Jun 03, 2024
By Smith's

A properly sharpened hedge trimmer will make your lawn maintenance more efficient and effective. That is why we put together this guide on how to sharpen hedge trimmers.

The Short Answer:

1. Clean and Dry

2. Choose your sharpening tool

3. Sharpen each tooth at a consistent angle on a flat surface

4. Finish by cleaning and applying oil

Though simple in theory, each of these steps has essential details that need to be correctly followed. Not to mention, this process can be altered based on what tool you choose for sharpening. Continue reading for an in-depth guide including sharpening methods, tips to avoid common mistakes, and how to prolong the sharpness of your tool.

Sharpening Hedge Trimmers with Different Tools

Note: The right angle will always be dependent on manufacturer guidelines. However, if you cannot find a recommended angle a good angle to sharpen most hedge trimmers is 30 degrees.

Sharpening Hedge Trimmers: Preparation

Before you start the sharpening process, the first step involves cleaning your hedge trimmer blade and taking necessary safety precautions. Remove dirt and debris from the trimmer using a dry cloth. Always ensure to disconnect your electric hedge trimmer from the power source or remove the battery before doing any sort of maintenance. Don't forget to put on your safety glasses to protect your sight from any flying debris.

Sharpening Hedge Trimmers with a Sharpening Stone

A sharpening stone, or whetstone, is an effectual and affordable tool used for sharpening hedge shears. Using water or oil, wet the stone. Hold the hedge trimmer blade at the correct angle and run the stone back and forth firmly over the blade. Repeat this step across each tooth until you achieve a sharp blade.

Sharpening Hedge Trimmers with a Flat File

Using a flat file may require more elbow grease but is just as effective. Hold the file at the proper angle on the cutting edge of the blade. With firm, even strokes, move the flat file along the total length of each tooth, always taking care to move away from your body for safety purposes.

Sharpening Hedge Trimmers with an Angle Grinder

An angle grinder might seem intimidating but it can speed up the sharpening process considerably. Ensure the grinder is held at the correct angle and lightly run it over each tooth on the trimmer blade. The entire blade doesn't need to be shiny; you only need to focus on each cutting edge.

Sharpening Hedge Trimmers: Maintenance Tips

After your blade has been sharpened, wipe it down with a soft cloth to clear any residual metal fillings. A light coating of oil will not only increase the longevity of the sharpened blade but also provide smoother, cleaner cuts. Consistency is key when prolonging the life of your trimmer blade so make sure to sharpen and clean on a regular schedule.

Common Mistakes When Sharpening Hedge Trimmers

Just as important as the proper sharpening steps is being aware of the common pitfalls gardeners encounter in this process so you can avoid them.

  1. Over Sharpening the Blade: This might seem contradictory, but there is such a thing as an overly sharp blade. An extreme edge may seem desirable, but it can actually make the blade more fragile and prone to nicking or chipping. Adhering to the 30-degree guideline will help resolve this issue.
  2. Inconsistent Sharpening Angle: Maintaining a consistent angle across each tooth of your hedge trimmer blade ensures an evenly sharp blade. Inconsistencies in your sharpening angle can result in (you guessed it) an unevenly sharpened blade, leading to erratic performance and premature dulling.
  3. Neglecting to Clean the Trimmer Blade: Before you start and after you finish the sharpening process, it's necessary to clean the hedge trimmer blade. Residual dirt, plant material, or metal filings can interfere with your sharpening and even dull your newly sharpened blade.

Avoiding these common mistakes can greatly increase the effectiveness of your sharpening, extend the life span of your cutting edge, and save you valuable gardening time and effort.

Better Hedge Trimmer Sharpening with Smith's

Effective sharpening of garden tools doesn't have to be a frustrating job. The task can be made a breeze when using Smith's Pruning Tool Sharpener and Edge Eater Sharpening Stone – specialized tools designed to keep your garden tools in top condition.

Our Pruning Tool Sharpener incorporates a preset carbide blade that assures effortless sharpening of hedge trimmers, pruning shears, and hedge clippers. This is made even better when matched with Smith’s Edge Eater Sharpening Stone for the more difficult jobs. We recommend sharpening with our sharpening stone 2-3 times a year to fully revitalize the dull blades and using our Pruning Tool Sharpener for touch-up jobs on individual blade teeth.

Using Smith's specialized sharpeners not only quickens the sharpening process but also prolongs the life of your tools, increases their efficiency, and saves you valuable time. Your garden deserves the best and we have just the right tools to meet those needs.

Explore our vast range of premium sharpening tools by visiting our dedicated lawn & garden page today!

Article reviewed 06/03/2024:

Ricky Dukes

Vice President Marketing and Product Development

About the Reviewer:

Ricky Dukes has been leading the marketing and product development resources at Smith's Consumer Products for over 7 years. In that time, Ricky has become an expert in the world of knives and sharpeners including a deep understanding of their applications and uses.