Choosing Cordless hedge trimmers
Among the most essential tools for the garden is a cordless hedge trimmer. Having a hedge trimmer can keep your hedges and shrubs in shape while not costing you excessive time or effort.
Having the appropriate hedge trimmer will do the task in an efficient, reliable, and swift way. Once you have determined it is time to get invested in a hedge trimmer, or you are willing to find a replacement for one that is becoming outdated, below are the key facts you should consider in finding the perfect one for you.
- What is a hedge trimmer?
- How to use a hedge trimmer?
- What can you use hedge trimmers on?
- Differences between electric and battery hedge trimmers
- Advantages of battery hedge trimmers
- Disadvantages of battery hedge trimmer
- Gas vs electric hedge trimmer
- Hedge trimmer vs chainsaw
- Hedge trimmer safety
- How to trim bushes with an electric trimmer?
- How To Trim Hedges – Video
- FAQ – Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer
This tool will do just what the name suggests: it will trim your hedges. Younger baby hedges that were planted quite late and are in the process of being developed usually do not need much effort. A gentle trimming with scissors or hedge shears is okay now and then.
As the hedges become more mature, you may want to use the hedge trimmer more generously, based on the appearance you’re aiming for. The hedge trimmer is awesome for maintaining your hedges beautiful, dense and compact.
Trimmers are more commonly used for easy branch and bush tasks. However, the more intricate the result you would like from your hedges, the more frequently you will be using hedge trimmers to get them to perfection. Regardless of if it’s something fancier or a basic trimmed box hedge, hedge trimmers will be the perfect tool for the task. When you’re handling more casual hedges, a nice trim performed about once a year is perfect. When your hedges are more formal in character, and you have a little more style packed into them, you would like to have beautiful, evenly trimmed hedges. These will need a proper trim no less than two times a year.
The use of a cordless hedge trimmer is simple since it has no cords or fuel tank. Just put in a newly recharged battery and switch on the hedge trimmer to start working on your bushes and hedges. All you have to do is verify that the trimmer is running on a completely loaded battery before you start using it. By doing this, you will not need to pause the trimmer to give it a new charge after you have used it for a couple of minutes.
In case you got a backup battery, simply replace the battery by pausing the trimmer for a couple of minutes. By doing so, you avoid spending time recharging the battery while you are trimming.
Hedge trimmers are basically garden equipment that is used to trim, form or trim plants in the backyard and garden. There are different types and models of them, allowing the buyer to select from a great number when shopping.
Conventional choices include gas-powered hedge trimmers, though today there is a growing range of appliances that are supplied with electricity. Having a powered by gas hedge trimmer is going to ensure maintaining the hedges surrounding your home and yard beautiful and well-maintained is a lot easier, and will keep the job completed sooner. Plus, while these hedge trimmers are generally used to trim back shrubs and hedges to get them in their finest shape, they do of course have other applications also. Assuming your hedge trimmer remains in excellent shape, is functioning smoothly, and features sharp cutting blades, it can accomplish even more than you could dream of.
The basic difference between the two types of devices is clear: it is the type of power supply. With electric devices, you work corded, so the radius of action is limited simply by the length of the cable. However, it is not only the cable length that is a hindrance for the user of an electric hedge trimmer: it is also the cable itself that more often “gets in the way” here. Why is this?
Who operates a hedge trimmer, performs with this garden tool quite different movements than, for example, with an electric hedge trimmer:
- for example, sometimes the hedge trimmer must be guided over a certain distance at a constant height (horizontal cut)
- then again, for vertical cuts, it must be constantly moved up and down between the ground and a maximum height
- and finally, it can happen that the whole shear has to be lifted above the own head with outstretched arms (so-called “overhead cut”, e.g. to shorten a thuja tree that has grown to 2.50 meters).
In all these activities, the extension cord is not only a hindrance but also dangerous. It is, therefore, no wonder that cables are cut particularly frequently when using electric tail shears, and the owners of such devices can breathe a sigh of relief after switching to the rechargeable battery variant. the danger of cutting the cable is eliminated, as is lugging it along and constantly paying attention to the cable, and on top of that, the effort required is less with the rechargeable battery variant.
Li-ion batteries have become a standard on the market of electrically powered household and garden tools.
