Hedge trimmers aren’t the most expensive piece of landscaping equipment you’ll buy. But when you need them, you want the best hedge trimmer that will last for years and keep a keen edge.
And that certainly doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind when making a decision on which to buy. You want a product that’s going to last you as long as possible, so you're willing to make an investment in good tools.
While it may seem like there are too many to choose from, doing a little research will make it easy to find the best hedge trimmer for your landscape.
Understanding the Different Types of Hedge Trimmers
You have a choice to make between three main types of hedge trimmers. The type you choose will depend on your landscaping needs and personal preferences. Let’s take a look so you can decide which is the best hedge trimmer for you.
Cordless Battery-Powered Hedge Trimmers
We can be honest: Cordless battery-powered hedge trimmers used to really suck. Not anymore!
The technology has advanced enough that some cordless trimmers are nearly as powerful as traditional gas varieties. Yes, seriously. At the same time, that doesn’t necessarily indicate that a cordless trimmer is best hedge trimmer for you.
The major selling point for cordless trimmers is that they’re quiet – oh so quiet. This is a major plus if you live in close quarters and don’t want to bother your neighbors. Or maybe you just don’t want the annoyance of a loud gas-powered trimmer.
Cordless trimmers don’t give off any nasty exhaust or emissions. So, not only are they better for the environment, but they’re also better for your health.
Another big plus: Battery-powered trimmers won’t break the bank. If you aren’t too concerned with massive power, you can feel comfortable buying something for under $100.
On the downside, the lithium-ion battery is a little heavier than that of a corded electric model. So, although there’s no cord to hold you back, the battery might wear your forearms down a bit.
Don’t forget to charge your battery-powered hedge trimmers when you’re done using them and figure out how long you’ll get out of each juice.
Electric Hedge Trimmers
If you have an average-sized suburban or city yard, you might as well go with an electric model. That is, unless outdoor outlet accessibility is a problem.
These cost about the same as battery-powered trimmers, but you might have a better selection in terms of power, features, and versatility. At least for the price. You should have no trouble finding a solid piece of equipment in the $100 and under range.
Just like their battery-powered counterparts, the corded electric trimmers produce no emissions. Unlike the cordless varieties, however, these electric models are much lighter because you don’t have to haul around a lithium-ion battery. Do you need to trim high branches or bushes? That’s fine because your forearms won’t feel on fire.
Companies like Black & Decker have had several years to perfect their electric hedge trimmer technology and design. So, when you buy something today, you can rest assured knowing that it’s durable and possibly even ergonomic.
Gas Hedge Trimmers
If you have a large yard or lots of thick hardwood to cut through, a gas model might be your best hedge trimmer choice. For one thing, it’s still the option most professionals go with – not only for power, but also cordless versatility.
Gas trimmers also give you a nice crisp cut and can move over large distances in less time. This is a major reason why professionals go with the gas options.
At the same time, gas trimmers can be quite a pain. You’ll often have to mix the gasoline, which can be a hassle in itself if you won’t be using the tool very often. And the gas can go bad sitting in your garage. Also, Gas produces emissions and fumes, which can range from annoying to dangerous, depending on the circumstances.
To top it off, gas trimmers are much heavier than electric models because you have to carry around the liquid gas mixture. Oh, and we can’t forget that these gas options are loud.
Common Features to Look for in the Best Hedge Trimmer
It’s hard to know where to start if you’ve never purchased hedge trimmers yourself before. Maybe you’ve relied on hand-me-downs or have simply never had the need. That’s fine – here's what you can expect as you’re browsing our best hedge trimmer choices below.
Locking On-Off Switches
Some hedge trimmers have a built-in switch that allows the trimmers to stay on. Others only run while you hold down the switch. It can become tiring to hold the switch down as you’re working, but there are also several safety benefits to this as well.
Look closely at the blades: A larger distance between each blade means you can cut larger branches. Some models have rotating blades that give you the ability to easily trim at unusual angles.
People with large yards to maintain all by themselves might regret buying a heavy hedge trimmer down the road – despite the more intense power of heavier choices.
With weight usually comes power from a strong battery or tank of gas. Large yards with a lot of hardwood might be more suited to a heavier yet more powerful machine, should the person using it not mind the weight.
People with a lot of bushes near windows (either their own or their neighbors’) might want to factor noise into their decision. Anyone buying a loud gas trimmer should consider using ear protection, as well.
It isn’t common that hedge trimmers break down shortly after purchase, but you never know. Things happen, and no one wants to re-spend the money even on a cheap trimmer. As a result, machines should come with a decent warranty.
Each type of power source comes with its own major set of pros and cons. Check out our list in the section above so you can figure out what factors are most important to you.
How We Chose Our Rankings for the Best Hedge Trimmer
To bring you the best models, we looked high and low to check out all the best hedge trimmer choices for 2019. And we took all of the above factors into consideration: power, warranty, blades, switches, noise, weight, and more.
In order to make our list easier to use, we also made sure to break down our choices based on power source. After all, that’s the number one factor people tend to consider when buying any type of landscaping equipment.
Our five-star rankings are all-around great picks with zero to minimal downsides. The four-star rankings might have a few cons that might not necessarily be deal-breakers. Three-star choices are still excellent pieces of equipmen,t but they may only be appropriate for certain types of uses.
