During the dinosaur times, our ancestors had to rely on old-fashioned metal sheers to do their hedge-trimming. It was tedious work all day long under the scorching sun as their arms grew increasing tired when trimming both vertically and horizontally. As time went on, the development of powered garden tools eliminated the need for metal sheers for cleaning up bushes and hedges. Nowadays, we use hedge trimmers to get the job done.
Hedge trimmers began their humble beginnings as both electric and gas-powered models. In recent times, we see the portable and environmentally-friendly power and garden tools entering the market, including the hedge trimmer. Cordless hedge trimmers let users control the long blade without being limited by a power cord, they’re lightweight (around 7 pounds) so they have a reduced risk of causing fatigue, and they’re the greener than their gas-guzzling counterparts.
How to Use a Cordless Hedge Trimmer
It might be tricky for some people to get the hang of using a hedge trimmer, especially if they’re switching from corded or gas-powered models. However, it’s easy to do and requires no special skills – just some muscle and common sense are needed to begin work.
First of all, just like any other cordless tool out there, make sure that the battery is fully charged (or at least has some leftover power in it) before inserting it into the hedge trimmer’s battery port. These cordless models rely on rechargeable Li-Ion batteries of various voltage levels for extended use.
Due to the nature of powered garden tools, manufacturers install various safety measures to ensure safe usage while directing a long blade for slicing materials. Some cordless hedge trimmers require their users to push a lock/unlock button before pulling the trigger which initiates blade reciprocation.
This extra step prevents users from accidentally pulling the touch-sensitivity speed trigger while the blade is pointed away from bushes and toward themselves or others. If you purchase a model without a lock/unlock button on the handle, then use your common sense to direct the blade away from you before pulling the trigger.
In addition, the lock/unlock button can be used to keep the blade running at a constant speed (measured in strokes-per-minute, SPM) so your fingers and palm won’t need to constantly pull on the trigger to keep the hedge trimmer running (reduced fatigue). When you’re done, just push the lock/unlock button or pull the trigger slightly and the blades will stop moving (differs between models).
Some cordless hedge trimmers have a rotating handle (up to 180°) for when you need to trim branches at odd angles without having to hold the unit at the same position. This requires users to either push and hold a button to twist the handle to their preferred orientation before releasing it, or simply twist the handle to a preconfigured stop to meet the right angle. Most models, however, don’t come with this feature so users simply navigate the unit and blade to work at whatever angle they need.
Slicing Thick Branches
The branch-slicing capacity wholly depends on the space between each of the blade’s teeth. Most cordless hedge trimmer blades have a ¾-inch distance between teeth, meaning the blade can cut through branches as thick as ¾ of an inch thick in a single pass. When dealing with thicker branches, the blade may still be able to saw through the offending branch, but it’ll take some time before it cuts cleanly through.
What to Do when the Blade Jams
Due to the power and speed of a cordless hedge trimmer, jamming is a rare occurrence, but it still poses a risk. When the blade jams, the unit will continue to operate, which could potentially lead to overheating and long-term damage to the hedge trimmer. The simple solution is to shut the machine off and tug the blade away from the obstacle before resuming work.
One particular BLACK+DECKER model – the LHT321FF – comes with a POWERCUT button which delivers short bursts of maximum power to cut through any obstacle with ease. The POWERCUT mode uses up more energy, but at least you don’t need to stop completely to clear away the obstruction before getting back to trimming your hedges.
Operating a cordless hedge trimmer is extremely easy to do – insert the battery, unlock the touch-sensitive trigger and relock it to keep the unit running at a constant speed (depending on the model) and begin trimming away excess branches and leaves from your hedges. This is the go-to tool for hedge- and bush-trimming applications since they save time and energy compared to classic hedge shears, and they’re lightweight and easy to control.