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5 cordless hedge trimmers to get your hedges in shape

If you're planning on taming your garden with a hedge trimmer, consult our expert reviews to see which models are the perfect fit

Whether you're cutting a small hedge or a large one that borders your entire garden, you need a decent hedge trimmer to get the job done quickly and neatly. To help you choose wisely, we've rounded up five brilliant cordless hedge trimmers.

On our list of impressive cordless hedge trimmers are models from big-name brands including Karcher, Makita and Stihl. The cheapest of the bunch has a handle that rotates to five different positions, keeping you comfortable as you work.

Read on as we take a closer look at five cordless hedge trimmers that blew our experts away when we went hands-on or explore our guide to the best hedge trimmers to pick the perfect model for you.  

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At a glance: great cordless hedge trimmers

  • Great value: Karcher HGE 18-50 – a lightweight trimmer powered by an 18V battery. Buy it now from Amazon (£159.98), Toolstation (£159.98) and Karcher (£159.99).
  • Perfect for small hedges: Stihl HSA 56 – comes with a catcher plate that sweeps away clippings. Buy it now from FR Jones and Son (£182.50), World of Power (£216.90) and Sam Turner and Sons (£219).
  • Quick and efficient: Makita DUH502Z – a brilliant trimmer with a 50cm, double-sided blade. Buy it now from ITS (£263.98 with BL1830B battery), FFX (£267.90 with BL1830B battery) and  Fastfix (£297 with BL1830B battery).
  • Long cutting time: EGO HT2000E – takes an Ego Power+ 56V 2.5ah Li-ion battery. Buy it now from CheapMowers.com (£253 with 2.5ah battery), MowerMagic (£258 with 2.5ah battery) and The Green Reaper (£258 with 2.5ah battery).
  • Best for tall hedges: Stihl HLA 56 Cordless Long-Reach – has a total length of 210cm and features battery indicator lights. Buy it now from FR Jones and Son (£275 with 1x Stihl AK 20 battery), Sam Turner and Sons (£329.90 with 2x Stihl AK 20 batteries) and Garden Machinery Direct (£339 with 1x Stihl AK 20 battery).

Karcher HGE 18-50 – great value

Available from: Amazon (£159.98), Toolstation (£159.98), Karcher (£159.99)

Karcher HGE 18-50

We like: Excellent results, lightweight, easy to use

We don't like: Battery life could be better

This affordable hedge trimmer from Karcher is powered by an 18V battery. It features a 50cm blade and a 22mm tooth width, meaning you can tackle wider branches that many other cordless hedge trimmers would struggle with.

The Karcher HGE 18-50 weighs in at just 2.7kg, so you'll likely be able to use it for long periods of time without taking a break. Plus, a rotating handle will help you cut at an angle – it can be set in five different positions and we found it particularly easy to use.

Other features worth noting include a medium-sized hand guard and a sheath for protecting the blade when you're finished in the garden.

To see if this hedge trimmer impressed us enough to earn a Best Buy title, see our Karcher HGE 18-50 review.

Stihl HSA 56 – perfect for small hedges

Available from: FR Jones and Son (£182.50), World of Power (£216.90), Sam Turner and Sons (£219)

Stihl HSA 56

We like: Lightweight, comfortable to use, cuts very well

We don't like: A shorter blade makes it less suitable for tall hedges

The short, 45cm blade on this Stihl hedge trimmer means you'll have no trouble manoeuvering it around smaller hedges. This model runs off a 36V 2.8ah battery, which can also power many of the brand's other cordless gadgets.

When we went hands-on with this cordless hedge trimmer, we saw it effortlessly chop its way through privet, conifer and laurel hedges. The 30mm gaps between the blade teeth make this Stihl ideal if you want to take on thicker stems.

For around £20 extra, you can consider picking up Stihl's catcher plate add-on, which fits snuggly onto the blade and helps you sweep away clippings.

For more details on this hedge trimmer, check in with our Stihl HSA 56 review.

Makita DUH502Z – quick and efficient

Available from: ITS (£263.98 with BL1830B battery), FFX (£267.90 with BL1830B battery), Fastfix (£297 with BL1830B battery)

Makita DUH502Z

We like: Powerful, impressive build quality, long blade

We don't like: Battery life could be better, slightly back-heavy

This high-scoring cordless hedge trimmer has a 50cm double-sided blade, powered by an 18V Li-ion battery that fits into other Makita tools. It weighs in at around 3.8kg, which is fairly average for a hedge trimmer.

