Gas or electric hedge trimmer?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GreenAcresLC, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. GreenAcresLC

    GreenAcresLC LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Posts: 84

    Being new to the business, I'm faced with the task of purchasing all of my equipment now, before the season hits full swing. One thing I'm unsure of is this: to buy an electric hedge trimmer, or spend the cash oh a better gas powered one. My gut says all gas all the way, but what are your experienced opinions? Thanks in advance! JW, Green Acres Lawn Svc, LLC

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    deffintly gas what good would electric be if the customer doesnt have a plug on the outside of their house
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    yeh I don't like cords hanging around when I'm working with a cutting tool, but gas is far more powerful too and you're never short of a source of energy (unless you runs out lol).
  4. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    If you are planning on doing this professionally,go with gas.Iwill never by electric under any circumstance.Just my .2
  5. paul vroom

    paul vroom LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    It could be embarrassing if you need to ring a door bell and ask the homeowner to plug you in. Plus, some clients would probably complain about you using their resources to do the job. Go gas until they make a solar powered.
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,924

    I have used a gas powered unit for several years, but started out with an electric clippers.

    Last Summer, we were mowing at a very high-scaled residence, one for which we only do the mowing. The lot is large (~3/4 acre), with extensive landscaping (deep beds, many bushes, etc.). The owners of 4-5 years since new have the initial installers do all the maintenance work (mulching, edging, trimming). It is too large for me anyway, and they do a excellent job. Three trucks and 6-8 workers show up, and fan out across the property. Three workers form a trimming team, two laying/emptying tarps, another doing the trimming work. He was using an electric trimmer.

    When the foreman came close enough, I asked him about the trimmers. They always use an electric trimmer, purchased from a local hardware store. He says that with all the trimming the crews do, the electric ones have proven to be the fastest. Why? Four pounds, not 12 pounds! His assertion was the cord management was trivial compared to the worker having to handle a heavy trimmer for long periods of time. After watching them work for an hour (we were on lunch break part of the time), I was impressed. The worker with the trimmer was easily moving the clipper with one hand, moving plant material, stuffing the tarp underneath, and other tasks with the other hand. He easily switched hands for the lightweight trimmer.

    Now, I'm not suggesting this is the pattern for most folks. But, for a very high-level landscape crew, working at nothing but top-notch properties, their use of an electric clipper made me wonder why I was handling the heavy gas-powered unit all the time. This company is well-known for their excellent work, and for the very high rates they charge for their services.

    One thing that I did not ask the foreman: Do they use the electric clipper for all kinds of plant materials? I only saw him working on two different kinds of plantings. So, perhaps when they have different kinds of plantings, they do employ gas-powered units.

    Weight....? 4 vs. 12 (or more) pounds ... could be an important consideration.
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,899

    On here, Gas hedge trimmers = professional.
    I disagree to a point. #1, those things are heavy. #2, gas costs money, tapping into homeowners juice is free energy:), #3 Gas powered are more expensive units (albeit will probably last a little longer.

    If you only plan to do a few houses worth of trimming, I would go electric, not too many houses are without an outside outlet these days (bring a lot of cord though). If a lot more trimming, probably go gas for portability.
  8. Harshman

    Harshman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40


    Everything you use should be gas. Dont have to worry about running over or cutting the power cord, tripping, or especially looking cheap!
  9. grapeford

    grapeford LawnSite Member
    Posts: 104

    I started with gas and went with commercial electric for about 3-4 years. We do so much pruning, that my arms would ache after spending 8-10 hours pruning. I liked the weight of the electric,*(kept a generator on the trailer to plug in). After burning out numerous electric motors, not to mention cutting cords, I went back to gas. I primarily use an extended length Husky pruner. I have 2 other guys who use husky pruners.
  10. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    If you have to ask then this may be the wrong business for you.

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