How to Choose Hedge Trimmers


Motorized hedge trimmers may be powered by gas, a rechargeable battery or via a power cord and an electric outlet. Hedge trimmers also feature varying blade types, such as double- or single sided cutting surfaces. To choose a hedge trimmers, you'll need to think about the job you need it to do, the size of your yard and the type of power you prefer.

Step 1

Determine which type of power source works best for your property. Corded electric trimmers plug into an extension cord and allow you to cut the hedges that are within the range of the cord. If you own a large piece of property with hedges that fall outside the range of even a long cord, you may need to opt for a gas powered hedge trimmer or a cordless electric model. Do not forget to also consider your tolerance for noise, smell, weight and prep work. Electric trimmers are generally quieter and lighter than gas powered models. They also do not emit the smelly fumes associated with the gas fuel.

Step 2

Measure the width of the thickest branches on your hedges. Cordless trimmers rely on battery power that might give you less than an hour of cutting time and also do not offer the kind of power their corded or gas powered counterparts offer. Consumer Reports tests found that cordless electric trimmers were unable to cut branches thicker than one quarter of an inch.

Step 3

Establish which type of blade works best for your hedges. If your hedge is almost as tall as you, a double-sided hedge trimmer makes the job easier. The double-sided cutting surfaces allow you to cut in both directions along the face of the hedge. You can achieve an even cut without having to walk back and forth. A single-sided hedge trimmer gives you a straight cut with no frills. Choose a pole hedge trimmer for hedges that stand taller than your shoulders to eliminate the need for a ladder.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never operate any hedge trimmer without first reading the manufacturer's documentation. Different models may require different safety precautions.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape


  • International Husqvarna discusses single- and double-sided trimmers
  • Ace Hardware addresses blade length

Who Can Help

  • Consumer Reports evaluates hedge trimmers
Keywords: How to Choose Hedge Trimmers, Motorized hedge trimmers, Corded electric trimmers, gas powered hedge trimmer, cordless electric trimmers

About this Author

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.