Updated: June 8, 2015
Hedge Trimmer Reviews:Hedge trimmers are a great power tool to have around for keeping hedges and shrubs from getting to overgrown. Clipping used to be a mundane chore with hand trimmers that took hours to do a few bushes, but with the latest garden hedge trimmers that same work can be done in minutes. There are cordless hedge trimmers, electric hedge trimmers, and gas powered hedge trimmers. Everyones needs are different so please select carefully. The best hedge trimmers have less noise and vibration while still giving you plenty of power. Safety features are important (see bottom of page for those) and experts say the faster the blade stops moving after you release the handle the better. When it comes to the corded electric hedge trimmers, the Little Wonder 2420 ($260) is #1 with a quiet motor that cuts through 1/2 branches. It offers a double reciprocating blade (less sharpening required) for a longer lifespan. 3 blade lengths are offererd - 24 inch, 19-inch, 30-inch.
Buying Guide - The Makita UH6350 is another top quality corded electric hedge trimmer for around $175. It's single bladed, offers a dual-switch safety feature, and it can trim through half inch branches. For 1/2 the cost of the Little Wonder, the Makita is well worth it. The Craftsman 79957 is the cheapest of the bunch at closer to $70 but owners say you get more noise and vibrations. As with all the hedge trimmers, the vibrations and weight of the product will eventually fatigue your arms so take breaks and make sure to use the lock-off switch when not in use for safety reasons. If you want lots of power, then we suggest going with a gas powered hedge trimmer, like the Echo HC160 ($350). You not only get cordless mobility and increased power (can cut through 3/4 inch branches), but a double-reciprocating blade for fast cuts through bushy shrubs eliminating jams. It does weigh about 5 pounds more than the other hedge trimmers mentioned above, but you are free to roam your yard without a cumbersome cord that keeps getting in the way. All of these hedge trimmers can be bought at Home Depot or Lowes in their garden department or yard power equipment section. Your local hardware store will probably carry the basic models for the average homeowner. We found lots of hedge trimmer reviews online at PopularMechanics.com, Epinions, Amazon.com and in the landscaping section of About.com. We found the most comprehensive reviews done by Consumer Reports magazine in which they rated all the top power hedge trimmers based on cutting power, handling, safety, and for features like extended reach, blade cover, and dual reciprocating blades. Reviews show that dual action blades are best and that a blade length of 22 inches is a good middleground. Many experts say that cordless, or battery powered, hedge trimmers don't do a very good job. Stick with the electric (corded) or gas powered trimmers. The top brand names are Echo, Stihl, Little Wonder, Weed Eater, Craftsman, Black & Decker, Remington, Poulan, Worx, and Earthwise. You can browse the top selling hedge trimmers online here.
Gas Hedge Trimmer:Stihl is the #1 name in yard power tools and their lineup of hedge trimmers is impressive and you should be able to find the model that fits your needs. Stihl offers the HS 45 Hedge Trimmer which is very popular amongst homeowners. All the Stihl trimmers come standard with front hand guard, anti-vibration system, throttle starting lock, and double-sided reciprocating blades with integrated cutter guard. Check out the entire lineup online at Stihl.com. Shindaiwa also offers a complete line of hedge trimmers and extended length trimmers for hard to reach shrubs, trees, or bushes. RECOMMENDED - Without sacrificing reliability and performance we think the Poulan Pro 22-Inch 25cc 2-Cycle Gas Powered Hedge Trimmer #25HHT is great alternative to the more expensive Stihl hedge trimmers. See all the top rated gas powered hedge trimmers here.
Best Electric Hedge Trimmer:Many homeowners don't need a gas powered hedge trimmer to trim back bushes and shrubs in their yards. The top rated electric hedge cutters should do just fine for most of you. One of our favorites is the Makita 25-Inch 2-Sided Electric Hedge Trimmer #UH6350 which scores well in many respects including having great balance and it's lightweight. Owners say it's fairly quiet when operating and they like the safety feature that the motor will only run when both hands are on the grips. Low vibration will keep arm fatigue to a minimum and allow you to trim all your bushes in limited time. Another excellent buy is the Black & Decker 3.0 AMP 18-Inch Electric Dual Action Hedge Trimmer which offers a shorter blade than the Makita but dual action blade will keep your cutting time to a minimum. The Black & Decker hedge trimmer is top rated by consumers and even the experts at my local Home Depot agreed that for less than $50 this is a "real bargain". You can find all these electric hedge trimmers online here.
Cordless Hedge Trimmer:For those of you who need to reach areas in your yard that are just not accessible with an elecric corded model, then perhaps a cordless electric hedge trimmer will do the trick. Lighter than the gas models, you can still reach far off places with the Black & Decker NHT2218. The 18 volt hedge trimmer from Black & Decker runs about $75 and gives you cordless convenience while still trimming branches up to 3/4 inch thick. It runs quiet and performs well. The battery can be recharged, but we still recommend buying an extra battery so you can do jobs in the fastest manner possible. The extra battery will cost about $45. There is a newer version available on Amazon but reviews for the latest model are not nearly as positive. Stick with the older version for now.
Things to look for when buying a hedge trimmer:
- Hedge trimmers should be balanced and lightweight
- Double-edge blades allow the home owner to cut in either direction, rather than in one direction as does a single-edge blade
- The comfort of a wrap around handle is an excellent feature
- Electric trimmers are the tool of choice for most homeowners since they are inexpensive
- Make sure there is a manual with all the safety precautions and read them thoroughly