Keeping the garden neat and tidy is something we all like to do, and with spring just around the corner, it’s time to make sure we have everything in hand. Once in a while, it can be advisable to check the state of your power tools: lawnmowers can need maintenance before they come back to life for the season, and other items may need recharging so they are ready to use. Then, there are the tools that you really should have but have yet to get around to buying.
Among the most useful of these is the hedge trimmer, a very useful tool that will make your life a lot easier, and your garden a lot more attractive! If you trim your hedges now, you may do so using a traditional pair of shears. This is all very well – and you likely get a decent finish – but isn’t it rather old-fashioned to be using such a tool when there are more effective and efficient ways of trimming hedges? The hedge trimmer may just be the best new tool you buy, so let’s check out what they are all about – we’ll start by talking about how they work.
How Does a Hedge Trimmer Work?
Hedge trimmers are usually electrically powered, either by a mains connection or by a rechargeable battery. The electricity drives a motor within the outer casing – you will see that they look very much like chainsaws, upon which the principle is based – which in turn powers the blades. There are petrol-powered hedge trimmers available, but they tend to be heavy and cumbersome and are usually used commercially rather than by domestic users.
Now, to the blades, the important part! A hedge trimmer will have two blades, which resemble a length of metal with several teeth on them. With some models, one blade is static, while the other bladed moves backward and forwards as powered by the electric motor. The effect of this is a cutting motion that is fast and effective and, thanks to safety features built-in – such as a guard in front of your hands – safe when used as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
In other, more sophisticated models, both sets of blades may move in opposing directions. This has a number of benefits, the most important being greater effectiveness in cutting, and also less vibration. The latter is very important, as too much vibration from a fast-moving blade of this type can make using the tool uncomfortable, which defies the object.
Now that we know how a hedge trimmer works, how do you go about choosing the one for you? Let’s have a look at some important factors to consider when choosing a hedge trimmer.
What to Look for When Buying a Hedge Trimmer
There are a lot of brands and models on the market to choose from so it might not be easy to narrow down your options, but if you want more detail than we can go into you can read more here and get a good idea of the makes you should be looking for. We always recommend a known brand, as they tend to come with the promise of reliability and sensible warranties.
So, the first thing to consider is this: how long and high are your hedges, and how fast do they grow? This will naturally influence the regularity with which you will be using your hedge trimmer. If you have fast-growing hedges that are tall and established, you most likely want a model that is easy to handle and lightweight – yet powerful enough to do the job.
Does this bring us to the next question: cordless, or mains-powered? There are equal numbers of each available, and both are popular. The pros and cons are worth thinking about for each. For example, a cordless model, one where you charge the battery, and there is no limit put upon your movements by a power cord, is more versatile, and if you have hedged a long way from a nearby powerpoint, this may be the way to go. However, the fact the machine needs a heavy battery to keep it going means there will be quite a lot of extra weight compared to a corded model. If you don’t need to stray far from your PowerPoint, the corded model is lighter and perhaps easier to handle.
Also, you should look for safety features: a guard is essential – and you’ll find all have them – and a cut off if the blades become jammed is also advised. All in all, however, these are relatively simple machines designed to do a specific job, so we recommend you check out the different models available and see which ones are within your budget, draw up a shortlist, and buy a hedge trimmer so you can save time keeping things neat and tidy.
f you’re not keen on the idea of an electric hedge trimmer, you could consider getting a pair of hedge shears. These are a lightweight and cost effective alternative to electric trimmers and are also more environmentally friendly.