Key facts about hedge trimmer:
- A hedge trimmer can make it easier to boost your home's kerb appeal, taking a lot of the time and effort out of what can be a monotonous chore.
- You can choose between electric, cordless and petrol-powered models.
- Prices range from $60 up to $500.
Compare some of the best hedge trimmers
Data obtained December 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Why should I consider a hedge trimmer?
If you care about how your garden looks, whether from the street or simply when you're spending time in your backyard, you'll need to trim your hedges. Unfortunately, doing this by hand is not only time consuming but also labour intensive.
But with a hedge trimmer at your disposal, grooming your hedges, bushes and other plants to look just right is a breeze. It's quicker and easier than trimming by hand and requires much less elbow grease. A hedge trimmer will also let you turn your hedges into intricate shapes to create a perfectly manicured look.
Aesthetics aside, regular trimming can also improve the health of your hedges, allowing you to remove dead or diseased portions and promote growth.
Why shouldn't I consider a hedge trimmer?
The main reason you might pass on a hedge trimmer is simply if you don't have many hedges or bushes that need regular trimming. If this is the case, you can probably get by with manual shears.
Also, if you don't care whether your garden is in pristine condition, your money would be better spent elsewhere. And on those occasions when you decide it's time to tame the wilderness in your front or backyard, you can always call on a professional gardening service to take care of it.
What types are available?
If you're buying a hedge trimmer for your garden, there are three main options to choose from:
Electric hedge trimmers
- Lightweight, quiet, quick-starting and affordable, electric hedge trimmers are easy to use and maintain. If you have suitable power points so you can easily access the areas you need to trim, an electric model may be a wise choice. However, when using electric trimmers, there is a risk of cutting the power cord. These models also don't offer as much power as petrol-powered models.
Cordless hedge trimmers
- An increasingly popular option, battery-powered hedge trimmers provide freedom from power cords, strong and quiet performance, and less vibration than a petrol-powered model. The other advantage of a cordless hedge trimmer is that you may be able to use the battery to power other tools from the same manufacturer, for example, a whipper snipper, leaf blower or mower. Just remember to check whether the battery and charger are included in the purchase price of your trimmer, as they may be sold separately.
Petrol-powered hedge trimmers
- For maximum power, you can't go past a petrol hedge trimmer. These can make fast work of hedge trimming jobs of all shapes and sizes and can be used anywhere. However, they do have a few major disadvantages – they're noisier, heavier and vibrate more than other options, and they also require more maintenance.
How to compare hedge trimmers
Once you've chosen between electric, cordless and petrol power, you'll also need to look at the features and the performance of a variety of hedge trimmers. Electric hedge trimmers tend to be the cheapest models, so expect to pay more if you choose a cordless or petrol-powered model. Most hedge trimmers fit within the $79 to $399 price bracket, but there are outliers at either end.
When comparing your options, consider the following features:
Which hedge trimmer is best for me?
The best hedge trimmer for you will depend on the type of bushes and hedges you need to trim, the size of your garden and, of course, your budget.
To help make it easier, we've compared the good and bad points of five popular hedge trimmers in the table below:
- Short blade
- Not suitable for bigger jobs
- Long blade
- Battery compatible with a wide range of other Ryobi 36V garden tools
- Some negative user reviews
|Bosch AHS 50-20 LI|
- Not the cheapest
- Some users complain about trimmer cutting out when in use
- Powerful performance
- In-built clutch adds durability
- Heavier than other models
- Fairly expensive
- Reasonably priced
- Simple and effective to use
- Not designed for heavy-duty work
- Flimsy guard