By Alison Graham

When thinking of buying a petrol hedge trimmer, one of the most important things is the length of the blades. To avoid getting the wrong type of machine for your particular requirements, you need to consider carefully the types of jobs you need to get done in your garden.

The things to consider about hedge trimmer blades can be divided into three groups.

1. The type of blade action. Will you be using your hedge trimmer for extended periods of time? Vibration from blades can be a problem and whilst some of this can be eliminated by carefully designed hand-grips, if you choose a double action blade where both blades move in opposite directions, instead of a single action blade model, much of the vibration will be cut out for you by the action of the blades. This could certainly save you aching shoulders the following day.

2. You need to be aware that no matter how powerful the petrol hedge trimmer you choose is, it cannot cut through wood like a chain saw but choosing a wide teeth model can help. Narrow teeth blades on less powerful models will be fine if you have beautifully kept hedges whee the twigs never get chance to grow thick between cuts.

3. How much hedging you have to cut and whether time constraints are an issue. More hedge can be cut in one pass if you choose a model with longer blades. However, it is also very important to take into consideration, the ease of use, as inevitably, greater blade length adds to the overall weight of a petrol hedge trimmer. A hedge trimmer with really long blades can be very difficult to work with if you have tricky shaping work to do on your hedge.

If you take these three points into consideration, you will end up with the right tool for the work you need to get done in your garden.

A good general purpose petrol hedge trimmer will have double action blades with low vibration for operator comfort, a blade length of around 22" and will have either wide or narrow teeth spacing depending on the type of hedges you have in your garden.

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