TheSassyPlant is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Photo: The Sassy Plant
A corded pole hedge trimmer (electric) enables you to trim hard-to-reach places, often without needing a ladder. Even better, you’ll be able to save a bundle on landscaping services. For most people the Sun Joe 4 Amp Corded Pole Hedge Trimmer (Electric) is the best choice. It has an extra long 21 inch blade to make your trimming more efficient, and at 8.8 lbs it’s less than half the weight of a gas-powered, 2 stroke pole hedge trimmer. And the best part? You also won’t have any messy fuel, fumes or engine maintenance to deal with.
If your goal is perfectly trimmed shrubs in half the time you’ll want to check out the Sun Joe electric pole hedge trimmer. The combination of reach (up to 14 feet overhead), weight (8.8 lbs), blade length (21 inches), and price is unmatched in other trimmers in this category. Compared to battery powered trimmers a corded electric trimmer will always have power and will never need charging. Also, having to deal with a power cord is a very minor inconvenience compared to running out of juice with a battery or running out of gas.
It lacks the extra long blade, longer pole extension and more powerful motor of the 4 amp Sun Joe trimmer mentioned above, but the 3.8 amp Sun Joe corded pole hedge trimmer still packs a punch in a slightly smaller package.
If you’re OK with having a slightly smaller motor, shorter blade and less reach overall the 3.8 amp Sun Joe corded pole trimmer offers most of what the 4.0 amp Sun Joe trimmer above does for around the same price. It all depends on what you value most - saving time with an extra long blade and getting higher reach, or having a slightly lighter trimmer with less reach that will also be slower (meaning you’ll have to hold it up for longer due to cutting less foliage with each pass). With the 3.8 amp model you’ll lack that extra 1 foot of reach, so, you’ll have to use a stepladder or orchard ladder more often for those super high, hard-to-reach branches and leaves. If shaving off 1.2 lbs is your most important consideration then the 3.8 model will give you plenty of bang for your buck.
With a rock-solid 4 amp motor and 21 inch blade the Sun Joe 4 amp corded electric hedge trimmer (extended) is the best option. With an overhead reach of up to 14ft and a telescopic pole almost 8 feet long you’ll be able to reach surprisingly high and get your trimming jobs done efficiently with no messy fuel ups or loud gas engines to worry about.
It lacks the extra long blade, longer pole extension and more powerful motor of the 4 amp Sun Joe trimmer mentioned above, but the 3.8 amp Sun Joe corded electric pole trimmer still packs a punch in a slightly smaller package.
I, Daniel Douglas, wrote the latest version of this guide. In addition to being in charge of The Sassy Plant community of over 10,000 plant lovers (and growing), I am also a gardener and landscape maintenance professional. This has given me the chance to test out a large number of gardening tools with real world experience over many years. You can find me in the Sassy Plant community on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.
If you have a large number of hedges, shrubs and trees that need to be trimmed then you either need to pay for costly landscaping or do it yourself. If you have the budget to hire a landscaper then that’s great, but for everyone else they’ll need an extended hedge trimmer of some sort.
The only alternative to power tools is manual hedge clippers or loppers, so if finding your zen while taking 10X longer to complete the job is your thing then by all means go for it (and enjoy)! It’s much more efficient to use power tools such as a pole hedge trimmer to get the job done. Ideally, you would purchase an extended pole hedge trimmer for those hard to reach areas as it would enable you to trim while staying on the ground for as much of the job as possible.
If you have the ability to hold 8-10 lbs out in front of you for at least 10-15 seconds or more then this product is for you.
Our ideal corded pole hedge trimmer (electric) has the following attributes:
Long reach : a top notch extended pole trimmer (electric) will provide tremendous reach, thereby giving you the ability to trim leaves and branches far away from you. By moving the blade from side to side or up and down you’ll be able to make quick work of any hedge trimming job. With a long enough pole extension you’ll be able to trim while standing on the ground so you won't need a ladder. For those times where you do need to use a ladder your reach will be considerable so you'll be able to stand near the bottom of the ladder where it's more stable.
From our perspective reach is more important than weight. By using a corded extendable hedge trimmer you’re already shaving off a tremendous amount of weight compared to a 2 stroke gas powered pole hedge trimmer, and you’re saving a huge amount of time compared to manual hedge clippers/shears. Put simply, long reach matters.
Long blade: a lengthier blade is important on a corded extendable hedge trimmer (electric) because you’ll be able to trim more hedge per swipe of the blade. Therefore, a longer blade is more efficient, and you’ll be able to get the same job done faster. Some lighter trimmers save weight with a shorter blade, but this makes them slower and less efficient. In other words, with a lighter trimmer you’ll still be holding a device that feels heavy, but for longer. Since you’ll only be able to trim for 10, 15 or 20 seconds at a time you might as well get more of the job done per pass. A long blade enables you to do that.
