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Hedge Trimmer vs. Chainsaw: What’s the Difference?

Hedge Trimmer vs. Chainsaw: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to outdoor landscaping, having the right tools for the job is essential. Choosing between a hedge trimmer and a chainsaw can be tricky, as they both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the task at hand. So what’s the difference between a hedge trimmer and a chainsaw? In this article we will explore how each tool works, when best to use them, and which one might be better suited for your gardening needs.

Should I Get A Hedge Trimmer Or Chainsaw?

When deciding whether to buy a hedge trimmer or chainsaw, it’s important to consider the job at hand. Hedge trimmers are ideal for trimming and shaping hedges, bushes, and shrubs into neat, uniform shapes. They can be used to prune trees and even cut small logs. Chainsaws, meanwhile, are designed for larger tasks such as cutting through thick branches, logs, and trees. If you are looking to do some light pruning or just shaping up a few shrubs and bushes, then a hedge trimmer is the tool for you.

Hedge trimmers offer better maneuverability than chainsaws because they’re lightweight and typically have a shorter reach. They’re also quieter and less messy to use, so they’re better suited for small residential yards or gardens. Chainsaws, on the other hand, are heavier and noisier but offer much more power than hedge trimmers. They’re perfect for bigger jobs such as felling trees or cutting firewood. [1]

Hedge Trimmer Vs. Chainsaw

Both a hedge trimmer and a chainsaw are important tools for the homeowner looking to keep his or her yard maintained. But what is the difference between these two pieces of equipment?

Hedge Trimmer Vs. Chainsaw


The first difference between hedge trimmers and chainsaws is their functionality. A hedge trimmer is designed for trimming hedges, bushes, and shrubs. It features a reciprocating blade which allows you to make precise cuts in order to shape and groom your landscaping. Chainsaws, on the other hand, are designed for cutting through larger branches and trees. They use a rotating chain which allows for fast, powerful cuts.


Hedge trimmers and chainsaws are both powerful tools that can help you take care of your landscaping needs. Despite their similarities, the main distinction between them lies in how they are meant to be used. Hedge trimmers are designed for precision work, while chainsaws are better suited to power tasks. Hedge trimmers feature thin blades that quickly and precisely cut through thick vegetation. This makes them ideal for defining edges, shaping bushes and trimming hedges. Chainsaws, on the other hand, feature much heavier blades that can power through tough wood quickly and efficiently. They are best used for cutting large logs and branches or clearing away undergrowth in a garden or forest. In short, hedge trimmers are best for precision work while chainsaws are better suited to power tasks.


The major difference between a hedge trimmer and a chainsaw is the power source. A hedge trimmer is powered by an electric motor that requires either battery or mains power, while a chainsaw is typically gas-powered. For homeowners who have access to electrical outlets outside their homes for powering tools, an electric hedge trimmer would be the best choice. For those who do not, a chainsaw may be better suited for their needs as it does not require any type of external power source.


Hedge trimmers and chainsaws differ significantly in terms of user-friendliness. Hedge trimmers are generally easier to use than chainsaws and require less physical strength and skill. They are lightweight, have a short handle, and operate with minimal vibration. In addition, they can be used for trimming hedges at any height, making them an excellent choice for users of all sizes. Chainsaws, on the other hand, require more physical strength and skill to operate safely and effectively. They are heavier than hedge trimmers and feature a longer handle that is prone to vibration. Furthermore, chainsaws can be dangerous if used incorrectly or by inexperienced users, so they should be operated with caution. In terms of maintenance and upkeep, hedge trimmers require less maintenance than chainsaws. They only need to be cleaned and sharpened periodically. Chainsaws, however, must be regularly serviced, including the lubrication and sharpening of their blades. This increased maintenance can make them more difficult to use for those without experience in the proper upkeep of a chainsaw.



When considering the safety of using a hedge trimmer or chainsaw, it is important to understand their differences. Chainsaws are powerful and dangerous tools that require special caution and training before use. They feature sharp blades that can cause serious injury if not used properly. Hedge trimmers, on the other hand, have fewer potential hazards due to their smaller size and lower power. However, they can still cause injury if mishandled or used incorrectly. It is important to wear protective gear when operating any type of power tool. For chainsaws, this includes safety glasses, hearing protection, a hard hat, steel-toed boots, and chaps made of leather or Kevlar.

