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The Best Gas and Electric Hedge Trimmers

We've rounded up some of the best hedge trimmers, along with advice on how to find the right gas or electric trimmer for you.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Ryobi Cordless Battery Grass Shear And Shrubber TrimmerVia Merchant

Buying a Hedge Trimmer

Hedge trimmers are power tools that feature a pair of overlapping, toothed blades to snip branches and small limbs from hedges, bushes and trees. They’re not intended to cut thick branches; rather, they’re fast-moving tools that allow you to trim a great deal of light growth quickly.

The main parts of a hedge trimmer are the blades and the motor. The blades sit directly on top of each other, creating a gap between their offset teeth. As the blades move, the gap closes, cutting whatever branches are within those gaps. Although they have a pair of blades, it’s common to use the singular “blade” or refer to the “cutting bar” when talking about hedge trimmers.

Factors to consider when buying a hedge trimmer include:

  • Power source: Gas-powered trimmers are powerful and with long run times, but they’re louder and require more maintenance. Most have two-cycle engines that run on a mix of gasoline and oil. These are louder with higher emissions than four-cycle engines, which run strictly on gas. Corded models are the lightest and typically the least expensive, but are limited to the reach of your extension cord. Battery-operated models split the difference between gas and corded electric models. High-end battery-powered trimmers are as powerful as gas models, with the freedom of movement corded models lack.
  • Interoperability. Many cordless trimmers are part of a manufacturer’s larger cordless line of power tools, sharing batteries with a dedicated maintenance line of lawn mowers, chainsaws, etc. Batteries can be 20- or 40-volt.
  • Weight. This is especially important if you’ll be using the trimmer for long periods or working overhead. Weight varies by model and type of motor. Corded models weigh around six to 10 pounds, with gas and battery models going 10 to 20 pounds.
  • Blade length. Longer blades provide more reach, but require more arm strength from you and more power from the motor. The median blade length is 18 inches, which provides most homeowners a nice balance of function and ease of use. If you prefer a different size, some trimmers feature blades from six to 40 inches.
  • Blade type. Most hedge trimmer blades feature cutting teeth on both sides of the blade, but some models offer teeth on only one. Many single-sided blades are built for right-handed users, so if you’re a lefty try to get hands-on with the trimmer to see if it’s comfortable. Don’t confuse double-sided with dual-action. A dual-action trimmer means both blades move to create the cut, while on single-action trimmers one blade is fixed and one reciprocates. Dual-action trimmers generate less vibration than single-action models.
  • Speed. Hedge trimmer speed is rated in strokes per minute (SPM). Higher SPM means faster trimming, but also requires more power from the motor.
  • Cut capacity. The gap between teeth determines the size of branches the trimmer can cut. The wider the gap, the larger the branches it can handle. Typical cut capacity ranges from 3/8- to 3/4-inch.
  • Pole trimmers. Most hedge trimmers have a small body, so they can only reach as far as your arms will take them. Pole trimmers feature an extender so you can trim far overhead. Many pole trimmers offer one or more swivel points to easily trim at an angle. Some poles are integrated in the tool; others clamp a standard trimmer onto a pole.
  • Noise. Hedge trimmers are quieter than lawnmowers or leaf blowers, but they’r still noisy, especially gas-powered models.
  • Maintenance. All trimmers will need their blades sharpened and cleaned at some point. If you only use the trimmer on occasion, you might not need to sharpen it for several years, while heavy users may need to sharpen and clean the blade annually. You can do this yourself with a file and some soap and water. (Many manufacturers have a sharpening tutorial on their website.) If you’d rather let a pro do it, most lawn service centers will provide this service for $30 to $50. Service centers can also perform maintenance on gas engines.
  • Price. Hedge trimmers are relatively affordable. Corded electric models are normally $100 or less, while good battery-powered models run $200 to $250. Gas models are the most expensive, with consumer models running $200 to $300. (Commercial battery or gas models cost up to $600.)
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Senix Gas 4 Cycle Hedge Trimmer With A BarVia Merchant

Best Budget Gas-Powered Hedge Trimmer

The Senix HT4QL-L Hedge Trimmer delivers gas-powered strength at a budget friendly price ($129). Notably, the HT4QL-L uses a four-cycle engine so it doesn’t require mixing gas and oil, and generates less noise and fumes than a typical two-cycle trimmer.

