The 5 Best Pole Hedge Trimmers
Hedge-trimming is one of those regular chores that you cannot afford to let slip. If you let a hedge get away from you, it can be a nightmare to get under control again.
For bigger hedges, an extension pole is a great way to save yourself some labor. You can often ditch the ladder altogether, there is less need to stretch and strain your muscles, and you can get two hands on the job.
This article takes a look at some of the best pole hedge trimmers available at the moment.
Powerful, professional-grade pole trimmers can cost up to $500 but are capable of tackling large areas of brush and other weeds, as well as hedges.
Slower but very useful products for the average homeowner can be found for less than $100.
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Gas, Electric, or Cordless?
Most pros will choose a gas-powered hedge trimmer, but for many homeowners, a cordless or old fashioned electric machine will be enough.
Cordless trimmers can be used anywhere and are a good choice on a larger property where running cables is a nuisance. The lithium-ion battery models have plenty of power and most will run for nearly an hour on a single charge. If you have a spare battery you can work all day, as long as you remember to keep one battery in the charger at all times.
Electric hedge trimmers are usually lighter and cheaper; you just have to learn to live with that cord getting tangled!
Best Cordless Hedge Trimmers
GreenWorks 40V (Cordless)
The GreenWorks 22272 G-MAX is a very powerful cordless trimmer. It has a twenty-inch blade that can cut branches up to 5/8". That means you have no need to resort to a saw very often. It will slice straight through some serious timber!
The head is adjustable, which makes switching from cutting the top of a hedge to the sides as easy as pie.
On the downside, the 40V power comes at a price, and you can expect to pay over $500 for this beast. It is also pretty heavy at around 8 lbs.
On the plus side, this machine will tackle tough brush as well as hedges.
Black & Decker Pole Trimmer
The Black & Decker LPHT120 cordless is a versatile machine that is ideal for smaller hedges.
It is not the most powerful cordless on the market (for power, check out the Greenworks monster above) but it is a good value and very popular with users.
It is forty-five inches long and weighs about 8 lbs. There is a two-year warranty, which is a good sign: Obviously, not too many get sent back.
Best Electric Hedge Trimmers
If your hedge is near a power outlet, a corded trimmer may be the best choice.
Earthwise 18-Inch, Corded
The Earthwise 18-Inch 2-in-1 can be used as a conventional trimmer for the lower parts of the hedge, and then, with the (very sturdy) fiberglass extension pole slipped into place, it gives good reach for the top of your hedges. A 12-foot hedge should be no problem.
It is corded, of course, so you will need a long power extender. The pay-off is no batteries to charge or gas engine to maintain.
The rotating head gives you a choice of five positions, so there should never be an issue of not getting the cutting angle you need.
At around $90, this is a bargain.
Black & Decker HedgeHog Hedge Trimmer
Okay, this is not a pole hedge trimmer, but the 2-foot blade on Black & Decker's HedgeHog Hedge Trimmer gives you serious reach, and it is ideal for taller people with medium-sized hedges.
It is powerful, inexpensive, and almost everyone who buys one gives it a great review. The two-foot blade means that most people can trim a five-foot hedge from the ground except, of course, for the top. To trim the top, you are back to that annoying ladder.
Pro Gas-Powered Pole Trimmers
The extra power you get from gas makes for a versatile tool. Light brush and weeds can be controlled with one of these machines as well as delivering the fastest hedge trimming around.
I couldn't resist the video below. It is not quite this quick in real life, of course.
Bear in mind:
Gas-powered machines are very powerful which is great for speed of working but they can be dangerous. They are only recommended for strong, fit people, with experience of this kind of machinery.
Husky Gas Powered Long Reach Hedge Trimmer
The Husqvarna 327HE4X is a powerful machine with a 25cc engine that can cope with a tall hedge.
Modern engines are much easier to start and maintain than engines from a decade ago, but you will still need to carry out basic care. You might need to study its maintenance requirements if you are an absolute beginner. The video at the bottom of the page gives some good insight into the kinds of issues that can arise.
Husky trimmers can be found on the Husqvarna website, if you do not have a local seller.
ECHO SHC-266 at Home Depot
Home Depot has a very capable gas pole hedge trimmer for well under $500. It has a fifty-inch shaft and a twenty-inch blade.
The 25cc engine is very powerful, but the vibration-reduction features make it comfortable to use.
It is a pretty basic model for professional use with a straight shaft and a cutting head that does not adjust. There is no shoulder strap, so you will need strong arms.
It comes with a very generous five-year warranty.
Now we are getting to the big boys. This is the kind of tool you would rent for around $40 a day, but these machines are quick, and that forty dollars could save you a lot of time. They not only trim hedges but tackle groundcover too, slicing through stems and branches up to 3/4" thick.
The 25cc two-stroke engine is a low-emission model that meets standards country-wide. Its twenty-two-inch blade and 130-degree angle setting make light work of even ten-foot hedges. The drive shaft is solid steel and very hard to damage. Quality bearings transmit power smoothly and without serious vibration (whereas some other machines will leave your hands numb!).
It is not heavy by the standards of a commercial pole trimmer, but it still weighs in at around 13 lbs. The shoulder strap will take most of the weight.
It is available from the Tanaka website.
Renting a Hedge Trimmer
Informal hedges only really need to be trimmed once a year, and formal hedges can often be kept manageable with just two trims per year. This means that renting a genuinely powerful pro-grade machine can be a good option if you have a lot hedges to keep in order.
Expect to pay around $60 a day.
Troy-Bilt Hedge Trimmer Attachment
This attachment will only work with a Troy-Bilt gas powered tool like their string trimmer, weed trimmer, or brush cutter.
The Troy-Bilt route can be a good option if you are looking for a range of top quality power garden tools. Troy-Bilt machines are extremely durable, and once you have the power unit, you can buy attachments for all kinds of jobs pretty cheaply.
You can also buy an electric starter if you hate wrestling with gas tools at start-up time.
They are available at Lowe's or online.
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