For hedge trimmers, long pants and heavy-duty gloves are recommended to protect the hands and legs from the blades. It is also important to read the instructions carefully before using either tool and be mindful of proper maintenance procedures. Both tools should be regularly inspected for signs of damage or wear that could cause injuries during use. If any damage is detected, it should be repaired or the tool replaced before use. [2]

Can I Use A Chainsaw As A Hedge Trimmer?

No, you cannot use a chainsaw as a hedge trimmer. Although both tools can be used to cut wood and foliage, the blades are designed with different purposes in mind. Hedge trimmers have specially-designed cutting blades that create precise cuts for shaping shrubs and hedges. They also feature an ergonomic design, allowing them to be used for extended periods of time.

In contrast, chainsaws are optimized to swiftly and economically cut through wood and foliage.

Chainsaws come with a variety of blades that allow them to handle different types of materials, but they are not designed to be used as hedge trimmers. The blades of chainsaws are much sharper than those of hedge trimmers, making them unsafe for shaping shrubs and hedges. Additionally, the vibrations from a chainsaw can cause damage to smaller plants and foliage. [3]

Can You Use A Hedge Trimmer To Cut Branches?

Absolutely not, a hedge trimmer is absolutely not the recommended tool for trimming branches. Hedge trimmers are designed specifically for trimming hedges and shrubs with their long blades. The blades on hedge trimmers are more lightweight than those of chainsaws and have much less power behind them, making them unsuitable for cutting through thick branches. Furthermore, the blades of hedge trimmers are not as sharpened compared to those of chainsaws and thus won’t be able to cut through thick materials. The correct tool is key to any job; hedge trimmers should only be employed when you need to groom hedges and shrubs. A chainsaw should be used for cutting branches or logs. [4]

Can You Use A Hedge Trimmer To Cut Branches?


Can a chainsaw be used as a hedger?

No, a chainsaw is not suitable for use as a hedger. While it may work to trim small bushes and trees, the blade of a chainsaw is too thick and the motor too powerful for efficient hedge trimming. A hedge trimmer has thinner blades and is designed to be lightweight and easy to maneuver around the edges of hedges and shrubs. A chainsaw also has a much higher risk of causing serious injury if mishandled. It is advisable to use a hedge trimmer for all trimming and pruning tasks around the home.

What is the difference between a hedge cutter and a hedge trimmer?

A hedge trimmer and a chainsaw are both tools used to cut and trim hedges, shrubs, trees and other vegetation. However, there are some major differences between the two tools which determine when each is best suited for use. The key contrast between a hedge trimmer and chainsaw is their distinct cutting abilities. A hedge trimmer is the perfect tool for keeping your hedges and shrubs tidy, as it can easily cut through any branch or twig that’s small to medium-sized. The blades of a hedge trimmer are typically very sharp on both sides, allowing for precise and even cuts with minimal effort. They also typically have a blade guard – a protective cover that keeps your hands away from the blades- for added safety.

In contrast, a chainsaw is intended to tackle more ambitious tasks such as sawing through thicker branches and trees. Chainsaws are designed with a more robust motor than hedge trimmers, enabling them to effortlessly dismember thicker material. Boasting an array of small, sharp teeth, the blade of a chainsaw is expertly crafted to efficiently cut through tough materials with ease.

What is a hedge trimmer used for?

A hedge trimmer is a tool that is used to trim, shape and maintain shrubs, hedges and trees. It has a long handle with two blades on the end that rotate in opposite directions. These unique blades are precision-crafted to easily slice through even the toughest of branches without causing any damage. Hedge trimmers can also be used for light pruning of woody plants, such as rose bushes and fruit trees. Also, some models are equipped with telescoping handles that can be extended for greater reach in large hedges and shrubs.

What is a hedge trimmer used for?

Can hedge trimmer cut thick branches?

Absolutely not, one should never attempt to use hedge trimmers for cutting large branches. Hedge trimmers are designed to trim small twigs and branches up to one inch in diameter. If you need to cut thicker branches, you’ll need a chainsaw. Chainsaws are more powerful and have blades that can handle larger pieces of wood. They are also better suited for making precise cuts, so they are ideal for tree pruning and other forestry tasks. Chainsaws are also more dangerous, however, so it’s important to take safety precautions when using one. Be sure to use all the protective gear recommended by the manufacturer and never attempt to cut a branch that is too thick for your chainsaw.