However, they are now also being used to an increasing extent in industry, especially in the automotive industry. There are several reasons for the widespread use and good acceptance of this technology:
- Weight and size
Li-ion batteries are about 60% smaller and lighter than comparable NiCd (nickel-cadmium) batteries.
- Low self-discharge
If you leave the battery on the basement shelf for 3 months without using it, the self-discharge is currently about 2% on average.
In general, the manufacturers of LI batteries recommend storing them as cool as possible, because this increases the cycle life and further reduces the already low self-discharge. (A “cycle” in this context means the complete charging of the battery and subsequent consumption of this charge until it is recharged).
- Long service life
The short service life of classic NiCd batteries is a particularly annoying disadvantage of battery technology for many users. On the one hand, the battery itself is quite expensive, and if it gives up the ghost after only one year, and you have to buy a new one for a lot of money, this calls into question the supposed advantage of the purchased garden tool.
But: modern LI batteries have a significantly longer life than outdated NiCd batteries. In addition, with a little care, the user can influence the life of his batteries, for example, by storing them in a cool place and paying attention to the degree of discharge: Lithium-ion batteries that are only 50% discharged (i.e. that are still “half full” after one work cycle) can last more than twice the number of cycles (see also Wikipedia: Lithium-ion battery).
- No memory effect
This effect occurs only with NiCd accumulators and to a reduced extent with NiMh (nickel-metal hydride) accumulators. It is a consequence of frequent partial discharges and leads to a gradual decrease in capacity.
While partial discharges are not detrimental to LI batteries and even extend their service life, this is not the case with NiCd batteries. In the case of frequent partial discharges (e.g. when the battery is only every half discharged), the battery remembers the degree of discharge and “thinks” for the next cycle that it will not have to provide as much nominal capacity in the future.
So, the use of rechargeable batteries in hedge trimmers brings many advantages, but you should also see where the limitations and disadvantages of this technology:
- Limited run times
The running times of the rechargeable batteries vary between models. Depending on the workload, a battery can last a hedge trimmer even a full hour.
Therefore, with a fully charged battery, you can get quite a bit done – although it depends on how big the amount is and what it consists of. If you want to work longer on one piece, you should get a spare battery.
- Battery charging times
You should definitely get a fast charger for this (charging time usually 30-45 minutes for 18V batteries). Most manufacturers offer this nowadays, but hedge trimmers are often still delivered with chargers that take between 2 and 3 hours for a full charge.
However, there are now more and more units on the market that come in combination with a fast charger.
- Battery life is limited
This is not surprising, because every technical consumer item eventually ends up either in the trash or – as in the case of rechargeable batteries – in a recycling plant. The service life is not measured in years but in the number of working cycles.
Good LI batteries can easily survive 800-1000 work cycles, i.e. 800 to 1000 times charging and discharging.
Gas Powered Hedge Trimmers
Gas-powered hedge trimmers are the perfect option when you want lots of performance. Commonly, they are capable of cutting through thicker branches than their electric equivalents, in some cases up to 1″ in thickness.
They are also frequently capable of cutting more quickly compared to other trimmers. This means you can finish your jobs more quickly than if you were using an electric hedge trimmer. With no cords and no plug necessary, gas-powered hedge trimmers can be easily handled and used wherever you might want them. Even the use in humid weather is not an issue.
Besides the beneficial features of gas-powered hedge trimmers, it is important to remember that these are heavier than electric trimmers, meaning that you fatigue more quickly with them. They are generally not zero-emission, meaning that they are not so friendly to the environment. Such machines need a blend of gasoline and oil to run, which can push up the total expense. They are typically higher priced as a result of the additional output and the necessity for a limited supply of fuel.
Overall, gas-powered hedge trimmers are well suited for big jobs.
If you have a lot of surface area to cover, gas-powered is a great option. It is also the proper option when working on a site that was not cleaned for a long time, as the branches may have grown in thickness. For big jobs, it’s certainly definitely worth checking out the gas-powered choices.
Electric hedge trimmers
A hedge trimmer that is powered by electricity or battery may not be nearly as efficient as a gas-powered hedge trimmer, but it will nevertheless be quite handy for most trimming tasks.
