Best hedge trimmer brands
By Adele Dyer
Discover the best hedge trimmer brands according to our independent test lab reviews and surveys of thousands of hedge trimmer owners.
Every year, Which? tests the latest hedge trimmers, cutting hundreds of meters of hedges to find those that can deal with any hedge quickly, efficiently and neatly. Our expert testers are not only highly knowledgeable about garden machinery, they also know what everyday gardeners want from a hedge trimmer, including what they will find annoying.
We've reviewed hedge trimmers from all the top brands, including Bosch, Black & Decker, Stihl, Flymo and Ryobi, and have tested a wide range of electric, cordless and petrol models. Here we have distilled all our knowledge, including test results and owner's views on whether they would recommend the brand to a friend. In addition, we share our unique insights into reliability based on the faults that hedge trimmers develop and which brands are problem-free for the longest.
Take a look at our full hedge trimmer reviews to find one with the best fit for your needs.
Best and worst hedge trimmer brands
In the table below we've collated all of our strimmer tests since 2011, plus our unique reliability ratings and customer scores, so you can see at a glance how the key brands of strimmer stack up against one another. Which? members should log in now to unlock the scores in the table. If you're not a Which? member, try full access for one month with a £1 trial.
|Best hedge trimmer brands|
|Brand||Average test score||Reliability rating||Customer score||Should I buy it?|
|59%||90%||This brand has a great reputation for producing high-quality garden tools, aimed at both home and professional users. We have only tested one petrol model and it did well compared to other petrol hedge trimmers. These tools are both reliable and highly rated by their owners and should be a good choice.|
|73%||83%||This brand has a full range of hedge trimmers, including electric, cordless and petrol models. Two of the three electric models we've tested since 2011 have been Best Buys, while the third scored well. They aren't cheap, starting at £110, but they are reliable and owners rate them well so they should be a good investment.|
|75%||83%||This brand's electric hedge trimmers have scored very highly in our tests and makes four of our Best Buy electric hedge trimmers. These range from a bargain £40 up to £150. They have the highest reliability rating of all hedge trimmers and owners clearly enjoy using them. A good choice.|
|69%||77%||We've reviewed one electric hedge trimmer from this brand and it scored well, although the cordless model we reviewed most recently was not as effective. These models have good reliability and owners' views scores, and are rated highly for value for money as they are relatively low cost at around £40-£50.|
|54%||72%||This brand specialises in cordless hedge trimmers. We've reviewed one model and have a first look review of another. These models have a reliability score that is slightly lower than corded electric models, but they are worth a look if you need a cordless hedge trimmer.|
|61%||71%||This brand has a range of cordless and corded electric hedge trimmers and one of its cordless models is a Best Buy. However, in our reliability survey, almost two thirds of owners complained the cordless hedge trimmer batteries didn't hold their charge well. Worth considering newer models.|
|75%||70%||We've been impressed with the electric hedge trimmers from this brand in our tests. Of its latest models, one is a Best Buy. We found them robust and this is reflected in the good reliability score. Customers rated them well for their build quality and fitness for purpose. Worth considering.|
|64%||67%||This brand makes a range of corded electric and cordless garden tools aimed at the home user, including a wide range of electric hedge trimmers starting from around £55. We've reviewed five of these since 2011 and they have all scored reasonably well, but not high enough to gain a Best Buy. Reliability and owners' views scores are lower than for other brands.|
|56%||67%||This brand has a range of seven cordless hedge trimmers. We've found the ones we reviewed to be mixed, with some models scoring reasonably well, while others were far less impressive. They have a higher reliability score than for other cordless hedge trimmers, although owners were less impressed overall.|
|67%||61%||This brand has a range of electric and cordless hedge trimmers, as well as other garden tools. We've reviewed three models since 2011 and one, which is no longer available, was a Best Buy. Reliability is poor, however, and owners gave them poor scores for ease of use.|
|51%||48%||Petrol hedge trimmers from this brand aren't as popular among users as other better-known brands. We reviewed two models and found neither to be outstanding. They also came in for strong criticism from owners, with low scores for ease of use. Faults included the engine not turning over.|
Average score: based on the results of all models tested between March 2011 and April 2015.
Reliability rating: based on a survey of 6,428 Which? members in April and May 2015.
Customer score: based on a survey of 6,428 Which? members in April and May 2015.
Choosing the best brand of hedge trimmer
The right hedge trimmer for you is one that is best suited to cut your hedges quickly and efficiently. But you also want to be sure that your hedge trimmer will last for years, working well each time you take it out of the shed. The best way to find a reliable hedge trimmer is to look at our figures for reliability and owners' views.
We calculate our reliability scores by asking members about what faults their hedge trimmers developed and when this occurred. We also ask members how they would rate their hedge trimmers for build quality, ease of maintenance, storage and use, value for money and whether they were fit for purpose.
These let you decide which one of the popular brands, such as Bosch, Black & Decker, Flymo or Stihl should be the one for you. There are large differences between brands. The highest score for reliability is 90% and the lowest is just 41%. Owners' views also range from 90% to 48% for petrol hedge trimmer brands.
The average test score is made up of all the models we've tested since 2011, including those that have now been discontinued. This gives a good idea of the marks that each brand has achieved. Some brands have consistently high scores and regularly gain Best Buy awards, while other brands have very patchy performance, with some excellent models and other that are less impressive.