Hedge trimmers to keep your hedges prim and proper

Trimming your hedges shouldn’t be hard work. So we’ll help you find the right tool for the task.

Cleaning the hedge with a hedge trimmer

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Trimming the garden hedge with some garden shears is no fun and will not get the job done as fast or as cleanly as specifically designed trimmers. Investing in hedge trimmers will transform your unkempt hedge into a perfectly preened outdoor feature. If you are on the hunt for the best DIY tools to keep your hedges looking good but don't know where to start, then we have researched the best hedge trimmers so you can get started.

The best hedge trimmers will create a clean, even, and neat cut and can manoeuvre around tricky angles, so you don't have to worry about dealing with the small details.

The best hedge trimmers at a glance

Best all-round hedge trimmer: Ryobi ONE+ 18V 500mm Cordless Hedge Trimmer - View on B&Q
Best for adjustability: Mcculloch HT Petrol Hedge Trimmer - View on Amazon UK
Best petrol hedge trimmers: Husqvarna Hedge Trimmer - View Amazon UK

It’s also important to think about what you need from your tool. Things to consider include hedge height, the proximity of power sockets to your garden, and more. Usually, hedge trimmers are used for 'light work' on branches and bushes. Tidying up and shaping shrubs is another of their functions. However, heavy-duty work is more suited to hedge cutters, for example, breaking down big branches and thicker bushes. Though one cannot be substituted for the other, both tools are necessary for perfect hedge maintenance.

We have compiled our top picks of petrol, battery, and electric hedge trimmers based on prices, ease of use, and capabilities to help you on your way.

The best hedge trimmers

Best all-round hedge trimmer

This well-rounded hedge trimmer is designed to be lightweight and comfortable to use. The ONE+ Cordless 50cm hedge trimmer is ideal for maintaining medium-sized hedges and shrubs. The 50cm blade with a 24mm blade gap provides enough power to tackle even larger hedges. Plus the HedgeSweep™ attachment delivers easy removal of clippings.

Tried and tested by Group Commerical Content Editor Adam Binnie: "Our hedges grow at an extraordinary rate and at an annoyingly large distance from the plug socket in the garage, meaning the job of keeping them trimmed over the summer is an extension lead-tangling headache.

"As such, I put it off until they're in such a state that I have to dedicate the best part of a Saturday to sorting them out. As with all battery-powered tools, the fact I can just pop out for ten minutes with this Ryobi 50cm hedge trimmer now and then with no annoying wires to untangle or trip over means I can keep on top of it.

"With its newly designed in-line handle it's very comfortable to use for a long period, and its 2.4kg is well distributed and balanced so it's an easy thing to wield. Ryobi says it'll work for 64 minutes between charges - I've had 40 minutes out of it with no bother, and always put the battery back on charge after using it anyway.

"That's partly down to the Ryobi's only flaw - there's no lock or safety switch to stop one of my kids from picking it up and trimming something I'd rather they didn't. The only way to prevent this is to remove the battery.

"Other than that it's solidly constructed and an ergonomic bit of kit. I like the way the sweeper bar brushes the clippings off the top of the hedge - previously I'd have to shake them off, which was annoying.

"Best of all it uses the same battery and charger as my other Ryobi kit, keeping the cost of purchase down and reducing the number of things plugged into my garage sockets."

Pros

  • Comfortable handling for long periods of time
  • Wireless

Cons

  • No lock or safety switch

Best for adjustability

If you are looking for a petrol-driven hedge trimmer with dual-action blades to make quick work of cutting the hedge, then the Mcculloch HT 5622 is a great choice. The blade will be able to tear at leaves easily and leave a neater finish. The product claims to have a soft start and an adjustable rear handle, allowing you to cut vertically through the hedge comfortably

Review: "I have used many hedge trimmers in my lifetime, both wired and petrol and honestly, I can say that this tops all of the previous machines which I’ve used. The engine starts with very little force, and the cutting blades create a sharp and slick cut on hedges. This trimmer can also tackle the larger branches with the added silver attachment above the blades. I would recommend it for both an expert gardener and individuals just entering the world of gardening."

Pros

  • Anti-vibration system
  • Adjustable rear handle

Cons

  • On the heavier side

Best petrol hedge trimmers

The Husqvarna is the best petrol-powered hedge trimmer on the list and claims to be quieter than its competitors. It is one of the higher-end products that we have mentioned, but if a petrol hedge trimmer is what you are on the hunt for, then this powerful tool is a great choice for those who are willing to invest in the long term. The blade is 59cm, which makes it easy to neaten up the hedges and shrubs. Plus, the Smart Start feature allows for an easy user experience so that you can work for prolonged periods comfortably

Review: "Good lightweight machine. I used it a few times, and it starts well from the cold and idles well also. Cutting blades nice and sharp for close cutting. Easy pull starts so anyone could use it. For the money I paid, well worth it very happy."

