Are gas hedge trimmers or electric hedge trimmers better?
Hedge trimmers make it easy to create beautifully sculpted bushes and shrubs. Not only does regular trimming improve the health of the plants and keep your landscape tidy, but it can also keep bugs and other pests from making their home close to yours. But when it comes to comparing gas hedge trimmers to electric hedge trimmers, you may be wondering which is best to get the job done.
The deciding factor in choosing between gas and electric hedge trimmers is the size of your trimming project and where it’s located.
Gas hedge trimmers
Gas hedge trimmers are the choice of professionals who need powerful, portable trimming capacity. They are heavy-duty and usually operate on a mixture of oil and gas.
These come in two- or four-cycle motors. Which you select depends on the work you want to accomplish and how much weight you can carry.
Gas hedge trimmer pros
Gas hedge trimmers are durable and used by pros for major landscaping projects.
These aren’t the old-fashioned, black smoke-spewing hedge trimmers of the past. Most are now meeting or exceeding environmental standards for emissions.
Gas hedge trimmers are powerful and can tackle complicated or heavy landscaping issues. This includes large areas of growth and especially woody bushes.
Finally, because they have enough power to handle it, gas hedge trimmer blades are available in sizes up to 40 inches.
Gas hedge trimmer cons
The main issue with gas hedge trimmers is that they are not particularly user-friendly. Most require a mixture of gasoline and oil to run, and novice landscapers may find this combination difficult to get right.
They also require more maintenance, which includes changing the spark plugs and regular lubrication for safe operation.
Additionally, gas trimmers are heavy, weighing 11 to 17 pounds. Using them can be tiring if the job is large or the operator is not up to the task.
This tool is also loud. If you live close to other people, you’ll need to take care when you trim so as not to disturb your neighbors.
Best gas hedge trimmers
ECHO 20-inch Gas 2-Stroke Hedge Trimmer
The double-sided, double-reciprocating razor edge blades make quick work of bushes and shrubs. It is lightweight for longer trimming sessions. The ergonomic handles are comfortable, and the air filter reduces fumes.
Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
Poulan Pro PR2322 22-inch Two-cycle Hedge Trimmer
The powerful full-crank engine and dual-action stainless steel blades cut sections up to 22 inches wide and limbs of up to 1 inch in diameter. The handle rotates and has a comfortable grip with anti-vibration for more comfort and better control. It is on the lighter end of the scale, weighing in at just over 11 pounds.
Sold by Amazon
Husqvarna 122HD60 23.7-inch Dual-Action Hedge Trimmer
The Smart Start engine makes this one of the easiest gas trimmers to fire up. An adjustable rear handle makes it easier to cut the sides and tops of hedges. This model also includes vibration dampeners on the handle.
Sold by Amazon
Electric hedge trimmers
Electric hedge trimmers were created with ease of use in mind. Simply snap in the battery or plug in the cord and you’re off.
They come in two types: corded and cordless.
- Corded: Corded trimmers are plugged into an extension cord of any length.
- Cordless: Cordless trimmers use a rechargeable battery for power.
Both types provide clean, quiet cutting of shrubs and hedges. Most can handle branches of up to 1 inch. The blades of electric trimmers do require sharpening after 50 to 60 trims, but otherwise, maintenance is minimal.
Electric hedge trimmer pros
These environmentally friendly trimmers are quiet and emit no fumes or smoke. Because their motors are small, they are lightweight and easy to use for longer periods.
Cordless electric trimmers can have the same power as gas trimmers, and they are just as portable. Even with the extra power, these machines are quiet and easy to operate.
Both types of electric trimmers may have less vibration, which is helpful for people with hand pain or arm weakness.
Electric hedge trimmer cons
Due to the weight of the battery, cordless electric hedge trimmers can weigh up to 18 pounds. They also require a solid charge to operate well, so you’ll need to plan.
The main issue with corded electric trimmers is that you are restricted by the length of your extension cord. Some landscapers have also been known to accidentally slice through the cord as they trim.
These can also be less powerful and for safety cannot be used on damp grass or when it’s raining.
Best electric hedge trimmers
Craftsman Corded 22-inch Electric Hedge Trimmer
This corded trimmer has a 22-inch blade that can cut branches up to 1.5 inches using the Power Saw design. The dual-action blade has minimal vibration, and the comfortable handle makes the trimmer easy to maneuver.
Sold by Amazon
Greenworks 18-inch Corded Electric Hedge Trimmer
This trimmer features a 2.7 amp motor for efficient cutting. The dual-action steel blade has a 3/8-inch cutting capacity. It is lightweight and designed for small landscaping tasks. This model has a cord lock to prevent accidental unplugging. It is also available with a 22-inch blade.
Sold by Amazon
Worx Power Share 22-inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer
The over-mold construction on the handle grips absorbs vibration for comfortable use. D-grip handle design also allows you to cut from any angle or position that works best. The dual action blades cut limbs twice for a cleaner job. This trimmer includes a battery and charger that works in other garden tools in the Power Share family.
Sold by Amazon
Should you get a gas hedge trimmer or an electric hedge trimmer?
The best hedge trimmer is the one that suits your purpose perfectly. For very large yards and big jobs, gas hedge trimmers can’t be beaten. However, for the occasional shrub just outside the front door, electric hedge trimmers are lightweight and more user-friendly.
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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