Electric Power Tools For Gardening

Electric Hedge Trimmers, Shredders, Grass Trimmers, Chainsaws and Blowers

Tested and reviewed by Fred-in-the-shed

Updated 6th January 2019

On This Page

Lightweight Hedge Trimmers

Heavy Duty Hedge Cutters

Long Reach Hedge Trimmers

Jawsaws and Powered Loppers

Leaf Blowers and Garden Vacs

Electric Lawn Rakes

Mains Powered Grass Trimmers

Garden Shredders




Hedge Trimmer or Hedge Cutter? Is there a difference?

Best Mains Powered Electric Hedge Trimmers

According to me, a Hedge Trimmer is a lighter weight, smaller bladed machine for removing soft green growth from hedges. The Bosch AHS 45-16 is an example since it has a 45cm long blade and cuts up to 16mm thickness.

A Hedge Cutter is a heavier duty, larger bladed and more powerful machine capable of removing the green growth on hedges and is able to cut back into the older woodier material too. The Bosch AHS 70-34 is an example since it has a 70cm long blade and cuts up to 34mm thickness.

 Bosch AHS 70-34 Electric Hedge Cutter, 700 mm Blade Length, 34 mm Tooth Opening

If a low powered hedge trimmer is used to cut woody material it is unlikely it will do it for long as the blades will blunt and wear or the motor or other components may burn out.

Only the largest (36v and up) battery powered hedge trimmers are capable of cutting woody hedge material.

A high powered mains electric hedge cutter can be better than a cheap petrol model, so you cant judge just on power as the size and quality of the blade is crucial.

To add more complication some models have anti-lock clutches and anti-jam, sawing-action features.

If you are buying a mains powered electric hedge trimmer then it is likely that you have a large hedge so go for one with plenty of power and a long blade if you have the strength to hold it. More important is the quality of the blade since this is a machine that is going to take a lot of stick! You can also protect your blades from sticky resin and sap by using a special  Resin Solvent, For Hedge Trimmer Blades  from German company Stihl.

Try to avoid really cheap hedge trimmers, you will most likely be wasting your money as the blades will soon go blunt or the plastic cogs that drive the motor break and turn it into landfill.


Best Mains Electric Hedge Trimmer

Smaller Bosch Hedge Trimmers - Suitable for Light Domestic Trimming

The AHS 50-16 has a powerful motor and decent length blade

 Bosch AHS 50-16 Electric Hedge Cutter, 500 mm Blade Length, 16 mm Tooth Opening

These 3 Bosch models are well made with precision ground blades and tough motors. 16mm blade spacing ensures that they cut even thick stems with ease.

The AHS 45-16 is the entry level trimmer for small hedges.

The AHS 50-16 is slightly longer and more powerful.

The AHS 60 - 16 has a longer, 60cm blade and the same 450w motor as the 50-16.

For the money I think  the Bosch AHS 50-16 is the best deal.

This is a real, no nonsense workhorse that has been in production many years either as Bosch or Qualcast.

Qualcast is now Chinese owned and made (and best avoided)

A good alternative is the excellent Bosch AHS 60-16 which has a very long 60cm  blade and some really good customer reviews.

If you want a normal size, no nonsense reliable hedge trimmer with quality blades at a low price then the Bosch AHS 50-16 is the one I recommend.

Bosch AHS 50-16 Electric Hedge Cutter, 500 mm Blade Length, 16 mm Tooth Opening

Return to top of page


Best Mains Heavy Duty Electric Hedge Cutter

The Bosch AHS 70-34 Pro massacring my thick old Eleagnus

This model was called the Bosch AHS 7000Pro and is the largest Bosch mains electric hedge cutter available.

This machine is truly awesome and will outperform many petrol models. If you need to reduce the height of a mature hedge then this is the tool. You will need to be fairly strong as it is BIG!

