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The best hedge trimmers of 2017

By · April 25, 2017

Trimming the hedges can be one of the most overwhelming tasks of yard maintenance.  Healthy shrubs, hedges and even ornamental grasses can easily grow out of control.   Save yourself time and energy by using a powered hedge trimmer to help get the job done.

Overview

The following table includes the best hedge trimmers we found in 2017.  The chart is organized by type and includes features to help you find the best trimer for you.

Hedge Trimmer
Editor’s Score
Hedge Trimmer
Stihl HSE 52
  • Electric
  • 3.8 amps
  • 20″ blade
Editor’s Score
Hedge Trimmer
BLACK+DECKER LHT2436
  • Cordless
  • 40V battery
  • 24″ blade
Editor’s Score

amazon

Hedge Trimmer
Ryobi ONE+ 22 in. Hedge Trimmer
  • Cordless
  • 18V battery
  • 24″ blade
Editor’s Score

amazon

Hedge Trimmer
Echo 20 in. 21.2 cc Hedge Trimmer
  • Gas
  • 21.2 cc
  • 20″ blade
Editor’s Score
Hedge Trimmer
Husqvarna 122HD60
  • Gas
  • 21.7 cc
  • 23″ blade
Editor’s Score

amazon

Hedge Trimmer
Remington RM5124TH
  • Electric
  • 5 amps
  • 24″ blade
Editor’s Score

amazon

Selection Guide: What to look for in a hedge trimmer

The best hedge trimmer for you should be powerful, but also easy to handle.  You can use them to shape a handful of shrubs or acres of hedges.  Before you pick out a trimmer you’ll need to gauge how large your job is and what types of plants you’ll be trimming.  Large plants need a trimmer than can handle large diameter branches and large yards need a trimmer that can last for the whole job.  There are two options when it comes to power. You can find electric and gas-powered.

Electric hedge trimmer

The biggest advantage to electric hedge trimmers is the sound, or lack of it.  They are not nearly as loud as gas-powered, do not emit any odor, and are easy to start.  They are smaller and lighter than gas-powered and generally less expensive.  The power cord can limit your range and also pose a risk of tripping and even accidental cutting.  Extension cords and general awareness can help prevent these problems.  You also may find some models come with pigtails.  This is a short length of cord that connects to an extension cord.  This makes it easier to plug/unplug and reduces the chances of unintentional disconnection.  They can be less powerful than gas-powered trimmers, however.  Look for higher amperage to increase cutting power.  Electric hedge trimmers are ideal for small to medium yards.

Cordless hedge trimmer

A cordless hedge trimmer runs on a battery.  They are the quietest trimmers you’ll be able to find.  They are also odorless, start easily and the range is limitless. However, you are limited to the battery life.  The battery adds extra weight and they may not be as powerful as gas-powered, or electric.  Newer lithium batteries, however, can be as powerful as gas and last longer per charge.  Some trimmers come with more than one battery allowing you to swap when one needs to be recharged.  Cordless trimmers are best for small yards and light tasks.

Gas hedge trimmer

Gas-powered trimmers are high powered and can cut through the thickest branches easier and quicker than electric and battery-powered trimmers.  They are portable and unlike electric, can be used in damp weather.  The gas tank can be refilled many times and are not limited by range (as in the case or cords) or time (compared to battery).  They do have drawbacks in way of weight, noise, and emissions.  They are the best choice if you have a large yard or lots of cutting.  Look for a model that includes a translucent fuel tank.  This will allow you to monitor your fuel level so you don’t run out in the middle of a task.

Pole hedge trimmer

If you need to trim an area that is high or hard-to-reach look for a pole extension to help give you reach and avoid the ladder.  You can also use the extender for the bottoms or corners of hedges.  Look for a model that will allow for the extension.

Blades

The blade of a trimmer consists of flat metal plates with teeth lining the edges.  The length of the blade can vary greatly, anywhere from 13 to 40 inches.  Blades that are 16 inches or smaller are best for small to average-sized hedges.  Blades around 18 inches in length are best for average to large-sized hedges and blades 20 inches or longer are best for large and well-established hedges.  Longer blades allow you to cut more evenly, but may have trouble with precise cuts.  Look for blades made from high-carbon steel.  They will last longer and are cut better.  They can also be sharpened which will extend the life of the blade.

The spacing of the teeth along the blade is known as the blade gap.  This determines the size of branch that can be cut with the trimmer.  Professional-grade trimmers may have gap of 1-inch or more.  Trimmers meant for residential usually have a finer blade gap of 3/8 to ¾ inches.

Blades may be single or double-sided.    Single-sided blades are considered the safest since you will always have the blades facing away from you.  Double-sided blades are more efficient because they can cut in both directions.  If you are left-handed the double-blade may be easier to use.

