12 best hedge trimmers to keep your garden looking neat
Keep your greenery in check with an effective and precise machine
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If you have a hedge on your property that looks like its been dragged through the winter backwards then you’re going to need more than a pair of shears to set things straight and a hedge trimmer is going to save you a lot of effort and time.
Electric, battery and petrol options are all available, but what you need will depend on whether your hedges are within an extension lead’s reach of the house or are situated at the edges of your property.
To get the right machine for your needs, you’ll also need to consider how thick, high and wide they are and, ultimately, how much you have.
However you power your trimmer, the results should always be the same – and your tool should be able to tame the scrappiest of hedges without getting constantly jammed or snagged and cut cleanly so new, healthy growth is promoted once you’ve finished the job.
Husqvarna 115iHD45 hedge trimmer: £207, Husqvarna
This is a very user friendly machine with a smart push button keypad starter, which also allows you to choose between a max power mode, to get through thicker sections of hedge, or an economy mode for light cutting to maximise the life of the 36V battery.
The battery took just over an hour to charge to 100 per cent, which gave us 25 minutes of run time switching between the two modes and the 45cm blade was an easy match for any shoulder height hedging. Considering how powerful the machine is there was very little noise making the model ideally suited for urban gardens, so you can get started early on those unruly hedges without annoying the neighbours. Husqvarna has managed to keep the weight down too, so you can really throw it around. Battery and charger are included in the price.
Honda HHH25S 75 hedge trimer: £399, Just Lawnmowers
If you’ve got more hedge to contend with than a Hampton Court gardener then this petrol powered single blade model is ideal. It offers real advantages if you have lots of long straight hedgerows to contend with because it offers a whopping 72cm blade that cuts a greater swathe in a single sweep. The single blade also makes it much easier to use than other petrol models because it saves on weight and it comes equipped with a clipping collector, which can save you a lot of back breaking work picking up clippings afterwards.
Ego Power Plus HT5100E cordless hedge trimmer: £179, Mower Magic
For a battery-powered machine this offers up real power to your fingertips without the noise and fuss of a petrol equivalent. The 51cm blade powered through dense hedgerow that included thicker branches and stems, thanks to the laser cut, diamond ground steel blade and the two speed selector means that you can conserve some battery when the cutting gets easier. We got 35 minutes of working time from the 2AH battery although you’ll have to shell out another £124.98 for battery and charger, which is compatible with the rest of the EGO garden tool range.
Bosch AHS 45-16: £64.99, Amazon
If you’re cutting close to your property and have chest height hedges that aren’t made up of any heavy growth then this corded trimmer will keep them in check thanks to a substantial 45cm blade and the ability to get on with your task without having to worry about filling tanks or charging batteries. Comfortable and lightweight, with well-designed handle positions.
Gtech HT20 hedge trimmer: £149.99, Gtech
This machine benefits from a very lightweight pole trimmer with an easily adjustable cutting head that rotates through 135 degrees. This makes it the perfect tool for tackling column shaped shrubs that either standalone or are planted together to create a border. Efficient cutting blades combine with 45 minutes of battery life to allow plenty of time to tidy up shrubs and any hedging. You can also make it more versatile by adding branch cutter and grass strimmer attachments or an extension pole that will add another 50cm of reach.
Bosch AHS 50-20 LI cordless hedge cutter: £149.99, Bosch
This really light machine comes with an 18V battery and charger and it’s one-hour battery life means it’s ideally suited for a medium sized garden. The 50cm blade did a great job in tackling small to medium hedges, with some thick stems in the growth, without having to go over the same area twice. The cuts were clean so we didn’t suffer any stoppages or jams while working and the blade tip protector ensured that we didn’t have to worry about damaging the blades when cutting close to garden walls.
Stihl HLA 85 cordless telescopic hedge trimmer: £345, World Of Power
This cordless Lithium Ion battery powered trimmer is long on reach and had no problem dealing with our high hedges that were a metre wide at the top, thanks to an adjustable head that tilts to 115 degrees. The telescopic pole extends to over three meters so you’ll have no problem beheading any border while keeping your feet firmly on the ground and the machine has plenty of power to cut through unseen thicker branches that would snag lesser machines. Well designed and balanced with an impressive battery life of over two hours which means that you can wander far from home without having to worry about running out of juice. The battery is £126.
Eckman long reach hedge trimmer: £89.99, Eckman
If you have high hedges that are closer to home then this corded trimmer will give you an impressive 2.8m of extension, while keeping the weight down with an aluminium shaft and the absence of a petrol tank or battery. A 10m electric leash will still give you plenty of room to move before you have to add an extension lead and the 45cm blade, which extends through 140 degrees, is more than a match for box and privet hedging.
Flymo easicut 610Xt corded hedge trimmer: £70, Argos
This is a well designed corded trimmer perfect for smaller gardens with a mix of high and low hedging. It’s a nice balance between blade and housing makes the machine easy to move in the classic arc shape, up and down the side of a hedge, with the 60cm blade maximising the cutting sweep. The two moulded handles means that you can reach high hedges by turning the machine vertical and changing hand positions.
Stihl HSA 66 cordless hedge trimmer: £364.50, Garden Machinery Direct
Another easy starting, battery-operated model with a highly efficient 50cm blade that produced shear, clean cuts through a range of thicknesses. The tool wasted no time in getting to grips with a large garden’s worth of shrubs and hedges. The supplied battery gave us well over an hour of run time too, which would be more than sufficient for a larger garden. If you need more time then all you need is 90-minutes for the battery to be at 100 per cent again.
Husqvarna 122HD60: £245, Husqvarna
The 59cm blade maximises your cutting sweep without affecting the balance of the machine so it’s comfortable to use and you always feel in control. Very quiet for a petrol machine and vibration was kept to a minimum thanks to some effective dampeners. An adjustable rear handle also makes it easy to trim sides and hedge tops and didn’t make us feel like we’d just done an arm workout when we’d finished.
Makita DUH523Z cordless hedge trimmer: £125.95, Amazon
Running on a Lithium Ion battery we managed to eke almost two hours of work out of this model, which quickly cut through larger hedge branches while the rubberized grip reduced vibrations from the motor. The 52cm blade made for efficient cutting in large sweeps, but because the machine is light it also worked well at eye level when we needed to perform more precise cuts and some shaping. The battery and charger pack can also be picked up at Amazon for £81.19
The verdict: Hedge trimmers
With the perfect mix of power, efficiency and usability The Husqvarna 115iHD45 is a really versatile machine and excellent value for money because it can contend with all kinds of hedgerows in city or country gardens.
If your hemmed in with high hedging then the Stihl HLA 85 offers the best solution to cut sides and tops without having the extra hassle of setting up ladders and platforms. And, finally, the Flymo easicut 610Xt is worth a mention if you have a modest budget and a range of high and low hedging to contend with.
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