Whats a good brand??
i would even do a rechargeable battery one, just don't want gas..
As far as electric goes. The brand does not matter much. What you want to look for is the highest Amp rating as possible. Something at or above the 3.2/3.8 Amp range will give you the most power.
Battery. About the same look at units that are at least 20 volts and above. You want to get the highest volt unit that you can afford for the higher the volts the more power and run time. Lowes has a nice 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Kobalt one that runs around $150.
When it comes to Lithium-Ion battery powered tools of any type. 85% of the cost of the tool goes for the battery alone.
Brand does matter. You can buy the throw-away stuff from the "Big Box" retailers like Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, etc., and expect to replace in a couple of years, if not sooner. In that case, they're all pretty generic, cost $75 to $125, and I guess brand doesn't matter after all.
Top of the line corded electric is the Little Wonder. Don't have a cordless model. However price is north of $300. Not uncommon for people to use these for 10, 15, or 20 years. Just require normal lubrication and maintenance. Also have full parts support from LW, so they can be maintained for years. Lot of contractors use them with a small generator, rather than 2 cycle gas powered (which Little Wonder also makes).
In the same class (and price range) is the Mantis. Don't have as much experience with their hedgers, but again are highly regarded. They also have a cordless hedger for about $200, but I can't say much about it first hand. Looks like more of a consumer item, rather than the more professional corded and gas powered models.
did look up LW and yes, the 24" is $303...ouch, but prob worth it for the long haul....
will research the mantis,,, i think its the same company?? one is the parent?? but i could be wrong....
how about Stihl?? they have one for $200...but also looking for Made in USA and i think LW is.....??
thanks again :)
Little Wonder is located in Southampton, PA, just over the river from me. I know their stuff is made locally. Not sure about COO for Mantis.
I have used LW edgers and walk-behind leaf blowers for years. Rest of product line is not as personally familiar to me.
This is going to be a little bit contrary. I'm the sort of person who thinks that if you're going to make a living with your tools then it's stupid to buy k-mart quality throwaways. My hammer drill cost $200 and uses ten dollar bits. My Bosch "sawzall" cost the same. My (wood) chop saw sighs like a breeze and cuts like oak was 99 per cent air. I cannot afford the time loss nor the loss of tool box room on cheap tools that might fail.
Learned my lessons long ago.
My results are my paycheck, so the need of having reliability also dictates no batteries. They're a convenience, not a sign of quality no matter what the inflated price. They are guaranteed to fail you when you are fifty miles away from home and your charger just fried itself and it's four o'clock on a Friday afternoon. My opinion is that all battery tools are, by design, disposable. Again, learned my lesson long ago.
That said, I have a blue-light-special Black & Decker 16 inch hedge clipper that doesn't even have a cord on it. It plugs onto any cheapo extension cord and doesn't have batteries because I use it in civilized places that are part of the continental power grid, like home. It sounds like a metal can full of gravel but it cuts like a scalpel and doesn't quit. I bet it cost me thirty dollars. It gets no respect and it gathers no repairs.
Here's the difference between professional grade and homeowner grade. If it was part of the tight space of my work truck load it'd be replaced by some sleek little nasty thing from a frozen Nordic village. But it isn't, and I cannot possibly do "better".
This post was edited by cold_weather_is_evil on Sat, May 31, 14 at 2:35
FWIW, I "trim" a little over a half mile of fence along the road in front of my house. There's a barbed wire fence in there from back when we ran cattle in here, from fence to road is brush, briars, etc. I cut back to the fence on my side for ease of cutting the lawn. I purchased a "reconditiioned" Ryobi hedge trimmer from Amazon for I think $29.99. Once a year, genset goes in trailer, extension cord, lopping shears, trimmer, etc. and away we go. After it's yearly outing, I grease the blades. Been working fine for 4 or 5 years now.
I think the key is the amount of use the tool will get. If you are using it daily and you buy the 300 dollar model and get ten years out of it it is worth the money.
If you buy the $100 model and use it a half dozen times per year it may outlast your need for the trimmer, as you may remove the hedge or move to a place where there is no hedge.
Consider the cost per use during the life of the tool, not the initial cost. 3 trimmers at $100 that gives 100 uses is equivalent to 1 trimmer at $300 that gives you 300 uses. If you use it 5 times per summer, the 100 dollar trimmer will last 25 years. Does this match your needs?
Of course this does not consider the social status that comes from the expensive model. The $300 model gives you more prestige when you are cutting the hedge once a month during the summer and your neghbor is using a cheap model.