Best hedge trimmer 2022: top topiary tools for terrific trimming

Show that obstreperous hedge who’s boss with one of the best corded and cordless trimmers available in 2022

Included in this guide:

The best hedge trimmer hero image showing a man using a hedge trimmer to cut a hedge outdoors

As soon as summer gets a grip, hedges start sprouting new shoots and before you know it, they’ve covered half the pathway to your door, blotted out the sun on your patio and caused an argument with the neighbour. 

According to somewhere on the internet, hedges have been with us since the Neolithic Age, roughly 2,000 to 4,000 years BC. Mind, back then a hedge trimmer was probably just a piece of sharpened rock tied to a stick. Or maybe it was the jaw bone of a sabre toothed tiger attached to a cantilever system of some sort. Or perhaps… oh forget it.

Luckily for us modern types, today we have access to a fantastic array of power tools – both corded and cordless – that our ancestors could only dream of. Sleek machines that make the job of bossing obstreperous bushes much easier than using a simple pair of shears or an old jawbone.

But which is the best electric or cordless hedge trimmer for you? Fret not because we’ve gathered together a fine tranche of hedge clippers that perform the task of hedge trimmery with exemplary skill.

As with T3's best strimmer, best cordless lawn mower and best chainsaw buying guides, we've included the best hedge trimmers at a variety of price points here, making sure there is a top-rated model for every budget. 

We've also included some buying advice at the bottom of this article that we think will help you find the best hedge trimmer for your needs.

Since hedge trimming is such tiring work, why not treat yourself to some solid relaxation time once you've finished the job by lounging in one of the best hot tubs on the market.

The best hedge trimmers you can buy today in 2022

Cobra H50-24V hedge trimmer on a white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Cobra)

1. Cobra H50-24V

Best cordless hedge trimmer for urban use

Specifications
Power: 24V
Type: Cordless
Cutting size: 50cm
Telescopic: No
Swappable cutters: No
Weight: 2.6kg including battery
Reasons to buy
+
Long twin blade
+
Efficient hedge trimming
+
Two speeds for economy
Reasons to avoid
-
Fiddly blade cover

If you’re in the market for a keenly-priced cordless hedge trimmer with a decent cutting length (50cm) and excellent run time (up to 50 minutes) then pop this winner on the list.

The H50-24V comes with a 24v lithium ion battery and charger, plus a plastic sheath that may just be part of the packaging. Whatever, it’s a bugger to get back on once it’s off so you’re advised to store the trimmer carefully.

This is an excellent trimmer for head-height urban hedges. It’s easy to use and, like Cobra’s grass strimmer, it comes with two speeds: Eco for long-life use and Turbo for thicker branches up to about 1cm.

The Cobra feels good in the hand – the motor housing is really small and unobtrusive – and we really rate the battery-saving two speed option and the long two-sided cutting blade for effortless hedge trimming. It’s not too pricey either.

See how this model compares to a top rival in T3's Cobra H5024V vs Gtech HT 50 comparison feature.

Stihl HSA56 hedge trimmer on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

2. Stihl HSA 56

Best cordless hedge trimmer for long term reliability

Specifications
Power: 36V
Type: Cordless
Cutting size: 45cm
Telescopic: No
Swappable cutters: No
Weight: 3.7kg including battery
Reasons to buy
+
Great performance
+
Typical Stihl quality
Reasons to avoid
-
Blade is smaller than many
-
Included battery isn't Stihl's best

By their very nature, hedges are often found around the edges of gardens and other areas, which means they’re as far away from electrical sockets as you can get. Cordless hedge trimmers solve that problem as well as the safety issues of having a cable hanging out of an electric cutting tool. Nevertheless, as hedges can often be substantial in length and width you need to be sure the batteries are up to the job.

Stihl’s AK10 battery (included) runs for 40 minutes, and the optional AK20 and AK30 deliver 80 and 120 minutes respectively. Stihl is justifiably famous for its professional saws and other tools, and this is a typically safe and solid cutter with relatively low weight and low noise backed by Stihl’s usual high-end build quality.

