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Top five hedge trimmers for large hedges

By Adele Dyer

We round up the top-scoring hedge trimmers that are perfect for cutting tall, wide, long or overgrown hedges down to size.

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Find the best hedge trimmer for large hedges

Our tests have uncovered a huge variation in how well some hedge trimmers can cope with large hedges that generally have thicker branches. Some will trim beautifully, leaving clean cuts and a neat finish in double-quick time. Others lack the power to get through overgrown hedges, are slow, and leave branches looking as if they have been chewed rather than cut cleanly. 

The hedge trimmers we've chosen here all cut quickly, so it won't take as long to cut a large hedge. Most have a long blade that will cut more in a single sweep, and they all have the power to make short work of thick branches. 

All of the hedge trimmers in the table below have gone through our rigorous field testing, so you can be sure they’re the best of the bunch for keeping your garden tidy, and that they're easy to use. 

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Best hedge trimmers for large hedges

Today's best price £144.00
Which? score 89%
Reviewed Jun 2015
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Convenience:
5 out of 5
Manoeuvrability:
5 out of 5
Power source:
Member exclusive
Blade length:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

If you find petrol hedge trimmers hard to start, heavy and noisy, you could look at our highest-scoring corded electric model. It has a 70cm-long blade, so you can cut more hedge in a single sweep. In our tests, it had no problem with thicker laurel and conifer branches, and left a great finish on privet hedges. It's a similar price to petrol models.

Typical price £432.00
Which? score 86%
Reviewed May 2016
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Convenience:
5 out of 5
Manoeuvrability:
5 out of 5
Power source:
Member exclusive
Blade length:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

This Best Buy hedge trimmer is the best long-reach model we have tested. Unlike many models, this one is light and easy to manoeuvre, so you can use it to cut the sides of a hedge as well as the top. It has a powerful, 55cm-long blade that can cut thicker branches, so it's great for overgrown hedges. It's expensive, but if you have a lot of large hedges to cut it's worth the investment.

Typical price £325.00
Which? score 86%
Reviewed May 2017
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Manoeuvrability:
5 out of 5
Power source:
Member exclusive
Blade length:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

A Best Buy, this cordless hedge trimmer has performance of a petrol hedge trimmer. It is a powerful cutting machine able to deal with larger hedges with ease.

Today's best price £198.00
Which? score 85%
Reviewed May 2016
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Convenience:
5 out of 5
Manoeuvrability:
5 out of 5
Power source:
Member exclusive
Blade length:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

This is our highest-scoring Best Buy petrol hedge trimmer. It's 60-cm long blade cuts quickly and efficiently, letting you remove a large amount of growth in a single sweep. It makes short work of thicker branches, leaving a clean, smart cut. Stihl petrol trimmers score well for reliability, and 90% of members who own one would recommend it to a friend.

Today's best price £173.99
Which? score 78%
Reviewed May 2016
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Manoeuvrability:
4 out of 5
Power source:
Member exclusive
Blade length:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

This Best Buy petrol hedge trimmer is cheaper than our highest-scoring model. It has a shorter blade of 45cm long, compared with 60cm on many models, but it's still able to cut quickly. It had no problems with thicker branches in our tests, and the cuts were neat and clean.

Some of the worst hedge trimmers

The only way to tell if a hedge trimmer is any good is to use it to cut some hedges, which is why Which? does exactly that in our independent lab tests. We use each hedge trimmer to cut laurel, privet and conifer hedges to see how quickly and cleanly they cut thin and thick branches, and whippy growth. 

Not all hedge trimmers are great. Here are three models that could leave you feeling frustrated as the cut slowly and fail to slice through thicker branches, or leave your hedges looking messy. 

But avoid these mediocre models

Typical price £60.00
Which? score 50%
Reviewed Jun 2015
Performance:
2 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Manoeuvrability:
3 out of 5
Power source:
Member exclusive
Blade length:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

This cordless hedge trimmer may be cheap, but it’s underpowered. As a result, it will take you a long time to cut your hedges using this trimmer.

Typical price £229.00
Which? score 49%
Reviewed Jun 2012
Performance:
4 out of 5
Convenience:
2 out of 5
Manoeuvrability:
2 out of 5
Power source:
Member exclusive
Blade length:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

This long-reach petrol hedge trimmer is heavy and cumbersome to use, making it very tiring to use. Although it cuts well there are better hedge trimmers for tall hedges.

Typical price £145.00
Which? score 39%
Reviewed Jun 2013
Performance:
4 out of 5
Convenience:
3 out of 5
Manoeuvrability:
1 out of 5
Power source:
Member exclusive
Blade length:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

This long reach hedge trimmer is unbalanced and heavy, making it tiring to use. It’s also poor at cutting, so you will expend a great deal of energy achieving very little.

We review more hedge trimmers than anyone else

We test more than 3,700 products a year, from washing-up liquid to cars. 

We test hedge trimmers by cutting three types of hedges: conifer, laurel and privet. Conifer hedges can be tough, with stringy branches that can get snagged in the blade, while laurel hedges have tough leaves and thick, hard branches that can be hard to cut cleanly. Privet has thin, whippy growth that can be 'stripped' by some hedge trimmers - that is, left with slim strips of bark where the branch should have been cut cleanly. 

Our experts also rate how easy is it to use each hedge trimmer, taking into account how well positioned the handles and switches are, how heavy the trimmer is, and how much it vibrates.

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