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Gas vs. Electric Hedge Trimmers: Which One To Choose?

Cordless electric hedge

With the summer season ending, you might find yourself needing to trim your hedges. If you are tired of using your manual trimmer, now is the perfect time to consider investing in a mechanical option. These devices will make the process quicker and more enjoyable.

With that being said, it can be difficult to select what mechanical hedge trimmer is right for you. On top of the expected choice between brands, you will also get your choice between a gas or electric hedge trimmer. This choice can be a difficult one if you have never used a mechanical trimmer before.

In this article, we will go over the functions, benefits, and drawbacks of both gas and electric hedge trimmers to help you decide on a model more easily. Read on to find out more.

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Gas Hedge Trimmers: Overview

Gas hedge trimmers are a favorite among professional landscapers and those with large yards since they are powerful and uninhibited by a power cord. Although many people prefer gas hedge trimmers to electric models, there are some downsides to these models too.

Poulan Pro PR2322 23cc Hedge Trimmer

Power and Performance

Of the two options, gas hedge trimmers tend to have the most powerful output. These models often have higher strokes per minute, which allows them to handle thicker branches, but the exact power capabilities depend on the model you select.

Gas hedge trimmers often have longer blades. This feature allows them to handle tougher and longer trimming work, which is why many professionals and large landowners prefer gas hedge trimmers to electric versions.

Durability

Most gas hedge trimmers are designed to last between two to six years on average, making them highly durable, especially in comparison to some electric models.

Maintenance

Regardless of the type of hedge trimmer you select, it will need regular maintenance, such as lubrication, cleaning, and sharpening. Gas hedge trimmers are no exception. In fact, these models will require more maintenance than their electric counterparts.

For example, gas hedge trimmers require service for their engine, which often requires replacement filters, spark plug cleaning, and other engine-related maintenance.

These devices will need to be winterized to perform well during colder months. The winterization process will include things like draining the fuel and using additives.

Cost

Since gas hedge trimmers are usually more powerful and include longer blades, these devices cost more than electric models on average.

The required maintenance makes them more expensive as well. You will need to buy more fuel, oil, and other parts as needed. Most gas hedge trimmers include a 2-stroke engine, which will cost you $2 to $6 in oil per gallon of gas with every use. This cost will double if you select a model with a 4-stroke engine.

Echo HC-152 Gas Powered Hedge Trimmer

 

Usability

Gas hedge trimmers are not inhibited by a cord, which is a benefit in terms of user-friendliness. At the same time, they are heavier than electric models and you will need to pull the cord to get the engine going. Most people agree that a gas trimmer is less user-friendly than an electric one.

Safety

As a result of the increased power of gas hedge trimmers, they can lead to more potential health hazards if they are used incorrectly and irresponsibly. In addition, the gas and oil used to start these models will produce fumes, which can be dangerous if ingested. This should not pose a risk for regular use, though.

Pros
  • More powerful
  • Highly durable
  • Electric cord does not inhibit movement
Cons
  • More expensive
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Heavier
  • Poses safety risks if used irresponsibly

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Electric Hedge Trimmers: Overview

If you opt for an electric hedge trimmer, you’ll get the choice between a battery-powered or corded device. Either style is great for beginners or those without a lot of area to cover. Like the gas-powered hedge trimmer, however, this model comes with some drawbacks too.

woman using BLACK+DECKER BEHT100 Hedge Trimmer

Power and Performance

A gas hedge trimmer is typically more powerful than an electric model. Since these devices rely on electric power, they simply do not provide the same performance abilities as a gas option. This makes them more suitable for smaller yards and less heavy branches.

Durability

Electric hedge trimmers tend to be less durable than their gas-powered counterparts. The most well-maintained electric device will last between two to three years.

Maintenance

One benefit of electric hedge trimmers is that they are incredibly easy to maintain. Both battery-powered and corded electric hedge trimmers require minimal maintenance, with the exception of regular cleaning, lubricating, and sharpening. You will not need to worry about preparing the engine or winterizing this device.

Cost

Electric hedge trimmers are more ideal for those on a budget. The upfront costs tend to be lower, as well as the maintenance costs. You will not need to buy gas or oil for this option.

However, if your electric hedge trimmer is to break, it typically costs more money to repair it than it would a gas hedge trimmer, but repairs are unlikely for most users.

Usability

The main reason someone would want to buy an electric hedge trimmer is for the usability. Electric hedge trimmers are incredibly lightweight, and battery-powered models can be taken with you anywhere. These devices are ideal for beginners who need something a little more manageable and convenient.

Safety

All hedge trimmers pose safety risks if used irresponsibly. Models with a cord run the additional risk of accidentally cutting open the cord, which is severely dangerous.

Pros
  • Easy to maintain
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Less powerful
  • Less durable
  • Poses safety risks if used irresponsibly

Choosing Between A Gas-Powered or Electric Hedge Trimmer

Gas-Powered Electric
Power X
Durability X
Ease of Maintenance X
Cost X
User-Friendliness X

Both gas and electric hedge trimmers are great options, but you will select one over the other based on your intended use and preferred features.

If you need the most powerful and durable model on the market, then you should select a gas-powered hedge trimmer. Electric models simply will not fit your needs and preferences, especially if you need an option for commercial use.

