How to Sharpen Your Power Hedge Trimmers

Power tools like hedge trimmers or saws only perform like they’re supposed to when they have a sharp blade. This is especially true for hedge trimmers. After just a few hours of hard use you’ll notice many trimmers start to slow down. That’s because they’re becoming dull and likely need some sharpening. Even with the best electric hand planer, you won’t be able to achieve consistent results if you don’t spend time sharpening and maintaining your equipment. That’s why we created this guide to help you maintain your hedge trimmers so each one of your cuts is neat and precise. Follow along with either of the two methods below and you’ll be amazed at how much a dull pair of trimmers can be improved!

Understanding the Goal

The goal when sharpening your hedge trimmers shouldn’t be to make the teeth as sharp as possible. It’s actually to restore the original angle that your trimmer teeth or trimmer blades started with. The blades should look like small chisels with a nice thick angle. A sharp angle will result in chipping and damage to your blades, so pay close attention when sharpening to maintain that original angle the best that you can. 

Aligning the Blades

Hedge trimmers are actually made up of two sets of independent blades stacked on top of one another. Before bothering to sharpen your blades you must make sure they’re lined up perfectly with one another. Look closely at the blades to see if the top and bottom blades are perfectly aligned. If they are you can move on to sharpening them. If not, you will have to gently loosen the bolts securing them to one another and use a screwdriver or another blunt tool to move both sets of blades until they line up exactly. Once they’re aligned, apply a thread locker (such as Loctite) to the adjustment nuts and lock them back into position once again. 

Secure the Trimmer Blade Before Starting

Before using either sharpening method, lock the blade of your hedge trimmer securely to a work desk or in a vice to keep it from moving. This is crucial for getting good results. 

Sharpening with a File

Obtain a large flat file between 1″ and 1.5″ wide. Slowly draw the file across all three of the edges of each trimmer blade at the right angle to maintain the blade angle. Make enough passes with the file to remove any chips on your edges. Move on to the next blade and continue for all blades on both sides to get a nice sharp trimmer.  This takes time to do properly but is the safest sharpening method for beginners. 

Sharpening with a Grinder

Put on a pair of protective safety glasses as well as earplugs or earmuffs. Obtain an angle grinder with an appropriate grinding wheel for steel. Apply light strokes with the grinding wheel at the angle of the blade for each of the three surfaces. Once all chips and irregularities are removed you can move on to the next blade. Check your blades often when using this method because they will sharpen much more quickly than with a file. 

Once you’ve adequately sharpened all the blades of your hedge trimmer you’ll notice it performs much more smoothly than before. Keep practicing and sharpening your blades after many hours of use and you’ll only get better and maintaining your equipment over time. 

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