Hedges serve many purposes. It can be used as a fence and a plant art at the same time. A hedge can make a gorgeous marking off the boundaries of your property.
Instead of using wooden walls that can rot after some time, a well-tended fence can make your home look more chic and stylish.
However, maintaining hedges requires hard work and proper equipment. One of the reliable tools that can make your task in the garden a lot faster and easier is a hedge trimmer. It is also known as a shrub or bush trimmer.
A hedge or bush or trimmer is the partner machine you can rely on for cutting and pruning. It comes in various designs and sizes that will fit any of your gardening requirements. But how do you choose the right one?
Read on to know more about hedge trimmers before buying one for your home.
What to Consider
As its name suggests, this tool helps you trim hedges, shrubs, and bushes. Baby hedges may not require the same heavy cleaning as those with predominantly grown shrubs. Using shears to prune new hedges may be enough.
For thick and full hedges, you might need a more reliable gardening tool to clean them up. Trimmers can help you keep your hedges looking beautiful and dense. For simple ones, trimming once a year may be enough; but if you want them to look consistently evened out, two times a year of trimming might be necessary.
Remember that not all hedges are the same; hence each one requires a specific device to stay pretty. Therefore, before you grab the first hedge trimmer that you see in a gardening tool shop, you might want to consider the following factors.
Stand-Alone or Tractor Mounted
Stand-alone hedge trimmers are more versatile and comfortable to use. This type is more common than the tractor-mounted models. A tractor-mounted trimmer has a hydraulic boom or moveable arm with a large hedge trimmer attached to it.
This machine cuts hedges almost the same way as finger-mowers. The large head trimmer of this tool is also often mistaken for reaching flail mowers due to its appearance.
However, reach flail mowers have a different cutting machine, and they can be used for mowing tall grass or roadside ditches. There are also other individual hedging machines appropriately used for grapevines and tree toppers.
Motorized Gasoline-Powered, or Electrical Trimmers
Most home gardeners own a manual hedge trimmer, also known as hedge shear or hedge clipper. Users do not need anything to operate this tool since it is used as a giant pair of scissors. However, this device can quickly tire your hands and arms.
Hence, most gardeners prefer motorized hedges to accomplish gardening tasks faster and more comfortable. Today’s powered trimmers are designed with safety features to ensure that the users will face less risk when working.
Gas-powered trimmers are more powerful, but are very heavy and challenging to start. This heavy-duty tool can cut through thick hedges and even full-inch thick branches. Since this device is more powerful, it also provides more strokes per minute.
Additionally, it also helps you get the job done quickly and efficiently. If you have a large yard with large hedges, then a fuel-motored hedger will be your perfect choice. Finally, this machine has a tip guard to protect users from any injuries.
- Corded Electric
If you are looking for a hedger that does not strain your hands, arms, and shoulders, look for an electric one. You can expect to exert less effort when using an electric cutter, which weighs much less than gas hedgers.
Although this device is less powerful than the gas models, they are less noisy and do not emit smoke. It means that you can work more conveniently without the noise and air pollution.
Cordless hedgers are the most user-friendly units. Although they do not have the same power as gas cutters, they are almost comparable to the speed and energy of corded ones.
The good thing about battery-powered tools is that you can work continuously without the annoying cords. You also do not have to buy an extra power cord to make sure that you can clean hard to reach and distant areas of your garden.
However, it might take you a bit longer to accomplish your task since you need to recharge the battery once the tool runs out of juice.
Purpose of the Hedger
Before buying a hedger, make sure that you know what kind of vegetation you have at home. The type of tool you will get depends on the plants that you will cut. It is wise to determine the maturity and variety of plants you have and how thick the shrubs are.
These factors will influence the size of the trimmer blade you will need for your hedge. If your fence has thick stems and requires regular cutting, it might be prudent to choose a tool with sawing functions to deal with the stout stems.
Getting the right blade will help you finish your job with ease in no time.
When you step in a garden store, you might get overwhelmed by the many brands, sizes, and colors of hedge trimmers available. Don’t get carried away by the looks and shine of these devices. Beyond their appearance, you must look into the details of the parts that are not easily noticeable.
Let us look closer to two of the trusted brands when it comes to gardening tools. Presented below are WORX and Black and Decker hedger trimmer models that might pique your interest in gardening and hedging.
One of the things you will love about this tool is that it has a transparent handguard, which allows you to see the area that you are cutting while giving you protection from flying grass and debris.
This way, you can work continuously with cleaner cuts and safety protection.
The WG284 has two 20V Power Share batteries, thus giving you twice the power that you need to cut through thick shrubs. The combined power of the two cells allows you to use the tool longer and clean more extensive hedge areas. It also gives 2200 strokes per minute that can provide you with more efficient cuts.
Wait, there’s more! You can use the two batteries with any WORX tool that uses the same 20V Power Share cell. Therefore, you do not have to buy a new battery cell for your other power tools.
Extra Long Blade
The WG284 has the most extended blade trimmer at 26 inches. This blade size will give you the ideal hedge you like – flatter tops and straighter sides. You can also work into hard to reach areas that you will not be able to clean by using a standard-sized trimmer.
The tool’s dual-action blades are made out of stamp-hardened steel. The blade edges are robust that they can cut forward and backward at each pass on the hedge. The 3/4-inch diameter size enables you to trim thick branches and twigs.
