Can Hedge Trimmers Cut Grass?

As an Amazon Associate, this site earns commissions from qualifying purchases. For more information click here.

When we think of hedge trimmers we usually associate it with hedges and shrubs. But is it possible to use a hedge trimmer to cut grass? This sounds silly because lawn mowers are typically used for that. But there are actually instances wherein a hedge trimmer can be used. It cannot replace your lawn mower, but the two can work together.

A hedge trimmer can be used to cut tall grass. Lawn mowers have difficulty handling overgrown turf, so use a hedge trimmer to cut them down to size. Gas, electric and battery powered models will all work.

If your lawn is well maintained, there is no need to use a hedge trimmer. But if the grass is several inches high already, it might clog your lawn mower. With a hedge trimmer you can cut off the grass so it becomes easier for the lawn mower to do its work.

How to Cut Grass with a Hedge Trimmer

This video shows you how to use a hedge trimmer to trim grass. You can also read the instructions below for a step by step guide.

Step 1

Do a visual inspection of the area. Overgrown grass can conceal small animals, large rocks, metallic objects, and other materials. Clear as many of these as you can first. If the trimmer blades make contact with a metallic object or a large rock, it could suffer damage.

Step 2

Once the area has been cleared, put gloves on to protect your hands. Wear safety goggles to shield your eyes from flying debris. Ear plugs will come in handy as trimmers can be loud, and do not forget steel toe boots or study shoes.

Do not wear loose clothing, jewelry or anything that can get stuck on the blade. Wear pants for additional protection. You might also want to wear a long sleeved shirt if there are insects around the area (wouldn’t want those biting you).

Step 3

Prepare your hedge trimmer of choice. There are three basic options: gas, electric and battery.

Gas powered hedge trimmers are the most powerful type. It is ideal if you have to cut a lot of grass and perform other maintenance work. Our pick is the Poulan Pro PR2322 because it provides excellent grass trimming capability and is durable.

If you are going to use a gas-powered model, prepare the fuel as indicated in your owner’s manual. This video shows you how to properly mix hedge trimmer fuel.

Once the fuel has been prepared the trimmer is ready to use. These tools have enough power to not only cut grass but also branches and twigs.

Electric trimmers are not as potent but can handle medium scale grass cutting. Battery–run models are the most affordable but also the least powerful. Use them only for light work.

If you are using a battery hedge trimmer, ensure that is fully charged. If you are going with an electrical model, be mindful that you will be constrained by the cord length. Take care too not to get the cord entangled. We prefer the Black and Decker Max because it works on grass, brushes and shrubs up to 3/4 of an inch.

Step 4

Hold the hedge trimmer firmly and start it up. Usually you see people ben over to cut the grass. That is not a good idea. After a few minutes your back will start to ache and could result injury if you do it frequently.

A better option is to bend on your knees or sit on a small stool. This allows you to get closer to the grass without hurting your back. If you prefer to do this on your knees, wear knee pads for cushion and protection.

Step 5

Start cutting the grass. Remember that you only need to trim the top levels. When the grass is down to 3 inches or less, it should be enough. You can use a lawn mower from there.

Cut slowly but thoroughly. Tall grass can be unwieldy so be careful. If you are using an electric hedge trimmer, keep an eye on the cord so you do not accidentally cut it.

Take your time when trimming tall grass. Moving too quickly can lead to mistakes or cause the hedge trimmer to overheat.

This might take some getting used to especially if you are accustomed to using the tool on hedges. After a while you will get the hang of it though. Do not worry if the finish isn’t as smooth as you like, that is what the lawn mower is for.

When you are finished, collect all the bags with the grass clippings. Clean your hedge trimmer, removing any grass or debris stuck between its blades. Now you can use a lawn mower to put the finishing touches on your landscape.

Image: Tom

Tips for Efficient Grass Cutting

If you have to cut large areas of grass, divide it into sections. Work on one area at a time. When you are done cutting, collect all the clippings. Do not throw them away as you can recycle these in your lawn.

Take breaks. If you are bending over your back will start to ache soon. Even if you are on your knees, you will feel discomfort if you work nonstop. Give yourself a break regularly. This will give you the strength to keep going much longer.

Taking a rest is not only good for you but your hedge trimmer as well. A few minutes respite will allow the engine to cool down.

Do not use an electric hedge trimmer on wet grass. Wait for it to dry first. Do not use this tool in wet conditions because it could cause a short circuit.

Prepare your equipment ahead of time. If there is a lot of grass to trim, get several bags ready. The last thing you want is to have to go to the store because you ran out of bags.

Perform regular maintenance on your hedge trimmer. A well maintained tool will do a better job of cutting not just through grass but also hedges and other shrubbery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of cutting grass with a hedge trimmer?

Hedge trimmers are efficient cutting tools. It is much faster and easier compared to cutting tall grass with pruning shears. It is less taxing and you get more work done in less time.

How often should I cut grass with my hedge trimmer?

Only if the grass is so tall your lawn mower cannot be used. If you never let the grass grow more than a few inches, your lawn mower will be sufficient.

What type of hedge trimmer should I use?

It depends on how much grass you have to trim and how tall. The taller the grass and the wider the area, the more powerful the hedge trimmer has to be. Most people prefer gas hedge trimmers because they provide the most power and you are not restricted by a cord or battery life.

My hedge trimmer stopped working while trimming grass. Why?

Most likely the blade stuck a large rock or a sharp object. This can happen with lawn mowers too which is why you have to clear the area first. If your hedge trimmer has jammed, turn it off and find out the source of the problem.

Can a hedge trimmer cut short grass?

Yes but that would be impractical. You have to get down real low to do this, which would be very uncomfortable. For short grass you should use a lawn mower instead.

How much grass can a hedge trimmer handle?

The only limit is the amount of grass that you can place between its teeth. As long as there is a power source -gas, electricity or battery – you can use it continuously. The one thing you have to watch out for is overheating.

What other tools can I use to cut tall grass?

Pruning shears and loppers are the most common. These are effective but will take more time since they are manual tools.