Wanting to keep your garden looking its best? The best hedge trimmers are a must-have for a tidy yard. They’re ideal for keeping fast-growing plants in check. Better still, trimming your hedge can give it a new lease of life and transform your outdoor space.
The best hedge trimmers offer a practical and convenient way to remove straggly excess foliage. The first choice to make is whether you would prefer a gas or electric model. The difference? Gas trimmers offer maximum power so can blitz through unwanted foliage. If you’d rather avoid the faff of replacing the fuel, an electric trimmer is a winner. Electric trimmers don’t use up fossil fuels so also make for a greener choice that’s kinder to the planet.
Whether you opt for gas or electric, the best hedge trimmers boast a high number of cuts per minute saving you time so you can sit back and admire your handiwork. These devices are designed to do the hard work for you. Look out for lightweight models which make the task even easier.
Concerned about the noise? Rest assured that the latest hedge trimmers are designed to keep disruption to a minimum with clever noise absorption technology. This means your garden will remain a tranquil retreat and you don’t have to worry about disturbing the neighbors.
Whatever your budget, there’s a model in our round-up to suit you. There’s a whole range from decent no-frills devices to premium models which will set you back $300.
For now, let’s take a closer look at the best hedge trimmers.
The best hedge trimmers(opens in new tab)
Gas-powered hedge trimmers are the best tool for large projects because they have power and go for hours between fill-ups. But they are loud. If you want the advantages of a gas-powered hedge trimmer, but don't want to annoy your entire neighborhood, the Husqvarna 122HD60 is the best hedge trimmer for you.
Despite a powerful 0.8 horsepower engine capable of delivering 4,050 cuts per minute, this trimmer is a low-noise model. It's constructed of specific noise absorbing and vibration dampening materials to minimize the noise of the engine. It's so effective, you don't need heavy-duty ear protection, though we still recommend foam earplugs.
A downside to consider is the weight. At 10.8lbs, the Husqvarna 122HD60 Hedge Trimmer is significantly heavier than electric trimmers. Most weigh between four and seven pounds. The extra weight is only conflated when you add gas. This weight makes the handling difficult, especially with overhead cuts or large projects.
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The best hedge trimmers can cost $300 or more, and the GreenWorks 22102 costs a fraction of that price. As you might expect, it doesn’t have everything our top pick offers, but it’s a good value for the price. It’s great for occasional or light use, such as for simple hedge grooming and trimming back young and small plants. The GreenWorks 22102 Hedge Trimmer isn’t a workhorse by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a good buy if you have a small yard that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
This model’s engine is only 2.7 amps, so it’s one of the weakest hedge trimmers we reviewed – don’t expect it to cut through thick branches. However, the Greenworks 22102 has long, 18-inch, dual-action blades that reduce vibration to help you make clean, even cuts. This hedge trimmer is a corded model.
This means you don’t have to worry about mixing fuel or charging a battery – you just plug it in to a wall socket and it’s ready to go. The included cord is somewhat short, so you may have to use an extension cord if you need to go very far from your home to trim.
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If mixing fuel and dealing with extension cords is a non-starter for you, then the Kobalt KHT 240-06 is well worth considering. This is a battery-operated hedge trimmer, which means you can take it as far away from a power source as you want and work as long as the battery allows. The battery is long lasting, but its exact running time depends a lot on what you’re trimming. The good news is that it recharges in less than an hour – the fastest of any battery-powered device in our guide to the best hedge trimmers.
Another great thing about the Kobalt KHT 240-07 Hedge Trimmer is how light it is – at just over six pounds, it won’t wear you out. Additionally, it has a wide loop-style auxiliary handle behind the blade, and its rear handle is at the base of the motor. This gives you a nice, balanced grip so you can make easy work of trimming back branches.
However, the handles don’t rotate, which can make for awkward handling in some situations. Another feature worth mentioning is the Kobalt KHT 240-06 Hedge Trimmer’s debris shield, which protects you from the occasional flying branch or twig that could be thrown your way while you work.
Additionally, this model has an outstanding warranty – it’s covered for a full five years. This shows how much Kobalt stands behind its product.
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With a 40-volt lithium-ion battery capable of running for 90 minutes on a full charge and 3,200 strokes per minute, the Ryobi RY40610A is the best hedge trimmer with a cordless design that we have reviewed. It has the power to trim back large bushes while providing a nearly silent performance and no risk of electrocution from accidentally crossing the blade with the power cord.
The battery is removable, allowing you to charge additional batteries while you work, adding to your cut time. That said, it only comes with one battery. However, the battery is compatible with other 40 volt Ryobi products, so it's ideal if you already have other Ryobi tools.
A downside to the Ryobi RY40610A Hedge Trimmer is the weight. At 9.1lbs, it's closer in weight to gas-powered trimmers. This makes it unwieldy if you use it for long periods. It also lacks shock absorption materials and a rotating handle to provide optimal cut angles. Each of these issues combine to make this hedge trimmer difficult to use for long periods.
The WORX WRG261 is a lightweight cordless hedge trimmer. It has a 22-inch cutting reach, which will give you a flatter top and trim down the sides evenly too. The dual-action blades cut branches once, then catch it again on the way back to make sure it's properly cut off.
