15 Best Hedge Trimmers (Review) In 2021
Adrienne started her professional life as a gardener at her local parks department and went on to train at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh where she was the first female student on the prestigious and world-renowned horticultural course run by the Botanic garden. An experienced and award-winning garden writer and past editor of some of Britain’s favourite gardening magazines, Adrienne has for over 30 years, inspired gardeners with a breadth of gardening know-how plus creative and decorative ideas. One of her main aims is to make gardening accessible, even to the smallest green fingers, with her clear advice and straightforward step-by-step instructions. Adrienne loves to travel and has visited, given talks and met ordinary home gardeners in far flung places like China, South Africa, Philippines and Caribbean as well as the UK.
- 1. BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- 2. DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- 3. BLACK+DECKER BEHT100 Hedge Trimmer
- 4. WORX WG261.9 20V Power Share 22-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- 5. WORKPRO 7.2V 2-in-1 Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- 6. Sun Joe SJH902E 21-in 4-Amp Multi-Angle Hedge Trimmer
- 7. Makita XHU02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 22" Hedge Trimmer
- 8. BLACK+DECKER 60V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- 9. Greenworks 22-Inch 24V Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- 10. Earthwise LPHT12022 Volt 20-Inch Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer
- 11. Poulan Pro PR2322 Hedge Trimmer
- 12. CRAFTSMAN Electric Hedge Trimmer
- 13. Greenworks 18-Inch 2.7 Amp Corded Hedge Trimmer
- 14. Scotts Outdoor Power Tools HT10020S Hedge Trimmer
- 15. VIVOSUN 20V Cordless Hedge Trimmer
The Best Hedge Trimmer
Having beautifully trimmed and pruned hedges can make such a difference to your garden. However, maintaining this look isn’t always the easiest. If you are used to handling shears and balancing on ladders, then you probably put off hedge trimming until you can bear the look of overgrown shrubs no more.
But before you shy away from your next hedge trimming task, you might want to consider investing in a new trimming machine to make your gardening duties a little bit easier.
Here, we look at the best hedge trimmers available, ranging from gas, electric or battery fueled machines, and outline the features to consider when selecting the best model for you.
Powerful 40-volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery
24-inch dual-action blade
Shearing blade cuts branches up to 3/4 inch thick
Battery level indicator
Rust-resistant steel blades
One hour charger
Our best choice, the BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer comes with a dual-action blade, meaning it can cut twice as many branches at once, compared to the single blade model.
The reduced vibration you get from this design, together with the full wrap-around handle (so you can adjust your hand position when needed) and a soft grip pad, make it a very comfortable hedge trimmer to operate. The battery is rechargeable, taking just 1 hour to fully charge, so a great option if you have no external power sockets. A fully charged battery will let you trim up to 6000 square feet and you can monitor the battery life using the indicator on the handle.
Vibrates less than single action blades
Battery charge level indicated on the handle
24inch blade (little longer than others)
Not as powerful as electric versions
One of the 20V MAX system of tools
20-volt lithium-ion battery
Powerful high output motor
Cutting strokes: 2800 spm
Cuts up to 3/4″ thick branches
22″ laser cut
Compact and lightweight design
Battery & charger sold separately
The DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer electric hedge trimmer comes with a 22-inch blade that cuts up to ¾ inch thick branches easily. The battery is long-lasting, so you can expect to achieve about 2 hours of run time on one fully charged battery.
The trimming function is effective, with laser-cut shearing blades and pre-hardened hooked tooth features to keep them sharper for longer. This product also comes with a 3-year warranty should there be any faults. With this Dewalt trimmer be sure to buy the right version for you. There is the tool only option, which doesn’t include the ion battery or charger, or the option to purchase it with these included. If you have other Dewalt 20V Max products, you can use the battery and charger from them.
Easy to use
Wrap around handle
Some packages don’t come with the battery and charger included
16-inch dual-action hardened steel blade
3.0 amp motor
Up to 5/8 inches cutting
Lightweight, compact design
Built-in T handle
On/off safety switch
The BLACK+DECKER BEHT100 Hedge Trimmer electric hedge trimmer is exceptionally compact, meaning it is easy to maneuver around different shapes. It is also relatively powerful, producing 3800 strokes per minute, which is higher than the average, especially at this price. The Black and Decker Beht100 has a safety on/off button, reduced vibration operation thanks to the dual-action blades, and is incredibly easy to operate.
