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A Beginner's Guide to Buying a Hedge Trimmer

Manicuring your property takes more than just mowing the lawn once a week. Taming unruly bushes and shrubs helps give your home a sophisticated look that will be the envy of the block. To achieve this polished look, you'll need a reliable hedge trimmer. Before you make a decision, consider the following types and features.

Types of Hedge Trimmers

Corded Hedge Trimmers

A corded trimmer delivers continuous power and is very easy to use. This device is ideal for medium-grade tasks that are close to the house or a power source.


  • Continuous power - As long as you're plugged directly into an outlet or connected to an extension cord, you'll be able to keep working without interruptions.
  • Increased amps - The high number of amps allows these electric models to handle tougher tasks.
  • Quiet and environmentally friendly - The electric motor runs quiet and the lack of emissions makes them better for the environment.
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Cordless Hedge Trimmers

A cordless hedge trimmer gets its power from a battery. This option is more mobile than a corded model, and it's ideal when you're trimming in hard-to-reach areas.


  • Mobility - Without having to be tethered to an extension cord, you can trim brush farther from your home and maneuver around obstacles.
  • Small tasks - There are a number of battery-powered hedge trimmers that are perfect for trimming and pruning small shrubs. These varieties are easy to control and allow for extremely accurate cuts.
  • Quiet and environmentally friendly - The electric motor runs quiet, and the lack of emissions makes this type of hedge trimmer better for the environment.

Gas Hedge Trimmers

A gas hedge trimmer uses fuel as its power source. If you're looking for a mix of power and mobility, consider choosing a model to handle your toughest landscaping projects.


  • Large jobs - For professional landscapers and homeowners that do a lot to trimming, a gas option delivers the flexibility and power to get the job done.
  • Speed - A gas-powered motor produces more cuts per minute, allowing you to slice through your chores faster. This is especially helpful when you need to work through a large amount of bushes.

Consideration & Features of Hedge Trimmers


  • Single & double sided - Single-sided trimmers feature a cutting blade on only one side of the blade. Double-sided models allow you to use either side of the blade to make cuts.
  • Cutting diameter - The blade gap rating determines the size of branches you can cut. Residential trimmers are usually rated between 3/8" and 3/4". Commercial options feature cutting diameters of up to an inch, which can handle large hedges.
  • Blade length - You'll typically see blades ranging from 16"-24". Depending on the size of your bushes, you'll want to get a blade that gives you enough reach to work efficiently and accurately.


  • Anti-vibration - The vibration felt from the motor can take its toll on your arms. To make your chores a little easier, anti-vibration handles take some of the sting out of pruning.
  • Full-wrap handles - These handles help you maintain a firm grip no matter your position to always make an accurate cut.
  • Rotating rear handles - Not every cut will be made on an even plane, so a rotating rear handle will help you achieve the angle and hold you need.
  • Levels - To ensure you get an even cut, some models feature a built-in bubble level to guide you as you trim.
  • Lock "on" - When trimming for a consistent period of time, it can be tiresome to continue holding a trigger. A lock on button will allow for continuous use to help give your hands some relief.

Safety Features

  • Trigger release - Certain models come with triggers that activate the blades. There are trimmers that feature single and double triggers to ensure that the blades only run when they're engaged.
  • Debris shields - These shields protect your forward hand from flying branches while you trim.
  • Lock "off" - An off lock acts as a safety to avoid accidentally turning the blade on.