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Home & garden.

29 June 2021

Best hedge trimmers for small and large hedges

We reveal the best hedge trimmers for cutting small hedges, topiary's, pivots and boxes. We also round-up the trimmers with enough power to cut tall, wide, long and overgrown hedges.
Alice Williams
Using a long-reach hedge trimmer

Small hedges call for a trimmer that's light, manoeuvrable and that cuts neatly. While large hedges need a model with a long blade, powerful enough to cut back growth in a single sweep, and slice efficiently through thick branches. 

We put all the hedge trimmers we review through a series of tough tasks to see how they manage with different hedges, and carefully rate them for ease of use.

So, whether you want cordless or corded electric, we’ve collated the best of the best, for hedges of all shapes and sizes. 

Keep reading for our expert recommendations, or head straight to our hedge trimmer reviews.  

Best hedge trimmers for small hedges

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you're not yet a Which? member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.

  • 84%
    £277.44

    This is a powerful cordless hedge trimmer that cuts quickly and cleanly on larger hedges, making it a Best Buy. The short blade length makes very manoeuvrable on smaller hedges and it’s light and comfortable to use. It should suitable for almost anyone.

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  • 80%
    £98.00

    It's tricky to find a hedge trimmer that's light and easy to use whilst cutting well, but this model bucks the trend. We also love the extra features you get for your money and its particularly fast-charging battery.

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  • 78%
    £130.00

    We were impressed with this cordless hedge trimmer. It cut privet very well, but also had enough power to cope with thicker branches. There's no cord to get in the way as you cut, and we found it light, easy to manoeuvre and comfortable to use. A great all-rounder, which is cheaper than our highest-scoring corded electric model.

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  • 75%
    £79.99

    This light and compact cordless trimmer is ideal for quickly whizzing round your smaller hedges. It cuts quickly, coping surprisingly well in denser bits of hedge. It's quick to charge and the battery lasts a good amount of time too.

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  • 74%
    £80.00

    If you're looking for a low-cost, lightweight hedge trimmer to keep your privet hedge regularly trimmed then this a good option. The blade is long enough to cut a decent amount in one sweep yet the machine is still easily manoeuvrable, while the battery lasts for a respectable 44 minutes before it needs recharging.

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Not found the hedge trimmer for you? Browse all our reviews.

Choose the best hedge trimmer for small hedges 

Small hedges often have small, tightly-packed leaves and a strong shape. They can look ragged and untidy if the hedge trimmer doesn't cut cleanly and neatly.  There are a few features you should look for:  

  • A shorter blade as this will be easy to control, especially when cutting narrow or low hedges. It will also be far easier to trim rounded surfaces, such as on topiary shapes.  
  • A light hedge trimmer is less tiring to use as you bend down to cut short hedges.  
  • Look for a very sharp blade that can cut cleanly through soft, whippy growth.  
  • Choose a hedge trimmer that's comfortable to hold and with well positioned handles.  

Best hedge trimmers for large hedges

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you're not yet a Which? member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.

  • 85%
    £291.75

    This is our highest-scoring Best Buy petrol hedge trimmer. It's 60cm-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. These petrol trimmers score well for reliability, and 90% of members who own one would recommend it to a friend.

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  • 84%
    £310.00

    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, 45cm-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.

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  • 83%
    £185.95

    You get the best of both worlds with this hedge trimmer - a long 50cm blade, but also a lightweight 2.7kg body. It's easy to use and manouevre round your garden, as well as being great at cutting a swath of hedge in one movement. All your conifer, deciduous and evergreen hedges end up perfectly neat and tidy after being trimmed by this model.

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  • 82%
    £95.13

    As well as a long 60cm blade, there's an adjustable handle to make it easier to get at all the angles around a large hedge. Results are brilliant on all your different types of hedges, and it's great at making sweeping cuts, so it will make short work of any denser patches of hedge.

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  • 81%
    £215.99

    Although this electric hedge trimmer is heavy, it feels comfortable and well-balanced in your hands. Its long blade and wide tooth-spacing makes it perfect for trimming larger hedges, and it leaves a neat and tidy finish too.

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Choose a great hedge trimmer for tall hedges

Cutting tall, long or overgrown hedges can be hard work. Their sheer size will mean they can take hours to trim, and it can be hard to reach the top of tall hedges. In addition, their twigs tend to be thick and woody as many are plants that would naturally grow into trees, such as conifers, beech or hawthorn. There are a few factors to weigh up:

  • A hedge trimmer with a powerful motor will cut quickly and easily through even the toughest growth. This could be a petrol or powerful cordless battery model, but these can be heavy and so tiring to use.
  • A long blade will speed up cutting as you can cut more in a single sweep of the trimmer. 
  • It's also crucial that the hedge trimmer is easy to use, as you will be cutting for a long time. 

If you have a tall hedge that needs cutting frequently it might be worth investing in a good long-reach hedge trimmer, so you can cut the tops without the risk of climbing a ladder. 

Find out more: should I buy a long-reach hedge trimmer?

Three hedge trimmers to avoid

  • 54%
    £119.98

    There's a handy long reach pole for taller hedges, but it isn't easy to control or to get a neat finish. It's underpowered, making it slow to trim, plus it's heavy and uncomfortable to use. Overall, we wouldn't recommend buying it.

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  • 50%
    £159.00

    The short blade on a long-reach hedge trimmer is a strange choice, and means that this model isn't really suitable for large or small hedges. It's slow to cut, leaves a ragged finish and you can't alter the length of the shaft, so overall it's best avoided.

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  • 44%
    £150.00

    This long-reach hedge trimmer is easy to operate but lacks enough power to make it truly useful. It's much slower at cutting branches than conventional hedge trimmers and fails to neatly sever thicker stems, leaving an untidy, unattractive finish.

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To find out more about hedge trimmers, read our guide on how to buy the best hedge trimmer.