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Traditionally, as most garden owners are only too well aware, many, if not most, gardening chores are not only labour-intensive, but also very time-consuming. While these chores can be pleasurable to some, most people consider them something that they would rather spend as little time on as possible. Fortunately, gardening power tool technology has taken the drudgery out of many of those gardening tasks. One task that falls squarely within that category is hedge trimming. Given that most hedges are highly visible, keeping them neatly trimmed is a chore that can’t be put off indefinitely. For those who want a neatly-trimmed hedge without the manual labour involved, or having to pay for someone else’s manual labour, a powered hedge trimmer is the answer.
About Hedge Trimmers
Powered hedge trimmers are power tools equipped with efficient cutting blades that are designed to cut and trim hedges in a fraction of the time that trimming them manually with garden shears take. They are an increasingly affordable and, unsurprisingly, increasingly popular gardening tool.
Types of Hedge Trimmer
Powered hedge trimmers come in three basic types, each designed to operate from a different power source:
Electric Corded Hedge Trimmers
Electric corded hedge trimmers are powered by electricity from the house mains power supply via a long power cord attached to the trimmer. Having direct access to the mains power supply ensures a cheap and uninterrupted supply of power to the trimmer. While there’s no limit to the amount of time that the trimmer can be used, there’s a definite limit on where it can be used. The length of the power cord limits how far from the power source that the trimmer can be operated. In all but the smallest of gardens, an extension cable is usually a required extra that needs to be attached to increase the overall operating distance. However, long cords can
also restrict movement. They have the annoying habit of getting themselves tangled around various garden objects, forcing the user to backtrack and free the cable before moving on to the next bit of the hedge waiting to be trimmed. It’s also necessary to be aware of the potential dangers of mains power, especially when working outdoors. Accidentally cutting the cord with the blades of the trimmer could result in severe, and possibly lethal, electric shock. To avoid such problems, a residual current device (RCD) should be fitted between the power source and the trimmer.
Battery-powered Hedge Trimmers
Battery-powered hedge trimmers are powered by a rechargeable battery that is built into the unit. With no power cord limiting the operating distance, battery-powered trimmers can be operated anywhere. The lack of a power cable is a definite advantage, not only in terms of freedom of movement, but also in terms of safety. Unlike the corded trimmer, there’s no risk of electric shock. The lack of mains power, however, is a disadvantage when compared with their mains-powered counterparts. They rely on the available charge of the on-board battery, which, at best, is limited to not much more than 30 minutes, after which it needs to be recharged or replaced with a fully-charged spare if there’s still some trimming work to be completed. Re-charging takes around seven hours. Most people, however, find a single charge sufficient for their hedge-trimming needs.
Petrol Hedge Trimmer types
Petrol hedge trimmers are powered by a petrol-fuelled engine. They tend to be among the most powerful garden trimmers available and, like battery-powered trimmers, can be used anywhere. The downside is that they are heavier and require more of an effort to operate. They can also be noisy and smoky. As well as being the least environmentally friendly, petrol trimmers are also the least economical of the three types of trimmer due to the cost of refilling with fuel.