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Best hedge trimmers 2024: Extensively tested options for every budget

Three cordless hedge trimmers against a blue backdrop

Getting your hedges in shape doesn’t have to be a struggle with our pick of the best hedge trimmers, tried and tested

Whether you’re growing a hedge for privacy and home security or trying something more ornamental, a good hedge trimmer is a must-have, making short work of trimming long or tall hedges and helping keep any topiary tidy.

Hedge trimmers are so effective in controlling unruly foliage that you may only need to use them twice or thrice per hedge each year. They’re also great for controlling shrubs especially if they’re thick or growing leggy.

Many hedge trimmers are available, with models offering different blade and teeth sizes. But which is best for you and your needs? In the last five years I’ve tested more than 16 hedge trimmers on hedges and shrubs in my back garden, and below you’ll find the trimmers I recommend for a range of hedges, budgets and sizes of garden. If you need more guidance, refer to the buying guide that follows the reviews; it’ll tell you everything you need to know to make the right decision.

How we test hedge trimmers

I begin by unpacking each hedge trimmer and, with cordless models, giving the battery a full charge. I then take each trimmer out to battle with a mix of heavy conifer, box, laurel and hornbeam hedges, cutting sections of each to see how the trimmer handles different sizes and densities of hedge.

I test each trimmer’s ability to cut cleanly through thicker branches – between 10mm and 30mm in diameter, depending on the specified maximum cutting width – and look at how they cope with the thinner, springier stems of box or lonicera hedging, which can sometimes jam up larger and more powerful trimmers. Finally, for cordless trimmers, I check how long the battery lasts in operation, and how long it takes to recharge once flat.

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The best hedge trimmers you can buy in 2024

1. Flymo 18V EasiCut 450: Best cordless trimmer for lightweight trimming and shaping

Price when reviewed: £149 (with battery and charger) | Check price at B&Q

best hedge trimmer flymo 18V easicut 450

  • Great for… trimming and shaping lightweight hedges
  • Not so great for… tackling thicker hedging and tough branches

The EasiCut 450 feels lighter than its 2.6kg weight, making it a great, well-balanced option for tackling small or lighter hedges. I found it easily clipped through leaves, brush and smaller branches without any serious trouble, and it’s easy to manoeuvre while shaping lonicera or privet. Just watch out when tackling thicker conifer hedges or larger branches; the 16mm stated cutting width is very much the maximum, and it can jam with anything too tough or sticky.

This one has some useful safety features, too, including chunky triggers on the handles, a large protective shield, and a guard at the end of the blade. These help give less experienced hedge trimmers a bit more confidence when wielding the tool. And as it uses the same 18V Power for All batteries as a wide range of garden and power tools from Bosch, Flymo and Gardena, there’s scope to bag a couple of batteries and share them across several tools. The 2.0Ah battery lasts 40 minutes or more from a single charge, with useful indicators on the top giving you a good idea of the current level. Provided you don’t need a more powerful trimmer, you’ll find this one easy on the arms and comfortable to use.

Key specs – Power source: 18V Li-ion battery; Power: Not supplied; Blade length: 45cm; Maximum branch width: 16mm; Weight: 2.6kg

2. Husqvarna Aspire H50-P4A: Best compact, high-performance cordless trimmer

Price when reviewed: £130 (tool only), £175 (with 2.5A battery and charger) | Check price at Sam Turner & Sons 

Image of the Husqvarna Aspire H50P-4A hedge trimmer

  • Great for… thick branches, leaf removal
  • Not so great for… not much – it’s a strong all-round performer

Smaller hedge trimmers often lack the power of the larger models, but the Husqvarna Aspire H50-P4A is an exception. Despite its moderate 50cm blade length and 3.1kg weight, it can handle surprisingly thick branches and some fairly woody shrubs and hedges. That’s thanks to a powerful 2,800 cut/minute motor and a wide tooth gap, both of which enable it to cut through branches of up to 23mm without serious resistance. I used it to trim some overgrown lonicera and dense conifer hedging and it surpassed my expectations, chopping through sections that would make even some larger hedge trimmers jam or choke.

