Which Black+Decker hedge trimmer is best?
If you’re looking for an electric hedge trimmer, the Black+Decker range offers tremendous choice. They are tools with a well-deserved reputation for ease of use, build quality, affordability, and reliability. We’ve been checking them out, from the budget classics to the latest developments, so we can help you pick the right model for pruning and shaping your hedges and shrubs.
To learn more, keep reading our useful buyer’s guide, which includes reviews of some standouts at the end. Our favorite model, the Black+Decker 40V Max Cordless, offers the power and control you need for even the most challenging hedge-trimming jobs.
What to know before you buy a Black+Decker hedge trimmer
Corded vs. cordless
Arguably the biggest decision when choosing a Black+Decker hedge trimmer is whether to go corded or cordless.
Corded is the cheaper option. Although you’ll see offers for cordless tools that seem to be a similar price, these will be ‘bare’ tools — battery and charger are not included. That’s not a problem if you already own compatible Black+Decker cordless garden tools. If not, you need to check total cost carefully.
Corded tools are well-proven, but you are restricted by the length of cable. The longest extension cord you’ll find is 100 feet. Linking two cords together is not recommended and probably won’t work anyway because of power loss due to resistance. However, corded hedge trimmers are excellent for modest spaces.
Cordless gives you the freedom to go anywhere. Black+Decker cordless hedge trimmers are offered in 20V (volts) and 40V versions. 20V models will handle regular light trimming of new growth, but if you want to do heavy cutting of established plants you’ll need a 40V version.
When choosing a cordless tool, you also need to consider the Amp hours (Ah) of the battery. If you look at voltage as overall power, then Amp hours is the amount of fuel in the tank. A 3.0Ah battery will last at least twice as long as a 1.5Ah version. So if you’re tackling large areas of hedge, you’ll want to maximize this. Most Black+Decker hedge trimmers are supplied with 1.5Ah batteries. If you’re buying a spare, we’d recommend going as big as you can afford.
What to look for in a quality Black+Decker hedge trimmer
All Black+Decker hedge trimmers are fitted with hardened steel dual-action blades, which run with less vibration than their single-action rivals and cut more effectively. The length of blade you need will depend on the trimming tasks you need to tackle. They run from 16” on budget trimmers up to a full 24” on the high-performance models.
A maximum thickness the tool can handle is usually quoted, and is useful for comparison purposes. However, it’s fair to say that these figures are usually a little optimistic. They might be capable in “ideal” circumstances, but for a realistic figure we would take off about 1/8”.
While it’s tempting to go for the largest model you can afford — because then you can cope with all the smaller jobs, too — there’s little point in going bigger than you really need. It just results in a heavier tool. Weight is also something you’ll want to think about if you have reduced physicality.
How much you can expect to spend on a Black+Decker hedge trimmer
The cheapest Black+Decker hedge trimmers are 16-inch to 20-inch corded models starting at around $40. They’re great for those with small yards. The equivalent cordless comes in at around $60. Even the largest models are under $150, so the whole range is very affordable.
Black+Decker hedge trimmers FAQ
Do I need to sharpen hedge trimmer blades?
A. Yes. Sharpening is recommended approximately every 50 working hours to maintain cutting efficiency — though if you get blade nicks you should deal with them asap. Blunt blades will crush and tear, rather than cut cleanly. Sharpening is pretty straight forward, and there’s useful guidance online.
Should I oil my hedge trimmer blades?
A. It’s a good idea. It helps them run smoothly and stops sap from sticking. Use a light, general-purpose oil, applied sparingly with a rag. Penetrating oils like WD40 are not recommended. They are less effective, and toxic to some plants.
What Black+Decker hedge trimmers are best to buy?
Top Black+Decker hedge trimmer
Our take: This is a high-performance model for those with lots of hedges and shrubs to manage.
What we like: Its cutting ability and run time make it a real alternative to gas-powered tools. It offers good comfort and balance. There is a battery and Energy Star-rated fast charger included.
What you should consider: The supplied battery is only 1.5Ah. There are a few reports of motor burnouts (though not many).
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon.
Top Black+Decker hedge trimmer for the money
Our take: This is a reliable, lightweight tool with good all-round ability for those with modest yards.
What we like: It is easy to handle with good reach and cutting capacity. If you already have a compatible battery and charger, this offers the freedom of cordless at a really competitive price.
What you should consider: The battery and charger add at least $30. As with the 40V model, there are occasional motor burnouts.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon.
Worth checking out
Our take: This is a versatile alternative for light-duty trimming of tall hedges.
What we like: It is a great little tool if you understand its limitations. It offers an effective reach of 10 feet and a multi-position head gets to new growth with your feet safely on the ground.
What you should consider: Its 20V power restricts performance. It is top heavy, which can make control difficult.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon.
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Bob Beacham writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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