Electric Pole Hedge Trimmers

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Written By Janine Clarke

I am Janine Clarke AKA Equipment Girl, a nerdy girl with an unhealthy knowledge about power tools and gardening! You can contact me here.

Hedge trimmers have been making gardeners’ lives easier for several decades now. And as power tool technology advances, they are getting better and better!

One particular invention that has eased our burden significantly, and made the process of trimming hedges much safer, is the pole hedge trimmer. Using these brilliant machines, we can usually avoid having to perch precariously on ladders or stools to reach the top of taller hedges.

Maybe you’re thinking about buying one, but you don’t know which model to go for. If so, I’ve checked out a few of the best electric pole hedge trimmer examples around at the moment.

Why Only Electric Hedge Trimmers?

Well, there are three choices when you’re buying hedge trimmers. You can get a cordless model, corded electric, or a petrol-powered one.

I’m focusing on electric models for several reasons:

  • They’re greener
  • They’re less noisy
  • They’re generally lighter
  • They need less maintenance
  • They’re cheaper to run
  • They’re generally cheaper to buy
  • You don’t need to store and mix fuel

Also, many electric versions these days are almost as powerful as petrol hedge trimmers. Of course, it’s up to you whether you prefer a petrol model, but that means this article isn’t much use to you. Don’t despair though, perhaps I’ll cover them another time!

Corded Or Cordless Hedge Trimmers?

Technically, both are electric, it’s just that a corded hedge trimmer draws its power directly from the mains electricity while cordless hedge trimmers rely on battery power.

Yes, it’s a technicality, but it does allow me to explore a greater range of machines, and prove my loyalty to cordless power tools yet again!

The advantage of a corded trimmer is that it offers uninterrupted use. You plug it in and keep working as long as you like (although it’s wise to take frequent breaks).

Health Hazards

The biggest drawback is the cable itself, as you are restricted as to how far you can reach unless you invest in a long extension cord. It’s also a trip hazard, and there’s always the risk of cutting through the electric cable (seriously, it’s a lot easier to do than you might think, as millions of gardeners will tell you – including me!).

In fairness, you are far less likely to cut through the power cable with a long-reach hedge trimmer, but it’s not impossible.

However, if you promise to be careful, we’ll take a look at some corded long-reach hedge trimmers first, before checking out a selection of cordless hedge trimmer examples as a comparison.

Best Long Reach Hedge Trimmers – Corded Electric Models

Einhell GC-HH 9048

The Einhell brand is respected across the world, offering typical German engineering and design. The GC-HH 9048 showcases this fact, as you can see from the specs:

  • Cutting length – 41 cm (16 ins)
  • 50 cm (19.65 ins) extension shaft
  • 2.5 m reach
  • Carrying belt for comfortable operation
  • Cutting capacity – 2 cm (0.78 ins)
  • 900-watt motor
  • Laser-cut diamond-ground blades
  • Tiltable cutting angle
  • Adjustable rear handle
  • Cable length – 10 m
  • Cutting speed – 2,000 strokes per minute (spm)
  • Weight – 6 kg (13 lbs)
  • Price – £94

The is a beautifully balanced machine, although a little on the heavy side. Even so, don’t write it off on account of its weight! The strap really helps, and because the hedge trimmer is so well balanced you can use it for a good while before it starts to become tiring.

The powerful motor and sharp blades make short work of tough shrubs, bushes and hedges, and the high SPM gives a precise cut.

For under £100, it’s a great place to begin our mission.

MacAllister MHTP550P

MacAllister tools are often the choice of DIY enthusiasts and tradespeople who want value for money. The tools are reliable, durable and generally in the lower price range.

The MHTP550P fits into this category nicely, offering many of the benefits of a more expensive model:

  • Blade length – 50 cm (19.68 ins)
  • Cutting capacity – 2.2 cm (0.86 ins)
  • 4.2 m reach
  • Blade tip protector
  • Quick-stop brake
  • Shoulder harness (with quick-release mechanism)
  • 550-watt motor
  • 150º rotating trimmer head
  • Cable length – 10 m
  • Weight – 4.8 kg (10.5 lbs)
  • Price – £65 – £70

It weighs slightly less than the Einhell, probably because of the smaller motor, but it’s still perfectly adequate for the job. It also has a shoulder strap, though some reviewers felt that this would work better if it was situated further along the shaft.

However, once you get the machine into a comfortable cutting position, you can really get motoring into those tall hedges.

Black+Decker PH5551-GB

This is one of those household names that we all know, and most of us have used its distinctive orange tools over the years.

