Facebook Pixel Code
Updated March 2017

Best Hedge Trimmers

Updated March 2017
DEWALT
DCHT860M1
BLACK+DECKER
LHT2436
GreenWorks
2200102
Poulan Pro
PP2822
Tanaka
TCH22ECP2
Check Price
Check Price
Check Price
Check Price
Check Price
Bottom Line

Has all the power of a corded electric or gas-powered model, but without the hassle of a cord or the hazards of liquid fuel. Slices through 3/4" limbs with ease. One of the best cordless hedge trimmers on the market right now.

The Black+Decker LHT2436 cordless hedge trimmer shares a lot of the same positive qualities as the DeWalt CDHT860M1, but it comes in at about half the sticker price. It is ideal for home users who have small to medium hedge trimming needs.

For home gardeners looking to replace a gas-powered hedge trimmer, the corded electric GreenWorks 2200102's entry level price point and lightweight construction makes it an attractive option. We recommend it for light to medium trimming duty.

Excellent performance, capacity, and price. The best gas-powered hedge trimmer for home use.

One of the best hedge trimmers on the market, but it could be overkill unless you’re a contractor or have vast hedge to manage.

Good

Powerful 40v lithium ion battery displays current state of charge. Guard blade handles thick branches with ease. Performance comparable to corded electric models.

24" dual-action blade provides more cutting power and less vibration. 40v battery can trim 6000 feet of hedges on one charge. Comfortable grip supports all trimming positions.

4 amp corded electric motor powerful enough for most hedge trimming duties. Dual action steel blade can cut through 9/16" thick branches. Lightweight and well-balanced.

Powerful, easy-start 28cc engine w/22" double-sided blade for fast, clean cutting. Swivel handle adds flexibility & comfort.

Exceptional 30" dual reciprocating blade tackles ¾-inch branches. Pure Fire, CARB & EPA-compliant motor starts with 50% less pull force. Superb anti-vibration device.

Bad

Heavier than expected, could lead to user fatigue over time. Battery recharge time longer than refilling gas tank. Some trimming positions challenging to hold.

Battery performance can be variable. Separate battery charger and protective storage guard purchase may be required.

Long term vibrations can cause irreparable parts to become loose. Extension cord should be under 14 gauge for ideal management. Range limited by power cord length.

Heavy (15 ½ lbs). If working at shoulder height, exhaust lows toward your face.though it's difficult to complain because of the quality components.

A few critics say it’s heavy, though it's lighter than the Poulan Pro. Expensive.

Best of the Best
DEWALT
DCHT860M1
Check Price

Bottom Line
Has all the power of a corded electric or gas-powered model, but without the hassle of a cord or the hazards of liquid fuel. Slices through 3/4" limbs with ease. One of the best cordless hedge trimmers on the market right now.

Bad
Heavier than expected, could lead to user fatigue over time. Battery recharge time longer than refilling gas tank. Some trimming positions challenging to hold.

Good
Powerful 40v lithium ion battery displays current state of charge. Guard blade handles thick branches with ease. Performance comparable to corded electric models.
Best Bang for the Buck
BLACK+DECKER
LHT2436
Check Price

Bottom Line
The Black+Decker LHT2436 cordless hedge trimmer shares a lot of the same positive qualities as the DeWalt CDHT860M1, but it comes in at about half the sticker price. It is ideal for home users who have small to medium hedge trimming needs.

Bad
Battery performance can be variable. Separate battery charger and protective storage guard purchase may be required.

Good
24" dual-action blade provides more cutting power and less vibration. 40v battery can trim 6000 feet of hedges on one charge. Comfortable grip supports all trimming positions.
GreenWorks
2200102
Check Price

Bottom Line
For home gardeners looking to replace a gas-powered hedge trimmer, the corded electric GreenWorks 2200102's entry level price point and lightweight construction makes it an attractive option. We recommend it for light to medium trimming duty.

Bad
Long term vibrations can cause irreparable parts to become loose. Extension cord should be under 14 gauge for ideal management. Range limited by power cord length.

