Are you looking for a hedge trimmer while on a budget? If the answer is yes, then you should consider checking out models from Toro and Black + Decker brands.
These two make some of the reliable and affordable hedge trimmers.
For this guide, we will focus more on the Toro 51494 and the Black + Decker LHT2436 hedge trimmers. This will help you understand what to expect with the two hedge trimmers so that you can always have the right one for the job.
Before we get into all the reviews, let us first look at what to consider when buying a hedge trimmer below.
What to Look For
Understand the job at hand
If you are going to get the best hedge trimmer, then it is best to have a clear understanding of what the job demands.
There will always be different sizes of hedges in terms of height and branch thickness. So, it is best if you can take all that into account before choosing a hedge trimmer.
The hedge trimmer that you buy should be able to comfortably cut the various hedges with ease. This might mean taking more time to compare different hedge trimmers to find the correct one.
Choose the correct power
In this case, we mean how the hedge trimmer is powered. The most common options would be using a petrol hedge trimmer, corded hedge trimmer, or the cordless hedge trimmer. The idea is to always get yourself the right model that can handle your trimming needs.
One thing about the corded hedge trimmers is that they can be used at a moment’s notice. However, they can be limited to the cable length. There are times you need an extension cord to trim the hedges better.
If you find that the corded hedge trimmer seems to limit you to using an extension, then opt for the cordless hedge trimmers such as the ones in this guide. These trimmers are good for portability and do not need any extension cords.
The battery powered hedge trimmers can be versatile, but then again, the battery capacity can limit what they can and cannot do.
As for the gas or petrol-powered hedge trimmers, they can be very powerful for various cutting needs you might have for your hedge. However, they can be heavy and also you tend to deal with the gas fumes all the time.
Now that you understand the different sources of power, it should be possible to opt for the best one depending on your needs.
The blade length
The blade length goes a long way to determine how easy it would be to trim the hedges.
For the smaller hedges, it is advisable to go for a blade length of 300mm to 400mm. For thicker and taller hedges, use models with blade lengths over 500mm. Having a longer blade will always make it easier for you to quickly go through the hedges.
The teeth spacing will affect the overall cutting capacity too.
Having wider teeth means that larger branches that can go between the teeth so it is easier to trim such hedges.
Look at what the manufacturer claims to be the teeth spacing to see if it is within the right range for cutting your hedge.
No one would want to start looking for a hedge trimmer again every few months. It is the reason you might want to look at the build quality trimmer from when you buy the first unit.
Take the time to check out what each model offers in terms of materials used to make the unit. Some models can be made of hardened steel, aluminum, plastic, and much more.
Even if there are some plastic parts, they should be hardened so that you end up with the best performance over the years.
When you can get a model with the best build quality, you can expect it to last you for years to come without changing anything.
Having a great build quality also means that you do not have to worry so much about maintenance. This is because you would not have to do much of the maintenance.
The overall blade sharpness can determine how fast you can cut the branches.
The blade being sharp is not the issue, but how often do you have to sharpen the blade? That is a common question those new to hedge trimmers would ask.
Depending on the blade material, sometimes you can find a model that does not need a lot of sharpening all the time. That is the type of blade that you want.
Look at the reviews of other people who have used the hedge trimmer to understand their experience with blade sharpness.
Handle Type and Design
The handle type and design will often affect the comfort and controllability of the hedge trimmer.
The first thing to look at should be how the handle is shaped. This is because you need a handle that is comfortable and makes it easy to control the hedge trimmer.
Some models now have the wrap-around handle. This type of handle is good for ease of handling the different hedge trimming needs.
You might also get some with padded or contoured handles. The aim is to make the hedger trimmer fit perfectly into your hands.
The Toro 51494 is rated among the top hedge trimmers in the market thanks to its multiple cutting capabilities. This makes it great for effortless hedge maintenance. To understand why more people are always going for it, let us look at its features below.
20-Volt Lithium Ion Battery
One of the things that can make someone opt for this model is the battery capacity.
The model has the lithium-ion based battery. This type of technology makes you end up with a high-performance battery than when using Ni-cad batteries.
The 20-V lithium battery is all about more runtime with no issues such as the memory effects and low self-discharge. As a result, you now have a highly reliable battery.
There is also the on-board LED charge meter that displays the current battery status. This is important so that you can have the information about the pending battery status of your hedge trimmer. The last thing you need is to end up with a flat battery without knowing.
The red and green charge indicators are important to help you know when the battery is charging and when it is full.
Looking at the battery life, we find that the battery would last you 20 minutes when running on low mode and 10 minutes when running on the high mode. Such a battery life duration should be perfect for sweeping the debris with ease.
A Rotating Handle
Another thing that is easily notable right out of the box should be the rotating handle. The idea is to help you have more access to trimming your hedge than when using a handle that does not rotate.
Yes. The handle can rotate 90 degrees in each direction. You should now find it being easier for edging than when using other hedge trimmers.