While it is easy to use, you do need to either rewire or get an outdoor extension cord immediately because you can’t use this machine when it first arrives as it has only a plug, no cord. The 16-inch dual-action blade is a few inches shorter than some of the best hedge trimmers, but it is a good option for some heavy-duty trimming with an affordable, compact appliance.
Only comes with the end of a cord (plug)
22 inch blade reach
The D-grip handle lets you hold it from any angle
Dual-action blades for quick cutting
Uses batteries from your existing PowerShare tools
Grips to absorb vibration
Cordless hedge trimmer
This is a super lightweight battery-powered trimmer that is easy to handle and use. The WORX WG261.9 20V Power Share 22-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer works especially well if you need to trim high-level hedges that involve lifting the trimmer above shoulder level.
While the Black and Decker Beht100 is 0.5lb lighter, this WORX model has a 22inch dual-action blade that makes it much more effective for cutting larger areas. It also has a D grip on the handle, so you can hold it at any angle while still getting a good cut – perfect if you need to cut through branches with an unusual shape. The battery has a low voltage compared to most other cordless designs so it isn’t the most powerful and you may need to recharge to complete your trimming. Also, remember that this is another model that comes with a ‘bare tool only’ option, so if you need a battery and charger be sure to purchase a package that comes with those included.
Good blade length for the weight
Easy to assemble
If you don’t already have PowerShare tools, you need to invest in a battery and charger
Double lock design of child safety lock and security key
Effortless one-handed operation
Fits into a variety of small spaces
Switches from moving to hedge trimming
This is a tiny trimmer that can be used to trim hedges, and then the steel blades can be swapped to make it into a handheld mower to tackle grass in between plants. A great feature if you have some intricate grass formations in your garden.
As it is so lightweight and compact, the WORKPRO 7.2V 2-in-1 Cordless Hedge Trimmer can be operated with just one hand and is perfect for light, occasional trimming. Just bear in mind that it only achieves a stroke rate of 1100spm so it isn’t very quick or powerful. It is ideal if you want to shape hedges with small-diameter branches.
Compact and light
Good for areas your mower can’t reach
Can cut through branches that are only 10mm thick
Only operates for approx. 40minutes per charge
Ideal for cutting tall bushes or hedges
Telescoping pole providing 13 ft of overhead reach
Adjustable, pivoting head
21-Inch dual-action blade
Powerful 4-amp motor
Rust-resistant steel blade
The Sun Joe SJH902E 21-in 4-Amp Multi-Angle Hedge Trimmer is a powerful and precise option for tackling tall shrubs and bushes. With the telescopic handle, you can achieve 13ft of overhead reach. However, you will need a separate extension cord to take full advantage of its range.
It has a reasonably sized blade length, made from rust-resistant steel that also pivots, making it even easier to tackle tall plants. For safety purposes, the machine comes with a safety button to prevent it from turning on accidentally. Despite being design for overhead use, it is quite a heavy build, which stops it from being one of the best hedge trimmers. The SunJoe comes with a shoulder strap to help take some of the weight of the trimmer, but it often slips off. You will end up giving yourself a workout whilst gardening!
Great for tall hedges
Multiple angles for awkwardly shaped shrubs
Heavy to use
Need a separate extension cord
Star protection against overloading, over-discharging and over-heating
22 inch blade length
Dual-action shear blade
18 volt lithium-ion battery
Battery capacity warning system
Lower noise level at only 87 dbs
This is another battery-powered hedge trimmer option that has sufficient energy to take care of most of your trimming needs. The Makita XHU02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 22″ Hedge Trimmer is easy to operate and has a powerful motor and strong blades to work efficiently.
The trimmer is also fitted with several cushions around the motor, which helps to reduce vibration levels and also keep noise to a minimum. It also has an automatic switch-off function that kicks in if the motor overheats and or when it is time to recharge the battery. The model isn’t particularly heavy, but due to the built-in safety mechanics, you will always need both hands to operate it. If you don’t already have the LXT range batteries and charger, then you will need to buy them separately or ensure that you purchase a version of this hedge trimmer that includes them.
Quieter operation than others
Cushioned motor to minimize vibration
Quick charging battery
Compatible with batteries from LXT range
Battery and charger sold separately
Two-handed operation required at all times
24-inch blade length
Saw blade cuts branches up to 1.5inches
Charge indicator for battery levels
The BLACK+DECKER 60V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer comes with a Sawblade and a Powercut function. The Sawblade helps you to tackle thick branches, while the Powercut function helps you to power through any difficult jams, just by pressing a button. It is one of the best hedge trimmer appliances for heavy-duty work.
