Electric vs Gas Hedge Trimmers

If you’re trying to decide between gas and electric hedge trimmers, we’ve laid all the information out for you below, so you can make the best decision. Once you’ve decided which type is best for you, have a look at our review of the best corded-electric hedge trimmers here and the best cordless hedge trimmers here.

Common Features of Hedge Trimmers

While there are subtle differences in different types of hedge trimmers, they all share some common traits. It’s important to know about them before getting into the electric vs gas hedge trimmers debate.

Hedge trimmers are available with different blade lengths. Hedge trimmers with longer blades make it easier to trim hedges evenly, and can make a large trimming job faster, as you can cover more area with fewer passes. That being said, they can be difficult to handle if you are working in a tight space.

There are different blade types. A hedge trimmer can be either single-or double action. In the single-action case, one blade moves backwards and forwards, cutting against a second, stationary blade. In double-action trimmers, both blades move in opposite directions, increasing the effectiveness of the cut and reducing vibration.

The distance between the trimmer teeth also determines how useful your hedge trimmer is against different types of branches. Hedge trimmers for home use typically have smaller tooth gaps than commercial machines.

Read more on the basics of how a hedge trimmer works.

Gas-Powered Hedge Trimmers – Pros and Cons

If the main reason for you to settle the electric vs gas hedge trimmers debate is power, you should know upfront that gas-powered hedge trimmers win in that scenario. Generally, the motor of a gas hedge trimmer is a lot more powerful than electric motor and that means they are capable of cutting through most of the thick branches you will encounter. In addition, gas-powered hedge trimmers have no power cords or outlets so you can maneuver them pretty easily.

The downside of gas-powered hedge trimmers is that they tend to be a lot heavier than standard electric hedge trimmers. That means you will find yourself tiring out a lot faster. Then there is the fact that they are not emission free. You also have to run them on a mixture of oil and gasoline which drives up their cost. Take a look at our review article on gas hedge trimmers to learn more.

Corded-Electric Powered Hedge Trimmers – Pros and Cons

When it comes to environmental friendliness, electric-powered hedge trimmers are winners in the electric vs gas powered hedge trimmers debate. They do not produce any emissions like their gas-powered counterparts. All you have to do is plug them in and turn them on. They are lighter and a lot less expensive than standard gas-powered hedge trimmers as well.

With all that environmental friendliness, there is a compromise in power. The electric motors in corded electric hedge trimmers are reasonably effective for most light domestic duties, but they are not as strong as those in gas-powered hedge trimmers. The cord that you have to plug in also doesn’t help when it comes to maneuverability, especially when working in tighter spaces – cutting your own power cord is an ever-present risk!

Cordless-Electric Powered Hedge Trimmers – Pros and Cons

Cordless electric powered hedge trimmers differ slightly from their corded counterparts. They are also lightweight (though heavier than corded hedge trimmers) and produce no emissions. One advantage they have over their corded counterparts is the fact that they can easily be maneuvered because of a lack of cord to restrict you.

Of course, there has to be a snag there too. Nothing is perfect. Cordless electric hedge trimmers are not as powerful as gas-powered hedge trimmers. That and the fact that they can run out of battery charge, while the corded trimmer keeps going and the gas trimmer just needs a quick top-up, are negative marks.


The video below discusses the main differences between gas and electric hedge trimmers:


Ultimately, it all comes down to your preference and how you want to use a hedge trimmer. No single hedge trimmer is the perfect all-rounder. In fact,  they are all capable of doing similar jobs. Check out our buying guide to help you decide on one.

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