It has a 700 watt motor, 70cm blade length with tooth spacing of 34mm to chop the thickest stems.

Weight - 3.9kg, 12m of cable, laser cut diamond ground blades.

Quick-stop blade-brake and high-torque (80Nm) slipping clutch for easy cutting.

Blade tip protector for cutting along walls and paths.

Bosch AHS 70-34 Electric Hedge Cutter, 700 mm Blade Length, 34 mm Tooth Opening


Return to top of page

Long Reach Hedge Trimmers

Long reach hedge trimmers are one tool that may be better off petrol powered as the weight can be kept at the bottom end and not the top where it soon becomes seriously tiring.

The other issue with long reach tools is that you cant see what you are cutting half the time and have to keep stepping back to check. Also you are likely to leave dead trimmings on your hedge and have to get up there anyway to clear them off properly.

Professional gardeners tend not to use the long reach trimmer so much and instead use special Tripod Garden Ladders .

If you want a mains powered long reach trimmer the Ryobi model has been around many years and has a good spec.


 Ryobi RPT4545M Pole Hedge Trimmer with Extension Pole, 450 W - Green/Black

 Henrys Tripod Garden Ladders with built-in Platform by Henchman - 3.6m. Semi (1 Leg) Adjustable 12' .

Return to top of page



Jaw Saws and Powered Loppers

Safer Alternative to a Chainsaw

 Black + Decker GK1000 Alligator Powered Lopper

This unique tool from Black and Decker combines the features of a small chainsaw with the action of loppers.

The result is a very effective pruning tool that is easy to use and most importantly very SAFE.

The Alligator is light enough for me to use from my wheelchair and the clamping jaws and double safety switches make it much safer than any other powered pruning tool.

The Black and Decker Alligator has a 550w motor and weighs 4KG. It will easily cut 4 inch branches.

This tool is fun to use but you still need to take care with it to protect yourself and also make the tool last longer.

My one got slightly abused and a small cog broke. Luckily Black & Decker spares are easily available and the parts were not too expensive.

My old test model was green, the new model is orange in colour but has the same spec.

There was an 18v battery version but it has been discontinued. The nearest thing to it is the 20v Worx Jawsaw that I have not tried yet but looks good and has great reviews from users.


 WORX WG329E.5 20V Cordless JAWSAW Safety Chainsaw with 2Ah Battery Pack

Black + Decker Alligator Chain


Mains Powered Electric Chainsaws

If you want to buy a corded electric chainsaw my recommendation is Bosch - They have a wide range, good performance and can be easily contacted for spares and repair.

The range covers all requirements with no fancy gimmicks and all the features, including tool-less adjustment of the chain on the higher end models.

Another good feature of the Bosch chainsaws is the longevity of the range which means that spares are also easy to obtain.

The Bosch AKE 40 has the ideal spec for a mains powered chainsaw and has been a best seller for many years.

Click here for prices and info for Bosch Electric chainsaws from a Fredshed recommended discount supplier


 Bosch AKE 40 Electric Chainsaw, 40 cm Bar Length

 Bosch 1.1mm Saw Chain for AKE 40/AKE 40-17S / AKE 40-18S / AKE 40-19S Chainsaws

 BLACK+DECKER Replacement Chainsaw Chain, 40 cm

Use above links to find replacement chains for all Bosch and Black & Decker Chainsaws

See my page on cordless chainsaws

Return to top of page

240v Mains Powered Garden Vacuums

Best Garden Vacuums/Leaf Blowers

 Bosch ALS 2500 Garden Blower/ Vacuum

I have tested a lot of mains electric blower vacs that were great at blowing but poor at sucking.

Petrol models have more power but have other issues so I don't normally review petrol machinery on Fredshed. This is because of the constant problems people have starting and maintaining the engines. Parts for the Chinese ones are often impossible to scource.

