Looking for the best hedge trimmer can be a tricky process, especially in this overcrowded Australian market with many established brands and cheaper Chinese alternatives.
But you definitely don’t need to spend a fortune when buying your next hedge trimmer and the team at Best Five have found five of the very best at budget friendly prices.
Most of the value comes through buying an electric hedge trimmer vs petrol which has far more costs associated with buying one.
Why should you buy a hedge trimmer?
If you’ve been managing your straggling hedges, bushes, vines, creepers, and neighbours’ overhang with secateurs and garden shears, then you will be overjoyed with not only the time you’ll save but also the absolute ease of doing these jobs with an electric hedge trimmer.
A hedge trimmer can be petrol operated, corded or cordless, and that choice is really up to you and is very similar to a chainsaw in its operation. It has a long blade with a rotating cutting edge attached to a handle with a motor and either an attached rechargeable battery or another power source.
The blade can be held at pretty well any angle to cut to any shape you like, and hedge trimmers are very light (around 2.5kgs these days) with comfortable handles and weight balance, so using them for a couple of hours is quite manageable if necessary.
The cost of a typical small hedge trimmer, which will suit most average metropolitan gardens, is around $100-150. The time savings and result are well worth that sort of investment.
Best Hedge Trimmer Australia
1. Bosch Hedge Trimmer AHS 45-16
The Bosch 420W hedge-trimmer is a lightweight 45cm corded electric blade hedge cutter designed for home gardening use.
The ergonomic design focuses on a balanced weight (only 2.6kgs) which is comfortable to use both horizontally and vertically.
The weight and balance reduce strain on the arms, back and shoulders which allows prolonged use. And the comfortable handles are easy to use as well. The trimmer has a safety switch.
And although it is small and light it has a powerful and high-speed 420W motor, 3,500 RPM and 16mm tooth spacing which deliver excellent cutting results on small to medium-sized hedges, bushes and branches, including stray ivy and other creepers.
It will happily cut branches up to around 1.5cms in diameter. It’s an excellent alternative to secateurs for these jobs.
The size of this hedge trimmer is ideal for small jobs, and that is what it is intended to be used for. Since its release in 2014 it has earned a 5-star rating from over 75% of purchasers, and 4 stars from a further 20%. Now that really is good feedback that you can rely upon when thinking about buying one of these.
The Bosch 420W trimmer comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty from a manufacturer you can trust and who has been awarded winner of the Australian Most Trusted Brand for Gardening Equipment by Readers Digest in 2018.
2. BLACK+DECKER GTC1845L20-XE 45
Black + Decker’s 45cm Hedge Trimmer is a small lightweight battery-operated alternative to a chainsaw for cutting back hedges and bushes and other general trimming around the garden.
It runs on an 18V Lithium-Ion battery and has a 45cm blade with an 18mm tooth gap to tackle branches up to around 2cms in diameter.
And because it’s cordless you don’t have to worry about being near an electrical outlet, or extension cords, or tangling the cord, or cutting the cord either. The tool is durable and robust, with a sharp metallic blade.
The Black + Decker trimmer has a dual safety switch to operate, and a large protective hand guard to deflect flying debris.
The trimmer is ergonomically designed with a bale handle for optimal comfort and control over prolonged use and in a range of angles. Its weight of only 2.6kgs also ensures less user fatigue.
The Black + Decker trimmer arrives with a full charger base rather than a portable charger. Its 2.0Ah battery is a superior quality battery which can be used with any of the 30+ power tools that this manufacturer offers in its wide range, including leaf blowers, drills, circular saws and many others.
3. Bosch Cordless Trimmer AHS 50-20 LI
Bosch has a larger hedge trimmer in its range of handy power tools which will tackle the larger hedges which aren’t the size which require a heavy-duty chainsaw.
The AHS 50-20 is a cordless trimmer with an 18V battery, 50cm laser and diamond-cut blade and 20mm tooth spacing for tackling branches with diameters up to around 25mm.
The technology of this blade ensures cuts which are clean, sharp and accurate. If the blade doesn’t cut through on the first cut the trimmer will automatically change the running direction of the blades to cut through it again. This Anti-Blocking feature ensures uninterrupted trimming.
The trimmer also has a multi-position handle for adjustment to the angle you are cutting in (vertically, horizontally or on a diagonal), and a transparent hand guard to divert flying debris for safety. Comfort is further enhanced by the light weight of only 2.5kgs so the trimmer is not too heavy to hold at odd angles.
Because it’s cordless but still electric you don’t need to be worried about cords or petrol fumes. The 18V lithium-ion battery (included) is the popular multi-purpose Bosch battery which fits the entire range of this manufacturer’s hand power tools and can be charged on the one charging base.
The battery also has the intelligent Syneon Chip feature which provides more efficient use of the battery charge time.
The Bosch AHS 50-20 cordless trimmer comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty from a manufacturer you can trust and who has been awarded winner of the Australian Most Trusted Brand for Gardening Equipment by Readers Digest in 2018.
4. Giantz 20V 2 in 1 Cordless Trimmer
Giantz has brought to you a fabulous 2-in-1 Cordless Electric Trimmer to tackle sawing and trimming of hedges, bushes, branches, creepers and any other cutting or trimming work you encounter in your garden.
