Cordless technology has revolutionised most areas of gardening, as is evidenced in T3's best hedge trimmers buying guide, whether it’s mowing the lawn, trimming edges, pruning or, in the case of this comparison, hedge trimming. Of course, if you have time on your hands and prefer to manually trim a hedge with an old-fashioned pair of shears, be sure to check out our comparison feature on the Niwaki Shears and Burgon & Ball Sophie Conran Hedge Shear. But if you’d rather not be arsed with waving your arms around like an airport marshaller, a cordless, battery-powered hedge trimmer might just be up your garden path.
We have two great models here for your perusal but which one is the best for your needs? Is it the budget-priced Cobra H5024V or the new, fancy-pantsy Gtech HT 50? Let’s not beat about the bush, let’s trim the damn the thing.
Cobra H5024V vs Gtech HT 50: design
Cobra is a highly reliable garden tool brand of which this writer is a big fan, especially its lawnmowers. But then again, I’m also a massive fan of Gtech and its eclectic range of cordless gear for both garden and home. This is going to be difficult.
At around £80 with battery, the Cobra H5024V is excellent value for a garden product that will only be used periodically during the summer months. Its 2.6kg weight is about par for the course for a cordless hedge shearer. Yes, it’s a load heavier than a manual pair of shears but then it’ll perform the task of trimming an entire hedge about 10 times faster.
By contrast, the super-slim Gtech HT 50 weighs in at 2.94kgs. However, the Gtech is also a lot longer because it’s designed to be used mostly without the need for a ladder, but more on that below.
In terms of blade lengths, the Cobra’s clocks in at 50cm and the Gtech at 55cm, and both blades are of the double-sided variety for utmost efficiency. However, as briefly mentioned above, the Gtech HT 50 is quite radically different in design to the Cobra – and almost every other cordless hedge clipper on the market.
Instead of the Cobra’s simple design with handle-cum-motor on one end and the blade on the other, the Gtech measures a whopping two metres from tip to toe and includes a long length of aluminium tube between the handle and blade. Furthermore, the whole blade housing rotates through 135°. This means you can use it in flat form like any electric hedge trimmer – good for doing the sides – and angle it at 90˚ to scythe the top of the hedge without having to get on a ladder. For thicker branches, Gtech also provides an optional branch cutter attachment (around £25).
Both of these models ship with battery and charger. The Cobra’s battery is rated at 24v and the Gtech at 18v. That said, I’ve never bothered about voltage before and can’t remember any product under performing because it had a lower voltage. But maybe that’s just me. The Cobra’s battery has a running time of around 50 minutes while the Gtech provides up to five minutes more power, which is neither here nor there. However, the Gtech takes up to four hours to fully charge, two hours more than the Cobra.
Both models feel comfy in the hand though the Gtech does feel more unwieldy, especially in confined spaces. But I’ll get to that in the next chapter.
Cobra H5024V vs Gtech HT 50: performance
No question, modern hedge trimmers are staggeringly efficient at performing the task they were designed for. Both of these models will remove several inches of outer hedging before the stalks become too thick for their blades to handle, and that’s all you need from a hedge trimmer. Any deeper, and you may as well put a chainsaw to it.
I personally found the Cobra easier to use but only because my hedge isn’t very tall and there are a few other bushes around it so access isn’t that great. I struggled to find a happy medium with the Gtech in such tight confines and wished I could remove the long tube and plug the handle section directly into the blade and motor housing instead. This would have made for a much more compact system for my smaller hedge and tighter working area.
That being said, the Gtech was ostensibly designed for gardens with long swathes of tall hedging and for those type of conditions, I can’t think of a more suitable model on the market.
Cobra H5024V vs Gtech HT 50: verdict
If you only have a small amount of hedging, say a front-of-house divide between you and the neighbours, then the Cobra H5024V is definitely the best option. It feels compact in the hand, it cuts competently with very little snagging, it’s keenly priced and it features two speeds: Eco for long-life use and Turbo for thicker branches up to about 1cm. But if hedges make up most of your back garden’s boundaries, then the Gtech HT 50 is clearly the hedge trimmer for you. It’s exceedingly efficient and the long-reach, multi-angle head can be considered a major bonus when trimming hedge tops to expert topiary standards.