The Best Corded Electric Hedge Trimmer (2019)
Do you need to keep bushes, hedges or shrubs under control without back-breaking labor? If your garden isn’t huge, maybe a corded electric hedge trimmer is your best bet.
Lighter & quieter than gas powered trimmers, cheaper & more powerful than their cordless equivalents, and much less tiring to use than traditional manual shears, electric hedge trimmers come in various sizes and capabilities.
You should always use a GFCI power outlet for any corded electrical equipment being used outdoors, including hedge trimmers.
After many hours of in-depth research & discussion with gardening experts and home users, we believe the Black+Decker BEHT350 is the best hedge trimmer for most situations. The workhorse of the available electric hedge trimmers, this is the replacement for the old HT22, which had been our top pick since 2014.
We have a new runner-up, the Toro 51490. This 22” hedge trimmer has the same blade length & motor size as our first choice, but is usually a bit more expensive.
The Black+Decker BEHT200 is the replacement for our previous budget pick (the HT18), and is our new budget choice.
The Best Corded Hedge Trimmer In Comparison
#1 - Black+Decker BEHT350 - Our Choice
The BEHT350 is, overall, the best electric hedge trimmer we have seen on the market, at a reasonable price, and is up to almost all domestic tasks
Black+Decker make several electric hedge trimmers of a very similar design. The main variation between models is the blade length, though the smallest models are also slightly less powerful and are not capable of cutting through 3/4" stems.
Currently you can buy these models in 16",17",18",20",22" and 24" blade lengths.
In our opinion the 22" model is the sweet spot in the range - extremely light weight at 5.07lb, the most powerful corded hedge trimmer in the Black+Decker range, and very reasonably priced. We think if you don't have a huge yard, and aren't regularly cutting through old-growth branches, this hedge trimmer should be your default choice.
Strong And Powerful
The Black+Decker BEHT350 Hedge Trimmer has a powerful 4 Amp motor. What this means in practice is, it has more than enough power for most domestic jobs, and is strong enough to cut through branches up to 3/4 inch thick.
If you don't have a large amount of trimming to do, and / or you would like to trim your hedges or shrubs into intricate designs, you could consider a smaller model.
A longer blade will cut through more vegetation with the same amount of movement and effort on your part. However, we feel the extra 2" offered by the largest models of this type doesn't offer a noticeable advantage in this regard. The larger 24" trimmer is noticeably heavier though, which can cause fatigue over long periods.
The BEHT350 has a 22-inch dual-action blade - according to the manufacturer this reduces vibration by up to 40%, compared to traditional single-action blades, and cuts cleanly and quickly.
The stainless steel blades should stay sharp for many seasons without maintenance. Its lightweight, compact design is easy to use and causes less user fatigue. This trimmer is easy to operate with 1 arm at full extension (although this is not recommended by the manufacturer - do so at your own risk!).
The HT22 is ergonomically designed, to make it more comfortable & less tiring to use. It has a wrap-around front handle, which is comfortable to hold in all orientations. A soft-feel grip makes this trimmer comfortable to hold while trimming. The handle is large enough to accommodate gloves.
This video from Black + Decker shows the trimmer in a bit more detail:
Who Are Black + Decker?
Black & Decker are part of the Stanley Black & Decker company, formed by the merger of Stanley and Black & Decker in 2010. They are one of the largest US-based tool manufacturers (though much of the manufacturing is now done overseas.)
Black & Decker back the BEHT350 with a 2 year warranty.
Click here to download the user manual.
No tool is perfect, and there are a few minor issues with this trimmer
Some users miss a feature of older electric hedge trimmers, where the safety switch, once engaged to allow the trimmer to start, stayed engaged. This made it easy to use the trimmer single-handed. Modern trimmers, including the BEHT350, require the safety switch and trigger to be held down. This is actually one of the safety features of this model, however it does make single-handed operation more difficult.
One minor issue some users have noted with the Black+Decker trimmers is that the moving parts of the blade extend beyond the static part. If you're trimming hedges along a wall or chain link fence for example, the moving part of the blade can catch on the solid object, potentially causing damage to the blade or the object.
WE DON'T LIKE:
#2 - Toro 51490
A decent alternative to our #1 choice
If our first choice is out of stock or unavailable, the Toro 51490 is a good alternative. This hedge trimmer is very similar to the Black+Decker model. It has the same motor rating, same blade length, and the same 2 year warranty length.
The cutting capacity is slightly smaller than the HT22 (9/16 inch vs 3/4 inch).
In our opinion the Toro's handles are slightly more comfortable to hold than the Black+Decker, however there's not much in it & it's very much down to the individual.
The Toro 51490 only misses out on 1st in this comparison because it is usually priced higher than the equivalent Black+Decker model & is slightly heavier – for most trimming jobs, either trimmer would be just as effective.
As always, prices are subject to change, so if you find this trimmer on sale, you will not regret buying it.
