Hedge Trimmers 101: The Expert Guide to Buying the Right Trimmer

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Hedge trimmers are essential for keeping your garden or outdoor space neat and tidy. 

With various types of hedge trimmers available, knowing which one to choose can be challenging. 

In this buying guide, we will provide practical tips on buying the best hedge trimmer for your needs, including the types of trimmers available and which are suitable for different requirements.

Types of Hedge Trimmers Available

There are three main types of hedge trimmers: petrol, electric, and cordless. Each type of trimmer has advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss below.

Petrol hedge trimmers

Petrol trimmers are the most powerful and ideal for large, overgrown hedges. They are also cordless, making them very convenient to use. However, they are usually more expensive than electric or cordless trimmers and heavier and noisier.

Electric hedge trimmers

These trimmers are more affordable than petrol trimmers and quieter and lighter. They are also more environmentally friendly since they do not produce emissions. However, they are limited by the length of their cord, and you will need a power source nearby to use them.

Cordless hedge trimmers

These trimmers are battery-operated, making them convenient to use without the limitations of a cord. They are also quieter and more environmentally friendly than petrol trimmers. However, they are less potent than petrol trimmers and may have limited battery life.

What to Consider When Buying a Hedge Trimmer

When buying a hedge trimmer, several factors must be considered to ensure you choose the best one for your needs.

  • Blade length: The blade length of a hedge trimmer will determine the size of the hedge it can tackle. A blade length of around 40cm is sufficient for smaller hedges. A blade length of 50-60cm or more may be needed for larger hedges.
  • Blade type: The two main types of blades are single-action and double-action. Single-action blades have one cutting edge, while double-action blades have two. Double-action blades are more efficient and produce a smoother cut.
  • Weight: The weight of the hedge trimmer is essential, especially if you will be using it for long periods. Petrol hedge trimmers are the heaviest, while cordless trimmers are usually the lightest (read the differences between corded vs cordless vs petrol trimmer).
  • Noise level: Petrol hedge trimmers can be very noisy, making them unsuitable for use in residential areas. Electric and cordless trimmers are much quieter.
  • Cost: Hedge trimmers vary in price, with petrol trimmers usually being the most expensive. However, choosing a hedge trimmer that is within your budget and meets your needs is important.

Which Hedge Trimmer is Best For Your Needs?

Now that we have discussed the types of hedge trimmers and what to consider when buying one, let’s look at which one is best for different needs.

Small hedges 

An electric or cordless hedge trimmer with a blade length of around 40cm should be sufficient. These trimmers are lightweight and easy to use, making them ideal for small jobs.

Medium hedges

A cordless or electric hedge trimmer with a blade length of around 50cm should be suitable for medium-sized hedges. These trimmers are still lightweight but have a longer blade, making them more efficient for larger hedges.

Large hedges

A petrol hedge trimmer with a blade length of around 60cm or more is ideal for large fences. These trimmers are powerful and can tackle even the most overgrown hedges. 

However, they are heavier and noisier than electric or cordless trimmers, so they may not be suitable for residential areas.

Professional use

A petrol hedge trimmer with a blade length of 70cm or more is recommended. These trimmers are the most powerful and can handle heavy-duty work. They are also built to last and can withstand frequent use.

Precision work

A cordless or electric hedge trimmer with a shorter blade length is recommended for precision work, such as shaping topiary or trimming small bushes. These lightweight trimmers are easy to manoeuvre, making them ideal for precise work.

Additional Features to Consider When Choosing a Hedge Cutting Tool

There are several additional features that you may want to consider when buying a hedge trimmer, including:

  • Blade speed: Some hedge trimmers come with variable speed settings, allowing you to adjust the speed depending on the thickness of the hedge.
  • Rotating handle: Some hedge trimmers come with a rotating handle, allowing you to adjust the angle of the blade for better manoeuvrability.
  • Safety features: Look for hedge trimmers with safety features such as a blade cover and a safety switch to prevent accidental start-up.
  • Ergonomic design: Look for hedge trimmers with an ergonomic design that is comfortable to hold and reduces fatigue during use.

Maintenance and Safety Tips

To keep your hedge trimmer in good working order and prevent accidents, follow these maintenance and safety tips:

  • Regularly clean the blade after use to avoid the build-up of debris.
  • Sharpen the blade regularly to ensure clean, efficient cutting.
  • Always wear protective gear, including eye protection, gloves, and ear defenders.
  • Do not use the hedge trimmer in wet conditions.
  • Store the hedge trimmer in a dry, secure place, away from children and pets.

Checkout the Top 10 Best Selling Hedge Trimmers in UK


In summary, when buying a hedge trimmer, consider the type of hedge you will trim, the blade length, weight, noise level, and cost.

Choose a hedge trimmer suitable for your needs and within your budget. Additional features include blade speed, rotating handle, safety features, and ergonomic design.

Follow maintenance and safety tips to keep your hedge trimmer in good working order and prevent accidents. With these practical tips, you can choose the best hedge trimmer for your needs and save your outdoor space looking neat and tidy.

About M H Sharaj

Sharaj is a passionate garden enthusiast and expert gardening tool reviewer with more than 5 years of hands-on experience. His love for gardening blossomed in his childhood, nurtured by weekends spent in his family's vibrant garden. Sharaj holds a degree in Management and enjoys the unique challenges and rewards of roof gardening. He combines his horticultural knowledge with a keen eye for innovative tools and equipment, providing readers with insightful, unbiased reviews. When he’s not testing the latest gardening gadgets, Sharaj is cultivating his own lush rooftop garden oasis, filled with a variety of plants and flowers. His mission is to inspire others to create beautiful, sustainable gardens using the best tools available.

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