The Best Gas Hedge Trimmer (2019)
An immaculate yard can significantly enhance a property’s appearance; be it a simple lining of small bushes or a complete landscape. In order to have such well-maintained plantations with a professional touch, one needs to own the best possible set of tools that can provide the desired outcome to an individual's yard. This article explains about one such must-have tool, i.e. a hedge trimmer, and recommends the top five trimmers prevailing on the market today.
Currently, there are many options and varieties of hedge trimmers. As the name suggests, this appliance is used to shave off untidy bushes or hedges and hence for an ideal trimmer, a powerful motor and sharp blades are the primary characteristics one should look for. There are mainly two types of trimmer, electric or gasoline powered. Gas hedge trimmers are evidently more powerful than the electric ones and needless to say, cordless. All the products listed below are equipped with a 2-stroke gasoline motor and high-quality, acute trimming blades. Thus, we present to you with the top five gas hedge trimmers out there that can deliver the best result in the shortest time and at the best price.
The Tanaka TCH22EBP2 tops our list. Having a 21cc engine displacement and weighing around 10 pounds, this trimmer has multiple handle positions ensuring comfortable maneuvering and comes with an ideal sized blade. Although it is targeted for commercial use mainly, residential users can certainly invest on it despite the relatively high value.
Our budget option would be the Poulan Pro PR2322 which comes with a 23cc engine displacement and dual sided stainless-steel blades. This trimmer too weighs about 10 pounds and encompasses rotating handles for convenient usage. Moreover, the low price is a bonus.
Top Five Gas hedge Trimmers in Comparison
1) Tanaka TCH22EBP2: 21cc 2-Cycle Gas Hedge Trimmer
TCH22EBP2 tops our list as the best gas hedge trimmer owing to its robust build, unique features and low effort pull start
The Tanaka TCH22EBP2 is a professional landscaping gear with a 2-cycle PureFire branded engine weighing only 10.3 pounds and has a fuel capacity of 10.1 fluid ounces. Its robust engine delivers a power of 0.65Kw and applies a downward pull to chuck away branches and bristles from the hedge. This trimmer comes with a 24”, double sided, dual reciprocating, commercial grade blade, which basically means maximum productivity as you get to trim a substantial amount within a short time. The manufactures were discreet enough to equip the trimmer with a front facing exhaust which ensures comfort to both the user and the plantation it is working on.
For start-up, this model is armed with the usual cord system but has a ‘Recoil Smart-Start technology’ that minimizes decompression and results in the machine starting up very easily. The trimmer has an anti-vibration system and is comparatively quieter which makes it a top contender all the more. On top of that, the rear handle with five different adjustable positions enables the user to administer the machine with ease.
There are two other very similar models: TCH22EAP2 and TCH22ECP2 having two variants. The first model differs from the TCH22EBP2 by having a 20” blade and thus being around half a pound lighter. The latter model variants have 26” and 31” blades and so weigh around 11 and 11.4 pounds respectively. Also, the tooth gap in these variants are 35 mm while the TCH22EBP2 and TCH22EAP2 have a tooth gap of 30 mm. The fuel capacity differs by only around 1 cc, with the TCH22ECP2 having more capacity due to the increased blade lengths. Aside from these small variations, there is not much difference in the models.
Using it for a prolonged period of time can take a toll on the user. Although the weight is lower than many other models, working with it for over 30 minutes can be stressful for some people.
Another issue is that its replacement parts are difficult to find. Despite being a very efficient unit, if for any reason the machine needs repair, it can be quite tiresome as the replacement parts are hard to come by which could make the repairing process pricey.
The Tanaka hedge trimmer has an excellent deal of a 2-year commercial warranty as well as a 7-year residential / consumer warranty.