Giantz calls this their Dynamic Duo! Their Cordless Chainsaw and Trimmer.
The Chainsaw has a lightweight aluminium shaft and compact 8” chain and bar, a soft-grip handle and comfortable shoulder strap so you can work for long periods with minimal discomfort or fatigue.
The Chainsaw has an auto oil-lubrication function which means that you can keep working continuously without the chain going dry until you need to refill the oil container.
The window in the oil well lets you easily see when it needs refilling. If you need to adjust the chain (and that does need to be done from time to time) an Allen key (supplied) does the trick quickly and easily.
The Trimmer is a sparkling 21” double-action two-sided cutting blade to easily sculpt hedges and bushes to perfection. You can set the Trimmer to five different angles to manipulate the blade around odd angles and corners. And an 0.9m extension pole allows you to reach up to a total 3.5m.
The Chainsaw and Trimmer are both powered by a powerful 20V lithium battery (battery and charger included). The Chainsaw and Trimmer and Extension Pole all fit onto the one comfortable throttle control rubber-over-moulded handle.
The size and versatility of the Giantz Chainsaw/Trimmer Duo will be very attractive to those who have larger hedges and bushes to manage, and also to those who love their topiary.
5. KULLER 20V Cordless Trimmer
The 20V cordless hedge trimmer from KULLER is an ideal power tool for those who have hedges or bushes and shrubs which need regular maintenance including trimming or even severe cutting back.
Its powerful 20V motor can reach up to 1400rpm without load. It has a dual blade action which has a cutting length of 47cm and a cutting diameter up to 14mm.
It is powered by a rechargeable 20V Lithium-Ion battery (battery and charger are not supplied with purchase) which can run for up to 50 minutes before needing to be recharged – the handy LED battery indicator light will tell you when that is.
With safety in mind, the trimmer has a dual starter switch. And for comfort, the handle is soft on the grip.
This cordless Hedge Trimmer from KULLER is lightweight and easily manoeuvred around angles and corners.
Being cordless you can wander anywhere you want to and not be restricted by the length of your extension cord.
Are electric hedge trimmers better than petrol?
Hedge trimmers do come in petrol-powered varieties but more often the small to medium-sized models, designed for home gardeners, are electric, either corded or cordless.
Although petrol operated trimmers are certainly a lot more powerful, a normal garden really doesn’t need that much power to maintain.
Petrol driven trimmers and chainsaws are designed for very thick branches and trees, not smaller diameters and densities. And petrol motors are messy, and they emit toxic fumes.
So, all in all, an electric trimmer is really the best option for a normal garden. They are lighter and much easier to use and maintain. Perfect for small to medium jobs where the branch diameter is no more than 25mms.
Electric trimmers can be corded or cordless (battery-powered). A corded trimmer is more powerful than a battery-powered trimmer and may be more appropriate if you are thinking you need a medium size trimmer to handle thicker woods and larger jobs, and if you will be wanting to use the tool for long periods at once.
Bare in mind though that you will have a power cord to worry about and a power source to be near.
If you have a normal garden with smallish hedges and bushes to maintain a cordless trimmer is probably best. You won’t need to worry about power outlets and leads, and you’ll be totally portable and able to move complete freedom. The trimmer will also be a bit lighter and easier to manoeuvre.
Are hedge trimmers dangerous?
Hedge trimmers are dangerous to operate. They are smaller versions of chainsaws and we are all familiar with the risks around using those. Now hedge trimmers are used in less dangerous situations than chainsaws are so the risks are less serious but nonetheless it is wise to take similar precautions.
Just as with chainsaws the operation of a hedge trimmer will create an awful lot of flying debris so you need to be very aware of that.
A hedge trimmer can also potentially have a kickback effect if it gets stuck unexpectedly on a thicker than usual branch.
If a hedge trimmer can cut through a small branch (say 20mm) it can cut through your finger, so care and respect are both necessary! And electricity and water don’t mix so using any power tool outdoors in wet weather is a no-no.
How to safely use a hedge trimmer?
After extensive reading on this article as well as speaking with experts in gardening we 've got this advice for you. Always keep your machine well maintained.
Pay attention to the task at hand, and respect that spinning blade.
Always put on safety gear which ideally includes earmuffs, gloves, protective clothing, helmet, boots, chainsaw chaps and face shield. Trimmers can create quite a lot of flying debris in all directions and that can pose risks especially to the eye and face generally.
Plan your attack on whatever the job is. Now that may be pretty minor in a situation like a garden but still….
Make sure that you’re comfortable with operating your hedge trimmer, that you’ve read the instructions, that it’s assembled correctly, oiled, sharpened, etc.
Start the trimmer and make yourself comfortable with hands gripping properly and feet well balanced and apart. Be aware of the possible kickback effect and know how to control and manage (ie avoid) that.
Practice makes perfect…but never be over-confident.
After much deliberation we have come to the conclusion that the best hedge trimmer available in Australia goes to the Bosch AHS 45-16 if you're looking for a corded electric trimmer. If you have a larger garden then you'll want to buy a cordless version, just make sure you charge the battery before and after use! Alternatively buy two batteries!