Hedge trimmers are valuable tools used by homeowners to maintain the manicured look of their hedges and bushes.
You could use hand tools for much of the work that these machines can do. But doing so is time-consuming and arduous.
This is why many people turn to gas hedge trimmer units to keep their hedges looking neat and trim.
Size and power of gas powered hedge trimmers
Gas hedge trimmers use powerful engines which are located at the rear of the machine, near the handle.
The engines are generally measured for power in terms of cubic centimeters or cc. The higher the cc number, the more power the engine provides. For most gas hedge trimmers, the engines are rated between 21 and 26 ccs, which is more than enough power for most hedge trimming purposes.
Cutting bar length is another factor which determines the overall size of hedge trimmers.
Most gas powered trimmers feature cutting bars ranging in length from 18 to 30 inches. Although bigger cutting bars give you more versatility and cutting ability while in use, they add more weight and length to the unit.
Bear in mind that professional-use models tend to have more powerful engines and longer blade length.
How do gas hedge trimmers compare to corded and cordless electric hedge trimmers?
Hedge trimmers featuring gas powered engines are more powerful than electric units and they are more capable for larger jobs. They are a necessity if you are renovating old hedges or cutting back hard into old wood.
However, although gas powered hedge trimmers are more powerful than their electric counterparts, they are also more expensive, louder and more harmful to the environment because of their emissions. In fact, some units are not CARB compliant, which means that they are unavailable for sale or use within the state of California due to the pollutants they put into the air.
Also, gas powered units can be more difficult to start for some users since they require priming, choking and pulling on a recoil start handle. By contrast, most electric models start with the touch of a button.
Gas hedge trimmers also require more regular maintenance than electric models.
Electric hedge trimmers, whether they are corded or cordless, are quieter and more environmentally friendly, but they are not capable of performing some of the work that gas powered machines are able to do.
More power in gas powered hedge trimmers translates into quicker work and more precise cutting ability. As always, you get what you pay for, so you will need to consider your needs thoughtfully.
Features to look out for in gas powered hedge trimmers
Because gas hedge trimmers feature such powerful engines, a lot of vibrational force can be generated. These vibrations can end up causing quite a bit of fatigue. This is why you should try to find a unit featuring an anti vibration system to reduce the strain on your body.
Dual action/double sided blades are important, as well. These blades are able to cut in two directions, instead of just one. This can translate into shortened trimming times for you and less gasoline usage for your hedge trimmer. Double sided trimmers are best for shaping the hedge.
However, single side blades are generally considered safer, since you cannot cut with them as you pull them towards your body. They are also better for using on conifers or similar soft hedging plants and are recommended for long straight sections of hedge, where more hedge can be cut with a single sweep.
Blade gap, is important. This is the maximum gap between blades and determines the size of branches that can be cut. Typically, blade gaps range between 0.5 and 0.75 inches. Pro models may have a wider blade gap.
Since you want to avoid fatigue, you ought to look for a hedge trimmer featuring a wraparound handle. This type of handle allows you to operate the machine comfortably in a number of positions. When you are hard at work on larger jobs, this feature can be highly advantageous.
Also, you should look for a unit with a translucent fuel tank or tank window. This makes it possible for you to continuously monitor the amount of fuel you have available while working on a job. Few things are as frustrating as running out of gasoline, which makes a fuel gauge very crucial.
Finally, it is recommended that you pick a unit that is known to be well balanced. Such models are simpler to operate, and much less fatiguing. Since you are purchasing a gas powered hedge trimmer to make life easier, the unit you buy should be easy to hold and operate.
Best uses for gas hedge trimmers
These machines are terrific for any type of hedge or bush trimming job. They are powerful enough to handle just about anything and they can save you incredible amounts of time and effort.
A gas hedge trimmer will suit you if:
- You have large or lengthy areas of hedging to trim, outside the range of an electric power source
- You need to cut back old hedging hard
- You are comfortable with starting and maintaining a gas machine
- You are reasonably fit and strong
- You don’t have any noise restriction issues in your location
- You’ll need to use the hedge trimmer fairly regularly or for extended periods of time.
Even though gas powered hedge trimmers have their disadvantages, they are probably all round the best hedge trimmers for most bushes and hedges.
Electric units can accomplish many of the same tasks, but they are not as powerful.
However, if you are looking at more occasional use but don’t want the limitations of a corded electric trimmer, the modern cordless hedge trimmers may be able to do the job for you.
If your location allows for them and you have the budget, you should seriously consider a gas powered hedge trimmer for regular hedge trimming.
Remember, you can use a gas hedge trimmer for less demanding tasks when they arise, but you can’t ask an electric or cordless model to do more than it is designed to do.
Did you find this article useful? If so, it would really help me if you could share it using any of the buttons below. How about giving it a Google +1? Or maybe a Facebook like or a Tweet?