Good
4 amp corded electric motor powerful enough for most hedge trimming duties. Dual action steel blade can cut through 9/16" thick branches. Lightweight and well-balanced.
Poulan Pro
PP2822
Check Price

Bottom Line
Excellent performance, capacity, and price. The best gas-powered hedge trimmer for home use.

Bad
Heavy (15 ½ lbs). If working at shoulder height, exhaust lows toward your face.though it's difficult to complain because of the quality components.

Good
Powerful, easy-start 28cc engine w/22" double-sided blade for fast, clean cutting. Swivel handle adds flexibility & comfort.
Tanaka
TCH22ECP2
Check Price

Bottom Line
One of the best hedge trimmers on the market, but it could be overkill unless you’re a contractor or have vast hedge to manage.

Bad
A few critics say it’s heavy, though it's lighter than the Poulan Pro. Expensive.

Good
Exceptional 30" dual reciprocating blade tackles ¾-inch branches. Pure Fire, CARB & EPA-compliant motor starts with 50% less pull force. Superb anti-vibration device.
How We Decided
  • 74 Models Considered
  • 34 Hours Spent
  • 2 Experts Interviewed
  • 84 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Hedge Trimmer Shopping Guide

    Whether you're creating yards of perfectly straight hedging or transforming garden shrubs into stunning sculptures, the right hedge trimmer is invaluable. But which tool best fits your needs?

    That’s not an easy question to answer. Today’s market offers everything from electric hand-held shears to heavy-duty, contractor-grade hedge trimmers.

    To help you find the right tool, we at BestReviews rolled up our sleeves and got to work evaluating the best hedge trimmers on today’s market. To ensure objectivity, we don't accept manufacturer samples.

    We select and pay for our products just like you would. Our process guarantees that our results and recommendations are unbiased — something you can trust.

    Luke
    EXPERT CONSULTANT

    Luke owned and operated his own lawn and landscaping business for over a decade. Founding the business and growing it prior to an acquisition, Luke led all procurement decisions, from the purchase of blowers and lawn mowers to weed whackers and tillers. Luke uses all of these machines regularly.


    Luke  |  Landscaping Professional

    The five hedge trimmers featured in our matrix, above, are all excellent tools. After much analysis, we chose to endorse them because each delivers a higher level of performance and value than the competition.

    So how do you find the best hedge trimmer for your needs? There are many issues to consider: electric vs. gas, blade type, blade length, blade gap, and much more. We outline these considerations in our shopping guide, below.

    Electric vs. Gas Power

    Electric hedge trimmers

    Corded Electric Hedge Trimmers

    Corded electric hedge trimmers are extremely easy to use. Just plug the tool in, press the trigger, and away you go. These trimmers are lightweight (typically five to seven pounds), quiet, and release no emissions. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance hedge trimmer for a small yard or garden, you may wish to consider this type.

    However, a corded hedge trimmer restricts your range somewhat, and for safety reasons, you can’t use the tool in damp conditions. Furthermore, you could jeopardize your own safety by inadvertently cutting the cord while trimming. (Yes, it does happen.) If you’re looking for a durable and versatile hedge trimmer for extensive use, you might want to consider a gas-powered model instead.

    Arguably the most important aspect of your buying decision is which type of power you want your hedge trimmer to use: electric or gas.
    Luke

    A corded electric hedge trimmer is a good choice for someone with limited physical strength or mobility. But before you buy one, make sure it can cope with the types of branches you wish to cut. Better models can handle branches of about one-half inch in diameter, but they’re not meant to cut this type of timber all day.

    Electric hedge trimmers

    Cordless Electric Hedge Trimmers

    Cordless electric hedge trimmers are just as easy to use as corded trimmers, but they typically weigh more (between 7 and 18 pounds) and exude more power. In fact, when fully charged, some cordless electric trimmers match the power of small- to mid-sized gas machines.

    Like their corded counterparts, cordless hedge trimmers are quiet, require little to no maintenance, and produce zero tool emissions. If you live in an area where noise could be a problem (near a school, for example), this could be the best choice for you.

    But cordless tools lose power as the battery drains, and recharge times can be annoyingly long. In sum, whether you go for a corded or cordless model depends on your personal situation and preference.