One of the great features of the Black and Decker is the battery life. Once fully charged, it has a run time of approximately 4 hours before it needs to be charged again. Plus the easy view charge indicator gives you further battery guidance. No more worrying about running out of battery halfway through your gardening!
Great for cutting thick branches
Long-lasting battery once charged
No blade cover
It is worth noting that the saw function of the blade is only at the end of the machine. This isn’t a bad thing but does mean that when you come to cutting thick branches, you can’t use the whole 24inch length to do so, only the tip.
Due to the sharp saw function at the end of the blade, it would be nice if this machine came with a sheath or covering for safe storage, but it is a solid, powerful trimmer with some useful additional features. It is definitely a step up from the more basic cordless machines.
Powered by 24 Volt Lithium-Ion Battery
Includes 2Ah Battery and Charger
180-degree rotating rear handle
22-Inch dual action steel blade
Aluminum rail cover included
5/8-Inch cutting capacity
Compatible with other GreenWorks appliances
This is part of the GreenWorks G-24 system, which means that you will be able to use the included battery and charger with other GreenWorks appliances such as drills, saws, or compressors. The lithium-ion battery charges quickly, but doesn’t last all that long, so if you have a lot of trimming to complete, you may want to invest in an additional battery or plan some breaks to allow for recharging.
The Greenworks 22-Inch 24V Cordless Hedge Trimmer has a solid steel blade of 22 inches and it also includes an aluminum cover to help safely maintain it while in storage. It isn’t the lightest electric hedge trimmer and only cuts through 5/8 inch branches, but the rotating handle makes it surprisingly easy to maneuver.
Rotating rear handle
Storage cover included
Battery and charger included
Only 30 minutes of battery life
Cutting capacity is only 5/8 inches
Powerful 20-Volt 2.0Ah lithium-ion battery included
20″ dual-action blade
Cuts branches up to 5/8″
Protective blade cover
Telescoping lightweight pole
5-position adjustable cutting head
Cordless hedge trimmer
Compatible with all Earthwise 20-Volt Lithium-Ion battery products
2-year tool warranty
The Earthwise LPHT12022 Volt 20-Inch Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer comes with a rotating head and comfortable grip making it one of the best hedge trimmers in terms of comfort. This, plus the telescopic pole, makes it suitable for cutting both high and low hedges. It also has a shoulder strap to assist you.
The power for this trimmer comes from a 20volt lithium-ion battery, which is included, and this is compatible with all other Earthwise products. The 20-inch dual-action blade does make quick work of trimming hedges and thin branches, so you may be able to get all your cutting done in one battery use. However, in comparison to other trimmers, this is not especially powerful. The telescopic pole similar to a pole saw is designed to help you tackle tall hedges and gives you a greater reach. The drawback of this feature is that it can only be fixed at two lengths – one with the pole not extended, and one with it fully extended. Other telescopic hedge trimmer models have more flexibility.
Rotating cutting head
Blade cover included
Estimated run time of only 20-30 minutes
Has two preset lengths, not a fully adjustable telescopic pole
Powerful 23cc full crank engine
Dual-action stainless steel blades
22 inch blades
Cuts limbs up to 1inch thick in diameter
Rotating handle with comfort grip
Advanced anti-vibration features
The Poulan Pro PR2322 Hedge Trimmer is a gas-fueled model, so you will instantly notice that it is much heavier than electric or cordless hedge trimmers. It is 11.1lbs before you add any fuel. However, we should point out that in comparison to other gas-powered machines, this is quite lightweight. Having said this, for the extra weight, you do get extra power compared to an electric machine, making it the best hedge trimmer solution to cut through branches that are up to 1 inch thick. The 22inch dual-sided blade will complete your trimming activities in a short time.
The manufacturers have tried to counteract the heaviness by fitting anti-vibration dampeners and a rotating rear handle to make it easier to maneuver around without putting too much strain on your back or hands.
Cuts up to 1 inch thickness
Rotating rear handle
As it is a gas model, it is heavier than electric versions
Some concerns on reliability
If you are not used to a gas trimmer, it will take you a while to get used to the start function, and, as we mentioned earlier, you should only opt for a gas model if you are experienced in trimming hedges.
There are some concerns about the reliability of the trimmer and getting replacement parts but the two-year warranty should help with this. The Poulan Pro is the most expensive hedge trimmer we reviewed, but as this is a gas appliance, more suited for commercial use, this can be expected.
