If your hedges are looking in need of a haircut, it’s probably time to invest in a hedge trimmer, and with the right model, you can work quickly and easily.
There are three types to choose from. Electric trimmers run off the mains, and are great for smaller gardens – and for bigger ones too, if you invest in an extension lead. But if you don’t want to worry yourself with trailing cables, a rechargeable, cordless one may be the answer. If you go for this option, make sure you have enough running time. Petrol trimmers are another good cordless option, and tend to have the power to cope with thicker branches, but aren’t worth the outlay for smaller gardens and they can be heavier and noisier. Then there’s multi-tool machines, which do a whole lot more besides just hedge cutting.
Remember that the longer the blade, the faster you’ll cut your hedge – but if you just have smaller bushes and shrubs, a shorter blade should suffice. Also take into consideration the width of the tooth gap of the blade – thicker branches mean you’ll need a wider tooth gap. Look out for nifty extra features you might like too, such as hedge clipping collector, hand guard for extra safety, automatic brake and double position trimmers.
1. GTech HT05-Plus: £99, GTech
The battery on this lightweight cordless machine lasts an impressive 45 minutes, and that’s not all that’s going for this well-designed trimmer that breezes through stubborn stems. The angled head and arm that reaches to 1.7 metres means it’s easy to manoeuvre and will save you the trouble of resorting to a ladder for the top of overgrown hedges.
2. Bosch AHS 70-34: £120, amazon
You’ll be offering to do the hedges for the whole street once you get this nifty, fantastically designed electric machine in your grasp. The 70cm-long blade cuts neatly and precisely through branches of all sizes in no time and is extremely satisfying to use, thanks to the way the machines angles while leaving you in full control. A great investment for larger hedges.
3. Black & Decker 500W Hedgetrimmer: £48, amazon
A great option for larger hedges, particularly if you want to shape them in a certain fashion, this corded machine is well-balanced and the cord doesn’t get in the way, as with some machines. The blades last well, and best of all, it’s light, which will be music to the ears of people who have struggled with weightier machines.
4. Ryobi Corded RHT6560RL Hedge Trimmer: £80, Argos
Among the advantages of this powerful corded hedge trimmer are the handy hedge sweeper attachment that brushes away clippings and the five-position rotating rear handle that makes it comfortable to use. Coupled with the fact that it’s fast and mighty, means you get a neat, clean finish, even on thicker branches, much quicker than with other machines. But it’s heavy.
5. Mitox 28MT: £349, amazon
This petrol-powered multi-tool is so much more than a hedge trimmer, hence the price tag. Other tasks it excels at are strimming long grass and pruning branches and deadwood from trees. Unlike most petro tools, it’s easy to fire up and is well-balanced to hold and we found the longer hedge trimmer blade and the extension shaft fantastic for taller hedges. But it’s not worth the outlay if you have a small garden.
6. Flymo EasyCut 450: £44, amazon
The way the front handle has been designed means you can hold a vertical handle for cutting hedge sides, or a rounded front handle for hedge tops. This makes the corded machine really easy to hold and move about, so you can get your hedges trimmed quicker. It cuts pretty well, leaving a nice finish, but it isn’t the fastest of machines.
7. Stihl HSA66: £218, Just Lawn Mowers
This cordless hedge trimmer isn’t cheap, but it is exceptionally lightweight and is the quietest we tested, which will win you favours with the neighbours. The wide tooth spacing and droplet shaped cutter means it makes short work of stubborn branches, as well as being good at reaching very tall hedges. The battery lasts an hour, which should be enough time to work your way through a lot of greenery, and it takes two hours to recharge the battery.
8. Qualcast Hedge Trimmer: £39, Homebase
This is a great price for an electric hedge trimmer that gives a neat finish to hedges with all but the most stubborn of branches. The dual action steel blades work a treat on hedges such as privet, conifer and the long reach blade and swivel head makes it easy to angle for shaping. It’s relatively quiet and slimline, although quite heavy.
For larger hedges, we thought the Bosch AHS 70-34 was outstanding. For smaller bushes and shurbs, our vote goes to Qualcast Hedge Trimmer. And for a cordless machine, you can’t go wrong with the GTech HT05-Plus.
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