Every gardener knows that regular mowing is an important part of everyday horticulture and that failure to do so will leave your grass untidy, unruly and unpleasant to look at. It’s odd, then, that many people seem not to realize that hedge maintenance is equally important.
Without trimming and pruning hedgerows, shrubs and bushes on a regular basis they will grow rapidly and leave your garden a mess. Leave it long enough and the inexorable creep of your hedges will shrink your garden, leaving you less green space to enjoy, and potentially cause unpleasant spats with neighbors unhappy about your cypresses intruding upon their property. As such a hedge trimmer is just as essential as a lawnmower for any homeowner with shrubs and hedgerows in their garden.
But with so many different models available it can be hard to know where to start when investing in a hedge trimmer. That’s why we’ve made this brief introduction to the wonderful world of hedge maintenance, offering a brief overview of some of the considerations to keep in mind and some recommendations for machines that might suit your needs.
Corded, Battery-Powered & Petrol Hedgetrimmers
One of the most important things to keep in mind when buying a hedge trimmer is the power source, as different types of hedge trimmers are suitable for different applications. The three main kinds are corded electric, cordless battery-powered and petrol hedge trimmers, each of which will suit the needs of different users.
- Corded Electric Hedgetrimmers
Corded hedge trimmers are generally best suited to use in smaller gardens because they require access to a mains power source. Nevertheless, these machines are typically easy to use, lightweight and relatively inexpensive so make great tools for inexperienced users. Freedom from exhaust fumes, excessive noise and service requirements of a petrol machine is another reason that corded hedge trimmers are increasingly popular.
Cable length is an important factor here, so be sure to check that your machine is suitably equipped for the size of your garden. You’ll also want to invest in a residual-current circuit breaker (RCCB) to prevent accidents should you accidentally cut through the power cable.
Battery-powered hedge trimmers offer the same clean, quiet and convenient operation as corded trimmers but with added freedom to roam in larger or complicated gardens. This makes them ideal for the majority of domestic hedge maintenance work, with modern lithium-ion batteries ensuring enough run time for uninterrupted cutting and cutting performance which can sometimes match that of a petrol machine. Remember to check the average run time of the machine you a buying before making a purchase though, as there are few things more frustrating than having to stop and recharge your batteries with half of the garden still untrimmed!
Petrol hedge trimmers are typically reserved for the largest gardens and professional applications, chiefly because they provide significant cutting power and complete freedom to work when away from a power source. This makes them perfect for use on the largest properties and on scrubland, which is often where the most challenging cutting work takes place.
However, petrol hedge trimmers are also heavier, noisier and produce more emissions than electric machines. They also require more maintenance and can be more expensive to run, while refuelling can sometimes be a fiddly process. These machines are therefore not usually recommended for inexperienced users.
If you do decide to invest in one of these powerful machines, however, you are pretty much spoilt for choice. You will want to get a machine suited to the cutting work you will be doing, so for general hedge maintenance a hedgetrimmer like Sorako Cordless Hedge Trimmer will do the job nicely, with its 18 inch reciprocating double-blade offering plenty of cutting power while remaining manoeuvrable. For tougher commercial hedge maintenance, on the other hand, a machine with a longer blade, like the 75cm tempered steel number boasted by Efco’s TG 2800 XP, will allow you to handle even the heaviest workloads with ease.