People always want to end up with clean edges and certain types of designs. That is all possible with this type of hedge trimmer.
Dual Action Blades
As for the blades, we are looking at a model with 22-inch dual-action blades. First, the size of the blades being at 22-inches makes it one of the best to get right now. Such a blade-size will allow for you to easily cut through a larger hedge fast.
The blades are made of hardened steel. The idea is to make them have outstanding durability. Even if used for years, it will still be good in terms of trimming the hedges.
Thanks to the dual action design of the blades, it is easy to cut branches of up to 9/16 inches thick. For many people, it should be an ideal hedge trimmer.
The handle still stands out for being ergonomic. You will love the work grip handles for their comfort. Even if you have to use the hedge trimmer for longer, you always end up with less fatigue.
It is not just about reducing the fatigue, but also making it easier to control the hedge trimmer. With a secure fit, it can be easy to trim your hedges better.
Dimensions and Weight
For someone who might be worried about the storage space and weight, this model weighs 6.3 pounds and has dimensions of 42.5 x 11 x 8.07 inches.
It is easy to see that this hedge trimmer is lightweight and will not take up a lot of space when it comes to storage.
If the 20V battery of the Toro 51494 model above was not enough, then there is always the option of checking out the LHT2436 cordless hedge trimmer. Other than having more battery power, there are many more features to like as we will see below.
40V Battery System
The biggest drawback to some battery-powered hedge trimmers is normally the battery capacity. That is not an issue with this one as it comes with a 40V battery system.
For its battery system, you will get a lot more performance, and more runtime on a single charge.
It is now possible to complete those tough jobs because you have more power.
The manufacturer claims that the model can handle 6000 sq. ft. of trimming hedges per single charge. You are now likely to end up trimming a lot more hedges with ease when you buy such a unit.
Impressive Dual Action Blades
Having the dual action blades goes a long way to make the unit a lot better. The dual action design makes the unit to have lower vibrations in comparison to those running on a single action blade system.
Since it is also a 24-inch blade in size, it is going to work great to handle the larger hedges with a lot more ease. You can always cut through the large hedges faster, thus it can be used for commercial applications.
The Cutting Capacity
The 24-inch blade size makes it have some of the best cutting capacity. Still, it is designed to cut branches of up to ¾ inches. It is easy to see that it would easily cut the different hedges with so much ease.
The Wrap-around Handle
In terms of controlling the hedge trimmer, the wrap-around handle comes in handy. It makes the user have the best comfort and control so that handling the hedge trimmer is a lot easier.
Because of the handle functionality, we also find it easy to do both vertical and horizontal trimming. This is a nice addition to the overall functionality of a hedge trimmer.
Still as part of ergonomics, the unit has a full-length trigger with a soft grip handle. This ensures that you end up with more comfort when using the hedge trimmer for long sessions.
The Cutting Speed
Looking at the cutting speed, we find this model to have an impressive 2400 strokes per minute as its speed.
It might not be the highest, but it is good enough to help you end up with clean edges all the time. This speed is also good for precise trimming of the hedges on overall.
What blade length is the best for a hedge trimmer?
A 20-inch or larger blade will be great for handling the thick branches you might have in the hedges. The same size is also recommended for the established hedges.
In addition to the blade size, the model having the double-sided blades will make it easier to trim even at different angles.
When you can have the correct hedge trimmer size, it also makes it easier to do small precision tasks.
What is the largest branch thickness a trimmer can cut?
Many models will have different cutting capacities that they can handle. The ¾-inch cutting capacity is the most common for the large hedge trimmers.
Well, there are trimmers with a larger capacity, but the ¾-inch models are what you will find mostly in the market.
Are cordless hedge trimmers good for you to buy?
Being cordless makes such hedge trimmers easy in terms of portability. You will not have to worry about getting an extension cord to where you want to trim the hedges.
Still, there is no risk of electrocution where sometimes you might end up cutting through the cord. As such, you will feel a lot safer.
Depending on the design and other features, the same cordless hedge trimmer can work great in terms of handling other trimming applications in your garden. As such, it will come out as a versatile tool to own.
How often should you trim your hedge?
Trimming your hedge will mostly depend on the species. Some hedges might need more frequent trimming while others might take longer.
On average, you might end up doing it twice or thrice a year. So, it should not be too much work to maintain your hedge looking all good.
Should an operator oil the hedge trimmer blades?
To keep the hedge trimmer blades in the best working condition, oiling the blades is recommended with every use.
You can apply the oil before pruning the hedge to also help prevent the sap from sticking to the trimmer blades.
Looking at the two models above, it is easy to see that they are both good in terms of usability. You can always handle your hedge trimming needs a lot easier and at an affordable price too.
The Toro 51494 unit is good for those who have to trim the small hedges. The biggest drawback will be its battery as it needs recharging more often. Many would consider buying two batteries to counter this problem.
As for the Black + Decker LHT2436 model, it stands out for its performance, more battery capacity, and more cutting capacity. Between the two models reviewed above, the Black + Decker is the better option.