Lightweight : our ideal corded pole trimmer will be as light as possible without sacrificing power, reach, efficiency and durability. Our pick, the Sun Joe 4.0 amp corded pole hedge trimmer, weighs in at 8.8 lbs (much lighter than the 2 stroke gas trimmers that weigh over 20 lbs). Any extended hedge trimmer you use is going to feel heavy, that’s the nature of industrial power tools. If you aren’t prepared to hold something that weighs 8 - 10 lbs out in front, or above you for 10 - 15 seconds minimum then perhaps doing your own landscaping is not for you. These trimmers will have powerful electric motors on the front of the unit, so you should expect them to feel front heavy. Neck straps are often provided to help take some of the strain off, but again, you should expect your shoulders to burn when you use a tool like this.
Powerful motor: The best corded pole hedge trimmer will have a strong motor enabling the blades to cut through tough leaves and branches from a variety of trees, shrubs and hedges. It’s important to strike a balance between power and weight. All the power in the world is irrelevant if you can't hold it up due to weight. We believe the 4.0 amp motor of the bigger Sun Joe machine provides an ideal balance giving you a lightweight unit that’s extremely powerful and efficient. A significantly bigger motor would be too heavy, and a much smaller motor might not have enough power to cut through the most difficult branches and leaves.
Well-balanced: in an ideal world the best extendable electric hedge trimmer (corded) would be well balanced throughout. Unfortunately this is very difficult to achieve due to the weight discrepancy between the heavy electric motor and blade at the front of the unit and the plastic extendable pole and handle.
In contrast, gas-powered pole hedge trimmers have their blades at the front with the motor at the back. Although more than 2X heavier gas powered pole trimmers are better balanced than corded electric ones. Regardless, weight is weight, and we prefer a unit that’s lighter overall but not as well-balanced.
Durable: an ideal corded pole trimmer (electric) will be made of material that’s both strong and lightweight. In order to keep costs and weight down heavy duty plastic is used for all electric pole hedge trimmers. For normal usage this is more than adequate in terms of durability. I wouldn’t be in a rush to drop it from 20 feet onto concrete though.
Corded: we prefer corded electric pole trimmers compared to other options including: regular electric hedge trimmers (with no extendable pole), 2 stroke gas powered pole hedge trimmers, and cordless, battery-powered pole hedge trimmers. Why? A corded extendable hedge trimmer enables you to efficiently complete large landscape maintenance jobs without dealing with batteries that run out of juice (cordless trimmers) or belching blue smoke (2 stroke gas trimmers). You also never run out of fuel with a corded pole trimmer, so you can get the job done without worrying about fickle batteries, smelly gasoline or dangerous fumes.
The testing of these products comes from our own personal experience using a variety of tree, shrub and hedge trimming solutions including: manual hedge clippers / shears, loppers, pole pruners, 2 stroke gas-powered pole hedge trimmers, corded hedge trimmers (no extension) and extendable electric pole hedge trimmers (corded) over many years. My work in the field as landscape maintenance professional has given me the opportunity to work with all the tools listed above, and more, and this has given me first-hand experience with what works and what doesn’t.
I also personally own, and enjoy using, the 4.0 amp corded pole hedge trimmer (electric) by Sun Joe which is our pick. My personal experience with this unit may bias this article somewhat, but that’s a good thing because my evaluation, of that product at least, is based on real world usage. I have had the opportunity to trim a wide variety of trees, hedges and shrubs over the years.
In my experience hedge trimmers are good for branches up to ¾ of an inch thick. Any thicker than that and you’ll need to use a saw or pole saw.
I’ve tried everything from manual hedge clippers to using a regular hedge trimmer in one hand on the second to top rung of a ladder reaching way forward to trim the top of a hedge or or way above my head to reach up and trim the higher branches. It was definitely a relief to switch to an exteneded pole hedge trimmer as I can get much of the job done for small to medium hedges while standing on the ground which is of course much safer.
A corded pole trimmer requires AC power using an extension cord as opposed to a cordless unit which is powered by 12 volt rechargeable batteries. We don’t like using the battery powered trimmers as they run out of power leaving you high and dry. There are few things more annoying than having a hedge half trimmed and then realizing your battery has run out of juice (and you don’t have a 2nd one charged and ready to go). We prefer the certainty of using 120 volt AC power which is available for free from any outlet around your house.
The 4.0 amp Sun Joe corded pole hedge trimmer (electric) is a powerful tool for trimming trees, hedges and shrubs safely and efficiently. With nearly 8 feet of reach above your arms you’ll be able to hold it vertically above your head and reach up to 14 feet off the ground. Add a ladder and you’ll be able to trim things even higher than 14 feet.
The extra long 21 inch blade has plenty of cutting power and enables you to trim more per pass. It also weighs only 8.8 lbs which is less than half of what a 2 stroke gas powered pole hedge trimmer weighs, so this means you’ll be able to hold it out in front of you for longer.
Do you have trees, shrubs or hedges with relatively thin branches up to ¾ of an inch? If yes, this trimmer will handle them with ease. Any branches thicker than ¾ of an inch will require a different tool such as loppers, a hand saw or a pole saw (for the higher ones).