One important point that I would like to make


After several years of testing I have decided that I am not a big fan of garden vacs. Many are noisy, cover you in dust and are a pain to store. It is possible to suck up stones that trash the blade that is meant to shred the leaves. 

They also work better on blow than suck as wet leaves stick to the ground, this is why you rarely see a contractor using a hand held garden vacuum.

 Contractors use hand held blowers and blow material onto a sheet in a corner. This is more practical and blowers are very simple and reliable machines.

I think that the electric garden vacuum can be described as a triumph of marketing over practicality. To obtain the necessary amount of suck some of them have 3000w motors -which is a seriously heavy item.

However if you are big and strong, like noisy machines and don't mind getting covered in dust please use the link below where you will see a range of them from a reliable Fredshed recommended retailer

click for prices of blowers and garden vacs

Bosch ALS 2500 Garden Vacuum


This is one of the lightest garden vacs and is also a bit of a transformer as you can swap the tubes and bag around depending if you want to blow or suck.

It is well balanced and effectively collects the leaves and shreds them too.

As this type of machine is easily damaged by foreign objects or getting jammed up Bosch have built in a safety cut out mechanism that cuts the motor and saves you wrecking it. Whilst this is a clever feature it is a bit too clever for some owners who don't read the manual and believe the tool has failed when in fact it has just cut out and will start again when it has cooled down.

In fact some early models did have a problem with the cut-out sensitivity which has been resolved and my 2015 test sample works reliably. If you don't have a lot of leaves to collect and want a cheap blower/vac the Von Haus one may be worth a punt. The spec looks good and this Uk based company does honour its warranties and replace faulty items from what I can tell.

Petrol Leaf Blowers

These are a similar weight to the mains electric versions but have more power. If you are confident with starting 2 stroke engines then I would rather recommend a petrol machine. Like the electric ones the budget versions mostly use a second tube that has to be switched over for the vacuuming function.

With the increased power and reducing prices of Li-ion battery powered tools I think petrol equipment will become almost obsolete except for the largest equipment used by contractors.

If you do want a small petrol blower for domestic use the McCullogh 25cc petrol blower vac is well priced and has encouraging reader reviews.


click here for prices and more garden vacs

Return to top of page



Electric Lawn Rakers and Scarifiers

Tested and reviewed by Fred-in-the-shed


Flymo Compact 3400 Lawnraker

My old Black & Decker powered lawn raker (RIP)

To keep your lawn well drained and cleared of "thatch" build up I recommend using a powered lawnraker. (also known as an electric scarifier).

Doing this job by hand on anything other than small areas is for the super-fit, super-skint or totally insane!

Sadly, like grass trimmers there are a lot of poorly designed and badly made lawn scarifiers available.

Here are some of the better ones I have tried and tested for this website over the last 17 years.

Cheapest Lawn Rakers

My Black and Decker GD200GB served me for many years but had a very small box. It has been replaced by the GD300 with a larger 600w motor.

The Flymo Compact 3400 is a bit more expensive but is wider and has a large box. It has a 750w motor, 5 raking heights and comes with a few spare tines. Like the B&D GD300 scarifier it has also been around a long time with no known issues. Both powered rakers use thin wire tines that are easily replaceable and cheap.  These wire tines rake out moss and dead grass but wont aerate the lawn like more expensive scarifiers with the fixed knife type blades.  For easy regular lawn maintenance I like the Flymo 3400 and at 90 ish it is a good deal.

Flymo 750 Watt Lawnraker Compact 3400

 Flymo FLY058 42 Replacement Metal Tines for Compact 340/3400


A good thing to look for is the availability of spare tines.


Tines may bend or break after a lot of use, especially if your lawn is too dry!


More Powerful Lawn Scarifiers

Bosch ALR Electric Lawn Raker, 900 W and Draper 45544 1300w Lawnraker

The Bosch beat the Draper in my test in every way.

If you have a large lawn you will need a more powerful lawn aerator. The budget price 400w ones are not up to the job and will take ages to cover the distance, or burn out under the strain.

