The Best Hedge Trimmer
You can feel spring in the air… but with all the natural beauty of spring and summer comes a lot more yard work. However, yard work doesn’t have to be as much of a challenge as it is for most people, simply by using the right equipment. Getting the best hedge trimmer on the market can completely revolutionize your approach to trimming and pruning.
For this article, I’ve spent a good deal of time researching the best hedge trimmers on the market and picking the most popular and respected from all price ranges. Then I started my extensive testing process to write in-depth reviews to find the best hedge trimmer.
Reading this article will help you save time and money by getting exactly what you need the first time–because true lawncare bliss comes not just from getting the best hedge trimmer across the board, but the best hedge trimmer for your exact situation.
While I’ll go into a great deal more depth throughout the rest of the article, I’ve compiled this simple table for you to get introduced to the five best hedge trimmers I reviewed, and also as a tool for you to look back on when determining which choice is best for you at the end.
DeWalt – Best Cordless Hedge Trimmer
In addition to their years of experience, this brand also brings with it a reputation for innovation, especially in the development of cordless power tools over recent years.
As soon as I started unboxing this product, I could tell it was made with both quality and convenience in mind. As part of DeWalt’s popular 20V MAX system of tools, this device is designed to be compatible with a wide variety of other DeWalt cordless tools for both indoor and outdoor use.
Since I already own several other 20V MAX tools, I already had the battery and charger that were included in this kit. However, any cordless power tool owner knows that extra batteries and chargers are never a bad thing!
I particularly think this is a wise investment for anyone who already has or is looking to build a collection of other tools in the DeWalt 20V MAX line, as the interchangeable batteries can make life quite a bit easier.
If maintained correctly and used according to instructions, this is one of the most durable models on the market.
That durability applies not only to the tool itself but to the battery. DeWalt has been at the forefront of innovation for some time when it comes to the latest advancements in cordless electric power tools for both the home and the yard, and their 20V MAX series of batteries, tools, and accessories are no exception.
This battery is great because I can keep using it in my other tools, even during the off-season when I’m not using my hedge trimmer! Remember, using batteries frequently rather than letting them sit for long periods of time actually increases their lifespan.
If you do have to store your batteries for the long winter, though, be sure to do so properly in order to protect your investment!
Of course, the cordless construction of this offering from DeWalt brings with it both pros and cons. One of the great things about cordless trimmers is their convenience factor, while one of the downsides is that you’ll have to recharge after the battery is depleted.
While the 5 amp battery does last a long time, I would recommend keeping an extra battery on hand, especially for professionals or homeowners with a lot of hedges to trim.
However, DeWalt’s 20V MAX series of batteries have mitigated one of the other major problems that come with cordless tools, which is a loss of performance ability as the battery level approaches zero. The design of these batteries keeps them pushing at their top capacity until the moment they are completely exhausted.
One of the few downsides I noticed with this product is that it is a bit noisy for an electric tool, especially under stress.
This is perhaps a natural downside when getting a tool that’s so powerful, but it’s something to consider, especially for those living in exceptionally quiet neighborhoods or planning to trim their hedges at five o’clock in the morning.
I recommend this product to serious homeowners with a lot of hedges to trim, as well as professional landscapers. While it’s not in the lowest price class on the market by any stretch of the imagination, it’s certainly powerful and durable enough to justify the higher price in my mind.
Additionally, I would recommend this one to anyone who already owns or plans to own other tools in the DeWalt 20V MAX line, as having additional interchangeable batteries and chargers (especially the 5 amp beast that comes stocked with this model) is always a plus!
Makita – Best Electric Hedge Trimmer
This tool’s construction boasts all the durability Makita is known for.
Even the box it arrived in was exceptionally constructed!
Battery life is solid, if not exceptional–if you end up purchasing this product, I would strongly recommend getting an extra battery or two to go with it, especially if you’re a professional landscaper or planning to become one.
One of the few major downsides is this product’s price. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good value, but this tool may be out of reach for the average homeowner.
At the same time, its durability means that it will far outlast many of the cheaper products on the market.
The other con I noticed was the tool’s weight. While it’s still fairly easy to move and provides plenty of cutting power, the weight is noticeable, especially over a long session of hedge trimming.
This is an acceptable trade-off for me when I consider the tool’s exceptional durability, but it may not be right for every homeowner.
While additional comfort may sound like a small feature, you can ask any professional: comfort translates to greater effectiveness, especially over long periods of time.
I recommend this product to professionals looking for an electric model for detail work, as well as to virtually all homeowners. While it doesn’t come cheap, it’s not by any means overpriced.