On the other hand, if you need an easy to use, low maintenance, and affordable hedge trimmer, then you will want an electric model. The electric power of these devices makes them much better for those on a budget, as well as those who do not have as intense of trimming needs.

Factors to Consider When Buying A Gas Hedge Trimmer

1. Engine

If you have decided that you want a gas hedge trimmer, the first factor to consider is the engine. The engine is what allows your model to be powerful. If you have selected a gas model, then power is obviously an important factor for you.

Most gas hedge trimmers come with a 2-stroke engine, but there are some models that come with a 4-stroke engine instead. The 4-stroke engine will be more powerful, but it will cost more and have more maintenance associated with it. Most users find a 2-stroke engine suitable for their needs.

If you are using the gas hedge trimmer around your home, then look for models with a power output of at least 22cc. If you intend to use your hedge trimmer for commercial use, however, then certainly look for a model with a higher power output.

2. Blade

The blade will affect the power and trimming time of your gas hedge trimmer. The longer the blade, the quicker the job will go, but it will be more difficult to manage the device.

You want to find a blade where you can maximize both speed and control. If your model is extremely fast but you are incapable of handling it, your hedges or branches will not look professional or organized.

3. Usability

Gas-powered hedge trimmers tend to be a little less user-friendly than electric models. For this reason, it is important to consider the usability to enhance your abilities. Begin by looking at the weight of the models. The heavier the trimmer is, the harder it will be to use for long periods of time. Select a lighter model to combat fatigue.

Additionally, look at different design features. Some of the most comfortable gas hedge trimmers come with two handles and power switches, allowing you to operate the device comfortably. A clippings collector is another factor that may increase the usability of your trimmer.

4. Rotating Head

The best gas hedge trimmers will come with a rotating head. Although this feature is not necessary, it certainly will make your experience easier and less time-consuming. The point of the rotating head is to keep the head in place, regardless of whether you are cutting vertically or horizontally.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Electric Hedge Trimmer

1. Power Type

As we mentioned earlier, electric hedge trimmers are either battery-operated or corded. You will need to select which power type you want for your electric hedge trimmer. Overall, both should satisfy most needs, but a battery-operated model will be more convenient, while a corded model may be more powerful.

With that being said, we prefer a battery-operated electric hedge trimmer simply for its convenience. You will be able to reach any area without risk of unplugging the trimmer. It is also safer than the corded option since it does not have a cord to accidentally cut.

  Battery-operated Corded
Power X
Convenience X
User-Friendliness X
Safety X

2. Weight

If you have selected an electric hedge trimmer, then the usability and comfort are probably your most important factors. Look for whatever model is the lightest. This will allow you to use the device without fatigue.

3. Blade Length

Blade length will affect the functionality and power of the trimmer. Since electric trimmers tend to be less powerful than gas options, it is important to look for features that will maximize their functionality. The longer the blade, the more quickly and easily it can cut through branches and other materials.

With that being said, the longer blade will result in a less manageable device. Select an electric hedge trimmer with a suitable length to maximize both efficiency and usability.

4. Warranty

Electric hedge trimmers can be an expensive device that may not last very long. To ensure that you get your money’s worth for your product, ensure that your individual model comes with a warranty. This will allow you to elongate the lifespan of the trimmer and stretch your dollar.


Quick Look: Our Top Choices

Image Product Details
Our Favorite Gas Hedge Trimmer Poulan Pro PR2322 Poulan Pro PR2322
  • Highly powerful
  • Durable
  • 23cc
  • Our Favorite Electric Hedge Trimmer Black+Decker BEHT100 Hedge Trimmer Black+Decker BEHT100 Hedge Trimmer
  • Powerful
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Our Favorite Gas Hedge Trimmer: Poulan Pro PR2322

    Poulan Pro PR2322

    The Poulan Pro PR2322 includes a 23cc, 2-cycle engine that makes it highly powerful and durable. At the same time, this model is also more usable than other gas-powered models since its teeth are 22 inches, a more manageable length for blades. The main downside of this model is that it doesn’t come with SmartStart Technology.

    Our Favorite Electric Hedge Trimmer: Black+Decker BEHT100 Hedge Trimmer

    BLACK+DECKER BEHT100 Hedge Trimmer

    The Black+Decker BEHT100 Hedge Trimmer is our favorite electric hedge trimmer because it is powerful, easy to use, and affordable. With this device, you will be able to cut through most regular-sized branches with little to no extra effort or muscle power. With that being said, this is not the most powerful option on the market, but it is one of the most convenient and lightweight.

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    Conclusion

    If you are intending to trim your hedges anytime soon, then you should consider buying a mechanical hedge trimmer to make the job easier and less of a hassle. A gas-powered trimmer may be the best option for you if you need a trimmer for commercial uses. In contrast, you may opt for an electric trimmer if you need a more convenient and lightweight model.

    Regardless of whether you want a gas-powered or electric trimmer, thoroughly investigate individual models before spending a dime. A well-constructed electric trimmer will beat out a poorly made gas trimmer any day. Make sure that your trimmer is durable, powerful, and ideal for your intended use.

    Let us know what hedge trimmer you prefer below.

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