Best Hedge Trimmers 2017: Electric, Gas, and Cordless
As I learned during my early days in lawn maintenance, a good quality hedge trimmer is an essential tool for those who want to keep their yard neat and tidy, as well as stop their bushes and shrubs from getting out of control.
When it comes to bushes, trimmers are excellent at creating clean lines, and defined edges, as well as providing the precise uniformity that is sometimes required.
The best trimmers are maneuverable, light enough to use, but also powerful enough to deliver effective cutting. They are reliable, long-lasting, and incorporate the latest technology to give you a rewarding user experience.
The Three Styles of Hedge Trimmer
There are three main styles of hedge trimmer: corded electric, battery powered electric, and gas powered.
The style that you choose is largely dictated by the size and type of area that needs to worked on, and other factors, such as noise and access to an electric supply.
- Corded electric hedge trimmers are the least hassle in terms of fuel mixing and starting procedures. Electric trimmers are generally portable, lightweight, powerful and quiet. They are usually less expensive than other types too. The cord can be limiting, however, if working on a large or complicated yard space.
- Battery-operated trimmers have a lot of similarities with corded ones, but are better suited to large or complicated areas, as they are not limited by cords. They are more expensive, however, plus you need to keep the battery charged, of course.
- Gas trimmers are generally powerful and versatile. Suitable for large yard areas, they are the favorite style for the professionals. They are noisier than electrics, however, and they can be messier.
Best Corded Electric Trimmer: The Black and Decker HT22
An effective all-rounder with the ability to trim hedges and shrubs of all configuations, the Black and Decker HT22 provides excellent cutting power without excessive vibration.
The steel blades are long-lasting and powered by a 4.0 amp motor, capable of cutting branches up to 3/4 inches in diameter.
Like all corded trimmers, you are limited by power supplies and the general inconvenience of operating with a cord, but as this type of machine goes, it is comfortable and easy to use.
In terms of value for money, this model is difficult to beat.
Before you tackle the trimming, you will often want to prune the bush by hand. Pruning can cut away deeper to help the inner parts of the plant get more light, and can also be done to thin out certain areas.
The best time for pruning depends very much on the plant. Lighter pruning can be done at any time.
- Lay down a tarp to collect cuttings and make clearing up easier.
- Prune the bush manually first. An electric trimmer will shape the outer areas, but first you need to provide light and air to the inner limbs by cutting farther back damaged and diseased branches, and thinning out heavier growth.
- Remove dead branches near the base and avoid cutting off more than 1/3 of the plant each year.
After general pruning, bushes can be formally trimmed.
Best Cordless Trimmer: The Black and Decker 40V Lithium Ion 24-Inch
One of my favorite things about the Black and Decker LHT2436 is the available battery strength.
The 40-volt lithium ion rechargeable battery gives you both the power and the duration to complete the most strenuous of tasks. In fact it is possible to trim up to 6000 square feet of hedge on a single charge.
The 24 inch dual-action blade creates minimal vibration, especially when compared to single action blades.
- To make sure that you are trimming a straight line, use a nearby object as reference, such as a house or siding. For a more professional approach you can set up stakes and strings.
- Let the blade do the work as you run it along the sides and top of the bush. The base should always be wider than the top.
- Tall hedges require a trimmer with an extended reach. Some standard trimmers can be adapted with special attachments for this purpose.
- If you live in an area where it snows, you should consider rounding the top of your hedge to stop a build up of snow.
Heavy duty, yet comfortable to handle and easy to control, the Echo HC-152 is great for large and challenging jobs.
The 20 inch double-sided blades are sharp and durable, thanks to the blades being precision ground and laser cut.
Easy to start and reliable, the HC-152 can cope with banches up to 3/4 inch in width.
© 2017 Paul Goodman