The PH5551-GB has a reassuring solidity about it, giving you confidence in its ability to cope with the task of shaping tall hedges with ease.

Here are the features you need to know about:

  • Blade length – 51 cm
  • Cutting capacity – 2.2 cm (0.86 ins)
  • 3.8 m reach
  • 550-watt motor
  • Rotating rear handle
  • 180º adjustable cutting head
  • Cutting speed – 1,600 spm
  • Diamond-ground blades
  • Weight – 4.1 kg (9 lbs)
  • Price – £100 – £150

It’s a little more expensive than the Einhell, although it has a longer reach for those tall hedges. It’s also lighter by 2 kg, and that’s going to make a difference after about twenty minutes of hedge trimming!

Ryobi RPT4545M

I’ve used a few Ryobi tools in my time and always found them to perform well, with a professional feel and excellent build quality that makes them one of the leading brands.

That’s why I was keen to try the RPT4545M, as I had high expectations – and I wasn’t disappointed!

Here are the key features:

  • Blade length – 45 cm (17.71 ins)
  • Cutting capacity – 2 cm (0.78 ins)
  • Cutting speed – 1,700 spm
  • Cable length – 6 m
  • 4 m reach
  • 450-watt motor
  • Shoulder strap
  • Weight – 4.1 kg (9 lbs)
  • Price – £120 – £125

One handy feature that many reviewers appreciated was the livetool indicator, a blue light that lets you know that it’s plugged in and ready to go. It’s only a little thing, but it shows thoughtfulness behind the design and helps to reduce the risk of accidents.

Also, the trimming head has three cutting angles in a 135º range, giving you plenty of flexibility to trim hedges the way you want them.

Finally, the telescopic shaft is made of fibreglass rather than aluminium. My concern was that it wouldn’t feel as robust, but I was soon reassured that this was not the case. When fully extended, it felt strong and sturdy.

Terratek ‎T500LR-2

Not the most familiar brand to some, but quietly building a growing network of satisfied customers, Terratek has a good range of garden power tools that are worth a look.

The T500LR-2 is a versatile tool that’s easy on the wallet:

  • Blade length – 45 cm (17.71 ins)
  • Cutting capacity – 1.6 cm (0.62 ins)
  • 550-watt motor
  • 2.75 m reach
  • Shoulder strap
  • Cable length – 10 m
  • Cutting speed – 1,700 spm
  • Weight – 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs)
  • Lock-off safety trigger
  • 120º rotating head for cutting at multiple angles
  • Price – £80

This machine is reasonably priced considering what you’re getting for your money. While it doesn’t quite have the same reach as some other examples here, it’s still a good buy.

It’s also lighter than the others, making it much easier to use for longer periods.

Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmers

We’ve looked at a few electric hedge trimmers with an extension shaft, so now we’ll check out a handful of battery-powered models, starting with:

Greenworks G24PH51

I have great admiration for Greenworks and its mission to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by producing top-quality cordless tools.

The G24PH51 is a really versatile machine that highlights the Greenworks ethos and mission:

  • Blade length – 51 cm (20 ins)
  • Cutting capacity – 1.8 cm (0.7 ins)
  • Cutting speed – 1,500
  • Run time – 66 mins (4 Ah battery) 40 mins (2 Ah battery)
  • Charging time – 100 mins
  • 24v battery
  • Weight – 4.5 kg (10 lbs) with battery
  • 3 m reach
  • Quiet operation and low vibration
  • Price – £140 – £170 including battery and charger (around £90 without)

The first thing that struck me was how compact this unit is. In fact, I wasn’t sure about it at first because it looked so small. But when it got going I was pleasantly surprised at how well it coped, despite the lower cutting speed. The battery certainly adds weight (the unit is only 2.8 kg without it!) but it adds a reassuring solidity and balances it out nicely.

Like the others here, the cutting head can be set in different positions to enable easy reach of tall hedges. This feature also lets you tackle low hedges without having to bend, which is great if you have back problems!

The 24v battery is compatible with many other Greenworks tools, which is a bonus.

Bosch ‎06008B3001 UniversalHedgePole 18

Bosch must win some kind of award for the longest name for a hedge trimmer here, but I’ll forgive them because this is a great machine to use.

