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Hedge Trimmer Reviews

By: Carl Laron on March 27, 2018

Editor's Note:
Judging by the feedback we saw this year, gas hedge trimmers are giving way to powerful cordless models, both for homeowners and pros, led by the Stihl HSA 66. For those with more modest needs, Black & Decker makes budget corded and cordless electric trimmers that are terrific values. And if only a gas hedge trimmer will do, the Echo HC-152 keeps its crown as the top choice.

Stihl HSA 66 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Blade length -- 20" Weight (without fuel or battery) -- 6.8 lbs. Warrany -- 3 years residential, 2 years commercial

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 and then some.

Black & Decker LHT2220 Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Blade length -- 22" Weight (without fuel or battery) -- 5.7 lbs. Warrany -- 2 years residential, none commerial

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 1/2-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 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Blade length -- 24" Weight (without fuel or battery) -- 6.5 lbs. Warrany -- 2 years residential, none commercial

Best electric hedge trimmer

Black & Decker HH2455

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.

Echo HC-152 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Blade length -- 20" Weight (without fuel or battery) -- 11.7 lbs. Warrany -- 5 years residential, 2 years commercial

Best gas hedge trimmer

The Echo HC-152 gas-powered hedge trimmer is powerful enough to mow through branches (up to 1 inch) very quickly. It's a little heavy -- not unusual for a gas trimmer -- but owners love its rugged build and overall durability. The HC-152 is described as generally easy to start and easy to control, with the ability to cut soft branches up to 1-inch thick. Maintenance, while not worry free, is easier than with some competing gas-powered trimmers.

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 as well as handle larger diameters.

Types of Hedge Trimmers

Cordless Hedge Trimmers

Today's cordless hedge trimmers are quiet, powerful and emissions free. Their drawback is that you're limited to how long the trimmer's battery lasts on a charge. You also 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 a go-to choice for many, even for heavy-duty commercial applications. Cordless 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.

Electric Hedge Trimmers

If your property isn't very large, and your trimming needs are modest, electric hedge trimmers (sometimes called corded hedge trimmers) are worth considering. They are small and light enough to move around easily. They're also the least expensive type of trimmer. Like cordless 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. They are also the least powerful type of cord trimmer, so they are really only suitable for smaller urban or suburban properties.

Gas Hedge Trimmers

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. They 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.

Finding The Best Hedge Trimmers
Our Sources
"The 4 Best Hedge Trimmers You Can Buy"
2. Amazon
"Hedge Trimmers"
"Hedge Trimmers"

To find the best hedge trimmers, we looked to both expert reviews and user feedback. Unfortunately, there are very few credible expert reviews at present, and none that we spotted that covered gas models. However, if you are in the market for a cordless hedge trimmer, the 13 model shootout conducted by OPE reviews is a must read. It's hands-on and testing based, and the results are shared in terrific detail. Popular Mechanics weighs in with a four-hedge-trimmer comparative review that, while more limited in scope and detail, is still worth a read.

Beyond that, we turned to owner reviews, and those go a long way toward filling the gap, including feedback on long term satisfaction. Amazon is good source of owner reviews, as are major home and garden retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe's and others -- although some of these retail sites do post reviews that originally appeared at the manufacturers' websites. We analyze that feedback to produce our recommendations for the top picks among corded and cordless electric hedge trimmers, and gas powered models.

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Hedge Trimmers buying guide

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  • Locking on/off switch.

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