The best pole hedge trimmer

From bestreviews.com
By
Jordan C. Woika

If your hedges are too tall to trim with a standard hedge trimmer, then you should be using a pole hedge trimmer instead of a ladder. It’s safer, and pole hedge trimmers have a range of features that make trimming tall hedges easier. You just need to make sure you get one of the appropriate size.

The best pole hedge trimmer is the Makita XNU01T Pole Hedge Trimmer Kit. It’s powerful, battery-powered and can run for up to 80 minutes on a full charge.

What to know before you buy a pole hedge trimmer

Power source

Pole hedge trimmers can be powered by cord, battery or gas.

  • Corded trimmers are restricted in where they can go by outlet availability. The cord can also get in the way and be accidentally sliced through. They also tend to be the smallest and weakest. On the other hand, they’re easy to use and have no dangerous emissions.
  • Battery trimmers are more powerful with some of the strongest being almost as powerful as gas trimmers. They can also be used anywhere like gas trimmers. The downsides are the increased weight from the battery, the short usage times and the long charge times.
  • Gas trimmers are the most powerful and the longest-lasting. However, gas is expensive and the engines can be complicated to maintain.

Pole length and effective length

The pole length is the most important aspect to consider when shopping for a pole hedge trimmer. You’re buying one specifically for its reach. Most poles are between 6 and 7.5 feet long. Some poles are telescoping so you can adjust as needed, though they still rarely extend past 7.5 feet.

On top of the pole length is the effective length. This number is always an estimate as it’s a combination of maximum pole length, blade length, blade angle if the head can articulate and your arm span.

Blade

The blade has two aspects to consider.

  • Length is the simplest. Longer blades can trim faster but are slightly harder to wield. Most blades are 16-22 inches long
  • Gap is more important. Trimmer blades work almost like scissors, so to cut through branches they need to fit between the blade gap. Gaps can be roughly as small as one-fourth of an inch or as wide or wider than 1 inch.

Pole hedge trimmer features 

Articulating head

Most pole hedge trimmers have articulating heads, meaning they can be set at different angles. Better trimmers can articulate to several angles while low-end trimmers may only have three or four angles to choose from.

Trigger lock

A trigger lock lets you press the power button and have it stay turned on. This makes it much easier to control the trimmer and keeps your hand from getting tired.

Cord lock

Some corded pole hedge trimmers have cord locks. These make it difficult for the cord to be accidentally pulled out if you walk too far from the outlet.

Pole hedge trimmer cost 

The bigger and stronger one is the more it costs. Low-power trimmers shouldn't cost more than $150 while high-power trimmers cost roughly $300-$500. The average trimmer costs $150-$250.

Pole hedge trimmer FAQ

Is there a difference between a pole saw and a pole hedge trimmer?

A. Yes. Pole saws are designed to slice through branches in the tops of trees. They can be manual saws or mini chain saws. Pole hedge trimmers use a different style of blade that’s meant to trim the thin, small branches found in hedges. They are always powered.

You can theoretically use a pole saw on a hedge, but it would be like taking a sledgehammer to a plastic push pin. You can’t use a pole trimmer on a tree at all.

What’s the safest way to use a pole hedge trimmer?

A. There are several steps one should take to ensure you’re using a pole hedge trimmer safely.

  • First, make sure the trimmer is ready. This means checking its fuel source, making sure it’s sharp, etc.
  • Secondly, make sure the hedge is ready. Double-check that there’s nothing hidden inside you can’t cut through and make sure no one else is in the area.
  • Lastly, make sure you are ready. Wear protective gear that covers your body including gloves and eye and ear protection.

Which pole hedge trimmer should I get?

Best of the best pole hedge trimmer

Makita XNU01T Pole Hedge Trimmer Kit: available at Amazon and Home Depot

Our take: This is as powerful as it gets without buying a gas-powered model.

What we like: It has three speeds to choose from to best tackle different hedge types and to preserve the battery when necessary. The blade is 20 inches long and can be run in reverse to help clear jams. It articulates for easy trimming and storage.

What we dislike: It’s among the most expensive pole hedge trimmers. A few consumers found it too heavy to use for long. Others disliked the lack of a handle.

Best bang for your buck pole hedge trimmer

Sun Joe SJH901E Pole Hedge Trimmer: available at Amazon

Our take: This is the perfect budget option for those with few hedges.

What we like: It’s corded so you don’t need to worry about losing power. The pole is telescoping and can be as long as 7.4 feet. The blade is 18 inches long, the gap is seven-tenths of an inch and the head pivots.

What we dislike: Some customers found it to be too heavy. Others reported the safety strap gets in the way and makes the trimmer harder to use.

Honorable mention pole hedge trimmer

Black And Decker Pole Hedge Trimmer: available at Amazon and Home Depot

Our take: This is another great budget trimmer, only it’s battery-operated rather than corded.

What we like: The blade is 18 inches long and can trim hedges with branches up to seven-sixteenths of an inch thick. The pole is telescoping and can be as long as 6.5 feet. A variety of bundles are available with inclusions such as safety gear or extra batteries.

What we dislike: A few purchasers reported it to vibrate more than other trimmers. Others found the blade to be duller than it should be.

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Jordan C. Woika is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

 

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