Trimming your hedges and bushes to keep them neat and tidy can be a huge chore. It takes up much of our time and leaves us feeling achy and exhausted. However, one simple purchase of a hedge trimmer can change all that. Gone are the days of cutting hedges manually. Swapping your shears for an electric or petrol hedge trimmer means you can cut down your work time and trim away those aches and pains, leaving you more time to enjoy your garden.
Whether you have decided to buy your first hedge trimmer, or are just ready to replace your old, here is a collection of information that we feel you should know about hedge trimmers before making your purchase.
- 1 What to know before you choose a hedge trimmer
- 2 Only Got 5 Minutes?
- 3 Best Pick
- 4 Best Budget
- 5 Our Best Pick Hedge Trimmer – In Brief
- 6 Why Trust Us?
- 7 Types of hedge trimmer
- 8 What size hedge trimmer do I need?
- 9 Other features to look out for
- 10 How much should I spend?
- 11 Best Pick Hedge Trimmer – Bosch AHS 45-16
- 12 Best Budget Hedge Trimmer – VonHaus 500W Electric Hedge Trimmer
- 13 Best of the Rest
- 14 Bosch AHS 70-34
- 15 FAQs
What to know before you choose a hedge trimmer
To ensure you select the appropriate hedge trimmer, there are a few questions you will need to ask yourself before looking into the details of types of trimmers and their features.
1. What amount of hedge to be trimmed?
2. What is the height of the hedges? (Do you need to cut much higher than your head?)
3. How thick are the hedges?
4. How easily reached are the hedges? (What is the distance from a plug socket?)
They type of hedge trimmer that will best suit you largely depends on this information as this will support the decision on how much power you will need, how manoeuvrable the trimmer needs to be, the length of blade needed etc.
Only Got 5 Minutes?
To ensure you purchase the correct trimmer for you, you must first ensure you know the height, thickness and amount of hedge you will be trimming as well as the distance from a plug socket to the hedge.
Once you have this in mind you will need to select the type of hedge trimmer that suits your needs.
The Electric hedge trimmer is often the first choice for most homeowners. It is lightweight, easier to use, easy to maintain and can be easily started with just the touch of a button.
The electric trimmer can be quite powerful but does not offer as much power or speed as the petrol trimmer. The main drawback of the electric trimmer however, is the cord. You will not be able to move the machine very far away from the plug (usually around 100 feet). This type of hedge trimmer is therefore, only recommended for small gardens with small hedges.
The Cordless hedge trimmer gives you the freedom to cut hedges further away from the house without the inconvenience of the cord or the worry you may cut through the cord.
When looking at individual models, it is important to take into consideration the batteries. These trimmers run from batteries that can range from 14v to 40v and as with most items, you can expect to pay more for a higher voltage. The batteries will usually need re-charging after 20 minutes but some do allow you to work for up to an hour before needing to be charged. The use of batteries means you will also need to plan ahead to ensure the batteries are charged.
The Petrol hedge trimmer is the most powerful of the hedge trimmers. It will cut through hedges of all sizes and thickness and will do so at a much faster speed. All you will need is a can of petrol mixed with oil to refuel as needed.
These trimmers are however heavier, more expensive, noisier and more uncomfortable than the electric trimmers and will need more maintenance.
Long reach hedge trimmers are available as electric, cordless or petrol. The long reach trimmers are fantastic and trimming the hedges, you would normally need stepladders or scaffolding for. They extend up to 12 feet and often come with a rotating head to allow cutting both vertically and horizontally.
Average prices are as follows:
- Electric. From around £30
- Cordless. ( Dependent on battery) From around £50-£100
- Petrol. From around £150
- Professional Petrol. From around £400
Long reach vary depending on whether they are electric, cordless or petrol.
Our Best Pick Hedge Trimmer – In Brief
What makes Bosch power tools so appealing? Their price point, reliability, they make things designed around their ideal customer and they offer a fantastic warranty to back their products up!
The Bosch AHS 45-16 is no exception, they have focused on building something that is agile and lightweight, at just 2.5Kg, whilst packing a punch with a 420w motor. Whilst this is designed for home users and not for taking on forests it is still very powerful. The 2-year warranty is very reassuring too.
