On this page we are going to have a look at lightweight hedge trimmers and why they are important. If you are not used to using large hand tools you may be quite surprised at how hard work it is to hold and use a hedge cutter for long periods of time. It is really important to consider the weight before you go out and buy a trimmer. You don’t want to end up with a model that you can’t use because it is too heavy.
The other thing to consider about the weight is how you use it. The motion of cutting a hedge is to move the long blade up and down the hedge which will make it feel heavier than holding the same weight close to your body. Your arms will soon get tired and it may take a long time to carry out what could have been a quick task with lighter model.
Another thing to throw into the equation is standing on a step ladder or cutting higher hedges. You will need to be well balanced to make sure you are safe. With a heavy petrol hedge trimmer you may find this very difficult.
How Heavy Are Hedge Trimmers?
Different models vary dramatically in weight, the petrol hedge trimmers tend to be the heaviest over the electric models. When looking at the weight it is often a balance between cutting capability and weight.
The electric models are generally the lightest. Often they are the smaller capacity trimmers designed for looking after small hedges that need a light trim every so often. There are some really lightweight models on the market like the Bosch AHS 45-16 which weighs in at 2.6 kilograms. This is very light but it will not tackle the bigger jobs. A more robust electric hedge trimmer like the Bosch AHS 70-34 weighs in at 3.9 Kg which is a lot heavier and capable of a lot more.
These tend to be the heavier hedge cutters but on the flip side tend to be more robust and powerful. There are a number of things that make them heavier. Firstly, the petrol engines tend to weigh much more then the electric motors. This will depend on the engine capacity, the lower the cc the lighter the engine tends to be. With the added power the components fitted to the petrol models need to be tough enough to cope with the bigger jobs and last a long time. This means the blades can be thicker and the body tends to be more robust. All of this adds to the weight.
The Mcculloch SuperLite 4528 Petrol Hedge Trimmer weighs in at 4.8 kilograms. This is very light for a petrol model but it is also pretty expensive. There are a lot of more powerful models on the market for less money. However, if you need power and a light weight trimmer this is a great model. The weight is kept down by having a 21cc engine and a relatively short blade that measures 45cm in length.
If you compare that to the larger Hyundai HYT2622-3 Petrol Hedge Trimmer which weighs in at 7.8kg you can see there is a significant difference. The big difference in the two models is that the Hyundai engine is 27cc so has more power and the blade is a lot longer at 72cm.
Balancing The Weight
One of the key design challenges that face the hedge trimmer manufacturers is how to balance out the weight and make the trimmer feel lighter than it is when you are using it. The key to this is the handle position in relation to the weight of the body. When you are using the cutter it needs to feel well balanced and easy to manoeuvre despite the heavy weight that is in your hand.
Ergonomic handle design also helps a lot, a well designed handle set up will make your grip a lot more comfortable and feel easier to manoeuvre.
It is tricky to buy a light weight hedge trimmer if you are looking for a model that could cut a lot of big hedges. You are going to to need a long blade and plenty of power. If the hedges are tall it is also going to make it more awkward. In these cases if you do not feel comfortable it may be wise to bring in the professionals to get your hedges cut.
Once they have been cut and shaped to a good size there is nothing stopping you getting smaller light weight model to keep the hedges trimmed and looking nice, it’s just a case of doing so regularly enough to keep things under control and easy to maintain.
To find the best lightweight hedge trimmer there will always be a compromise between weight and cutting capability. The cheaper electric models are petty light but designed for the lighter jobs where as the petrol version are tough but heavy. Consider you own circumstances. Are you used to manual work? Do you feel comfortable with a heavy power tool? What is the size of the hedge you need to cut?
If you are still unsure then it may be worth going to Homebase, B&Q, ToolStation or a specialist garden machinery shop and ask if you can hold a few different models to assess if you can handle the weight. It is really important if you intend to spend a lot of money on a quality hedge trimmer that you want to last.