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Charlie Nardozzi

Professional Gardening Expert

Best Hedge Trimmers & Best Hedge Trimmer

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For any homeowner with a hedge or shrubs around their home, they know these plants periodically need trimming. For this task, a hedge trimmer is a necessary piece of equipment. While traditional manual hedge trimmers are quaint, to get the job done quickly and efficiently, a powered tool is better. Hedge trimmers are classified by their power source: electric, battery, or gas. Each type of hedge trimmer has advantages and disadvantages.

Electric hedge trimmers are probably the most popular. They can cut branches up to ½-inch in diameter. They’re light, least expensive, and quiet. Plus, they don’t pollute like a gas-powered trimmers. On the downside, the electric hedge trimmers require a power cord that can be awkward to maneuver while you trim. This also limits your range of trimming to within a certain distance to a power outlet.

Battery powered hedge trimmers eliminate the need for a power cord, so are more portable. However, they aren’t as strong as the gas or electric trimmers and generally last about 45 minutes before you need to recharge the battery or replace it. These are best for small trimming jobs.

Gas powered trimmers are certainly the strongest, cutting branches up to ¾-inch in diameter. They are portable, but the most expensive of the powered trimmers. However, they pollute, give off fumes and are heavy. Gas powered models are best for large yards or professional use.

Other features to look for in your trimmer include safety switches. Many models require both hands to be on the trimmer before it will run. This greatly reduces the chance of cutting a finger. Some have lock-on and lock-off switches that don’t require you to have both hands on the trimmer to operate. Although, more convenient, they are more dangerous.

The best trimmers will have two, double-sided, dual-action blades that pass by each other making for a cleaner, easier cut. The blade lengths range from 13 to 30 inches long. For homeowners blade lengths are between 16 and 24 inches long for the best balance and weight. However, longer blades allow you to cut wider hedges in one pass. Good quality trimmers will have blades that stop quickly after letting go of the handle as a way to avoid injury. Gas powered trimmer blades should stop while the engine idles and have vibration controls to minimize hand and arm fatigue. Some gas power models also have safety shields to protect the user from flying debris.

For tall shrubs consider a pole trimmer. These gas or electric powered trimmers are safer than standing on a ladder and trying to trim with a traditional model. Pole trimmers that are dedicated to just trimming are better than string trimmers with a pole pruning attachments.

When buying a trimmer, check for good balance and comfortable grips. Although most trimmers weigh less than twelve pounds, they can be tiring to use over time if the handles are awkward and the unit imbalanced. As with any power tool, wear protective goggles, gloves, sturdy shoes, and ear protection (for gas powered models).

Best of the Best:
Here’s a good mix of high quality electric, battery, and gas-powered trimmers. Select the best trimmer for your yard based on the type and quantity of trimming that needs to be done.

Find the best hedge trimmers to make a day's task in the yard go smoothly. We recommend the best hedge trimmer from Black and Decker, Echo, Stihl, Craftsman and others.

Best Hedge Trimmers by Charlie Nardozzi

The Best You Can Get

  • Black and Decker 18 Volt Hedge Hog

    Charlie says: Black and Decker is well known for high quality electric power tools. This battery powered, cordless trimmer can trim for up to 50 minutes before it needs a recharge. This lightweight model has a battery recharger included that renews the battery in three hours. It would be worth buying a spare battery if you have lots of trimming to do.

    • 22-inch, dual action blade
    • 18 volt rechargeable battery
    • 6.4 pounds
    • Low vibration levels
  • Black and Decker Electric Hedge Hog

    Charlie says: This powerful electric trimmer features an engine strong enough to cut branches that only a gas-powered model could cut. It has lock-on and lock-off switches for continuous running and shutting down. Soft grips and low vibration reduce hand fatigue. A pigtail cord reduces the incidence of the cord becoming unplugged.

