A hedge trimmer refers either to a manual gardening tool or a larger machine that you use for trimming hedges and bushes. There are various designs and sizes of hedge trimmers. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. The two main types of hedge trimmers in common usage are the tractor-mounted hedge trimmer and the stand-alone.
The average homeowners tend to use stand-alone trimmers for around the house maintenance. For this reason, in this article will be focusing mostly on how to use the different types of stand-alone hedge trimmers.
Manual Hedge Trimmers
The cheapest and most environmentally friendly trimmers are manually-operated hedge trimmers. They are also regularly called hedge shears or hedge clippers. These are designed like a giant pair of scissors and operate in the same way mechanically. They can also closely resemble pruning shears with much longer blades for cutting.
Manual trimmers are very easy to operate. You simply pull the handles outward to open the two blades up and close them again over the branches or leaves you want to trim. It’s essential to keep these trimmers well sharpened and lubricated if you want to make the job easier for yourself. When the blades become dull you will have a difficult time cutting anything.
- Easily stored in your garage taking up minimal space
- Lightweight design for mobility
- No Gas or Electricity required
- Manually Operated—causes fatigue more quickly
- Cutting and Pruning takes longer for big projects
- Blade can become dull over time making each cut inaccurate and hard to do
- Hard to reach some areas of your bushes/hedges with only your arms length
Motorized Hedge Trimmers
You can purchase a hedge trimmer that is powered by a motor (either gas or electric). These types of trimmers do not require as much manual effort and are able to cut through branches much more quickly.
With increased power you need to take more safety precautions. Wearing gloves, a long sleeve t-shirt, and safety glasses is always required when using a motorized hedge trimmer. It’s common for these trimmers to be built with a safety feature that will not allow them to operate unless both of your hands are engaged on the handles.
Maintaining the sharpness of these blades can take a bit more effort but the reward is worth it when you can quickly scythe through thicker branches and leaves smoothly and effortlessly.
Let’s take a look at each of the types of motorized trimmers individually:
Gasoline Powered Trimmers
- Most powerful type of hedge trimmer
- No electrical cord required
- Can cut most branches regardless of thickness
- Accurate cutting
- Gas motors are heavier than other motors although they still maintain mobility
- The gas powered motor requires more routine maintenance to function properly—just like your vehicle, mower, or gas weed eater
- Can be very loud when operating—always wear ear protection
Electric Power Trimmers
- Lightweight for easy handling and movement
- Deliver enough power to cut almost as effectively as a gas-powered trimmer
- Eco-Friendly—no exhaust fumes
- Quietly operates when cutting your landscape
- Some lower priced models do not cut as effectively as a gas-powered trimmer
- Must be connected to a source of electricity to power and operate
- Carrying the cord around with you reduces mobility and restricts your area of work
So, which one is best for you?
Manual trimmers are good enough for most people, as the majority of homeowners do not have large bushes in need of frequent trimming or shaping. If you are fit enough to do an average amount of yard work, a pair of manual hedge trimmers won’t be a problem for you.
However, if you have a higher number of bushes in your yard, you like to keep your bushes well trimmed and shaped or you are not quite fit enough to do an excess of yard work, than you should probably not use manual trimmers.
Gas-powered motorized trimmers are great. They have the power, mobility and the reach you need for any normal trimming project. However, they are usually the most expensive type of trimmers and most people don’t need this much power or functionality for the average trimming projects.
Note: These are also fairly heavy and might not work for you unless you are a strong person.
Electric hedge trimmers have the advantage of being lightweight and powerful enough to get a lot of jobs done. They are the in-between option for those who don’t need a lot of mobility for their yard but want to have a strong enough machine to get the job done well.
Each of these trimmer types has its advantages and disadvantages. You need to decide which type is going to suit your needs best hedge trimmer for your own personal landscaping projects.