A Concise Guide To Hedge Trimming: All You Need To Know

Sharpening your hedge trimmers is perhaps the most daunting task of them all. Most overlook it and continue to ram their hedges with blunt, fast moving blades. The result is an unsightly hedge that makes your garden lose its charm. All those months of perseverance and pain, down the drain because of a blunt trimmer. It's really a good idea to sharpen them every so often so you can have a beautiful lawn at all times.

hedge trimmer

In this post, we're going to tell you how to sharpen hedge trimmers. But first, some information about how to use hedge trimmers becomes essential. Let's get started.

How To Use Hedge Trimmers ?

A hedge trimmer is really easy to use. That said, it shouldn't be taken lightly. The sharp blades can easily slice off an arm, and you don’t want that. So be sure to exercise proper precaution.

  • Cover your ears with proper protection.
  • Your eyes should be covered with safety goggles at all times.
  • This shields you from plant debris that is sure to fly around once you get chopping.
  • Prefer not to wear loose flowy clothing, to avoid the risk of it getting caught in the rotating parts and becoming likely to injure someone.

Here’s How to trim your hedges with a mechanical hedge trimmer ?

  • Get out your hedge trimming shear scissors.
  • Make sure they are sharp.
  • Hold them with both hands, one on each handle.
  • Decide on a design into which you’d like to fashion your hedge into.
  • Manoeuvre the shears to get a proper approach to the bush and then cut while keeping the position of the cutting blades same.

And then, Here’s how to trim your hedges with an automatic machine hedge trimmer ?

  • Make sure your trimmer is properly fueled and/or charged.
  • Remove any safety coverings it might have.
  • Make sure the cutting edges are sharp.
  • Keeping the blade away from you, start the trimmer.
  • Carefully wave the trimmer over the hedge, taking out the branches in the shape you want your hedge to have.

To help you further, here are some tips to keep in mind while trimming your hedges to get the best results afterwards

  • Keep your scissors stable to the best of your capacity.
  • You won’t be able to hold them perfectly stationary, and that’s ok.
  • Do your best.If you’re a beginner, it is best to attempt simpler designs like flat surfaces or rounded designs.
  • Once you are adept, move on to complicated designs.
  • Do not worry about individual stems.
  • Most hedge plants replenish from wherever they are cut. Cutting leaves in the middle is ok too.
  • Stems cut off from the plant will need to be combed out, or they’ll yellow in the plant’s frame itself and you’ll get a pockmarked appearance the next couple of days.
  • And finally, do not cut fat branches or branches that are too hard with trimmers. It is better to use a saw or a similar, appropriately sized instrument for the purpose.

So that’s a little about how to trim hedges using hedge trimmers. Now, let us tell you how to make sure your hedge trimmer is appropriately sharp.

Why Sharpen Hedge Trimmers?

With use, most cutting instruments lose their edge due to friction and the associated wear and tear. With time, you can even end up with a trimmer that completely loses bits of the cutting edge in jagged shapes. Needless to say, the edge fails to deliver.

sharpen hedge trimmer

Other times, with the instrument lying idle, the metal gets oxidised, leaving a dull edge, both in terms of sharpness as well as appearance. Metal oxidation is an everyday phenomenon, but it is not desirable on most instruments, especially the ones working at such high speeds, or you get poor results.

Benefits of sharpening your hedge trimmers are many. The sharp cutting edge makes it effortless to shave off branches. It is faster and also gives more refined results.

How To Sharpen Hedge Trimmers ?

Like with the types of hedge trimmers, there are two ways you can use to sharpen your blades. The first one is the long drawn, manual effort-intensive method using a filer. The other is using a grinder, which is faster but requires you to be careful. Let me detail both methods below, and you can choose from them. Let’s go.

Sharpening Hedge Trimmer using a flat filer

A flat filer is a pretty common sort of metal file you can find at most hardware stores. It is nominally priced and can last you decades. Using it to sharpen your trimmers can be time consuming, but it definitely works wonders. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Bring out your flat filer and make sure it is clean and ready.
  • Now depending upon whether you have hedge trimming scissors or a chain saw-like instrument with multiple oscillating blades, make sure the cutting edges are exposed. A scissor need only be opened, while the other can be adjusted through the controls. The exact method varies with subtype and model. Refer to your instruction manual.
  • Bring out the file, and align it along the cutting surface. In most trimmers, it will be at an angle, neither horizontal nor vertical.
  • Gently move the file downward. Taking an idea about the pressure needed to file from the first few strokes, increase the pressure gradually, till you get an optimum file profile. Easy way? It should remove a moderate amount of dull metal to reveal shiny inner edge. Too little and it takes too long; too much and you could be taking out more material than is essential.
  • Make sure to file all the cutting edges, even if you think any of them aren’t essential.
  • Also be sure to file the other side of the cutting edge to ensure the blade is razor sharp.

That’s easy now isn’t it?

How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmers using a Grinder ?

A grinder is available at most hardware stores as well, but operating it requires a lot of care and caution. Grinders are fitted with rotating surfaces, which can have a texture like sandpaper or even be smooth. Your hardware store salesman should be able to help you select the best kind for your use.

Once you have procured your grinder, follow the steps below

  • Expose the cutting edges of your trimmer as we explained earlier. Your user manual should help you. Scissors need only be opened.
  • Clamp the hedge trimmer to a suitable stable surface. This will prevent the vibrations from moving your instrument about and give you a precise edge that is sharp and effective.
  • Plug in your grinder after putting on all the necessary safety equipment like goggles and earbuds.
  • Turn on the grinder. Using a suitable angle, align the grinder flat on the cutting edge. Touch the edge gently and the metal should be filed in an instant.
  • Do this for the entire cutting edge(s), and then proceed to polish the back surfaces as well.

Still not able to it ? Just Follow The Below Video

The entire process is quicker than using a flat filer, but it’ll require you to be much more careful. Watch out for the sparks that fly off the metal.

Using a grinder needs you to be very careful; you don’t want to shave off more metal than you need to. There are many types of grinders available, and you can try them out to know which ones work best for you.

Using a hedge trimmer is pretty easy, as is sharpening it, provided you know what you’re doing. With a bit of care and precaution, it isn’t unachievable. Happy gardening!


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