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Sixteen of the best hedge trimmers

Our experts pick 16 of the best garden hedge trimmers

Hedges are a classic garden feature. They’re a beautiful way to mark a boundary that avoids the blandness of garden fences and these living walls can dampen noise pollution, soak up groundwater, and provide a windbreak. Hedgerows are also a vital habitat for British wildlife, providing both food and shelter, so proper maintenance is an ecological as well as aesthetic necessity.

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We researched the most popular hedge trimmers on the market and rigorously tested them to bring you our list of the 15 best hedge trimmers, including cordless and petrol.

Each model has a detailed list of pros and cons for clarity and has been rated according to set up and storage, handling and performance, quality and features and value for money. Every hedge trimmer in the list below has scored a minimum of four out of five stars, so you can be assured of their quality and performance.

Looking to expand your range of cordless tools? Check out our round up of the 12 best cordless mowers and our buyers guide to cordless multi-tool systems.

Avoid disturbing nesting birds

Before cutting your hedge it’s important to avoid the main breeding season for garden birds, between March and August. Always check for nests before trimming, even outside these months, as it’s an offence under law to intentionally damage or destroy active bird nests.

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Buyer’s guide to hedge trimmers:

Many thanks to Rosie Yeomans and Sparsholt College for their help in making this video.


How to choose the best hedge trimmer

Types of hedge trimmers

There are three types of hedge trimmer available, each with their own pros and cons:

  • Cordless hedge trimmers: These are lightweight, quiet, environmentally friendly and have no need of petrol, engine maintenance or electricity plus there are no trailing cables to worry about. Expensive batteries and chargers however, can increase costs.
  • Electric hedge trimmers: Affordable, low maintenance and lightweight these trimmers do require a power source and have cables that are potentially hazardous.
  • Petrol hedge trimmers: These are powerful and, like cordless versions, can be used anywhere. However, petrol has an environmental impact, is expensive and messy and trimmers are heavy, noisy and require regular maintenance.

What to consider when buying a hedge trimmer

While corded and petrol trimmers are powerful, they have their drawbacks. Corded hedge trimmers often need extension cords, and watching out for the power cord can be frustrating and potentially dangerous. Petrol hedge trimmers don’t have the irritation of a cord, but do have the added inconvenience of buying petrol, which is also smelly and a pollutant. They’re loud, expensive, and require a temperamental pull start.

Cordless hedge trimmers avoid all these problems. You just add a battery pack and you’re good to go. Without the cord or a petrol tank, you aren’t limited to where you can cut and these trimmers are also a lot lighter and quieter. Traditionally, these were pretty pricey, but recent advances have lowered their price.

Read our best cordless tools buyer’s guide for more information on cordless tool systems.


Best hedge trimmers to buy at a glance


Thirteen of the best cordless hedge trimmers on test

1

Ryobi ONE+ OHT1845 Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Ryobi ONE+ OHT1845 hedge trimmer review from BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Ryobi ONE+ OHT1845 hedge trimmer review from BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

Pros:

  • Quite light yet efficient
  • Compact, lightweight battery
  • Long warranty
  • Stout blade guard

Cons:

  • Power indicator hard to view

For its compact size, this hedge trimmer offers a surprisingly impressive performance and trims different materials well.  The blade guard is sturdy and feels built to last although the power indicator on the battery is difficult to view. The tool is lighter than previous Ryobi models and is ideal for sculpting hedges and shrubs. The battery and charger come at an additional cost but can be used for other tools in the Ryobi ONE+ System, making it a money-saver in the long term. We judged this a Best Buy for a lower-voltage cordless trimmer.

Read the full Ryobi ONE+ OHT1845 hedge trimmer review


2

Stihl HSA 56 Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Stihl HSA 56 hedge trimmer review from BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Stihl HSA 56 hedge trimmer review from BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

Pros:

  • Efficient, wide blade
  • Blade tip protector and stout guard
  • Hanging storage facility
  • Top-loading battery

Cons:

  • Instructions generic so not very clear

This efficient cordless hedge trimmer earned itself a spot on the this list as it can cope well with even mature, woody growth. The tool is quiet, comfortable to use and has safety features like a neutral locking position and a tip protector over the blade. The blade guard also feels sturdy and built to last although the instructions let it down. The trimmer comes with generic instructions which aren’t as clear as those for other hedge trimmers we tested.

