Maintain a beautiful and eye catching garden is not a chore, if you have a right hedge trimmer. The use of hedge trimmer will keep the bushes, shrubs and hedges neat and tidy and thereby give some space in the garden.
Types of Hedge Trimmers
In general there are 3 main types of hedge trimmers – Cordless battery powered hedge trimmers, electric coded hedge trimmers and petrol hedge trimmers. Let’s know them in detail.
Cordless Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer:
It works by using a rechargeable battery in which you can use it anywhere without worrying about a trailing cable. Simply charge the battery for 3 – 5 hours before using it for getting an ensured running time of 30 – 60 minutes. Cordless hedge trimmers are best suited for a quick tidy up of the garden.
Comes in two variations – 18v to 24 v hedge trimmers (light weight of 6 – 10 lbs and maintenance free that suits for small to medium yards with rotating handle and dual action blades features). 36 v to 80 v hedge trimmers (offer extended runtime than previous voltage trimmer. It is light weight 6 – 11 lbs and maintenance free, works well for medium yards with dual action blade features).
Corded Electric Hedge Trimmers:
It works on electricity and if you have a large lawn to trim then you have to use an extension lead (use a RCD power adapter). This suits best for occasional trim of the garden, especially for small yard and compact yards. It is lightweight (5 – 8 lbs) and maintenance free. Dual action blades and rotating handles are its common features.
Petrol Hedge Trimmers:
It works with a powerful petrol engine and can be used for cutting all types of hedges (dense or overgrown) and thicker branches as well. This gasoline hedge trimmer suits best for larger gardens and used by landscaping professionals but the only drawback is that it is heavier than corded or cordless models, in which makes you uncomfortable to use for longer time and also requires some regular maintenance.
Things to Consider When Buying a Hedge Trimmer
Before buying a product, you need to consider various factors to grab the best one that suits perfectly for your requirement. Do you know for small shrubs and bushes, a smaller blade will suits perfectly and vice versa.
We can relate the teeth spacing with branch thickness. In simple words, you can easily cut the thicker branches by using a blade which has more teeth space. In general, the spacing ranges from 15 mm to 34 mm.
For garden hedges that are regularly trimmed, narrow spacing is enough but for dense and overgrown hedges, wider space is required, as it has a rougher cut though.
The hedge trimmers need to be physical lifted, so it is quite important to choose its weight in such a way it is comfortable and supportive for you to perform its operation.
If you have a tall hedges or a large garden then go for a cordless hedge trimmer, which makes it more flexible and comfortable due to its lightweight. Petrol hedge trimmers is powerful to use but it can weigh up to 5 kg which is bulkier than electric or battery powered models.
3. Blade Length
You can cut more hedge at once by using a longer blade. The blade length under 50 cm is suitable for small hedges and for larger hedges, prefer to use the blade length more than 50 cm. So, most gardeners found 45 – 60 cm blade as suitable one to trim their hedges quickly and neatly.
Also, check the placement of the blades – whether single or double side (more time taken for single whereas hedging process is super-fast if used double sided) and teeth of the blades (a gap of 1 inch between the blade teeth will make it easy for hedging process) as well.
4. Hedge Trimmer Designs
There are some trimmer models that designed to help you with some specific hedge and bush trimming jobs. Pole trimmer (for tall hedges) has an extendable pole which allows you to reach the required height and in some models you will find pivoting head which helps for trimming across the top of the hedges. Grass and hedge shears (for hedge sculpting and small bushes) works ideal if you are keen on creating hedge sculptures.
5. Hedge Trimmer Blades
The hedge trimmer blades will come in two styles – single sided blades and double sided blades. The double sided are most common and cut the hedges more efficiently whereas the single sided blades are generally safer, why because the cutting edge of this trimmer is kept away from you.
There are a wide range of blade lengths that provide different user experiences. Smaller blades are sufficient for trimming average sized hedges and bushes whereas for to trim more evenly, tougher to wield hedges and bushes, you have to use longer blades
Electric hedge trimmers’ power is measured in watts (W) that range from 400 W to 900 W. Cordless battery trimmer measured in volts (V) that range from 18 V to 36 V and Petrol trimmers are measured in cubic centimetres (CC) that range from 20 CC to 40 CC.
Lower powered trimmers are most suitable in the case where the hedges are regularly cared and has quite thin branches. In case, if the bushes or hedges are thick and difficult then go for more powerful models as more is strength is required to perform this work.
7. Cable Length
Consider this factor if you thought to use an electric trimmer. Simply go for a model that has enough cable so as to reach the plug socket or else bring an extension lead to get the work done.
8. Battery Life and Recharge Time
The running time of cordless battery trimmers will vary from 30 – 75 minutes. However, many batteries have quick charging abilities, which makes you go back to perform your work within a less period of time.
So, check this factor that how much running time it gives and how much time it takes to get charged for its proper usage.
9. Yard Survey
You will not grab a suitable hedge trimmer if you’re aware of the size of your land. The first thing you need to do is to conduct a survey of the land to prepare a list of things which you need in a new hedge trimmer. The type of hedge trimmer you have to use will depend on the area of your yard.
For small yards, use an electric hedge trimmer. Choose a cordless hedge trimmer for medium and gasoline powered hedge trimmer for large areas of garden.
10. Price / Cost
The price will differ for different types of hedge trimmers. So, always choose the best that perfectly suits your need and requirement. If you have a limited budget then opt for corded or electric hedge trimmers which price less and offers more convenience to users.
If you want to use cordless hedge trimmers then it will be a little pricey for its easy to use operations. Looking for heavy duty tasks, choose gas powered hedge trimmers.