The advantage of a smaller, lighter tool is that it’s less tiring on the arms and somewhat easier to manoeuvre, and the strong ergonomics of the Aspire H50-P4A make it pretty comfortable to use. I particularly like the removable leaf catcher, which you can use to push any clippings out of the way while you’re trimming. Power comes from an 18V Power 4 All battery, which can be shared with other garden tools not just from Husqvarna, but also from Gardena, Flymo and Bosch. A charge gave me roughly 40 minutes of work, with the battery recharging back up to 80% over 40 minutes or to full given an hour. It’s another factor that makes the Aspire H50-P4A a great all-rounder, especially in small to mid-sized gardens where lighter trimmers might struggle with the heavy foliage in need of a trim.

Key specs – Power source: 18V 2.5Ah Li-ion battery, 60min charge time; Blade length: 50cm; Maximum branch width: 23mm; Weight: 3.1kg

3. Makita DUH751Z: Best heavy-duty cordless trimmer

Price when reviewed: £285 (tool only) | Check price at Powertool World

  • Great for… trimming thick coniferous or woody hedges
  • Not so great for… going easy on the arms

The DUH751Z is a heavy trimmer designed for heavy-duty work; it’s over 1.2m long with a 75cm blade, and it weighs in at 4.5kg with the battery pack installed. To counter this, Makita has put some serious thought into the ergonomics, with a rotating handle to help take the strain off your arms whether you’re trimming vertically across the face of the edge or horizontally to keep it clipped along the top.

You’ll be glad of its length – and its power – when you’ve got a lot of hedge to trim. I found that even with dense conifers or woody laurel, its massive blade and triple-edge tooth design were up to any challenge. It can handle branches of up to 23.5mm in width, and it trimmed a thick fir hedge reasonably quickly without any annoying jams or snarl-ups. What’s more, when paired with Makita’s 18V 5A battery, the DUH751Z seems to go on forever. With over 90 minutes of use from a charge, I had to take a break before it did. For most people, a trimmer this big and heavy is going to be overkill, but it makes short work of some of the longest and most strenuous hedging jobs.

Key specs – Power source: 18V Li-ion battery; Power: N/S; Blade length: 75cm; Maximum branch width: 23.5mm; Weight: 4.5kg

4. Bosch UniversalHedgeCut 18-55: Best cordless trimmer for larger gardens

Price when reviewed: £128 | Check price at Amazon

best hedge trimmer BOSCH universalhedgecut 55 cordless hedge trimmer

  • Great for… trimming a range of hedges around a medium-sized or larger garden
  • Not so great for… actually, it’s pretty great at everything

The UniversalHedgeCut 18-55 is a big step up from smaller budget trimmers, giving you a longer blade and more cutting power so that you’re equipped to clip larger, taller hedges. In tests, I found it beefy enough to tackle massive and unruly hedges, including springy lonicera, hard laurel and woody conifer. Branches bigger than 20mm are out of the question, but it’ll take most hedges and shrubs in its stride.

The UniversalHedgeCut 18-55 uses Bosch’s 18V Power 4 All batteries, which is great news if you use other cordless tools from the same brand, or its Power 4 All partners, Flymo, Gardena and Husqvarna. The 2.5A battery supplied takes just over an hour to charge and kept me trimming for close to 80 minutes. That’s ideal for tackling hedges in and around a medium-sized or larger garden, which is the kind of task this trimmer will handle in style.

Key specs – Power source: 18V Li-ion battery; Power: Not supplied; Blade length: 55cm; Maximum branch width: 20mm; Weight: 2.7kg

5. Gardena Comfort Cut 50/18V: Best hedge trimmer for comfort and power

Price when reviewed: £90 (tool only) | Check price at Amazon

best hedge trimmer gardena comfort cut 5018V

  • Great for… cutting performance and ease of use
  • Not so great for… heavy-duty work

The Gardena Comfort Cut 50/18V is another great choice for small to mid-sized gardens. As the name suggests, it’s been designed for comfort. It’s well-balanced and solidly built, with grippy, non-slip handles and good protection for the hands and blade. While it’s a little noisy for a cordless model – with a high-pitched motor noise that hits around 94dB at peak – there’s surprisingly little vibration transmitted through the handle.

