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 jawbone 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 2023
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Worx garden products have really impressed this writer and not just because every product I’ve tested of theirs performs the task it was made for, but also because I’m fond of the company’s product designs. Granted, branding and looks shouldn’t play a part in choosing garden gear, but every time I see a WORX product I just want to get my hands on it (witness the company’s LeafJet blower or Landroid M500 robot mower). In the pantheon of garden products, their stuff screams ‘buy me’.
Take this cordless hedge trimmer for instance. Yes, it’s just a boring hedge trimmer, but that orange and black paintwork makes it stand out from the masses. It also makes it stand out from my other 17 hedge trimmers when rummaging around in the shed. It looks robust, too.
But I digress. The WORX is equipped with a 45cm dual-action blade that snips through hedging like a madman with a machete, only more neatly. It will also cut through branches up to 1.6cm without jamming. What’s more, it’s not too heavy in the hand and it’s comfortable to use, whether it’s trimming the top or the sides. This model doesn’t ship with a battery so grab yourself a 20v PowerShare battery at checkout – they are available in several variants, from 2.0 amps to a whopping 6 amps. Yes, the blade cover is tricky to remove but that seems to be the case with most hedge trimmers. Thankfully it eases over time.
If you want a no-nonsense 45cm cordless hedge trimmer that looks good and works well, waltz right this way.
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.
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.
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 very capable.
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.
Bag the best price with one of our Gtech discount codes.
See how this model compares to a top rival in T3's Cobra H5024V vs Gtech HT 50 comparison feature.
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.
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.
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.
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 3.6V Lithium Ion battery runs for 40 minutes between charges (recharging takes about 3.5 hours), there’s a choice of an 8cm grass blade and 12cm shrub blade, and the tool-free blade switching couldn’t be simpler.
The real draw here is the weight: at just 530g 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.
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.