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2) Husqvarna 122HD60: 21.7cc Gas 23.7-Inch Dual Action Hedge Trimmer
Emerging from the popular brand, this trimmer is a good contender due to its impressive attributes and a slightly lower price
Husqvarna is a well-known brand for its dedicated appliance production. The 122HD60 is no different and lives up to its purpose of tidying up gardens and yards in residential settings. This trimmer holds an impressive 21.7cc two stroke engine and can deliver up to 4050 cuts per minute. Having a well-balanced weight of around 10.8 pounds, the machine has a power output of about 0.8 horsepower and is unexpectedly quiet compared to its performance. It encompasses a 23”, dual-action, stainless steel blade and a recommended cutting diameter of 0.8 inch. Also included is a hand guard, as a safety feature, which can prevent your hands from coming to contact with the running blades in case of any accident.
Since the Husqvarna 122HD60 is intended for residential use, it has been ensured that even a novice could start up the engine effortlessly via the engine’s integrated fuel pump and the Smart Start® system which reduces starter cord resistance by up to 40% and provides hassle-free starting every time. One clever feature on the trimmer is the stop switch which automatically returns to the ‘on’ position for quicker starting. The addition of anti-vibration dampeners and the pivoting rear handle with adjustable positions allows comfort and full control to the user to obtain a clean cut.
Husqvarna markets a similar model to this one, the 122HD45. This model varies by having an 18" blade and weighs around10.1 pounds. Unlike the 122HD60, this model does not have any adjustable rear handle.
Once the tank is full, the machine can be cumbersome for some users.
It does not come with a shoulder strap, therefore might be difficult to use for long periods of time.
Husqvarna provides a 2-year limited warranty for residential use.
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3) Echo HC-152: 21.2 cc High-Performing 20" Gas Hedge Trimmer
This trimmer is very well balanced and thus perfect for small scale yards and topiary projects
The Echo HC-152 is built with a 21.2cc, powerful yet quiet engine and requires a 50:1 ratio of gas to 2-stroke oil. Its clear fuel tank can hold a significant volume of 15.6 fluid ounces and weighs around 11.7 pounds when empty. It is relatively heavier than other gas trimmers and so may be challenging to use above shoulder height, particularly for longer periods. The engine comes with a muffler which lessens noise and directs emissions away from the user. This trimmer has a laser cut, 20-inch, sharp, steel reciprocating blade which assures precise and uniform shaving of a hedge. The shorter blade size provides a proper balance to the machine and a greater control, making this model apt for topiary and formal landscaping.
Although the rear handle of this model is not adjustable, it is still ergonomic and has an extra-large hoop-style front handle that makes maneuvering the trimmer very convenient. A hand guard and a debris shield is present at the base of the blade as a safety feature. Overall, this trimmer is mainly suitable for precise and short-term tasks.
This trimmer also lacks a shoulder harness and vibration reduction. Thus, it might lead to muscle fatigue if used for longer periods of time.
Echo HC-152 comes with a good deal of 2 years commercial and 5 years consumer warranty.
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4) Poulan Pro PR2322: 22-Inch 23cc Dual Sided Hedge Trimmer
For those who are looking for one at a restricted budget
The Poulan Pro PR232 is a budget friendly yet industrious machine with a 23cc 2-cycle engine. It weighs around 11.1 pounds and has a 22” dual-action, stainless steel blade with two-sided teeth. The rotating handle caters to the need of the user as the trimmer is moved up and down along the hedges. A comfort grip with vibration resistance is also present to make sure the user has restraint over the trimmer while running.
Unlike its competitors, this model does not have Smart Start technology but has a somewhat manageable motor starter for efficient ignition. It has an anti-debris shield to protect the motor and is equipped with anti-vibration system as well.
It can be difficult to start-up sometimes or might require a longer time to warm up. Without the Smart Start factor, the engine is not automatically set up for the next startup which means leaving the machine abruptly could damage the machine. Therefore it requires higher maintenance and attention for its survival. But Poulan does provide a protection plan for a price to insure any instance where the machine could need repairing.
