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Best hedge trimmer brands

Most reliable hedge trimmer brands

By Adele Dyer

Article 1 of 8

Which? surveyed thousands of hedge trimmer owners to uncover the most and least reliable brands. Discover which brands top our table. 

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Most and least reliable hedge trimmer brands

We survey thousands of Which? members to find out which brands of hedge trimmer are reliable. We ask members whether their hedge trimmers have developed any faults, what these faults are, and how long the member had owned the hedge trimmer before the fault occurred. From this, we're able to say definitively which brands you should choose and which you should avoid. 

Some hedge trimmer brands have very good reliability overall, with corded electric hedge trimmers being the most reliable. Our survey revealed one brand of petrol hedge trimmer that had very good reliability, while another was plagued by problems and only scored 41% for reliability. 

The table below reveals ratings for seven popular brands of electric, cordless and petrol hedge trimmers, including Black & Decker, Bosch, Flymo and Stihl, based on the experiences of more than 1,000 hedge trimmer owners. Our unique reliability ratings show at-a-glance how the brands of hedge trimmer stack up against one another for reliability. 

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings in the table below. If you're not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access. 

Which electric hedge trimmer brands are the most reliable?
Brand Reliability rating Reliability score
90%
89%
88%
88%
79%
78%
Table notes
Ratings based on a survey in April 2015 of more than 1,000 Which? members who own hedge trimmers.

Key

Member Content
Which cordless hedge trimmer brands are the most reliable?
Brand Reliability rating Reliability score
83%
77%
77%

Table notes
Ratings based on a survey in April 2015 of more than 1,000 Which? members who own hedge trimmers.

Key

Member Content
Which petrol hedge trimmers are the most reliable?
Brand Reliability rating Column 3
83%
41%
Table notes
Ratings based on a survey in April 2015 of more than 1,000 Which? members who own hedge trimmers.

Key

Member Content
Which electric hedge trimmer brand stays fault free for longest?
Brand % faults after 2 years % faults after 4 years % faults after 6 years
98% 95% 92%
97% 97% 90%
94% 90% 90%
94% 90% 90%
98% 89% 81%
99% 89% 79%
Table notes
Ratings based on a survey in April 2015 of more than 1,000 Which? members who own hedge trimmers. 

Key

Member Content
Which cordless hedge trimmer brand stays fault free for longest?
Brand % faults after 1 years % faults after 3 years % faults after 4 years
100% 87% 85%
97% 87% 80%
96% 84% 80%

Table notes
Ratings based on a survey in April 2015 of more than 1,000 Which? members who own hedge trimmers.

Key

Member Content
Which petrol hedge trimmer brand stays fault free for longest?
Brand % faults after 3 years % faults after 6 years % faults after 8 years
95% 90% 84%
73% 50% 47%
Table notes
Ratings based on a survey in April 2015 of more than 1,000 Which? members who own hedge trimmers.

Key

Member Content

How hedge trimmer brands compare

We think that an electric tool should remain fault free for six years, a cordless tool five years and a petrol tool eight years. Our figures bear this out, with the vast majority of hedge trimmers lasting this long without developing a fault. The most reliable hedge trimmer brands also have great scores in our tests, regularly being Best Buy hedge trimmers

It seems that cordless hedge trimmers are far less reliable than electric or petrol models, with batteries being the main problem. Often batteries will not recharge or do not hold their charge for long after charging. This can make the hedge trimmer unusable after a relatively short time. As cordless hedge trimmers are mostly expensive, it's worth investing in a brand that has the highest reliability. 

The most reliable hedge trimmer brand scored 90%

 We asked over 6,000 Which? members about the garden tools they’ve bought in the past 10 years. They told us how they rate them for ease of use; storage and maintenance; build quality; value for money; and whether they suit their needs. They also told us about the faults and niggles they’d encountered and when these had first started. From the faults, we calculated a reliability score so you can see at a glance which brands are most reliable.

Common hedge trimmer problems

  • Fails to cut larger twigs 35%
  • Blades stick or jam 22%
  • Motor failed or would not start 19%
  • Cut is not clean 10%

Some of these problems can be avoided by simple steps. Don't try to cut any twig wider than around 1cm with your hedge trimmer. You will get a cleaner cut that will heal faster by cutting larger branches with loppers. After use, always give your hedge trimmer blades a quick clean with a rag and a little lubricant to remove sap and plant debris, prevent rust and keep the blades in good condition. 

The most common complaint against cordless hedge trimmers was that the battery would not hold charge (45%), suggesting this is a major failing across all brands. 

Hedge trimmer reviews you can trust

A good hedge trimmer can make light work of keeping your hedges in shape, but you need to find one that is both quick and efficient and right for the hedges in your garden. We test each hedge trimmer on three separate kinds of hedge and assess every aspect of its ease of use to make sure you can find the right one for you. 

Which? is independent - we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We don't take advertising and we buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes. Compare hedge trimmers and find the best one for you using our hedge trimmer reviews

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