Hedge Trimmer Review: Battling the Hedge Beast

Before and after of taming a hedge with Ryobi

We used this cordless electric Ryobi 40-volt Hedge Trimmer taming this beast of a hedge.

When it comes to making your yard look great (or as good as it can get), what’s been your best “go to” tool?

Among the basics (mower, string trimmer etc.) one of the most used at our house is the hedge trimmer. If you have a yard, you’ll probably need one in your outdoor makeover kit.

Our Problem- A Beast of a Hedge and Weak Power Tools

Before photo of our monster hedge

A before shot of The Beast from the back porch overlooking our fire pit area. Notice how top-heavy the hedge is.

1748 House is blessed (cursed maybe) with 75 feet of giant old hedge. It started out at a manageable height of 6 feet or so. We could trim it standing on our tippy-toes with standard corded electric trimmers. But this year that hedge grew to a monstrous 12 feet high, about to topple over from its own weight!

Over the years we’ve gone through perhaps 10 electric trimmers, burning out one motor after another. It wasn’t uncommon to go through 2 trimmers a year. And that’s not to even mention the number of electric cords we’ve cut through.

After spending a LOT of money on traditional trimmers, including some of the extra heavy duty models, we were desperate to find a good answer.

The Solution: A Durable and Powerful “Cordless” Hedge Trimmer

As urban home owners, we’re not too excited about using gas powered equipment unless we absolutely have to. So, that means we’re talking electric. Truthfully, their durability has always been at issue. Until now they haven’t had the umph (torque, power) to get the job done. Plus, to overcome the ‘murder’ of so many innocent extension cords, I wondered if there might be a cordless solution.

Our answer came in the form of the Ryobi 40-volt 24-inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer.

Review: Ryobi’s 40-volt 24-inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Ryobi trimmer and battery

The Ryobi trimmer uses a cool state-of-the-art battery with plenty of power easily lasting the distance of most typical trimming jobs. The battery is interchangeable, recharging quickly. Notice the visual meter showing you your remaining battery charge.

Cordless power equipment has come a long way over the past few years.

In short, our Ryobi trimmer handled every bit of our hedge without a snag. We were so impressed. Honestly, I expected the trimmer would do okay with the outer layers of hedge only to start laboring with the thicker branches. In this case Ryobi handled everything except the largest branches. At those spots we used manual loppers. Ryobi rates the trimmer to cut branches up to two-thirds of an inch (0.66”).

We spent the better part of 4 hours cutting, collecting and bagging. Battery life was excellent, lasting almost to the end of our project. When the charge finally gave out, we simply traded batteries from another Ryobi tool we had on hand. Interchangeability is a great bonus in this system. If we did need to recharge, 90 minutes sure beats waiting overnight.

Another cool thing is how easy it is to just grab a cordless tool and go to work rather than searching for a working extension cord. It makes the idea of “maintaining” a hedge less time consuming with fewer barriers to actually going to work.

The only (small) down side, was the weight factor for my wife. The battery makes it a bit heavier than a traditional corded electric trimmer. Still is way lighter than a gas trimmer and quite usable for most people.

When I first saw the hedge trimmer box, I noticed there is a full “3 Year Warranty”. That is simply a superb. It means Ryobi puts their money where their mouth is There are not many pieces of equipment that dare to give more than a 1 year warranty.

Important! Remember to always register your tools and keep your purchase receipts in a safe place. 

In short I believe this is one of the best tool investments at our home this year. Over the long term I believe we’ll save a lot of money in equipment costs.

 

fire-pit-area-after-shot

This is an after shot of our fire pit area at 1748 House. Cutting the beast down to size makes all the difference in the world when it comes to “curb appeal” or making over an entertainment space.

rear-view-after

Here’s the after shot of our hedge. There is a total of 75 feet of hedge to maintain each year. Our goal for later this Summer is to continue trimming and lower the hedge another foot or two.

 

Disclosure: Ryobi provided the tools for this review.