    If you opt for a cordless hedge trimmer, choose one that takes Lithium Ion (Li-ion) batteries rather than Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad) for best performance.

    Gas hedge trimmers

    Gas-Powered Hedge Trimmers

    In general, gas-powered hedge trimmers outshine electric trimmers in the performance department. You won’t experience a power drop as the battery drains, nor will you have to worry about staying within the confines of your extension cord. These machines usually weigh between 11 and 17 pounds (similar to a cordless electric) and are known for their durability.

    On the downside, this type of hedge trimmer requires regular maintenance, releases exhaust emissions, and creates lots of noise. You’ll have to mix gas and oil for its two-cycle motor, and you may experience some difficulty getting the trimmer to start.

    Modern gas hedge trimmers aren’t the dirty, smelly machines they once were. They deliver massive power, and short of the time it takes to re-fuel your gas tank, you could easily use this tool all day long. Professionals prefer them, and if you’ve got a lot of hedge to cut, you might prefer them, too.

    For safety’s sake, an automatic brake or auto-shut off can stop your blade immediately. Some blade trimmers have dual safety switches, both of which must be pressed for the machine to run. Others have "Off" locks to stop children from activating them.

    Choosing Your Blade

    Considerations

    Blade Type

    Hedge trimmer blades have teeth on one or both sides of the cutter bar. Single-sided blades are preferred for straight work (because there's no chance of them cutting on the back stroke). Double-sided blades are ideal for shaping and topiary. However, this is an extremely broad generalization.

    Single-sided blades are safer, as you're always cutting away from yourself, though they do favor right-handed people. Lefties can soon acclimate, although may prefer a double-sided blade.

    Many hedge trimmers have one fixed blade and one oscillating blade. On high-end machines, the two blades move in tandem, rendering a fast, clean cut.

    Considerations

    Blade Length

    What’s the best length for a hedge trimmer blade? A span of 18 to 22 inches is common, and this length suits most people. However, blades can be as long as 40 inches or as short as 13 inches.

    There are no fixed rules about size, but if you're trimming a formal hedge, we recommend you opt for a blade slightly longer than the width of the hedge.

    In general, the longer the blade, the more difficult to control — but the faster it will cut.

    EXPERT TIP

    Longer blades make it easier to keep hedges flat and square. Shorter blades are better for detail work.


    Luke  | Landscaping Professional
    Considerations

    Blade Gap

    In addition to blade type and length, potential buyers should consider a hedge trimmer’s blade gap before making a purchase. Blade gap refers to the distance between the blade’s teeth, and it defines the maximum branch circumference the tool can cut.

    The average “amateur” hedge trimmer sports a blade gap between ⅜ and ¾ of an inch. A professional hedge trimmer blade gap, by contrast, can extend to one inch or more.

    Considerations

    A Note About Cutting Branches, Limbs, and Saplings

    Our landscaping consultant, Luke, provided us with advice on how to cut timber with a diameter greater than the tool’s blade gap. To accomplish this, the user should move the trimmer in a “chainsaw” manner around the base of the timber. Not all manufacturers have approved this method, but it is one way to tackle large jobs. It’s also a timesaver since you can avoid switching devices as you work.

    Luke’s chainsaw method reduces the risk of jamming, but problems could still occur. If your hedge trimmer jams, turn off the gas or unplug the electric unit before working the jam free.

    Blade Maintenance Tips

    Without proper care, your hedge trimmer blade could grow dull and rusty over time. Luke offers the following tips for maintaining your hedge trimmer blade:

    • Sharpen your blade after approximately 50 to 60 hours of use.
    • If you want to sharpen the blade yourself, you could use a small file to do so. Be sure to only work the cutting edges.
    • Sharpening your hedge trimmer blade is a laborious task. There’s no shame in hiring a professional to do the job. Many pros have special machines that complete the job with speed and accuracy.
    • Turn off your trimmer and spray the entire blade with WD-40 or another protectant/lubricant after each use. When the spraying is complete, turn the machine on again and work the blade for a few revolutions so the spray touches all of its key components. This step is particularly helpful after using the trimmer in a damp situation where harmful moisture could rust the blade.

