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Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

Posted by jake20 (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 8, 09 at 17:04

Looking to start cutting my own Ficus bushes.. They are pretty tall, around 6-7 feet i would say.

I see the local landscaping guys using this big hedge trimmer that has some kind of metal debris guide on the single edge blade, (looks like a big letter F almost)and it just slices through like butter.

Every trimmer I have seen online does not seem to show this debris guide on it.
anyone know where can I get a trimmer like this? or a commercial grade hedge trimmer?
Are the gas hedge trimmers at home depot junk?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

First and most important, how much you are willing to pay?

I believe what you are talking is the debri shield that only available for single sided hedge trimmer. It is quite common for commercial brands like Redmax, Tanaka and Shindaiwa.

Before you get too excited about the debri shield, single side trimmer really don't work as good because branches grow facing either left or right. Single side only cut good on one side, not quite as well on the other. I talked to a lot of pros and all prefer using double sided trimmers.

If you have 6 or 7 feet hedges, you might want to consider a short reach articulate hedge trimmer that can reach that high without having to use a ladder. It is going to be in the $450 range. Tell me your budge and preference first before we can give more suggestion. The regular hedge trimmers are from $250 to $400.

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

thanks for the reply.

I am willing to spend around $450 max.
In my area we are not allowed fences, so we have to use ficus as the fence.

All of the landscape companies i see in my neighborhood cutting the very same ficus that I also have all seem to use the single sided trimmers with that debris shield.

And the ficus they cut looks great, and they seem to cut throught it like butter very fast, so i just assumed this would be the best kind of trimmer to use.

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

Whether it cut like butter depend on the plants, some do, some don't. All the commercial brands that have true blades( cheap Craftsman and B&D don't) and they cutting ability is close enough.

If you are willing to spend $450 I strongly suggest you to get the short reach hedge clipper. Here is one on ebay, new:

And other on ebay:

Kawasaki is usually cheaper and just as good quality. I have Shindaiwa M242 multi tool motor with short reach articulate hedge trimmer attachment. I absolutely love it. I don't use my regular hedge trimmer anymore. I can control it to do all the work a regular hedge trimmer do and I can reach up higher. Try hold a regular hedge trimmer over you head for a minute or two, you see what I mean.

Redmax, Shindaiwa and Husqvarna all have short reach hedge trimmers for a little more than the Kawasaki. Don't worry too much about brands, they all close enough. If you insist on buying a regular hedge trimmer, get a 24" or 30". As I said, go double sided. I did read a lot of posts comparing that. All the pros cannot be that wrong. I can tell you from my experience, I need to swing in both direction to get a good cut because some grow in one direction and some the other, if you can only swing one direction, you don't cut as good in the other direction at all. Also two edge last twice as long as single side!!!!

Also, Amazon sell Tanaka also.

Home Depot stuff is not crap!!! They have Echo which is commercial grade.

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

wow, thanks for all of this great info!
That kawasaki pole trimmer looks like it might be a little uncomfortable to use for what my needs are though.

I really don't have a lot of hard to reach or really high spaces. I just have simple rows of ficus between 3-7 feet high, but about 100 feet of them.

I have also heard really good things about the Shindaiwa model here, and its a nice 40' blade too.

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

I am not tall, 40" seems a bit long. Go to a dealer and pick one up, feel it first before making the decision.

I have the Shindaiwa short reach, I like it, you can't go wrong with Shindaiwa. But I would get the 2 cycle version. This is a C4 hybrid engine, it is a little heavier. Also, There are more complains on these hybrid 4 cycle engine on another brand of valve problem. You need to use synthetic oil to be safe. I would get the 2 cycle.

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

I went to a local dealer and took a look at all the various models, and I think I like the feel of the Shindaiwa 30" hedge trimmer the best.
I did like how much range you can cover with the 40" but it did seem like it limited my maneuverability a little too much, and it is also heavier than the 30" obviously.

The sales guy was actually raving about the Shindaiwa ariculating trimmer as well, as it seemed really versaitle, but it was a little too versatile for my needs.
I just need to plow through long lines of straight ficus.

So now I think i just have to decide between the 30 or 40"
I am leaning towards the 30" right now, just because its a lot easier to handle and maneuver, but i am still not sure!

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

It is very hard to maneuver a 40". If you trim with the blade pointing down, you would find you have to hold the handle very high and it can get heavy....Unless you are over 7' tall!!!

Give it some thoughts about the short reach articulate hedge trimmer. I really feel it is just as easy to trim what ever you use the regular trimmer plus a whole lot more. I have the M242 multi tool and I can use it as a string trimmer with the string attachment. Also there is other attachments like pole saw, tiller etc.

I really think you should try using the regular hedge trimmer to do the trimming one time and make the decision. Ask your deal whether they have a loaner for a day. I have the small Echo 20" hedge trimmer, holding it high for over a few minutes is a killer... I am not weak, I do weight lifting and still it can get really bad. The short reach make a day and night difference. 100' is a long way!!!! For 6' or 7' high, you can just walk and trim with the short reach.

Don't trust me, get a loaner and try it to judge it yourself.

The picture you show is the HT231, it is a 2 cycle, has been around like forever, so it is good.

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

thanks for the advice again.. i am leaving to go back in a little bit.
I keep telling myself that if I just get used to the weight and feel of the 40", that I could blow through these ficus in no time.

I see these little landscaping guys using it with no problem, lol..
Man, i just cant decide

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

Bottom line, if this is your toy like how I treat mine, buy the single side trimmer of your liking. Then use an excuse to buy the short reach later!!! If you really going to get one only, really try one first, some dealer do let you take one out for a day, any brand, just 30" or 40" single side and do a round of trimming, you'll get a good idea what you need. Maybe you do have the endurance to do it no problem.

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

Hey, don't leave me hanging!!! What did you get? After all these talks, I am waiting!!!

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

lol, I was about to go pick up the Shindaiwa 30" when a local landscaper called and said he would come by this weekend and cut the hedges for $50.. so what I am going to do is let this guy do the trimming this time.. and I am going to watch this guy, and see what he is using, and how he does it to get a an idea on what would be the right equipment for me personally.

This guy does all the other ficus in my community, so I know he does a good job.
I will definitely keep you informed!
thanks again for all the help.

RE: Help with buying a good Gas Hedge Trimmer

As a professional Groundsman i find stihl to be by far the best hedge trimmers. For a tall hedge buy a long reach. Stihl are quite expensive but excellent value for money because they last so long.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hedge Trimming Birmingham

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