You Can Cut from Any Angle
The tool has a full wrap handle. This design enables you to hold the edge cutter anywhere on the handle, at any angle, without straining your hands. It provides comfort and ease of use while trimming your hedges.
Additionally, it has a 180-degree rotating rear handle giving the tool much versatility that you can use it on trees or bushes any time. With this feature, you do not have to turn the trimmer to cut the sides of shrubs in your garden. You just need to rotate the rear handle to make your job a lot easier without twisting your wrists and arms.
If you require a heavy-duty tool for thick shrubs and bushes, this cordless hedge trimmer can tackle big jobs for you. Its POWERCUT booster feature will enable you to comfortably trim more extensive areas with a single push of a button. You can also easily cut branches of up to 3/4-inch diameter.
Included in the package when you buy this tool are the trimmer, a 40V MAX Lithium-ion battery, and a charger.
Extended Battery Use
The maximum initial battery voltage of this tool without a workload is 40 volts and 36 on nominal voltage. This power enables you to trim your hedge up to 6000 square feet in a single charge. Hence, you can use this trimmer for an extended period without the need for any extension cord.
Enough Power for Tough Jobs
The LHT341FF from Black and Decker can cut through tough hedges and shrubs. This agile garden tool will enable you to cut through jams without any difficulty. Its 24-inch dual-action blade will give less vibration to help you cut through branches easily.
Designed for Comfort and Easy Control
This tool weighs only 7.1 pounds and has ergonomic grips; hence, very comfortable to handle and easy to use. It has superior soft grips that will not cause any strain on your hands and wrists even when you use the hedger for too long.
Additionally, it is your perfect partner if you want to avoid frustrations and irritations while working in your garden.
Frequently Asked Questions
To guide you even more in getting a hedge trimmer for your garden, below are some frequently asked questions that can help you decide what tool you should choose.
Why should I choose a Lithium-ion battery over other types?
Many tool manufacturers use Lithium-ion batteries because of their many advantages over other types. Here are just a few of the pros:
- It provides high energy density that allows you to operate a tool longer in between charges.
- It has a meager self-discharge rate of about 5% in the first few hours after charging, and around 1-2% every month. It is way below the standards of other cell types like Ni-Cad and NiMH batteries.
- It requires no or minimal maintenance to keep its performance. Unlike Ni-Cad batteries, you do not have to discharge Lithium-ion batteries now and then and avoid the memory effect.
- It produces a higher voltage of about 3.6 volts, compared to 1.5 volts from a standard alkaline and two volts from a lead-acid cell.
But remember that li-ion batteries have their disadvantages as well, although the pros usually overrule the cons. You have to ensure that this type of cell does not overcharge to maintain its excellent performance.
It also suffers from aging due to the number of years and the number of its charge-discharge cycles. Hence, it is imperative to know how to take care of your lithium-ion battery packs to maximize their use.
What should I get, a hedge cutter, or a hedge trimmer?
Any homeowner who has hedges in their yards has used either one of these two gardening tools to keep shrubs and bushes clean and well-manicured.
However, many people still confuse one with the other. There are even gardeners who think that hedge trimmers and hedge cutters are the same.
Although these tools may seem to perform similar tasks, each has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to keeping your hedges chic and beautiful. Thus, it is best if you know the difference between these two devices.
Hedge trimmers are the perfect tool to clean off the edges in your garden, make plant arts for sentries, or mark a garden path. Additionally, it trims your hedges! This tool ideally works on lightweight and delicate branches and bushes.
On the other hand, hedge cutters can handle more heavy-duty gardening requirements. Hence, cutters are more robust and have bigger blades to take care of thicker branches. Yet, it is not advisable to use this tool for finishing touches on your hedges.
For perfect hedges in your garden, these two tools are necessary. You can use the cutter if you need to work through sturdy branches, while the trimmer for that perfect finish looks.
Can you use a trimmer on wet hedges?
Your trimmer will not recognize the difference between dry and wet hedges. It can cut through them quickly, whatever the condition may be. However, your safety must still be a priority more than the tool. It might be better to wait for your garden to dry before working to avoid any physical injuries.
Additionally, cutting wet hedges can reduce the traction of the teeth on the branches and leaves. But for electric trimmers, you should never use them on wet fences. Otherwise, you are exposing yourself to possible electrocution.
How can I protect my trimmer blades from rust?
Dull blades will lessen the performance of your trimmer. To ensure that you get enough traction to cut through bushes and shrubs, you must keep the trimmer blade teeth sharp. You can do this by applying the right amount of lubrication.
Only use the specified hedge-trimmer teeth lubricant based on the user manual. You should also use a rag when applying the grease for your hands’ safety from cuts and wounds.
You should also avoid water or any liquid that can decrease the cutting mobility of your trimmer. Hence, it is wise to ensure that there is no water left on the machine before it is kept in your tool shed. It is also more dangerous if liquid gets into the cutting head motor.
Keeping hedges manicured and trimmed perfectly is no easy task. Hedges can make your home look more attractive and stylish, and they also keep those little critters away from your home.
Having a good hedge trimmer handy can make you accomplish your gardening tasks faster and more conveniently.
It will be wise to know the exact trimmer you need before buying one. Make sure that you are getting a tool based on your job requirements, more on the way it looks and feels.