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Published Sep. 9, 2021

Bushes, shrubs, hedges, fir trees, and other plants can greatly improve the appearance of your yard, but if these plants aren’t properly maintained they can quickly grow out of control and have the opposite effect. Instead of using manual hedge clippers to try and trim overgrown hedges and bushes, consider a trimmer that’s specifically made to cut and maintain bush, shrub, and hedge growth. Hedge trimmers have a central arm that extends about 20 to 24 inches from the motor. The arm has slots on either side where sticks, twigs, and small branches can fit. Powerful blades then move rapidly up and down the length of the central arm, slicing through any material caught in the slots. The best hedge trimmers can cut through branches without sticking or stalling, making quick work of yard maintenance. Take a look at these top products, then keep reading for more information on how to choose the best hedge trimmers for your home.

How We Picked the Best Hedge Trimmers

Methodology

Choosing a list of top products is never easy when there are over 35 different options with significant potential to make the list. Many years of experience with yard maintenance products, as well as extensive research to determine the quality and capabilities of the individual products, helped to narrow the selection process. I considered hedge trimmers based on their specialized features, such as a telescoping arm, as well as more standard product factors, including weight, power source, blade size, and cutting capacity. 

The goal was to find several different hedge trimmers that performed admirably and fell into various popular categories, including selections for cordless electric hedge trimmers, corded electric hedge trimmers, and gas-powered hedge trimmers. These categories were chosen to provide a range of power source options, as many users have strong preferences. Additionally, the weight, blade size, and cutting capacity were examined in order to select hedge trimmers that could tackle lightweight or heavy-duty tasks, as well as provide the user with the appropriate range and mobility for yard maintenance.  Special consideration was also given to products with added beneficial features, like a telescoping arm or pivoting trimmer head.

Best Hedge Trimmers Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: EGO Power+ HT2410 24-Inch

Impressive Cordless Power

Trim and maintain bushes, hedges, and even small fir trees with this powerful cordless hedge trimmer. EGO Power+

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Why It Made the Cut: Get efficient power without relying on an extension cord or having to fill a gas tank with this 56-volt cordless hedge trimmer.

Specs: 

  • Blade Length: 24 inches
  • Cut Capacity: 1 inch
  • Weight: 9.4 pounds
Pros:Cons:
  • Powerful, 56-volt engine
  • Does not includes a battery or charger
  • Large, 1-inch cut capacity
  • Built-in electric brake system
  • Hardened steel trimmer blades
  • Sometimes the bushes, hedges, and other overgrown vegetation can be too much for the average cordless hedge trimmer to handle, but the EGO Power+ cordless hedge trimmer is built for power. This hedge trimmer is designed to operate on a 56-volt battery, allowing it to cut through tough branches and leaves with no problem. The cut capacity is larger than normal for hedge trimmers, so it can handle twigs, sticks, and branches up to 1-inch thick. This power ensures that users can maintain bushes, hedges, and small fir trees, though any branches that exceed one inch in diameter should be removed with a chainsaw or a pole saw, depending on the height. 

    While the power of the trimmer may make users think otherwise, this product is actually relatively light at just 9.4 pounds. It also features an electric brake that will stop the movement of the blade as soon as the trigger is released to help prevent injury. Without the electric brake, the 24-inch, hardened steel, dual-action trimmer blades would continue moving until the momentum naturally slowed them down. The cushioned grip on the hedge trimmer reduces vibration damage and muscle fatigue and also improves control over the tool. Keep in mind, though, that the hedge trimmer doesn’t come with a battery or charger, so these accessories need to be purchased separately.

    Best Value: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer

    Dual-Action Blade

    Cut through sticks and twigs with ease using this lightweight trimmer that’s equipped with dual-action hardened steel blades. BLACK+DECKER

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    Why It Made the Cut: Affordable and effective, this cordless hedge trimmer can be used to efficiently maintain bushes, hedges, and shrubbery in the yard.

    Specs:

    • Blade Length: 22 inches
    • Cut Capacity: ¾ inch
    • Weight: 5.7 pounds
    Pros:Cons:
  • Dual-action blade movement improves efficiency and reduces vibration
  • Does not includes a battery or charger
  • Cordless maneuverability
  • May have problems with thicker sticks or twigs
  • Hardened steel trimmer blades
  • The 22-inch blade of this Black+Decker cordless hedge trimmer is equipped with hardened steel blades capable of slicing through twigs, sticks, and small branches to keep your yard’s bushes, hedges, and other plants looking neat. This trimmer is an affordable option that weighs just 5.7 pounds, allowing the user to work without fatigue. However, the cut capacity of this hedge trimmer is only ¾ inches, so larger sticks and branches will have to be removed another way.

    The dual-action blades help to increase the efficiency of the tool while reducing the vibration. Additionally, the padded handle also insulates against excessive vibration to reduce muscle fatigue and prevent repetitive strain injuries. This hedge trimmer is capable of operating for about an hour when used with a fully charged 20-volt battery, but the trimmer doesn’t come with a battery or charger, so users will need to purchase these accessories separately. 