Crucially, there’s a lot more cutting power here than with many other lightweight cordless trimmers. The Gardena pushes smoothly through lonicera, privet, conifer, and hornbeam hedging, leaving a nice clean edge. For once, the 20mm maximum cutting width seems fairly accurate as it deals with chunky branches without any serious trouble. It uses the same Power For All batteries as other tools in the Power For All Alliance – including tools from Flymo, Husqvarna, and Bosch – and you can get 45 minutes from a 2.0Ah battery or over 60 with a 2.5Ah cell. That should easily be enough to tackle a substantial set of hedges, and the Comfort Cut 50/18V is perfect for the job.

Key specs – Power source: 18V Li-ion battery; Power: Not supplied; Blade length: 50cm; Maximum branch width: 20mm; Weight: 2.8kg

6. Black & Decker GT6060: Best corded hedge trimmer

Price when reviewed: £80 | Check price at Argos

  • Great for… anyone needing an inexpensive but still powerful trimmer
  • Not so great for… potential cord-cutters

If you’re looking for a little more power – or perhaps a longer running time – than a cordless hedge trimmer can provide, this 600W unit from Black & Decker is well worth a look. While it can tackle branches of up to 25mm in diameter using its trimming blades, an additional saw blade at the end of the blades allows it to cut wood of up to 35mm across; a real bonus when you’re dealing with chunky branches on a conifer or laurel hedge.

The compact body of the trimmer has been engineered to be 10% lighter than previous models in the range. It’s still not as light as some of the smaller cordless modes but what you get in return for the extra weight is extra power. The 600W motor has enough beef to slice through thicker hedging, and I found it didn’t jam when cutting smaller, thinner stuff. You need to carry an extension reel and do your best not to cut the cord – I tend to drape it over my shoulder and progress away from the extension reel as I trim, so it’s always behind me. Anyone looking for a cheap, effective hedging tool should have the GT6060 near the top of their list.

Key specs – Power source: Electricity; Power: 600W; Blade length: 60cm; Maximum branch width: 35mm (using saw blade); Weight: 2.7kg

7. Bosch EasyHedgeCut60: Best corded hedge trimmer for smaller gardens

Price when reviewed: £95 | Check price at Amazon

best hedge trimmer bosch easyhedgecut 60 hedge trimmer

  • Great for… tackling all the hedging around a small to medium-sized garden
  • Not so great for… larger gardens where the cable becomes a burden

The EasyHedgeCut 60 is a great alternative to the Black & Decker GT6060 if you don’t need quite such a heavy-duty trimmer. It’s well-designed and easy to manage – as long as you can keep the cable under control – and the supplied cable plugs into a connector on the handle, so accidentally chopping through it wouldn’t be a complete disaster. Just make sure you’re plugged in through an RCD, for safety’s sake.

The 60cm blade and T-shaped handle on the top help to make easy work of trimming the sides or levelling off the tops of a thick hedge. While the 16mm maximum cutting width sounds small, I found that the EasyHedgeCut 60 was still able to slice through wayward hazel growth that some of the cordless models baulked at. The power advantage really made itself felt, with the EasyHedgeCut 60 feeling smooth and assured even when tackling thick and woody hedging. If you’re happy with the constraints of a corded trimmer, this is one of the very best around.

Key specs – Power source: Electric; Power: 450W; Blade length: 60cm; Maximum branch width: 16mm; Weight: 2.8kg

8. Worx WG801E: Best cordless shrub clippers

Price when reviewed: £115 | Check price at Amazon 


  • Great for… sculpting and shaping your topiary
  • Not so great for… tackling anything larger than a small bush or hedge

Worx’s compact handheld trimmer is perfect for shaping smaller shrubs and hedges, making it a great addition to your garden toolkit if you’re getting into topiary. It comes with a choice of three blades to tackle different types of shrubs or hedges, including one that’s ideal for trimming ornamental grasses. I wouldn’t want to tackle anything too large or woody with it, but it can be surprisingly useful when you’re in a tight spot or you’re struggling to reach up high and clip a few stray branches at the very top.