    Older gas hedge trimmers sometimes develop a strong “idle” in which the blade moves back and forth even when the trigger isn’t pressed. If this happens, replace the product as soon as possible. In the meantime, double down on your safety precautions while using the trimmer — or avoid using it altogether.

    Long-Reach Hedge Trimmers

    The distance your hedge trimmer can reach, both with and without a ladder, can play a vital role in your landscaping success. Some hedge trimmers have a long reach by design. For example, if you’re tackling tall hedges of seven feet or more — and you want to avoid moving a ladder all over the place for safety reasons — Luke advises that you opt for a long-reach hedge trimmer.

    We like the Black & Decker 18-Inch Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer, pictured below. It’s not part of our top-five matrix because it’s not something that every person will need. But if you’re concerned about reaching distant hedges, shrubs, or limbs with your trimmer, this could be a good choice for you.

    The Black & Decker LPHT120 18-Inch 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer

    We note, however, that it can be physically draining to balance and handle a long-reach machine for any length of time. Even the most physically fit of gardeners can experience muscle fatigue when using one of these trimmers. If you’re a small person or not in the greatest of physical shape, this may not be the right option for you.

    Other Features To Consider

    Considerations

    Cord Lock

    It's frustrating when corded electric hedge trimmers become unplugged. A cord lock can prevent this from happening.

    Considerations

    Trigger Lock

    A trigger lock allows you to work continuously without actually holding the the trigger. Professionals who work for hours on end like this feature.

    Considerations

    Rotating Handle

    Some machines sport a rotating handle. This feature makes switching from vertical to horizontal cutting easy and comfortable.

    Quick Pruning Tips: Prune new deciduous hedges in the winter. Prune new evergreen hedges in the spring. Prune established hedges annually to help keep their shape.

    Considerations

    Noise/Vibration Reduction

    Gas hedge trimmers may have anti-vibration and noise reduction properties that allow you to work comfortably for long periods of time.

    Considerations

    Extra Batteries

    Keeping extra battery packs on hand extends the amount of time you can use your cordless hedge trimmer. When one battery runs out, simply take it out and pop a fresh one in.

    Considerations

    Environmental Friendliness

    If you're concerned about gas emissions, look for a hedge trimmer that's CARB- and/or EPA- compliant.

    Considerations

    Warranty

    Hedge trimmer warranties start at 12 months, but two years is common, and longer ones also exist.

    Some hedge trimmers are actually sold as “attachments” for weed wackers. Conveniently, you can use one of these attachments to transform your regular weed whacker into a hedge trimmer.

    How Much Should You Pay?

    You needn’t spend a fortune to get a good machine, but many cheap hedge trimmers offer false economy, so it pays to be careful. We're always cautious about cheap hedge trimmers because of quality issues, but it’s safe to say that you can sometimes find a reliable corded hedge trimmer for as little as $50.

    Good cordless hedge trimmers start at around $120, though the models that rival gas-powered machines are likely to cost $200 or more.

    The best gas powered hedge trimmers for home use cost between $200 and $250.

    Professional equipment starts at around $300 but can exceed $500.

    Always read the fine print carefully. Some dirt-cheap online deals consist of the “bare tool” only. The battery could end up costing you just as much as the tool itself.

    Safety Tips

    • Always wear eye protection when using a hedge trimmer.
    • If you’re using a gas-powered trimmer, we recommend ear protection as well. Stay alert and exercise caution near people and roadways, as you may not be able to hear oncoming traffic and other noises.
    • Wear gloves to prevent cuts and snags from sharp branches.
    • Be careful with your blade. Most hedge trimmer blades have small extensions around the teeth that help prevent accidents, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
    • If you’re using an electric trimmer, be mindful of your cord at all times. Cord management becomes even more important when working around ladders. Luke recommends looping the cord inside the handle of the trimmer or through a rope that is attached to your arm. This prevents the cord from dangling near the trimmer blades.
    • Always store trimmers and shears out of reach of children.
    • Store your tool in a clean, dry place to prevent rust and wear.
    • Ben
      Ben
      COO
    • Heather
      Heather
      VP of Content
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Bob
      Bob
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Editor