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When it comes to hedge trimmers, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on the size and shape of your hedges, you may need to use a hedge trimmer in different ways. But before you go out and buy one, there are some things you need to know.



How To Choose A Hedge Trimmer

When choosing a hedge trimmer, you need to consider the size and type of hedges you plan to trim. If you have small, delicate hedges, you’ll need a hedge trimmer with a smaller blade. For larger hedges, you’ll need an electric hedge trimmer with a longer blade.



Types of Hedge Trimmers

You also need to think about the power source, because hedge trimmers are either battery-operated or gas-powered.

  • A battery-operated hedge trimmer may not be powerful enough if you have a large property with lots of hedges.
  • A gas-powered hedge trimmer is the most powerful, but it can be heavy and difficult to manoeuvre.
  • Corded hedge trimmers tend to be more powerful, but they are limited by the length of the cord.

Then, think about other features you may need. Some hedge trimmers have features like variable speed settings and extendable handles. These features can make trimming hedges easier and more comfortable.

Ultimately, the best hedge trimmer for you will be the one that best suits your needs.



How Often To Use A Hedge Trimmer

Cutting a hedge with electrical hedge trimmer

Whether your hedges are for privacy, decoration, or both, you want them to look their best. Evergreen hedges, like the Murraya hedge, may only need to be trimmed once or twice a year, while deciduous hedges may need to be trimmed more frequently. 

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to trim hedges at least once a season, and more often if they are growing rapidly.



How To Use A Hedge Trimmer Safely

A man trimming shrub with Hedge Trimmer


Step 1: Check The Surrounding Area and Prepare For Cleanup

If you’re going to use a hedge trimmer, it’s important to check the surrounding area first and be prepared for cleanup. Fallen leaves, branches and other debris can get caught in the blades, so it’s important to remove them before you start trimming. There may also be nesting birds, power lines or other things that shouldn’t be there when you start doing yard work.

It’s a good idea to have a bag or bin ready to collect the trimmings. When you’re finished, make sure to dispose of the green waste properly.



Step 2: Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Before you rev up that blade, make sure you wear personal protective equipment. Here are a few essential items that you need to have in order to stay safe while using a hedge trimmer.

  • A pair of heavy-duty gloves. Hedge trimmers can be very sharp, and you need to make sure that your hands are protected from the blades.
  • Long pants, long sleeves, and closed-toe shoes. This clothing will help to protect your skin from the blades and from any potential branches or debris that could be thrown around by the trimmer.
  • Eye protection. Hedge trimmers can kick up a lot of dust and debris, and it’s important to keep your eyes safe.



Step 3: Get To Know Your Hedge Trimmer

Once you’re suitably outfitted, take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with your hedge trimmer. Read the manual and get a feel for how the trimmer works. To get the most out of your hedge trimmer, it is important to familiarise yourself with the various parts and functions.

Hedge trimmer blades are the most important part, and they are often made from high-carbon steel for durability. The cutting edge of the blade is usually serrated, which helps to create a clean cut. Make sure that the blade on your hedge trimmer is sharp. A dull blade will result in a less-than-perfect trim, so it’s worth taking the time to sharpen your hedge trimmer before you start.

The handle of the trimmer is also an important consideration, as it should be comfortable to grip and easy to manoeuvre. It’s always a good idea to work with a partner when using a hedge trimmer — one person can hold the branches while the other person does the cutting. This will help to ensure that all the leaves are trimmed evenly.

And when you’re finally ready to start cutting, be sure to use caution and go slowly at first.



Step 4: Start Trimming Slowly At The Base

a professional trimming the hedges with a hedge trimmer

Using a hedge trimmer is an important part of keeping your yard looking its best. But before you trim, look at your garden and the overall shape of the hedge. Then decide what kind of design you want. This will help you determine where to make your cuts.

Start at the base of the hedge and work your way up. If you’re cutting vertically, make sure to do slow, swinging motions so that you get clean cuts. If you’re going for horizontal cuts, angle the hedge trimmer so that the blade is parallel to the ground. Then, slowly work the trimmer across the hedges. Be sure to maintain a consistent speed and not too much pressure. This should result in straight lines.



Step 5: Clean Up Any Loose Leaves Or Branches

After trimming the hedges, you’ll need to clean up the yard before putting the trimmer away. Rake up all the clippings and leaves that have fallen on the ground. If there’s a large quantity of debris, you may want to consider using a leaf blower or garden vacuum to speed up the cleanup process. Also, if there are any large branches or cuttings, you can chop them up with the hedge trimmer before bagging them.



Step 6: Take Care Of Your Hedge Trimmer

After you’ve used a hedge trimmer, there are a few things you’ll need to do to keep your tools in good condition.

  • Take the time to clean the blades. This will help to prevent rust and ensure that your trimmer is ready for its next use. 
  • Oil the blades regularly. This will help to keep them sharp and increase their lifespan. 
  • Store your hedge trimmer in a dry, safe place. This will help to prevent accidental damage and keep your trimmer in top condition.



How To Use A Hedge Trimmer On Bushes

Man hand holding and using hedge trimmer for bush trimming

Just like your hair, bushes need a trim from time to time! But instead of heading to the salon, you can take care of it yourself with a hedge trimmer. Once you’ve got your trimmer, here’s how to use it on bushes:

  1. Start by removing any obstruction from the area you’ll be trimming, like rocks or sticks.
  2. Put on some safety gear — gloves, goggles and ear protection — to protect yourself from debris.
  3. Turn on your trimmer and begin cutting along the edge of the bush.
  4. Remember to go slowly and use gentle strokes — you don’t want to hack away at the bush and create an uneven shape.
  5. As you work your way around the bush, move from the bottom up so you don’t miss any spots.
  6. When you’re finished, give the bush a quick once-over with a rake or broom to tidy up any stray leaves or branches.




a professional trimming the hedges with a hedge trimmer

Can You Use A Hedge Trimmer To Cut Branches?

No. While a hedge trimmer is a great tool for shaping hedges, it’s not the best choice for cutting branches. The blades on a hedge trimmer are designed to work best on relatively small twigs and leaves. When used on branches larger than 2cm, the blades can snag and cause damage to the plant. Additionally, hedge trimmers are typically not powerful enough to cut through thicker branches. For these reasons, it’s generally best to use a chainsaw for cutting branches.



What Is The Difference Between A Hedge Trimmer And A Hedge Cutter?

A hedge trimmer is a gardening tool that is used to trim hedges and bushes. It consists of a long handle with a motor at one end and a cutting blade at the other. A hedge cutter, on the other hand, is a power tool that is used to cut through thicker branches. It has a longer blade than a hedge trimmer and is often powered by a petrol engine. While both tools can trim hedges, a hedge cutter is better suited for larger jobs such as cutting down trees.



To The Hedge Of Glory!

Hedge trimming is an essential gardening task that helps to maintain the health of your plants and keep your garden looking its best. While it may seem daunting at first, using a hedge trimmer is quite straightforward once you know what you’re doing.

About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.


About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.