Cordless Hedge Trimmer Review
With spring nearly upon us and summer just around the corner, many of you will be looking to spruce up the garden. One of the most popular items to buy nowadays is the cordless hedge trimmer. Their cost has come down in recent years and the quality has improved tremendously.
Cordless hedge trimmers are even more popular and reduce the risk of dragging a cable along behind you as you cut your favourite hedge. Better batteries and more powers make these a popular choice when buying online.
But how do you find the right hedge trimmer that does all you need it to and which comes at a decent price?
- Do you need one with plenty of battery life or a blade that cuts thick branches with ease?
- Are you the sort of gardener who prefers a telescopic pole or do you like to get up on a step ladder and trim your hedges?
- Does the weight of your hedge trimmer matter or are you simply looking for power?
Here we explore what features you should be looking for and examine three budget hedge trimmers that you might like to try.
What to Look For in a Cordless Hedge Trimmer
There’s been a vast improvement in cordless hedge trimmers over the last decade. They’re more powerful and can handle heavy-duty tasks that previous models tended to struggle with. Depending on the product that you buy, some cordless trimmers are just as good as those with a cable.
Many of them also have pretty good charging times and hold their power for long enough to get the job done in one session.
The first thing to look at when you are choosing a cordless hedge trimmer is the power and whether it’s the right size and specification for your garden. If all you want is to maintain a few hedges on a regular basis, a fairly low power trimmer will be suitable and come at a lower cost.
The blade length is one of the first things to consider if you want to maximise the cutting potential. Lengths of 300 to 400 mm are ideal for small hedges with fine branches. If you have more mature hedges, then look for something near or just over 500 mm. The spacing is also important – generally the wider apart the teeth on the hedge trimmer blade, the thicker branches they can cope with.
The other feature to take note of is the ease of use. If you don’t want to keep getting up and down a ladder, you probably want a trimmer with a telescopic pole. These can be a little tricky to handle if you’ve never used one before but they do save a lot of time if you just want to maintain a particularly high bush and ensure a flat finish on top.
Most modern, mid-range cordless hedge trimmers use an interchangeable lithium-ion battery and these generally have pretty good power time. A lot will depend on the size of your garden and the number of bushes and hedges you need to trim. Most bigger brands have batteries that can be swapped between different products which means you can charge up a spare while you are cutting if you have one.
Most cordless hedge trimmers will handle branches up to 16 mm in diameter. Above that, you may need a trimmer that comes with a sawing action or simply swap to a normal saw to handle those branches if there are just a few.
1. Bosch Cordless Telescopic Hedge Trimmer
Bosch is one of the most recognisable brands in hardware development and probably lead the way when it comes to cordless products from drills to hedge trimmers. There are generally considered a mid-range supplier, with a range of hedge trimmers that are ideal of home and garden use.CHECK BEST PRICE ON AMAZON
At 3.38 Kg, the Bosch Cordless Telescopic Hedge Trimmer is lightweight and flexible in the way that it cuts. It comes with an extending pole which means you can use it for both high and wide hedges in your garden. With a strong 18 volt battery, it also has the charge and power to handle a wide range of garden bushes and last for an hour or more.
The blade length is 430 mm which puts it at the more robust end of the hedge cutting capacity for a mid-range trimmer. The spacing is 16mm and the blades move at a creditable 2,400 rpm. Added to that you get a pretty good 60 minute charge time which should give you enough time to get around an average-sized garden.
A diamond ground blade delivers sharp cutting all the time and you can change the angle of the blade on the pole to meet any surface. The fact that you can cut any hedge using the pole in one go means that you don’t have to keep getting up and down a ladder, something which not only improves safety but is pretty accurate too.
There are a couple of additional features that you might like about the Bosch Cordless Telescopic Hedge Trimmer. The first is that the battery pack is universal so you can use it on other products in the range. If you do have more than an hour’s worth of work ahead of you, you can have another battery on charge while you get on with your trimming.
The blade also has an anti-blocking system. This means that, if you meet a tough branch, the blade will reverse direction and allow you to cut through it more easily. That means you don’t have to interrupt your cutting when you meet a troublesome area of a hedge.
The device also contains the Bosch Syneon Chip which works with the battery to ensure power is used as efficiently as possible. This essentially changes the power consumption depending on what you are cutting and is a useful addition if you want to get the job done in one go without recharging.
What Customers Say
Customer reviews of the Bosch Cordless Hedge Trimmer are, on the whole, very good. Most praise it’s lightweight and ease of use as well as the ability to cut through more difficult hedge terrains. As with other telescopic hedge trimmers, however, some customers have found it more difficult to use when the pole is fully extended.
- It’s lightweight and powerful for its size.
- The lithium-ion battery gives a strong 1-hour charge and is interchangeable with other Bosch products. With the Syneion Chip, it’s more efficient in how it uses power.
- The teeth are larger than some other similar hedge trimmers on the market and the diamond ground blade is efficient.
- The telescopic pole gives you a reach of about 2.6 metres which means you can use it quite easily without a ladder for most hedges.
- The flexible cutting action allows the head to pivot through 120° which means it can handle more difficult hedge trimming situations.
- The anti-blocking system means that it handles slightly larger or more difficult branches well without you having to cut away with a hand saw.
- The Bosch Cordless Hedge Trimmer is slightly more expensive than other models on the market.
- The telescopic pole can be difficult to master at first but your cutting should improve with a little practice.
