Stihl HSA 66
Stihl HSA 66

Best cordless hedge trimmer

The Stihl HSA 66 is a professional-grade cordless hedge trimmer that's capable of tackling the toughest jobs. It's as powerful as a gas trimmer, but with less required upkeep, notably lower noise and no emissions. You'll need to budget extra for a battery (and charger), but options range from homeowner-suitable batteries that will power the HSA 66 for an hour to backpack-carried landscaper batteries that will keep the trimmer going all day long.

Black & Decker LHT2220
Black & Decker LHT2220

Cheap cordless hedge trimmer

The Black & Decker LHT2220 is one of the best values in cordless hedge trimmers. Features are few, but its light weight is well suited for homeowner use. The trimmer cuts effortlessly through branches up to a half inch, though it can struggle a little if tasked with growth near its rated maximum of 3/4 inches. The price includes a battery and charger. Run time is short, but spare batteries are available.

Black & Decker HH2455
Black & Decker HH2455

Best electric hedge trimmer

The Black & Decker HH2455 is a corded electric hedge trimmer that's perfect for occasional use and for smaller properties. It is light and easy to maneuver, with useful pluses such as a rotating handle that swings up to 180 degrees to make it easy to cut at otherwise awkward angles, a 24-inch cutting blade, and a locking power switch. It's rated to cut branches up to 3/4 inches in diameter.

$69.97
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Poulan Pro PP2822
Poulan Pro PP2822

Best gas hedge trimmer

The Poulan Pro PP2822 gas-powered hedge trimmer is powerful enough to mow through branches (up to 3/4 inches) very quickly. It's a little heavy -- not unusual for a gas trimmer -- but owners love the rotating handle, which makes it easier to use the trimmer in tight spaces or at odd angles. There are some quirks -- including an awkwardly placed exhaust -- but most can forgive those in exchange for this trimmer's performance and reliability.

$199.00
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Hedge trimmers can work for every property and budget

A hedge trimmer can be a huge time- and muscle-saver for anyone who has a yard. Whether you just need to shape a few shrubs, or you have acres of hedgerows, a hedge trimmer will make short work of the job. Choosing the best hedge trimmer starts with gauging the size of your yard and the kind of plants you grow. A bigger property needs a trimmer that has the power to keep working long enough to finish the job and one that can handle larger diameters. 

Electric hedge trimmers are quiet and efficient. If your property isn't very large, electric hedge trimmers (sometimes called corded hedge trimmers) are small and light enough to move around easily. They're also the least expensive type of trimmer. Unlike gas models, they're quiet and don't have any unpleasant emissions. They do have a couple of drawbacks, however: They limit your range, and there is a risk of tangling or cutting the cord while you work -- but that can be avoided with careful management of the cord.

Cordless hedge trimmers offer greater freedom of use. There is no cord to limit how far you can roam. They're quiet too, and don't produce any emissions. The drawbacks are that you're limited to how long the trimmer's battery lasts on a charge and you have to carry the battery itself, which can add several pounds of weight to the trimmer. That said, the introduction of lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology has improved things on both fronts to the point where the best performing cordless hedge trimmers have become viable alternatives to gas-powered trimmers, even in heavy-duty commercial applications. So if you thought battery-powered trimmers were always underpowered, it might be time to take another look.

Some cordless trimmers come with two batteries, or spares are available -- if one runs out, you can swap it for the other and continue working. Hedge trimmers designed for commercial work often have the option of a backpack battery that offers long run times while keeping the trimmer down to a manageable weight. If you know you will need to use the hedge trimmer frequently or for long periods, your other option is to invest in a rapid charger for quick recharge times.

Gas hedge trimmers are the power players in the landscaping world. They cut through thicker branches than electric models and cut cleanly, leaving precision cuts and lines. They're also a top choice if you're dealing with a lot of property as a gas tank can be refilled infinitely, compared to the limitations (reach and run times, respectively) of electric corded and cordless models. The do have some significant drawbacks, however, including weight, noise and emissions, plus the extra maintenance that a gas motor entails. Still, gas trimmer fans say those hassles are worth putting up with for the extra power and speed that these landscaping tools deliver.

Finally, if you're edging and trimming grass low to the ground, you might benefit more from a string trimmer than a hedge trimmer. Once you're done with either, a leaf blower is one of the easiest ways to clean up.

Finding the best hedge trimmers

To find the best hedge trimmers, we looked to both expert reviews and user feedback. There aren't a ton of experts currently reviewing hedge trimmers, but we found useful reports at Popular Mechanics and ProToolReviews.com. Users go a long way toward filling the gap, however, including feedback on long term satisfaction. Amazon.com is good source of owner reviews, as are major home and garden retailers such as HomeDepot.com, Loews.com and others. The results are our top picks among corded and cordless electric hedge trimmers, and gas powered models.

Elsewhere in this report:

Best Cordless Hedge Trimmers | Best Electric Hedge Trimmers | Best Gas Hedge Trimmers | Buying Guide | Our Sources

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