Finding the best gas powered hedge trimmer for your property is a serious decision. Chances are, you are willing to invest a little more for the extra power and portability that gas offers, but you want to make sure you get the right tool for your specific needs. This review will help you make a solid choice for your property, budget, and experience level.
For those new to gas-powered home tools, we wanted to make sure you had information about maintenance and upkeep before making your decision, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of going with gas.
If you are already experienced with gas operated small engines, you can skip the informational section and head right to our reviews in the following categories:
Best Petrol Hedge Trimmer:
Top Pick All-Around – Tanaka TCH22EBP2 21cc 2-Cycle Gas Hedge Trimmer
Top Pick for Tough Jobs – Echo HC-152 20”Gas Powered Hedge Trimmer
Top Pick for Extended Reach – Poulan Pro 967089701
Top Pick for Multi-Purpose Tool (5-in-1) – PROYAMA 42.7CC
Pros and Cons of Gas Hedge Trimmers
Although most pros go with gas-powered gear for outdoor landscaping, it is not always the right choice for a homeowner. If you have a large property with plenty of longer tough trim jobs to keep up with, however, they may still be your best bet.
Before you go with gas, here are some considerations:
- Go the Distance: Gas engines will just keep on going at full power as long as you need them to. Just be sure you are topped off with properly mixed fuel in a well-labeled container before you start any trim project.
- Powerful: Although Lithium Battery technology is rapidly closing the gap, gas machines are still a bit more powerful, especially for tough jobs with thick branches. For large property owners, gas powered gear may still be worth dealing with the considerable downsides of gas, covered in more detail below.
- Fixable: The motors on electric corded and battery powered machines take a bit more expertise to work on, and replacement parts for these motors are usually harder to get a hold of. If you like to do mechanical work on small engines, you may prefer a gas machine for the long haul.
- Longevity: Because you can work on gas engines when they fail, you can keep them going strong for years and years. For a long-term investment in top-notch gear, gas is the way to go.
- Noisy: By far, the loudest engines in quality outdoor power tools are those fueled with gas. This may not be an issue if you live in a rural area. However, many HOAs in residential areas place limitations on the use of loud gas-powered machinery so be sure this does not apply in your case before buying. In addition, consider getting some quality noise protection headgear for safety.
- Smelly: The fumes from a small 2-stroke gas engine are surprisingly strong when it is just a few inches from your face. When trimming, sometimes you need to reach and, by necessity, have your face right next to the exhaust. If you are sensitive to fumes, gas might not be your best bet.
- Maintenance: We cover maintenance in more detail below, but be sure to factor in the fact that you will need to winterize your gas powered gear annually as well as perform regular checks to keep the engine running smoothly.
- Weight: These engines tend to be on the heavier side compared to corded electric hedge trimmers, and about the same as many battery powered machines. Unless you are in great shape, the weight of a tool you will be using with extended arms is a significant factor to consider.
- Starting: Gas power means you will have to pull a cord to get the engine started. For beginners, this can be a real pain. There is a degree of “feel” that comes with experience with gas machinery that is a learning curve. By contrast, most battery powered and corded motors start by simply pushing a button while the safety levers are engaged.
- Price: Of the three power classes, gas gear is usually the most expensive. In part, this has to do with the target markets—professional landscapers and experienced homeowners. It also reflects a machine that is built to last longer than battery and corded alternatives.
Maintenance for Gas-Powered Hedge Trimmers
A complete guide of how to best care for your gas powered clippers is outside the scope of this article. However, you should have a basic sense of the maintenance you will need to do to keep your tools in great shape for years to come.
At the start of the season….
Before you get started on your first trim job, give your gear a solid once over. Make sure to check and tighten any casing screws, wipe it down clean to knock the dust from storage off, and clean or replace spark plugs to ensure good firing. Check the air filter to see if it is ready to be replaced.
No matter what kind of machine you choose, the start of the season is a chance to sharpen your blades or buy replacement blades for your hedge trimmers. The sharper your blades, the less torque you put on the engine. Working with sharp blades not only makes your project go faster, but it also helps preserve your engine over the long run.
It is recommended that you start with fresh, precisely mixed fuel in the spring since the oil additive used for 2-strokes engine is not indefinitely stable. Be sure to mark your fuel container so that you can avoid putting the wrong gas in your machine—potentially ruining the engine.
