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Which? reveals how to choose the best hedge trimmer

Find the right hedge trimmer for your garden

A well-kept hedge can make a garden look terrific, but if cutting your hedge fills you with dread, it may be that you are using the wrong hedge trimmer. 

There are a whole range of hedge trimmers on sale with different motors, cutting blades and extras. But finding the right one is straightforward if you follow out simple guide to how to  

Which? Gardening expert Adele Dyer said: ‘I used to spend at least six weeks of my working year cutting hedges, so I know that using the wrong hedge trimmer can make the job frustratingly slow and cause aches and pains. The best hedge trimmer will be different for everyone, depending on the size of their hedges, the type of hedging plant, where the hedges are growing, and their own fitness and strength, but once you have read our guide you can find one that will fit the bill.’

Types of hedge trimmer

The first decision is what kind of hedge trimmer you want to buy. Should it be electric, cordless or petrol? 

Corded, electric hedge trimmers are great for working close to the house, where you can use the trimmer’s cable from the mains, with a residual current device to protect yourself if you cut the cable and possibly an extension cord. 

Cordless models are great if you need to work well away from the house or if you prefer to work without being hampered by a cord. However if you have a lot of cutting to do, you may want to invest in a second battery which can work out expensive. 

Petrol hedge trimmers may be heavy and noisy and they do vibrate, but on the upside they are very powerful and swiftly cut through larger and more coarse hedges.

Hedges in your garden

If you have a lot of hedges, you will want to get through the job as quickly as possible and so you should look for a hedge trimmer with a long cutting blade. We have Best Buy hedge trimmers with cutting blades of up to 70cm. However if your hedges are short, especially for short box hedges, a shorter blade of 45cm will be much easier to manoeuvre. 

Cutting tall hedges is best done from the ground rather than from a ladder. Long-reach hedge trimmers let you cut the highest part of the side and the top of the hedge without using a ladder. For more on this see our guide to . 

Hedge trimmers explained

The final decision on the features to look for will be down to your own personal preferences. How comfortable the hedge trimmer will be to use,  how well positioned the handles and switches are, and how heavy the hedge trimmer is can all make a difference. Think about going to a shop or dealer where you can handle the trimmer before you buy. 

Some hedge trimmers also come with added extras such as a bar to sweep away cuttings and handles that rotate, but are these really worth paying for? Read our guide to hedge trimmer features to find out everything you need to know to make the right decision. 

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