As it is cordless, you won't have to worry about accidentally cutting the cord while you trim the hedge. The 20V battery is enough for about 20 minutes of cutting - something to consider if you have a large area to cover.
The WORX WRG261 is only 5.5 lbs, and it has a soft handle to give you a good grip on the trimmer. There's a safety guard to keep debris off your hands, and the product is designed to reduce vibration, making trimming easier on your arms.
At the time of writing, the WORX WRG261 had a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon (opens in new tab) from a total of 6,504 reviews. The few negative reviews lament the short battery life and the lack of power coming from the product, claiming it does not pack the performance punch the brand says it does.
The Dewalt DCPH820B 20V Max hedge trimmer is a battery-powered trimmer with a 22-inch hardened steel dual action blade. The robust build and effective blade design mean it can tackle even thicker branches, ideal if you have small trees to trim as well as hedges.
This trimmer is designed for customization and maneuverability. The 180-degree articulating head can be moved into 7 different positions to reach any foliage you are trying to trim.
The Dewalt DCPH820B is part of the brand's 20V MAX system, which means you can use the same battery as other products in the same line. This is important to note as the battery or charger are not included as part of the price of the product, and will have to be purchased separately if you don't already own a Dewalt 20V MAX tool.
At the time of writing, the Dewalt DCPH820B had a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars on Amazon (opens in new tab), from 2,000 ratings. Some negative reviews point out that the product is designed with too much weight at either end of the tool, meaning it is unevenly distributed.
The Poulan Pro PR2322 is a gas-powered hedge trimmer with a 23cc two-cycle engine. As such, it will likely be more powerful than its electric counterparts, but it'll also need more maintenance. Gas is also less sustainable than a rechargeable battery, something to consider if you're an ethically-minded consumer.
The trimmer's dual action blade is 22 inches long and serrated to deal with even the most robust of shrubs and bushes. This tool is on the heavier side at 11.1 lbs, as some of its competitors such as the WORX WRG261 are lighter.
The Poulan Pro PR2322 is also equipped with anti-vibration technology which absorbs vibration from the trimmer and reduces strain and fatigue for users. The handle is also rotating to allow you to control your grip better.
At the time of writing, the Poulan Pro PR2322 had a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon (opens in new tab). Negative reviews complain about the warranty not covering most repairs, and the lack of customer service from Poulan.
What to look for in the best hedge trimmer
There is a lot to take into consideration when choosing the best hedge trimmer for you, and all the choices can make it difficult to decide. Knowing what to look for can help you buy the right one. Here are some features to keep in mind:
To find a hedge trimmer that’s a comfortable weight, you may have to look for one with a shorter blade or consider a corded model, which tend to weigh less than battery-operated and gas machines.
However, the type of hedge trimmer you choose should also depend on the type of vegetation you plan to cut. For heavy-duty tasks, you likely need a gas model. On the other hand, a corded or battery-operated machine is fine for light maintenance.
If you need to cut through tough, woody branches that are 3/4 of an inch or wider, a hedge trimmer might not be the right tool for the task. Instead, consider a manual pruning saw to groom especially thick-stemmed vegetation.
The best hedge trimmers use blades with sharp metal teeth to slice away at vegetation. The single-sided variety of blade has teeth that face away from you as you work, a worthwhile safety measure. The double-sided models work in both directions, so you must be alert while using them, but they let you complete your task fast.
When it comes to a hedge trimmer's blade length, bigger is not always better. The longer the blade, the faster you can cut your hedge. However, a trimmer with a longer blade is heavier and more cumbersome, so not only do you need more strength to hold it, but you also have to take greater care to operate it correctly to get the results you want.
In general, the best hedge trimmer blades extend somewhere between 13 inches and 40 inches. Trimmers sporting 16-inch blades are best suited for small or average-size hedges. Eighteen-inch blades are good for grooming average to large hedges, and 20-inch blades are best for big hedges.
Since a 24-inch blade can handle a wide variety of plant types, it’s a common length for residential hedge trimmers. If you want a model with a blade that is longer than this, be sure you can maneuver it without difficulty.
A hedge trimmer’s cutting capacity depends on the spacing between the blade teeth, or gap. The gap determines the maximum branch size the machine can safely cut. The larger the gap the greater the cutting capacity of the trimmer. Typically, hedge trimmers have a gap of 1 inch or greater, but you can find models with a gap of 3/8 to 3/4 of an inch. For thick, dense or woody plants, you probably want to opt for a large cutting capacity. For young, leafy hedges with fine stems, a lower cutting capacity is acceptable.
Most hedge trimmers have the same basic design, no matter their power source or blade length. So, it’s the extra features that differentiate them and make them fit specific needs.
Some trimmers come with a shoulder strap, which can relieve strain on your arms during long trimming sessions. Others have ergonomic handle designs that increase comfort and enhance maneuverability. Others still have anti-vibration technology that makes for a smoother, more manageable trimming experience.
And the best of the best have laser-cut blades that make clean, straight cuts on every pass. Picking a tool that has one or more of these features ensures you get the most value and power for your dollar.