Which hedge trimmers are best for commercial use?

As with all other types of outdoor equipment, there are a ton of options out there. Which hedge trimmers are the best for commercial usage? This conversation came up on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and we all learned a lot from it. A new lawn care business owner wrote and asked “I will be buying my first hedge trimmer in the next few days and figure you guys know the ones to buy, and the ones to not buy. Interested in knowing both. I live in a small town so my store options are limited.”

  • Consumer or commercial models?

The first thing we learned from this discussion was to “stay away from consumer models if you bank account can afford it. Most everything that is sold at the big box stores is garbage and won’t last you long. They are all basically the same if you really compare them close. Just with a different brand name almost. It’s worth it in the long run to spend the extra money and get the commercial grade. Don’t waste your time with those cheapos. I started with one and I hated it. You can only run it at full throttle for no more than 30 secs I think. Your back will thank you to. Anyways you get the idea.”

Another lawn care business owner said “you know, when I first started out I had to buy so much equipment, not only for the landscaping side of my business but for the property repair side too. At this time I was very naive and thought I could get away with spending the least amount possible on a hedge trimmer. Well the first pair I got lasted a week and the gears went. The second pair lasted five days and the engine rattled off the chassis! The 3rd pair didn’t even start despite being brand new haha.

I then took the plunge and invested in a commercial hedge trimmer and I’ve never looked back. It’s double sided and yes I have once cut my leg after not letting the blades come to a stop. Other than that the power and reliability are awesome. Just remember with such trimmers to oil the blades now and then and if there is a grease nipple, give it a good squirt of grease every 3 months or so.”

  • Which brings up another good point. Should you be purchasing a single edged or double edged unit? Here are some responses about that:

“I know the double sided hedgers are nice, but they are super dangerous (as compared to the single sided). The handle design on the singles always keeps the cutters away from you, and reduces the chance of leg nicks (or worse). You may get a little more work done faster with a double sided, but if you rip your leg open, then you will be losing more work if it ever did happen. I have always done just fine with single sided trimmer. No trouble at all.

They are even more dangerous to have around if you have employees. The last thing you want is for an employee to get hurt on the job.”

“Very Good Point. That just happened to me about 2 weeks ago. Good thing I was wearing double knee protection or I would have taken a little piece out of my leg. I still got a small cut. But yeah you have to be careful. I was using my Stihl and that thing is has huge cutters on it. Watch out!”

“I like the double edged ones and have put alot of hours in on them. I don’t see the smaller 20-24″ bar sizes being a problem. But my Stihl has a 30″ bar and it gets heavy after a while. So you have to becareful when you bring it down. That must have been a little reminder not to be careless.

I always thought the single sided trimmers were for doing better sculpting type of work.
If I had to start fresh I would get one like mine with the 30″ bar. I use it all the time and the small Echo hardly ever gets used. That thing is great. There are a lot of advantages to it.
It might be a little harder to shape smaller shrubs with it, but you can always do a little touch up with hand shears if needed. I’ve never had to do that though.

Everything we work with is dangerous. You just have to remember that when you are working.”

“I have an 30″ trimmer that I bought refurbished. It has been, dollar for dollar, probably the most profitable piece of equipment in my arsenal. $200 or so & ‘m sure I’ve billed over 10x that for it’s use in less than 6 months. I bought another unit with a head & pole pruner attachment that has been great too. They make an attachment for the power head that is a longer hedge trimmer with an articulating head. So if you need to top some hedges that are taller than you are no need for a ladder. Just set it on 90 deg. & walk up the hedge row!”

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