Before or after each use….
You want to be sure that the air intake stays clear throughout the season so that the engine runs efficiently. In addition, you may need to adjust the carburetor periodically to maintain an ideal idle, usually done with a special screw near inside the engine casing.
It is also important to follow the manufacturers instructions for the right products and frequency to lubricate your blades. This critical step reduces friction, makes the engine work less, and can help maintain your blade edges.
It is recommended to use a specially formulated stabilizer before putting your gear away for the winter. Follow the instructions on your particular model as well as the product instructions for the stabilizer that you are using.
Also, always completely wipe down your gear before storing to reduce any sticky residue that can trap dust and debris. Finally, some manufacturers recommend additional engine lubrication before storage, so be sure to carefully read the user manual for your hedge trimmers for any additional routine maintenance.
Let’s take a look at our top picks:
Best Gas Powered Hedge Trimmer
Cut Capacity: ¾”
Cut Length: 24” dual blade, commercial grade (also available in 20” and 30”)
Features: 5 position handle, forward facing exhaust, purge bulb
In addition to having dependable power to make quick work of dense shrubbery, even those jobs that have been neglected for a few years, this model made our list because it has a very thoughtful design that is built to maintain comfort for extended use on longer jobs.
The weight is well distributed which will make a difference on big jobs by keeping you from constantly having to compensate for poor design. Also, the 5-way pivot on the handle means you can perfectly position the blades to the angle you want, making each pass more effortless.
Finally, in terms of ease of use, the extraordinary lightweight build is a major plus. The 24” model is just 10.3 pounds, a huge advantage over similarly powered competitors. This is one of the best lightweight gas hedge trimmers out there.
If a 24” blade is not what you are looking for, check out the 20”, or 30” blade lengths by Tanka. Keep in mind that shorter blades are easier to maneuver, while longer blades make faster work of large jobs on light branches such as well-maintained boxwoods or juniper.
- Pro-grade components and engine—get the kind of power and reliability the pros expect.
- Maneuverability—the adaptable handle gives this model an edge for tight spaces and detail work.
- Weight—extremely lightweight for the power, this is an ideal machine for experienced and novice homeowners alike.
- Easy start—a purge bulb prevents flooding, and the spring assist pull cord offers smooth and easy action.
- Forward exhaust—keep fumes out of your face while protecting tender foliage from heat damage.
- Superior warranty—one of the best in the industry with a full seven years for residential, and two years for commercial use.
- Cost—this is an investment in quality outdoor equipment.
- Parts—expect to have some trouble finding replacement parts. However, you can lean-in to an impressive replacement warranty.
Best for Tough Jobs:
Power: 21.2 cc
Weight: 11.8 Lbs. without fuel
Cut Capacity: ¾”
Cut Length: 20” laser cut blades
Features: Ergonomic rear handle, front handle with safety guard
If the cleanup on your property is riddled with overgrown areas that haven’t seen the blade in a few years, then the right hedge trimmer for the job may well be this little power horse. Several features discussed below, make this the ideal tool for making quick work of sumac, bamboo, blackberries and wild rose that can take over areas with just a few years of neglect.
The shorter, 20” blade is an advantage for this kind of tough trim job. It helps focus the power of the engine to each cut, delivering plenty of bang for the buck. However, if you have a great deal of neat and light hedges to keep trimmed closely, you may want to choose a different hedge trimmer with a longer blade for the job.
The ECHO also features a safety guard on the front handle—a must have for dense, thorny thickets. The large front handle also contributes to a comfortable experience. Combined with the wide back handle, and an overall balanced load, even the novice will find this hedge trimmer easy to use.
The main drawback of this model is the weight. Nearly 12 pounds without fuel, it is a bit heavy for the average homeowner. If weight is a top priority, this is not the right trimmer for your needs.
- Pro-Grade Gear—Dependable power from a trusted name and a commercial grade build.
- Thick branches—impressive cut power, especially on thick branches from ½-3/4”
- Comfortable design—large and well-placed handles, balanced weight, and handy safety guard.
- Nice price—for professional grade gear, the price is right for a long-term investment.
- Short blade—coming in at the low end at 20”, the blade is too short to make large but lightweight jobs efficient.