    • 24-inch dual action, shearing blades
    • Electric powered
    • 6.2 pounds
    • Can cut branches up to ¾-inch in diameter
  • Echo HC 150

    Charlie says: This gas-powered trimmer features a commercial-duty engine and blades and good vibration control to reduce user fatigue. The throttle lock prevents accidental engagement. It has a commercial grade air filter and a large, soft, pull handle for starting. The see-through fuel tank helps you know when it’s time to refuel.

    • 20-inch double-sided, dual-action blades
    • Gas powered
    • 10.7 pounds
    • Large, see-through fuel tank
  • Little Wonder 1920

    Charlie says: This electric powered trimmer features an engine with gears designed to increase cutting speed. The stamped, high-carbon tool steel blades last six to ten times longer than normal blades. A hook on the handle helps keep the cord from becoming unplugged. The engine is designed for extra noise reduction. The ergonomically designed handle is light, balanced, and easy to use.

    • 19-inch, double-edged, dual-action blades
    • Electric powered
    • 8.5 pounds
    • Two safety switches needed to be pressed to engage blades
  • Stihl HS 45

    Charlie says: This gas-powered trimmer has a high-torque engine and a heavy-duty gearbox that makes this trimmer powerful, yet not too heavy to operate. The blade lock prevents accidental usage when moving the trimmer from one plant to another. A large front handle makes it easy to use this trimmer at any angle.

    • 24-inch, double-sided dual cutting blades
    • Gas powered
    • 10.8 pounds
    • Anti-vibration system

You will be happy with any of these

  • Craftsman 79957

    Charlie says: This low cost, lightweight trimmer is a good basic model with clean cutting action from its powerful motor. The extended reach blades help with cutting tall shrubs. However, this model is a bit noisier and vibrates more than other models on the market.

    • 22-inch, dual-action, single blade
    • Electric powered
    • 7.6 pounds
    • Lock-on switch
  • Garden Groom

    Charlie says: This unusual hedge trimmer features a unique round cutting head design. The blade is concealed under the cutting head making it safe to operate. The trimmer comes with a bag that collects clippings, making for less work. Since the round head is only eleven inches in diameter, it’s best used on smaller hedges and shrubs.

    • 11.4-inch diameter cutting head
    • Electric powered
    • 7.7 pounds
    • Unique round cutting head design
  • Makita

    Charlie says: This electric trimmer has a powerful engine, ergonomic grips, low noise and vibration levels, and a transparent blade guard. The blades stops quickly after either of your hands are released from the unit. It does only have a single blade and is not as efficient at cutting as double-bladed models.

    • 17.75-inch, single blade length
    • Electric powered
    • 7.1 pounds
    • Safety controls requires both hands to be on the unit to operate
  • Poulan Weedeater Excalibur

    Charlie says: This powerful gas powered engine has an all position carburetor that allows the model to be operated vertically, horizontally, at an angle, and even upside-down without gas leaks or stalling. The stainless steel blade resists rusting. The comfort-touch ergonomic handle reduces vibration and arm fatigue.

    • 22-inch dual-action, double-sided, stainless steel blade
    • Gas powered
    • 12.5 pounds
    • All position carburetor
  • Remington Hedge Wizard Pole Trimmer

    Charlie says: This electric trimmer is mounted on a fiberglass pole with a ten-foot reach. It also has a trimming head that can pivot 180 degrees to make for straighter and easier cuts on the tops and sides of tall hedges. The trimming head can be locked into five different cutting positions. The looped, pistol handled, non-slip grip and hand guard make for safer usage. The lock-on and lock-off switches allow for continuous operation.

    • 17-inch dual-action blades
    • Electric powered
    • 7.25 pounds
    • Cuts branches up to ¾ inches in diameter

Related Articles

Choose the best hedge trimmers to spruce up your hedges and shrubs. These hedge trimmer recommendations offer safety switches, dual action blades and gas or electric power to meet your needs. Always the best price, these long edge trimmer choices include electric hedge trimmers, cordless hedge trimmer selections and others from Stihl, Black and Decker and Craftsman.