Hedge Trimmer Review – Which hedge trimmer do I choose for my garden?

Petrol or electric, long reach or cordless, MowDirect has over 100 hedge trimmers to choose from – it’s the UK’s widest selection. In this review we shall highlight some of the best buys currently available along with any special hedge trimmer promotions being run by the leading brands. Most of the hedge trimmer reviews you find elsewhere will concentrate on examining just on a very limited range of models. Not here at MowDirect! Our Hedge Trimmer Review shall look at all types of hedge trimmer and sift through the vast range of models currently on the market to bring you the very best in terms of quality, performance, usability and value for money.

Starting at the budget electric end of the market – by which we mean electric hedge trimmers under £60 – there are two main manufacturers represented: Flymo and Bosch  ~Both of these are leading hedge trimmer brands and produce reliable and compact models that are ideal for undertaking light amounts of work in smaller-sized gardens. The Flymo Easicut HT510 and the Bosch AHS 45-16 Electric Hedge Trimmer are both popular sellers at MowDirect. Slightly higher in price but still under £90, the pick of the bunch however has to be the new Ryobi RHT-RHT-5555RSH Electric Hedgetrimmer. It’s the lightest model in its class and as we shall see below this is one of the most important factors in determining a good hedge trimmer. The Ryobi RHT-400 also has some really neat features including a Live Tool safety indicator and ‘Grip Zone’ over-mould technology which really improves your grip as well as being far more comfortable to hold. This budget electric hedge trimmer from Ryobi also performs more like some of the mid and top range models available. Its double reciprocating blades give a powerful and clean cut and help speed up your work rate enabling you to get the job done quicker.

The mid-range section of the electric hedge trimmer market (£60-100) also predominantly features models from the brand leaders – Bosch, Flymo and Ryobi. Performance wise, the Bosch AHS 55-16 Electric Hedgetrimmer and the Bosch AHS60-16 Electric Hedgetrimmer  are exceptionally good. The diamond ground steel blades have been laser cut to for fast and efficient trimming and to ensure a clean and precise finish – important if undertaking shaping work. The electric hedge trimmers in this price range have larger blades and more powerful engines enabling thicker growth to be tackled with greater ease and a faster work rate to be achieved. The RHT-6560RL has a 650 watt motor whilst the most powerful model is the Flymo Easicut 600EXT which has a 500 watt motor and 60 cm  blade. Also of note, Al-Ko Electric Hedge Trimmers are quality German engineered products which feature special safety cables. In addition, also in this mid-price range, is the Garden Groom Safety Hedge Trimmer. The Garden Groom is unique amongst all the hedge trimmers in this review in that it both shreds and collects the hedge clippings. This is a great solution to that tiresome chore of having to sweep up after you have finished and the residue collected is perfect for composting.

Top-of-the-range electric hedge trimmers (£100 and over) are intended as a low noise, environmentally friendly alternative to petrol hedge trimmers. There are two leading brands whose products feature within this category – Bosch and Stihl. Stihl have an enviable reputation for producing hard working garden power tools which endure the test of time. Stihl electric hedge trimmers are not the cheapest – prices range from around £120-220 – however they will perform tirelessly and reliably for many years in normal domestic use and can also be used by gardening professionals on a more regular basis in environments where noise and pollution might be an issue. The Al-Ko HT600 Flexible-Cut Electric Hedgetrimmer and the Al-Ko HT700 Flexible-Cut Electric Hedgetrimmer offer high levels of quality and endurance and their powerful motors combined with heavy-duty blades enable them to be used to cut back even the heaviest of growth. These models also deliver exceptionally high levels of torque and will cut through thick branches without difficulty.

Petrol hedge trimmers can be divided into budget, mid-range, professional and commercial. Budget petrol hedge trimmers (priced £160 and under) are ideal for anyone seeking to step-up in power and performance from a standard electric hedge trimmer. As well as giving you freedom to go anywhere without being tied down to a cord, petrol hedge trimmers have the power to deliver a faster work rate enabling you to get larger jobs done quicker. McCulloch Petrol Hedge Cutters have long been a popular choice in the budget sector of the market. McCulloch offer an easy to use product and is a readily identifiable brand with gardeners familiar with this type of machine. In recent years McCulloch has seen stiff competition from lower priced alternatives from brands such as Ryobi. The Ryobi RHT2660DA Petrol Hedge Trimmer is currently available for under £150 and offers additional features such as rotating rear handle for comfortable operation at any angle. Our Star Choice within the budget petrol hedge trimmer category however is the Einhell GE-PH 2555-A Petrol Hedgetrimmer With Twist Handle This German engineered product has some really good specifications for the price (currently just £159.95) including a full crank engine for durability, precision ground blades with a high cut rate and a blade length of 55 cm.

Mid-range petrol hedge trimmers (priced around £160-220) offer higher performance levels and a greater degree of durability than budget models. Two models stand out for the quality of the product and the value for money they offer. The Tanaka TCH22E-AP2 (50) Petrol Hedgetrimmer (Special Offer) is currently on Special Offer at £219 and is the lightest petrol hedge trimmer in its class. It boasts a twist-grip rear handle and possesses all the pedigree of the Tanaka hedge trimmer range – compact, slim line, ergonomic controls, low noise and powered by an ultra-reliable and easy starting Japanese-built Tanaka engine. Also on Special Offer is the Mitox 650DX Premium + Petrol Hedgetrimmer This superior quality petrol hedge trimmer is powered by a 22.2cc engine and combines a lightweight design with an extremely fast work rate. Both models are excellent buys and well worth the investment.

