Gas Powered Hedge Trimmers

bogey123March 7, 2010

I have about 80 native grass plants that were planted on a steep slope with the objective of holding the soil on the slope, and they do a good job of that.

Problem is, every early spring I pretty much break myself using manual hedge clippers to cut these plants back to about 10 inches.

Anyone have a view as to whether a gas powered hedge clipper like those made by Echo would be strong enough to get through these reeds?

I tried an electric one that I have (used for light duty on boxwood bushes) and it was real slow going with constant jamming even though I had the blades sharpened last fall. The electric one just doesn't have the power to get through these things.

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yungman

I don't know exactly the plant you want to trim. I do have a lot of Japanese Boxwood and both my small Echo HC151 and My short reach articulate hedge trimmer by Shindaiwa work just fine.

Hedge trimmer are not very fast, it is not like hot knife going through butter!!! I find electric trimmer not that bad, just the cord you have to drag around. In fact I use a small Craftsman battery little trimmer to do final touch up. So I really don't know your expectation.

Don't be fool if you look at some people hedging through a scrubs like butter, all depend on the kind of plant. YOu can make any hedge trimmer look good if you trim Cypress because it is thin and soft. If you trim plants with thick branches, it is going to take time. I know because the two I have is of top quality.

Do you spray Fluid Film on the blades before trimming? This clean all the sipping off. I learn a big leason. Those stuff built up on the blade in just one or two cuts. It stuck between the blades and make the hedge trimmer cut really really bad. I almost dump my Echo away because of that. If you see any deposit on the side of the blade between the two blades, you need to clean it. Scrapping is not the answer. I use Fluid Film, others even have luck with WD-40. I stay with Fluid Film. You'll notice the blades get totally clean after 2 or 3 times spray and use.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 11:49PM
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weed_cutter

Bending over with any hedgeclippers can get old. Consider a trimmer with a brush blade. Won't leave a clean cut but can be a while lot faster.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 9:55AM
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masiman(z7 VA)

I agree with weed cutter. A brush blade on a trimmer sounds like your best option for speed. I'm not sure how well a hedge trimmer would do on a thick ornamental grass. I'm speaking from my past experiences with "Pampas" grass. I would have to go at that stuff with a bow saw and fully covered. I still came out with slashes all over my arms and neck. If the hedge trimmer were really sharp, then maybe it could do it, but I think it would be too easy to get it jammed with grass.

If you go the trimmer route, I'd recommend a trimmer rated for a brush blade. It will have a solid shaft and probably a larger engine. I am guessing it will be 25cc+. It will be a little heavier but you'll appreciate the power when you get into the thick stuff. Get a real brush blade and don't use a circular saw blade. The carbide tips will cut well but if they come off, they will fly at you or others and do some serious damage. The cut won't be as clean as other methods but that is not such a bad thing. The plants can easily survive it.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 11:16AM
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bogey123

Thanks, there are a few different types of grass but most of it is Maiden grass. The reeds are about a quarter of an inch in diameter and hollow, you can break them in two with your hands.

I will consider the brush trimmer, any concers using these on steep slopes? I have never used one.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 12:53PM
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weed_cutter

Firm footing in closed toe shoes, long pants, eye protection. Ear muffs optional. Follow the instructions with the machine.

A brush cutter is a weed wacker with a blade instead of a string. Not all string trimmers can handle a blade.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 9:17PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

The one that can run and cut hedges is one with wide space between teeth about 2 inch gap. That gap let in 1/4 inch reeds. I use mind with 30 bar single side to cut on 6 acre hedge rows Blackberries I top 6 acres in about 2 hours an half. Its different world cutting with wide space between teeth.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 6:23AM
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bogey123

I borrowed a brush trimmer from a friend, it did the job for the most part, tough to finesse anything though. I also rented a gas powered hedge trimmer for a few hours, it was easier to round off the plant and had plenty of power to rip right through the reeds. Downside is you have to bend over to cut the reeds.

Price of either one is about the same new, I don't have a use for a brush cutter other than this chore each year so am leaning at the hedge trimmer since I can also use that to trim up the 35 boxwood we have on the property. If cash was no object I would definately have both.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 8:25PM
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yungman

Bottom line is if you want to trim it straight, better looking, a hedge trimmer is a must and it is going to take time. IF you want to just cut it back, then a circular blade brush cutting is going to be faster. Brands like Shindaiwa etc. have string trimmer that is blade capable.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 2:31AM
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bogey123

Yungman you are right, for now the strategy is to use the borrowed brushcutter to knock them down and follow up with a hedge trimmer to clean them up. Next year I will treat myself to a trimmer that also can use a blade. Spreading the purchases out over 2 years is something I can handle.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 12:06PM
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