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When shears alone just won’t cut it, a hedge trimmer will make light work of getting bushy borders under control. With one of these handy tools at your fingertips, you can forgo forking out for a gardener and have your shrubs and bushes looking smart in no time.
Yet with electric, cordless and petrol-powered models available, the array of options can leave even the most green-fingered among us overwhelmed, which is why we’ve already laid the groundwork.
Whether you’re planning on a quick tidy-up or a major lop, rest assured that each of the hedge trimmers in our selection are a cut above the rest.
Here are the 10 best hedge trimmers to buy in 2021, whatever your budget and pruning prowess.
1. Best overall hedge trimmer: VonHaus G-series Cordless Hedge Trimmer
Price: £84.99 | Buy now from Amazon
Tame unruly hedges in no time with this quick-charging trimmer from VonHaus. Weighing just 2.6kg, it’s ideal for everyday garden maintenance, and cuts effortlessly through branches and twigs up to 14mm thick.
With no cable to grapple with, this machine provides extra peace of mind with its dual safety switches and a protective hand shield. Its anti-vibration system and soft grip handle give enhanced control and comfort.
This cordless model comes with a charger and battery that’s compatible with other tools from the same VonHaus range, and which reaches full capacity within an hour, delivering a runtime of 50 minutes. Also included is a cover for the 51cm fast-action blades.
- Quick to charge
- Limited to thinner branches
- Can be awkward to start
2. Best budget hedge trimmer: Flymo Easicut 460 Hedge Trimmer
Price: £45.12 | Buy now from Amazon
Perfect for smaller gardens, this mains-operated hedge trimmer from Flymo won’t weigh you down, literally or financially. At 3.1kg and with an affordable price tag, it’s a great choice for those cutting back in more ways than one.
Its 10-metre cord will dictate how far you can venture from the nearest plug socket to the garden, but – unlike cordless and petrol-powered alternatives – it also allows uninterrupted use.
With a 19mm cutting diameter, the Easicut 460 has 45cm double-action blades for quick, clean trimming, as well as a centralised handle for additional balance and two-handed safety switches to prevent accidental starting.
- Indefinite runtime
- Limited range
- Risk of cutting or tripping over cable
3. Best cordless hedge trimmer: Greenworks Hedgecutter
Price: £183.20 | Buy now from Amazon
There’s no denying that a cordless cutter is convenient and this one from Greenworks will hew your hedges with ease. Designed with thicker thicket in mind, it has a 61cm blade and 27mm cutting capacity, making it best suited to medium or larger hedges.
It may not be the cheapest machine out there, nor the lightest, yet this user-friendly cutter’s nippiness and impressive performance make it well worth a look.
Its 90-degree swivelling handle allows you to easily cut at all angles and its anti-jam function means the motor automatically reverses to release the trimmer should it get stuck. The battery provided can be used to power 21 other Greenworks tools, which is better for both the environment and your wallet.
- Interchangeable battery
- Rotating rear handle
- Runtime only 35 minutes with battery provided
- Long blade
4. Best petrol hedge trimmer: McCulloch HT 5622 Petrol Hedge Trimmer
Price: £164.99 | Buy now from Amazon
This heavyweight of the hedge trimmer world gets glowing reviews from hundreds of satisfied customers who appreciate its power and practicality.
Robust enough to plough through even the hardiest of hedges, its ergonomic, adjustable handle and soft-start feature make it simple to start and operate.
Petrol-powered machines tend to be heavier than electric versions and this is no exception, weighing in at 5.2kg. It will excel at tougher jobs, however, slicing smoothly through larger branches of up to 22mm thick with its 56cm blade.
Refuelling has the potential to be messy and smelly, but the payoff is that this hedge trimmer outperforms many others at whatever task is at hand.
- Straightforward instructions
- Noisier than non-petrol alternatives
5. Best lightweight hedge trimmer: Bosch EasyHedgeCut 12-35
Price: £94.99 | Buy now from Amazon
“We’ve got a Bosch battery hedge trimmer, which I would highly recommend.”
This light cutter punches well above its weight and exceeds expectations in almost every way. At just 1.9kg and with a blade length of just 35cm, Bosch’s EasyHedgeCut 12-35 is ultra-portable and makes achy arms a thing of the past.