The professional grade hedge trimmers featured in this review (priced around £220-300) are intended for jobbing gardeners, landscapers, farmers and home owners seeking the best product available for use in a domestic environment. There are a range of brands represented including Kawasaki, Stihl, Oleo-Mac and Tanaka. Oleo-Mac have two well priced hedge trimmers in their range – the  Oleo-Mac HC265XP Heavy-Duty Petrol Hedgecutter enabling you to cut in both directions and the Oleo-Mac HC280XP Heavy-Duty Petrol Hedgecutter also has a double-sided blade. Single-sided blades provide greater length at a lower overall weight and allow you to work as professional would in long continuous swoops.  Our real recommendation in the professional hedge trimmer category is Tanaka. These are probably the finest petrol hedge trimmers available – not only do they perform beautifully but they have the lowest weights of any of the petrol models. Weight is crucial when choosing a hedge trimmer as the machine has to be held up in front of you for much of the time and a few pounds can make a real difference to the strain placed on your arms and shoulders, particularly after working for a period of time.

Tanaka also produces probably the best commercial grade hedge trimmers on the market. The Tanaka TCH22E-CP2(66) and Tanaka TCH22E-CP2 petrol hedge trimmers have 26″ and 30″ double-sided blades respectively whilst the Tanaka THT-2530 and THT-2540 hedgetrimmers have 30″ and 40″ single-sided blades. All commercial-grade Tanaka petrol hedge trimmers have a 2 Year Warranty for professional use and are guaranteed for 5 years when using in a domestic environment. Kawasaki, Stihl and Echo also have hedge trimmers available in this category which can similarly be used for intensive work day-in, day-out.

Long reach hedge trimmers (also known as pole hedge trimmers) are designed to be able to cut taller hedges as well saving the need to bend down when cutting down low. They fall into a number of general categories: lightweight telescopic electric hedge trimmers, heavy-duty electric long reach hedge trimmers and petrol long reach hedge trimmers.

Telescopic electric hedge trimmers are compact and lightweight and ideal if you only have a small number of hedges to trim. One of the most popular makes on the market is the G-tech Telescopic Hedge Trimmer. This is a low price option – models currently range from £70-90 – and represents really good value for money. The G-tech is battery powered so there’s no cord to get in your way and the battery is worn around the waist freeing your arms from any unnecessary additional weight. Slightly more in price at just under the £100 mark, the Ryobi RPT-400 Electric Articulating Pole Hedgecutter benefits from a strong yet lightweight fibre-glass pole which feels really comfortable to hold and can extend from 195-230 cm making even the tallest of hedges easily within reach.

If you need a more durable electric long reach hedge trimmer which will withstand frequent and more sustained use, we currently have two models available from Stihl – the Stihl HLE 71 and the Stihl HLE 71K. Both of these models have heavy-duty, articulating hedge trimming heads which are similar in design to those found on most petrol long reach hedge trimmers. These low noise electric models are ideal for built-up areas and have been designed to handle bigger and more regular jobs than the telescopic models.

We also have a wide selection of petrol-powered long reach hedge trimmers with articulating heads. These 2-stroke machines offer the benefit of go-anywhere capability and a powerful, fast cut. They can vary in price anywhere between around £250 to well over £500 for a heavy-duty commercial machine from a leading brand. Our lowest priced model is the Mitox 26LH-SP SELECT Long-Reach Hedgetrimmer – great value for money at under £250 and ideal if you are looking to purchase a low priced machine for casual use. If you wish for something that is going to provide superior cutting performance and be more comfortable to use, the Lawnflite LR2560W Long Reach Petrol Hedgetrimmer weighs just 6.4 kg (compared to 7.6 for the Handy one) and comes powered by a low emission, ultra reliable Japanese-built Robin engine. Offering similar good value for money is the Efco DS2400-H Long-Reach Hedgetrimmer– another lightweight, well built model which we currently have on special offer at £399!

Finally, battery power cordless hedge trimmers are becoming increasingly popular as new battery technology makes them lighter and less hassle to keep charged. The Nicad and Lithium-ion batteries employed on many models means that the batteries will retain their charge when not in use and require far less to time charge back up again after use. The weight of these batteries also means that a battery powered cordless hedge trimmers for the first time can weigh as little as a mains powered machine. The new Bosch AHS35-15Li  and Bosch AHS45-15Li  for example weigh just 1.9 and 2.0 kg respectively. On Special Offer at the moment is the Cobra H50-24V Cordless Hedgetrimmer which will run for up to an incredible 55 minutes and weighs just 2.4 kg.

We hope this hedge trimmer review has helped to explain some of the main differences between the different types of hedge trimmer available and has pointed you towards some models that might of be of interest. More product information can be found by following any of the above links but if you need additional help or advice on any of the hedge trimmers we sell, please email [email protected] or telephone our Call Centre on 0845 4588 905 if you would prefer to speak to someone directly.

This blog updated June 2016

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