How to Sharpen an Electric Hedge Trimmer


An electric hedge trimmer is much easier to use than a manual trimmer, and it produces more precise results. While this is a sturdy tool that seldom needs servicing, the blades can get worn around the edges with frequent use. Moisture from the air and plants can also rust the blades, making it difficult for them to cut with speed and precision. Follow a periodic blade-sharpening regimen to ensure that the worn-off or rusted edges of the blades are shaved-off, revealing a sharper edge. Professional blade-sharpening services can be expensive, but you can easily sharpen hedge-trimmer blades at home following the steps below.

Tools and Materials

  • Electric hedge trimmers (with removable blades)
  • Table with a flat top
  • Protective gear (eye-gear and gloves)
  • Bench vice
  • A4 paper sheet
  • Linseed oil
  • Pliers
  • Metal file

Step 1 -- Get Started

Find a table with a flat surface to work on, and put on your eye-protection gear. This is very critical since miniscule pieces of metal fly off from the blade during filing. Without protection gear, these particles can damage the eye. Ideally, you should also wear tight-fitting, thick gloves.

Unplug the electric trimmer. Turn the motor of the trimmer until the blades are easily accessible and face away from your body.

Step 2 -- Disengage Electric Hedge Trimmer Blades

Locate the bolt-screw on the electric trimmer. This is the main screw that holds together the blades. Firmly grip the bolt-screw with a pair of pliers. Clamp the pliers hard since the bolt screw is usually screwed very hard. Now, twist the bolt screw in the anti-clockwise direction. This is the easiest methods to separate the blades.

Step 3 -- File Trimmer Blades

A bench-vice is critical to properly secure the blades. Start with the first blade. Place it in the bench-vice and clamp it tightly. Identify the sharp edge of the blade. This is vital because some blades have a smaller/inner flat edge that should not be sharpened. Using the metal file, start filing the blade. Ideally, you should slide the file in the downward direction, i.e. away from your body, towards the tip of the blade.

Continue with the filing for about 2 minutes. Unsecure the clamp of the bench-vice and remove the blade. File the other blade in the same manner.

Step 4 -- Test Sharpened Blades

You need to test whether appropriate sharpness has been achieved. This can be easily done with a sheet of paper. It is recommended to use the A4 sheets used in computer printers rather than newspaper. Hold the paper above the sharpened blade. Without applying much force, move it along the edge of the blade. The blade should easily slice through the paper. If this does not happen, repeat the filing process, as explained above.

Step 5 -- Take Care of Rusting & Wrap Up

To ensure that the freshly-sharpened edges don't rust, apply a thin coat of linseed oil along the edges of the sharpened blades. Secure the blades in their original position. Tighten the bolt-screw with pliers.