4.0 amp motor
22inches Dual-action blade
Cut capacity of 3/4inches
Power saw innovation cuts 1.5inch branches
3 Year Limited Warranty
The CRAFTSMAN Electric Hedge Trimmer comes with a small blade on the end that is designed to best cut thicker branches with a diameter of up to 1.5 inches. The rest of the 22inch blade can comfortably cut ¾ inch limbs.
It has a large cutting capacity and is a powerful appliance. The challenge with this machine is that there is no cord lock, so the wire may get in your way. You will also need to have the trigger switch pressed down permanently when trimming. While this is a nice safety feature to have, your fingers and hands might get fatigued quickly from being in one position. It is a very lightweight model at only 3lbs so great could be the best hedge trimmer option if you suffer from arm fatigue when doing gardening. Craftsman tools are recognized as high quality and reliable, but even so, this machine comes with a three-year warranty.
Cuts thick and thin branches
Additional saw blade
Good cut capacity
No cord lock
Need to hold trigger button down continuously
2.7 Amp Electric Motor
18-Inch dual action steel blade
3/8-Inch Cutting Capacity
Corded hedge trimmer
Convenient cord lock
The blade on the GreenWorks machine is 18inches, quite a bit smaller than the competition. The Greenworks 18-Inch 2.7 Amp Corded Hedge Trimmer is not the most powerful motor you can find, so may slow you down a bit, but it works very well for small, thin areas and is energy efficient.
The power cord on this model is only about 6 inches long so you will need an extension lead before you can use it. And while isn’t cordless, it has a cord lock mechanism to prevent you from accidentally unplugging it if it gets caught on a corner. The GreenWorks trimmer comes with a 4-year warranty and a low price point, making it an affordable offering that does exactly what it says it will.
Cord lock to prevent unplugging and tangling
Low price point
Very easy to use
Small cutting capacity
Need an additional power cord
Power button much be depressed continuously
Powerful 3.2-Amp motor
20″ dual-action hardened steel blade
5/8″ cutting capacity
Protective blade cover
Corded hedge trimmer
3400 strokes per minute
Comfortable handle with wrap-around grip
Built-in cord retention
This Scott’s machine, together with the Black and Decker Beht 100 are the lowest priced products in our review. Despite its low price point, the Scotts Outdoor Power Tools HT10020S Hedge Trimmer is one of the most powerful, thanks to its 3.2ap motor and 3400 strokes per minute speed. It will zip through 5/8inch branches in no time at all.
In addition to the trimmer, you will need to purchase an extension cord before you can operate it; however, it does include a blade cover to enhance the safety and maintenance of the appliance. It also features a cord holder to prevent it from unplugging as you move around the garden.
High strokes per minute
Protective blade cover
Low weight to power ratio
Extension cord needed
20 inches dual-action blade
Cutting diameter of 14mm (1/2 inches)
D-grip ergonomic handle
Battery-powered hedge trimmer
Double safety start button
20V, 2Ah battery
Hand pruner included
While you may not have heard of Vivosun, they have been around since 2009, as one of the top manufacturers and suppliers for indoor gardening. Their 20V Cordless Hedge Trimmer is one of their newest products that are suitable for outdoor use, and as such you will find very few reviews online. This battery-powered hedge trimmer comes with a standard size (20 inches) dual action blade and enough power to trim branches of up to 0.5 inches. The cut capacity isn’t great, but you will like the speed.
The manufacturers have designed an ergonomic handle, giving you comfort even if you are using it for long periods of time (maximum of 30 minutes in one battery charge) and have added a double safety start button to prevent any accidents. A thoughtful feature from the team at Vivosun, they have included a small gardening hand pruner with this trimmer. So this can help you tackle smaller shapes or details of the hedge cutter.
Double safety start button
Additional hand pruner included
Little known brand
Features To Consider With Best Hedge Trimmers
Most hedges can be quickly dealt with using an 18 inch or 20-inch blade. Longer blades will make it easier to trim evenly, or in straight lines, but they aren't great if you have only a small area to operate in.
Compact trimmers may have blades of under 12 inches, which is best for small hedges, or when you don't feel comfortable handling a larger blade. Some more advanced models do have 24-inch blades, which will make cutting quicker be harder to control.
The most significant blade features you need to consider with a hedge trimmer is whether they are single or double-sided, and the distance between blade teeth.
Single-sided blades are considered safer as you can keep the blade side of the trimmer pointing away from you at all times. The best hedge trimmer for speed will be one with double-sided blades as they cut with both sides at the same time.