Why Trust Us?
The internet is full of review sites that claim they have bought and rigorously tested every product so they can give you the best buying advice, Tripadvisor has some fake reviews, who do you trust?
Let us be straight from the off, we provide the following, we get a product category or subject area, find out everything you could possibly want to know about it, find some of the best products for sale in the category and combine it all into a concise buyers guide.
If we were buying something that is exactly what we are looking for, we don’t care much for someone’s opinion, we want facts, the best products based on specifications and reviews and it all presented in one place. That is what we provide in our buyer’s guides.
Types of hedge trimmer
For many homeowners, the electric hedge trimmer is often the best choice. It is lightweight and therefore, easier to use. The electric trimmer is also easy to maintain as it no fuel to mix or petrol engine to service and can be easily started with just the touch of a button, even if it has been stored away all winter.
The electric trimmer can be quite powerful but does not offer as much power or speed as the petrol trimmer. The main drawback of the electric trimmer however, is the cord. You will not be able to move the machine very far away from the plug (usually around 100 feet). Make sure you bear this in mind and take into consideration where your plugs are in relation to the hedge. Multiple extension leads are not recommended for safety reasons.
This type of hedge trimmer is therefore, only recommended for small gardens with small hedges.
If you do decide to purchase this trimmer we recommend you have the cord over your shoulder as you work, as accidently cutting through the cord is easier than you think.
Cordless trimmers give you the freedom to cut hedges further away from the house without the inconvenience of the cord or the worry you may cut through the cord. They are known to be quiet, robust and almost free of vibration.
When looking at individual models, it is important to take into consideration the batteries. These trimmers run from batteries that can range from 14v to 40v and as with most items, you can expect to pay more for a higher voltage. The batteries will usually need re-charging after 20 minutes but some do allow you to work for up to an hour before needing to be charged. Again, batteries can take anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours.
Downfalls to this type of hedge trimmer at that many reviews show that batteries are unreliable so ensure you have a warranty on the product. You will also need to ensure you plan ahead to ensure the batteries are charged and factor in replacements batteries to the price you pay.
The petrol hedge trimmer is the most powerful of the hedge trimmers. It will cut through hedges of all sizes and thickness and will do so at a much faster speed. With this type of trimmer, you will not need to worry about the tangling or cutting through chords or batteries running down. Instead, all you will need is a can of petrol. Some models will require a mix of petrol and oil, which you simply re-fuel as and when needed. Others that boast they have ‘4 stroke engines’, will require you to add petrol and just check the oil every so often.
However, the petrol hedge trimmer does also come with some downfalls. They are heavier, more expensive, noisier and more uncomfortable than the electric trimmers and will need more maintenance.
Long reach hedge trimmers are available as electric, cordless or petrol. The long reach trimmers are fantastic and trimming the hedges, you would normally need stepladders or scaffolding for. Most long reach trimmers extend up to 12 feet and often come with a rotating head, which is very useful as it allows cutting both vertically and horizontally.
Although the long-reach has many benefits, the type of trimmer is usually much heavier and if you want to ensure your hedge is neatly trimmed it may be more worthwhile investing in a scaffold and smaller trimmer as it is not always possible to see what you are doing with the long reach.
What size hedge trimmer do I need?
If you only have a small hedge to keep trimmed and it is not too far from the house, the electric hedge trimmer is probably suited to you. If you are however, worried about the chord, consider buying a battery-operated trimmer.
If you have many tall hedges, a long reach hedge trimmer would be beneficial. Whether you choose a long reach electric, cordless or petrol model depends on your other requirements.
Lots of hedges
If you have lots of hedges, we would recommend the petrol trimmer. However, if you do not want to pay that much or if you know you will struggle with the weight, consider a cordless trimmer and buying an extra battery. We recommend you also look for a longer blade to reduce your time and work load.
Tooth openings refer to the space between the cutting teeth. The thicker your hedges, the wider you will need this to be. For smaller hedges, 15-20mm should be fine. However, if you have a larger and overgrown hedge, you should look for 30mm or more.