Poulan Pro PR2322 comes with the average 2 years homeowner warranty.
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5) Maxtra 42.7cc - 4 in 1 Gas Hedge Trimmer
A versatile multipurpose tool being more than just a trimmer
The Maxtra gas powered hedge trimmer is a 4 in 1 multipurpose tool. Along with being a hedge trimmer, it can also function as a pole saw, brush cutter and a string trimmer, making it ideal for trimming as well as high branch cutting. It has a mighty 42.7 cc 2-stroke engine, weighs around 16.5 pounds and can deliver up to 1.1Kw of power. The engine is protected by the presence of an air filter which prevents dust accumulation. This tool has a quite sturdy frame and the pole length can be adjusted from 8.2 feet to 11.4 feet.
The Maxtra hedge trimmer has centrifugal clutch which enables easy start up. It also has an anti-vibration system and a throttle lock-out button near the rear handle that can serve as panic button in case of any accident. The product comprises some handy extra items such as a tool kit, shoulder straps and chain covers. This model would be best suited for trimming tall hedges predominantly.
The heavy weight can be a setback for some users and comes with a very short warranty period. The user manual has been reported to lack vital information which can be rather unsatisfactory.
Despite its versatility, the Maxtra offers a sub-par warranty of 1 year only.
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What makes a good gas hedge trimmer?
For optimum efficiency, an ideal gas hedge trimmer would have a 2-stroke engine rather than a 4-stroke one, which is less powerful and much heavier.
Stainless steel blades are perfect for hedge trimmers as they are resistant to corrosion and are highly acute to provide a clean cut after every trim. The blade length and the type (single sided or double sided) should be chosen depending on the frequency and intensity of the task.
Depending on the user’s built and stamina, a suitable weight of the gas hedge trimmer should be decided. A well-built individual could handle a trimmer above 11 pounds effortlessly whereas someone with petite structure should opt for lighter ones. But it is to keep in mind that for a heavy-duty hedge trimmer, the weight will certainly be more and therefore should be chosen wisely.
4) Fuel capacity
Filling up the fuel tank will surely add up to the gross weight of the machine when working. Therefore, the consumer should settle for such a trimmer whose capacity is high enough to avoid recurrent refueling while working but also low enough for the machine to be carried snugly.
5) Safety features and comfort
Handle positions and adaptability, covers or shields, shoulder straps, vibration and noise dampening systems are some concluding features that significantly enhance a products quality in terms of performance and efficacy.
A little care goes a long way
1) Clean the blades
After every trimming session, minute amounts of sap or other fluids can accumulate on the blades which can cause the blades to bind up over time. This reduces the performance and can overheat the motor due to increased friction. Therefore, it is imperative to clean the blades after every use with a simple soap water solution and a washcloth. Strong detergents and solvents should be avoided. The cleaning should be followed by a lubricant application for better results.
2) Clean air filters
For the engine’s health, a constant flow of clean air is required. Dirty air filters hinder this flow which can lead to overheating and poor performance of the engine. An air filter can easily be removed and cleaned by blowing through it or tapping it against a solid surface. It is recommended not to submerge a filter unless the user manuals state otherwise. Some air filters might be made up of fibers which can swell when wet, worsening the condition even more.
3) Sharpen the blades
Over time, the constant usage can make the blades blunt. So, in order to obtain precise, clean cuts sharpening the blades is a must. A drill with a small cone-shaped filing stone or a flat file can be used to do so. Sharpening once every 50 hours of use should be adequate.
4) Store correctly
Moisture causes metal parts to corrode and can taint the fuel system. Hence, such appliances should be stored in dry places to maintain its lifespan. Waterproof and UV resistant canvas cases can be used to protect and store trimmers. If these are not available, wrapping the machine in cotton sheets or towel followed by a layer of plastic wrap can do the trick as well.
Have you used any one of these before? Which one did you like most? Are we missing out on any? Let us know in the comments below!