Cordless-Pole-Hedge-Trimmer-Review-performance

Overall, I was pretty happy with how this hedge trimmer performed. With the extension pole on, it does take a while to get used to manoeuvring the machine due to how it bends in the middle, but once you’ve managed to get it into balance, it cuts beautifully.

I started off by testing it out on a very overgrown beech hedge and it sliced every single branch off cleanly and quickly – this included the thicker branches that were at least a few years old. 

Once I had neatened the hedge up, I moved onto a sycamore tree that was desperate for a haircut. I had high hopes, due to the hedge trimmer’s saw function, but those sycamore branches proved too tough for the machine – I had to apply a lot of pressure to cut through each branch, and the ends were left looking rather chewed. To be fair, pruning trees isn’t what a hedge trimmer has been designed for, but I wanted to test this out since some of the other hedge trimmers that I reviewed were able to beautifully cut through thicker tree branches.

I had high hopes for the tool’s hedge sweeper attachment too – the thought of not having to manually push all of those clippings onto the ground to tidy them away was very appealing! However, I wasn’t too impressed with it. As I’ve already mentioned, there’s a big issue with how heavy the cutting head of this machine is, and even though the hedge sweeper attachment itself is pretty light, adding even more weight to the head makes the hedge trimmer even harder to manoeuvre. 

When used without the extension pole, this isn’t so much of a problem. However, if your hedges were short enough to be trimmed without the extension pole, then chances are that you’d be able to easily reach up and grab those clippings yourself anyway!

It’s also worth mentioning that this hedge trimmer’s blade has a metal guard at the tip. This is to protect the blade from wear and tear if you’re working near a wall. I would have probably appreciated this more had my hedge been near a wall, but, since it wasn’t, this feature ended up being a little annoying instead. It prevents you from using the tip of the blade when trimming a hedge, which can be slightly limiting at times.

Power

4

Kärcher-18V-Cordless-Pole-Hedge-Trimmer-Review-power

The Kärcher 18 V Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer is powered by an 18V Kärcher battery, which needs to be additionally purchased. My 2.5aH battery gave me about half an hour of runtime, which was a little disappointing. In comparison, the VonHaus hedge trimmer that I tested came with a 2.0aH battery but allowed me to cut for around 45 minutes. 

So, if your hedges are quite large and require more than a 30-minute trimming session, then it would be worth purchasing a larger battery – a 5aH should give you just over an hour of runtime.

While I’m no technical expert, my guess would be that the shorter runtime with the Kärcher battery is due to the fact that this hedge trimmer feels more powerful than, say, the VonHaus. It cuts hedges faster and neater, which, in some ways, is worth compromising on runtime for.

What really impressed me about the Kärcher battery was its LCD display. Most cordless garden tool batteries have three LED lights that display battery life. However, Kärcher took things a step further with a small screen that gives you a percentage to tell you how much life is left in the battery. This is far more accurate than the LED lights on other batteries and makes it much easier to plan your tasks out if you have multiple hedges to trim.

Noise

5

At 95dB, this hedge trimmer is relatively quiet. If you’re using it in close proximity to your neighbours, they’ll most likely still hear it, but it won’t be too annoying! All hedge trimmers are noisy to a certain extent, but this is one that I would definitely recommend if you live in a town or city.

Safety

4

Kärcher-18V-Cordless-Pole-Hedge-Trimmer-Review-safety

There are a few important safety features included in this hedge trimmer. The first, as well as one of the most vital, is the dead man’s switch. This basically means that, in order to pull the trigger to get the machine started, you need to first press another button. This prevents anyone from accidentally hitting the trigger and causing what could be a very dangerous accident.

This hedge trimmer also comes with a shoulder strap. To me, this is important for safety as it gives the machine some added balance. That said, it doesn’t make up for the lack of a D-handle – this isn’t only an extra design feature but it also enables you to hold the machine in a safer way.

All of the hedge trimmers that I tested came with a plastic guard that slides over the blade. This prevents anyone from injuring themselves with the blade when the machine isn’t in use. I have to say that I was disappointed in the quality of the guard that came with this Kärcher product. Compared to some of the others that I tested, even the lower-end models, this guard felt very flimsy. Sure, it still does the job, but there’s a much higher chance of the cover itself ending up damaged or broken.

The one safety feature that does set this hedge trimmer apart from its competition is the blade tip protector. If your hedges back up onto a wall or need to be trimmed near the ground, then this little guard not only protects the blade from those hard surfaces, but also stops the machine from bouncing back in a dangerous way when it hits something so solid.

Value for Money

3

This was the most expensive of the hedge trimmers that I tested, which makes sense since Kärcher usually prices their products at the higher end of the scale. While the other Kärcher products that I’ve used have tended to be better than the competition, therefore justifying their higher price tags, I wouldn’t say that this was necessarily the case for their cordless hedge trimmer.

The machine’s few flaws here and there can be easily overlooked, and there were a couple of features offered by this tool that others don’t have. It definitely works well and I enjoyed using it, but, in my opinion, it’s priced a little high, with this being even more the case if you decide to go with a larger battery.

Overall

4

While there were a few aspects to this hedge trimmer that didn’t appeal to me personally, that’s mainly because of the type of hedges that I have. Its reach may be good but it’s not one that I would choose for tall, freestanding hedges. However, if your hedges are on the shorter side and you’ll be trimming near walls or other hard surfaces, then the Kärcher 18 V Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer will get the job done quickly, leaving your hedge with a neat and professional-looking finish.

Tested

Kärcher 18V Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer Review[ SAVE 10% ]

Kärcher 18V Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer Review
Overall Score 4
Design
4
Performance
4
Power
4
Noise
5
Safety
4
Value for Money
3
Max. Width
18 mm
Max. Pole Length
4m
Weight
5.6 kg
Power
18 V
Rotation Degrees
115°
Blade Length
45cm
Shoulder Strap
Yes
Safety Trigger
Yes
Battery Included
No

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