Let’s see the important stuff:

  • Blade length – 45 cm (17 ins)
  • Cutting capacity – 1.6 cm (0.62 ins)
  • Bosch anti-blocking system
  • Weight – 3.6 kg (8 lbs)
  • Run time – 2.5 hours
  • Charging time – one hour
  • 2.6 m reach
  • 18v battery (2Ah)
  • Price – £130 – £150 without battery or charger (around £44 and £23 respectively)

Overall, these specs are quite impressive. Not many battery-powered machines offer more than two hours of operation on a full charge. And the battery only takes an hour to charge, unlike some other cordless tools where you might have to wait for five hours or more.

Also, the special anti-blocking technology that Bosch uses means that your tool won’t snag on thicker branches. It simply increases the power to get the job done.

Gtech HT50

This British brand was established just over twenty years ago and has been making waves ever since, with more than 20 million units sold worldwide!

The HT50 is an amazing example of Gtech’s technical wizardry, and I was impressed from the outset. Everything about it, from the superb design and build quality to the way it handles, is excellent.

Here are the details:

  • Blade length – 55 cm (21.65 ins)
  • Cutting capacity – 2.5 cm (0.98 ins)
  • Run time – 60 mins
  • Charging time – 4 hours
  • 3 m reach
  • Weight – 2.94 kg (6.48 lbs)
  • 18v battery
  • Cutting head rotates 135º
  • Safety harness
  • Price – £170 – £200 including battery and charger

If you splash out an extra £25 you can get a branch cutter attachment that increases the cutting width to 6 cm (2.36 ins), meaning that you can tackle thick branches and seriously overgrown hedges!

The powerful high-torque battery also fits into Gtech’s GT50 grass trimmer. Honestly, these tools look more like they belong in a kitchen than a garden, but they certainly get the job done.

If I was forced to pick my best cordless pole hedge trimmer, I’d be tempted to choose this one.

Spear & Jackson S18EHP

This brand made quality hand tools long before we started using power tools in the garden, but Spear & Jackson has evolved to fully embrace the needs of 21st-century gardeners.

What’s more, the S18EHP proves that you don’t have to pay a lot to get good quality:

  • Blade length – 45 cm (17.71 ins)
  • Cutting capacity – 1.6 cm (0.62 ins)
  • Run time – 30 mins
  • Charging time – one hour
  • Blade tip protector
  • 3 m reach
  • Handguard
  • Electronic brake
  • Charger and battery included
  • Dual safety switch
  • Weigh – 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs)
  • Price – £100

Let’s address the potential downside first – that’s a pretty low runtime, admittedly. But the charging time is comparatively quick, and within an hour you can be back out there. The motor delivers a nice clean cut and the soft grip on the rear handle makes it comfortable to use.

For £100 (or less, in some outlets!) including the battery and charger, this is seriously worth considering.

Swift EB918D

This is a brand that I need to explore, as I was intrigued by its website and impressed by the telescopic hedge trimmer I used as it was the first Swift I’ve tried – but it certainly won’t be the last.

Swift’s tagline reads, not your usual garden tools company, and that fact is apparent from the moment you take one of its tools out of the box. These are built with real gardeners in mind by people with experience using them. There’s a sense of passion and understanding, with a range of tools designed for today. Swift is influencing cordless design for the future rather than catching up, like some older brands.

These are the specs for the EB918D:

  • Blade length – 45 cm (17.71 ins)
  • Cutting capacity – 2.2 cm (0.86 ins)
  • Laser-cut diamond-ground blades
  • 40v li-ion battery and charger included
  • 5-position cutting head, ideal for vertical and horizontal trimming
  • 3 m reach
  • Run time – see below*
  • Charging time – one hour
  • Shoulder strap
  • Dual safety trigger
  • Price – £125 – £130

The 40v power unit is a revelation, delivering a real punch. However, it isn’t easy to find an accurate battery life figure, although the company’s website suggests that it will cut an area of 250m² on a full charge. That’s about the size of a full-sized tennis court!

What’s more, this battery is designed for use in all of Swift’s garden power tools. This brilliant tool has received positive reviews and is a great investment.

Please note: the facts and figures regarding all of these models are provided in good faith and are gleaned from several sources, including the manufacturers. Some of these give inaccurate or conflicting data, or omit it entirely! Where a particular figure might seem to be missing (i.e. a cable length or cutting speed) it’s because no information was available from official sources.

Tips On Finding The Right Hedge Trimmer

Whether we buy online or head to a nearby DIY to get our tools, most of us Google it first. But when looking for an electric pole hedge trimmer, you need to be clear about what you want.

Some are essentially normal-sized hedge trimmers with an extension shaft that fits on the handle end, while others have a telescopic shaft. Both have their advantages, but it’s as well to be sure about which you prefer. Telescopic hedge trimmers can be adjusted to cut hedges of different sizes, including smaller hedges, while pole hedge trimmers with a removable shaft are better for only cutting tall hedges.

