Hedges have all sorts of benefits. They can offer protection to other plants in your garden, reduce noise, and encourage wildlife. But they’re hardly low-maintenance. Without regular cutting, hedges can quickly become overgrown and unruly, and encroach on other areas of your garden. That’s why a trimmer, cutter or other hedge tool is so important to have at your disposal.
You’ll find a surprising variety of hedge tools available on the market – indeed, some of the options we’re covering below have been around for many thousands of years. Most gardeners who have hedges to maintain are likely to benefit from an automated trimmer or cutter, which are either petrol-powered or electric.
If you constantly find yourself tottering on a ladder to clear away hard-to-reach branches and growth, then you should definitely consider a long-reach trimmer. And, if you topiary your hedges, you’ll want a manual tool that’s easier to control: a well-made, durable set of shears, or perhaps a bill hook for any hack-and-slash work needed.
Fortunately, you’ll find all these options in our list below, where we’ve picked our eight favourite hedge tools on the market right now. And for a little extra help, take a look at our articles on how to trim a hedge and how to lay a hedge.
The best hedge tools for trimming and cutting
Mountfield MHJ2424 Double-Sided Hedge Trimmer
If you’re searching for an all-purpose hedge trimmer that can stand up to particularly tough jobs, the Mountfield MHJ2424 is an excellent choice. Powered by a two-stroke petrol engine, you can be sure this will make short work of an unruly growth. Its 61cm reciprocating blades are double-sided, meaning you can clear much more swiftly by moving it from side to side. It includes goggles, a two-year warranty.
MHJ2424 Double-Sided Hedge trimmer
Okatsune 217 Shears
A petrol or electric trimmer will make expansive jobs far less of a hassle, but for more delicate work, a set of manual shears is an essential tool. Japanese brand Okatsune does a wide range of shearing tools, and the 217 is a perfect choice for pruning and topiary, where you don’t want to set the indiscriminate blades of an automated saw whirring back and forth. Everything from the yasugi (traditional Japanese steel) blades to the shock-absorbing oak handles short craft and quality; we’re confident these will serve you reliably for many long years.
Bosch Universal Cordless Long Reach Hedge Cutter
If you’ve got extra-high hedges to cut, but you want to avoid the general headache of setting up a ladder in your garden, then a long-reach hedge cutter is definitely a smart investment. This model from the ever-reliable Bosch will give you a reach of up to 2.6m – but fortunately, it can also be removed from its extension pole and be used at a shorter length too. Long-reach cutters can often be a little unwieldy at first, but at just 3.6kg, this one shouldn’t prove too cumbersome.
Universal Cordless Long Reach Hedge Cutter
Bosch AHS 45-15 LI Cordless Hedgecutter
Another hedge tool from Bosch,this one a more all-purpose hedgecutter that’s suited for lighter growth. We’ve included this as a lighter-duty alternative to the Mountfield: if you don’t need the brute force of a petrol-powered trimmer, consider this instead. The lithium-ion battery will serve you for up to 50 minutes before it needs recharging.
AHS 45-15 LI Cordless Hedgecutter
Wolf-Garten Hedge Shears
Another set of hedge shears from Wolf-Garten, a brand well-known for its super-functional, no-nonsense garden products. These are also a good choice for precision work, but should serve you well with more repetitive tasks too. We like the shock-absorbing buffers on the handles, which are ergonomically designed and made of FSC-certified beech.
HSTL Traditional Hedge Shears
Black & Decker Pole Tree Pruner
This long-reach hedge tool packs more punch than the Bosch: it’s essentially an electric chainsaw on a long pole. If you’ve got branches that are both big and hard to reach, this is perfectly suited for the job. The saw can be switched on and off from the trigger on the pole section, which is 2.44m in length, and like the Bosch can be removed for when you need to work at closer quarters.
Pole Tree Pruner
£89.95, Black & Decker
Spear & Jackson Southern Counties Bill Hook
Somewhere between a machete and an axe, bill hooks are intended for use on saplings and small branches. Spear & Jackson is a brand that does lots of consultation with garden expects in the making of its item, so we reckon this one will be effective on hedges with both young and tougher, older growth. The blades, which measure at 25.5cm, are rust-resistant.
Southern Counties Bill Hook
£34.40, Spear & Jackson
Manufactum Hand Sickle
You might think sickles belong on farms – mostly from two or three hundred years ago, for that matter. But these millennia-old tools can actually prove fantastically useful in cutting out the stray growth at the bottom of hedges. We’re real fans of Manufactum, a store whose mission is to stock and sell products built to last, so we’re confident this hand-forged sickle is a wise addition to your toolshed.