Parts and Features of a Hedge Trimmer
Discover the parts and basic features of a hedge trimmer.
Regardless whether the hedge trimmer is gas-powered or electric-powered, the strength of the motor depends on engine swept volume and the amount of amperage respectively. Most powered hedge trimmers have motors as large as 8A, but can be much lower such as 2.8A.
Hedge trimmer blades are flat metal plates with teeth lining the edges that move back and forth to cut. The blades are either stainless steel or high-carbon steel; with carbon-steel the more durable material.
Blade lengths vary from as little as 6" to 40". Shorter blades offer the user more precision while longer blades allow for greater cutting efficiency.
- 16" blades or smaller: ideal for small- to average-sized hedges.
- 18" blades: ideal for average- to larger-sized hedges.
- 20" blades: idea for larger, established hedges.
- 20" blades and larger: recommended for areas where the ragged cut edge is not visible such as the tops of tall hedges.
The amount of blade gap determines the size or diameter of the branch that can be cut. If the gap is ¾", then the branch diameter it can cut is also ¾".
- Residential hedge trimmers have blade gaps of 3/8" to ¾".
- Commercial trimmers have a blade gap of approximately 1".
- Blade gaps of larger than ¾" are much more dangerous for the safety of the user.
Double or single-sided blade teeth
Hedge trimmers come with either single- or double-sided teeth on the blades.
- Single-sided teeth: safer because they are always cutting away from the user’s body.
- Double-sided teeth: cut in two directions and are therefore more efficient at cutting larger hedges. If the user is left-handed, then double-sided teeth blades are recommended.
A variety of handles are available based on the size and type of the task as well as for the specific needs of the user.
- The most common handle is the wraparound handle that provides added control because the cutting is achieved via a variety of angles.
- Adjustable handles allow the user to trim with more comfort, safety, and control.
- Other handles include:
- The 4-position front handle
- The anti-vibration control
- The rotated handle
- The ergonomic handle
- Some models have more than one handle for added control.
- Telescopic handles allow the user to reach trees and tall shrubs such as arbor vitae.
- Gas-powered hedge trimmers tend to be heavy, but they can handle larger projects.
- Electric-powered models are lightweight.
- Using a light model is important for the user’s endurance.
- Using a lightweight model can make the trimming projects more manageable and precise.
The lock-on feature allows the homeowner to accomplish a large task without needing to keep the trigger pushed in. The user’s mechanical efforts are therefore minimized.
Translucent Fuel Tanks
When using the hedge trimmers for an extended period, a translucent fuel tank may be practical. Applicable only with gas-powered models, a translucent gas tank allows the user to quickly assess the fuel level.
A pigtail is the short length of cord that is attached to the trimmer and is used to connect to an extension cord.
Powered hedge trimmers are available as part of a kit that may include string trimmers, patio brooms, and other useful outdoor landscape tools.
Depending on the manufacturer, useful storage bags may be provided for the hedge trimmers.