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Best Cordless Hedge Trimmers

By: Carl Laron on March 27, 2018

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Best Reviewed

Best cordless hedge trimmer

Stihl HSA 66

Battery-powered hedge trimmers are great for smaller jobs

Historically, cordless electric trimmers have given up some power to their corded electric- and gas-powered cousins -- but they've now developed to the point that even professionals say top cordless models can measure up to the power of a gas trimmer.

With less noise than gas trimmers, no exhaust emissions and no extension cord to hold them back, lithium-ion (Li-ion) powered cordless hedge trimmers are starting to look like a very attractive option indeed -- as long as you don't mind toting a few pounds of battery around and you remember to recharge the batteries when you're done.

The undisputed Cadillac of cordless hedge trimmers is the 36-volt Stihl HSA 66 (Est. $220). It's sold as a bare tool, minus battery and charger. If you already own other Stihl Li-ion gardening tools, they can use the same battery and charger. Otherwise, you'll also need to budget for the cost of those. Examples include the Stihl AP 100 battery (Est. $110), which provides about 60 minutes of run time, and the Stihl AL 300 rapid charger (Est. $90), which can charge that battery to 100 percent capacity in 50 minutes. Other batteries and chargers with longer run times and faster (and slower) charge times are also available

Experts are uniformly impressed with the Stihl HSA 66. "This machine is a brute," says Roy Berendsohn at Popular Mechanics, who names it best overall among the four hedge trimmers he evaluates. "It comes as close to gas-engine performance as any cordless tool can." It also takes first place in the OPE Reviews shootout, which compared 13 cordless models. Paired with a step up battery, the Stihl AP 300 (Est. $180), it lasts nearly 5 hours on a single charge, "astonishing" the testers there. The reviewers also laud its cut quality and speed, features, build quality and ergonomics.

The 20-inch blade provides a nice balance of cutting speed and maneuverability, and its 3,000 cutting strokes per minute are enough to power through branches easily. The Stihl HSA 66 leads the pack for safety features too, including an integrated tip protector, dual triggers to ensure you keep both hands on the trimmer at all times, and a variable-speed control on the rear trigger. The AP 300 is the highest capacity battery for handheld use, but the company also offers compatible backpack batteries for commercial use or for those with an English hedge maze worth of hedges to trim -- all the way up to the Stihl AR 3000 (Est. $900), which is rated to run up to 13 hours when paired with the HSA 66.

We do have two small reservations with the Stihl HSA 66. One is that that, while user feedback is generally glowing, there's also very little of it. In addition, what there is exists almost exclusively at the Stihl site as these hedge trimmers are sold primarily through authorized local dealers rather than large retailers such as Amazon and Home Depot. You can find a list of dealers in your area at the Stihl site.

The second reservation is its price. If your hedge trimming needs are more modest, we spotted a few models that can do a more than credible job while leaving a few -- or many -- extra dollars in your wallet.

Among those, the 56-volt EGO HT2400 (Est. $130) is a terrific performer, and a pretty good value -- especially for those that already own EGO cordless outdoor power equipment and the required batteries and charger. If you don't, however, those accessories can get pretty pricey, with the 2.0 Ah EGO BA1120 (Est. $130) and the EGO CH2100 (Est. $70) standard charger being the least expensive options. For more extensive cutting, batteries with higher capacity are available, up to the 7.5 Ah EGO BA4200 (Est. $360). Another alternative for the EGO newcomer would be the EGO HT2401 (Est. $200), a package deal that includes the HT2400, BA1120, and CH2100.

User and expert reviews of this 24-inch hedge trimmer are unanimously positive. The HT2400 finishes second to the Stihl HSA66 at both Popular Mechanics and OPE Reviews. Performance is every bit as good, and it actually beats out the Stihl in OPE Reviews' test of cutting speed. Where it trails the Stihl is in run time -- running only a little more than 30 percent as long in OPE Reviews' run time trial. Popular Mechanics draws the same conclusion. "It's got as much power as the Stihl, but not quite the same run time," Berendsohn says.

On the ergonomics front, Popular Mechanics applauds the EGO HT2400's balance, which should make long trimming sessions a little less fatiguing. OPE Review's Tim Johnson complains a bit about a delay between pulling the trigger and cutting begins. "In actuality, it's probably 2-seconds, but it seems forever," he says. "EGO should really do something about this, but it doesn't affect performance."

Where the lack of user reviews was a concern with the Stihl, there're no worries on that front with the EGO. Home Depot is the primary retailer for the line, and whether you opt for the HT2400 or the HT2401, feedback indicates that you are likely to be a happy trimmer of hedges. There are about 1,300 user reviews across the two models, and they draw identical ratings of 4.8 stars.

Finally, if budget is a major consideration and you don't have a lot of large hedges or bushes to trim, the 20-volt Black & Decker LHT2220 (Est. $75) is a terrific low-cost choice. Powered by a Li-ion battery, it's rated to cut up to 3,000 square feet on a single charge, which users say translates to about 30 minutes of run time. The battery is included, but if you have other compatible Black & Decker garden power tools, it can be bought without the battery as the Black & Decker LHT2220B (Est. $60). Spare Black & Decker LBXR20 batteries are also available.

Splitting the difference between the Stihl and the EGO models at 22 inches, like all of the trimmers in this section, the blade's reach is more than suitable for most homeowner needs. The trimmer is rated for branches of up to 3/4 inches in diameter, though owner comments indicate that you'll be happiest if you expect good performance on those that are 1/2 inch or less. Regardless, user feedback is strong. At Amazon, the versions with and without the batteries earn a combined rating of 4.7 stars based on nearly 2,000 reviews. Feedback is a little less, and a little more reserved at Home Depot, but still strong overall. The LHT2200 earns a rating of 4.5 stars based on nearly 600reviews, with 91 percent recommending it.

As noted in our write ups, all three of these cordless trimmers are part of an interchangeable battery program; you can swap the batteries between tools of the same voltage from the same manufacturer, essentially giving you an extra spare battery every time you buy a new tool (or letting you save money by buying more tools in the same line without a battery).

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