My experience with lawn and yard maintenance has taught me the importance of having the right tools for the right job. It also means that I've used a wide range of mowers and trimmers over the years.
A quality hedge trimmer is essential for keeping the bushes and shrubs in a yard neat and tidy. Trimmers are excellent for creating clean lines and defined edges, as well as providing the precise uniformity that is required.
The best trimmers are maneuverable and light enough to handle with ease, but also powerful enough to deliver effective cutting. Unless you want to throw away money, you also need them to be reliable, long-lasting, and incorporate the latest technology—I've learnt from experience that it's often false economy just to buy the cheapest tools, as they often don't last and need replacing.
I will explain my choices in more detail below.
There are three main styles of hedge trimmer: corded electric, battery powered electric, and gas powered.
The style that you choose is largely dictated by the size and type of area that needs to worked on, as well as other factors such as noise and access to an electric supply.
An effective all-rounder with the ability to trim hedges and shrubs of all configurations, the GARCARE GHT06 4.2-Amp Corded is a reliable and durable product that provides excellent cutting power in my experience.
My favorite thing about this model is that the steel blades are titanium coated, which makes them longer lasting than the ones that you will find with some of the cheaper trimmers. They are capable of cutting through branches 5/8 inch in diameter and don't go blunt after just a few months.
Like with all corded trimmers, you are limited by the location of power supplies and the general inconvenience of operating with a cord, but otherwise, it is comfortable and convenient to use.
In terms of value for money, this model is difficult to beat.
The Zombi ZHT5817 is my new favorite cordless trimmer. I've been using one for six months. It has a powerful motor and excellent battery time. I can normally use one of these continuously for about an hour before the battery runs out, which is plenty for most properties.
The rotating handle, combined with the sharp blades, which will go through 3/4 inch branches smoothly, make it a great all-around trimmer for bushes, shrubs, and hedges.
For regular residential users, I would recommend the Echo HC-152. It's a heavy-duty trimmer, yet still comfortable to handle and control, and it works well on large and challenging jobs.
To start the Echo, you first need push down a switch, then push the primer bulb a few times. The choke should also be on. Give it a pull, and when it's about to fire up, take off the choke. Once it's going, the HC-152 cuts smoothly and efficiently.
Before you tackle the trimming, you will usually want to prune the bush by hand. Pruning can cut away deeper and help the inner parts of the plant get more sunlight. It can also be done to thin out certain areas.
The best time for pruning depends very much on the plant. Lighter pruning can be done at any time.
Below is a summary of the three main things that need to be done:
After general pruning, bushes can be formally trimmed.
© 2017 Paul Goodman
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on July 09, 2017:
Sounds like you've given some good advice here for hedge trimmers. It's not something I would ever dare use. I'd end up cutting my arm off or something, I'm sure! =)