According to the model, electric hedge trimmers can easily cut through branches ranging from 1/4″ to 1/2″ in thickness. Such trimmers do not need any fuel to run; they only have to be connected to an electrical socket or powered by a fully loaded rechargeable battery. They don’t create any emissions, therefore maintaining a greener, healthier atmosphere while you complete your tasks.
Electric hedge trimmers usually are less pricey than gasoline-powered trimmers, and in addition, you don’t need to be concerned about oil or gasoline. Also, they tend to be far more silent, which implies you will not have to use ear protectors and will be in a position to finish your task safely, avoiding annoying your neighbors. Such hedge trimmers have a much lower weight, making them easier to operate and reducing the strain on your body.
Once you’re searching for an electric hedge trimmer, you need to pick between a corded and a cordless hedge trimmer, along with both of them coming with a few distinctions.
Whereas the corded hedge trimmer is perhaps the stronger of these two, the cable can quite often be in the way. Battery-powered hedge trimmers may not have this concern, however, chances are that the battery will be dead before the task is completed. Either way, you really need to be aware of the kind of hedge trimmer that you would like to have before making a purchase.
When looking at the things that chainsaws and hedge trimmers have in common, the one thing they share is that they both have bars and can either be gas or electric-driven. But when it has to do with how they cut, hedge trimmers and chainsaws are two entirely distinct creatures.
A chainsaw will cut similar to a band saw, its teeth move around the bar and tear up whatever they touch as they go. A hedge trimmer is much different. These tools are more similar to a reciprocating saw, in that the blade will swing back and forth, slicing whatever is tiny enough to pass into the notches on the bar itself.
As you might guess, chainsaws and hedge trimmers can get a lot of the same job done, but also provide distinct capabilities.
So what is the main purpose of a hedge trimmer and a chainsaw? When it comes to a chainsaw, the tool is meant to be used primarily for cutting branches and logs. Actually, some are big enough to entirely cut through the trunk of a huge tree. Without a chainsaw, you wouldn’t really be able to fell a tree properly unless you owned an ax or a handheld long saw, and both are hardly handy or fast when cutting down a tree.
Hedge trimmers, however, are made for trimming bushes and hedges into shape. They do so by trimming the ends off of smaller branches. As this is their primary function, they don’t have as much output as chainsaws, just because they don’t have to be as powerful to do their work. Using a hedge trimmer is much preferable to using pruners or clippers, as they get the job done much faster and easier.
As you can see, there are things that both hedge trimmers and chainsaws are good at, however, while there are tasks in the garden that can be completed by either tool, you first need to determine just exactly what you are going to complete before selecting the appropriate tool. Many jobs in the garden can’t be done with both tools, and in some cases, choosing one over the other can make the task much more difficult.
Remember that both hedge trimmers and chainsaws are powerful tools, but their function and the overall performance they provide differ somewhat. If you tried to cut down a tree with a hedge trimmer, you might be successful, but it would take a ridiculously long time.
On the other hand, if you were to attempt to trim your hedges with a chainsaw, you might get the job done, but you would also likely find that smaller branches are pushed aside instead of being cut. In addition, small branches are often dangerous if they get caught in the chainsaw, which makes using a chainsaw for this purpose very impractical.
A premium hedge trimmer is long-lasting, strong, and smooth-running, making tough jobs look virtually effortless. As an operator, it’s essential to stay alert when it comes to safety – and don’t get caught up in a misguided belief that they are safe. While many of today’s hedge trimmers are built safer than ever before, there is still little in the path of careless use.
Essential safety measures
Put your hedge trimmer on the ground and grip it securely with your left hand, rather than your foot. Obviously, then start the hedge trimmer using your free hand, though at no time wind the starter cord around that freehand.
Be careful that nobody approaches within 40 or 45 feet of you while the hedge trimmer is operating. Never work from a stepladder or stool, etc. Be sure to step on a sturdy platform with a convenient space between your legs whenever you are operating the hedge trimmer. Handle the hedge trimmer using both hands and keeping your hands, legs, and feet well away from the blades while the motor is on.
Also, be careful of the things you aren’t going to trim. In this context, we’re speaking of stones, sticks, and anything else foreign, along with power cables. If you hit an unwanted item, be sure to get the machine to a complete stop as quickly as you can.
Protective clothing may include eye protectors, ear muffs, slip-resistant footwear or boots, long pants, and work gloves.