Other features to look out for
Our top extra features to look out for are as follows.
- Wraparound handle. A wraparound handle makes it easier and more comfortable to hold to allow for more efficient cutting at all angles.
- Dual safety switch. This is a great safety feature that stops the machine being accidently switched on.
- Pole trimmers. This allows the trimmer to extend upwards for those harder to reach places.
- Tooth trimmers. This increase the distance between yourself and the blades to reduce the risk of being cut.
- On lock. As the name suggest the on button will lock down to save you from having to hold it down as you use.
- Off lock. Like the dual safety switch, this will decrease the likelihood of the machine being accidently switched on.
- Warranty. As with most products, this provides peace of mind about the reliability of the product you are buying
How much should I spend?
With hedge trimmers, what you are essentially paying for is the power and convenience. Therefore, the most affordable trimmers are the corded electric, which start at around £30.
Cordless trimmers then jump in price to around £50 but can go up to around £200 for a more powerful lithium-ion battery. Do not forget to factor in the costs of replacement batteries for which you can expect to pay anywhere up to £100. Make sure you check that the price of the battery is included in the price of the hedge trimmer, as this is not always the case.
Although some can retail for less, expect to pay around £150 for a good quality, petrol hedge trimmer. If you are looking to use for professional use, you will be looking to pay upwards of £400.
Long reach trimmers vary in price depending on the type. Expect to pay around £60 for a corded, £100 for a cordless and £90 for petrol. Bear in mind that these are a start price and if you want a good quality long reach trimmer, you are looking to pay over £200.
Best Pick Hedge Trimmer – Bosch AHS 45-16
- Lightweight at 2.5 kg, ergonomic design
- Powerful 420 W Bosch motor
- Ergonomic design with soft-grip handle
- Diamond ground blades for a clean, precise cut
- Complete with protective blade cover when not in use
Our best pick goes to the Bosch AHS 45-16, there are much more powerful hedge trimmers out there. Cordless ones that are more convenient. But with Bosch’s unrivalled reliability, delivering exactly what the consumer wants and price point, there isn’t really a contest. If you desire more power, more portability and you have more money to spend then please consider some of the other models we have mentioned below.
Key Features; 420W motor, diamond ground blades, weighs 2.5Kg, 2-Year warranty.
Best Budget Hedge Trimmer – VonHaus 500W Electric Hedge Trimmer
- A lightweight and easy to use hedge trimmer with a powerful 550W motor and precision blades for fast cutting action – cuts through 16mm thick branches and twigs
- Ergonomically designed with a soft grip handle for ease of use, the 60cm cutting blade oscillates at a rate of 1700/min for a smooth cut without snagging
- Lightweight at only 3.5kg with a 10m cable, the hedge trimmer also features a two-stage safety trigger to prevent accidental operation and hand protector shield for safe use
- Comes complete with a blade cover and cable holder for neat storage when not in use
- Manufacturer 2 Year Warranty Included
VonHaus are a name that a few years back, no one had heard of. They are really starting to get a name for themselves at the budget end of the market. But time and time again we are seeing them producing fantastic products that could rival some of the bigger names. Their price point is always very reasonable and whilst the quality and power isn’t competing with some of the petrol models on the market 550W isn’t to be sniffed at.
The VonHaus model comes with a 10m cord, so reaching high up hedges shouldn’t be an issue and whilst heavier than some of it’s rivals 3.5Kg is a manageable weight.
Key Features: 550W motor, 10M power cord, weight 3.5KG, 2-Year Warranty.
Best of the Rest
Terratek Long Reach Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- LONG REACH: This fantastic telescopic hedge trimmer is ideal for clipping tall, awkwardly-sited or hard-to-reach hedges and shrubs thanks to the extendable pole. Also allows you to trim low hedges without having to bend down and strain your back. Blades cut cleanly and evenly up to 14mm in diameter.
- HIGH PERFORMANCE: The Terratek pole hedge trimmer has a high performance 18V motor which allows you to tackle any hedge with ease, without any struggling or straining. Powered by a Lithium-ion battery, it delivers up to 45 minutes run-time from one single charge. Peaking at 20V from a fresh charge the battery stabilises to 18V for smooth continuous use.