Pros

  • Low noises
  • Adjustable rear handle

Cons

  • Struggles at full throttle

Best for tall hedges

Ryobi OHT1850X ONE+ Cordless Hedge Trimmer, 18 V (Body only)
Price: $253.99

This Ryobi cordless battery-powered hedge trimmer is made with tall hedges in mind. This trimmer features a four-position articulating head that enables you to trim hedges of all shapes and sizes, so no need to get out the step ladder next time you need to prune the hedge

Review: "So far 10/10 very pleased with purchase, overall Ryobi are on to a winner with the one+ system, will be adding more tools as the need arises. The flexibility with the rotating handle is great. I have a 5.0Ah battery from my Ryobi lawnmower. This hedge trimmer lasts for AGES with it (4hrs on and off for me). I love the reach of this device, though it is a little heavy, so you do have to be quite strong to hold it above your head for any length of time. I cut even thicker branches, very well."

Pros

  • Rotating rear handle
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Battery needs to be purchased as an extra

Best lightweight trimmer

If you are after a battery-powered appliance, then this trimmer from Bosch is perfect for medium-sized hedges. It is also incredibly lightweight compared to some other options weighing 2.5kg, and courtesy of its multi-position front handle, it will allow you to cut in different positions and through branches up to 25mm in diameter. This tool is comfortable to use even for long periods, and the anti-blocking system makes it a swift and effective power tool

Review: "Battery operated? Will it be up to the job? Should I buy a cheaper main-operated one with more watts? Well, I took a gamble and went for it. Mostly due to not having to mess about with cables. I'm very impressed, in fact, I'm amazed! I used the trimmer for about 30 mins but not constantly, and afterwards, the battery recharged in 10 mins."

Pros

  • Cordless and lightweight

Cons

  • The battery needs to be purchased in addition.

Best battery powered

Makita DUH523Z Cordless LXT Lithium-Ion Hedge Trimmer
Price: $291.46

Another great battery-powered option is this Makita trimmer which is equipped with an anti-vibration structure, a stain-free shear blade surface and a rubberised soft grip for the best support and comfort. Additionally, the lightweight build makes for secure manoeuvring. In terms of the blade, the sharpness will allow you to really get in there and tidy up the hedge properly

Review: "Love Makita products! This adds to the catalogue of amazing products. It has three triggers for safety. I personally taped one, so it's not as awkward and can be used two-handed (where is the third hand supposed to come from), but it chops through 10/15mm thick branches easily; anything bigger, I make it work and use it like a chainsaw rocking it and applying light pressure, and it chews through it eventually. It's really quiet as well; Makita builds quality. 10 stars if I could."

Pros

  • Anti-vibration structure and lightweight

Cons

  • Not the most powerful

Best budget option

This little affordable tool is great for cleaning up and forming hedges, and with a battery life of 50 minutes, it guarantees you finish all your gardening chores in no time at all. The tool's lightweight structure means that it will be easy to hold, and the 2-in-1 feature means you can switch between two blades quickly. This handheld hedge trimmer is ideal if you want a lightweight option without the large price tag

Review: "Marvellous little item. For the first time in decades, I now have a neatly edged-lawn. No more hard labour with garden shears. I just passed this over the edges, and the appearance of the entire lawn was transformed in about 10 minutes."

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to switch between blades

Cons

  • Not as high-quality

Best value for money

The hedge trimmer that is the best value for money on this list has to be the Flymo Easicut Hedge Trimmer. Flymo has created this very reasonably priced electric hedge trimmer, and it comes with a two-year warranty. Additionally, the 10m cable makes it suitable for smaller gardens, and the central handle has been designed for safe and secure use

Review: "This is a fab wee gadget; I've always cut my hedges/bushes by hand; it took forever. I'm in hedge cutting heaven now as it's all done very neatly, quickly and easily with this great lightweight hedge trimmer. I would highly recommend it to all but especially us girls who don't have the strength to handle the larger models. Speedy delivery and good packaging are a bonus."

Pros

  • Most lightweight on this list
  • Two-year warranty
  • 10m metre

Cons

  • The shortest cutting blade on this list

FAQs: Hedge trimmers

Can I use a hedge trimmer on tree branches?

No, hedge trimmers are only suitable for thin branches and bushes and will not be suitable for cutting through thicker tree branches.

So without further ado, let's take a look at the best hedge trimmers to transform your outdoor space and save you a lot of time and work too.

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Ellen Kinsey is a senior health and wellness product writer for Modern Gardens, specialising in sustainable living and health. She lives and breathes all things natural health, cooking and nature.

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