Basic tips for the user
Operate with a swinging, upward movement when you trim the sides. Try to refrain from stretching your arms out in front of your body, as it will interfere with your balance. Do not hurry, but work evenly till the hedge is uniformly trimmed.
Refer to your safety guide
This is only a short summary of the basic safe work practices. Remember as usual – read, comprehend and obey the directions in your safety handbook along with the different safety icons and warnings that are included in the instructions and on the tool itself.
Step 1. Plan your hedge design
Before you start trimming, think about the overall design you want to achieve. Hedges can make an excellent privacy screen, add texture to your yard, or add a little personality to your landscape.
- Add interest to the front of your home with carefully planted and shaped hedges.
- Plant a living privacy screen in the backyard with a tall hedge.
- If you like a whimsical feel, you can trim hedges in the shape of animals or people.
- Add texture to the landscape with a low hedge along the property line.
- Create an interesting landscape by using hedges to highlight a focal point in the garden.
Step 2. Plugging in the hedge trimmer
First, obviously, you should plug in the hedge trimmer and check that the length of the extension cord is sufficient for bigger cutting tasks. Take care that the extension cord is rated for safety and take into account the height of the hedge as you decide on the length of the extender cord. Verify that the battery is fully loaded when using a cordless unit. Pass the cable behind you to improve safety when you trim.
Step 3. Start working from the bottom up
- While trimming hedges or shrubs, remember to begin from the base up. Aim to begin at the bottom and gradually move your way up. Avoid applying unnecessary effort to the trimmer, and be patient.
- Trim the hedge gradually and be careful about the depth of your cut.
- When you cut too far into the hedge, you may risk the appearance of an uneven hedge, which does not do justice to a proper professional trim.
- It is important to keep the following tips in mind:
- Do not put excessive force on the trimmer – allow it to perform the job for you.
- Use a swinging movement to bring thinner branches into shape.
Step 4. Angle the sides
The sides of the hedge need a bit of tweaking to achieve the desired shape. Hedges becomes more narrow at the top and wider at the bottom, so you will have to cut the sides of the hedge at an angle. Having an angle is essential for appearance, but even of more importance is to let the sunlight into the hedge. Once the sides have been angled correctly, let the sun get to the hedge’s roots system to enable uniform growth.
Step 5. Cut the tops
Trimming the top of you to give your hedges a much more professional appearance. While many homeowners are apprehensive about trimming the tops, it is pretty simple if you understand the way pros trim the tops. Move the trimmer to the left and right while keeping it level on the top of the hedge. Take it slowly and be sure to trim a couple of inches at a time. Staying focused and patient are the main keys to getting an equal trim. The tops are cut last since you always want to begin from the base to the top of your hedges.
If you are worried that the final resulting cut will be uneven, you might wish to consider taking a pack of pickets tied with string to serve as a guide while trimming.
As soon as you are ready with the upper sides of the hedges, you need to do this:
- Take a step back and inspect the hedge for any excess growth inside the hedge.
- Brush or rake up once you have completed cutting the hedge.
- Once you are done trimming, be sure to clean the blades and grease them carefully to maintain their condition for the following trim.
- If you experience any issues with the blades or trimmer, have it fixed before you start trimming again.
At any point, you may go back and have the hedge trimmed at that time.
A great hedge trimmer could significantly ease the maintenance of your garden, but finding a model with the proper performance for your needs and one which is safe for you to use is key. Be sure to spend some time going through your choices and figuring out how well each one matches the kind of job you plan to do with your hedge trimmer.
How To Trim Hedges - Video
FAQ - Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer
16-inch or smaller blades are ideal for small and average-sized hedges. 18-inch blades are ideal for average and larger-sized hedges. 20-inch and larger blades are the best hedge trimmers for thick branches and ideal for large, established hedges. Left-handed users may find it easier to operate double-sided blades.
Hedge trimmers, whether gas, electric, or battery-powered, are ideal for cutting hedges and thin branches up to about 3/4 inches. Anything bigger than this could snag on the teeth of the trimmer and cause it to seize up, so it’s best to use a more powerful hedge cutter or chainsaw for larger branches.
Whereas trimmers handle the lighter, more delicate jobs when it comes to your hedges, cutters deal with the more heavy-duty work. These are much more robust because they need to deal with a much bigger and usually thicker workload.