Did you know that your hedge trimmer is only as effective as the sharpness of its blades? Of course, you did. Maintaining power tools such as a hedge trimmer in good working condition is crucial for safety and convenience.
Is your hedge trimmer snagging on branches? Well, this is a sign that the machine is cutting less efficiently, and it’s time to sharpen the blades – restore your landscaping power tool to its former glory. Regardless of the type of hedge trimmer (gas-powered, battery-powered, or electric), the requirements are the same. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to sharpen hedge trimmers at home.
What do you Need?
- Hand file
- Flat surface
- Sharpening stone
- Wire brush
- Oil or resin-free spray
Precautionary Measures – Stay Safe!
Not so fast! Hedge trimmers can be dangerous if handled inappropriately – not to mention the risk of damaging the machine. Below are a few safety measures before dealing with the now-dull blade:
- Disconnect your hedge trimmer from its power source – remove the battery, empty the gas tank, or unplug the electric cord.
- Find an empty and flat surface to place your hedge trimmer.
- Always wear protective gear, including goggles, long-sleeved clothes, and work gloves.
Comprehensive Steps to Sharpen Hedge Trimmers
Step 1 – File the Blades
Start by removing any grime, dirt, or plant debris from your hedge trimmer blades by using the wire brush. Next, ensure that the lower and upper blades are aligned. Now use your steel hand file to sharpen the blades towards the sharp edge (downwards) – one blade tooth at a time. After filing a blade tooth, turn the hedge trimmer over and sharpen the opposite side. Wipe the blade with your rag to give you a better look at your progress. While filing, make sure you don’t drag back the file (undoes the filing) or file off too much steel. Is the point where the blade teeth meet sharp? If yes, move on to the next blade tooth.
Expert Tip: It is advisable to check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the angle and frequency of filing the blades.
Step 2 – Smoothen the Blades
When you file the blade, you’ll notice that the end of each blade tooth has a bur. This kinked metal can be detrimental to the effectiveness of your hedge trimmer. Use a sharpening stone to remove the rough edges. Once you’re done smoothening the blade, use your rug to remove the swarf (small metal filings). The final step involves applying lubricating oil or spraying your hedge trimmer blade with a resin-free spray to prevent corrosion and rust.
Your hedge trimmer is now a poised to function like a well-oiled machine, buzzing through the bushes and shrubs. But remember that sharpening your blades is not a one-time event. Maintain your blade’s teeth in good condition to ensure their effectiveness and your safety. And if you are not up for the task of sharpening your hedge trimmer, you can always consult a professional.