Can I use a hedge trimmer to cut branches?

No, a hedge trimmer is not designed to cut branches or logs. It has a small blade that is designed to safely trim hedges and shrubs. The blade on a hedge trimmer is usually less than two inches wide. On the other hand, a chainsaw can be used to cut through branches up to several inches in diameter. Chainsaws have a much larger and more powerful blade that is designed for thicker material. It is not recommended to use a hedge trimmer to cut branches as it can be dangerous and may damage the machine. However, when it comes to maintaining hedges, a hedge trimmer is the ideal choice. The smaller blade is able to precision-cut branches without damaging the surrounding foliage or plants. If you are looking for a tool that can handle larger branches, then a chainsaw might be the better choice. Both tools have their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that best fits your needs.

What is the best tool to cut hedges?

The best tool to use when cutting hedges depends on the nature of the task. A hedge trimmer is a great choice for shaping shrubs and creating geometric patterns, while a chainsaw is better suited for thicker branches or larger limbs. Hedge trimmers are designed with shorter blades that can easily reach tight spots between plants and provide more precise cuts. Chainsaws, on the other hand, have longer blades and can handle tougher jobs like cutting through thicker branches or larger limbs.

What can chainsaws not cut through?

Chainsaws are powerful tools and can cut through some tough materials, but there are certain things that they cannot cut. They are not able to effectively cut long pieces of plastic or metal nor are they able to make precise cuts in small objects. They also cannot be used for intricate detailing jobs. In these cases, a hedge trimmer would be the better option as it is designed for precision cutting and shaping.

Can chainsaws cut through dirt?

No, chainsaws are not designed to cut through dirt. Chainsaws are mainly used to cut wood, although some can be used to cut metal too. The rotating chain on a chainsaw is made of metal and is sharp enough to easily slice through a log or tree branch in seconds. However, because the chain has such sharp teeth it will dull quickly if used to cut dirt or other materials. For this reason, chainsaws should not be used to cut through dirt or any material other than wood.

Can chainsaws cut through dirt?

What are the three types of hedge trimmers?

Hedge trimmers are available in three main types: electric, cordless, and gas. Electric hedge trimmers run on electricity from an outlet and provide steady power while trimming. They’re usually lightweight and easy to maneuver as they don’t require a lot of strength to use. However, they have limited range as you need to remain close to a power source. Cordless hedge trimmers are powered by battery packs and offer more convenience and range than electric models. They’re much quieter and easier to use, but their run time is limited depending on the type of battery used. Gas-powered hedge trimmers have the longest runtime and most power but tend to be heavier and louder. They also come with a higher price tag, require periodic maintenance, and emit more emissions than the other two types. No matter which type of hedge trimmer you choose, they all offer an efficient way to trim your hedges and keep them looking their best. While they may not have the same power as a chainsaw, they are great for small to medium-sized hedges or bushes. With the right maintenance, you can keep your hedge trimmer running smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

Useful Video: Hedge Trimmer vs Chainsaw


In summary, hedge trimmers are lightweight tools used to trim and prune hedges, while chainsaws are heavy-duty tools designed for cutting trees and larger branches. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the differences between them before choosing which one best suits your needs. Hedge trimmers can be used for lighter trimming and pruning, while chainsaws are used for heavier-duty cutting tasks. Careful consideration of the task at hand should help you determine which tool is most suitable for your needs.

In addition to their differences in use and power, hedge trimmers and chainsaws differ in cost, maintenance requirements, noise level and weight. Consider all of these factors before making a purchase decision. With careful consideration, you can choose the best tool for your needs and get the job done efficiently and effectively.


  1. https://www.gardentoolexpert.com/chainsaw-vs-hedge-trimmer-tips-from-a-professional/
  2. https://backyardclub.org/hedge-trimmer-vs-chainsaw/
  3. https://handymansworld.net/chainsaw-vs-hedge-trimmer/
  4. https://justchainsaws.com/key-differences-chainsaw-hedge-trimmer/