What you can and can’t cut with your new hedge trimmer

Hedge Trimmer

Are there limits to what you can do with your new hedge trimmer? The short answer is yes. Not all hedge trimmers were manufactured equally and there are certain makes and models to suit different tasks.

In saying that, most hedge trimmers are going to be able to handle the literal task of keeping your bushes, hedges and shrubs in check. Cheaply made models are going to wear out faster than high-quality models, but the good news is that you can get hedge trimmers from leading manufacturers like Makita at Hornibrooks Tools and Fasteners that are affordable and effective.

What is normal to cut?

It is important to understand that your hedge trimmer is not a chainsaw and it has not been designed to cut through branches and other more resistant materials. Ideally, you only want to be cutting through materials that are a maximum of 25mm wide – which gives you plenty of scope to prune and shape your bushes, hedges and shrubs. If you need to cut through thicker branches, consider a lopper or a chainsaw with a short bar that will slice through branches easily.

What could ruin your equipment?

If you are regularly overworking your hedge trimmer, the blades are going to become dull and they are going to work extra hard. This can lead to motor failure, but it can also lead to the blade getting jagged or caught which can lead to loss of control and injuries.

Always ensure that you are keeping your blades clean and well lubricated, a well-serviced hedge trimmer is going to work effectively for much longer and will be much safer.

Be careful how you are using your hedge trimmer as well, do not let it make contact with the ground. This can cause major damage to the blade, as can contact with rocks, thick branches or plants that can become entangled through the blade.

Other hazards to watch out for

When it comes to trimming hedges, our eyes are often looking up to look for any hazards like fence wiring, thick branches and other elements in the hedge itself.

But it is important to also ensure we are looking down, as there could be many tripping hazards around your hedges that could lead to accidents. Ensure all debris, toys, garden equipment, hoses etc.

Also, ensure you are wearing sensible clothing. You don’t need full protective gear, but long-sleeved shirts, pants, covered shoes and sunglasses at the minimum is recommended to protect against flying debris.

Can some models do more than others?

You get what you pay for with hedge trimmers, but you do not have to break the bank. There have been major advances in electric hedge trimmers with long-range batteries and plenty of power – even for professional gardeners.

Stick with the major brands like Makita and you can find affordable options that will do a lot more than cheap hedge trimmers and will last longer as well.