Hedge Trimmer Buying Guide

Without regular cutting and maintenance, your hedges and bushes can soon get out of control and take over your garden. This is why having a good hedge trimmer is essential. When you buy a hedge trimmer, there are a number of factors to consider; the height and thickness of your hedges will influence which features you require of a hedge trimmer.

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Benefits of different hedge trimmers

There are three main types of hedge trimmers available to buy:

  1. Electric
  2. Petrol
  3. Battery

Electric hedge trimmers

These are typically the smallest, lightest and cheapest hedge trimmers available. Electric hedge trimmers are mains powered and are suitable for most domestic, small to medium sized gardens.

Battery hedge trimmers

They are generally quieter than petrol hedge trimmers. Battery-powered hedge trimmers are ideal for noise sensitive areas. These hedge trimmers are cordless too, that means more mobility and no snagging cables.

Petrol hedge trimmers

Compared to mains or battery powered trimmers, petrol-powered trimmers are more powerful trimmers and they cut through denser, foliage and branches with ease. However, these are much louder and heavier to use, while their range of moving parts means they require more routine maintenance.


Features To Consider

Cable Length

If you’re buying an electric hedge trimmer, check the length of the cable that the product is supplied with. You may need an extension lead to reach the far end of the garden or to reach the top of your hedge.

Cutting Width/Gap

The larger the gap between the teeth of the blade, the more foliage you can cut in one go. If you have large thick hedges, then you should always buy a hedge trimmer with a larger blade gap.

Note the blade gap doesn’t necessarily represent the thickness of the branch the hedge trimmer will cut. To cut thick branches you should look to use loppers or secateurs to remove the branch.

Blade Length

If you have long or tall hedges, you should consider buying a hedge trimmer with an extended blade. This will save time as you can cut more of the hedge in one go, and will provide your hedge with a much more even cut. An increased blade length will increase the overall weight of the hedge trimmer. If you are going to buy a hedge trimmer with a longer blade, check that it’s still comfortable and easy to use.

Blade Quality and Type

Cheap hedge trimmers typically include a standard machine pressed steel blade. More expensive hedge trimmers have blades that are cut by lasers, making them much sharper, providing a much cleaner cut to the branches of your hedge. This helps make the hedge look neater and tidier.

Single or Dual Action

A dual action blade is best, as both the top and bottom blades will move at the same time when cutting, giving the hedge a cleaner cut. On a single action blade, only the top blade will move. This will typically tear the leaves on the hedge providing a worse finish than a dual action hedge trimmer.

Extended Reach

Some hedge trimmers, like the Flymo 610XT, are designed to have multiple handles allowing you to reach further up, or even over the hedge. These designs mean you don’t need a ladder to reach the higher up places of the hedge.

Adjustable or telescopic hedge trimmers

Adjustable or telescopic hedge trimmers, like the SabreCut XT, take this principle one step further. These hedge trimmers allow you to change the length of the shaft. They typically reach lengths of up to 3 meters in height. The best telescopic hedge trimmers have pivoting trimmer heads which also allow you to cut the top of the hedge with ease.

Weight and Balance

You should always try holding the hedge trimmer before you buy it, as they come in a variety of weights and balances. What is best is down to your individual preference, but choose something you can hold comfortably for a long period of time for the best results.

What Type Of Hedge Do You Have?

Small Hedge

For a small or low hedge, you will need a small blade of smaller teeth and are unlikely to require a telescopic or adjustable hedge trimmer. In fact, for shaping a small hedge, sharp secateurs may be all you need. Try the EasiCut Cordless 20V Li, the lightest in the Flymo range for this type of hedge.

Tall Hedge

For a tall hedge, you will need a long blade to reach up to the top and achieve a good finish. A telescopic hedge trimmer like the SabreCut XT would be ideal as it will allow you to trim the top of the hedge easily too.

Thick Branches

If your hedge has thick foliage and branches, you will need a dual action hedge trimmer with a wider gap between the teeth or a pair of secateurs or loppers .


Shaping your hedge is into swirls, and other sculptural designs require precision and freedom of movement. For this, you’ll need a light hedge trimmer, cordless if possible, with multiple handles for easy use. The C-Li 20VHT is perfect because it has all of these features plus a powerful motor for effortless cutting.