If you’re buying an electric hedge trimmer, check the length of the cable that the product is supplied with. You may need an extension lead to reach the far end of the garden or to reach the top of your hedge.
The larger the gap between the teeth of the blade, the bigger the branch you can cut. If you have large thick hedges then it’s recommended that you buy a hedge trimmer with a larger blade gap. Note the blade gap doesn’t represent the thickness of the branch the hedge trimmer will cut. The power of the motor and density of the branch will have an effect.
If you have long or tall hedges you should consider buying a hedge trimmer with a longer blade. This will save time as you can cut more of the hedge in one go, and will provide your hedge with a much more even cut. An increased blade length will increase the overall weight of the hedge trimmer. If you are going to buy a hedge trimmer with a longer blade, check that it’s still comfortable and easy to use.
Blade quality and type
Cheap hedge trimmers normally only include a standard machine pressed steel blade. More expensive hedge trimmers have blades that are cut by lasers, making them much sharper, providing a much cleaner cut to the branches of your hedge. This helps make the hedge look neater and tidier.
When looking at the blade also consider whether it’s single or dual action. A dual action blade is best, as both the top and bottom blades will move at the same time when cutting, giving the hedge a cleaner cut. On a single action blade only the top blade will move. This will typically tear the leaves on the hedge providing a worse finish than a dual action hedge trimmer.
Some hedge trimmers are designed to have multiple handles allowing you to reach further up, or even over the hedge. These designs mean you don’t need a ladder to reach the higher up places of the hedge. The Flymo 600XT is a good example of this type of hedge trimmer. The disadvantage is that the top of the hedge cannot be cut without a ladder.
Adjustable or telescopic hedge trimmers take this principle one step further. These hedge trimmers allow you to change the length of the shaft. They typically reach lengths of up to 3 metres in height. The best telescopic hedge trimmers have pivoting trimmer heads which also allow you to cut the top of the hedge with ease.
Weight and balance
If possible you should try to hold the hedge trimmer before you buy it, as they come in a variety of weights and balances. What is best is down to your individual preference, but remember you will have to hold the hedge trimmer for long periods of time, so heavy machines are likely to tire you out quicker.