24-inch blade offers longer reach
Battery charges quickly
Less powerful motor than competitor models
Whether used on quick trims or professional gardening jobs, hedge trimmers are an essential tool for anyone who wants to maintain landscaping efficiently. Gas-powered trimmers tend to have more strength and longevity when it comes to cutting thicker branches, but electric options, like the Black & Decker 40V MAX* Lithium 24 in. Hedge Trimmer, are better for the environment. They’re also more affordable, as they don’t incur extra costs for fuel. Plus, with a battery-operated model of this kind, there’s no need to navigate around a pesky electrical cord or stay within a limited length.
I tested out this trimmer over the course of a few months to see how it fared when used on different types of plants, from rosemary bushes to ficus hedge trees to African irises. I was interested in seeing whether the blades delivered clean cuts, as well as how long the battery lasted during both prolonged and stop-and-go use. Keep reading to see if this is a product we recommend adding to your tool shed.
Performance: A lightweight, efficient trimmer with a reliable battery
This Black & Decker hedge trimmer features 24-inch dual-action blades that claim to “produce less vibration while trimming compared to single-action blade models.” Compared to the DeWalt 40V MAX* 22" Hedge Trimmer, which I also tested, this trimmer was louder and less smooth, but that didn’t affect its ability to cut branches efficiently.
As a satisfied user of Black & Decker’s 20V MAX*Lithium 22 in. POWERCUT™ Hedge Trimmer (which features an anti-jam button), I found that the 40-volt trimmer was noticeably more powerful and delivered a much cleaner trim. The 20-volt trimmer tended to hack away at long-leafed shrubs, while this model did a better job of cutting straight across the greenery, including the long, thin leaves of my African iris plants.
The trimmer lasts for about an hour before requiring a recharge, but I didn’t find this inconvenient, as my shrubs and hedge trees (as well as most of my gardening tasks) are on the low-maintenance side.
I did notice that the blades had a tendency to stall and get caught in branches as the battery began to run low, but the slowdown is to be expected as energy decreases. The blades also take about three seconds to fully stop (about one second more than the similar DeWalt trimmer I tested), so that’s worth noting if you’re concerned about gardening safety.
Another difference between the 20-volt model and the 40-volt model is the locking mechanism. The former trimmer features a slightly more ergonomic push-down lock, while the latter has a sliding lock. We didn’t find any difficulties operating the sliding mechanism, and we don’t foresee this design detail being a major issue.
Design: Ergonomic and lightweight
Comfort is top of mind whenever I look for gardening tools, especially if I expect to be working for at least 30 minutes and using a product continuously for several minutes. I expect to experience some arm and wrist fatigue at some point, but the trimmer’s easy-to-grip wraparound handle made the job fairly comfortable when trimming shrubs from different angles.
The Black & Decker trimmer’s noticeably lighter weight coupled with the 24-inch blades made it safe and easy to trim as high as 7 feet.
At 7 pounds, I found this trimmer much lighter and thus easier to use over a prolonged period of time when compared to the 11.9-pound DeWalt 40-volt trimmer. As a petite person, a heavy tool is a safety concern for me, especially if I need to lift the trimmer to reach higher branches. The Black & Decker trimmer’s noticeably lighter weight coupled with the 24-inch blades made it safe and easy to trim as high as 7 feet when standing on the ground as well as from a ladder.
The Blades: Efficient, but some inconsistency cutting thicker branches
The blades are made of rust-resistant stainless steel, which purportedly stays sharper longer. During my many gardening sessions, the blades proved to be durable and capable of cutting up to half-inch branches easily. True to the brand’s claims, the trimmer can cut branches up to 3/4-inch in diameter, but the performance was inconsistent, and some denser, woodier branches tended to get stuck.
We also left the trimmers outside for about a week—during which it just happened to rain—to test whether the blades were truly rust-resistant. After minimal exposure to the elements, we did notice some light rusting, which didn’t surprise us as the blades were out in the elements during wet weather.
The trimmer can cut branches up to 3/4-inch in diameter, but the performance was inconsistent, and some denser, woodier branches tended to get stuck.
The Battery: A long-lasting battery that charges quickly
According to Black and Decker, the 40-volt lithium-ion battery charges in an hour—a claim I happily found accurate. The battery features an LED charge indicator light, with one light indicating a low battery and three green lights indicating a fully charged battery. I charged the battery when the indicator was at level one (when there was still some juice left) and found that the unit was fully charged in about 30 minutes or so.
According to Black and Decker, the 40-volt lithium-ion battery charges in an hour—a claim I happily found accurate.
Battery installation is easy—you simply slide the unit into the back of the trimmer—but you do need to make sure that it firmly snaps into place. Otherwise, the vibrating blades will cause the battery to dislodge and the trimmer to shut off.
Noise Level: Somewhat loud, but not concerning
As expected of any motor-powered trimming device with moving blades, Black & Decker’s 40-volt cordless trimmer does produce noise during use. Like most people who are gardening during the day, a noisy tool isn’t much of a concern to me, as I’m not expecting the job to be a quiet one. However, the clacking sound can be reduced with some grease (like WD-40, for example), and that’ll go far in keeping the blades moving smoothly as well as extending their life.
Price: A good value for its features
This hedge trimmer ranges from $115 to $150, which is a good value considering that it comes with the rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can be used with Black & Decker’s other gardening tools (so long as they operate on the same voltage). Given that the DeWalt product I tested runs about twice the price and is noticeably heavier, I consider this trimmer a better buy as far as convenience and design.
Competition: Lighter design outweighs higher-end trimmers
As mentioned, I also tested DeWalt’s 40-volt lithium-ion hedge trimmer, which clocks in at 11.9 pounds but is noticeably quieter and more powerful. Despite that, I prefer Black & Decker’s option, as the DeWalt’s bulky weight (which can be a concern for someone like me who’s just over 5 feet tall and on the petite side) outweighs its features.
It’s an efficient trimmer at a great price!
If hand and arm fatigue, battery life, and ease of use are your top concerns, the Black & Decker 40V MAX* Lithium 24 in. Hedge Trimmer is your best bet. Although the motor is less powerful than the comparable 40-volt trimmer by DeWalt, we found that its ergonomic, lightweight design easily outweighed the benefits of the higher-end alternative.
- Product Name 40V MAX* Lithium 24 in. Hedge Trimmer
- Product Brand Black & Decker
- MPN LHT2436
- Price $129.99
- Weight 6.9 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 39.2 x 7.3 x 7.5 in.
- Blade Length 24 in.
- Cutting Strokes/Min 2,400
- Maximum Cutting Capacity ¾ in.
- Warranty 2 years
- What’s Included LHT2436 trimmer, LBXR36 - 40V MAX* lithium-ion battery and one-hour battery charger