How to choose the best hedge trimmer?
The best hedge trimmer is one that makes the most sense on your hedges and your property. But, you probably don’t even know where to begin if this is your first time. So, here are some things you’ll definitely want to think about before adding that hedge trimmer to your cart.
- The power source
- The blade (and its efficiency)
- The weight and dimensions
- The noise it produces
- The available manufacturer warranties
- The extra features you can use
- The budget you’ve set
Most importantly, you’ll want to take a look at the user reviews. After all, a lot of yard equipment looks great on paper but doesn’t live up to the hype once it’s in the hands of consumers.
The “type” describes how the hedge trimmer is powered and how long you can operate it. Here’s a look at the different types and their key features.
- Corded: These models, including the Toro Corded 22-Inch Hedge Trimmer, are great for long-term use. You don’t have to worry about your battery dying or your trimmer running out of gas. But, the cord tends to get caught on obstacles and might not reach all the way to the back of your property.
- Battery-Powered: Tools like the Milwaukee Electric Tools FUEL Hedge Trimmer are perfect for shorter jobs and lower noise production. Though the battery might not last long, these trimmers tend to charge for about 60 minutes or less.
- Gas-powered: Options like the Husqvarna 122HD45 Gas Hedge Trimmer will help you to trim your hedges quickly and efficiently. But, the major downside is the cost of refueling and loud noise level.
Before picking a unit, think about the size of your property, the importance of noise levels, and how long your trimming sessions might be.
The blade is perhaps the most important piece of the hedge trimmer. Here are some things you’ll need to think about when it comes to the blade.
- Blade Length: The longer the blade, the more hedge you can cover with each swipe. Most are 22” in length, but some trimmers like the Milwaukee Electric Tools FUEL Hedge Trimmer come with impressive 24” blades.
- Cutting Capacity: Each hedge trimmer has small gaps between the teeth that are meant to cut through thin branches and twigs when trimming. That means that models like the Scotts Outdoor Power Tools HT10020S can cut through branches up to ⅝” thick.
- Double-Sided: When a blade is double-sided, it can be used in both directions. You can easily move the trimmer back and forth, making it more efficient.
- Materials: The most durable blades seem to be made of stainless steel. These can easily cut through leaves, twigs, and branches.
You’ll want to think about how quickly you want your sessions to go and how thick your hedges really are.
The “SPM” of a hedge trimmer is also known as the “strokes per minute”, and this describes how many times the blade moves back and forth every minute. The higher the SPM, the more trimming you can do in a shorter period of time.
For example, hedge trimmers like the Husqvarna 122HD45 boast impressive 4,050 SPM. That means that this model is extremely high-powered and able to produce results much quicker than some others. Overall, this is ideal for thick hedges.
Then, there are lower-powered options like the Toro Corded 22-Inch Hedge Trimmer. Since this model only offers 1,600 SPM, it would be ideal for smaller jobs and thinner hedges.
Dimensions and weight
You might assume that bigger is better when it comes to trimming your hedges quicker, but that’s not always the case. In fact, getting a hedge trimmer that’s far too heavy might cause your hands to ache and tense up during longer trimming sessions.
You’ll notice that most hedge trimmers are less than 10 pounds, which really doesn’t sound like a lot. But, you need to think about how that can weigh on your hands and body when you’re holding this tool quite high sometimes an hour or more.
Lighter tends to be better. For example, there’s the Sun Joe HJ22HTE 22″ 3.5 Amp Electric Hedge Trimmer, which barely weighs 5 pounds. This is a perfect choice if you plan to trim your hedges frequently or if you have arthritis.
Noise level & vibration
A hedge trimmer that produces a lot of noise can be a nuisance to your neighbors and even damage your own hearing. If you’re looking for a quieter hedge trimmer, you’ll want to avoid gas-powered ones and lean more toward battery-operated models. For example, the Husqvarna 115iHD55 Cordless Hedge Trimmer tends to be very quiet. Just keep in mind that these trimmers might not be as efficient as you might like.
Along with a high-powered motor comes vibration. The more your hedge trimmer vibrates, the more your hands will become fatigued and weak as you’re trying to keep the trimmer stable. If that’s an issue, but you still need more power, you might want to go with a model like the Husqvarna 122HD45, which has anti-vibration design.
The problem with hedge trimmers is that they might cost you several hundred dollars. That can soon become a waste of money if your hedge trimmer dies out in a few months, only giving you a few good uses.
That’s why you want to choose a hedge trimmer that offers a solid warranty. Most of our top hedge trimmers come with a 2 or 3-year warranty, but the Greenworks 22-Inch 4-Amp Corded Hedge Trimmer actually comes with a 4-year protection plan. This can be a good choice if you’re not looking to replace your hedge trimmer for quite a few years.
You also need to think about the warranty on individual parts of your trimmer. Some battery-powered hedge trimmers might have a separate warranty on the battery and the charger, so look at the fine print.
Do you want a regular old hedge trimmer? Or, do you want a hedge trimmer that truly gives you your money’s worth? Here’s a look at some additional features you might want to consider.
- Safety features: Models like the Sun Joe HJ22HTE offer a safety switch. If you happen to lose your grip or drop the hedge trimmer, the blade will automatically stop to prevent an injury.
- Ergonomic handles: The longer your hedging session lasts, the more ache the handle can cause to your hands. An ergonomic handle will keep your hands in a comfortable position while also reducing the pressure on your palms.
- Included battery & charger: Unfortunately, a lot of battery-powered hedge trimmers come as just the tool. Make sure you’re reading the Amazon listing properly to see that the battery and charger come with your purchase.
These are all convenience-based, but can really help out in the long run. Think about how important each of these features is to you.
The price range of hedge trimmers will really depend on what you’re looking for in the perfect product. That’s why it’s more important than ever that you set a firm budget that you plan to stick to.
For example, you can find affordable options like the Scotts Outdoor Power Tools HT10020S Corded Hedge Trimmer. This model is a little small and produces lower power, but it might end up costing you less than $50 in total. Add on the 3-year warranty, and you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
On the other hand, you can have high-end battery-powered hedge trimmers like the Milwaukee Electric Tools 2726-20 Fuel Hedge Trimmer. Though you’ll be spending a little over $200 for this model, you’re getting an unmatchable 24” blade and fast operation.
Others like the Husqvarna 122HD45 Gas Hedge Trimmer are even more expensive, at close to $300. The higher price of this model is likely due to the fact that it’s gas-powered and gives you a lot of power.