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.
And while it's easy and satisfying to get in there with your favourite garden hand tools, most gardeners who have hedges to maintain are likely to benefit from an automated trimmer or cutter, which are either petrol-powered or, more commonly these days, 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 trimming your hedges into fine forms and topiary then you’ll require something that's light and easy to finely control.
Fortunately, you’ll find all these options in our list below, where we’ve picked our eight favourite powered 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
Bosch Cordless Hedge Cutter UniversalHedgeCut
Bosch's Universal range is a freshly revamped set of gardening tools that use the same compact but powerful battery power source. If your needs are pretty simple – lighter, close-to-ground-level growth of an established hedge or bush, within easy reach – then this is the simple tool you need to keep your garden in check.
Being cordless you can swing its double-sided blade around with confidence as there's no power cable to sever and no risk of any electric shocks. It's a lighter less powerful to some of the corded and petrol options here and it's lithium-ion battery (shared by all of Bosch's garden tools) will run for up to 55 minutes before requiring a recharge.
Bosch Universal Hedgepole 18
If you’ve got extra-high hedges to cut, but you want to avoid the general headache and hazards of setting up a ladder in your garden, then a longer-reach hedge cutter is definitely a smart investment.
They're basically cordless hedge trimmers on a long, adjustable pole. You hold it at one end – with a trigger grip for simple on and off – while the other end takes care of the cutting while you support it with the supplied shoulder strap.
This model from the ever-reliable Bosch will give you a reach of up to 2.6m and – as an added bonus – can also be removed from its extension pole and be used at a shorter, closer range too. The blade length is a healthy (and not too heavy) 43cm.
Long-reach cutters can often be a little unwieldy at first, but at just 3.6kg, this one is surprisingly wieldable.
Ryobi ONE+ 18V RPT184520 Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer
We're big fans of Ryobi's ONE+ system which features tools for every job – cutters, mowers, drills, car polishers and more – that all share the same battery and charger system. That means significant savings in the long run as your able to have a single charger and you're choice of number of batteries rather than spending on chargers and batteries for every cordless tool.
Of course – with over 150 different ONE+ tools available – there's a cordless pole hedge trimmer in the range. There's 45cm long diamond ground blades, a lengthy extension of up to 2.9m meaning you can snip even the tallest of hedges and four adjustable angles at the business end so you can tilt the head to cut horizontally – ideal for levelling the top of your hedges – while you stay safely on the ground below.
Ryobi RY18HT55A-0 18V ONE+ Cordless 55cm Hedge Trimmer
Another member of Ryobi's ONE + range – so sharing the same battery and charger – is this 55cm Hedge Trimmer. If you've not the need for a pole and can get away with working up close then this cordless model is safe, quick and easy, and with those 55cm blades will get the job done with less sweeps and less effort.
With familiar reciprocating blades the Ryobi goes one futher offering a larger 24mm blade gap meaning that's it's better suited for cutting through thicker and tougher stems. Just the job for reigning in the likes of hawthorn or chopping a smokebush down to size.
Special mention to the 'hedge sweep' attachment to the blade that give it a larger, flatter surface that's perfect for accurately skimming the surface of your hedges ensuring that the cuttings slip from the blade and fall to the floor (rather than remaining in the bush) and you get a seamless, smooth, no-bumps finish.
Makita UH6580/2 240V 65cm Electric Hedge Trimmer
While Makita do of course have their own cordless models of hedge trimmer that use their own shared battery system across the range (see their here) we're going for something simpler, more powerful and more capable from their range.
This no fuss corded cutter means you can cut all day long without fear of a recharge or refuel while the extra-long 65cm long blades help get the job done fast. (There's even a 75cm version too if you need more.) If you can bear to plug in and work on a wire then the all-in-one, ready-to-go Makita is great value, requiring no extra battery or fuel purchase.
Special mention to the clever multiple gripping points so you can comfortably hold the machine with the blade horizontally or vertically, close-up or at full stretch, meaning that every part of your hedge can feel the benefit in both safety and comfort.
GARDENA Battery Telescopic Hedge Trimmer THS 42/18 V P4A
Another powerful, no-fuss corded option comes in the shape of top brand Gardena whose THS 550 has the power and skills to get the job done in style.
Firstly it has a 500W motor teamed to a compact, easily-weildable 42cm cutting head. That means that it can safely sever stems and branches with a blade opening of 25mm. Of course the cutting head is mounted on a pole – with an adjustable head meaning you can set the perfect cutting angle for working safely without any contortions or manoevers – with this model going the extra mile, extending to a full 3m in length.
In the hands of a six foot user, therefore, that's around 18ft of cutting reach.
It uses Gardena's own bespoke battery and charger (available separately) but if you've already bought into their system then you can use the same battery and charger here.
Mountfield MHT 2322 Petrol Hedge Trimmer
If you’re searching for an all-purpose hedge trimmer that's up to the particularly tough jobs, the Mountfield MHJ2322 is an excellent choice. Powered by a two-stroke petrol engine – and therefore not for consideration if you're cutting down on your fossil fuel usage – you can at least be sure this will make short work of any and every unruly trimming task.
It features long reciprocating blades that work back and forth against each other like multiple sets of scissors so it's deft for finely trimming leaves but has the power to cut through thicker stems and smaller branches too.
The blades are a lengthy 70cm meaning that you clip more hedge with each pass and the cutter is double-sided meaning you're cutting both on the up and downstroke. There's even a pair of goggles included and a two-year warranty.
Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest home and entertainment brands in the world. He is a serial house-renovator and home improvement expert, taking on everything from interior design and DIY to landscape gardening and garden design.
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