It’s brilliant on lightweight box or Lonicera hedging, even if you lack Edward Scissorhands skills. It also uses the same 20V batteries as other Worx garden and DIY power tools, with the 2A battery lasting for around an hour and taking two hours to charge. This handy little hedge trimmer won’t be for everyone, but it’s ideal for those in need of something small and more precise

Key specs – Power source: 20V Li-ion battery; Power: Not supplied; Blade length: 10-20cm; Maximum branch width: 8mm; Weight: 550g

9. McCulloch Superlite 4528: Best petrol hedge trimmer

Price when reviewed: £224 | Check price at AmazonMcCulloch SuperLite 4528 hedge trimmer

  • Great for… versatile cutting power
  • Not so great for… portability and ease of use

Petrol hedge trimmers still have their place when you have a lot of hedges to trim and no desire to keep a bank of batteries charging. The Superlite 4528 is a great example. It has an impressive level of power and you can keep it running for as long as you have fuel. There’s a price to pay in terms of size and weight – at 4.8kg, it feels heavy – but features like a quiet-running motor and an anti-vibration system make trimming as comfortable as possible. Its OxyPower technology also minimises fuel consumption, while its Soft Start feature means less strain and impact on your joints and the mechanics from tugging on the starter cord.

The other thing a petrol mower brings to the party is cutting power, and the Superlite 4528 has what it takes to handle everything from lightweight box hedging to thicker walls of conifer, with a maximum branch width of 20mm. With the weight and the hassle of refuelling, today’s cordless hedge trimmers have the edge on ease of use, but if you want a trimmer that can keep on trimming, the Superlite 4528 could be just what you need.

Key specs – Power source: Petrol; Power: 22cc; Blade length: 45cm; Maximum branch width: 20mm recommended; Weight: 4.8kg

10. Einhell GE-HC 18 Li T: Best cordless trimmer for taming tall hedges, shrubs and trees

Price when reviewed: £138 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… tackling the tops of tall hedges, trees and shrubs
  • Not so great for… smaller hedges, where it feels too big and too unwieldy

This Einhell extendable trimmer mounts a 40cm blade on a telescopic pole, which stretches out to up to 1.7m for clipping 2m or even 3m hedges without the aid of a platform or ladder. That makes a big difference when you’re trimming a tall hedge or an oversized shrub, and with a 22mm maximum cutting width and plenty of power, you can clip some quite hefty examples. What’s more, should you come across something the blade can’t handle, the GE-HC18 has a party trick: its trimmer head can be switched out for a mini-chainsaw attachment, with a 20mm blade that will cut through thicker branches. I’ve used it for trimming fruit and conifer trees as well as super-sized hornbeam hedging, and on both occasions, it jammed occasionally but mostly worked well.

I like the way that both heads pivot, so that you can keep it straight for trimming the side of a hedge, then move to a right angle for clipping along the top. And as the GE-HC18 uses the same Power X-Change batteries and chargers as other cordless Einhell tools, you can share them and the charge between, say, a hedge trimmer, grass trimmer and lawnmower. The basic 2.5Ah battery lasts for around 30 to 35 minutes before needing a recharge, but using a 4.0Ah battery borrowed from a cordless mower, I could extend that to an hour.

Einhell also makes the GE-HH 18/45; a cheaper, hedge-trimmer-only tool without the chainsaw attachment. But when that pint-sized chainsaw is so useful, I’d recommend paying the extra.

Key specs – Power source: 18V 3Ah Li-ion battery, 60min charge time; Blade length: 40cm; Maximum branch width: 22mm; Weight: 2.9kg

11. Kärcher KGE 18-50: The most versatile cordless trimmer

Price when reviewed: From £137 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… trimming just about everything
  • Not so great for… cutting through the thickest branches

The Kärcher HGE 18-50 is a strong all-rounder, with the kind of blade and cutting width you need to handle a wide range of shrubs and hedges. With it, I could tackle tough and woody conifer hedging in my front garden, then pivot to trim a tricky area of rogue box hedging that tends to jam some larger trimmers up. I’ve found that very thick branches might slow the HGE 18-50 down or even stop it in its tracks, but in most cases, it’ll keep on clipping without any worries.