Compare this hedge trimmer to a smart rival in T3's Stihl HSA 56 vs Bosch EasyHedgeCut 45 comparison feature.

Gtech HT 50 hedge trimmer on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

The Gtech HT 50 is a properly versatile hedge trimmer.

(Image credit: Gtech)

3. Gtech HT 50

The most versatile cordless hedge trimmer

Specifications
Power: 18V
Type: Cordless
Cutting size: 55cm
Telescopic: No
Swappable cutters: Yes – branch cutter attachment
Weight: 2.94kg including battery
Reasons to buy
+
Lightweight 
+
Long articulated extension arm
Reasons to avoid
-
Awkward to use in tight spaces
-
Slow charging

This extendable cordless hedge edger lets you trim without the need for a ladder; it has a reach of around 10 feet. For a cordless model, the Gtech HT 50 is light-ish at 2.94kgs and pretty well designed. It couldn’t be simpler to assemble as it’s comprised of just four parts: a blade housing, a control handle, a 90cm aluminium extension arm and a small, lightweight 18v Lithium-Ion battery.

It’s a shame you can’t remove the extension arm and use just the bladed end for waist- and eye-level trimming but at least the blade assembly can articulate through 135 degrees so it isn’t too tricky for low-level vertical work.

However, when it comes time to tackle the top of your unruly English Yew, this model is in its element, despite it being a bit top heavy. Simply angle the head at 90º and scythe. Its new uprated blade is tough enough to cut through branches up to a 2.5cm in diameter, which is damn good for a hedge trimmer. And when you come across a thicker branch of up 6cm in width, simply clip on the optional branch cutter. You should get an impressive 60 minutes of running time out of the battery but be prepared to wait up to four hours for it to charge.

See how this model compares to a top rival in T3's Cobra H5024V vs Gtech HT 50 comparison feature.

Bosch AHS 45-16 Electric Hedge Cutter on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

If you're shopping for a hedge trimmer on a budget then the Bosch AHS 45-16 is a great choice.

(Image credit: Bosch)

4. Bosch AHS 45-16 Electric Hedge Cutter

The best budget electric hedge trimmer

Specifications
Power: 420 watts
Length: 45cm
Weight: 2.6kg
Corded: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Affordable
+
Light and easy to handle
+
Premium Bosch brand
Reasons to avoid
-
Suboptimal for large hedges
-
Wired

This corded electric hedge trimmer from Bosch isn't the biggest or most powerful cutter on the market, but if you've got small to medium-sized amounts of hedging that need taming then it is a good and very affordable fit.

You get a 45cm blade length with 16mm tooth openings, and its cutting action is powered by a Bosch 420 W motor, so you can be sure that this thing will just run and run without mechanical issue. The motor is powered by mains electricity, though, so you're going to have to deal with the trimmer's wire during cutting sprees.

For light pruning and shaping, this trimmer will do the business, but if you need anything more substantial or industrial in terms of cutting power or blade length, then other trimmers in this list will be better suited. Regardless, for many people this will be an ideal fit because it’s affordable and capable.

Bosch Advanced Hedge Cut 70 hedge trimmer on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Bosch)

5. Bosch Advanced Hedge Cut 70

Best electric hedge trimmer for wider shrubberies

Specifications
Power: 700W
Type: corded
Cutting size: 70cm
Telescopic: No
Swappable cutters: No
Weight: 3.9kg
Reasons to buy
+
Huge blade
+
Powerful
Reasons to avoid
-
It's corded
-
Probably overkill for small hedges

Trimming really wide hedges can be a real pain, but the longer the cutting blade, the less of a pain they become. The Bosch Advanced Hedge Cut 70 is fairly light at 6.84kg but its cutting blade is an exceptionally long 70cm, with a tooth spacing of 34mm and a sawing function for branches that are too thick to fit between the teeth.

The 700W motor should make light work of even the toughest hedge, and that long reach means you don’t need to do ladder acrobatics to reach tricky bits. It is corded rather than cordless but then a decent Lithium Ion battery would have added a lot of weight and expense.