- Corded hedge trimmer with a powerful 4 amp motor
- 22-inch-long cutting bar; hardened steel blades
- Easily cuts through branches up to 9/16-inch thick
#3 - Black+Decker BEHT200
The best budget choice
The Black+Decker BEHT200 is a smaller, lower-priced, lightweight hedge trimmer. With an 18" blade, it would take significantly longer to cut a large area. Also, the motor is less powerful (3.5A), and the tooth gap is smaller (maximum 5/8") than the larger models in this comparison. Ultimately the HT18 would be less capable of cutting through large, tough shrubs.
However, it still benefits from the dual-action blade and 2-year warranty of the larger models, and is even lighter than our top pick, at 4.5lb.
If you really want to save a bit of money (and generally this trimmer is only a few dollars cheaper than an equivalent 22" or 24" model), the BEHT200 should give you years of dependable service, without too much maintenance.
Alternatively, if you're specifically looking for a smaller trimmer to do more intricate, delicate trimming, in our opinion the Black+Decker BEHT200 is the best corded trimmer you can buy.
- 18 inch dual action hardened steel black for reduced vibration while trimming
- 3.5 amp motor for trimming branches upto 5/8 inch
- Lightweight, compact design is easy to use with less fatigue
#4 - Greenworks 2200102
Similar to our #2 pick, usually slightly cheaper too
The Greenworks 2200102 specifications are quite similar to our #2 pick (the Toro 51490) - same motor rating, blade length, tooth gap and weight.
The 2200102 has a superior 4-year warranty (better than all the other trimmers here).
The Toro trimmer does feel like it may be slightly better made compared to the Greenworks model. Users have reported some issues with vibration & noise too.
These issues prevent us from rating the 2200102 higher.
- 4 Amp motor to get the job done efficiently
- 22" dual action steel blade for optimal performance and maneuvering
- 9/16" cutting capacity perfect for bushes and shrubs
#5 - Garcare GTH08
More power but unproven yet
The GARCARE GTH08 is more powerful (at 4.8 Amps) than the models mentioned above. If you have a lot of particularly thick shrubs to cut through, the extra power may be a factor.
Like the Black+Decker and Toro hedge trimmers, this model has a dual-action blade, safety switch and a 2 year warranty. The GARCARE model has a slightly larger 24" blade, however it is significantly heavier at a little over 8lb.
One additional feature of the GTH08 is its rotating handle - you can rotate the rear handle through 180 degrees.
However, the extra weight & higher cost are enough to put us off this model. Also, the manufacturer doesn't have as long a track record as some of the alternatives.
Roundup of alternatives
The Remington RM5124TH is the most powerful corded hedge trimmer we could find on the market, with a 5 Amp motor. It's an absolute beast, and if there's any hedge or shrub you can't cut through with it like a knife through butter, you likely either need a commercial-grade gas trimmer, or a chainsaw.
One issue with this trimmer is the design of the safety switch - several users didn't like the design of it, and in a couple of cases it failed completely.
The WORX WG209 has very similar positives and negatives to our 1st and 2nd choices above (in fact it has a slightly longer 24" blade, while still keeping total weight below 6lb). However, we can't recommend this model as it's significantly more expensive than the proven Black+Decker and Toro models. On some occasions we've seen this trimmer advertised by the same vendor for almost 50% more than the Black+Decker HT22.
The Black+Decker HH2455 is a larger 24" hedge trimmer - confusingly it has a less powerful (3.3A) motor than our first choice.
Like the GARCARE model, it offers a rotating rear handle (in this case the handle rotates up to 180 degrees, with 5 set positions in between.
Unlike almost all the other electric trimmers on the market today, this model has a lock-on switch, allowing you to operate it without keeping the trigger engaged. While we believe you should take safety seriously, and this is clearly less safe than the system the other trimmers use, it is common for owners to complain about the lack of this feature on other hedge trimmers.
This hedge trimmer just misses out on being one of our main choices as it's usually more expensive than comparable models, it's less powerful than the alternatives, and it's also slightly heavier (6.5lb) than some of the more powerful models available.
Electric Hedge Trimmers - Advantages & Disadvantages
A few pointers, to help you decide
- Electric hedge trimmers have most of the same advantages as cordless trimmers. They are light weight and quiet (significantly quieter than gas trimmers).
- There shouldn't be any expensive ongoing maintenance.
- An electric model is very easy to start, compared to a gas hedge trimmer – all you have to do is pull the trigger and you’re ready to start hedge trimming.
- Electric trimmers don't have the limited run time between charges that cordless trimmers suffer from.
- Also, some electric trimmer models are more powerful than any cordless trimmer on the market.
- You don’t have to worry about storing, charging and replacing expensive Lithium-Ion batteries after a couple of years (or worse, having to replace a perfectly good trimmer because the manufacturer has changed the battery style and no longer supports your model!).
- Finally, they are the least expensive type of trimmer to buy.
- The main downside of a corded hedge trimmer is the power cord. If you have a large garden, you may not be able to reach the farthest extents, even with a 150’ extension lead (150’ is normally the longest recommended extension lead).
- The power cord is a trip hazard, it may get tangled in your shrubbery, it could get accidentally unplugged, or you may even end up cutting it with the trimmer.
