Having lain dormant all winter, bushes and shrubs seem to almost explode into life in the spring. Within a matter of weeks your carefully trimmed hedge can turn into an unruly mess.
Fortunately with the right electric hedge trimmer all that unwanted growth can be removed quickly, easily and painlessly. The problem is: what really is the best electric hedge trimmer for the job?
In this guide we’ll discuss the crucial features you should consider when selecting your next hedge trimmer. We’ll also examine some of the best-selling electric hedge trimmers on the market, comparing the contrasting the features of each. By the end you’ll be ready to make an informed decision about which model is most suitable for your needs.
GARCARE 20V MAX Powercut 24″ Cordless Hedge Trimmer
This battery powered electric hedge trimmer has a “best in breed” 24 inch long cutting blade. A long blade like this helps you to complete your trimming in record time, and can be useful for shorter gardeners or those with particularly tall hedges.
The drawback, when it comes to longer blades, is of course that they can be slightly more challenging to use. Not so with the Garcare trimmer though. This model actually includes a pivoting head (6 positions) and a rotating handle (5 positions) so you can trim almost any trees, shrubs or bushes with ease. No more stooping, bending or stretching to reach those difficult areas.
The Garcare is also a powerful little machine, capable of tearing through much thicker foliage than many of the other models outlined in this guide. While it is a pretty hefty 9.85lbs in weight with the 2Ah battery it can handle stems up to ¾ of an inch.
This is therefore more “heavy duty” than many of the lighter models discussed here, and would make a welcome addition to anyone seeking to tackle thicker plant material than other hedge trimmers might cope with.
Our Rating: (5 / 5)
Snow Joe Sun Joe HJ22HTE 22-Inch 3.5 Amp Electric Hedge Trimmer
The Sun Joe HJ22HTE hedge trimmer is a corded model with an excellent track record of reliability, with a cutting capacity of ¼ of an inch; very similar to many other “base level” models discussed here.
Look a little deeper though and you’ll notice several differences. Firstly, the Sun Joe electric hedge trimmer offers a 22 inch long blade. The generously-proportioned blade essentially means fewer sweeps are necessary to trim your hedge or shrubs, and therefore allows you to complete your gardening faster than with many smaller models. Of course, in order to power this longer blade it also benefits from a powerful 3.5 amp motor.
Interestingly, considering the longer blade and more powerful motor, you might imagine that this electric hedge trimmer would be considerably heavier than smaller models, however this isn’t actually the case. Indeed, this model weighs just a fraction over 5 lbs, actually making it quite a bit lighter than comparable models like the Greenworks 22102.
As a result, if you’re willing to shell out just a little more you can find yourself with a hedge trimmer that allows for faster work while weighing less. And, if we’re honest, who wouldn’t be happy to get their gardening chores completed quicker and in more comfort?
Our Rating: (5 / 5)
Greenworks 18-Inch 2.7 Amp Corded Hedge Trimmer 22102
Greenworks may not be the best-known maker of garden equipment but their reputation is second-to-none, managing as they do to combine reliable, practical tools with a price-point that it difficult to argue with.
The Greenworks 18-Inch 2.7 Amp Corded Hedge Trimmer certainly follows this overall trend, being both competitively priced but with a passionate following of fans who laud it for its build quality and ability to deal with almost anything thrown at it.
In terms of the technical specifications this electric hedge trimmer offers an 18” long blade, which is perfectly acceptable for most uses. While longer blades can be handy for people who have lots of shrubs or hedging that needs trimming, the slightly shorter blade on this model makes for easier handling, both in terms of overall weight, the control you have over the cut and the ease of getting into tighter spaces.
The 2.7 amp engine, while quite modest in size, seems to handle most general purpose hedge trimming with ease. Indeed, this Greenworks 22102 has a cutting capacity of ? of an inch, which again is perfectly acceptable for the branches of most standard hedging such as box, privet or leylandii.
