The best cordless hedge trimmer is safe, effective and easy to use. Hedges define beautiful garden boundaries. Plus, they encourage wildlife into the garden. However, most hedges require a decent trim several times a year. What’s great, is that you can take the hassle out of keeping your hedges and bushes in shape with the best cordless hedge trimmer that’s safe and easy to use.
What Should I Look for in a Cordless Hedge Trimmer?
Battery type, size, weight, noise, usability, tooth gap and safety features are the seven key criteria we use to define the best hedge trimmers.
The cutter efficiency and size define how quickly you can work. However, big is not always better. For most gardens, a small or medium-sized blade that doesn’t snag and makes a clean cut is a good choice.
Smaller and lighter models are easier to use for longer, plus they tend to be quieter. Low noise also helps reduce user fatigue on bigger jobs. Fortunately, there’s no need to consider super noisy petrol models with today’s battery technology (more on this later).
The tooth gap is also worth considering. This gives you a measure of the branch size you can cut. Plus, a tip protector, handguard and blade cover also factor in defining the best models.
Why the Battery Type is Important
Using the same batteries (& charger) across multiple garden and power tools makes complete sense. It’s not only more convenient, but it will save you a small fortune. Each brand has its own system – it’s worth choosing one and sticking with it.
As a quick guide, choose one brand and opt for their 18v power tools (biggest range). All the power tools listed below have been included in our recommendations as they use batteries that will work across a wide range of tools. You can choose different size batteries (Ah rating) depending on your preferences. As an example, a 5Ah battery will last two or three times longer than a 2Ah battery. Although, they’re heavier and cost more. Owning a couple of smaller batteries brings convenience – you can charge one while using the other.
Verum compares 100s of garden power tools to recommend the UK Top 5, detailed below…
1. Best Cheap Hedge Trimmer
Bosch EasyHedgeCut 45 [corded]
This Bosch corded electric hedge trimmer is highly rated. It lacks the convenience of cordless models, but it’s a decent choice if you’re on a tight budget.
Lightweight and easy to use, this new model comes in a couple of sizes. The smallest is perfect for light work. It’s easy to handle and control although not designed to cut through thicker branches.
New Blade Tip Protector
This model replaces the best selling Bosch AHS 45-16. Perhaps the most notable difference is the colour change (different shade of green), but of greater significance is the addition of a blade tip protector. This important upgrade makes the device safer and easier to use. The tip protector is especially useful when cutting close to a fence or wall, where damage can occur to both the blade and the hard structure.
If you’re happy using a corded trimmer for your hedges and bushes and would rather save a few quid, choose this model from Bosch.
SPECIFICATION: WEIGHT: 2.6kg | BLADE LENGTH: 45cm | TOOTH GAP: 16mm | SPEED: 3400 spm | NOISE: 95dB | WARRANTY: 3 Years
Bosch Corded | Verdict price £65 | See Best Price on Amazon
2. Best Cordless Hedge Trimmer – Light & Quiet
Bosch Easy Hedge Cut 15-45
This Bosch cordless hedge trimmer is efficient, light and easy to use. However, what makes it stand out is that it’s also comparatively quiet.
Sound level is measured in decibels. This allows for easy comparison between models. The non-linear scale means that a few decibels can make a big difference. As a rule of thumb, 90dB is approximately twice as loud as 80dB. What’s important, is that this model is significantly quieter than most.
Using the ‘Bosch Power-for-All’ battery system means you can use numerous other Bosch tools with the same battery. This hedge trimmer is an easy choice if you already own compatible Bosch tools but also makes sense if you plan to buy anything from a drill to a cordless lawnmower, in the future.
The supplied 18v 2Ah battery will give you well over an hour run time and is fully recharged in 90 minutes. This device will work with all 18v ‘Bosch Power-for-All’ batteries ranging from 1.5Ah to 6Ah. A larger battery will last longer but is also heavier. A couple of small batteries is the best setup for most people.
While this model isn’t a match for large hedges or thicker branches, it’s light, quiet, easy to use – Great for keeping garden hedges and shrubs in shape.
SPECIFICATION: WEIGHT: 2.3kg | BLADE LENGTH: 45cm | TOOTH GAP: 15mm | SPEED: 2400 spm | NOISE: 82dB | WARRANTY: 3 Years
Bosch Cordless |
Verdict price £101 | See Best Price on Amazon
DEAL ALERT – TODAY ONLY £84
Complete with battery & charger
3. Hedge Cutter [55cm] for Medium to Large Hedges
Ryobi OHT1855R Cordless Hedge Trimmer
The Ryobi cordless hedge trimmer is perfect for larger hedges and thicker branches. It’s lightweight, affordable and works with the excellent Ryobi One+ battery system.
Ryobi uses the same batteries for all their cordless power and garden tools – no exceptions. This means there are well over one hundred tools that all work with the same battery. If you already own a Ryobi battery choosing this hedge trimmer is easy. Or if this is your first Ryobi cordless tool, consider it a good investment – you won’t be disappointed.
Owners agree that the good specification translates into efficient and effective use. It handles thicker branches with ease meaning it’s a good match for conifers, laurel and holly.
Balanced and reasonably light, it’s easy to use. However, it’s the rotating rear handle that allows for comfortable use in a variety of positions. If you plan on using your trimmer for any length of time, this becomes a must-have feature.