2. Ryobi ONE+ 18V OPT1845 Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer
Ryobi is probably a lesser-known name for many customers but they are a highly respected manufacturer of tools, hardware and electronic components based in Japan. Like many companies nowadays, they are keen on producing a broad cordless product range that works with the same battery.CHECK BEST PRICE ON AMAZON
In Ryobi’s case, this is the 18-volt One+ battery which can be used with some 100 tools in their product catalogue. As with other products on the market today, you can expect a healthy charge that lasts up to an hour. If you do have more than one Ryobi product with accompanying battery, you can put one on to charge while you get on with your work.
This model is a little heavier at 5.6 Kg compared to some others on the market so it may not suit everyone. Having said that, the 45 cm diamond ground cutting blades are great for bigger branches and it’s a lot more capable when it comes to difficult areas.
With an 18 mm gap between the blades, this product should be suitable if you have hedges that have branches wider than 16 mm, which means you don’t have to stop and use a general saw.
The head of the Ryobi ONE+ is flexible and has 4 articulating positions and can change the angle at which you cut through 135°, making it a little more versatile than other models. The extension shaft can be removed if you don’t need it but gives a reach of 2.9 metres which is pretty good for a mid-range hedge trimmer. The removable pole also makes it easier to store away when you have finished.
Overall, this feels like a fairly robust cordless hedge trimmer with enough capacity to handle medium to large size gardens with relative ease. The weight of the Ryobi ONE+ can be a problem, especially when the extension is being used, but if you are fairly fit it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
What Customers Say
Customers are largely happy with the Ryobi ONE+ though quite a few have mentioned the extra weight. It is a good choice for larger hedges with thicker branches, however. One customer commented that it quite easily cut through the branches of their oak hedge without any need to climb up onto a step ladder and use a saw.
Others have noted that the ONE+ hedge trimmer is quite powerful considering that it is cordless and battery-powered. Many have found it as powerful as a corded hedge trimmer.
- This is a robust, high-quality cordless hedge trimmer that delivers the power and versatility you would need for use in the garden.
- The easy to use extension pole can be easily attached and gives you a reach of 2.9 metres making it ideal for reaching difficult areas without a step ladder.
- The One+ battery is one of the best on the market today and gives not only ample power to the hedge trimmer but lasts a decent amount of time. It can also be swapped for other products in the Ryobi range.
- The diamond ground blades are sharp and efficient and the spacing means that you can cut larger branches up to a diameter of 18mm.
- The 135° articulated cutting head also means that you have a lot of flexibility whether cutting normally or using the telescopic pole.
- The product also comes with a blade shaft and a safety strap.
- The weight of the Ryobi ONE+ is probably the key gripe when it comes to choosing this product, especially when using the telescopic pole. It can be unwieldy in that respect but, if you are relatively fit and healthy, it shouldn’t cause too much of a problem.
3. Makita DUH523Z Cordless LXT Lithium-Ion Hedge Trimmer
Makita is another Japanese company, this one almost exclusively focused on tools such as cordless hedge trimmers. The DUH523Z Hedge Trimmer is a good all-round product. Although it cannot be extended using a pole, it does pack a significant punch in terms of cutting power and it’s more lightweight than other models on the market.CHECK BEST PRICE ON AMAZON
It’s a standard hedge cutter that uses an 18-volt lithium-ion battery. With a 52 cm double-sided blade, it’s a comfortable device to use and one that can handle most standard size hedges. If you don’t mind getting up on a step ladder, it can certainly deal with bigger hedges too.
As with many products, there’s a key safety function where you have to press a button and depress the motor control at the same time. That means, if you do lose control, simply taking your hand off the motor button will bring everything to a stop.
The company make particular note of the nickel-coated blade that has anti-abrasion properties. This should mean that it’s longer-lasting than many other blades on the market. It can handle branches with a 15 mm diameter which is less than some other products at similar prices but if you maintain your hedges regularly this trimmer will give you everything you need.
One of the key selling points for the Makita cordless hedge trimmer is the anti-vibration technology. If you struggle with high power devices like this, the product includes 5 cushions to dampen down a lot of the vibration you normally see with hedge trimmers. This means that it puts less stress on the joints and muscles and is a useful selling point if this is a problem for you.
As with most products in this category, the battery life is good and you can use it with batteries from other products in the range. As an all-round hedge trimmer that does what it says on the box, it comes at a good price and has decent specs. If you have more troublesome hedges, however, and need something more powerful that can cut bigger branches, you may like to look at other brands.
What Customers Say
On the whole, the customer reviews of the Makita DUH523Z Cordless Hedge Trimmer have good things to say. The product doesn’t come with the extension pole that other products have as standard but if that doesn’t bother you, then the Makita ticks all the boxes.
At 3.3 Kg it’s the lightest of the hedge trimmers we’re looking at here and is great for general use.
- This is a good, all-round cordless hedge trimmer that is suitable for average-sized gardens.
- The nickel-plated blades are suitable for cutting branches up to 15 mm and the lithium-ion battery gives you plenty of cutting time.
- The product includes Makita’s anti-vibration technology which means you have a much smoother operation than many hedge trimming products in the same category.
- It’s a lot lighter than most models on the market today so, if that’s important to you, this is the perfect choice at a budget price.
- The battery life is quite impressive with one customer saying they were still showing 3 out of 4 bars even after an hour’s solid work.
- If you are looking for a cordless hedge trimmer that has an extension pole, then this is not the product for you. If you don’t mind getting up on a step ladder, however, it’s a good choice.
- Compared to the other two cordless hedge trimmers in this list, the Makita isn’t great at dealing with bigger branches. If this doesn’t bother you and you regularly maintain your hedges, it’s not an issue that will cause you to lose sleep.
Finding the right cordless hedge trimmer for your home is important. The good news is that many of the products on the market today are a lot more robust and pack a more powerful punch than they did just a few years ago.