While the weight is high, the tool is so comfortable to use the average homeowner may not even notice it.
I also recommend this product to those of you who already own or who want to own other tools in Makita’s 18-volt lithium-ion line of indoor and outdoor power tools.
B+D – Best Hedge Trimmer for Thick Branches
A manufacturer of tools and even kitchen appliances aimed at making homeowner’s lives easier, they’ve been around for quite some time.
They’re known for making better than average budget-friendly and middle-of-the-road options, so their products are not often the first choice for professional landscapers, but they more than suit the needs of the average homeowner.
Its ability to cut branches ¾” thick without much strain was one of the most impressive features of this product. However, I was also surprised at how comfortable it was to use.
Of course, nothing in this world is perfect, and that applies to hedge trimmers as much as it does anything else. The durability of this product, while certainly not lacking, is not the same as that of models produced for the professional market.
That being said, taking care of this product will ensure it lasts for several years. It just won’t hold up to the constant abuse of the professional landscaping environment.
I recommend this product strongly to homeowners, especially those on a slightly tighter budget. While it isn’t in the same price class as older or store-brand products, it’s much more durable and powerful, and it still runs much cheaper than professional models.
That being said, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to professional landscapers except for light detail work. While it’s plenty durable for the once or twice a week use typical of most homeowners, it likely won’t take day-in and day-out use very well, except with exceptional care and maintenance.
Worx – Best Lightweight Hedge Trimmer
Their line of tools with interchangeable batteries aimed at homeowners has impressed many reviewers and even professionals like myself with its quality and power.
One of the highlights of the Work line of products is its use of interchangeable batteries that function with all of it’s indoor and outdoor tools, including the WG209 hedge trimmer.
The power it produces is also impressive, meaning you won’t have to struggle to cut the thicker branches.
One of the only downsides to this product I noted is its slightly shorter battery life compared to some other hedge trimmers I have tested and reviewed.
It’s not terrible, mind you, but anyone with an extensive collection of hedges–or anyone looking to use the WG209 in a professional landscaping context–will definitely want to purchase some extra batteries if choosing this product.
However, the WG209 hedge trimmer also offers a serious advantage over some similar models that offer a longer battery life: its exceptionally low weight.
With a lot of the key features of more expensive hedge trimmers, but a low weight and a slightly lower price for a cordless model, this hedge trimmer has a bit to offer both the professional and the casual homeowner, as well as everyone in between.
This product has a lot to offer at a steal of a price among cordless hedge trimmers. There may be cheaper cordless models out there, but this is by far the best model for a slightly smaller budget.
Its low weight makes it ideal both for those with very intricate or high hedges and those who are not as experienced when it comes to yard work. While the shorter battery life does hold it back a bit, this can be mitigated by always keeping an extra battery on hand.
I recommend this product to homeowners looking for a slightly cheaper but still high-quality model, as well as professionals looking for a smaller, more lightweight product to do detail work or cut very high hedges.
I also recommend it to those who already use or own other tools in the Worx lineup, as the batteries are largely interchangeable.
Toro – Best Price Hedge Trimmer
Toro is a respected name in the world of outdoor power tools, making products for everyone from the cash-strapped and inexperienced new homeowner to professional landscapers working on an industrial scale.
The 51490 22” Corded Hedge Trimmer is in a low enough price class compared to other professional grade hedge trimmers that many homeowners will consider it an attractive budget option, but it still bears the respected Toro name and packs plenty of power, durability, and versatility.
The power is the main draw for this model beyond the price. Although a lot of advancements have been made in battery technology in recent years, corded models generally do clock in as a bit more powerful than their cordless competitors.
That being said, corded models do have their detractors, largely due to their slightly increased difficulty of use. However, corded models are easy to get used to, and you’ll never have to worry about running out of power.
As with everything else, there are both pros and cons to the corded approach when compared to the cordless one.
If you go with this model, you should still be sure to remember that maintenance is important for even the toughest products!
Toro also backs up the product’s physical durability with great customer service. The product also comes with a 2-year warranty when bought through Amazon, which could certainly make this product very attractive to users concerned about longevity and protecting their investment over time.
All in all, this offering from Toro is a serious powerhouse at a steal of a price and offers some great features and extras to boot.
I recommend this product to homeowners and professionals looking for plenty of power to make trimming hedges a breeze. It’s also a great choice for those on a tighter budget, as well as those very concerned about durability.
Last but not least, I can confidently recommend this product to those more used to corded designs or who don’t want the hassle of batteries, as this is by far one of the better-corded models available on the market today.