The distance between the blade teeth will help determine which types of branches the machine is best suited for. Most home-use devices will have a gap of around ¾ inches, which is adequate in most situations. Commercial machines will usually have larger gaps of 1inch or greater.
If you are using a gas-powered hedge trimmer, then you should be prepared for a powerful model, and you need to be comfortable handling this.
With electric trimmers, the power level will vary according to their voltage. In general, some of the lower-priced models will have lower energy and cordless hedge trimmers will have less power than mains operated ones.
The amount of power you need will depend on the type of trees and hedges you will be working with, and how much strength you feel comfortable handling.
While hedge trimmers will make your life a lot easier than old fashioned shears, there is no escaping the fact that it still requires some effort from your side. If you are going to be trimming large hedges regularly, then it may be best to opt for a lightweight version that puts less strain on your back and arms. More powerful machines are, as you would expect, heavier so while they may be quicker, they may also be a challenge to keep holding up.
Ease Of Use
Weight plays a big part when assessing the ease of use of a trimmer as this will impact how easily you can move it around.
Corded or cordless versions will also impact this factor considerably, again because it will determine how flexible it is to maneuver in your garden.
Other aspects to consider when choosing the best hedge trimmer includes the handle and the on/off function. If the handle has a cushioning, can be rotated or held at different angles, it will make it more comfortable to hold for extended periods. If the trimmer means that you have to keep an off/on button pressed down while operating it, then you will have to use two hands at all times, and this may not always be practical for you.
Hedge trimmers will require a level of care to maintain their longevity. This usually involves sharpening the steel blades, plus cleaning the trimmer frequently to avoid any blockages building up or excess moisture causing rust. Check out our reviews of best electric chainsaw sharpeners, you might find just what you need. If you have a gas-powered trimmer, they will require a little more maintenance, making sure you keep vents clear and the correct mix of oil and gas.
Hedge trimmers of all varieties have motorized blades, and these can cause significant damage if not used correctly. Some of the best hedge trimmers come with safety functions, such as automatic shut-offs or hand shields, to keep you away from the blade.
If you are not familiar with trimming, then you should always opt for a lightweight battery-powered model with multiple safety features at first.
Types Of Hedge Trimmers
Gas fuelled hedge trimmers are more powerful than electric options, so they are more suitable for industrial use or tough jobs. They are quite heavy, more difficult to use, but due to their power, they can get big jobs done quickly. Gas-powered trimmers are not recommended for people who are not comfortable with hedge trimming. Electric ones are easier to handle and safer.
Electric powered hedge trimmers are the most popular choice for home use as they are lighter, quieter, and more affordable than gas versions. They are available in either corded or cordless options. With a corded appliance, you will need an extension lead, and they do tend to get in the way when operating the trimmer, but they can be more powerful than a battery-powered trimmer. A cordless trimmer is operated by a rechargeable battery, which gives you a lot more flexibility to move around your garden without worrying about power cables. You just have to remember to charge the battery before use.
Hedge Trimmer FAQ
Q: How does a hedge trimmer work?
The blades on a hedge trimmer are equipped with sharp teeth. As the blades move backward and forward, it causes the teeth to cut the leaves and small branches. The power to move these blades comes from either battery, electricity, or gas, depending on the model you choose.
Q: Can hedge trimmers cut branches?
Hedge trimmers will all specify the thickness of branches that they can cut. Some are only suitable for cutting thin branches of 0.25inches, yet most models can cope with 0.5 - 0.75 inches. The more powerful models can cut branches of 1.5 inches. If you have thicker branches, then you will need to find an alternative tool, such as a saw or hedge cutter.
Q: What is the difference between a hedge trimmer and a hedge cutter?
Hedge cutters are designed to cut through thick branches, whereas hedge trimmers are more suited for snipping thin branches.
Q: Which is better: corded or cordless hedge trimmers?
There are advantages to both corded and cordless trimmers. A cordless hedge trimmer will give you greater flexibility to move around your garden, and there is no need to worry about an extension cord getting in the way. Corded options give you a bit more power, and you don't have to worry about the battery run time.
Q: Are hedge trimmers dangerous?
Hedge trimmers come with motorized steel blades, so have the potential to be dangerous tools. However, if used correctly, with the appropriate safety precautions, they are unlikely to cause harm.
Q: Can you trim a hedge too much?
Aesthetically speaking, yes you can trim a hedge too much. But from a health perspective, it is also possible to trim too much. If you cut main branches that feed the top of the hedge, it may stunt growth for the future. Before you tackle your hedge, you should check for pruning advice for the particular shrub, so you don't go overboard!