Bosch make two 900watt models. One has tines, the other has metal blades that will aerate and rip slots in your turf.

The Bosch ALR900 is the one with tines and the one to get if you just want to remove thatch.

TOP TIP - don't set blades too deep or use on hard dry lawns - this may burn out your motor!


For larger lawns I currently use an AL-KO 1300W electric raker that comes with 2 interchangeable cylinders.

One with wire blades for raking and the other with fixed metal blades for deeper aerating. The Al-KO is extremely effective and is the model I have chosen to keep and use regularly.

AL-KO 1300W Lawnraker - made in Germany

All of the above machines have their pros and cons, A common problem is the limited range of height adjustment and small collection boxes. On average I like the Flymo best - for small to medium lawns.

See different makes and heavy duty lawn scarifiers

 Flymo 750 Watt Lawnraker Compact 3400

 Bosch ALR Electric Lawn Raker, 900 W

Compare price of the Bosch ALR 900


Return to top of page


Best Mains Electric Grass Trimmer?

Cordless grass trimmers tested and reviewed

After testing most of the popular makes of electric trimmer I was not impressed and after getting caught up in the cable thought " cordless is the way to go"

Many were either uncomfortable to use or had ridiculously complicated nylon line dispensers that were very hard to replace.

I know of at least 2 people who became so frustrated that they smashed their trimmers against a wall and threw them away!

Luckily Li-ion batteries have improved the performance of these cordless tools and they are now taking over from mains trimmers as they are easier to use.

Click here for my page on cordless grass trimmers

Return to top of page


Electric Garden Shredders

Garden shredders are one of my favourite tools. I can get rid of tons of waste and produce weed suppressing mulch that will also put the nutrients back in my soil

I have tested the following shredders

AL-KO SP5000 Silent shredder, AL-KO Powerslider2500R , Atco 1800 Quiet shredder, Bosch AXT 180 Rapid Shredder, Bosch AXT200 Rapid Shredder, Bosch AXT2000 HP Silent Shredder, Bosch AXT2000 Rapid ,  Bosch AXT2200 Rapid Shredder ,Bosch AXT2200HP Quiet Shredder , Bosch AXT25D , Bosch AXT 23TC, Black & Decker GA 1600e , Draper 1800w and 2400W Shredders, JCB GSB 1800 , Makita DSH201 , Powerdevil shredder. Ryobi ESR2400. Flymo Pac-a-shred. Wolf Shredder, Viking GE250.

Fredshed readers have also provided good feedback on

Aldi 2500w, Ryobi RGS 1500 Shredder, MTD 115E shredder, Viking GE35L shredder, and Viking GE103.

Click here for my page dedicated to BOSCH GARDEN SHREDDERS

With links to Bosch Shredder parts and repair tips!

Return to top of page




I always wear goggles and gloves when testing garden shredders as thorny branches can get whipped about in your hand or face.

If you use a powered product like a shredder , grass trimmer or hedgetrimmer then please make sure you wear goggles.

It's so easy to damage your eyesight , from a speck of blown dust to a flying thorn.

I use the big Draper goggles and it it is sunny a pair of tinted wrap around glasses.



 Safety Sunglasses with Green Tinted Scratch Resistant Wrap-Around Lenses and No-Slip Grips, UV 400 Protection. Adjustable


If you found my site helpful and would like to make a small donation please use the link below.

Thank you. Fred



click on the shed to return to the homepage








Digging Tools

Forks and Spades

Grass Trimmers

Hedge Trimmers

Hedge Shears

Hoes and Weeding

Lawn Tools



Pruning Tools

New Products





Watering Equipment







Angle Grinders  

Cordless Drills


Multi- Tools (powered)

Pick Axes and Crowbars





LED Bulbs

Solar Garden Lights  


Vacuum Cleaners-cordless


Fred Walden 2018