Although less effective than some of its larger rivals, it’s a fab tidy-up tool and ideal for shaping shrubs, beautifying bushes or trimming topiary. It charges in just over an hour and will cut for up to 50 minutes.
While suitable only for thinner twigs of 15mm or less, this quiet hedge trimmer is nevertheless a handy bit of kit for when you need to do a spot of light pruning.
- Compact and manageable
- Battery holds its charge well
- May not cut as cleanly as more powerful trimmers
- Cuts only thinner foliage
6. Best extendable hedge trimmer: Ryobi 18V One+ Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer
Price: From £115 | Buy now from Amazon
“In the end I went for Ryobi. I bought the pole hedge trimmer. I spent today trimming the hedges and it worked brilliantly.”
Unless you have arms as long as Mr Tickle’s, you’re going to need a telescopic trimmer when dealing with high hedges. Stay on top of even the tallest ones with this cordless cutter from Ryobi, which can extend to 2.9 metres and has a removable extension shaft.
With a battery that charges within the hour and that can be used with at least 100 other Ryobi tools, this versatile machine has tooth spacing of 18mm and a 115-degree articulating head with four positions to make it easier to cut horizontally, vertically and at various angles.
The main shortcoming of this long trimmer is its weight – at 4.6kg, all but the most dedicated gym bunnies may become weary after prolonged use. The shoulder strap provided is a most welcome addition.
- Perfect for extended-reach tasks
- Comes with shoulder strap
- Handle could be more comfortable
7. Best heavy-duty hedge trimmer: Stihl HSA56 Hedge Trimmer
Price: £299.99 | Buy now from Amazon
Those intent on taking mightier matters into their own hands will need a machine with oomph, such as this battery-powered hedge trimmer from Stihl. One for bigger bushes – and budgets – it’s at the pricier end of the market and capable of cutting cleanly through vegetation of a hefty 30mm.
Punchier than many cordless cutters, the HSA56 also weighs more than some of its counterparts at 2.9kg without its battery, which can add another kilogram or more. The battery provided is sufficient for most customers, but upgrading to a more powerful one means that this model can chomp through up to 420m² of hedge on one charge.
With a short charge time and long runtime, this well-balanced hedge trimmer has a tip protector to preserve its 45cm blade, plus any walls and fences it touches. Requiring two-handed operation, it stops when its trigger is released.
- Ideal for bigger jobs
- On the heavier side
8. Best low-noise hedge trimmer: Makita DUH551 Twin 18V Hedge Trimmer
Price: £379 | Buy now from Amazon
“DP bought a hedge trimmer that uses the same batteries as his drills – in this case Makita. You can make a big saving if you just have one or two batteries and use them on multiple tools.”
There’ll be no more irate neighbours with this quiet, cable-free machine from Makita. Billed as ‘extremely low noise,’ it has six speed settings, a five-position rotating rear handle and an 18mm cutting diameter.
We’re aware that it may be beyond some Mumsnetters financially, but there’s a valid reason why we’ve featured this fine example of a hedge trimmer: it costs a fraction of the price when purchased without batteries and is therefore a practical purchase if you already have other tools of the same brand.
Powered by two lithium ion batteries, it’s heavier than many alternatives at around 5kg. It is, however, super-speedy at creating a hedge with an edge, with the cleanup often taking longer than the cutting itself.
- Low noise level
- Interchangeable batteries
- Expensive when bought with batteries
9. Best hedge trimmer for longer runtime: DeWalt DCM563P1 XR Hedge Trimmer
Price: £171.81 | Buy now from Amazon
There’s nothing more frustrating than battery failure when you’re halfway through a hedge trimming task, but the chances of this happening are significantly reduced with this offering from DeWalt.
With an impressive runtime of up to 75 minutes on a single charge, it’s likely that you’ll be flagging long before the battery is.
At a manageable weight of 2.9kg, it’ll let you work uninterrupted for longer on medium hedges and will achieve an even cut whether you’re performing a minor trim or major lop thanks to its 55cm blades.
For long-lasting power, this machine is hard to beat. Its only real fault is that it doesn’t clean up after you.
