Keeping your yard looking its best requires a lot of time and effort. Hedge trimming is one of the many responsibilities you’ll have as a homeowner and can be an arduous task without the right equipment. Making the decision to buy a professional hedge trimmer is a novel idea for the weekend warrior that wants to quickly and efficiently get the job done. A quality built, powerful machine will last you for years. Now that you’re ready to ditch your old, weak, corded machine, read on below to find out which professional hedge trimmer is the best for you and your yard.
What to look for in a professional hedge trimmer
When choosing a professional hedge trimmer, you need to consider a few different things like the length of the blade, the weight, and the power source.
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Blade length and why it is important
The length of the blade you choose is based upon the type of shrubbery you will be cutting and how comfortable you are wielding a hedge trimmer. The average blade length is 18 inches and can go up to 30 inches. If you have average bushes that need to be kept neat or are inexperienced, an 18-inch blade would be great to start with. If you are comfortable with a longer blade or have very deep hedges, you can choose a longer one.
The space between each of the teeth on a hedge trimmer blade is called the tooth gap. This is what decides how thick of a branch you can cut through. The most common tooth gap will cut up to a ¾ inch branch. If you need something larger than this, look for a 1-inch tooth gap.
The weight of a professional hedge trimmer can vary greatly. The heavier it is, generally the more powerful. That’s not always a good thing though. If you have a long line of hedges surrounding your entire property, you may not want the heaviest trimmer out there. Yes, it will cut faster with more power and a longer blade length, but you need to be holding onto it the entire time without fatiguing before you finish the job. A mix between the highest power and the lowest weight will be the most comfortable to use in the long run.
Single or double-sided blade
Professional hedge trimmers come with the cutting blade on either one or both sides. The double-sided blade will cut faster because you can sweep back and forth cutting both ways. The single bladed version only cuts in one direction. Which one you choose depends on your skill level and familiarity with a hedge trimmer. Choose a single-sided blade if you are new to hedge trimming and feel uncomfortable keeping track of two cutting sides, which can be dangerous if you aren’t sure of what you are doing.
Gas or Battery Powered
Professional hedge trimmers are either gas powered or battery powered. Electric models are reserved for amateurs and do not have the power that gas and battery versions do. A gas hedge trimmer used to be the only type that would be strong enough to earn the term professional, but battery powered ones have come a long way and now give gas versions a run for their money. It’s all going to boil down to personal preference and what trimmer is best for your situation.
Traditionally this is the most powerful engine available and also the gold standard. Gas hedge trimmers are portable, easy to use and if you know a thing or two about small engines, you can repair them yourself if necessary. They are also loud, vibrate and some people are concerned about the pollution they emit. Gas powered hedge trimmers can be heavy due to the engine size and gas tank. Maintenance does need to be performed on the engine to keep it running smooth and winterizing it every fall is a must.
The new lithium-ion battery technology available for hedge trimmers rivals the gas engine’s power. What used to be a second-rate pick is worth a look today. The batteries last a long time, charge very quickly, usually around a half-hour, and there is no pollution being emitted. The newer technology also ensures the batteries don’t get weak through frequent re-charging. The downfall of a battery powered hedge trimmer is the weight – the powerful batteries are big and heavy and can often weigh more than a gas version.