Different types of hedge trimmers
With so many varieties and brands of hedge trimmers available, it can be difficult to know what to look for when buying the right one for your garden’s needs. Below are the three main types of hedge trimmers, their qualities and what they are best suited to.
Cordless hedge trimmers – battery
Cordless hedge trimmers use a rechargeable battery meaning you can use it anywhere without having to worry about a trailing cable.
However, you need to plan ahead of time to make sure the battery is charged for 3-5 hours before you use it to ensure you have around 30-60 minutes running time. For this reason, cordless hedge trimmers are best for a quick tidy up of the garden every now and then.
Electric hedge trimmers – corded
Electric trimmers run off your mains electricity, so you’ll need an extension lead if you’ve got a larger garden. However, if you have a small garden that needs only an occasional trim, an electric model will be perfect – just make sure you use an RCD power adapter in case you accidentally cut through the cord.
Petrol hedge trimmers
These trimmers can be used in any garden and include a powerful petrol engine, which is suitable for cutting all types of hedges, especially those with thicker branches. They are generally better suited to larger gardens, but can often be heavier than rechargeable or electric models, meaning they can prove uncomfortable for longer uses.
What do you need to consider when buying a hedge trimmer?
As a rule, the longer the blade, the quicker your hedge will be cut. The bigger the gaps between each blade means you will find it easier to tackle larger branches. But, if you only have small shrubs and bushes, a smaller blade will suit your needs perfectly. These general guidelines will help you work out what hedge trimmer is best for your garden:
|Size of hedge||Length of blade||Teeth gaps|
|Large||57cm or more||24-34mm|
Another key element to consider when choosing your hedge trimmer is the weight. Hedge trimmers need to be physically lifted, so it is important you choose a weight which is both comfortable and supportive for you. If you have tall hedges or a large garden to care for, opt for a cordless hedge trimmer. This offers more flexibility than corded models and they are generally made using lightweight materials. Petrol hedge trimmers pack the most power but can weigh up to 5kg and are generally a lot bulkier than battery or electric.
Special features for your hedge trimmer
Many hedge trimmers come with special features that make them safer and easier to use. Here are some you might want to look out for:
Hedge clipping collector
This attachment prevents clippings from falling into the hedge as you cut. Instead, it collects them in a tray fixed to the side of the blade which can then be tipped after each cut.
Double position trimmers
These allow you to adjust the handle of your trimmer to enable inline cutting for comfort of use or form a right angle to the blades, so you can easily achieve a level cut along the top of a hedge without having to use a ladder.
This safety feature ensures the blades stop almost immediately after you release the trigger.
For extra safety, most of our hedge trimmers feature a hand guard to protect you from the blades of your trimmer and any flying debris when in use.
Many products feature lengthening poles to make it easier to trim hedges that are particularly tall or otherwise difficult to reach.
Keeping safe with your hedge trimmer
As with all power tools, you’ll want to make sure you use your new hedge trimmer safely. Follow these simple safety tips for your hedge trimmer to avoid injury:
- Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris.
- Wear heavy-duty footwear to protect your feet.
- Wear hard-wearing gloves to ensure a comfortable and firm grip on the handle while protecting your hands from debris.
- If you’re using an electric trimmer, make sure the power outlet has RCD protection.
- Don’t use an electric trimmer in wet weather.
- Avoid overreaching to access hard-to-reach hedges, instead invest in an extension pole to reach those areas.
- Check for obstacles before you use your trimmer to avoid tripping hazards or objects which could damage the blade.