11. Trimmer’s Length
The length of the trimmer is measured by the blade size. If the hedges are at certain height then you need an extra-long blade. So, prefer to use a trimmer that rang from18 to 24-inch blade to reach up to a decent height and cut down the hedges.
Hedge trimmers will make use of powerful motor to rotate their blades and thereby make some noise during its operation. The cordless and corded electric trimmer will make less noise whereas the gas (petrol) hedge trimmer will be noisier why because it uses an extra powerful motor.
Regular maintenance of a power tool will extend its working life. So, you have to spend some time to maintain the different parts of the hedge trimmers. Check the blades, oiling its parts, etc. will help for its long run.
Pick a best product that comes with a longer warranty period to make yourself tension – free. Although, the product works well but you have to take some care by following the instructions given by the manufacturer. Get a clear idea on warranty policies before buying the hedge trimmer.
Safety Features of Hedge Trimmer
Most of the hedge trimmers come with special features to make their use safer and easier. Here are some you have to look out for.
Hedge Clipping Collector – This attachment will help to collect the clippings into a tray which is fixed to the side of the blade. After cutting, you can clear the tray by throwing the clipping into trash bag.
Double Position Trimmers – This helps you in adjusting the trimmer handle to enable inline cutting by helping you to place a right angle to the blades to use it comfortably. Simply, you can cut along the top of the hedge without using a ladder for proper trimming.
Dual Safety Switch – Simply press and hold two power switches to turn on the hedge trimmer. If any of the single switch is released then the blade will be turns off automatically. This will keep you safe even if you drop or slip it.
Automatic Brake / Electronic stop brake – This will assure you that the trimmer blades will be stopped immediately after you release the trimmer without getting any accidental injuries.
Hand Guard – Most of the hedge trimmers have this hand guard safety feature to protect your hands from slipping onto the trimmer blade and from any flying debris during trimming.
Overhead Cutting – The lengthening poles of the trimmer will help you to trim the hedges easily, especially in the places which is tall or difficult to reach.
Prevent Jamming – If the blades get jammed due to any blockage then this will stop the blades and reverse the blade’s direction to remove or clear the blockage and aids in proper working.
Blade Cover – To keep your blades safe after using trimmer (or stored) this blade cover will help to prevent accidents and protect you from those damages.
Safety Wear – While purchasing the trimmer, you should thoroughly check basic safety wear like garden gloves, eye and head protection, ear plugs, etc. to keep yourself safe while trimming.
Safety Tips to follow while using Hedge Trimmer
To use your new hedge trimmer safely, you have to follow these simple safety tips for proper trimming without any injury.
- Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris and also wear heavy duty footwear to protect your feet.
- Wear a hand wearing gloves to get a comfortable and firm grip on the handle and to protect your hands from debris.
- Make use of earplugs or head phones while using hedge trimmer (especially gas powered trimmer) for not to disturb your ears.
- Never ever use an electric trimmer in a wet weather why because it may cause some shock.
- Make sure to use the power outlet that has RCD protection when you’re using an electric trimmer.
- Avoid reaching hedges hard to access trimming, instead invest in an extension pole.
- Before using the trimmer, you have to check obstacles to avoid tripping hazards or objects that may damage the blade.
- Ensure both hands are having firm grip on the handle throughout the process the trimmer is switched on.
- Prefer to use 270 degree power handle in which no matter where you grip the handle, you can easily switch on the trimmer.
- The hedge trimmers should have emission controls and an efficient vibration dampening system for using it comfortably.
- Avoid washing this hedge trimmer blades with water (frequently) and also clear the leaves or other bits on the blade for its proper functioning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some general guidelines that help you in choose the best hedge trimmer for your garden. As a general rule, the longer the blade of the hedge trimmer, the quicker your hedge cut will be. *For a small size of hedge, you need a trimmer with 12 – 46 blade length and 8 – 18 mm of teeth gaps. *For medium size of hedge, you need a trimmer with 47 – 56 cm length of blade and 18 – 24 mm of teething gaps. *For large size, you need 57 cm or more of blade length with 24 – 34 mm teeth gaps. Also the blade length and the cuts per minutes will differ in electric hedge trimmers and gas hedge trimmers. *For electric hedge trimmers, the blade length will be 14 – 25 inches and cuts per minutes will be 2400 – 3500. *For petrol based (or gasoline) hedge trimmer, the blade length is 17 – 30 inches and the cuts per minute is 4050 – 4180.
A hedge trimmer don’t know the difference between a dry hedge and a wet hedge. The usage of hedge trimmer on the wet lawn may damage the trimmer or injure yourself. But this won’t be a problem if you use gas powered hedge trimmers. The electric trimmers won’t be used in wet condition.
The power of corded hedge trimmers will range from 400 W to 900 W. the higher the wattage, the more powerful it will be. For cordless model, the batteries using power are measured in volts and it range vary between 18 V to 36 V (the higher the volts, the more power you will have).
Trimming small hedges or thick one, you need to check for the model that has suitable tooth opening (the space between the cutting teeth). As a general rule, the wider the opening the thicker the hedges you can trim. For small and neat hedges, use a model with blade gap between 15 – 20 mm and for trimming overgrown hedges, go for 30 mm or wider.
The required length of the blade will depend on the size of the hedges you tend to trim. A blade between 300 – 400 mm is suitable for small hedges and a longer blade with 500 mm or above is best suited for large hedges. The longer blade will be ideal if you can only access the hedge from one side, as you will have a larger reach.