However, I would recommend a lighter cordless model to those with very high hedges, or those who are not used to operating a hedge trimmer. While corded models are certainly more powerful than their cordless counterparts, they are not as easy to manipulate.
Best Hedge Trimmer – Buyer’s Guide
As someone who owns a professional landscaping service, I’m deeply familiar with a lot of the important specs and features when it comes to outdoor power tools. However, for the layperson, all these numbers can really make your head spin!
To help you find the best hedge trimmer to suit your needs, I have included this (hopefully) very helpful buying guide. In it, I’ll cover the most important specs and features included in descriptions of these top five hedge trimmers and a number of the other most popular products on the market.
Knowing what each of these things really means will help you get a feel for what hedge trimmer is meant for what situations and users–meaning that you can find the right hedge trimmer for you the first time.
Corded vs. Cordless Hedge Trimmers
For the past ten or fifteen years, cordless electric tools have been one of the biggest innovations in the landscaping world. While initially much weaker than gas-powered or corded models, advances in battery technology have allowed them to compete with corded models.
Cordless hedge trimmers offer several advantages, the biggest of which is their mobility. Without a cord to hold you back, it’s easy to cut those high hedges or those that are far from a power source.
That being said, cordless hedge trimmers do offer slightly less power, though this continues to become less and less true over time. The cutting capacity remains the same, it’s just that a cordless model may take slightly longer to cut the same thick branch than a similar corded model would.
Some users simply feel more comfortable with corded models, whereas others are the exact opposite.
In terms of maintenance costs, there are no major differences. Batteries and extension cords both gradually wear out over time.
However, following all instructions for either one and being careful not to physically damage it will greatly improve its length of service.
That being said, it’s important not to push any power source beyond its physical limits. One of the biggest safety problems that can come from hedge trimmers arises from physically damaged cords or batteries.
Do not use a hedge trimmer or any other electric landscaping tool with a damaged cord or battery!
The Specs: Power, Length, and More!
The specs are where you can objectively compare one hedge trimmer to another. Maximum cutting capacity is a big one, as is overall power. Length is another big deciding factor, especially for people with very tall hedges.
For branches larger than that, you’ll unfortunately need a different tool.
For battery powered models, you’ll also want to consider amperage. It’s not exact, but generally speaking models with a higher amperage will have longer battery life.
There are also a lot of batteries out there with special features now. For example, the DeWalt 24 volt lithium ion batteries are designed not to lose effectiveness even when they are mostly drained, so you can continue cutting until the battery is completely exhausted.
However, if your hedges are small, don’t be scared to get a shorter model. Oftentimes, shorter hedge trimmers are actually easier to use!
Remember, because a lot of the specs are similar at the best end of the market, a lot of it comes down to less quantifiable factors such as durability, ease of use, and special features.
Read my in-depth reviews above and take into account which attributes matter most to you in order to decide which of the five best hedge trimmers on the market suits your specific needs.
How to Care for a Hedge Trimmer
When it comes to tools, it’s not just about buying the right thing, or even just in how you use it. Maintaining tools properly is just as important, as bad maintenance (or a total lack of care) can ruin good tools fast.
This is especially true when it comes to landscaping and lawncare equipment, as these tools are exposed to the elements much more often than other power tools like drills.
Because they are exposed to harsh conditions, as well as the dirt and grime inherent in working outside, caring for these types of tools properly is of the utmost importance.
Clean it Every Time!
Cleaning lawncare equipment is of the utmost importance, and this is as true of hedge trimmers as it is any other kind of outdoor tools.
Fortunately, wiping it down with a strong cloth after spraying with the cleaner of your choice is enough to get most of the grime off.
Maintaining the motor with lubricant as necessary is important as well, though newer and higher-end models are designed to be lower maintenance than hedge trimmers have been in the past.
If you really want to keep your hedge trimmer in the best possible shape, detailing the smaller nooks and crevices with q-tips or a toothbrush can also be useful. This is a really good tip to keep in mind for professional landscapers, where presentation is a big part of the game these days.
Checking for Damage
The power supply is one of the most important areas to check for damage, as problems with electrical components can lead to breaking your tool and even putting yourself in physical danger quite quickly.
For corded models, look for any kinks or nicks in the extension cord you’re using before plugging in and powering up. If an extension cord is damaged, don’t attempt to use it.
Replacing extension cords is, of course, an expense, but cords are a lot cheaper than a new tool or a hospital bill.