- ADJUSTABLE CUTTING HEAD: A 120° 5 position pivoting head allows for the easy trimming at the top or bottom of hedges. Weighing at just over 3Kg, the lightweight design makes it ideal for clipping tall, awkwardly-sited or hard-to-reach hedges and shrubs. Dual action 450mm hardened steel blades with aluminium blade support.
- EASY SAFE OPERATION: This Long Reach Cordless Hedge Trimmer is nice and simple to operate, featuring a one-handed power trigger and safety switch which prevents accidental starting. Cordless and easily portable around the garden, there are no cables for you to cut through or restrict your movement.
- 2 YEAR WARRANTY: We offer a 24 month guarantee on our Terratek cordless hedge trimmer for your added peace of mind.
Terratek have sprung out of no where when it comes to cordless power tools. Their cordless combi drill is really making waves and has fantastic reviews. Their garden range is equally offering great quality products, their telescopic hedge trimmer being no exception. Whilst the whole unit ways around 4.8Kg when on the telescopic pole, on it’s own it weighs in at just 3.5Kg. The telescopic pole allows you to reach up to 2.4M. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is included gives you roughly 45 minutes run time from a full charge. The battery and charger are included in the price. To top it all off they have included a 2-Year warranty.
Key Features: 18v Lithium-Ion Cordless device, 45 minutes run time, 3.5Kg weight of hedge trimmer, 2.4M telescopic reach, 2-Year warranty.
Ryobi One+ Cordless Hedge Trimmer – Body Only
- Powerful 18V motor easily cuts through hedges and branches
- 45cm diamond ground blades for clean cutting
- Capable of cutting large branches with 18mm blade gap
- 115 degrees articulating cutting head with 4 positions for versatile trimming
- Removable extension shaft for full length of 2.9m for extended reach tasks
Ryobi do a full range of power and garden tools. Whilst this model might seem a little pricey when put next to a model such as the Terratek, if you happen to have any other Ryobi One+ power or garden tools you will already have the charger and batteries. If this is the case, you can by the body only version saving yourself a significant amount.
This Ryobi hedge trimmer can reach 2.9M when fully extended and weighs in with the extension pole attached at around 6.4Kg. Whilst that might seem a little on the heavy side it is a pretty tough hedge trimmer and with power comes added weight.
The included fast charger allows you to get 45 minutes run time from a 60 minute charge. This is great if you have a larger garden as you can be on the go again within the hour.
Key Features: 45 minute run time, weighs 6.4Kg, 1-Hour fast charger, 115 degree articulating cutting head, max reach 2.9M, 3-Year warranty.
Bosch AHS 70-34
- 34 mm tooth spacing with sawing function enables cutting of branches that do not fit in between the teeth for a more thorough cut
- Ergonomic design for comfortable and easy hedgecutting without tiring arms
- Ergonomic handles with soft grip and see-through hand guard ensures a safe working position and effortless use
The Bosch AHS 70-34 is the big brother to our best pick the AHS 45-16. Whilst significantly more expensive than it’s more basic derivative the AHS 70-34 has a lot more to give.
If you have a larger garden or one where the hedges are thicker this is the tool for the job. With its 34mm tooth spacing and 700w motor, this really is a machine to rivalled. The AHS 70-34 also has a sawing function for thicker branches.
This model also features a 3-Year extended warranty, make sure you register it with Bosch though as standard it just comes with a 2-Year warranty.
Key Features: 700W motor, 34mm tooth spacing, 3-Year warranty, weight 3.9Kg.
Accessories are not essential but do have their benefits. An attachment to collect clippings makes for easier disposability. Ground sheets can also make disposal much quicker. Face and ear protection is beneficial to avoid injury.
The power of a corded electric trimmer is measured in watts. The watts usually vary from 400w to 900w. The higher the wattage the more powerful the machine. In a cordless model, the battery power is measured in volts and can vary between 18v and 36v. Like with the watts, the higher the voltage, the more powerful the hedge trimmer.