Home Improvement

Hedge Trimmer: How Does It Work?


Originally only hand hedge trimmers reminiscent of classic household scissors were used. In the meantime, however, more and more garden owners are using the convenience of a motorized hedge trimmer.

How does a hedge trimmer work?

The manual hedge trimmer has about 30-40 cm long blades, which are usually just as long (partly telescopic) handles. The leverage of the long handles makes it easier to cut hedge. Good mechanical hedge trimmers have a serrated edge on their blades that cut through the plant parts cleanly and with one closing of the mechanical hedge trimmer.

The hedge trimmer that is used more today is the motor-driven one. Regardless of the type of drive (petrol, electric or battery motor), their functionality is always the same: Instead of two blades that open and close like scissors, the motorized hedge trimmer has two toothed cutter bars that slide over each other at high speed. The distance between the fixed knives also limits the maximum branch diameter that can be cut. Due to the large number of shears on the cutter bar, the hedge trimmer increases its performance enormously compared to the manual hedge trimmer.

What should you look out for when buying a hedge trimmer?

You should answer two questions before you buy a hedge trimmer: Do I have to cut a lot of hedge or is it worth buying an expensive motorized hedge trimmer? And if so, is there a power connection near the hedge or do I need a non-wired hedge trimmer? The answers to these questions will surely lead you to the right hedge trimmer for you. Questions like “How many watts?”, “Which brand?”, “What kind of gasoline?” are less important.

Practical tip:  Our hedge trimmer tests are also helpful when choosing a good hedge trimmer:

Electric hedge trimmer

The wired electric hedge trimmer is the choice for every private garden owner: The electric hedge trimmer offers unlimited, high performance if a power connection is nearby. If you work carefully (to spare the power cable), the electric hedge trimmer is the all-purpose weapon for privet hedges, boxwood, thuja or cherry laurel.

Cordless hedge trimmer

The cordless hedge trimmer is particularly popular with owners of small gardens (with few hedge plants) because of its independence and low weight. Depending on the battery used, the cordless hedge trimmer sometimes fails on thick, hard dead wood. Practical tip

In order not to have to take a forced coffee break in the middle of cutting the hedge, it is worth buying a replacement battery!

Petrol hedge trimmer

Hedge trimmers powered by a combustion engine combine two advantages: they are powerful and can be used anywhere. However, the engine and tank make the petrol hedge trimmer heavy – which almost excludes long, fatigue-free hedge trimming. Because both the price and the maintenance requirements of the petrol hedge trimmer are significantly higher, it is mainly used by professionals in landscaping and horticulture.

Telescopic hedge trimmer

It is not the type of drive, but its additional function that gives the telescopic hedge trimmer its name. Telescopic hedge trimmers are available in both mechanical and motorized versions. Practical: The handle extension increases the work area, and you can cut even high hedges comfortably and safely from the ground – without a ladder and climbing aid with a significantly lower risk of injury!

What to do if the hedge trimmer gets dull?

Sure, the shear blades of the electric hedge trimmer do the hard work in the hedge: Resinous conifers, lignified deciduous trees, unexpected wires and fastening materials in the hedge make the hedge trimmer blunt. Now the only thing that helps is sharpening the hedge trimmer.

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