How to Sharpen A Hedge Trimmer
With proper care, your hedge trimmer can keep your landscaping in top shape for years to come. Learn more about how to identify when your trimmer needs sharpening, how to prepare, and how to sharpen.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR HEDGE TRIMMER NEEDS SHARPENING
Is your hedge trimmer no longer cutting well? Check out the common symptoms of dull blades.
INSTRUCTIONS: SHARPENING YOUR HEDGE TRIMMER
Ideally, sharpening should be done before the blades show visible signs of wear—remember that the lifespan of your hedge trimmer is heavily dependent on regular maintenance. As such, we recommend sharpening after every 50 hours of use or so, to ensure consistent cutting performance and enable you to enjoy your hedge trimmer for as long as possible. You can find important information about sharpening your hedge trimmer in your product’s instruction manual.
IMPORTANT: Before you start, always make sure the hedge trimmer is switched off and cannot start during maintenance:
Unplug an electric hedge trimmer.
With a battery hedge trimmer, remove the battery.
With a gas hedge trimmer, switch off the engine.
STEP 1: CLEAN THE TEETH
Put on protective clothing such as work gloves and protective glasses. During use, plant sap and resin accumulate on the blades of your hedge trimmer. You can remove buildup using STIHL Hedge Trimmer Blade Cleaner and a soft cloth before you start sharpening the blades.
STEP 2: SHARPEN YOUR HEDGE TRIMMER BLADES WITH A FLAT FILE
- • Always file toward the cutting edge. The flat file is designed to work only when applied in one direction, as this method ensures a sharp blade.
- • The file is only effective on the forward stroke, and so it should be lifted from the surface when you move it back. Avoid “sawing” back and forth on the surface with the file, as this may dull the cutting edge again.
- • Try to use the file at the recommended sharpening angle, which is detailed under Technical Data in your instruction manual.
- • You should always be careful not to remove too much material during sharpening. If you file off more than this, the material strength may be compromised, rendering your hedge trimmer unusable.
- • Use the same number of file strokes for each cutting edge, so that all blades are the same length at the end.
- Good to know: You should only sharpen the cutting edge of each tooth. Do not file the integrated cut protection or the orange plastic cut protection.
STEP 3: REMOVE BURRS USING A WHETSTONE
- Use a whetstone to smooth any burrs that have developed on the underside of the blades during filing.
- Turn the hedge trimmer over so that you can work on the back of the blades. Lightly moisten with water as you work. Draw the whetstone along each blade, using a careful swiping motion in the direction of the tip and smoothing the rough surface as you go.
STEP 4: CARE AFTER SHARPENING
- You are almost finished. Now you need to give your freshly sharpened hedge trimmer a little TLC.
- Using a soft bristle brush, remove any grinding dust generated in the previous steps. Filing will have removed the corrosion protection that was previously on the blades, so you next need to apply a final coat of STIHL Hedge Trimmer Blade Cleaner to lubricate the blades. This will ensure the hedge trimmer can operate with peak performance.
- For thorough cleaning, we recommend that you contact a STIHL Dealer.