In terms of practicality this particular electric hedge trimmer comes fully assembled, meaning no messing around with tiny pieces before you can actually use your trimmer.
As a corded model, while you’ll need to take suitable precautions to avoid damage to the cable, it does make for a reasonably light piece of kit that can be used for extensive periods of time without undue discomfort. The overall weight of this model is a reasonable 6.25 pounds, though if weight is a major concern there are lighter models featured in this guide.
Overall, the Greenworks Corded Hedge Trimmer 22102 is a really bit of kit, representing a practical and reliable trimmer at a price that will impress.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Greenworks 22122 4 Amp 22 in. Dual Action Electric Hedge Trimmer
The Greenworks 22122 hedge trimmer is a beast. With a long 22” blade coupled with an incredibly powerful 4 amp motor this particular electric hedge trimmer is designed for serious gardeners.
If you want to trim your hedges in record time or have particularly thick branches that need cutting back then this is an ideal model. In contrast to many competing hedge trimmers the Greenworks 22122 has an impressive cutting capacity of ? of an inch; in other words its able to deal with far tougher material than many of the lower-powered models.
One other handy feature that helps the Greenworks Dual Action Electric Hedge Trimmer to stand out is the rotating handle. While some gardeners have claimed this can take a little getting used to initially, once you know what you’re doing it can make life so much easier. In essence, rather than having to lean or twist your body when going from vertical to horizontal cutting (the sides of your hedge versus the top for example) you can simply rotate the handle for an easier, more natural and better controlled posture.
Weight wise this model clocks in at 5.72lbs which is quite respectable for such a “meaty” power tool.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Greenworks 22-Inch 24V Cordless Hedge Trimmer, 2.0 AH Battery Included 22232
Another fantastic hedge trimmer from Greenworks is the 22232, a larger model than the previously discussed trimmer with a 22 inch long cutting blade.
Unlike the other Greenworks model discussed elsewhere in this guide, however, the 22232 is battery operated rather than corded. The included battery is a high-powered 2Ah lithium ion model offering roughly 30 minutes of continuous trimming before a recharge is required. Recharging the battery takes around an hour. If this doesn’t sound like enough to you then it is possible to upgrade to a 4Ah battery for double the power.
Pleasantly, while most electric hedge trimmers don’t include any kind of blade cover, the Greenworks 22232 is one of the few that does. What’s more, this isn’t a flimsy cover; it is made from aluminium to keep your trimmer safe during storage – and to prevent you getting hurt if you happen to brush against it in your shed or garage!
Just like the Greenworks 22122 it offers a rotating handle for ease of use, which can be tremendously useful when trying to cut the vertical sides of your hedge. In terms of the cutting capacity the 22232 will handle branches up to ? of an inch, which is perfectly respectable for most residential needs.
Overall this is a great hedge trimmer for people who don’t want to be tied down to an electric cable, or for individuals with larger gardens where using an extension lead wouldn’t be practical.
If there is a weakness of this hedge trimmer its that this is one of the heavier models we’ve looked at in this guide, weighing in at 8.25lbs. This may limit the practicality for some people, such as older readers, who may find that one of the other lighter models would be more comfortable for extended use.
Our Rating: (4 / 5)
Weed Eater WE20VH 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer
The Weed Eater WE20VH is one of the lightest battery-powered hedge trimmers on the market, clocking it at just shy of five and a half pounds. Despite this, the WE20VH certainly doesn’t feel flimsy.
With a 20” blade this is a comfortable mid-range model – capable of more than the cheaper models but not quite as heavy duty as Garcare trimmer for example. As with other battery-powered models, a single charge takes around an hour, and then gives roughly 30 minutes of trimming time depending on the material being chopped.
With a ? cutting capability this is a pretty decent model for most use, and the light body weight makes it easier than many other models for extended use or those with weaker arms or shoulders who may struggle with a bulkier model.
