As the autumn creeps ever on towards the winter – at least in the northern hemisphere – hedges are beginning to grow dormant after months of spring- and summertime growth. It’s a good time to trim the verge and prune up those rows before it gets too cold and wet to do anything with them.
But alas, your pesky neighbor, Marv, borrowed your good hedge trimmers and wouldn’t you know it: the branches grew in extra thick this year. What are you going to do Well the answer’s obvious: you need a new set of hedge trimmers. Time to hit the hardware store!!!
But wait. There’s just one more problem… what made those trimmers so good that they were the ones you needed in the first place?
Thanks a lot, Marv!!!
Consider Your Options
Obviously, pricing is going to be a factor when you’re looking for new hedge trimmers, so you’ll have to decide – first and foremost – what kind of budget you want to be working with long before you go to the hardware store. Assuming you’ve already set your budget, here’s a list of five major factors to look at as part of your shopping guide.
· Power Source – Manually powered trimmers are going to be less expensive in the long run, but there are other things to consider if you want to avoid overly taxing your shoulder muscles while you’re pruning the hedges. There are three main options: Gas, Battery/Cordless, and Corded. Gas and corded are both limiting; a battery/cordless trimmer is your best bet.
· The Cutting Edge – More than likely, you’re probably going to be dealing with some pretty thick branches if it has been any time since you last trimmed the hedges. You’re going to need to check out the tooth gap – the amount of space between the cutting blades on the trimmer. Match the tooth gap to the thickness of the branches; anything more substantial might require a different tool altogether.
· Heavy Duty – This is a simple consideration. The heavier the trimmer is may not necessarily be good. You can have heavy duty without breaking your back. Consider how long you plan on using the trimmer in a single job and how much weight you think you can get away with; don’t wear yourself out too quickly. About six lbs. should do it.
· Reach – How high are your hedgesThis is a big consideration because that can complicate the work you’re going to be doing. For this, you might look into a trimmer that has extension capabilities that allow you to hit the heights while still providing you the control you need to make the job look professional.
· Making the Cut – On average, most trimmers you find at Lowe’s or Home Depot have a reach of about 24 inches (2 ft.), some may be a little shorter. Consider how deep you’ll be cutting into the hedge and if you’re able to move around it; sometimes the longer the trimmer, the easier it is to lose the finesse of the cut, a similar consideration to the weight factor.
No, that’s not some internet speak for seeing you later. It’s a reminder to make sure that you as the customer have all of your bases covered before you buy that replacement hedge trimmer and get to work in your yard.
While it’s not a factor of the trimmer’s function, it’s important to consider one last thing in conjunction with the price and that would be looking at both the manufacturer’s warranty and the product reviews.
You want to get the most bang for your buck and that’s hard to do if the trimmer breaks down all of the time and the manufacturer doesn’t really care about making sure the customer is satisfied with the product.
The reviews will tell you just how satisfied other customers have been with a particular trimmer and it allows you to make a decision before heading out for the hardware store. The warranty is equally important because that will help you understand your rights as the customer and what to expect in the event that you do have to get this new trimmer repaired.
When you finally factor in the price, it’s really all about value in the end. You want a trimmer that is going to last for a while – a few years at the very least – and something that is dependable and breaks down infrequently.
Remember these points and don’t ever let Marv borrow your hedge trimmer again.