So what makes a hedge trimmer worth keeping? To answer this, decide on the scope and varying limitations your trimming job requires first, then look for features that make the job easier and more comfortable. I’ll also point out common brands and prices that are available today to round out the features and characteristics a hedge trimmer should have.
How tall are your hedges?
This answer helps you decide on an appropriate length the blade should be. There are blades as short as 3-4 inches, but are only suited for light shrubbery touch-ups and flower beds. Commonly you’ll find blades with lengths from 18 inches to 24 inches.
A quality hedge trimmer should have enough running life, is powered by a reliable source, and has enough features that would make the job easier.
Are batteries the superior power option?
Using either a battery, gasoline, or connecting to a an outlet for juice have their pros but also have their shortcomings. Corded electrics aren’t known to emit carbon emissions like gas does and will continue to run if they’re plugged into an outlet, but you’ll be more prone to accidentally cutting through the cord. They’re also the cheapest to own compared to other hedge trimmers and are quiet.
[quote_box_left]What’s available: Black & Decker controls this niche of hedge trimmers, with models like the 22-inch HT22 or the 24-inch HH2455.[/quote_box_left]
Cordless trimmers main point of interest is that they’re convenient, but their run time is limited to the amount of charge the battery has and cutting power is usually less.
-When choosing any cordless focus on the number of volts the battery has and whether it’s lithium ion or NiCad. Lithium ion batteries hold more charge and have about double the life. Depending on the size of your shrubs, you can find cordless trimmers with less than 4 volts of battery and some with as much as 40 volts.
[quote_right]-What’s available: Black & Decker once again controls most of the sales, this time in the cordless market. Sun Joe, Earthwise, Greenworks, Toro and Worx are also safe bets. [/quote_right]
Running anything on gasoline seems to provoke the tree huggers, as these fumes seem to only add to the problem of an environment heavily polluted from the daily life of Americans. Look to a gas trimmer if you need heavier-duty trimming done or when an extension cord is shorter than the shrub’s perimeter.
What’s available: Tanaka has a great track record with their gasoline hedgers. Their popular models include the 21.1cc TCG22EASSLP and the 23-cc TBC-240PF.
Choose dual-action blades whenever you can
I find these a very attractive option. They speed up the process of hedging and cut back on vibration compared to single-action blades.
Sometimes trimmers are built with a pole between the handle and the blade rather than the handle to the blade. These are especially useful for harder-to-reach vegetation or shrubbery awkward in shape.
How much should you be paying?
Well, who has the best prices on the internet to base that answer on? For me that’s easy to say Amazon. This has been my soft spot when I first found them but again and again I see their inventory on power tools priced lower than the manufacturer’s advertised pricing. Almost a quarter of all hedge trimmers are over 200 bucks; the majority of hedge trimmers, as well as being the most popular (over 60%), are priced within the $25-$200 range.
-Breaking those figures down further, we see that almost 70% of cordless hedge trimmers are somewhere between $50 and $200. The highest rated of these among consumers have prices in the bracket of $50-$100. You’ll almost always see corded electrics (80%) priced no more than $100 and no less than $25. Corded electrics receiving the highest ratings (over 60%) are usually between $25-$50.
-You’ll be hard-pressed to find a trimmer run on gas under $200 with high-rated customer reviews.