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The cry of “Too many hedges!” is typically heard in one of two situations; a) when a tourist gets lost in the maze at Hampton Court Palace, and b) when a forlorn horticulturalist finds themselves faced with the prospect of maintaining a large formal garden armed with only a pair of shears. In either of these circumstances the problem can be quickly solved by handing the individual suffering from a surfeit of hedgerows a powerful petrol hedge trimmer (although the people in charge at Hampton Court Palace do discourage visitors from cutting their way through the maze as it is officially considered unsporting).
The tool of choice for those faced with serious amounts of tough hedge cutting work, the petrol hedge trimmer is available in two main styles; double-sided and single-sided. This distinction refers to the blade design and in most circumstances a double-sided blade is the better choice, certainly where domestic hedge trimming is concerned. This is because a double-sided hedge trimmer with a reciprocating blade is easy to handle and will allow even relatively inexperienced users to quickly achieve a tidy finish on a variety of hedgerows, shrubs and bushes. Blade lengths and engine sizes vary among these machines but in most cases a blade of approximately 50cm combined with an engine capacity of roughly 20cc-25cc offers the best compromise between a balanced design and the power required to get the job done effectively.
Double-sided hedge trimmers are also available with bigger engines and longer blades suitable for taking on heavier workloads, but if you have extensive formal hedgerows to maintain your best option may be to invest in a single-sided hedge cutter with a long blade. The single-sided design of these trimmers means that their blades can be longer without upsetting the overall balance of the machine, thereby ensuring that they’re easy to handle and allowing you to trim straight hedgerows with satisfying efficiency. Petrol hedge trimmers are particularly suited to this kind of work in part because most electric models simply can’t compete in terms of portability and long-lasting performance due to the need for a power source, making a petrol hedge trimmer essential when working in large gardens and other areas with extensive hedgerows. The most powerful petrol hedge trimmers can also deal with far denser vegetation than most domestic machines, so commercial users in particular should ensure to invest in a trimmer with enough clout to tackle any cutting work which might come their way.