Its 22-inch blade cuts at 2,000 SPM, with a one-inch cutting gap. The rear handle swivels, allowing you to make cuts in all directions without twisting your hand and forearm.

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Craftsman Corded Electric Hedge TrimmerVia Merchant

Best Budget Corded Hedge Trimmer

Want to get started with hedge care without spending much money? The Craftsman CMEHT150 Corded Hedge Trimmer is about as inexpensive as you get, retailing at around $40. Offering a 17-inch, double-sided blade with a 5/8-inch cutting capacity, it weighs in at a reasonable 4.7 pounds. The CMEHT150 is covered by a three-year limited warranty.

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Ryobi Cordless Grass Shear And Shrubber TrimmerVia Merchant

Best Small Blade Hedge Trimmer

If you have a small area to trim, a full-size trimmer can feel like overkill. The cordless Ryobi P2910 Hedge Trimmer combines a set of shears and a short hedge trimmer into a single, convenient package.

It’s part of the 18V Ryobi One+ line, so it shares rechargeable batteries with other cordless tools in that line. The double-sided hedge trimmer blade is only eight inches long and cuts at 1,000 SPM with a 5/16-inch cutting gap, appropriate for small projects. The trimmer blade slips off, revealing a set of powered shears for precision trimming.

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Ego Power Cordless Electric Hedge TrimmerVia Merchant

Best Cordless Large-Cut Hedge Trimmer

If you want a cordless trimmer with serious cutting capacity, look at the Ego Power+ HT2411 Hedge Trimmer. This 56-volt model weighs 6.2 pounds and boasts a 24-inch, double-sided, dual-action blade that operates at 3,000 SPM. Most surprisingly, it has a full inch of cutting capacity, a feature previously only found on gas-powered models.

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Greenworks Cordless Electric Hedge TrimmerVia Merchant

Best Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer

If you’re less concerned with the depth of the cutting gap and more concerned about reach, then consider the Greenworks Pro PH80B210 Pole Trimmer.

Powered by an 80-volt battery, it offers 20-inch, double-sided, dual-action blades with a 3/4-inch cutting depth, and a pivoting head to let you find the perfect cutting angle. The kit include a battery and charger. It ships with a four-year warranty on the trimmer and two years on the battery.

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Greenworks Corded Electric Hedge TrimmerVia Merchant

Best Overall Value Corded Hedge Trimmer

For a little more money than the budget corded trimmer, you can get greater cut capacity and a longer reach. The Greenworks Model 2200102 Corded Electric Hedge Trimmer has a 22-inch blade with a 9/16-inch cutting capacity. It weighs just over five pounds and comes with a four-year limited warranty.

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Dewalt Gas 2 Cycle Articulating Hedge TrimmerVia Merchant

Best Overall Value Gas Hedge Trimmer

The DeWalt DXGHT22 hedge trimmer has been on the market for some time but it’s still one of the best values around. It makes the most of its gas-powered engine, and the 135-degree rotation makes it easy to find a comfortable cutting angle.

It’s a two-cycle engine, which requires a gas/oil mix. And at 17 pounds, it’s not light, though it does come with a shoulder-strap. It has a 3/4-inch cutting capacity, operates at 2,500 SPM and ships with an extension pole.

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Dewalt Battery Hedge Trimmer KitVia Merchant

Best Overall Value Cordless Trimmer

The DeWalt DCHT820P1 Hedge Trimmer is part of their 20V max line of cordless tools. That makes it a great choice for DIYers who already own tools in this line or want a wide range of other tools to choose from.

The 22-inch blades have a 3/4-inch cutting capacity. The handheld trimmer weighs 11.5 pounds and runs at 2,800 SPM.

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Dan Stout
Ohio-based freelance writer and author Dan Stout is a former residential remodeler, commercial site supervisor and maintenance manager. He’s worked on nearly all aspects of building and DIY including project planning and permitting, plumbing, basic electric, drywall, carpentry, tiling, painting and more. He also publishes noir fantasy thrillers, including The Carter Series, from Penguin imprint DAW Books.