What We Like
Smooth, powerful blade
Quieter than other trimmers
What We Don't Like
Heavier than other hedge trimmers
22-inch blade’s reach isn’t as long as competitors
Cordless electric hedge trimmers are ideal for gardeners who are looking for an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to gas-powered maintenance tools. Battery-operated options such as the DeWalt 40V MAX* XR 22” Cordless Hedge Trimmer are especially handy when the job calls for maintaining a good amount of hedges and shrubs. I tested this tool at my Los Angeles home on ficus hedge trees, African irises, and rosemary bushes to see how well its dual-action blades and battery held up during gardening sessions that lasted from 30 minutes to about an hour. Keep reading to find out how it fared, and whether it’s a trimmer you should consider buying.
Performance: A smooth and relatively quiet blade
Upon first use, this DeWalt hedge trimmer felt well-made and powerful. The 22-inch dual blades are made of laser-cut steel, which easily sliced through my rosemary hedges as well as woodier branches that were about a half-inch thick. With an output of 3,100 strokes per minute, the trimmer left clean, straight cuts on the hedges that line the perimeter of my front yard, so I imagine that this tool is also ideal for gardeners who need to efficiently cover plenty of ground as well as large topiary trees and other plants that require a well-manicured look.
The steel rust-proof blades are good at withstanding the elements.
For the purpose of testing the product on a variety of plants, I also used the DeWalt trimmer to cut the top and side leaves of African irises. Though typically I’d use garden pruners, as the long leaves don’t require as much power to maintain, I found that the hedge trimmer’s blades did leave a clean cut on the taller stalks and thicker parts of the leaves.
Design: Durable, but heavy
At 11.9 pounds, the trimmer gave me quite the arm workout, and I could feel its weight beginning to take a toll within a minute of my task. That being said, it wasn’t heavy enough to deter me from the task at hand, but those who fatigue easily or don’t use heavy-duty gardening tools on a regular basis may get weary after five minutes of continuous use.
As someone who is just over 5 feet tall with a petite build, the trimmer’s bulkier design and the 22-inch blade made it a challenge to lift up in order to reach taller branches. When compared to the 7-pound Black & Decker model that I also tested, the DeWalt trimmer was less favorable in situations when a ladder might be needed to access landscaping.
The trimmer’s bulkier design and the 22-inch blade made it a challenge to lift up in order to reach taller branches.
Despite the weight, the trimmer still felt evenly balanced and fairly comfortable to hold, thanks to a sturdy wraparound handle that makes it convenient to tackle shrubs and trees from a variety of angles. The push-down safety lock is also easy to operate, and the durable Xenoy body gives me the feeling that if the trimmer were to be dropped, it would have no issues withstanding the impact.
Another plus? The steel rust-proof blades are good at withstanding the elements. While I don’t recommend forgetting the trimmer outside in the pouring rain (it is an electric tool, after all), I did leave it out in a covered outdoor area for about a week during light showers to test the trimmer’s durability in wet weather. Compared to the Black & Decker (which did show some rusting), the DeWalt trimmer had no signs of rust.
Battery Life: It’ll run longer than you can
I found that this trimmer fared well in stop-and-go use over the course of about an hour—more than enough time for an average yard maintenance session. I also allowed it to sit uncharged overnight and resumed using it the following day and found that the trimmer still had enough juice left for another 20 minutes.
The battery’s charge indicator allowed me to estimate about how much time I had left to get the trimming job done.
All in all, I’d say the battery lasted for more or less 60 minutes (DeWalt claims a 70-minute battery life). In fact, with the weight, I found that I needed to take a break long before the trimmer slowed down.
Another convenient feature is the battery’s charge indicator, which allowed me to estimate about how much time I had left to get the trimming job done.
Noise Level: A quieter option to other trimmers
Compared to Black & Decker’s trimmer with similar specs, I found that DeWalt’s model was noticeably quieter. (I didn’t feel the need to wear any noise-canceling earmuffs, either.) The low noise level is especially convenient if you’re a professional gardener who’s concerned about disturbing the peace around clients or in other settings where you prefer to keep sound to a minimum.
Price: The smoother, sturdier blade comes at a price
While the MSRP is $299, the DeWalt 40-volt hedge trimmer is typically priced at $200—which is still more expensive than other cordless dual-blade tools with similar capabilities that are in the $100 range. What’s worth noting is that the battery is included with the tool, as some retailers sell the components separately. If you already own other DeWalt products that also use a 40-volt lithium-ion battery, the price might be a good value considering that you’ll get a back-up battery in addition to the trimmer.
Competition: Heaviness doesn’t make up for more powerful, quiet blades
As mentioned, the DeWalt hedge trimmer is much heavier than the Black & Decker 40V MAX* Lithium 24 in. Hedge Trimmer I tested, which has a 24-inch dual-action blade and a 40-volt lithium-ion battery. While DeWalt’s blades are noticeably more powerful and quieter, they’re still two inches shorter than the competition.
Those seeking a higher-end option should know that the trade-off comes in the form of a nearly 12-pound tool, which is much heavier than many of the other comparable options on the market. However, if you’re up for the bicep and forearm workout, the DeWalt trimmer is a good way to efficiently cut through woody plants.
Get it if you can wield it.
If you’re seeking a powerful, sturdy trimmer that can cut through thick branches up to ¾-inch in diameter and aren’t concerned with a heavier tool, then the DeWalt will certainly deliver. While ergonomic, sturdy, and powerful, the bulky trimmer might not be ideal for those who have fatigue issues or suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or other painful conditions.
- Product Name 40V MAX* XR 22” Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- Product Brand DeWalt
- SKU 885911377652
- Price $299.00
- Weight 11.9 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 44.9 x 9.2 x 9.3 in.
- Blade Length 22 in.
- Cutting Strokes/Minute 3,100
- Maximum Cutting Capacity ¾ in.
- Watt Hours 160
- Includes DeWalt DCHT860M1 40V MAX 4.0 Ah Lithium-Ion Hedge Trimmer, battery charger
- Warranty: 3 years, limited