Tips & Tricks

Hedge trimmer - gasoline, electric or battery?


A clean cut hedge delights every garden owner. For an optimal result you also need a powerful hedge trimmer. The selection in retail is huge with petrol, electric or battery models. We compare advantages and disadvantages.

In the beginning, every hedge is still small. Here, a hedge trimmer with manual operation is often sufficient to shorten the still delicate shoots. However, each year the amount of work associated with this hedge cut increases, and much more experience is required to achieve a uniform cut.

With a motorized hedge trimmer, the solution is obvious. But here you are spoiled for choice. What does my hedge trimmer have to do and at what price?

Numerous manufacturers lure with prices that indicate cheap products of unknown production. Brand manufacturers are usually more expensive, but perform significantly better in relevant comparisons such as Stiftung Warentest. As with any other tool, quality is often associated with a higher price. In terms of cutting properties, permanent load on large hedges and stability of the machine over many years, this additional cost pays off in any case.

However, the choice remains between an electric hedge trimmer with a cable connection, one with a rechargeable battery or a petrol-operated hedge trimmer. Every machine from these ranges has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages and disadvantages of different hedge trimmers

Which hedge trimmer you choose mainly depends on the area that you have to trim.

Gasoline powered hedge trimmers

Hedge trimmers with petrol have the great advantage that they can be used anywhere. You only need the necessary petrol. However, this is not always completely unproblematic. Petrol hedge trimmers are equipped with a two-stroke gasoline engine that requires a precise mixture of petrol and oil. It cannot be bought at all petrol stations and mixing it yourself takes a lot of effort. Some manufacturers of petrol hedge trimmers offer you a ready-made mixture, but this is very expensive.

Petrol hedge trimmers are particularly suitable for commercial use. Janitorial services, community workers or green space owners often cut larger areas. Thus, the high acquisition costs will pay off at some point. A petrol-powered hedge trimmer cuts with very high power, so that even a thicker branch is not a problem.

A disadvantage is the high weight of the gasoline-powered hedge trimmers. When buying, consider that when you cut the hedge you will also have to stand on a ladder and have to be able to operate the hedge trimmer. The noise level of a petrol hedge trimmer should not be ignored either.

Battery powered hedge trimmers

With a battery-operated hedge trimmer, there is just as much freedom of movement as with a petrol-operated hedge trimmer. You can work flexibly and do not have to pay attention to a hanging cable. Unfortunately, the duration of use is somewhat limited. When the hedge trimmer battery is exhausted, working on the hedge is over. You can also buy a second battery to be perfectly armed. You can get such a battery from amazon.de, for example. To be able to recharge the batteries, you must connect them to a power supply.

Another disadvantage of hedge trimmers with batteries is their performance. With larger branches, a hedge trimmer can quickly reach its limits. In contrast to electric and petrol-operated hedge machines, the battery-operated hedge machine performs the worst. However, the low weight makes them shine again. Especially with long work or high hedges, a light hedge trimmer can be an advantage.

Electrically operated hedge trimmers

An electrically operated hedge trimmer with a cable connection has a major disadvantage and this consists in the cable to be carried. At work it is drawn into the branches of the hedge unnoticed and even a little carelessness is enough to cut it in the knife. With a functioning electrical system with fuse protection of the socket via a residual current circuit breaker, there is no danger, but the annoyance at the interruption of work is great.

The most sensible are hedge trimmers with an electric motor for small gardens where trees, shrubs and hedges can be pruned in the immediate vicinity of the power source. Of course, you also have the option of using a cable drum to extend the range.

A big advantage of electric hedge machines is their performance. Even thicker branches can be easily cut without sacrificing performance.

»Stiftung Warentest - electric hedge trimmers

What needs to be considered when buying hedge trimmers?

Depending on your needs, you can decide which model is the right one for you. However, there are still some important points that you should generally consider when buying, regardless of the operating mode.

  • knives sharpened on both sides
  • Sword length should correspond approximately to the width of the hedge
  • Note the specified cutting thickness (required for maximum branch thickness)
  • Safety circuit and quick stop function must be available
  • GS symbol (tested safety)

Advantages and disadvantages at a glance

serviceadvantagesdisadvantage
Cordless hedge trimmer✔ light weight
✔ environmentally friendly
✔ work flexibly
✔ Freedom of movement
- The duration of use is limited
- lower performance
Gasoline powered hedge trimmer✔ strong engine performance
✔ flexible in work
✔ Freedom of movement
- High acquisition costs
- Gasoline costs
- higher weight
- more complex repair
Electrically operated hedge trimmers✔ light weight
✔ unlimited use
✔ high performance
✔ Suitable for small gardens and hedges
- annoying power cable