Garden Power & Hand Tools

How To Choose the Best Hedge Trimmer

It’s not just your lawn that needs to be kept in check. A beautiful outside space also needs neatly trimmed hedges and bushes, which is where a hedge trimmer will come in handy.

Nowadays, you can choose from cordless or petrol, or you may opt for a simple electric one. Which hedge trimmer is best for you will depend on the size of the hedges in your garden.

To help you decide, we have put together a guide to help you choose the best hedge trimmer for you and your garden.


Power type

There are three main power types, which all come with their own set of advantages. So, to see which hedge trimmer is best for you, here’s what you need to know.

Power Type     + _ Best suited to
Cordless No trailing cables 1-2 charging hours for 30-60 min use All-round garden shearing
Corded Cut for as long as needed Extension cable needed for longer distances Small garden trims
Petrol Powerful engine for cutting thicker branches Heavy to carry, not eco-friendly Heavy duty edges

Top tip: If you’re choosing a cordless hedge trimmer, you’ll need to balance the power (Voltage) with its battery run time (Ampere Hours). The best models use lithium-ion batteries, as they are quicker to charge. Our advice is to find your sweet spot between cutting power and battery length.


Hedge size

From pot-sized shrubs to long reaching hedges, choosing the best hedge trimmer should also be based on how much there is to cut.

As a general rule of thumb, a smaller blade is fine for trimming shrubs and bushes. But when tackling thicker or taller hedges, a longer blade hedge trimmer makes it easier – as they have more surface area and bigger blade teeth gaps for better cutting. These guidelines will help you decide which is the best fit for your garden.

Size of hedge  Length of blade Teeth gaps 
Small (5m-10m) 12-46cm 8-18mm
Medium (10m-20m) 47-56cm 18-24mm
Large (20m +) 57cm + 24-34mm


Special features

Once you’ve settled on the hedge trimmer you want, it’s time to make it even better. We’ve rounded up a few special features that can give you the edge over your hedge all year round.

  • Hedge clipping catcher: Make the cleaning up easier with this nifty hedge trimmer attachment, which catches falling clippings and stops them from falling back into the hedge. Just tip out and keep cutting.
  • Double position trimmers: If you need to cut along the top of your hedge, double position trimmers make this possible. Simply adjust and cut as you need to, without the need for a ladder.
  • Automatic brake: Becoming a standard on all hedge trimmers, this crucial safety feature means the blades of your hedge trimmer will stop the second you let go of the power button.
  • Hand guard: Simple but effective, most of the hedge trimmers available at Homebase come with a hand guard to protect you from the sharp blades and loose bits of hedge.
  • Overhead cutting: If you’re cutting overhead, attaching a lengthening pole to your hedge trimmer is the best way to cut those hard-to reach bits.
  • Blade tip protector: Simple to install, a blade tip protector can guard against damaging your machine if you bump it into the floor.
  • Rotating rear handle: For complete control and maneuverability to enable easy cutting at any side of the hedge.


Safety first

Safety Tip Protects 
Wear safety goggles Your eyes from flying debris
Wear heavy-duty shoes Your feet from blades or branches
Wear heavy-duty gloves You from losing control of the trimmer
Don’t use electric trimmer in wet weather You from getting electrocuted
Don’t use electric trimmer without RCD power outlet You from getting electrocuted
Check for wires and obstacles You from tripping over and injuring yourself or the trimmer

Before you begin any gardening work, it’s recommended you read our DIY Safety Tips guide, along with your hedge trimmer’s instructions manual, to keep yourself and others safe.

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Writer and expert