There are some great design features here, as well, including a lever that allows you to rotate the blade by twisting the top handle. With this, you can keep adjusting the blade’s angle as you trim across the side of the hedge or clip along the top, and it takes some of the strain from your hands and arms. Even with a heavy 5A battery attached, this is one of the most comfortable trimmers that I’ve tested. What’s more, that 5A battery kept running for nearly an hour, and still had enough charge left over to go into a Kärcher garden vacuum and suck up and mulch some of the clippings. The 2.5Ah battery that’s supplied with the standard kit isn’t nearly as beefy, but it should be good for 40 minutes of trimming. It’s a fantastic cordless hedge-trimmer for nearly every job.

Even with a heavy battery attached – we tested with Karcher’s 18V, 5Ah unit – it’s a very easy trimmer to work with, and that battery kept on going for nearly an hour and still had enough puff left to sweep up some clipping in a Karcher garden vacuum. It’s compatible with all batteries from Karcher’s 18V platform, which is handy if you have existing tools. Otherwise, you will need to budget an additional £93 to £120 for a battery and charger.

Key specs – Power source: 18V Li-ion battery; Power: Not supplied; Blade length: 50cm; Maximum branch width: 22mm; Weight: 2.9kg

How to choose the best hedge trimmer for you

What type of hedge trimmer is best for me?

Ultimately, the most suitable type of hedge trimmer for you will come down to the size, type and number of hedges you need to tend to. For smaller gardens, an electric or battery-operated hedge trimmer may be best, but if you have a lot of hedge to edge, or it’s a long distance from the nearest available plug socket, a petrol trimmer might be more suitable.

Electric hedge trimmers are generally affordable, easy to use, and they require very little maintenance. The only real downside is the power cord: long cables are usually preferable, but you still might need an extension reel. Either way, there’s still a risk of slicing through it, so a circuit breaker – either built into your extension cable or a plug-in type – is a very good idea to keep you safe.

Cordless hedge trimmers have become much cheaper than they used to be, while the limitations in battery life and cutting performance are fast disappearing. Poor battery capacity used to be the biggest drawback, but we’re now seeing trimmers with 2.0Ah or 2.5Ah batteries that can run for close to an hour, or even more, from a full charge. Some of the more heavy-duty cordless trimmers can comfortably tackle large or lengthy hedges without any trouble whatsoever. With the aid of a second battery and optional fast charger, even professional gardeners can go cordless these days.

Petrol hedge trimmers can be used anywhere and will tackle any type, length or number of hedges – as long as you have fuel. They will even tackle thicker branches that would scare off most cordless or electric models. This comes at a cost, though. You’re looking at a heavier, bulkier piece of equipment that’s more awkward to store and requires more maintenance. Unless you’ve got endless hedges or you’re a professional gardener, you’re better off with a cordless trimmer these days.

What size blade do I need?

Generally speaking, bigger is better, especially if you have a lot of hedge to trim. However, the bigger the trimmer, the heavier it is, and you will be surprised how much difference a kilogram or two can make when you’re spending an hour or so holding the machine at shoulder height or reaching up to tackle the top of a taller hedge. The sweet spot for most people is usually around 45-55cm, but you may want to go bigger if you have a lot of long or high hedges in need of a trim.

The bigger issue is the space between the teeth of the trimmer, or the maximum cutting width. This effectively sets how big the branches in your hedge can be and still get cut, so take a good look at your hedges before you decide to go too small. The odd thicker branch here and there isn’t a problem – you can usually deal with it using loppers or a pruning saw – but try to tackle a thick conifer hedge with a tool that isn’t up to the job, and you will find you keep stopping and starting as the trimmer jams. For lighter box, privet or lonicera hedges, 15mm will be fine; but go upwards of 20mm if you’re dealing with, say, laurel or conifer.

Are there any other features I should look for?

Many hedge trimmers now come with extra features to make your experience safer and easier. These include safety mechanisms, such as an automatic brake to stop movement instantly, anti-jamming systems to prevent stalling caused by trapped branches, and handguards to offer extra protection while working.

Occasionally, a hedge trimmer will also come with a clipping collector. This will save you from having to pick up all the clippings after you’ve finished, but these are quite rare and can make trimming more difficult if they’re poorly designed.

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