Our Rating: (4 / 5)
BLACK+DECKER LHT2220 20V Lithium Ion Hedge Trimmer
Black and Decker is one of the best-known names when it comes to power tools, and for good reason. Their long pedigree is comforting, and while you’ll pay for the privilege at least you can feel confident about the reliability of Black and Decker tools.
Unlike many other electric hedge trimmers this is a battery-powered model. It uses a 20-volt lithium ion battery, and is charged using the (enclosed) battery charger. While some people will find the practicality of doing away with an electric cable rather freeing, it is important to highlight that repeated recharges are likely to be necessary for most gardeners.
The LHT2220 varies in battery life based on how hard you’re working it, but in general you’ll get some 20-30 minutes of work out of it. Thereafter you’ll need to let the battery cool down before recharging it, so you may find the constant “pit stops” a little frustrating. For this reason many people opt to buy an additional second battery so that they can be rotated during use.
While this may all seem quite negative so far, there are a number of reasons why the BLACK+DECKER LHT2220 is still a popular choice among many gardeners. For example, this is one of the few electric hedge trimmers where you can lock the power button “on”. Many people find this simple feature makes cutting hedges much easier, as opposed to continually having to hold the power button on.
This model is also known for its lack of vibration, which can’t be said for all electric hedge trimmers. This can make for more comfortable and/or precise cutting of your hedge.
In terms of specifications you’ll find a 22” long blade, an overall weight of 5.9lbs and a cutting capacity of an impressive ¾ of an inch. If you’re willing to deal with the annoyance of swapping batteries over then this is quite an impressive trimmer with an exceptional cutting capacity.
Our Rating: (4 / 5)
Poulan Pro 967044601 40V Dual Steel Hedge Trimmer
The only Poulan model to make onto our list, the Poulan Pro 967044601 offers a 24” blade, which pleasantly offers a rather unique rotating handle for easy trimming both vertically and horizontally.
Cutting capacity is pretty much average for electric hedge trimmers; a perfectly respectable ¾ of an inch, with this hedge trimmer weighing in 11.5 lbs in overall weight. This does, sadly, make it the heaviest model featured here, which may well get tiring after extended use.
All told, however, if you don’t mind the idea of using a heavier hedge trimmer then you could do a lot worse than the Poulan Pro 967044601.
Our Rating: (3.5 / 5)
Features of the Best Electric Hedge Trimmers
There are literally dozens of different electric hedge trimmers on the market, and at first glance it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. After all, what makes one hedge trimmer any better than another? Let’s take a look at some of the most important elements you should consider when making a selection…
Corded Hedge Trimmers Vs. Cordless/Battery Hedge Trimmers
The first question you’ll want to ask yourself when choosing an electric hedge trimmer is whether to go for a corded model or a cordless (battery powered) model. Neither is necessarily better than the other, but they both have different strengths and weaknesses.
Corded Hedge Trimmers
The benefit of corded hedge trimmers, as you might expect, is that your trimmer receives constant, continual power. For some people this can be a bonus as it saves having to stop part way through the job in order to recharge a battery.
The fact that you’re not carrying round a large battery can also make corded hedge trimmers rather lighter to carry and use. A saving in weight of just a kilo or two can make all the difference when trimming your garden – especially if you’re of a more “mature” age.
There are of course downsides to corded electric trimmers. Firstly, you’ll need to think about extension leads. Most corded trimmers come with no more than a foot or so of flex, so you’ll likely need to buy an additional outdoor extension lead (if you don’t already have one). This can significantly increase the cost of buying a corded model, and some people are disappointed when a seeming bargain requires additional investment to actually get it running.
It is also important to consider the practicalities of using a long extension lead in the garden. Where will you plug it in, how much flex will you need to reach every area of your garden, and will you have to move the cable in order to access the whole area? For larger gardens, therefore, a cordless model can be a rather more practical option.
There are also people who (rightly) are concerned about safety. Combining a cutting tool with a long electrical cable means that extra special care must be taken; even a brightly colored extension lead can be surprisingly easy to cut through if you’re not being careful. This is another reason why many people opt for a battery powered hedge trimmer.