Safety

Safety is important when using power tools.  Look for tooth extensions to minimize your chance of coming in contact with the blade.  A front-handle shield is another feature that protects you from the blade by shielding your forward hand.  A dual switch requires a two-handed operation.  Look for a trimmer that cuts the power as soon as you release the trigger.  This will stop the blade and reduce the chances of an accident.  Finally, make sure the trimmer you select will lock when in the off position.  This will prevent any accidental starts.

Top Hedge Trimmers of 2017

Stihl Hedge Trimmer

The Stihl electric hedge trimmer features a 20-inch, double-edged blade for easy, precise cuts.  It is light-weight yet also durable.  The handle is D-shaped to allow you to cut at different angles and positions.  The trimmer requires two hands to be on the device while in use as well to ensure safety.  The blade includes a trigger lock to prevent accidental starts.  The power cord is shorter requiring an extension cord.  The extension cord when connected can then be looped back into the trimmer and circled over the built-in hook.  This will prevent the cord for accidentally being unplugged while in use.  The trimmer does not exhaust any emissions and is very quiet making it perfect for a neighborhood with noise restrictions.

  • Type: Electric
  • Weight:8 lbs
  • Blade length: 20”
  • Motor output: 8 amps
  • Strokes per minute: 3,400
  • Max cutting capacity: ¾ inch

Black and Decker hedge trimmer

The cordless trimmer by Black and Decker includes a powerful 40V battery that can cut up to 6,000 square feet in one charge.  It holds its charge longer and is more powerful than other batteries.  The quick charger will recharge the battery in about an hour and is easy to remove.  The Power Drive transmission allows the 24-inch blade to cut branches up to ¾ of an inch thick without staling.  The double-sided blade produces less vibration than single-sided making it easier on your arms.  The wrap-around handle allows you to get a comfortable grip as well as cut in all directions and orientations.

  • Type: Cordless, lithium 40V battery
  • Weight:9 lbs
  • Blade length: 24”
  • Strokes per minute: 2,400
  • Max cutting capacity: 3/4 inch

Ryobi hedge trimmer

The 18-volt cordless hedge trimmer by Ryobi features a 22-inch blade and is great for smaller hedges.  The battery, although lower in voltage than others, is still able to deliver the power you’ll need to trim branches up to ¾-inch thick.  The trimmer is compact and light-weight making it easy for anyone to use.  The front handle is a wrap-around and the rear handle rotates to allow you easily maneuver the trimmer.  The blades are double-sided to help get the job done faster.  The battery and charger are sold separately from the trimmer.

  • Type: Cordless, 18V lithium battery
  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Blade length: 22”
  • Strokes per minute: 3,000
  • Max cutting capacity: 3/4 inch

Echo hedge trimmer

If you are looking for a professional-grade trimmer the Echo HC-152 gas hedge trimmer is it.  The blade is 20 inches long, double-sided and also double reciprocating.  The blades are laser cut and will not easily dull.  The engine is a 21.2 cc professional-grade 2-stroke engine for powerful performance.  The air filtration system is commercial-grade to increase the life of the engine. The air-filter cover can easily be removed without tools to allow for easy access.  The front wrap-around handle is large for comfort and control, and also features a guard for safety.  A rear handle is included to help with control.

  • Type: Gas-powered, 21.2 cc
  • Fuel tank capacity:6 oz.
  • Weight:8 lbs
  • Blade length: 20”
  • Max cutting capacity: 1/2 inch

Husqvarna hedge trimmer

The gas-powered hedge trimmer from Husqvarna is light-weight and quiet.  Its features include the easy-to-use Smart Start which allows the trimmer to be started with minimal effort.  Other features included to make staring easy are the auto return stop switch that will automatically reset to the ‘on’ position, and the air purge function which removes air from the carburetor and fuel systems.  The LowVib feature reduces vibrations making handling the trimmer easier on your body.  The blade is 23 inches long and double sided.  A limited 2-year manufacturer warranty is included.

  • Type: Gas-powered, 21.7 cc
  • Weight:8 lbs
  • Blade length: 23”
  • Max cutting capacity:8 inch
  • Strokes per minute: 4,050

Remington hedge trimmer

The electric hedge trimmer by Remington is lightweight and ergonomically designed with a cushioned grip to allow you to cut through tough branches comfortably and easily.  The 24-inch blades are dual-action and titanium-coated to increase durability and performance.  They will cut branches up to ¾ inch thick.  The handle can swivel and rotate 180 degrees which is ideal when shaping the tops of hedges or grooming the bottoms.  A limited 2-year manufacturer’s warranty is included.

  • Type: Electric
  • Weight:8 lbs
  • Blade length: 24”
  • Max cutting capacity: 3/4 inch
  • Motor output: 5 amps

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