Despite this disadvantage, if you are trimming hedges and shrubs in an average-sized garden, you may find an electric hedge trimmer is perfect for your needs.
Should I Buy Corded or Cordless?
Corded electric trimmers are usually more powerful than their battery-operated counterparts and have an almost-endless supply of it, given the unit has an adequately long cord. Not having to worry about charging the battery, or any mid-work power interruption, makes the corded trimmers more appealing. Also, operating hours are solely dependent on the user and not the fuel; you can work for as long as you want. Moreover, a plus point for environment lovers, such trimmers give off lesser emissions on account of its power source.
But having the tripping hazard and units with smaller cords tethering the user are the two inevitable downsides. Therefore, if your household has children or pets who could be prone to the tripping and if you have a large yard with a power source farther away, you might want to address these issues before buying a corded electric trimmer. For mid sized to smaller yards, with a power source in close proximity, and a safe working zone, corded trimmers would be a good fit.
Meanwhile, battery operated cordless trimmers have the definite advantage of endless movement over the corded electric ones. With a full battery, you can move about to cover as much area as you want without having to drag around cords and worry about stumbling over. These trimmers are environment friendly as well.
However, the need to charge the battery constantly, the possibility of it running out while working along with the limited power supply are the major drawbacks. Not to mention the power; typically battery powered cordless ones are less powerful and more so as the battery starts to wear out over time. If you are someone with intense amount of trimmings, do keep these points in mind. But for larger yards with light tasks, the cordless option should be fine.
What Makes A Good Electric Hedge Trimmer?
Factors to consider when buying an electric hedge trimmer
Depending on your yard size and your plantation type, choose a trimmer with ample power. The more rigorous the tasks, the more power required. Plus, different properties have different hedge, which means that the thickness of branches varies accordingly. If your hedges are light and have thin branches, moderately powered trimmers can do the job. But for dense growth and thick branches, more power will be needed for your satisfaction and the trimmer's health as well.
Ranging from 13 to 30 inches in size, the length of the blade is crucial if you are looking for efficiency. As you can guess, a higher blade length means a longer tool which subsequently can work on a larger area at any given time. But do bear in mind that every extra inch adds up to the weight and affects maneuverability in tight spaces. Therefore, long blades are advised for larger yards, but not for small areas.
To cut through thick branches smoothly, larger teeth spacing is a must. Narrow teeth spacing are suitable for thin and dainty branches.
Single vs. dual action blades
Early hedge trimmers had one fixed blade and one moving blade. The moving blade cut against the static blade, which is what happens in single action blades. With dual action blades, both the top & bottom blades move in opposite directions. This increases efficiency and reduces vibration, as the movement of one blade 'cancels out' the movement of the other blade in the opposite direction. Less vibration means less fatigue for both you and the machine. But as is the rule, all good things come at a price and thus, dual action blades cost higher.
Power cord length
Before buying, do check where your power source is located and how far is it from the farthest spot you have to trim. Depending on your yard size, chose a unit with a proper power cord. If you need to use the trimmer more than about 150 feet away from the nearest outdoor power source, you may need to look at a cordless or gas-powered trimmer instead.
The weight of the trimmer will affect your operating hours and comfort eventually. For users who intend to use the trimmer for longer hours should try holding some models as a trial of what is to come. Although more weight does generally mean more power, it is better to decide on the weight as per the user's convenience first, and then the type of work. No matter how mighty the trimmer is, if you are not comfortable holding it, your trimming tasks will surely be affected negatively.
For more about how to select from the different types of hedge trimmers available, check out our hedge trimmer buying guide.
Head over here for the latest cordless hedge trimmer reviews.
Maintenance / Cleaning
How to look after your hedge trimmer, so it lasts as long as possible
This guide has some useful information on maintaining your hedge trimmer.
There are a few instructional videos on YouTube, in our opinion this short one covers all the bases:
Most of the manufacturers have maintenance and care guides posted on the internet. Some of the guides go into more detail than others. Of the guides we have read, this one from Stihl and this from Remington cover all the important points.
As with all power tools, it's important to be safety conscious. The main points to be aware of:
- Read the manufacturer's instructions and follow them.
- Check the trimmer and extension cord for damage before using it - every time. Do not use the trimmer if there is any visible damage to either the trimmer or the extension cord.
- Never allow children to operate the trimmer, or be nearby when you are trimming.
- Always wear a dust mask, safety glasses, gloves and ear protection.
- Switch off & unplug the hedge trimmer before cleaning or maintenance.
Occasionally faults might surface after a product has gone on sale, requiring the product to be recalled by the manufacturer.
There were no recalls listed for any of the hedge trimmers mentioned here at the time of writing (July 2019). However, it's always a good idea to check the latest information at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website before buying any large, expensive or potentially dangerous product.
The Black+Decker BEHT350 is the best overall choice in our opinion. It is well priced, at least as powerful as its competitors, and above all dependable. The Toro 51490 is a close second, just missing out due to it's higher price.
As with all power tools, remember to be safety conscious when operating a hedge trimmer.
Do you own any of these hedge trimmers? Did you choose a different model? Let us know in the comments below.