Cordless Hedge Trimmers
Cordless hedge trimmers can be safer to operate thanks to the lack of wiring and can offer you the freedom to wander around your garden at will.
The key thing to remember relates to the battery. Consider whether the electric pruner you’re looking at comes with the battery included (as not all models do) and also investigate both how much cutting time you’ll get from each charge, and how long it takes to recharge the battery. To give you a rough idea, most electric hedge trimmer batteries will provide 20-45 minutes of cutting time (depending on circumstances) and will recharge in 45-90 minutes depending on battery size.
Many owners opt to either invest in a second battery, so they can be swapped over as necessary, or to upgrade the battery pack to give more power or a longer cutting time between recharges.
We’ve already mentioned that battery powered hedge trimmers tend to be slightly heavier than corded models, but even within these two categories you will find that the weight can vary. The weight of any given trimmer can be influenced by elements such as build quality, blade length and so on.
It can be a good idea to borrow (or hire) a hedge trimmer from a friend or neighbour, to see how you find it. Once you’ve tested it out for an afternoon you’ll have a good idea as to whether the weight is acceptable or not.
In general, it is wise to look for lighter-weight models, which are easier to use with one hand and make for more comfortable use during extended gardening sessions.
Each electric hedge trimmer is designed to tackle a specific diameter of wood. It tends to be the case that electric hedge trimmers designed to tackle thicker twigs and branches need to have more powerful engines to achieve this. This, in turn, can increase both the weight of your trimmer, and the cost.
Consider your own garden and what thickness you’ll be cutting through. As a rough guide, the cutting capacity tends to be measured in fractions of an inch, with a typical cutting thickness for residential hedge trimmers cutting stems of ¼ to ½ an inch. In most cases – such as for trimming box or privet hedges – this will be more than acceptable.
If you have plenty of thick stemmed plants, however, you may want to focus your attentions on the more powerful end of the spectrum. We’ll discuss the recommended cutting capacities of a range of hedge trimmers shortly, allowing you to easily select the right model.
Many people feel that longer is better (am I right, ladies 😉 but that isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to electric hedge trimmers. On the one hand a longer blade length will potentially speed up your shrub trimming because you can tackle more foliage with each sweep. This means that if you have a lot of hedge to trim then certainly a longer blade length may prove to be beneficial.
On the other hand, however, there are instances where a longer blade can be less convenient. Examples might be for people who are less physically able, as longer blades tend to weigh more, which makes operating the tool rather more difficult. Additionally, it can be more challenging to use a longer-bladed hedge trimmer when great precision is required – such as when trimming topiary or when your hedge is very close to a fence or wall.
Therefore there’s really no right or wrong answer here. Instead, think about the bushes and hedges that you personally aim to trim and decide whether a longer or shorter blade is likely to be more effective for your unique situation.
As a safety feature most electric hedge trimmers require two-handed operation; the trigger to make the blades move must be held in at all times. In many ways this makes perfect sense, as if you were unlucky to fall over or slip off a ladder you’ll be glad that your hedge trimmer stopped moving the second it left your hand.
Equally, some gardeners find such a set-up quite inconvenient, and would rather that the trigger could be locked on during use. The reality is that very few models offer such a feature – but a *few* do. So if you’re keen to be able to lock the trigger on take care to select one of the few models that offers this feature.
As you can see, there are a huge range of different electric hedge trimmers on the market. Fortunately by this point in our guide you should have a far better idea of which trimmer is likely to be most suitable for your needs.
If you’re looking for a place to start your investigation then I have a few suggestions for you. If you’re a serious gardener who has plenty of trimming to do then I recommend you start off by looking seriously at either the Greenworks 22122 or the Garcare Powercut. For lighter or more occasional use the best options currently on the market are, in my my opinion, the Sun Joe HJ22HTE or the Greenworks 22102.