The Best Hedge Trimmer Models: 8 Unique Choices
Here are the eight best hedge trimmer options out there. There’s definitely something on this list to fit your needs – no matter what that may be.
As usual, several top-name brands made the list due to their unmatched durability and quality. Let’s take a look.
1. Stihl HAS 66
This is the best hedge trimmer you’re going to find if you want something battery-powered. It has professional-grade strength, so you know it can handle whatever you throw at it.
Plus, it’s quiet and comes with a broad range of battery options. In fact, you can pick the right time frame that works for you: Do you want an hour-long small pack or backpack-style for all-day use?
2. Black & Decker LHT2220
- A powerful 20 volt max lithium Ion battery delivers power and extended run time
- 22 inches dual action blade to ensures less vibration while trimming
- Cuts branches up to 3/4 inches diameter
If you want a cordless trimmer that cuts to the chase, this Black & Decker LHT2220 is the best trimmer to choose as your new backyard sidekick. It’s the perfect no-frills trimmer for any average homeowner.
This Black & Decker is also pretty light, as it clocks in under 6 pounds. Although the run-time is kind of short, you can pick up extra battery packs to meet your needs. It’s hard to beat the low price tag here too.
3. Black & Decker HH2455
- 24-inch precision ground dual-action blade allows users to cut through overgrowth with 40% less vibration than single...
- Hardened steel shearing blades cut branches up to 3/4 inch thick; Soft grip handle and lightweight design provides...
- Rear handle rotates 180 degrees for ideal hand position when trimming vertically or horizontally; Full bale handle for...
This is a great choice if you have your heart set on a simple corded electric trimmer for an average-sized yard. Although it’s light, it still weighs more than the battery-powered Black & Decker above.
On the plus side, this is the best hedge trimmer when flexibility and awkward places are a major concern – the rotating handle gives you a nice level of versatility.
4. Echo HC-152
Maybe you really want the power and precision of a gas-powered trimmer. We here you. That’s exactly what the Echo HC-152 is for. This model is more low-maintenance than other gas options and it’s fairly easy to use.
With this trimmer, you get power that can slice through branches up to an inch along with a five-year warranty for residential use (two-year commercial).
5. Kobalt KHT 240-06
Not only does this Kobalt have a long-lasting battery, but it only takes an hour to recharge. This trimmer is also really light at around 6 pounds. The Kobalt KHT 240-06 gives you nice power too – even for large shrubs and branches.
On the downside, this isn’t the best trimmer for awkward or tight spaces. And unfortunately, you can’t slap on an extra battery pack.
6. Ryobi RY40610A
Although it doesn’t come with a backup battery, you can swap out similar batteries from any other Ryobi products you might own. This saves you some money if you need a backup.
This is a very powerful battery-powered trimmer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t rotate, so it’s not ideal for unusual maneuvering.
7. Husqvarna 122HD60
- The Smart Start engine and starter have been designed so the machine starts quickly with minimum effort
- A carburetor air purge system removes air from the carburetor and fuel system for easy starting
- When the machine is turned off, the stop switch automatically returns to the start position for easier starting
Let’s say you really want the power of a gas-powered trimmer but the only thing holding you back is the noise level. This Husqvarna is the best hedge trimmer for you.
Here’s the bad news: It’s heavy — over 10 pounds before you even add the gas. This machine will last a long time on a single tank, which is good, but the weight might make it difficult to cut high areas.
8. GreenWorks 22102
You might not be familiar with GreenWorks, but they make a pretty solid cordless trimmer – for the price. This is one of the most affordable trimmers you’ll find. However, you’ll have to sacrifice power.
However, if you don’t have a lot of large branches to trim in a smaller yard, the GreenWorks 2210 should suit your needs just fine.
Your Guide to Choosing the Best Hedge Trimmer
When you choose a hedge trimmer, this is really the first thing you need to figure out — how you’ll power it. Once you figure out which power source is best for your yard and needs, you can look at other features.
Here are a few tips to consider before making your final decision.
How much stamina do you have?
Wave around a hedge trimmer in the store just as you would at home in the yard. Continue doing this for at least five minutes (yes, you might get some stares). Well, how do your arms hold up? Take this into consideration when factoring weight into your buying decision.
Do you have pets or kids?
If so, you might want to consider buying a machine with an optional safety switch. Hey, even some clumsy people could keep themselves safe by going with this choice.
What are you cutting?
Take a good look around your yard – what will you need to trim? If it’s mostly soft foliage, you don’t have to pay power and blades too much attention. If you’ve got some thicker branches or hardwood going on, you might want to pay careful attention to the blade space’s diameter to make sure the branches will fit.
How will you use the machine?
Will you get annoyed dragging a cord around every weekend? Does a gas-powered device seem cumbersome for your bi-annual trimming plan? Unless you have very specific needs, a powerful battery-powered trimmer might be your best choice.
If you’re going to use the machine a few times each month, you might want to break down and buy something in the professional-grade range.
You now know just about everything there is to know about choosing the best hedge trimmer. So, get outside and check out your yard, buy a hedge trimmer, and get to town!