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Home > Projects & DIY Toolkit > Buying Guides > Guide to Hedge Trimmers and Edgers

Guide to Hedge Trimmers and Edgers

If you are a serious lawn care aficionado, mowing the grass is only part of the job. For those final touches that make the yard perfect, you may feel the need for a powered hedge trimmer or edger. Lowe's is happy to provide information about choosing hedge trimmers and edgers as a service to you.

Hedge Trimmer

For maintaining formal hedges or creating uniform pruning lines, a powered hedge trimmer is the tool for the task. Clean cuts are the mark of a well-maintained hedge. The key to the clean cut is the reciprocating blade, allowing the trimmer to cut plant material cleanly without shredding it. Dual blades cut in either direction from either side of the plant. Blade sizes range from as small as 6" for an electric detail trimmer to 28" blades for heavy-duty cutting. Most blades cut branches up to 3/8". The large trimmer can handle branches as large as 1 1/4". A hand guard is provided for safety.

Weight and balance are very important since you will be holding the machine at chest height or higher. At times you will also be using the tool with your arms extended.


For a clean line between lawn and sidewalk or mulched beds, a power edger can finish the job the mower started. Some landscape designs need edging. Some creeping grasses need edging more than others to maintain a perfectly manicured lawn.

A vertical rotating blade cuts the grass cleanly where sidewalks or planting beds adjoin the lawn. Larger gas edgers can convert to a small-scale trenching tool. Upscale tools also have adjustable angles for straight or angled edges. Blades range from 7" - 9" The blades will need sharpening or replacing occasionally.

As an alternative you may wish to look at a string trimmer that converts to a string edger.

Gas-powered edger.

Gas-powered edger.


Hedge trimmers and edgers are powered by either electricity or gasoline. Base your purchasing decision on how much portability, cutting capacity and power you need.

  • Electric models are lighter, quieter and vibrate less than gas units. An electric motor drives the blades, so there's no need to mix fuel or refill. Smaller yards are especially good candidates for electric trimmers and edgers. There are two types:
    • Corded models provide constant power as long as you have access to an electrical outlet. The attached cord limits mobility so this may not be the best choice for a lawn with lots of trees. Look for a cord retention system to prevent the cord from being accidentally unplugged during use.
    • Rechargeable/battery-operated hedge trimmers and edgers are good alternatives for smaller areas or jobs. They're limited by their run time and they may not be able to cut larger shrubs as well as a gasoline-powered trimmer.
  • Gas models use a 2-cycle engine, requiring the user to mix oil and gasoline. Mobility and work output are increased with gas trimmers and edgers. However, they're louder and heavier than electric models.

Good idea: When choosing an extension cord, remember that if the gauge of the cord is too small, the motor will not perform well. Always buy a cord rated for outdoor use.


Wear protective clothing to keep you safe from flying debris. Safety glasses or goggles are also advised.

Prepare the area before edging or trimming. Remove loose debris such as sticks or rocks.

Shop Hedge Trimmers and Edgers

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please visit our terms of use.

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