Electric hedge trimmer advice

Hi all,
I need to purchase a hedge trimmer. I have the manual kind ("giant shears") but am discovering that I have too many bushes/too little time to keep up with this kind. Having decided to get an electric hedge trimmer, I went online to read up and, of course, discovered that there are a zillion makes and models and a wide price range.
What do you think is important to look for in an electric hedge trimmer? Do you have a model you would recommend? I have a mix of shrubs, including boxwood, yews, euonymous, spreading juniper, etc. All are short, "edge of the walkway" shrubs, i.e., I'm not maintaining a tall privacy hedge or anything (won't be using the trimmer on a ladder or overhead).
All advice appreciated -- thanks in advance!
Jo Ann
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" snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com" wrote:

For an electric one the cheap Black & Decker ones do fine. Be sure to get a supply of cheap short extension cords to use at the trimmer end for all the times you cut through the cord. You can use a good extension cord for the rest of the length. Also get a few of those snap on cord locks to keep the sections from unplugging as you drag them through the yard. The gas trimmers are a lot more expensive but don't have these problems.
W.P.
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Pete C. wrote:

Have a small B&D that I keep at my mom's house -- 13" I believe. It has worked fine for 10 years. My mom kept cutting through the cords, so make sure as Pete mentioned that you have cheap, easy replacements up near where the blade is in the event that you also have such problems. Replacing the OEM that "locks" on the trimmer itself is expensive.
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wrote:

I had that trouble (sometimes every few seconds), and got a cord that has a locking device on it. This device uses the holes in prongs. I got the cord at Wal-Mart (it was a long green one).

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Mark Lloyd
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I recommend considering a battery operated model. I have a Black&Decker 18V battery operated one (part of a set that included a string trimmer and leaf blower. I love it.
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I have 3 hedge trimmers - 2 electric and 1 gas. My wife will only use the electrics because the gas is too heavy.
#1 - Craftsman 22" electric - fine for light stuff but the notches are not wide enough for some of the older-growth branches. Still works good. #2 - B/D Hedgehog 18" electric - great trimmer with wider notches to handle the 1/2-3/4" branches, etc. Has a cord holder loop to prevent plug pullout. She uses either one of these. #3 - Kawasaki 30" gas - still larger notches and plenty of power; commercial grade. Able to vandalize a bunch of hedge in a short period of time. We have dwarf hollies, tall hollies (Nelly Stevens), crepe myrtle (tree and bush varieties) as well as barberry shrubs that are low. Works great and starts easily.
I like the Hedgehogs for general use. If I had fewer shrubs, it would be enough.
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On Tue, 13 Jun 2006 20:44:12 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

Batteries tend to go bad when not used enough.
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Mark Lloyd wrote:

Today's batteries are a little different. They no longer need to be run down from time to time. The memory effect is a thing of the past. They do need to be kept charged. The set I got had a three station charger for mounting on the wall keeping all three batteries charged. They are all over three years old and I have not noticed any decrease in capacity.
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On Wed, 14 Jun 2006 00:28:44 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

How often are you using them? That would make a difference.
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Mark Lloyd wrote:

Batteries are rotated though all three tools. I would guess they get "used" on the average about once a week 6 months a year (that would be per battery), and little or no use the other 6 months.
Back in the 70's and later I was in retail photography when nicads first were coming into common consumer usage. I especially remember the Polaroid SX-70 and it's electronic flash. The most common user of the SX-70 were older people who used it very seldom, but kept the batter charged. Back then those batteries suffered greatly from the memory effect and that kind of usage was a real problem. I got rather good a bringing them back to life.
Later the batteries and chargers improved and the memory effect was greatly reduced. Today's Nicads as well as the newer chemistry batteries and chargers are much better.
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Sums up my experience with batteries also...My trimmer is older then 3 years and its not a GOOD one either...cheap sears 9 v
Bob G.
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I have BOTH an electric and a smaller 9 V battery powered trimmer.... Electric is of course much better BUT honestly I am in my 60's now and Retired so I do NOT have to do all the bushes in one day...
So I use the Battery Powered one much more then the electric...NO CORDS to haul around (more work doing that then trimming the hedge really) ...downside is I can not do it all in one day.... No big deal in my case BUT it is a lot easier to just grab an go with the Battery Powered trimmer...I should just buy a 2nd battery but have never gotten around to it in the 4-5 years I have owned it...
Like it well enough that I picked up an 18 V Battery leaf blower to keep the area around the swimming pool clean... again just so much easier to use then hauling out electric cords..so much so in fact that I may decide to use either the trimmer or the blower on a moments notice..not even planning to "do a job"... Bob G.
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