Read the full Stihl HSA 56 hedge trimmer review


3

Vonhaus 20V Max G-Series Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Vonhaus G-series Cordless Hedge Trimmer - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Vonhaus 20V Max G-series Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Pros:

  • Excellent performance
  • Good value
  • Lightweight
  • Long runtime

Cons:

  • Small handguard

This trimmer is very easy to use. It’s well balanced and light, with little vibration as it cuts through all but the thickest branches. We are also impressed with its runtime of 50 minutes, one of the longest on test. It’s fantastic value for money; not only does it offer great performance at a reasonable price, but its battery is also compatible with other Vonhaus G-Series tools. Its only drawback is that the handguard is a little small.


4

Einhell GE-CH 1846 Li Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Einhell GE-CH 1846 Li cordless hedge trimmer

Best for charging and run times

Pros:

  • Battery charge level visible
  • Fast charge time
  • Long run time

Cons:

  • Narrow cutting capacity
  • Short blade

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for best charging and run times this efficient trimmer has a steel blade with a cutting length of 46cm and a 15mm cutting capacity. It has tip protection and a hanging hole on the end and it cuts well. The 18V 2.0Ah battery has by far the shortest charge time, 40 minutes, and longest run time, 80 minutes, in our test. The charge is visible, while you work and both battery and fast charger are compatible with a wide range of Einhell Power X-Change tools. It comes with a two year warranty.

Read the full Einhell GE-CH 1846 Li cordless hedge trimmer kit review


5

Stiga SHT 100 AE Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Stiga SHT 100 AE cordless hedge trimmer

Best for ease of use

Pros:

  • Soft comfortable handle
  • Handle rotates into three positions
  • Quiet
  • Battery charge level visible

Cons:

  • Snags on some wood
  • Blade cover tricky to fit

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for ease of use it comes with a two-year warranty. This versatile trimmer has a hardened steel blade with a cutting length of 55cm and a cutting capacity of 18mm. It’s great value with generous features including a hanging hole for easy storage, visible battery charge while you work and a comfortable, soft-grip handle that rotates 180° for easy cutting. Part of the Stiga 100 battery tool range, so you’ll save money if you buy further tools in the future, the 20V 2.0Ah battery has a charge time of 70 minutes and a run time of 40 minute.

Read the full Stiga SHT 100 AE cordless hedge trimmer kit review

Buy the Stiga SHT 100 AE cordless hedge trimmer on Mowers Online


6

Greenworks G40HT61K2 Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Greenworks G40HT61K2 hedge trimmer review from BBC Gardeners' World Magazine

Greenworks G40HT61K2 hedge trimmer

Pros:

  • Light, easy to use and quiet
  • Long for size and weight
  • Blade tip protector and hanging facility
  • Stout, sleeve-type blade guard

Cons:

  • Poorer cut quality on woody stems
  • Battery indicator hard to see

A fast and efficient trimmer which is lightweight and easy to use, particularly over head or at shoulder-height. The jam function prevents the blade clogging while 20mm tooth spacing allows it to cut through woodier growth. The handle rotates to three different positions for easy handling, although the hand guard does feel a little thin. We awarded this product Best Buy status as we judged it to be the best cordless hedge trimmer we tried. Both the battery and charger can be used with other tools in the same range if you decide to expand your kit.

Read the full Greenworks G40HT61K2 hedge trimmer review


7

Worx WG261E.1 Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Worx WG261E.1 Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Pros:

  • Spare battery
  • Comfortable handle
  • Cuts smoothly and easily

Cons:

  • Long charge time
  • Fiddly handguard attachment
  • No battery level visible

The handguard needs attaching on this trimmer, which is a bit of a faff and wasn’t necessary with all but two of the other trimmers we tested, we liked that it’s clear and you can see where you’re cutting. A generous handle means it’s comfortable to use, and it has a 45cm long blade with a 16mm cutting capacity and tip protection. It takes a relatively long time to charge – 230 minutes – and although the run time of just 20 minutes is very short it comes with two batteries, so if you’re organised and keep the second battery charged, you can get 40 minutes continuous use. The batteries and charger are part of the Max Worx PowerShare system so you’ll save money if you invest in further tools. It’s worth noting it doesn’t have a battery level indicator, which we found unhelpful. It comes with a 3 year warranty.


