Consumer demand for green technology, as well as quiet and fume free outdoor power tools, has driven an explosion of options for homeowners. If you are looking for the best battery powered hedge trimmer, you have probably already figured out that you are spoiled for choice. In fact, the decision on the best gear to invest in can be daunting.
This guide will give you the information you need to make an informed choice that is grounded in your specific needs and the unique challenges of your property. We will cover how to navigate the common specs of this important landscaping tool.
Table of Contents
- Top Battery Hedge Trimmers:
- Pros and Cons of Battery Powered Hedge Trimmers
- Important Factors to Consider Before Buying
- Best Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer For Big Jobs:
- Best For Medium Jobs:
- Best Professional Grade With Extended Reach:
- Best Lightweight With Extended Reach:
- Best Budget Pick (For Small Jobs):
- Get the Right Tool for the Job
Top Battery Hedge Trimmers:
If you already know the basics and want to jump right to the products, we have included our top pick in the following categories:
Pros and Cons of Battery Powered Hedge Trimmers
Until relatively recently, pretty much the only way to get enough power for really tough trim jobs was to go with a gas engine. However, Lithium-Ion technology has all but closed the gap in the last few years, opening up the door for the cleaner and quieter operation of battery power. No fumes? Yes, please!
You also don’t have to worry about cutting any cords while you work (a major safety hazard) and you get to opt out of the regular engine maintenance that it takes to keep gas engines in working order (winterization, gas additives, spark plug cleaning, and so forth). For most homeowners, the ease of maintenance is a major advantage of going with battery powered machines.
The biggest downside of batteries these days is the limited run time. On the one hand, you will probably wear out before your battery anyway, so maybe breaking the job into a few sessions is for the best. You can also mitigate the downtime for charging by either buying additional batteries or purchasing different tools within a certain product line, thus having spare batteries to charge while you work.
Important Factors to Consider Before Buying
To get a sense for the overall power of any battery-operated machine, there are several interrelated factors to consider. To help you understand what the different power specs mean for your next purchase, we have put together this handy guide:
You will notice that battery operated hedge trimmers come with a variety of different sized batteries by voltage (ex. 20V, 40V, 80V). Although voltage is part of the equation in determining the actual force delivered at each cut, this spec is most helpful to get a sense of how much run time you will get between charges. Higher voltage batteries tend to be heavier, so think of it as a tradeoff.
Strokes per Minute (SPM)
Hedge trimmers work with two layers of blades that reciprocate on top of each other. SPM represents the speed at which the blades go back and forth, and it is optimized to the product’s tooth spacing and motor power. A higher SPM is one indicator of a more powerful motor although blade sharpness and length also play a role in overall cutting power.
Lithium-Ion vs. Ni-Cad
The industry standard is rapidly moving to Lithium Ion batteries. This improved battery technology offers more stored power per ounce and holds a charge better than older style Ni-Cad batteries that are pretty much on their way out.
You may have some other tools, such as a cordless drill, that use the old-style batteries. You have probably experienced pulling it out of your toolbox to find it is not holding a charge, or even when fully charged, only runs a fraction of the time it did when it was new.
This is known as “battery fade,” and it is something that just isn’t as much of an issue with Lithium Ion technology.
By the way, all of the products that made our review of the best cordless hedge trimmers feature Lithium Ion batteries.
Charge Time/Run Time
We have included the average time it takes to charge and the average run time for each of the machines we have featured when we could find reliable data. It is important to note that the toughness of the job will significantly impact runtime. That is, thicker branches will wear out your battery faster than light foliage, so the runtime spec is highly variable.
Here is what you need to pay the most attention to with blades:
Cut Capacity or Tooth Gap:
Both of these specs pretty much refer to the same thing: The max diameter of branch the machine is rated for.
Of course, if your battery is running low, or the machine is poorly designed, you may not actually be able to cut branches of the maximum cut capacity.
The standard for residential hedge trimmers is ¾”, although you can also find 1”. Honestly, it just isn’t safe for homeowners to operate trimmers with a larger tooth gap anyway—for those jobs, consider a pole saw instead.
You will find residential grade blade lengths from 22”-26”. Here is what you need to keep in mind: Longer blades are heavier and harder to control. They are better for experienced users. Shorter blades are better for beginners, but they will make the job slightly longer because you will have to make more passes.
The weight of your hedge trimmers should be a major consideration before you purchase. While an extra pound might not sound significant, it makes a huge difference when you are holding a machine with extended arms, a requirement for any trim job.
The range is wide, anywhere from 6 to 20 pounds, so be sure you pay attention to this vital stat. As you might expect, weight and power are usually directly related, so think of this as another tradeoff.
Nothing will slow you down more than having to drag a ladder around with you to reach the top of high hedges. Telescoping or extension pole hedge trimmers are critical to getting such jobs done right. However, if you do not need extra reach, then you definitely don’t want the extra weight and cost of these specialized tools.
Best Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer For Big Jobs:
First, a little bit about Greenworks®. They were founded in 2007 and from the start have been focused on building residential and commercial grade outdoor equipment making use of modern Lithium-Ion battery technology. Fueled by consumer demand for odorless and quiet landscaping equipment, this brand has quickly become a leader in this product sector.
