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Hedge trimmers..conventional or shaft style?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Tom'sLandscapeDesign, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Tom'sLandscapeDesign

    Tom'sLandscapeDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    Im in need of a hedge trimmer, and I see a lot of guys using both the conventional short reach models, and the shafted extended reach models. However, I can only afford one right now.

    Which do you guys recommend I go with first, and why?The things my customers are asking me to trim range from tiny to well over my head..
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I like the extended reach trimmers. I don't have to bend over for smaller shrubs and I don't need a latter for the taller ones.

    I also use the hedge trimmer head on my string trimmer so I can use the articulating blade like a scythe, and knock down tall weeds and volunteer trees in fence lines and property borders.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    i have a short reach one and with a step ladder i can reach pretty high. its real easy for smaller bushes too and most bushes i trim are not over my head
  4. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    24 inch stihl hs series trimmer would be perfect.
  5. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    You can settle with the hand held models as they are pretty resourceful. After many years of trimming, pruning, shearing and lower limb removals, it was sigh of relief that the multi attachment units came out. The use of my articulating Stihl attachments have saved me hours of time on a job site. The units that drive these things are quite heavier than the homeowner units, but worth their weight in gold.
    The idea of crawling before you walk is how we started out back in the 70's. Some shrubbery requires the use of a smaller gas trimmer, while other requires a lengthier unit. Working off of a ladder isn't always possible in moist beds. We have 3,6,8,10 and 14 foot ladders just for any suprises. We do tall topiaries and hollies........some 10 feet tall with globed or spade shaped girths. You aren't going to get precision trimming with a ladder and a hand held unit very easily... Just buy a unit that supports what you do now, and as time progresses, buy into newer units that will do the job.
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    In my first year, I went with a 36" double sided trimmer. The large teeth on this Husky trimmer is really good, and can handle branches up to about an inch thick.

    However, I aquired many properties that have some 12 to 14 foot high hedges. I went out and got the extended reach Redmax. Cut my pruning time in half or better. I don't even need a ladder for ten foot hedges, and if I do need a ladder, I move it 1 time as compared to 4 moves with the short reach trimmer.

    The Redmax in no way can handle the heavy stuff my Husky can, and neither can the multi-tool. My choice would be the same.... a heavy duty 36" short reach first, then when you can, get a long reach in the future.
  7. Tom'sLandscapeDesign

    Tom'sLandscapeDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    I ended up buying a second FS90R and got a Hedge Trimmer attachment for it.

    I will buy a HS81T when the need/funds arrives..
  8. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Messages: 1,415

    The hand units are better for detail work. Only used the shaft unit a few times as a loaner. What I liked was a better perspective (may sound funny but was easier to judge a straight cut), no choke exhaust up your face and better reach. What I didn't like was the weight, somewhat clumsy for certain tasks and force needed if they snagged. As for brushcutting a $15 trimmer blade works just as well.

    Good luck with your new unit.
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,276

    Conventional trimmer is best for most shrub trimming work.
    I use primarily electric as they are much lighter than gas trimmers to use.
    Thinking of picking up a trimmer attachment for my KM90 soon - so I don't have to worry about dropping cord out to the north forty should the need arise.

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