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Types of Hedge Trimmer

2016-12-07

What type of battery hedge trimmer do you need to choose?

1 Electric hedge trimmer

Electric hedge trimmers are usually lightweight, can be quite powerful and are useful in most gardens where you can reach all your hedges with the attached cable and possibly an extension cord.

As you will need to plug it into the mains, think about how far your hedges are from the house and whether you will need a long extension lead. Accidentally cutting the cord is possible, so work with the cable over your shoulder and out of the way of the blade. Always use a residual current device (RCD) to protect yourself from electric shock if you cut the cord.

Pros: Cheaper than cordless or petrol, and often lighter.

Cons: Need access to mains power. Easy to accidentally cut the power cable.

2 Cordless hedge trimmer

Cordless hedge trimmers give you the freedom to cut hedges further away from the house, and there is no cable to accidentally cut through. Cordless hedge trimmers with higher-powered 36V batteries are starting to rival petrol hedge trimmers. Batteries typically last around 20 minutes, but some will keep going for up to an hour. The best batteries recharge in about 60 minutes. If you have a larger hedge, think about buying a second battery to finish the job.

Our reliability surveys show that many cordless hedge trimmer owners find the batteries to be unreliable, either they don't hold the charge well or don't charge at all. You might want to consider the price of replacing the battery when you work out how much the hedge trimmer will cost to use over its lifetime.

Pros: Can be taken anywhere. Easy to use.

Cons: Can be expensive. May need a second battery to finish long jobs. Batteries may be unreliable.

3 Petrol hedge trimmers

Petrol hedge trimmers are great for cutting large hedges, especially those with thicker branches, that are away from a main power source. Unlike electric hedge trimmers, you don't have to worry about the extension cord reaching or the battery running down. Instead, you just need a can of petrol, with the two-stroke oil mixed in, sitting ready to refuel and carry on.

Pros: Better, faster cutting for large areas. Can trim anywhere.

Cons: Weight, noise and vibration are all inescapable problems. Can be hard to start the engine.

4 Long-reach, extendable hedge trimmers

If you have tall hedges, the safest and quickest way to cut them is from the ground. Long-reach hedge trimmers have a long shaft that can be adjusted in length, and the cutting blade sits at the end of this. The blade can be tilted to cut the top of the hedge or the side. Long-reach hedge trimmers can be found as corded electric, cordless or petrol models. Petrol long-reach hedge trimmers can often be sold as or converted to a multi-tool, and the hedge trimmer head can be swapped for a strimmer head or a pruner. This means you can effectively have several tools without having to buy more than one motor. We've reviewed several long-reach hedge trimmers, so have a look at our guide to long-reach hedge trimmers.

Pros: Perfect for cutting tall hedges safely.

Cons: Often underpowered and can be unwieldy to use.