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Could your garden do with a haircut? Having the right tools makes all the difference. Hedgerows and other boundary shrubs require regular maintenance that a pair of hand shears simply can’t handle. A tool that can, however, is the humble hedge trimmer—born to breeze through everything from overgrown grass to bushes and branches.
So let’s trim off the fat and focus on five products manufactured by the biggest names in the business this year. Cordless to corded, we’ve put each of our favourite hedge trimmers for 2023 under the microscope, analysing everything from battery life to blade quality. Let’s see how they ‘shape’ up.
The Black and Decker 40V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer is built to keep your hedges and bushes in shape. With a 40-volt lithium-ion battery, this cordless model has all the punch of a gas-powered trimmer without the need for refuelling—and, of course, no messy wires.
The 24-inch dual-action blade cuts through branches like butter. It’s a good job then that it comes with a blade tip protector that prevents damage to delicate plants.
One of the standout features of the Black and Decker 40V MAX trimmer is its ergonomic design. The full-wrap front handle offers a comfortable grip for extended use, and the lightweight design easily manoeuvres in tight spaces. It also has a convenient lock-off switch to prevent accidental starts.
Battery life provides up to 90 minutes of runtime, which is more than enough to tackle most jobs—you can charge it in under 40 minutes.
This model, also powered by a lithium-ion battery, boasts a 50cm blade length and a 20mm tooth spacing, making it ideal for medium-sized hedges. One of the standout features of the Bosch AHS 50-20 LI is its ergonomic design, which includes a lightweight body similar to the Black and Decker 40V MAX. The adjustable handle is great when working with tight angles.
In terms of cutting power, the Bosch AHS 50-20 LI doesn’t disappoint. The powerful motor and sharp blades make quick work of thick branches, and the cordless design allows for full freedom of movement while trimming. The battery life is also impressive, with a run time of up to 50 minutes on a single charge.
The Bosch AHS 50-20 LI has several convenient features, such as a blade tip protector for safe storage and a built-in charger for easy charging. We really like the low-maintenance design, which makes it easy to remove and clean blades.
DeWalt is synonymous with power, and this tool is no exception. It features humongous 55cm dual-action, laser-cut blades made from hardened steel that stay sharper for longer. Each blade has a 19mm cutting gap, so you’ll have everything you need to take on big shrubs.
One of the standout features of the DeWalt DCMHT563P1 is its powerful motor. Its fully brushless and provides increased runtime, offering more efficient power transfer and a huge improvement to overall tool life. In layman’s terms, you’ll have enough clout to cut through about anything that doesn’t have a trunk.
After a comfortable cut? The DCMHT563P1 features a fancy wrap-around aux handle for a comfortable grip in multiple orientations. You’re also less likely to experience fatigue and finger vibration while trimming due to its lightweight design.
It boasts an 18V 5.0Ah Li-ion Battery with a runtime of up to 90 minutes on a single charge—one of the best of its kind! But Dewalt’s xenoy polycarbonate protective housing is our favourite feature, offering durability that you just won’t get with cheaper models.
The powerful hedge trimmer from Makita sports 520mm dual-action blades for clean, precise cuts, and an ergonomic handle design that will leave you wondering why you’ve never bought one before.
The Makita DUH523Z is a quiet operator despite the motor’s meaty 1300 RPM cutting speed, achieved by combining an LXT Lithium-Ion battery and specially designed blades, which reduce noise during use. This makes it a great option for those who need to trim hedges in residential areas without disturbing neighbours.
The Makita DUH523Z also has a convenient lock-off lever, which prevents accidental start-ups, and a large trigger switch for easy operation.
In terms of performance, Makita has got everything we could ask for and more. It has a cutting capacity of ¾ inches and can easily handle thick branches. The battery life is also impressive, providing up to 60 minutes of continuous run time on a single charge.
Finally, we have the EGO range. This budget, cordless hedge trimmer is the perfect all-rounder for people tired of feeling tethered to a power outlet. It’s a 2-in-1 product, featuring multiple shears, so you’ll have all the accessories needed to take on both hedges and grass.
Perhaps the best feature is its laser-cut blades, which cut as well as any of the high-end models we tested. Cuts were clean and precise, making them perfect for topiary in ornamental gardens. And with a motor that pumps out a respectable 2,400 strokes per minute, you’ll struggle to tell it’s several hundred pounds less than the bigger brand names. The only downside is that they’re 20cm long and have a short 8mm gap, so you won’t have enough length to quickly cut through thick branches or robust shrubs. Likewise, the grass shears are 115mm wide.
The EGO Power+ trimmer also boasts a comfortable, ergonomic design with a rubberised grip, making it easy to hold and manoeuvre for extended periods of time. Plus, shrub shear has a runtime of up to 70 minutes, which is much better than some more expensive models.
From corded to cordless, gas-powered to electric, the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference, budget, and the task at hand.
However, our top pick is the Black and Decker 40V MAX Cordless Hedge Trimmer, which offers heaps of power without the hassle of a cord. The Makita Cordless Hedge Trimmer also impressed us with its lightweight design and long-lasting battery life.