Black & Decker GTC3655PCLB hedge trimmer on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Black & Decker)

6. Black & Decker GTC3655PCLB-XJ

An excellent all-round cordless hedge trimmer

Specifications
Power: 36V
Type: Cordless
Cutting size: 55cm
Telescopic: No
Swappable cutters: No
Weight: 2.3kg
Reasons to buy
+
Heavy duty blades
+
Good for thicker hedges
+
Good running time 
Reasons to avoid
-
Not especially light 
-
Battery sold separately

This B&D cordless entry comes equipped with an amply long 55cm dual-action blade that snips through larger hedge branches up to 15mm thick with ease, thanks in part to the 22mm gap between each blade, the powerful 36v lithium battery (swappable with other B&D power gear) and Black & Decker’s E-drive technology.

Despite the lack of a telescopic arm, this is a great option for long periods of eye-level hedge trimming. Its battery provides around 50 minutes of use on a single 90-minute charge, it’s comfortable in the hand and, at 3.1kgs, it isn’t overly heavy for anyone with average sized biceps and deltoids.

This hedge trimmer has garnered a wealth of mostly very favourable reviews; the majority of users are thrilled with their purchase and love the way it tackles thicker hedging without slowing down.

Bosch ASB 108 LI Shrub Shear Set hedge trimmer on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

7. Bosch ASB 108 LI Shrub Shear Set

Best handheld trimmer

Specifications
Power: 10.8V
Type: cordless
Cutting size: 10-20cm
Telescopic: No
Swappable cutters: Yes
Weight: 900g
Reasons to buy
+
Very small
+
Very light
Reasons to avoid
-
Helpless for larger jobs
-
Expensive

There are quite a few small handheld hedge trimmers around – Bosch alone makes several different models, and lots of rivals do too – but we think this set offers the best combination of usefulness and flexibility. 

The 10.8V Lithium Ion battery runs for 100 minutes between charges (recharging takes about 3.5 hours), there’s a choice of a 10cm grass blade, 12cm shrub blade or 20cm shrub blade, and the tool-free blade switching couldn’t be simpler. 

The real draw here is the weight: at just 900g, you won’t end up with a bad case of Gorilla Arm after using it for protracted pruning. You wouldn’t want to prune a Victorian maze with it, that’s for sure, but for relatively titchy topiary it’s ideal.

Flymo Easicut 460 Hedge Trimmer on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Flymo)

8. Flymo Easicut 460 Hedge Trimmer

A compact and affordable hedge trimmer

Specifications
Power: 450W
Weight: 3.74kg
Blade length: 45cm
Blade gap: 19mm
Wired: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Affordable
+
Compact
Reasons to avoid
-
Wired
-
Short-ish cutting blade

Another affordable, corded, lightweight hedge trimmer, the Flymo Easicut 460 rings in for less than sixty notes and delivers a very comfortable and easy to use cutting system.

It's wired, so you'll have to deal with that when it’s in use (think how far your hedges are away from a power source because you may need an extension cable with this model), and 45cm isn't the longest blade length, but for most light-to-medium use it's got the power and reach necessary.

How to buy the best hedge trimmer for you

The best hedge trimmer really depends on the hedge you have, and your own personal preferences: good luck trimming hundreds of yards of ancient hedgerow with a pair of manual shears. 

There are hedge trimmers that extend to save you leaning on ladders, trimmers that turn into chainsaws for really thick branches and trimmers with swappable heads for different kinds of work. 

As with most power tools, the main choice is corded or cordless: a battery-powered devices’ running time is of course limited by their battery, but corded trimmers run the risk of accidentally cutting the power cable and possibly being too far away from a mains source. Which reminds us – always put an RCD on the plug your power tool’s connected to. 

It’s worth mentioning that the RSPB would prefer that we didn’t cut some kinds of hedges between March and August. That’s because some birds nest in hedges, so for example in Scotland gardeners have been asked to keep their clippers in the garage until sparrows have fled their nests. Good call.

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version. He now writes for T3.