Hedge Trimmers or Pole Saws: Which Should You Buy

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Maintaining your garden requires several tools, and it can be challenging to decide what to buy. For example, do you need a hedge trimmer or a pole saw? Which is going to get the job done faster as far as maintain hedges, shrubs and trees are concerned? Which offers more value for your money? These questions and more are going to be answered in this post.

A hedge trimmer is often used to trim and maintain bushes, shrubs and hedges. If you have to cut large branches or trees, a pole saw will be more effective. Pole saws have more powerful blades, but hedge trimmers are better at making refined, smooth cuts.

The best way to determine which tool you need is to take a look at how each one works. Once you know what a hedge trimmer and pole saw does, you can figure out which one is more suitable for your tasks.

What is a Hedge Trimmer Used For?

As the name suggests, a hedge trimmer is a garden tool used to trim hedges. It can also be used to cut, clear and maintain shrubs, bushes, grass and small trees. In terms of function it is similar to hedge shears, though there are significant differences between the two.

There are two types of hedge trimmers, manual and powered. Manual hedge trimmers are basically giant scissors which you use to cut laves, foliage, shrubs etc.

Powered hedge trimmers are available in three categories: gas, electric and battery. A gas hedge trimmer runs on a 2-stroke nine and is the most powerful type. It can cut a lot of branches and leaves quickly. It is also the heaviest type of hedge trimmer.

Electric hedge trimmers are plugged into a power outlet. Once turned on, you can run the tool as long as there is there is electricity available. It costs less than gas trimmers and does not need oil or gas. But it is not a powerful as a gas model and can only be used if there is a power outlet available.

A cordless hedge trimmer runs on rechargeable batteries. It is not as potent as a gas trimmer but you have greater mobility and freedom of movement. Both electric and cordless hedge trimmers have less cutting power than gas, but they make also make less noise.

Hedge Trimmer Advantages

Versatile. A hedge trimmer is a versatile tool. It is used for more than just trimming hedges. You can use it on grass and perform other landscaping work. You can choose from gas, electric or battery models depending on your budget and what type of trimming you want to do.

Great for pruning. A hedge trimmer is perfect for pruning hedges and shrubs. It allows you to make straight cuts and delicate shapes. It is not as durable as a pole saw, but for small tasks and if you need more refined results, it gets the job done.

Easy to use. Hedge trimmers are easy to use. Once you learn how it works, the blade does the heavy lifting for you. It also simplifies a lot of garden and landscaping work. A hedge trimmer is one of those tools that make landscaping and hedge maintenance a straightforward process.

Hedge Trimmer Disadvantages

Limited cutting power. Hedge trimmers are only meant to cut small branches. Anything more than an inch in diameter is going to cause problems. Some trimmers can cut thicker branches, but they are not as widespread.

Noisy. Hedge trimmers, in particular gas, are noisy. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who has used a 2-stroke engine. Electrical and battery models are quieter, but they do give up cutting capacity to achieve this.

Maintenance. Gas hedge trimmers, just like other 2-troke tools, need new gas every four weeks. They have to be cleaned regularly. You also have to check if there are problems with the spark plug, ignition coil, air filter etc. These also have to be cleaned and evaluated if replacements are required.

What is a Pole Saw Used For?

A pole saw is a power tool used to cut branches and twigs. It resembles a chainsaw except the cutting edge is attached to a long handle.

Pole saws run on gas or electric power. Some electric powered pole saws have a rechargeable battery so you can use it as a cordless tool. Those extended handles make it possible to cut down branches high up on trees.

Uses. A pole saw is used to cut and trim tree branches and twigs. It can also clear and trim bushes, foliage and shrubbery. Not all of them are created equal as some pole saws arm or powerful than others.

Gas operated pole saws provide the most power. It can cut thick branches, twigs and lots of foliage. This are also louder than electric or cordless models. A gas powered pole saw weighs more than an electric model due to the size of its motor. Most of these gas models run on a 2-stroke engine.

Electric powered pole saws come in two types: corded and cordless. Corded pole saws are plugged into a power outlet and run on electricity. A cordless or battery powered pole saw provides greater flexibility. You are not confined to the length of the cord, but you are limited by the battery life.

Pole Saw Advantages

Cutting power. A pole saw has a lot of benefits, but its cutting power is one of the most important. Most hedge trimmers can only cut branches up to an inch thick. For light jobs that is enough, but if you have to cut a lot of thick branches and twigs, a trimmer is not sufficient.

While hedge trimmers have become more powerful, pole saws still pack greater cutting capacity. Of course if you only need to cut trim a few small hedges, this will not be a problem at all.

With a pole saw you can cut thicker pieces of wood. It is not as large as a chainsaw, but compared to a hedge trimmer a pole saw can do more with thick and tall trees. If you have tall trees in your property, a pole saw will be essential.

Reach. Pole saws can reach further than other cutting tools. You do not have to strain yourself to get the work done. No need to risk climbing up a ladder just to trim some branches. A lot of pole saws can be fitted with all kinds of
attachments that increase its versatility.

Lots of options. Do you need a lot of power? A gas powered pole saw is ideal. Do you prefer quiet? An electric model will do. Or do you prefer portability? There are battery powered pole saws available.

Pole Saw Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage of a pole saw is that it is not very precise. All that power comes at the expense of lack of precision. A hedge trimmer can cut and trim bushes, hedges and shrubs with more precision. You have to keep this in mind if you want to trim your hedges in a particular way.

The other thing is that pole saws cost more than hedge trimmers in general. And just like other gas power tools, gas pole saws are noise. You also need to supply it with fuel and perform regular maintenance.

Which Do You Need: Hedge Trimmer or Pole Saw?

The simple answer is that it depends on what you need. If you have a lot of tall trees, thick branches vines etc., a pole saw is the ideal solution. It packs the power and cutting capacity you need. We prefer the Dewalt XR Pole Saw as it combines trimming power with low maintenance.

But if you have a small yard or only trim a few small hedges, a hedge trimmer is sufficient. As far as battery hedge trimmers go, the Sun Joe HJ604C is one of the top choices available.

Whichever you choose, there are other factors you have to consider. Cutting capacity is important, but you also have to decide whether to get gas, electric or cordless.

The ergonomic design of the tool is also important if you will be using it for long periods of time. In the end, only you can decide which of these two tools to use. But by checking your property and the amount of work you have to do, it will make your decision a lot easier.