- Weight—coming in at almost 12 pounds, it will be tough to maneuver if you’re a little out of shape.
Best Extension Pole Petrol Hedge Trimmer:
Cut Capacity: ¾.”
Cut Length: 15” (hedge trimmer blade sold separately)
Features: Spring assist pull, six different attachments available for separate purchase
If you have tall hedges that are at or above shoulder level, then the right tool for you may be a gas hedge trimmer with an extension pole. After all, nothing makes trimming a chore more than having to drag a ladder around with you on the job.
This selection by Poulan Pro is a pole saw and weed trimmer combo, however, it is designed to be an all-in-one tool with the addition of added attachments. To convert this to an extended reach hedge trimmer, you will need to purchase a separate attachment. Then you will have a gas-powered multi-tool so you can use the pole saw to cut through tree branches, then do a quick changeover for trimming the tops of tall hedges.
One of the problems with gas engines is the regular maintenance required to keep them in top shape and good working order year after year. With this system, you get the benefit of maintaining one engine for several different tools.
There are a full 11” feet of extension available with this rig, plenty for the needs of most homeowners. However, do pay attention to the weight of this machine. Coming in at just over 14 pounds, this is a hefty tool that is probably not the best choice for beginners.
- Versatile multi-tool—get 6-in-1 with the addition of several head attachment options.
- Plenty of power—a 25cc engine is lots of reliable power for residential use.
- Simple start—a special air purge system and spring assist pull take the hard work out of starting this gear.
- Bargain—buy and maintain one engine, then add the components you want for a 6-in-1 tool.
- Narrow tooth gap—5/8” tooth gap means you will have to pull out the pole saw attachment for limbs larger than ½.”
- Weight—14.2 pounds will make this too heavy for some folks to handle on longer jobs.
Best Starter Kit:
Cut Capacity: ¾”
Cut Length: 18”
Features: adjustable head, shoulder straps, safety gear, tool kit
When it comes to outdoor power equipment, there are some significant advantages to considering an all-in-one machine, particularly with gas powered tools. You only have to do regular maintenance and upkeep on a single engine. You won’t have to keep track of different additives for each machine. And, you will save valuable space in your garage or shed.
If you are interested in getting a multi-tool that will cover your gas-powered hedge clipper needs, we recommend this option by Proyama. This kit will have you set for most of your lawn and garden needs with a small chainsaw (pole saw), nylon string and 3 prong blade weed wacker, and 40 tooth metal circular blade in addition to an 18” hedge trimming blade.
The hedge trimming head is fully adjustable so that you can tweak the placement for the perfect angle for the job. Fully extended, you have over 11” of reach. Another plus is that the engine stays at the back of the extension rod for superior balance.
This is a powerful motor at 42.7 cc. It is strong enough for tough jobs like clearing sumac, blackberry and other pesky brush. Thick branches won’t be a problem either—if they are over the ¾” cut capacity with this model, you can put on the pole saw blade and power through.
Finally, we like this kit because it has all the extras. Hearing protection, hard hat with face protector, fully adjustable shoulder straps and even the little things like a toolkit, gas can, and heavy-duty gloves come with this fully stocked set. The value for this set, given all you get, is excellent.
- 5 in 1—get multiple outdoor power tools while maintaining only one engine.
- Powerful engine—2 stroke gas engine with a whopping 42.7 cc. of displacement.
- Safety gear—ear protection, gloves, hard hat and sturdy shoulder straps come with the kit.
- Maneuverable—adjustable head and the engine at the back of the extension rod keep this machine easy to use, even when fully extended.
- Reach—a full 11” when fully extended.
- Customer service—a full one-year warranty and easy to find replacement parts.
- Price—considering all you get with this kit, the price tag is very modest.
- Weight—at 13 pounds, this machine is on the heavy side of the spectrum.
Gas Power: Trim like a Pro from Home
If you are looking for the best gas hedge trimmers, it means you are looking to find a machine that is going to last for years, give you uninterrupted power, and deliver even on tough jobs. We hope this guide has given you some tips that you can use to make sure your next outdoor power tool purchase is right for your property, skill level and budget.
If you have any tips or tricks that have made your trimming work easier, please feel to share them in the comments section below.