How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmer

by Raymond Archambault
man using hedge trimmer

When landscaping around your home, you might notice that your hedge trimmer doesn’t cut like it used to. For instance, rather than cut, the limbs are torn. That means you may notice the trimmer grab because it doesn’t cut through a limb.

Don’t worry – your hedge clippers aren’t useless, the blade’s teeth have probably just gotten dull. As a beginner, this can be overwhelming, so read on as we delve into how to sharpen a hedge trimmer the right way.

How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blades

Let’s delve into a few techniques to use to sharpen your hedge trimmer.

Use a File

It’s the easiest way to sharpen the blade of your hedge trimmer. To begin:

  • Use a flat file or a mill file over every blade in a downward motion
  • Before you move back up, remember to lift the file off the blade
  • It’s worth noting that up and down motions with the file over the blade results in excessive dullness so refrain from doing so. Therefore, the only right direction is downwards. It’s a process that requires patience and a lot of elbow grease but is well worth it in the end
  • Once you’re done with the filing process, a sharpening stone or whetstone will come in handy to burr off all the shavings of the trimmer blade. With this technique, you can remain in control of how you sharpen your blade. Granted, there might be visible inconsistency levels since the process is tiring.

Use a Power Grinder

If you’re looking for a quicker and less tedious process to sharp blades, then using a power grinder is right up your alley. Although it saves you the hassle of filing each blade until it’s the ideal sharpness and shape, it’s a more dangerous method that requires caution. A grinder is more powerful, quicker, and produces sparks. Therefore, it can be risky to use if you’re not familiar with it.

However, if you understand how to use a power grinder, you’ll appreciate the convenience it ushers in. To begin:

  • Clamp your blade firmly in place
  • You might require changing the position frequently for better angles of the blades and a better view. After all, the last thing you need is for your blade to move around as you sharpen the teeth
  • Apply pressure to the teeth but do so gently. To avoid shaving off more than you need to and losing the shape of the blade. The ideal grinding wheel to use is 80 or 60. When you go down the blade, ensure you compliment the natural angle.
  • Streak down the teeth while maintaining short strokes. For optimal results, work on each tooth. There’ll be a wealth of strokes if you want the best outcome from your blade. For quicker completion and enhanced accuracy, a power grinder is an ideal option
  • Use a sharpening stone to skim over the blade if you notice a burr on it. However, it’s not mandatory. The likelihood of creating burr when filing is slim to none.

Use a Dremel

Learn how to sharpen a hedge trimmer using a Dremel by following the steps below.

  • Clean the blades of your hedge trimmer thoroughly before you begin the sharpening process. Doing so will ensure that no grass or debris is stuck on them
  • Prepare the Dremel sharpening kit by attaching all the screws and nuts appropriately using a screwdriver
  • Wear ear and eye-protective gear to prevent any sparks from entering your eye and the noise from damaging your ears. For an added layer of protection, we recommend wearing a face cover and sharpening your hedge trimmer during the day when you can see clearly
  • Secure the trimmer firmly in place by attaching it to a bench vice. To sharpen the blades, clamp the trimmer slightly to prevent it from shifting as you sharpen it
  • Turn on the Dremel and slowly move it to the blades. To avoid excessive sharpening, avoid applying too much elbow grease. Furthermore, use short rather than long strokes to avoid uneven blades. Do so carefully and ensure your hand is a safe distance away from the grind to avoid sustaining injuries
  • Repeat this process for each blade until all the blades are sharp. Once you’re done, your trimmer will look good as new.
GreenWorks 2200302 24V 22-Inch Cordless Hedge Trimmer, Battery and Charger Not Included

Source: Amazon

When to Sharpen a Hedge Trimmer

Avoid waiting for your hedge trimmer to become blunt to sharpen it. Instead, sharpen it at least once a month and up to four times during growth seasons. Regardless of the trimmer you opt for, whether a cordless hedge trimmer, electric, or gas, the blade requirements remain constant. Only a sharpened blade will yield an optimal outcome.

Keep in mind that a gas hedge trimmer is the strongest type which is why it calls for more maintenance. The blade wears down quicker, works faster, and requires more power than other hedge trimmers. Resultantly, you’ll sharpen your blade more frequently.

Regarding power, an electric hedge trimmer falls in second place. It’s a corded counterpart that must be plugged into a power outlet to function. It requires considerably less sharpening than a gas trimmer. However, once a month, you should get the job done.

Lastly, a battery-powered hedge trimmer doesn’t require gas or a power outlet to function. The battery requires more maintenance compared to the blade, allowing you to limit sharpening to monthly. Although its versatility is unmatched, a battery-powered trimmer isn’t the strongest. Furthermore, the blade doesn’t wear down as quickly as the electric or gas counterparts.

Tips When Sharpening Your Hedge Trimmer

Now that you know how to sharpen a hedge trimmer, here are a few pointers to keep in mind when doing so.

  • Ensure the power source cannot be activated. That means you should unplug the corded machine, empty the gas tank, or remove the battery. For pole-hedge trimmer extensions, remember to remove them before sharpening
  • Put the side of the blade on an empty, flat surface. The workshop or table where you place the blade should allow easy navigation. Rather than move the hedge around, move the blade without the risk of it cutting anything it shouldn’t cut
  • Always wear protective gear before you start sharpening the blade of your trimmer. To protect your hands, wear thick work gloves. Goggles are also suitable to protect your eyes. Long-sleeved clothing and an apron also serve as protective gear.

To Wrap Up

Given that hedge trimmers inevitably become dull after hours of use, there’s no need to invest in new ones when that happens. As long as you monitor the blades of a hedge trimmer along with your other garden tools, you can expand their lifespan significantly without having to buy new ones every year.

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