When it comes to battery powered cordless models, check the batteries for any of the following signs of damage:
- Swollen batteries
- Cracks in the battery casing
- Batteries that won’t charge
- Any indicators on the charger or the battery itself (consult your owner’s manual)
If you see any of these problems, swap the battery out immediately, and don’t attempt to power the tool on with this battery. Again, I know batteries aren’t cheap, but protecting your personal health and safety and the larger investment in the tool is more important than anything else.
Using Your Hedge Trimmer Properly
A big part of the proper care of a hedge trimmer or any outdoor tool is simply taking the time to use it properly. Reading your owner’s manual before use and seeking out the advice of friends and professionals are great places to start.
One of the most common mistakes when it comes to hedge trimmers is simply trying to do too much. These tools are designed for cutting the thinner outer branches of hedges and bushes, not for chopping down trees.
If your hedge trimmer struggles to cut a growth, forcing it could cause damage to the trimmer and even endanger your health. When it comes to branches or other growth a trimmer can’t cut, consider using one of the following other tools:
- Strong loppers for particularly strong but still small branches
- A handheld saw for tougher branches
Outdoor tools are extremely specialized for a reason. Just as you wouldn’t use a chainsaw to trim your hedges, don’t try to use your hedge trimmers for applications better suited to a chainsaw!
As powerful and convenient as hedge trimmers are, there are some things these tools are simply not designed to do.
Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a very warm, lush climate, you’ll probably have to put your hedge trimmer away for a good portion of the year. How you store your hedge trimmer will affect how it runs when you bring it back out.
This is especially true for cordless models.
When it comes to storing corded models, things are a bit simpler. Be sure not to wrap extension cords or other power components too tightly, as this could damage the wiring within the insulation.
Additionally, be sure to store all outdoor power tools in a dry environment that doesn’t get exposed to extreme cold or heat too often.
You can follow these same basic rules for storing hedge trimmers and other lawn care and landscaping tools for shorter periods between uses.
Conclusion: The Best Hedge Trimmer Is…
It’s taken quite a while for me to get here, and there’s been a lot of work and research along the way, but I’m finally ready to give you my top choice for the best of the best hedge trimmers.
Keep in mind that just because the number one spot goes to the best hedge trimmer across the board, this doesn’t mean that it’s the best for your situation. I’ve also included an honorable mention for common situations in which homeowners and professional landscapers find themselves.
On top of that, purchasing any of these top five hedge trimmers is likely to be a wise investment, as long as you read carefully and select the one best suited to your individual needs.
Now, on to the main event! My top pick for the best hedge trimmer on the market today is the DeWalt DCHT820P1. There are many factors that influenced my decision, including the following:
- Enhanced battery performance from DeWalt’s lithium-ion batteries even when they are almost completely discharged
- Great durability across the board
- The relative ease of use for such a powerful and durable tool
- Compatibility with other products in the DeWalt lithium-ion line
- Excellent customer service and support from one of the most respected names in tools for both indoor and outdoor uses
Although the DeWalt DCHT820P1 hedge trimmer does sit in a higher price class than some of the others I’ve reviewed for this informative article, it’s not the most expensive hedge trimmer on the market, and it packs plenty of value per dollar.
However, while the DeWalt DCHT820P1 is the best of the best hedge trimmers across the board in my opinion, all of these hedge trimmers are fine products, and there is one more I want to especially highlight for my loyal readers.
While the Worx WG209 doesn’t beat out the DeWalt hedge trimmer’s exceptional battery life, it does have some serious advantages that may be very attractive to some of the following types of users:
- Professionals looking for a smaller, lightweight model for detail work
- Homeowners with very intricate and/or tall hedges
- Less experienced users
- Users who aren’t as comfortable manipulating the higher weight of other models
- Those on a slightly tighter budget
At a lower price class than most of its competitors, the Worx WG209 still packs plenty of power. It also greatly shines in terms of its versatility and ease of use due to its exceptionally low operating weight.
While its battery life is a bit shorter than that of some of the others among the best cordless hedge trimmers on the market, it still beats out the average cordless hedge trimmers, including some that are more expensive than this model.
Users with small to medium yards likely won’t notice the difference in battery life, and professional landscapers or those with very large yards can purchase a spare battery for this model and still save money compared to what they would have spent on a different set of hedge trimmers.
Ultimately, though, the hedge trimmer that you personally think is best for your needs is the one that’s best for you. As I’ve said before, all of the hedge trimmers reviewed for this article are high-quality products, and all have their own advantages, disadvantages, and specialized features.
The product you feel most comfortable with in terms of its use, its cost and its ability is the best choice for you.