8

Makita DUH551Z Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Makita DUH551Z hedge trimmer review from BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Makita DUH551Z hedge trimmer

Pros:

  • Versatile, with six cutting speeds
  • Powerful and efficient
  • 5-position handle
  • Safety features
  • Tip protector and stout blade guard

Cons:

  • Relatively heavy

This cordless trimmer is a powerful tool which has lots of handy features including a lock/unlock switch, a tool protection system and a tip protector for the blade. A speed control dial activates six different cutting speeds while the handle rotates into five different positions making it a very versatile trimmer. Although heavier than other models, it offers a powerful and efficient cut and, if registered, comes with a three-year warranty.

Read the full Makita DUH551Z hedge trimmer review


9

Mountfield MHT 20 Li Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

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Mountfield MHT 20 Li Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Pros:

  • Battery charge visible
  • Light
  • Comfortable and simple to use

Cons:

  • Struggles with thicker wood
  • Lacks features for price

Part of the Mountfield Freedom 100 cordless range, this cordless hedge trimmer has a hardened steel, laser cut blade with a cutting length of 55cm and a cutting capacity of 18mm. It has tip protection and a hanging hole at the end of the blade. The 20V 2Ah battery takes 70 minutes to charge to full power and has a run time of 40 minutes and the charge is visible, at a touch of a button, while you work. The trimmer is light and easy to use and cuts most wood smoothly although compared to other trimmers in our test, particularly the Stiga, with which it shares a battery system, although it lacks features for the price.


10

B&Q TRIM EZ 18V Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

B&Q Trim-EZ 18V 460mm Cordless Hedge Trimmer - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
B&Q Trim-EZ 18V 460mm Cordless Hedge trimmer

Pros:

  • Excellent price
  • Lightweight, yet cuts well

Cons:

  • Long charge time and short run time
  • Flimsy and feels cheap
  • No battery level visible

For a budget trimmer, try this lightweight model. It delivers an excellent cut, one of the best on test. It went through almost all branches with no resistance. It’s quick, effective, and great value for money. However, though it does the job, it feels a little flimsy, and with just 1.5Ah, its battery has the shortest runtime on test – about 15 minutes depending on the task.


11

Stihl HSA 45 Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

2048-1365-gw-cordless-hedge-trimmers-Stihl-HSA-45
Stihl HSA 45

Pros:

  • Great safety features
  • Battery level clearly visible
  • Very quiet
  • Well balanced

Cons:

  • Whole trimmer needs charging
  • Long charge time
  • Narrow 8mm cutting capacity

If safety is a consideration, this is the model for you thanks to the combination of a removable activation key and three switches to start it up. Featuring a double-sided blade with tip protection, it has a 50cm long, 8mm cutting capacity, which is the smallest of all the trimmers we tested. While the 18V 2.0Ah battery has a relatively slow 210 minutes charge time, and a 40-minute run time, there’s a battery level indicator on the side of the trimmer so you can always see how much charge you have left. However, the battery is integrated into the casing, so you must plug in the entire tool to charge it, and you won’t benefit from using the battery in other tools. We like the useful hanging hole for easy storage and it comes with a 2 year warranty.


12

Bosch EasyHedgeCut 18-45 Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4 out of 5

2048-1365-gw-cordless-hedge-trimmers-Bosch-Bosch-Easyhedgecut-12V-450mm
Bosch EasyHedgeCut 18-45

Pros:

  • Light and well balanced
  • Cuts cleanly
  • Battery system includes garden and DIY tools

Cons:

  • Long charge time
  • Uncomfortable handle/grip position
  • Battery level not visible
  • No hanging hole

This trimmer has a 45cm long blade , and comes with a 18V 2Ah battery. While it has an above average run time of 50 minutes, the charge time can take around 124 minutes, which is among the longest of the models we tested. This, together with the handle design, which we found to be awkward and uncomfortable to grip. However, it’s part of the Bosch Power For All 18V Alliance system, which powers around 40 Bosch home, garden and household tools so this may be something to bear in mind. We liked that it features blade sensors to prevent snagging and it has a decent cutting capacity of 15mm. It comes with a 2 year warranty.


