Greenworks 40V G-Max (22262) Cordless Hedge Trimmer: Product Review
A hedge trimmer with plenty of power that gets the job done right the first time
Available on Amazon
This review covers the Greenworks 40V G-Max Cordless Hedge Trimmer, designed for the homeowner and DIYer. Greenworks has several lines of cordless electric garden products, all categorized by voltage. Within the Greenworks array of hedge trimmers, the 22262 is a model with basic features, aimed at customers who don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. (Users who require more specialized features, such as an extension handle and pivoting head, should consider the Greenworks 40V 20” cordless pole hedge trimmer, which also comes in a 24V version, instead of or in addition to the 22262.)
|Run Time (2AH) battery||Approx. 50 mins|
|Charge Time to Full||Approx. 60 mins|
|Noise Level||78dB at 5′|
|40V G-Max battery||fits 25+ other Greenworks products|
|Multiple safety features||sheath, lock-out button, safety guard, etc.|
BATTERY AND CHARGER
The unit comes packaged with a 2Ah (Amp hour) battery and charger. The charger can be wall mounted, which is nice if you have limited counter space in your garage or work area.
You can check how much charge is left by pressing a button on the battery. The number of lights that illuminate (out of 4) corresponds to the percent of battery power left (25, 50, 75, 100%).
See our FAQs About Li-Ion Batteries for more details on use and care of these batteries.
ADVANTAGES of a Cordless Hedge Trimmer
For readers who have never before owned a cordless electric hedge trimmer, I’ll enumerate a few of the advantages.
You can say goodbye to fussing with fuel and oil, there’s nothing to leak if the tool rolls over on its side in the back of your vehicle, there’s no exhaust to make you lightheaded after an hour of use, and there’s no pull start to stress your rotator cuff. Battery power means you aren’t constrained by the availability of a functional power outlet nearby, and you can’t accidentally cut the cord. For the vast majority of homeowners doing yard work that doesn’t require heavy-duty equipment, cordless electric makes much more sense than gas-powered tools.
According to Greenworks, this model of hedge trimmer produces up to 60% less noise and vibration than comparable gasoline driven products, and is up to 60% lighter.
BATTERY RUN TIME
The principal limitation of battery-powered tools is run time. Greenworks states that a fully charged 2Ah battery (the one that comes packaged with the trimmer) should give approximately 50 minutes of continuous operation on this tool. This sounds short, but you have to remember that many jobs require stopping regularly in order to clear away cut material before continuing. Since the tool stops each time the trigger is released (both for safety and conservation of charge), an hour of continuous operation translates into a functional run time that’s significantly longer.
Over the course of an entire growing season I used the Greenworks 40V G-Max Cordless Hedge Trimmer for long stretches and never ran out of charge, so I doubt if many people in the target market for this particular hedge trimmer will find run time a real restriction. In fact, I just used it for an all-day job (cutting back an entire hillside of catmint) without having to recharge the battery. For the occasional really big job that has to get done fast, simply having a second battery on hand so you can have one charging while the other is being used is an easy and obvious fix.
I have not literally measured the time it takes to charge the battery—unlike chargers for some tools, this charger doesn’t emit an audible tone when charging is complete. I also never ran it down completely but opted to put the battery on to charge when I broke for lunch after a morning’s work, and I always found it fully charged within half an hour. The very first charge out of the box seemed to take longer—perhaps an hour—and that matches what Greenworks specs.
Snapping the battery into the charger and the trimmer is easy enough—push firmly until it clicks— but getting it off requires a little effort. It’s pretty standard—you press a latch to release the battery and then pull while holding the charger or trimmer stationary. In the latter case, it’s easiest if you turn the trimmer upside down and rest it on a secure, flat surface. I recommend putting the blade sheath on while doing this in order to avoid harm should you somehow inadvertently start the trimmer while trying to remove the battery. That never happened to me, but better safe than sorry—I am extremely vigilant around tools that can do a lot of damage very quickly.
QUIET AND LIGHTWEIGHT
One very pleasant feature of the Greenworks 40V G-Max Cordless Hedge Trimmer is that it’s so lightweight it caused me almost no arm muscle fatigue even after long use, and it is surprisingly quiet. That said, you should still wear hearing protection when using it. Greenworks specs the trimmer at 78 dB at 5 feet. For the user, who presumably holds the trimmer at a distance of about 2 feet, that’s about 86 dB—comparable to the noise level of a blender or a loud vacuum cleaner.
USEFUL IN A VARIETY OF APPLICATIONS
I garden for a living, and for this review I used the trimmer for a variety of tasks on several client properties, where it definitely got a “real-world” workout. I used it to trim a number of small shrubs including boxwood and spirea, as well as making a first pruning pass on Hydrangea paniculata, a common ornamental shrub that can grow as much as three feet per season and thus needs to have a lot of material removed from it each year. The current year’s wood is soft and not too thick and is easily handled by the Greenworks 40V G-Max Cordless Hedge Trimmer —a perfect application. On that hydrangea I’ll make a second manual pass with hand pruners to clean up all the cuts and make more careful pruning decisions, but removing 80% of the material or more in just a few minutes is a substantial savings of time and muscle fatigue compared to doing the job with manual hedge clippers.
