How Do You Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blades?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:52 pm

Working with an unsharp hedge trimmer is not only no fun, but also rarely leads to the desired results. If you frequently stress your hedge trimmer, then you should sharpen it at regular intervals. So, hedge trimmer sharpening should be done at least once a year, and if the use is even more intense, sharpening more often is advisable. Similar to the hedge trimmer, you can also proceed with the lawn mower.

Do you now want to know how to sharpen the hedge trimmer? Then now follow the appropriate solutions, depending on the type of hedge trimmer you use.

When should the hedge trimmer be sharpened?

How Do You Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blades?

Do you notice that the hedge trimmer no longer works properly, but gets stuck more often and does not give clean results? Then it’s time to sharpen the hedge trimmer. However, for this you do not have to go to the specialty store or leave the hedge trimmer to a professional.

You can also sharpen the hedge trimmer all by yourself and without any prior knowledge. However, since it is a sharp garden tool, you should take great care. Proceed carefully and follow the instructions so that the sharpening succeeds without any problems.

In this way, you can make sure that you do the gardening undisturbed and do not have to rely on the help of a professional. Incidentally, you will also learn how to resharpen other blades, for example.

Maintaining the hedge trimmer

One way to ensure a sharper blade in the long run is, of course, proper maintenance. If you use your hedge trimmer very often, then you should treat it accordingly. A blurry blade will no longer transmit full motor power, and manual hedge trimmers will also require more effort. To avoid this, you should perform the proper care in advance.

The hedge trimmer is exposed to greater impact of the plants due to the regular load. Plants produce a water or sap, which at first glance does not cause much damage. You may think that they simply dry or evaporate quickly. But the liquid can do considerable damage as it settles between the cutting edges and “gums up” there. This results in a greasy coating on the blades, which severely limits the cutting power. Therefore, you should clean these areas thoroughly after each use and remove the liquid.

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Furthermore, you should treat the hedge trimmer with oil. This will keep the cutting edge fresh and sharpened. As an additional tip, the hedge trimmer should be wrapped in a cloth and stored.

With these simple tips and a general careful handling of the hedge trimmer, the blade can be kept sharp for a long time and only needs to be processed at longer intervals.

Sharpening the gasoline hedge trimmer

For the cutting blades is irrelevant whether the energy comes from a gasoline engine, or whether you are powered by pure muscle power. Therefore, in a sense, the procedure is always the same. Nevertheless, differences in the individual types of hedge trimmers must be taken into account. What they all have in common is that the power source must be separated from the cutting blades.

Safety is the top priority, and therefore it should be completely ensured that the hedge trimmer can not start spontaneously after all.

For electric hedge trimmers, the plug should be unplugged or the battery removed. For gasoline-powered hedge trimmers, the spark plug should be removed. Even though this procedure requires a little extra effort, safety should always be the top priority.

The next step is to separate the cutting blades from the unit. This is not always possible without problems, but for sharpening this offers some advantages and should therefore be done. This way you can reach both the cutting blades and the body of the hedge trimmer, which can also be cleaned again. Only with the cutting bodies removed is a really thorough cleaning possible. If disassembling the hedge trimmer is not possible, at least fix the hedge trimmer so tightly that it has no play. This can be achieved, for example, by fixing it in a vice.

Heckenschere schärfen - Zacken

Now the cutting blade is free in front of you and you can work on it with a file. Proceed in such a way that you always move the file in the same direction from top to bottom and sharpen the cutting blades. Always proceed jaggedly and work your way forward. It is important that you proceed gently. You don’t have to use a lot of force or be particularly quick to get the job done. It is important that you file only in the same direction at a time and not in the opposite direction. You should also pay attention to the angle at which the prongs are sharpened.

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Now you have done the first half and it is time to sharpen the second side of the blades. If you have previously disassembled the blades you can proceed in the same way. However, if the cutting blades are still contiguous, then you need to briefly move the blades so that the serrations, which were previously hidden, are now exposed. When doing this, be careful not to twist the hedge trimmer horizontally, because this is not the second side, but the same prongs that would be processed.

Once the blades are sharpened, cleaning them will prevent them from becoming dull again. To do this, proceed as already described. Use a bit of sandpaper to rub down the shank to which the cutting blades were attached. In the next step, use oil and spray it on both the shaft and the cutting blades. Now clean the entire device with a dry cloth and it is now not only sharp, but also in a perfectly maintained condition.

Sharpening a simple hedge trimmer

Sharpening a manual hedge trimmer is based on the same principle as sharpening the motorized versions. Normally, sharpening should be much easier and safer, as the motor cannot start accidentally. Nevertheless, there are minor differences that should be taken into account.

First of all, you should unscrew the hedge trimmer. Unlike the motorized versions, there is probably no complete system that allows you to easily unscrew the cutting blades, but you will have to disassemble them yourself. Proceed with particular certainty, so that you can reassemble the hedge trimmer afterwards.

Now you can clean the shears from dirt and other debris. For this purpose, metal brushes are suitable, with which you can work on the hedge trimmer.

In this case, sharpening is clarified by means of a grindstone. Depending on the type, before starting work, this must be either immersed in water for a short time or soaked for a longer time. Therefore, you should start preparing the work early. Soaking can take up to about an hour of time.

Once the grindstone has been prepared, the cutting blades are ground in circular motions. Again, attention must be paid to the optimum angle.

This process is repeated several times with different grinding stones. These are categorized from coarse grinds to quite fine grinds. So work your way from the coarse grindstones to the fine ones and you’ll end up noticing how much sharper the cutting blades actually are.

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Now, once the work is done, the sharpened blades can still be cleaned and rubbed with oil. After assembling the complete hedge trimmer is again recommended to clean the screw connections and joints with the help of the oil.

What mistakes should be avoided

With the procedure described here, nothing should actually go wrong. Nevertheless, you might get the idea to try other methods as well. Here are some things that might seem interesting, but should still not be done under any circumstances.

Make sure you have the right focus angle. This should be particularly shallow and maintained during the sharpening process. Avoid sharp changes in the angle. To do this, it is helpful if you hold the cutting blades in a fixing device.

Do not use machine grinders. These are not fine enough and will most likely remove too much material. This may render your hedge trimmer completely unusable. Therefore, always process the cutting blades yourself and with the utmost care.

Before cleaning, the hedge trimmer should be disassembled. If it is a motorized hedge trimmer, there is usually a screw around the gear cover that must be removed so that the blades can be separated from the drive. In addition, when reassembling these connections can be rubbed with grease so that they run well in the future.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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