Pole Hedge Trimmer Or Telescopic Hedge Trimmer?

When you’re searching for yours, you can guarantee that the algorithm will dredge up all manner of irrelevant results along with a range of hedge trimmers of different types.

For example, even if you type telescopic hedge trimmers, it will include results from other searches, like electric hedge trimmer with extension pole, or electric hedge trimmer with pole.

That means you won’t necessarily be looking at just telescopic hedge trimmers.

Before committing to buying any particular model, make sure you know which type you are getting!

Look At The Weight

When compiling this list I purposely avoided some of the heavier hedge trimmers out there. Some of these weigh as much as 7 kg (15 lbs), and while they might be excellent in other respects most consumers prefer a lightweight machine.

Battery Life

Obviously, this relates to the cordless hedge trimmer and it’s an important aspect to consider. The life of each battery depends on how the machine is being used and the Ah rating of the battery. You should get at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted use, although modern li-ion batteries from a good brand will give you between one and three hours, sometimes more.

Remember though, the higher the Ah rating, the heavier the battery will be.

Overall Length

When judging whether a specific long-reach hedge trimmer is suitable, you need to take into account your own height. If you are on the shorter side, you’ll need to make sure you pick a model that has a long enough reach for the tallest hedges.

In general, the reach of the machine equals its length when fully extended plus your own height. The figures I quoted here used an average height to get an approximate range.

Blade Speed

While it’s not the most important aspect, it’s worth taking note of this as the faster the blade speed, the cleaner and more efficient the cut. Strokes per minute are often matched with the gap between the teeth to give optimum efficiency.

As a general rule, the lower the spm, the coarser the cut. Many of the manufacturers did not provide any information about the spm, so I was unable to include it in many of the specifications for each model.

Dual Action Blades

Most hedge trimmers have reciprocating blades, meaning that two blades slide against each other, causing a scissor action as leaves, twigs and branches are caught in the teeth.

While some have one fixed blade, dual action blades both move simultaneously. Not only is this more efficient, but it also reduces the amount of vibration.

Blade Sheath

Always check to see if some kind of protective sheath is included in the price. Your hedge trimmer will need to be stored safely to avoid accidents or damage. Blades are wickedly sharp, even when still, and it’s too easy to slice your fingers on an uncovered blade. Also, teeth can become blunted or broken by coming into contact with other tools or hard surfaces.

Cable Length

For corded electric long-reach hedge trimmers, you should check whether it comes with a long enough cable. Most leading brands include a generous 10-metre power cable, though some fall far short of this.

However, while 10 metres sounds pretty long, you soon run out of cable and have to resort to extension leads, especially if you don’t have an outdoor power socket.

Final Thoughts

Time spent in your garden should be enjoyable, whether you’re lazing in a sun lounger with a glass of Pimms, or tackling overgrown hedges.

Getting the right tools is an essential part of this, which is why you need to consider whether you need a long-reach hedge trimmer, a brush cutter, a mini hedge trimmer, or even a hedge cutter (basically, these are more powerful and have a wider tooth spacing).

Of course, in smaller hedges and small gardens, you might get away with having fewer gadgets. But for tall hedges and very large gardens, long-reach hedge trimmers really are a brilliant idea. You will literally spend half the time cutting them than you did with a normal hedge trimmer on a ladder!

Getting The Best Value

A pole hedge trimmer is much safer, allowing you to keep your feet firmly on the ground. So, choose wisely, using this list as a guide. Obviously, we all want the best value for money, but that doesn’t always mean opting for the cheapest item.

Look closely at the specs and see what’s included in the price. On the whole, the cordless models that include a battery and charger are better value. However, if you own a brand like Ryobi or Bosch, you might already have a battery and charger, so a ‘bare unit’ would make more sense.

Note: It isn’t easy to find accurate prices, so those given here may be out of date. It’s worth shopping around as you can find some real bargains on eBay and Amazon.

My personal choices for the best long-reach hedge trimmers are the Terratek corded electric model and Gtech for the cordless pole hedge trimmer section (closely followed by Swift!).

It was actually pretty difficult to choose between them, although some were ruled out because of their weight or their price. In the end, I went for what I believed were the best specifications for the money.

Of course, you are at liberty to disagree, and that’s fine. It’s important that you find one that’s suited to your own needs and preferences.

Whichever pole hedge trimmer you choose, use it safely. And finally, happy gardening!