The Ryobi OHT 1855R cordless hedge trimmer ticks all the boxes. Powerful and easy to use – it’s perfect for UK gardens.
SPECIFICATION: WEIGHT: 2.8kg | BLADE LENGTH: 55cm | TOOTH GAP: 22mm | SPEED: 2700 spm | NOISE: 92dB | WARRANTY: 3 Years
Ryobi Cordless | Verdict price £125 | See Best Price on Amazon
Complete with 2Ah Battery & Charger
4. Affordable Makita Hedge Cutter
Makita DUH523 Cordless Hedge Trimmer
The Makita DUH523 is a no-frills cordless hedge trimmer that’s highly effective, lightweight and compatible with the top-rated Makita LXT battery system.
Makita is a brand usually associated with trade – for good reason. They offer high-quality power tools that are designed to last, even with regular use. This hedge trimmer is no exception. While it doesn’t offer the features associated with premium models, it does the basics well.
The medium-sized 52cm blade will easily handle most shrubbery while still being compact enough for ease of handling. Owners collectively rate the cutter efficiency and effectiveness. And importantly, the blades are easily removed for sharpening or replacing. As said, this model is built to last.
If you already have Makita LXT batteries and want an affordable hedge cutter – this is it! Alternatively, if you’re thinking of purchasing other top-end Makita power tools at any time in the future, this is a good place to start – you won’t be disappointed.
SPECIFICATION: WEIGHT: 3.0kg | BLADE LENGTH: 52cm | TOOTH GAP: 15mm | SPEED: 2700 spm | NOISE: 89dB | WARRANTY: 3 Years
Makita DUH523 | Verdict price £80 | See Best Price on Amazon
Body only – choose battery & charger separately
5. Best Professional Hedge Trimmer
Makita DUH502 Cordless Hedge Trimmer
Designed for regular use, the Makita DUH502 comes with numerous additional and useful features that justify the higher price.
The core difference is the brushless motor. This brings three primary benefits – longevity, battery life and control. A brushless motor wears less and will therefore last longer. Plus, being more efficient it uses less energy meaning that each battery lasts longer on a single charge. Then it’s about control.
This hedge trimmer has three speeds, an electric brake, a reverse button and a soft start. The three speeds mean you can match the cutting rate to the hedge that you’re cutting. Dialling it down for smaller leaves and twigs will get the job done at the same rate, but will give longer battery life. The brake is a good safety feature and the reverse button is helpful when removing a trapped branch or similar.
Adding to the usability, the handle can be rotated (5 positions) enabling a comfortable cutting position. Looking for negatives, this Makita hedge trimmer is a little heavier than lower-powered devices but still significantly lighter than a petrol model.
If you need a hedge trimmer for regular use or simply have an appreciation for the very best power tools, choose the Makita DUH502.
SPECIFICATION: WEIGHT: 3.8kg | BLADE LENGTH: 50cm | TOOTH GAP: 23.5mm | SPEED: 2000/3600/4400 spm | NOISE: 88dB | WARRANTY: 3 Years
Makita DUH502 | Verdict price £196 | See Best Price on Amazon
Body only – choose battery & charger separately
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Why We Don’t Recommend Petrol Trimmers
A few years back, petrol hedge trimmers won over corded electric models for power and portability. However, with Lithium-Ion batteries, this is no longer the case. Petrol trimmers are noisy, heavy and require regular maintenance. Plus, the cost, pollution and hassle of using petrol, is best avoided.
A decent cordless hedge trimmer is half the weight of a petrol model, a close match in terms of power and significantly cheaper – even with multiple batteries.
How Loud is a Hedge Trimmer?
Sound power and pressure are measured in decibels (dB). This logarithmic scale allows for easy comparison between models. As an easy reference, 90dB is around twice as loud as 80dB. Hearing protection is strongly recommended for anything above 80dB.
How to Use a Hedge Trimmer
Hedge trimmers are safe and easy to use, although there are a few rules worth following. Wearing goggles, gloves, ear protectors and decent boots makes sense. As does making sure you keep a good 2m+ distance from other people.
- Oil the blades before and after use
- Always use two hands
- Cut the sides of the hedge first. Do this from the bottom up using a sweeping motion.
- Avoid step ladders. Use a frame or platform, if you need additional height.
- Use canes and string to mark out your cuts.
- Don’t attempt to cut thick branches – use lopping shears
- Multiple batteries mean you can keep one battery charging, while you’re using the other.
- Clean the blades after use. This is especially important with conifers as you can get a build-up of resin.
Best Budget Buy
Bosch [corded] | Verdict price £65
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Bosch [cordless] | Verdict price £101
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Ryobi [cordless] | Verdict price £125
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Pro Hedge Trimmer
Makita | Verdict price £196
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Budget or Premium?
Cordless hedge trimmers are easier to use and much safer than the corded equivalent. The initial cost is higher, but the batteries & charger will work with other cordless tools from the same manufacturer (drills, grass strimmers, lawnmowers etc.) Saving you money, over time.
If you have large hedges or plan to use a hedge trimmer regularly, then a brushless motor makes a big difference to any power tools longevity. The Makita hedge trimmer, detailed above, is designed for regular use. It has a variable speed brushless motor, a safety brake, and a rotating handle for comfort. These additional features make a big difference.