If you have thin branches or leaves that are beyond your reach with the pole trimmer, even on a ladder, I would recommend using a manual pole trimmer (the one where you pull the rope to make the cut). If you combine your corded pole hedge trimmer with the tools I just mentioned you’ll have a complete solution for DIY landscaping which will enable you to save a fortune on landscaping services. The only thing you won’t be able to handle are the biggest, highest, and most dangerous tree jobs that are best left to professional arborists and tree companies.
Extended pole trimmers of all types are light when you pick them up, but they feel heavy when you’re actually doing a trimming job. That’s because you have to hold them up either above or in front of you thus actively engaging your neck, shoulder, back and arm muscles. Weight is often a common complaint with pole trimmer power tools, and electric pole hedge trimmers are no exception.
Our two picks, the Sun Joe 4.0 amp and 3.8 amp units weigh 8.8 lbs and 7.6 lbs respectively. This may sound light, but try holding 8 pound weights out in front of you for 30-60 seconds. I guarantee you’ll feel the burn. Of course, it’s much less weight than a 20 lb gas pole trimmer, but it’s still an arm burner. What to do? We recommend shearing with the trimmer for 10-15 seconds at a time and then resting. We also recommend that you switch arms and sides frequently so you don’t overuse any muscles.
Given that a corded pole hedge trimmer is a power tool you should expect it to have some weight behind it, and feel solid. You should also expect that the unit will feel front heavy due to the motor being at the front of the machine where the blades are. Gas powered trimmers have their motor at the back of the machine so they feel less front heavy.
I’m always surprised when I see people complaining that an electric extended pole trimmer feels heavy. Of course it will. You should expect it to. Giving a product a low review because it feels heavy is a bit ridiculous in this case. If you can’t handle the physical demands of a hedge trimming job with a pole trimmer that is under 10 lbs then perhaps you should hire a landscaping service to do the work for you.
The manufacturers have made their equipment as lightweight as possible without compromising durability, and the tools they have created are extremely powerful and efficient. For us, the weight of these machines, and their front-heavy nature are minor flaws you should be aware of, but they definitely aren’t deal breakers.
For some, having to use an electric power cord may be considered a flaw. Sure, it might be annoying to have to string out a 100 foot extension cord (or 2 x 50 ft cords), and to deal with the cord when you’re using the trimmer. I contend that this is much less annoying than having a loud gas engine pouring out belching blue smoke, and having to fuel up multiple times for bigger jobs. Corded pole hedge trimmers also do not run out of gas, and you’ll never have to worry about an empty jerry can.
Yes, you’ll have to be mindful of the cord when doing your trimming job. You certainly don't want to shear the cord with your trimmer. With proper cord management this is not likely to happen. I’ve used electric trimmers for years and never had this happen. For cords I recommend 2 x 50 ft, or 3 x 50 ft extension cords. This makes it much easier to untangle a nasty cord as you’re only having to string out a few feet of cord at a time rather than the entire length of a 100 ft cord.
In cases where you have trimming jobs that are many hundreds of feet (e.g. 500 ft) from any electrical outlet you may want to consider a gas or cordless battery powered trimmer instead as it would be impractical to string out that many extension cords.
I personally don’t see the requirement of an electric power cord as a flaw, but some people might, so that’s why it’s mentioned here.
Another issue some people have with electric hedge trimmers (extendable) is their plastic construction. This is done for a few reasons. First, it cuts down weight. An all-metal trimmer would be extremely heavy. Second, it decreases manufacturing costs so companies can provide powerful trimmers at prices that won’t break the bank for the average consumer. And third, it prevents burns as a metal motor housing would get super hot thus increasing the chances of burns. As long as you are careful with your corded pole trimmer and don’t slam it down onto hard surfaces like concrete you'll be fine.
With any power tool reliability can sometimes be an issue, but Sun Joe offers a generous warranty on their products in case they don’t work, and that’s a big reason why we chose them for both of our picks.
From our perspective the pros and advantages of the corded pole hedge trimmers we’ve selected far outweigh the cons and disadvantages, and we encourage you to purchase the one that fits your needs best. If you want to save a few pounds but have less reach and a shorter blade go with the upgrade pick - the 3.8 amp machine. If you can handle 1 lb more weight and want longer pole length with a longer blade for more efficient trimming then go with the 4.0 amp machine that we own (and like using).
Surprisingly there aren’t very many corded pole trimmers on the market right now. The only other one we could find in this category besides our picks is the Earthwise ‘2 in 1', 4.5 amp Corded Pole Hedge Trimmer (Electric). What makes this machine different than our picks is the pole is removable, so you can use the motor and blades as a hand-held hedge trimmer.
The problem with this machine is it weighs 9.7 lbs which is significantly more than our other picks. Sure, the motor is 0.5 amps bigger than the 4.0 amp Sun Joe machine. However, any advantage in terms of power is negated by the weight in our opinion. Regardless, it’s still half the weight of a comparable gas trimmer, so for some people having a convertible machine may be worth it.
Hi, we're Dan & Kat. We love plants and gardening and wanted to share what we've learned along the way with you. The Sassy Plant is a cheeky take on plants, gardening and home. Go here to learn more about us. We hope you enjoy!