How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmers
Hedge trimmers are invaluable tools in the garden. Irrespective of the size of the garden, if you have a hedge alongside the fencing, or are using borders for demarcation, keeping them neat and tidy is crucial. Most people invest in good quality hedge trimmers to keep their hedges well maintained and spotless. These hedge trimmers come in a variety of types like long reach hedge trimmers, cordless hedge trimmers, gas-powered hedge trimmers, manual hedge trimmers, battery-powered hedge trimmers, electric hedge trimmers, and so on.
Initially, most hedge trimmers are known to be extremely sharp, but with constant use, their blades may become dull and blunt. The ideal habit is to sharpen and maintain the hedge trimmer blades at least once every two months, depending on use. If you tend to use the hedge trimmer frequently, you may even need to sharpen the blades once each month, instead of alternate months.
Sharpening the blades should also be done according to the season since spring would require more maintenance and pruning than autumn. Irrespective of the type of hedge trimmer you use, the blade requirements would remain the same. Sharp blades yield excellent and precise results in comparison to dull and blunt blades.
What are the Essential Steps to take Before Sharpening Hedge Trimmers?
Turn It Off: If you own a battery-powered, electric, or any other hedge trimmer that has an on and off switch, ensure the tool is completely disconnected from the power source. Gas-powered hedge trimmers should have the gas tank wholly emptied before trying to sharpen the blades on the trimmer. If you have a long reach hedge trimmer, remove the extensions beforehand.
Use a Flat Surface: Hedge trimmers should be placed on flat and stable surfaces. Empty the surrounding area so that the blades do not snag and cut into anything. Ideally, pull a worktable to the centre of the room so you can work on the blades from all sides instead of moving the trimmer from one side to the other.
Wear Protective Gear: Thick gloves to protect your hands from the blades, goggles to protect your eyes, long sleeves for your arms, and an old apron or a thick overcoat to protect your clothes and torso will help immensely. Always keep the protective gear on at all times while sharpening or cleaning the hedge trimmer. In case of an accident or mishap, stop sharpening the trimmer blades, and immediately head to the nearest emergency centre.
How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmers?
There are several ways to sharpen hedge trimmers, depending on which method is the most comfortable for you. Before starting on the hedge trimmers, follow the essential procedures mentioned earlier.
File: A file is the easiest way to sharpen hedge trimmer blades. Using a file over the hedge trimmer helps make it sharper only if used correctly. While filing the blade of the trimmer, use downward motions, and lift the file off the blade once it reaches below the blade. Moving the file in a constant upward and downward motion will make the blade duller than it was before, and will not sharpen the blade. Doing this will also expend more energy than you need to keep the trimmer sharp for accuracy and precision.
Using the file in all directions will make the blades thinner and will render them useless quickly. While filing the trimmer will take a lot of time and patience, you can control the sharpness and thickness of the blade according to your preference. Once you are done filing the blades, you could use a sharpening stone and smoothen the edges for an even surface.
Power Grinder: Power grinders are powerful sharpening tools that should be used with extreme care and caution. Read all the instructions and precautions carefully before using it. Grinders tend to create sparks while they sharpen, and should never be used without goggles and other protective gear. They are extremely powerful and are much faster than a manual file. While using a grinder, ensure that you clamp the blade tightly into position before use. Wobbling or shaking of the blade during grinding may cause accidents or mishaps that can result in unnecessary pain.
While grinding the teeth of the hedge trimmer, be very careful since it is easy to grind the whole thing off. While going down the edge of the blade, keep the grinder tilted to a natural angle for best results. You should also use short strokes that are easy to control and move. Power grinders are excellent if you have complete control over them.
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