How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blades

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Last updatedLast updated: February 19, 2021
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Good hedge trimmers are very powerful and reliable tools. However, having a well-sharpened blade on your hedge trimmer is as important as having a powerful engine. And for this reason, today, we will teach you how to sharpen hedge trimmer blades and how to tell when it’s time to sharpen it.

Hedge trimmers are very useful machines that make life much easier due to their great efficiency and the wide variety of uses they can provide us. For this reason, they must be in excellent condition so that they fulfill their work one hundred percent and for your safety.

With a mill file, the job will be done in less than an hour. But this method is conventional and seen as archaic. However, with a power grinder or a Dremel tool, the procedure is faster and takes a few minutes.

First of all, but, we want to remind you that each hedge trimmer model has its peculiarities, so in this article, we are going to focus on a standard hedge trimmer.

How often should you sharpen your hedge trimmer?

Gasoline-powered hedge trimmers are usually sharpened every three fuel tanks. For all types of trimmers, including the electric hedge trimmers, when the machine starts to snag, then it’s time to sharpen the blades.

Another clear indicator that the hedge trimmer blade needs sharpening is in the chips from the cut. If the chip is dusty or sawdust type, it is clear that the blade needs sharpening.

In this post, we will see the technique of sharpening with a mill file, power grinder, and a Dremel tool.

Sharpening hedge trimmer blades: basics

Before working with a hedge trimmer, it is important to check if the blades are in good condition. Failure to do so could cause problems and malfunction of the machine.
If you notice that your hedge trimmer does not work properly, and the blades are damaged, we recommend replacing them with replacement blades.

If they aren’t damaged but just don’t cut as effectively, then you have to sharpen them. You can make use of a mill file, a grinding tool, or a Dremel tool. And when you’re done, don’t forget about maintaining it and operating it as appropriate.

Maintenance and proper operating accessories needed to keep the blades and engine in perfect condition are listed below:

  • Oil: ideal for the correct lubrication of the hedge trimmer.
  • Replacement blades: As we have seen before, they will be very useful if the blades of your hedge trimmer are damaged or deformed. Changing them will help the machine work better.
  • Solvent spray: ideal for removing resin that adheres to the blades. This spray improves the friction between the blades.
  • Gloves: These must be used anytime you’re handling the tool; either during maintenance, sharpening, or operation. They’re perfect for any task of maintenance and safe handling of tools.

Sharpening with a mill file

How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmer BladesTo sharpen your hedge trimmer with a mill file, you will need a pair of gloves and, of course, the mill file. Follow the process explained below:

  1. First, start by disconnecting the machine by pulling out the spark plug wire. This is to ensure the machine doesn’t start unexpectedly during the process. It could be dangerous to have the machine turned on when sharpening the blades.
  2. If you have a hedge trimmer with a moving part and a fixed part: make sure that the moving part is completely aligned with the fixed one. In many cases, you can move the blades manually.
  3. Use a radial or mill file for sharpening. Keep in mind that you will need to sharpen all the cutting parts of the hedge trimmer, that is, both the top and the bottom of the blades. If you don’t have a good file, consider buying the Sheffield 58913 6 Inch Mill Bastard File. According to most reviews, it is the most reliable option out there for filing a hedge trimmer without a machine.
  4. Finish up by cleaning the hedge trimmer with the help of a cloth and, if necessary, with a little special detergent for cleaning hedge trimmers.

Tips: Before starting, we also recommend that you first apply some cleaning solvent or detergent. Using a file is the most laborious way to sharpen the hedge trimmer, but at the same time, the most economical, since the price of a file is low. You must take into account the angle of the blade to sharpen it in the correct direction.

Sharpening with an angle grinder or Dremel tool

How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmer BladesFor this process, safety consciousness is needed. Not only should you use gloves, but it is also advisable to wear glasses and other suitable gears.

  1. The first thing to do is to secure the hedge trimmer to a table that has a built-in clamp and adjust the blades to the best posture, that is, in the most suitable and comfortable position.
  2. Turn off the machine, unplug it, and start sharpening the blades, one by one.
  3. Clean the blades with some special cleaner or detergent.
  4. Turn on the Dremel tool or the angle grinder.
  5. Gently pass the machine through the blades, without applying too much pressure and without making sudden movements, as the blades could be damaged.
  6. Finally, clean the entire length of the blades and, if necessary, apply more detergent.

Tip: Our most recommended sharpening machine is the Dremel 4300-5/40 Rotary Tool Kit. Versatile and functional, you can use it to cut, sharpen, grind, carve, engrave, and sand.

Warning: Sharpening any blade on any machine is a complicated task that can be dangerous. This is why it must be carried out by a professional since they have both the experience and the most appropriate tools to carry it out.


Safety tips for sharpening your hedge trimmer

Any job related to handling a hedge trimmer involves taking safety measures. We leave you with some recommendations so that you can handle your machine and perform maintenance safely:

  1. Prepare the area where you are going to sharpen your hedge trimmer: make sure it is clean and that if you are going to use the radial, there are no explosive or flammable elements around.
  2. Use gloves to protect your hands: you will be in contact with the blades of the hedge trimmer, so with the gloves, you will avoid cutting or injuring your hands.
  3. Put on protective glasses: especially if you use the radial.
  4. As we have mentioned before, it is essential to sharpen when there is no danger of the hedge trimmer turning on.

Final thoughts

Hedge trimmers are very useful machines that make life much easier due to their great efficiency and the wide variety of uses they can provide. For this reason, they must be in excellent condition. Over time the blades can deteriorate due to their use, storage conditions, and a long period of unuse. And since it is essential that every time you want to perform a pruning task, etc., you want the machinery to be in perfect condition to make clean cuts, this is why it has to be sharpened. We’ve shown you just how to sharpen hedge trimmer blades.

Now that you know how to sharpen hedge trimmer blades, it’s time to put your knowledge to use! It is a job that requires a bit of experience, but, once you master it, you will do it without any problem. Follow the steps that we have indicated, and it will be even easier for you.

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