To be clear, this product has a 24” blade length, despite the product title which is in error. That being said, it packs plenty of power that easily competes with homeowner grade gas motors in its class, a commendable achievement.
Another added feature that we found to be very helpful is the rotating handle that gives you some extra versatility to maneuver the blade for efficient trimming and getting into tight spots.
The biggest drawback of this machine is the weight. According to the spec sheet for this product, the weight includes 8.7 pounds for the machine plus 3.3 pounds for the battery, bringing the total to a whopping 12 pounds.
While 12 pounds may not seem like a lot, for all but the seriously in shape, this will become a burden pretty quickly. There is a tradeoff to consider, however. These powerful trimmers will move through hedge work fast. If 12 pounds is manageable for you, then the extra weight may be worth it for the faster job times you will get.
Best For Medium Jobs:
Coming in at a significantly lower price than our top pick, this runner-up for the best battery hedge trimmer is this selection by EGO. This lightweight machine will give you well over an hour of fast and efficient trimming and packs plenty of power for most residential needs.
It is jam-packed with thoughtful features that shows this brand is responsive to consumer needs. It has an ergonomic design with large, soft handles and a perfectly balanced load. A safety trigger is built into the handle, and it will stop the blades instantly if you happen to drop it. Even better, a hand shield will keep your leading hand from getting cut while working through wild rose or thorny blackberries.
Another plus that has led to customer loyalty for this brand are the interchangeable batteries that work on a large array of lawn and garden care power tools. You can save money by getting each product without the battery, or get the battery with each new purchase so you can be charging while you work to go all day long.
The 24” blades are the perfect length for precision control to get a nice edge on your hollies, junipers, and boxwoods. And, considering the power of this machine, the fact that it weighs in right around 9 pounds makes this a machine most homeowners will be able to maneuver like a pro.
Best Professional Grade With Extended Reach:
If you have a few bushes that need a quick trim a few times a year, this is likely too much machine, so you may want to keep reading to find a cheaper and lighter duty hedge trimmer. However, if you are a property owner with some rough areas to tame, and some taller hedges and low tree branches that need regular trimming, this is a great choice to meet all of your needs.
Dewalt has been a trusted name in power tools since 1924, and this product is no disappointment. Despite being battery powered, this machine delivers 3,700 SPM with a full 1” tooth gap over a 22” blade. It will make fast work of even badly neglected hedges.
In addition to being tough, you can expect to get a professional finish to your more precision oriented trims. The head articulates to 8 different positions, that is 15° increments, for a finely tuned and tight trim. Plus, with no winterizing or engine cleaning required, you don’t have to be a mechanic to keep this tool in tip-top shape for years to come.
Do pay attention to the weight, which is the one major trade-off here. It tips the scales at almost 19 pounds when the battery is on it. Although it has shoulder straps, many homeowners might find this too heavy for long jobs.
Best Lightweight With Extended Reach:
If you are looking for a cordless hedge trimmer that will give you the reach you need for tall shrubs or light trimming under trees, this Greenworks is a top choice. It features a head that has three fixed positions for easy angling and stability. Steel blades give you plenty of cutting power for branches up to 5/8”.
One of the innovative features of the Greenworks product lines is that they are designed in “families” that utilize interchangeable batteries. Since 2007, this company has been leading the way in outdoor electric equipment, advancing the use of Lithium Ion technology in the entire industry.
This pole hedge trimmer is designed to optimize precision work trimming in hard to reach places. If you have small to moderate amounts of tall hedges on your property, you will find this to be an ideal solution. It is lightweight, easy to use and maintain, and offers reliable power for up to about an hour on a single charge.
Best Budget Pick (For Small Jobs):
If you only have light trimming to do on your property, then paying the extra money for more power may not be worth it. In addition, with more power comes more weight. Sometimes the right tool for small jobs is not the most powerful tool in the shed.
This pick from Black and Decker is not the most powerful machine or the longest lasting in terms of run time on a full charge. However, it has some seriously strong sides to consider, particularly if you are only worried about maintaining a few bushes.
The first major upshot to this cordless hedge trimmer is the price. Coming in under $100, this is a very modestly priced machine from a trusted name.
A second consideration is weight—at under 6 pounds with the battery installed, almost anyone will be able to manage this machine. If you don’t need the power of the heavier machines, why wear yourself out with a heavy machine on a quick and simple trim job?
For the right homeowner, these popular trimmers are going to be a great fit. They have plenty of power for the most popular landscaping shrubs that don’t tend to get thick dead wood such as forsythia, juniper, laurel and boxwoods. They are still fast and efficient as long as you don’t have branches over ¾”.
In terms of overall design, this model has some nice features. A front hand guard will protect you from thorns, and a wide, soft grip makes these easy to handle. Another benefit of going with Black & Decker is that if you have other equipment that uses the 20V Max Lithium Ion batteries, they are interchangeable.
If you’re not quite ready to invest in more expensive gear, this budget pick may be the right choice for you.
Get the Right Tool for the Job
There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to finding the best cordless hedge trimmers. Since factors such as weight, blade length, power and cut capacity are interrelated, finding the right tool for the job requires thinking through your specific needs.
We hope you have found this review helpful in terms of cutting through the confusion when it comes to the wide variety of battery powered hedge trimmers on the market.
We would love to hear about your latest landscaping projects, so please feel free to tell us about them in the comments below.