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With gas prices at all-time highs, now’s a perfect opportunity to go electric with your yard tools. Battery-powered landscaping tools have come a long way in the last few years alone, charging up faster, lasting longer, and being easier to swap out — often interchangeable with other tools made by the same brand.
What to Know About Electric Hedge Trimmers
Ergonomics: Unlike a push-mower that’ll be staying on the ground, you’ll be consistently lifting and maneuvering your trimmer to reach above your head and get the perfect cut. So it’ll need to be lightweight and easy on your back, neck, and shoulders. Also if you’re getting extensions to reach up into tall trees, go for carbon fiber. Your body will thank you at the end of the day.
Power: A 20V lithium-ion battery is the common standard, give or take, and provides about 45 minutes of run time. A 22-inch blade is around standard size, but keep in mind what branches you’ll need to cut through. Slicing through hedges are no issue, but branches that are up to 3/4-inch thick may be too tough for some machines to handle. A decent trimmer provides over 2,000 strokes in about a minute, plus the option of a “boost” type button or switch helps to kick your trimmer into high gear temporarily to get it through stubborn snags. The opposite of that, a brake or emergency stop, can quickly stop the blade in dangerous situations.
Noise: As you’ve heard — often at 8 a.m. from your neighbor’s yard — gas-powered tools can get obnoxiously loud. Electric ones still make noise, but not nearly as much. By comparison, an electric can run under 100db. Anti-vibration technology also makes it even easier to operate, and padded grips give you greater control while preserving your hands.
If you have a professional landscaping business and deal with thick, unruly brush (and need to get the job done as quick as possible), gas is still a good backup option to have on hand. But for most average yard work, these will get the job done right, saving you money, preventing you from breathing in harmful fumes, and keeping your air clean.
1. Greenworks Pro Cordless Hedge Trimmer
For tall trees and tough-to-reach spots in the yard, Greenworks has you covered. The laser-cut steel blades slice through 1.2-inch bushes with ease, as the brushless motor gives it some serious torque. Having a head that swivels into seven different positions was an extra helpful convenience, as well as the wrap-around handle for better control of the 14.8-pound unit.
The 60V UltraPower lithium-ion 2.0Ah battery provides about an hour of runtime, without fumes, and keeping noise to a nice low – no gasoline needed, and no pull-cord either.
2. Black & Decker Cordless Hedge Trimmer
At under 8 pounds, Black & Decker’s hedge trimmer was refreshingly lightweight and easy to maneuver, even for amateur gardeners who may not be as experienced using tools. This can handle about 3000 square feet, or about 1.5 hours, before needing a recharge, thanks to the 20V MAX lithium ion battery, and is conveniently interchangeable with the company’s other battery-based devices.
It had no problem cutting through moderately thick branches (about an inch or so), and was able to work through minor jams on its own. It’s also equipped with a safety, and a handle that’s easy to grip without fatiguing your arms and shoulders.
3. Husqvarna Battery Hedge Trimmer
Husqvarna’s iconic orange trimmer stands out against any landscape, making it stylish and easy to spot too. But aesthetics are just the beginning for this versatile tool. At just 7.3 pounds, it’s among the lightest of its class, making it exceedingly easy to lift and move, and getting the most out of its 22-inch dual-action blades.
It’s also noticeably low-noise, allowing you to work without bothering neighbors, and the 36.5V battery performed well, keeping the brushless electric motor running around 1.5 to 2 hours.
4. Ego Power+ Cordless Hedge Trimmer
This 24-inch trimmer was on the longer side of what we found, just by a couple inches, but for hard-to-reach hedges, that can sometimes make all the difference.
The 2.5Ah battery lasted about 45 minutes, and runs quite quietly. Though it’s a few pounds heavier, it had more muscle than some of its competitors in the category and was better for stubborn and thick branches. An electric brake built-in gives you greater control over what you’re cutting, and the steel blades are fully serviceable too.