- Good battery life
- Rarely jams
- Trigger button can be fiddly
- No blade tip guard
10. Best mini hedge trimmer: Black & Decker GSL700 Shear Shrubber Combo Kit
Price: £42.09 | Buy now from Amazon
This tiny trimmer is a great companion for those tackling box hedges or petite bushes and shrubs. Perfect for small projects, its blade is just 15cm, making it extremely easy to handle – especially with its non-slip rubber handle.
It’ll come as no surprise that this cordless and compact cutter is the lightest of all the products we’ve selected at just 650g and is suitable for vegetation with a width of 8mm or less. This two-in-one tool also comes with a separate blade for trimming lawn edges.
While suitable only for lighter usage, this pint-sized machine can get to work where full-size hedge trimmers can’t, smartening up your garden surroundings quickly and easily.
- Easy to use
- Handy size
- Lacks power
- Only suitable for small jobs
Are hedge trimmers worth it?
If you’ll have to hire a professional because you lack a hedge trimmer of your own, then it’s well worth considering buying one. The money you’d spend on a gardener could instead be invested in one of these convenient tools, which should soon pay for itself.
If you’d otherwise do the work yourself, weigh up whether or not you’d rather stump up the cash for a hedge trimmer instead of having to undertake the arduous manual labour.
How do I choose a hedge trimmer?
While all hedge trimmers may look the same to the uninitiated, there are several factors to keep in mind when shopping for one.
What will you be cutting?
The gap between the teeth on a trimmer’s blade will determine what you can cut – the wider the spacing, the thicker the branches you’ll be able to tackle. A 15mm to 20mm diameter will be adequate for most gardens.
A longer blade will get the work done quicker, but it means a more cumbersome tool that’s trickier to control. For the average gardener, particularly those working in a limited space, a standard blade length will suffice.
Weight and portability
What might seem easy to handle for the first few minutes may feel unwieldy after a while. A heavy machine is not only uncomfortable to hold for extended periods, but it could also pose a safety risk. A lighter, easier-to-manage model is a wise choice, especially for inexperienced users.
How is it powered?
Mains-powered models are best for smaller gardens due to their need to be near a plug socket, so be sure to check that the cord is long enough for your needs. A good option for novices, electrical hedge trimmers are simple to use and lighter than their gas-guzzling counterparts. They fare well price-wise too, but cannot be used when it’s wet outside.
The most powerful of all hedge trimmers, petrol models are also generally the heaviest, noisiest and least environmentally-friendly, plus they require more maintenance. That said, if you’re tackling dense vegetation or a large garden, one of these is what you’ll need.
With the freedom of a petrol machine but without the fumes or notable noise, battery-powered cordless hedge trimmers are hugely popular due to their quietness and convenience. Although they lack the clout of some trimmers, most are suitable for the average garden.
Note the machine’s runtime, check that a battery is included (if required) and consider buying a second battery if you want to get the job finished without having to recharge. Bear in mind that the batteries used in some hedge trimmers are interchangeable with other tools of the same brand – and buying only a machine’s body can bring the price down substantially.
What’s your budget?
With the price of hedge trimmers varying radically from tens to hundreds of pounds, there’s sure to be one to match your budget. High-end cutters are geared more towards professional gardeners, so work out what you can afford and what you’ll be cutting. Unless you’re taking on thick, dense hedging, a lower-priced model should be adequate.
What is the best hedge trimmer to buy?
The VonHaus G-series Cordless Hedge Trimmer is the best hedge trimmer to buy due to its suitability for most gardens and easy manoeuvrability.
Lightweight, quiet and fairly priced, it may not be up to the job of tackling thicker hedges, but its rapid charge, decent runtime and multiple safety features help make up for that. Perfect for quick trims, this mid-range cutter’s two-year warranty only adds to its appeal.
How we chose our recommendations
Our hedge trimmer suggestions have come from recommendations on the Mumsnet forums and from consumer reviews on the web, taking into account what customers said about the products featured.
We also consulted independent review sites and having collated all that information, we picked the hedge trimmers that we thought were worthy of taking the titles in an array of interest categories.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.
Main image credit: Bosch