    Best Cordless Hedge Trimmer: Makita XHU02M1 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless

    Complete Hedge Trimmer Kit

    Yard maintenance can be handled in a hurry using this Makita hedge trimmer with a battery, charger, and protective blade sleeve. Makita

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    Why It Made the Cut: The cordless maneuverability and wide 15/16-inch cut capacity are ideal for managing unkempt overgrowth.

    Specs:

    • Blade Length: 22 inches
    • Cut Capacity: 15/16 inch
    • Weight: 7.4 pounds
    Pros:Cons:
  • Kit includes a battery, battery charger, and blade sleeve
  • Power output may not be enough for tough material
  • Provides 1.5 hours of run time
  • Cannot be used while the battery is charging
  • Cordless design aids maneuverability
  • Lightweight at 7.4 pounds
  • This cordless hedge trimmer by Makita is ideal for trimming and maintaining small yards with a modest amount of bushes, hedges, shrubbery, and other plants. While it doesn’t have the high power output of a gas-powered trimmer, this tool can operate for up to 1.5 hours with a fully charged, 18-volt battery. When the battery starts to run low, a  warning system will notify the user with a simple indicator light then stop the motor until the battery is charged. While the hedge trimmer does come with a battery and charger, it doesn’t include a backup battery, so users can’t resume their work until the battery is charged. Consider investing in a second battery to avoid this issue. 

    The cordless, battery-powered operation of this hedge trimmer is relatively quiet at 87 dB, which is about 25 percent quieter than the average corded trimmer. It has a powerful 22-inch blade, and a lightweight, 7.4-pound design that makes it easier to control and maneuver. The trimmer also boasts a padded front handle and an insulated motor housing in order to reduce vibration throughout the tool and protect the user’s hands and arms from strain and fatigue.

    Best Corded Hedge Trimmer: Sun Joe SJH902E 21-in 4-Amp

    Telescoping Multi-Angle Reach

    Trim the tops of bushes and hedges with the impressive 7.9-foot reach of this telescoping hedge trimmer. Sun Joe

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    Why It Made the Cut: A 7.9-foot telescoping reach and pivoting hedge trimmer head makes quick work of towering hedges with no need for ladders.

    Specs:

    • Blade Length: 21 inches
    • Cut Capacity: 7/10 inch
    • Weight: 8.8 pounds
    Pros:Cons:
  • 7.9-feet telescoping reach
  • Extension cord required
  • Pivoting head for multi-angle trimming
  • Movement is limited to the extension cord range
  • Hardened steel trimmer blades
  • Avoid the dangers of working on a ladder by using this telescoping hedge trimmer that’s capable of extending to a length of 7.9 feet. In addition to its impressive overhead reach, this yard maintenance tool is equipped with 21-inch, dual-action, hardened steel blades for efficient cutting. The head of the hedge trimmer doesn’t just extend, it also pivots so that the user can easily adjust the angle of the blades to cut through sticks, twigs, and small branches. The cutting capacity is 7/10 inch.

    Connect this 8.8-pound hedge trimmer to an available power outlet with an extension cord to work as long as necessary without having to worry about refueling a gas tank or recharging a battery. The extension cord, however, needs to be purchased separately. Keep in mind that the hedge trimmer is limited by the range of the extension cord, so choose a cord with the appropriate range for your yard.

    Best Gas Hedge Trimmer: Poulan Pro PR2322 22-Inch 23cc 2 Cycle

    Impressive Cutting Power

    Rely on the 23cc engine power of this gas hedge trimmer to slice through sticks and branches up to 1 inch in diameter. Poulan Pro

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    Why It Made the Cut: This gas-powered hedge trimmer offers the same freedom as a cordless product with a significant increase in power output, allowing users to make quick work of bushes, hedges, and other plants.

    Specs:

    • Blade Length: 22 inches
    • Cut Capacity: 1 inch
    • Weight: 11.1 pounds
    Pros:Cons:
  • Powerful, 23cc engine
  • Pull cord start can be tough to use
  • Large, 1-inch cut capacity
  • Pull cord is vulnerable to breaking or seizing
  • Rotating handle for increased control
  • While it is one of the heavier options when compared with corded and cordless hedge trimmers, this product is actually relatively light for a gas-powered model at just 11.1 pounds, helping to reduce user fatigue. It’s equipped with a rotating handle and a textured grip in order to improve the maneuverability of the tool while enhancing user control. This versatility allows the 22-inch blade to get into tight spaces and cut through twigs, sticks, and branches that would otherwise be too difficult to reach.

    The pull-cord start can be difficult, depending on the strength, skill, and experience of the user. The pull cord is also a point of vulnerability that may snap or become seized if not used properly. However, a skilled user will have no problem operating the 23cc hedge trimmer to cut through branches up to 1 inch in diameter. Use a 40:1 gas-to-oil mixture and get up to 1 hour of continuous operation on a full, 13-ounce gas tank. 

    Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Hedge Trimmer

    Before choosing a hedge trimmer, make sure to learn about the various product features, including the power sources,  blade length, cutting capacity, and the weight and maneuverability of the trimmer. Keeping these factors in mind will help ensure you choose the best hedge trimmer for your yard.

    Power Source

    Hedge trimmer power sources can include cordless electric, corded electric, and gas.

    • Cordless electric hedge trimmers are battery-powered tools that generally last about 45 to 120 minutes on a single battery charge. They are lightweight tools that are easy to maneuver, though cordless hedge trimmers don’t have the same power potential as gas-powered hedge trimmers, and even some corded electric products are more powerful. Consider using a second battery with these tools so that one battery is always charging while the other is in use.
    • Corded electric hedge trimmers are connected to an electric outlet through an extension cord, so while they can be used indefinitely as long as there is available power, they’re also limited in range and maneuverability due to the extension cord. These tools are lightweight and typically more powerful than cordless hedge trimmers, though they’re not as powerful as gas trimmers. 
    • Gas-powered hedge trimmers are great for tough jobs. The impressive power output of these devices slices through thick sticks and twigs without a problem. The down side to gas-powered tools is that they’re usually heavier than corded or cordless trimmers, making them more difficult to maneuver and control.

    Blade Length

    Trimmer blade lengths range from 13 to 40 inches, which is why it’s important to choose the right hedge trimmer for the job at hand.

    • 18 inches or smaller is the length of a compact hedge trimmer blade intended for maintenance of small hedges, or for cutting through thick weed overgrowth.
    • 19- to 30-inch blades are the typical length for a hedge trimmer because this reach allows users to manage most standard-size bushes, hedges, and small trees without a problem.
    • 30-inch and larger blades aren’t often used for DIY maintenance. Long blades are really only suitable for professional landscaping and yard maintenance, so these products are popular with small landscaping businesses and larger commercial companies.

    Cutting Capacity

    While the length of the blade helps to contribute to the maneuverability and range of a hedge trimmer, the cutting capacity refers to the maximum branch diameter that the blades can cut through. This capacity is easy to determine simply by measuring the size of the gap between the blade’s teeth. If a branch cannot fit into this space then the branch can’t be cut with the best hedge trimmer and will need to be removed using a different tool. 

    The majority of the best hedge trimmers are capable of cutting through branches up to ¾ inches thick. There are trimmers designed for more heavy-duty yard maintenance because they’re able to manage branches up to 1 inch in diameter, making them ideal for trimming overgrown bushes and hedges, as well as small trees.

    Weight and Ease of Use

    A hedge trimmer needs to be held by the person using the tool, so while the weight may not seem like much at first, the trimmer becomes more difficult to carry the longer it’s in use. Look for a tool that’s light enough for you to manage for at least an hour without getting significantly fatigued. Options range from just 5 pounds to more than 20 depending on whether the trimmer is cordless, corded, or gas-powered.

    Some of the best hedge trimmers also have special features that can help to improve their maneuverability and functionality, such as a telescoping pole that allows the head of the hedge trimmer to extend by several feet, or even a pivoting hedge trimmer head to cut through twigs, sticks, and branches at various angles. Take the time to consider whether these special features would be useful for your needs before deciding on a hedge trimmer.

    FAQs

    Q: What’s the difference between a hedge trimmer and a hedge cutter?

    Hedge trimmers are specifically made for managing the narrow sticks, twigs, and branches of bushes, hedges, and smaller fir trees. Most hedge trimmers can’t cut through branches larger than one inch in diameter. Hedge cutters, however, can be used for cutting through much larger branches, making them ideal for removing full branches or maintaining larger trees.

    Q: Are gas hedge trimmers more powerful than electric or battery-powered ones?

    On average, gas-powered hedge trimmers are more powerful than either electric or battery-powered models. This is primarily due to the large combustion engine that these tools are equipped with, allowing them to drive the cutting blades at an increased rate. 

    Q: How often should I oil my hedge trimmer?

    Oiling the hedge trimmer helps to ensure that the parts can move with a minimal amount of friction in order to reduce wear. While some users oil the hedge trimmer before and after every use, this isn’t necessary unless the tool is being used for several hours at a time. It is important to oil the hedge trimmer at least once or twice per month to keep it properly lubricated. 

    Q: Can hedge trimmers cut through branches?

    A hedge trimmer is designed to cut through sticks and twigs without a problem, but these tools are not intended to cut through large branches. The average hedge trimmer has a cutting capacity of about ¾ inches. Any branches larger than this can’t be cut with a hedge trimmer because they won’t fit into the slots between the blade’s teeth.

    Final Thoughts on the Best Hedge Trimmers

    The sheer power and lightweight feel of the EGO Power+ Hedge Trimmer makes this outstanding cordless product an excellent option for overgrown yards, but if you’re only worried about managing a small yard, then the affordable BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer is an ideal choice

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