Hedge Trimmer vs. Chainsaw: What and How to Choose?

Hedge trimmer and chainsaw are two important gardening tools. Here's a discussion of their differences and which device to choose between them.
Last updatedLast updated: June 17, 2022
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Keeping the garden in perfect shape takes commitment, skill, and the right tools. While there is an assortment of tools to choose from, the hedge trimmer and chainsaw often make the top of the list. So why do you need the two devices? Usually, the hedge trimmer and chainsaw help cut or clean the various plants and materials to keep the garden or the site in the required condition.

If the two tools are new to you, choosing between them for a particular job may be an uphill task, mostly because they almost share some characteristics. However, you must use the right tool if the goal is the absolute best results in the garden and to ensure your safety and that of others. We go deeper into the hedge trimmer vs. chainsaw discussion to help you better understand the two.

How does a hedge trimmer work?

While a hedge trimmer may resemble a chainsaw, its functionality differs. If you take a closer look, you’ll notice that the hedge trimmer has blades in place of chains. The hedge trimmer does quick work trimming the bushes and the hedge to leave them looking immaculate and presentable. Usually, the device has two metal shafts extending from the body, and each blade has protruding teeth. The shafts connect to the electric motor to oscillate backward and forwards swiftly to create a cutting action. Some hedge trimmers will have one blade moving while the other is stationary, and there are also those with both blades moving for better action and reduced vibration.

How does a chainsaw work?

Unlike the hedge trimmer that focuses entirely on the light vegetation and bushes, the chainsaw cuts down thicker branches Trusted Source Chain Saw Tasks and Techniques When limbing on top of a log, right-handed sawyers should limb the right side out to the top before turning around and limbing the other side on their way back. Another option is to limb a tree out in sections. It is not advisable for a right-handed sawyer to limb on the left side (or for a left-handed sawyer to limb on the right side). Crossing over when limbing could result in an injury. www.fs.fed.us and stems. The chainsaw is not designed for trimming tasks, and using it as such would make your work harder. The chainsaw has two main parts: a chain with an inbuilt saw blade wrapped around the guide bar and the engine. An electric motor may replace this engine if you opt for the electric or battery-powered chainsaw. Usually, the chain runs around the gear wheels or sprockets that make the movement of the chain possible.

How to choose?

Choosing between a hedge trimmer and a chainsaw may not be as clear-cut as some people think, especially for those using the tools for the first time – there is a first for everything. Your choice will depend on, among various factors, the following.

Power

Hedge Trimmer vs. Chainsaw: What and How to Choose?

The power potential of chainsaws is much more than that of hedge trimmers, and it’s quite understandable.

The chainsaw deals with bigger branches and stems that you cannot use the hedge trimmer – more power translates to the better cutting of thick materials. While hedge trimmers are less powerful, they are perfect for the task. Typically, electric hedge trimmers are either corded or cordless. Corded trimmers require a connection to an outlet. While this connection provides consistent power, it has its shortcomings. The range you can trim your bush can sometimes be limited. BLACK+DECKER is a popular model among users as it is cordless and therefore portable. You can use it in any part of the garden, no matter the range. However, you need to keep the device charged at all times before using it. Some models may require a battery replacement after a period.

Cutting

Your choice of a tool also depends on whatever you’ll be using to cut. Do you need to keep the perimeter hedge looking nice and presentable, or do you have trees that you need to cut down? Hedge trimmers are light-duty and ergonomic cutters and ideal for hedges and light bushes, while chainsaws are more heavyweight. Chainsaws cut through bigger stems.

Hedge trimmers utilize two blades, with teeth on both sides of each blade for cutting. The blades are either single or double action.

Single action blades normally have one blade moving while the other is stationary to create a scissor-cutting action. On the other hand, the double-action blades have both blades moving. Hedge trimmers can also be categorized as either residential, with smaller teeth gaps, or commercial with bigger gaps. The residential trimmers are for small branches and other light vegetation material. Commercial trimmers have bigger gaps to accommodate bigger branches. In contrast, Chainsaws have a much more powerful motor or engine, such as the gas-powered Husqvarna 24 Inch 460 Rancher, which according to most reviews, cuts through thick branches and stems with ease.

Use in a garden

While you’re free to use the chainsaw on your hedge, you shouldn’t expect clean and precise results. In addition, you’ll likely get tired quicker, and the task may not complete faster. The cordless chainsaw is better at cutting hard materials and trees. Using it on the bush and hedge is overkill. You cannot also use the hedge trimmer to cut big branches and stems. Doing so would take time, and you may end up with a broken machine.

Price

Some people will need the two devices for the various functions in the garden. If the price is a big factor, you might want to start with a hedge trimmer as it is much more affordable than a chainsaw. Keep in mind that going for the cheapest model of either the hedge trimmer or the chainsaw in the market is no good. Cheap is often not the best, and it ends up costing you more through maintenance and replacements.

Ease of use

You cannot use the chainsaw for trimming your perimeter hedge because it would be hard to maneuver to get the best results. The hedge trimmer is lighter and easier to use. Its thinner blades and lightweight design allow it to make precise cuts on the hedge – a chainsaw will struggle here.

On the other hand, the chainsaw is easier to use when cutting logs and big branches. It has a broad blade, and together with the additional weight, you’re able to cut through thick stems.

Safety

The hedge trimmer and the chainsaw have sharp parts that can do some serious damage to body parts. As a result, it’s important to consider the various safety features that each has. At a minimum, the hedge trimmers should have blade guards and auxiliary handles. Another important feature is the lock button that prevents accidental starts. That means the trimmer will not start unless you press two different buttons with both hands. Some models have a blade brake that stops the blade almost immediately when releasing the trigger. Take safety measures Trusted Source Chapter 6 - Chain Saw Safety | College of Agricultural Sciences The principal danger in chainsaw use is getting injured by the saw blade. It is important to realize that the modern chainsaw cuts through material very quickly, and as it breaks through it can cause serious injury. Wearing protective gear will safeguard you from cutting injuries. Because of the inherent dangers and the potential for serious injury working alone should be avoided. agsci.oregonstate.edu with your chainsaw. For example, watch out for kickbacks when the chain gets stuck inside the wood and the device flings back towards you.

Final thoughts

The hedge trimmer and chainsaw are important and should be in every gardener’s shed when it comes to gardening tools. Each has its functions that cannot interchange with the other. You cannot pick for the hedge trimmer to cut trees the same way you cannot use a chainsaw to keep the hedge and bushes in shape. Typically, the solution to the hedge trimmer vs. chainsaw question is down to the use.

References

1.
Chain Saw Tasks and Techniques
When limbing on top of a log, right-handed sawyers should limb the right side out to the top before turning around and limbing the other side on their way back. Another option is to limb a tree out in sections. It is not advisable for a right-handed sawyer to limb on the left side (or for a left-handed sawyer to limb on the right side). Crossing over when limbing could result in an injury.
2.
Chapter 6 - Chain Saw Safety | College of Agricultural Sciences
The principal danger in chainsaw use is getting injured by the saw blade. It is important to realize that the modern chainsaw cuts through material very quickly, and as it breaks through it can cause serious injury. Wearing protective gear will safeguard you from cutting injuries. Because of the inherent dangers and the potential for serious injury working alone should be avoided.
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