13

Kärcher HGE 18-45 Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4 out of 5

2048-1365-gw-cordless-hedge-trimmers-Kärcher-HGE-18-45
Kärcher HGE 18-45

Pros:

  • Great value
  • LCD battery display
  • Excellent performance

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Short runtime
  • Expensive

We loved the performance of this trimmer from Kärcher. Unlike other trimmers on test, this model has an LCD battery display, which lets you see precisely how long you have left to cut. We’re also impressed with the value of this model, because its battery is compatible with 16 other Kärcher tools, including mowers, grass trimmers, and chainsaws. However, it’s quite heavy, and we found that the skin of your fingers could easily catch between the ‘dead man’ switch and handle. Though we love the helpful screen on the battery, its 35 minute runtime is below average.


Three of the best petrol hedge trimmers on test

14

Husqvarna 122HD60 Petrol Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Husqvarna 122HD60 hedge trimmer product review from the experts at BBC Gardeners' World Magazine

Husqvarna 122HD60 Petrol Hedge Trimmer

Pros:

  • Powerful with a brushless motor
  • Rigid guard with hanging option
  • Fast, efficient cut
  • 3-position handle
  • Lowest noise level of the petrol models

Cons:

  • Highest price petrol model(in our 2018 test)

This hedge trimmer is compact and light but still delivers a powerful and efficient cut. The rotating handle makes awkward angles easier and the anti-vibration system means it’s comfortable to manoeuvre. The tool is quiet, so there’s minimum disruption for your neighbours, and would be best for high hedging and large shrubs. There is also a two-year warranty on the product and we rated this a Best Buy for a premium petrol tool.

Read the full Husqvarna 122HD60 hedge trimmer review


15

Webb HC600 Petrol Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Webb HC600 hedge trimmer review from BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Webb HC600 Petrol Hedge Trimmer

Pros:

  • 5-position rotating handle
  • Widest tooth spacing
  • Tip guard
  • Easy to start
  • Handles and cuts well

Cons:

  • dB rating (117) higher than others in our test

An easy-to-start model with a five-position rotating handle.  This is a versatile trimmer which suits most sized and shaped hedges while the wide tooth spaces make it tough on wider, mature stems. The tool is heavy but felt well-balanced to hold and cut powerfully through hedges. A well-placed tip guard protects the blade and it comes with a two year warranty, making this product great value for money. We judged this a best buy in the well-priced category as the best petrol hedge trimmer.

Read the full Webb HC600 hedge trimmer review


16

Mitox 600DX Petrol Hedge Trimmer

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mitox 600DX hedge trimmer product review from BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Mitox 600DX Petrol Hedge Trimmer

Pros:

  • Longest warranty in our test
  • Anti-vibration system
  • 4-point rotating handle
  • Cuts efficiently

Cons:

  • Hard to start
  • Thin plastic guard

The Mitox model is a heavier petrol-powered trimmer. Despite the weight, it’s well-balanced and has a handy rotating handle and anti-vibration system to help make handling comfortable. The trimmer was harder to start than other models we tested and the plastic hand guard felt quite flimsy, although it does come with a generous five-year warranty. The long blade is great for tall hedges and offered an almost professional cut.

Read the full Mitox 600DX hedge trimmer review


How we tested hedge trimmers

To see how well budget cordless hedge trimmers perform, the GW reviews team tested 12 models across a range of hedges with different stem thicknesses, including privet, yew and laurel. The hedge trimmers were compared, and the following criteria used to calculate the scores, with equal weight given to each:

Set-up & storage
We looked at the assembly needed, ease and clarity of instructions, the battery charge time and any storage features.

Handling
We assessed ease of use, weight, noise levels, comfort and safety features.

Performance
Here we focused on the quality of cut, blade length, the maximum stem thickness it can cut and run time.

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Value for money
We considered all of the above, plus quality and design, the RRP including battery and charger, and the length of warranty.