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Trimming and shaping hedges used to be an incredibly arduous and time-consuming task.
Then, thankfully, the electric hedge trimmer was invented, taking the sting out of one of the most maligned bits of yard maintenance.
However, this was no happily ever after, as there was one major issue that still plagued green thumb topiary enthusiasts across the nation… the cord.
Of all the electric yard equipment in existence, none have had their cords accidentally severed by the user so frequently as the hedge trimmer. But this seemingly cursed contraption was anything but doomed.
Through this strife, the cordless hedge trimmer was born, but even these untethered machines are not perfect, for there is a price to be paid for the convenience they bring to the table.
In this article, I’ll be breaking down the pros and cons of both corded and cordless hedge trimmers, so you can decide which will suit your yard work best.
Corded Hedge Trimmer: Pros
As corded hedge trimmers are always plugged into a wall outlet or a power strip that is itself hooked up to a wall outlet, the power output remains consistently high, no matter how long you use it.
This means that if you have some hefty hedges to wrestle, you can get the job done in record time.
You can do your entire yard in one session — no downtime! In light of this, you’ll have more of the day to chill or get your other chores done.
As you may be aware, purely battery-powered devices almost never have quite as much oomph as their corded counterparts, and the same is true of hedge trimmers.
If you can live with the cord, you’ll enjoy a more merciless hedge-munching machine — nice!
While it’s true that powerful batteries are getting smaller and smaller with each passing year, they can still be quite heavy, but being that corded hedge trimmers need no such supply, most of the time, they’re a darnsight lighter than the cordless cousins.
As such, if you have a particularly slight frame, or just suffer from some general aches and pains, it might be worth your while choosing a corded unit.
It’ll take some of the pressure of hedge shaping off your shoulders, arms, neck, and back.
Even though corded hedge trimmers are more powerful and lightweight than cordless models, they’re typically more affordable, so if you’re trying to tighten the old purse strings, then a corded trimmer is most likely the way to go.
That said, you could still buy a low end corded model for a relatively good price, but it probably won’t perform quite as well as an equivalently priced corded trimmer.
Corded Hedge Trimmer: Cons
Let’s address the very long, very skinny elephant in the room: the cord. Yep, there's no doubt about it, the biggest drawback of the corded hedge trimmer is, of course, the cord limiting your freedom of movement.
You may find that the cord is simply not long enough to reach your hedges; however, you could resolve this with a long extension cord.
Range isn’t the only issue with the hedge trimmer’s cord. You may also accidentally sever it as you go about your business bringing your wild hedges back under control.
This will lead to half a job, judgy neighbors, and rather pricey repairs.
But even if you take care not to chop your cord in two, it will eventually wear out of natural causes, and at this point, will have to be replaced anyway.
Cordless Hedge Trimmer: Pros
We’re starting with the big one here… complete and utter freedom of movement!
With no cord holding you back like a dog on a leash, you’re free to move as you please.
You could have a whole palace garden to survey and it wouldn’t matter, as there’s nothing anchoring you in place.
The integrated battery is the only power source you need to get your far-flung hedges looking fresh!
No Cable Replacements
With no cable to get severed or die of old age, you can trim, trim, trim without a care in the world.
Easier To Transport And Store
Without a long cable to deal with, cordless hedge trimmers are usually easy to load and unload, so whether the site you’re working on is a fair drive away or you simply like to keep things tidy in storage, the cordless trimmer is the one for you.
Cordless Hedge Trimmer: Cons
Lack Of Power
Generally speaking, cordless hedge trimmers won’t be quite as powerful as those with cords, as they rely solely on their onboard battery for energy.
This isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, for as long as it’s powerful to chop your hedge’s unruly twigs, that’s all that matters.
Batteries don’t run at 100% capacity for their entire charge. When energy reserves start to run low, before your trimmer stops dead, you’ll experience a significant drop in power. This will likely slow you down.
A quality cordless hedge trimmer will have a hefty battery, but it’s got to run out sometime, meaning, despite their range, they’re not suitable for particularly large jobs.
If your battery does die on you mid-job, you’ll have to wait around while it recharges. However, if you have a few spares, you can always switch them out and keep going to avoid downtime.
With that battery right there on the unit, you can expect a cordless hedge trimmer to weigh a little more than a cordless model. It won’t be anything major, but for seniors or those with aches and pains, it could be the straw to their camel, so to speak.
It costs to get rid of that cord, you know? You’ll have to pay a premium for a cordless hedge trimmer, even if it isn’t as powerful as most corded designs on the market.
Final Thoughts: Which Is Right For You?
The simple pros and cons format doesn’t do cordless hedge trimmers justice, as the sheer number of drawbacks can seem daunting, but many would make many a sacrifice to remove pesky cords from their yard work.
In terms of pure price to performance ratio, a corded trimmer is clearly the better option, but you have to consider just how convenient it is to never have to worry about cutting or replacing the cord on a cordless unit.
Here are some tips to help sway you if you’re undecided:
- Need range? Choose cordless
- Need consistency: Choose corded
- Need something that’s easy to get around and store: Choose cordless
- Need as much power as possible: Choose corded