Hedge Trimmers – What Do You Need to Know?

With the summer months edging ever closer, it is becoming harder and harder for homeowners to ignore the needs of their garden – especially as growth begins to quicken in larger plants like bushes and trees.

If you are a keen gardener, you will know the importance of having different tools at your disposal. The hedge trimmer is one vital tool to have for taming your garden’s bigger plants, but there are some things you should know before you invest in one.

Kinds of Hedge Trimmer

There are various different kinds of hedge trimmer available on the market, each of which attend to different specific use cases and excel in certain applications. Here, an important distinction needs to be made between hedge trimmers and hedge cutters, another common form of landscaping tool. Hedge cutters are typically reserved for more heavy-duty tasks, in the form of cutting into thick branches and well-developed bushes. Hedge trimmers, meanwhile, are used for more lightweight tasks – which will be expounded below.

Principally, the difference between models of hedge trimmer often comes down to mode of power. There are two key power sources for hedge trimmers, being electricity and petrol respectively.

Electric-powered hedge trimmers can be corded or cordless; corded trimmers run off your home’s electricity grid and enable a lightweight design with indefinite use time. Cordless hedge trimmers run using a battery and can supply high power with unrivalled portability – at the expense of sometimes-short usage times.

Petrol-powered hedge trimmers, meanwhile, utilise an on-board engine to power the cutting blades. These trimmers tend to be more popular amongst professional landscapers owing to the power provided by fossil-fuelled engines, but battery-powered motor technology is fast catching up.

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Primary Uses for Hedge Trimmers

Hedge trimmers are primarily used to clean up bushes and hedgerows, by cutting extraneous twigs and leaves and paring back the faces of the shrubs in question. The most common reasons for this task are practical; gardens can grow unruly, and hedge growth can make it difficult to utilise garden pathways or indeed public pavements. There is also topiary, or the trimming of bushes to suit a creative or architecture brief. Smaller, low-powered trimmers are used for topiary purposes, while larger ones are used to pare back bigger bushes.

Caring For Your Hedge Trimmer

Much like any power tool, hedge trimmers require proper long-term care and attention in order to ensure their longevity. Without proper treatment, trimmer blades can become blunt and even rust during poor weather; if your trimmer is petrol-powered, the engine can seize without regular use and proper lubrication.

The simplest thing you can do for your hedge trimmer is to regularly oil the trimmer blades, and lubricate the moving parts. After use, you should also make sure the blades are free and clear of debris, to ensure they don’t lose their edge when not in use.