When we put this hedge trimmer to the test, we were impressed by the reverse setting for the blade – it's particularly handy if the machine snags while you're trimming. You can also change the speed based on the thickness of the hedge you're cutting.

The Makita DUH502Z is equipped with handles that can rotate 90 degrees either way, allowing you to quickly swap between horizontal and vertical cutting.

Our Makita DUH502Z review reveals whether or not this hedge trimmer is worth your money.

EGO HT2000E – long cutting time

Available from: CheapMowers.com (£253 with 2.5ah battery), MowerMagic (£258 with 2.5ah battery), The Green Reaper (£258 with 2.5ah battery)


We like: Long run time, wide tooth gap, comfortable to operate

We don't like: Weighty, no handle rotation

The EGO HT2000E uses the brand's Ego Power+ 56V battery, so if you already have one in another Ego tool, you can swap it out. This hedge trimmer has a 51cm long, double-sided blade with teeth spaced 25mm apart. 

You'll spot three switches on this cordless hedge trimmer. The first, an OPC (operator presence control), needs to be activated before the trigger becomes useable, There's also a back handle trigger and a back handle trigger unlock, sat near a fairly small hand safety guard.

As you're making progress in the garden, you can glance at the on-board battery indicator lights to see how much juice is left.

Our rigorous lab tests have put this model through its paces – see our EGO HT2000E review.

Stihl HLA 56 Cordless Long-Reach – best for tall hedges

Available from: FR Jones and Son (£275 with 1x Stihl AK 20 battery), Sam Turner and Sons (£329.90 with 2x Stihl AK 20 batteries), Garden Machinery Direct (£339 with 1x Stihl AK 20 battery)

Stihl HLA 56 Cordless Long-Reach

We like: Great at cutting all hedge types, solid battery life, quiet

We don't like: No handle extension included with the basic model

Take a closer look at this cordless hedge trimmer if you need to reach hedges that tower above you. This Stihl model has a total length of 210cm, plus an additional 50cm shaft is available as an accessory.

The Stihl HLA 56 has a 45cm blade, which is fairly short, keeping the trimmer well-balanced as you're shaping hedges. It also has a 30mm tooth spacing, so this model has the power to cut thicker stems.

To use this cordless hedge trimmer, you'll need to make use of all three switches. Thankfully, we found they were all easy to reach with one hand, leaving your other hand free to grip the looped handle.

See just how well this hedge trimmer scores with our full Stihl HLA 56 Cordless Long-Reach review.

To discover which hedge trimmers stand out from the crowd, visit our guide to the best hedge trimmers.

Our hedge trimmer expert says

‘Choosing the right hedge trimmer will depend largely on the kind of hedges you have in your garden and how many.

For smaller hedges, go for a maximum blade length of 45cm. A shorter blade will make it easier to manoeuvre, particularly when cutting low hedges or rounded shapes. A lighter hedge trimmer is also less tiring to use as you bend down to cut short hedges.

For tall or overgrown hedges, you’ll need a longer blade (over 45cm) so you can reach further and cut more in each pass. Their twigs tend to be thick and woody as many are plants that would naturally grow into trees, such as conifers. Typically, you’ll want to go for a powerful cordless or petrol model for these types of hedges. Cordless and petrol models can be quite heavy and tiring to use, though, so it’s worth holding it in-store before you buy to make sure it feels manageable.

For more details, head to our hedge trimmer reviews and look out for our Best Buy recommendations.' 

Verity Mann, Which? cordless hedge trimmer expert

How we test hedge trimmers

Unlike many other review sites, we thoroughly test hedge trimmers based on the features that matter the most. Only the models that score top marks for cutting power, comfort and ease of use are able to achieve Which Best Buy status.

When reviewing hedge trimmers, we answer important questions including:

  • How well does the hedge trimmer cut? To find out, we trim conifer hedges, deciduous hedges, laurel hedges and privet hedges. Our trio of testers cut at least 10m2 of each hedge type to see how well they cut, how quick they are and how easy they are to use.
  • Is the hedge trimmer easy to set up and use? We rate machines on 18 criteria, including how easy they are to carry, how simple they are to use for vertical or horizontal cutting and whether noise, weight or balance are a problem.
  • What's the battery life like? We cut the same hedge types as with electric and petrol models but, rather than stopping after 10m2, we carry on until the battery is empty. We note how many minutes this takes and calculate how many metres of hedge we've cut in this time.

Explore our guide on the best hedge trimmers to pick the perfect model for you.

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