With less muscle fatigue, this hedge trimmer would likely do well in the hands of someone with arthritis. The only caveat is the pushing and holding down of the safety switch (which takes some thumb strength). In these cases where bad hand arthritis is a problem, then the Greenworks 40 V G-Max (22262) Cordless Hedge Trimmer may be outside the bounds of these individuals. But for me the hedge trimmer was a delight to use and I had no trouble handling it.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT WHEN PRUNING SHRUBS AND TREES
On evergreen shrubs, such as boxwood, electric trimmers make a rough cut that bruises leaves, resulting in browned edges that will be visible for as long as it takes new growth to conceal them. This trimmer is no exception, and my preference will always be to trim those shrubs with hand pruners. Gardeners for whom this isn’t an issue will find that this trimmer is just fine for that job, but they may not want to use it for trimming evergreens late in the year when plants are going dormant (at least at northern latitudes) and won’t be putting out new foliage for many months.
Does A GREAT JOB CUTTING BACK MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF PLANTS
I was surprised at how much I came to rely on the Greenworks 40V G-Max Cordless Hedge Trimmer for cutting back a variety of perennials in autumn. As you might expect, it works best on plants whose stems have a low moisture content and are not too thick. The more upright and rigid the plant, the more completely the tool will be able to trim it. So, for instance, it worked well on a large stand of asparagus, although I did have to manually cut any stems larger in diameter than about one inch. It worked like a charm on tall maiden grasses, astilbes, many types of aster, and a large stand of purple coneflower, in addition to many other perennials.
SHARPENING THE BLADES CAN BE DONE BY YOU OR A GREENWORKS DEALER
I asked the manufacturer about care and sharpening of the reciprocating blades since this information isn’t covered in the manual. The company’s instructions are as follows:
- Using a 200mm flat file, file each beveled blade surface in the direction of the cutting edge. Ensure that the file is not in contact with the blade when pulling back upward or the blade will become blunt/worn down.
- When the edge is sharp, remove burrs from the bottom edge using a sharpening stone.
- Lightly coat the blade assembly with WD40.
Having sharpened many tools myself with a flat file, I know that this is a time-consuming operation, and my choice would be to pay someone else to do it. Some but not all of Greenworks’ authorized dealers can provide sharpening services, and Greenworks’ customer service department will help customers find dealers near them. The dealer nearest me who offered sharpening services was about an hour and a half drive away (I live in a semi-rural area) and quoted a price of $65 to sharpen this trimmer, which I think is entirely reasonable because of the time involved. The availability of sharpening services will obviously depend on where you live.
The blades aren’t removable for easier handling, so if you need to ship the unit off to be sharpened (which you could presumably arrange with a willing dealer), the entire trimmer would have to be sent. For this reason, I’d recommend retaining the packaging the trimmer comes in.
Cleaning and disinfecting the blades should also be done regularly in order to minimize the likelihood of spreading diseases between plants and also to keep the tool in tip top shape. The manual only mentions brushing dirt and debris off the blades, but if you need to clean plant resins off, Greenworks recommends dipping the blades in a mixture of warm water and vinegar; some scrubbing with a stiff brush would also be needed. They recommended pouring boiling water over the blades in order to disinfect them. You would then want to dry them quickly in a warm space. Once dry, the blades should be lubricated with WD40 (Greenworks’ recommendation) before storage.
Handling the blades should only be done with the battery removed, and with gloved hands.
Multiple SAFETY Features
As with all tools, safety comes first. For the Greenworks 40V G-Max Cordless Hedge Trimmer (22262) I would recommend wearing gloves that are not only protective but have great grip (something like a nitrile coated glove). Additionally some sort of hearing protection and finally eye protection (like these safety glasses from Wiley-X)
One thing I appreciate is the multiple safety features built into the product. You still have to be careful, but the safety guard on the handle stops your hand from accidentally slipping into the moving blades while in use. There’s a safety lock-out button linked to the throttle trigger to prevent unexpected start-ups, and a safety sheath to protect your hands, arms, and legs when transporting the hedge trimmer.
Based on my call to customer service, I would have to say that Greenworks is on top of their game. I was greeted by knowledgeable, competent and friendly people who could help right out of the box.
There’s a 4-year warranty against manufacturing defects on the trimmer, and a 2-year warranty on the battery.
It’s hard to find a disadvantage to this tool, but I can think of one improvement. With its vibrant green plastic housing, light weight, and lack of any oily feel or smell, I could see a child mistaking this tool for a toy or, at the very least, underestimating its danger. Although the trimmer does have the previously mentioned “lock-out” button, I think that an older child or two children playing together could start it. A child safety lock feature would be a valuable addition.
All in all, I give the Greenworks 40V G-Max Cordless Hedge Trimmer 22262 high marks for its broad usability, comfortable grip, light weight, and battery life adequate for all my trimming needs.
WHERE TO BUY
The price of the Greenworks 40V G-Max Cordless Hedge Trimmer (22262) (with 2AH battery & charger) from Amazon Prime is $107.99 (at the time of publication). Other retailers like Walmart offer the same configuration for $109.99 (free shipping). Greenworks (on their website) offers the product for $149.99 (free shipping). An extra battery charger and 2AH battery on Amazon Prime will cost you $30.00 and $66.66 respectively.
Now, over to you – which do you prefer? A powerful trimmer, or a pair of manually-operated shears? Let us know in the comments below!
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