Long Reach Hedge Trimmers
Hedges are always a great addition to any property, but they do need to properly maintained which can be a hassle. This is especially evident when you have a tall or wide hedge which is tricky to trim. This is where a long reach hedge trimmer comes in, also otherwise known as extendable hedge trimmers or pole hedge trimmers. These kinds of models allow you to adjust the blade so it can cut the hedge vertically or horizontally. They have an extra long reach, so there is no need to hang off the edge of ladders trying to cut those hard to reach areas!
In this post we are going to look at what features you should consider before you buy one. After that we will look at some of the current top rated models you will find. If you already have an idea of what you want, you can head onto the recommended models section over here.
Do you want a gas, electric or battery powered model?
There are a couple of features you will need to think about before you buy one. The main decision you will need to take is how you want the trimmer to be powered. There are three main options here including gas powered, electric or battery powered (also called cordless models). Gas powered is the most popular choice for most folks, and many of the models available on the market are gas models. The reasons for this are fairly obvious, as they are offer good performance while not being hindered by short power cords! They do have a number of smaller drawbacks though such as vibration, and of course not working if you running out of gas! They do tend to cost a bit more than the other models, but they are known for lasting much longer. However for most people these drawbacks are not enough to make them get a electric or battery powered model.
Next up we have electric models. These models tend not to be as powerful as the gas models, although they are often a bit quieter. The most obvious disadvantage to these is you are limited to the length of your power cord. You may need to invest in a few long power cords to reach your hedge area, so if you don’t mind the hassle of this, you could save a bit of money by buying one one of these models.
Lastly we have battery powered or cordless models. These days all the quality models run off Li-Ion batteries, which tend to last a few years. Early battery powered models gave a disappointing run time before they ran out of juice, but newer models these days are much more reliable. Of course if your battery does die when you are working, it can be quite frustrating so that is the downside to having one of these. With most of these models in the price range of electric trimmers, it is a bit of a toss up which is better between the two. If your heart is set on a battery powered unit, make sure you read some of the user reviews first to see if the manufacturers claimed running time lines up with some of the reviews!
What other features should you consider?
Once you have decided what kind of model is ideal, you will need to think about some of the other features. One important feature is the adjust-ability of the shaft. The length it extends to is one of the more important choices you will need to make here. You should measure your hedge to get an idea of how much you will need to extend the unit, so you can be sure you will get a model with a long enough extension shaft. Most models tend to be in the 2m or 6 feet range when fully extended, which should be long enough for most bigger and taller hedges.
Still thinking about the shaft, you should also take into consideration to what degree it can be adjusted. Some models offer a 180 degree adjustable head, which makes trimming underneath and the top of hedges quite simple. Most models tend to offer at least a 90 degrees of rotation, so make sure you keep an eye out for how flexible the model is you are looking at. This is also important when it comes to storing the unit, as some people don’t have storage space to house a 2m long unit! There is also the question of fitting it in a car if you are looking at using it on a daily basis, or have a relative that wants to borrow it.
Lastly you should consider the weight of the unit. When handling such a long tool, it is important that the weight is well distributed to make sure you get a even cut. Be sure to look at some of the reviews of any trimmer you are interested in to see what the build quality is like. Some of the very cheap models can be quite flimsy, which never makes a good cutting experience.
Recommended model – Black & Decker LPHT120 Cordless Trimmer
Now lets have a look at one of the higher rated cordless trimmers – the Black & Decker LPHT120. This is a very affordable model with a retail price of around $140 with the battery pack, or around $80 without. If you already have a Black & Decker tool that uses their 20 volt max battery, then you can use that battery in this unit, meaning you only need to buy the base unit. This model is around 6 1/2 feet when fully extended, so should be ok for all but the tallest of hedges. The blade is a dual blade which is 18″ in length, and it has the ability to cut through 7/16″ thick branches. This unit weighs in at 7.7 pounds, which is not too bad considering the price. The head can pivot a full 180 degrees, and can be set to five different positions. With an affordable price and a two year limited warranty, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best selling cordless models. You can find out more about his model and read some of the user reviews on the Amazon page.
Recommended model – Earthwise 18″ 2-in-1 Trimmer
Lets take a look at one of the best sellers in the electric category – the Earthwise 2-in-1 electric trimmer. The handy thing about this model is that it contains two units including the handheld trimmer, and the pole trimmer. Swapping between the two is fairly quick and easy, so you are essentially getting two tools here for the price of one! The dual blade is 18″ long, and comes with a swivel head which rotates 150 degrees. This can be set to 6 different positions, which gives you a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to trimming scenarios. The unit is roughly 6 1/2 feet long when using the pole attachment. The official specifications say it can cut through 3/4″ thick branches, which is quite something for such an affordable trimmer. Speaking of the price, that is probably the best thing about it. It normally retails around the $100 mark, which is really fantastic value for money.
If you are thinking about getting an electric model, this one is certainly worth a look. You can find out more info about it over on the Amazon product page.
Recommended model – Stihl HL-100 Gas Trimmer
And lastly we take a look at one of the top rated long reach petrol hedge trimmers – the Stihl HL-100. This is the priciest of the bunch with a retail price of around $500, but Stihl do make some fantastic products so they do cost a bit more than the competition. This model weighs in at 6.9kgs, and has a 1.05kW motor. The fuel tank capacity is 18oz, but it is quite efficient so it can handle a fair amount of work before needing a refill. It has 135 degrees of shaft head rotation, but the main differences with the HL-100 and the others is that it has 13 shaft head locking positions, which gives you much more freedom to get that perfect cut.
It has a dual 20″ blade which is a little longer than the standard 18″ you normally see. The shaft is 60″ long, and Stihl also sell the slightly shorter Hl-100K version which has a 42″ shaft.
Aside from that it also has an adjustable loop handle, which provides a good grip and helps keep you comfy during those long trimming sessions. It also comes standard with some of Stihls good features such as the anti vibration technology, and the multi function control handle which gives you easy access to all the controls at your fingertips.
It may seem a little pricey at around $500, but if you are looking for something reliable then the HL-100 is definitely worth considering.
So those are some of the features you should think about before making a purchase, and a brief look at some of the top rated models in each category. This should give you a good idea of what to look for, and hopefully help you work out what kind of trimmer you need. Remember to shop around for the best price, and be sure to read some user reviews to assess the reliability of the models you are looking at.