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How to Choose a Hedge Trimmer

Power Systems.

When choosing a hedge trimmer, you should consider blade length, cut capacity, blade action and power.

Blade Length.

A shorter blade is light and compact whereas a longer blade is for extended reach and even cutting.

  • 16" - For light to moderate trimming
  • 18" - For general purpose or large-scale trimming
  • 20" - For heavy-duty use
  • 22" or longer - For heavy-duty constant use; ideal for level cutting of wide hedges

Cut Capacity.

Hedge trimmer blades typically cut from 3/8" to 3/4". Look for larger cut capacity (3/4") for faster, cleaner cutting of thick, mature hedges. Use a 3/8" cut capacity for young hedges and hedges with thinner branches.

Blade Action.

Blade action is defined as either single or dual. Single action means that the top blade moves over the bottom, stationary blade. Dual action allows both blades to move against each other. Dual-action blades provide up to 40% less vibration and cleaner cutting action.

Power.

Electric trimmers are quiet, weigh less, and are easier to start than gas trimmers. They may be less powerful than gas hedge trimmers but are ideal for most applications. For a general rule of thumb, as the trimming job increases, so should the amp rating on the trimmer.

If you will be a long distance from a power outlet, you might consider a cordless or gas hedge trimmer. All three have many of the same features. If you do choose an electric trimmer, be sure to purchase the correct extension cord. Typically, a 12-gauge grounded 100' cord should handle most jobs.

Safety.

Look for the AutoStop™ blade system that stops the blade in under 1/2 second for increased operator safety. Also, look for a lock-off switch that prevents accidental start-up.

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Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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