Hedge trimmer maintenance: step by step

Thorough and regular maintenance of your hedge trimmer will help guarantee top performance for years to come. We tell you what you need to know.

A STIHL HS 82 T petrol-driven hedge trimmer on a brick wall, surrounded by trimmings at the foot of a stone staircase

Why your hedge trimmer needs regular maintenance

Every time you use your hedge trimmer it is exposed to wear and tear, which if left unchecked, could cause the machine to start underperforming. With regular hedge trimmer maintenance, you can identify and address such issues early on – potentially preventing serious damage and malfunctions. Even more importantly, a well-maintained tool is always the safest to use. Inspecting your hedge trimmer as part of your tool care routine will highlight any damage that could impair its safe functioning, and in this way periodic checking and servicing minimises the risk of injury from using the machine.

A woman wearing protective gloves stands at a workbench and is working on a STIHL HSA 56 cordless hedge trimmer

How to maintain your hedge trimmer correctly

There are specific maintenance steps that you should run through every single time, before and after working with your hedge trimmer – whether it’s petrol-driven or electric.

Personal protective equipment: Always wear sturdy work gloves made from resilient material when undertaking maintenance on your hedge trimmer.


A STIHL HSA 56 cordless hedge trimmer is held by a woman wearing gloves, who is spraying resin solvent onto the cutting apparatus

Specific maintenance for petrol-driven, cordless, and electric hedge trimmers.

Alongside the general maintenance actions for all hedge trimmers, there are also specific care requirements that depend on what kind of hedge trimmer you have. We’ve put together a list of hedge trimmer care tips to check for each one.

Petrol hedge trimmer maintenance

Keep your petrol-driven hedge trimmer in perfect order with these extra maintenance steps:

  • Before you do any maintenance work, check the carburettor is correctly in idle mode so the cutting attachment doesn’t run, and adjust it if necessary.
  • Check the machine for leaks, and make sure no fuel is coming out of it anywhere.
  • Check the spark plugs regularly; we recommend these are replaced after 100 operating hours.
  • Clean the air filter regularly, and replace it when required.
  • Clean the fuel tank. If the tool will be unused for three months or more, you should empty the tank before storage and dispose of the old fuel properly.
  • The pickup body in the fuel tank should be replaced by a STIHL dealer as an annual service.
A man wearing PPE starts a STIHL HS 82 T petrol-driven hedge trimmer on a brick staircase between two hedges

Cordless hedge trimmer maintenance

If you have a battery-operated power tool, the battery and charger should not be overlooked in your maintenance processes.

  • Do the LEDs work and flash as they should? If they light up in red or not at all, remove the battery from the power tool. The Troubleshooting section in the operating manual for your hedge trimmer includes precise instructions for dealing with warning symbols and other maintenance issues.

Note: After each use, remove the battery from the hedge trimmer and clean it using a damp cloth, then dry the battery. We recommend always storing the battery separately from the machine, charged to 40 to 60% (two LEDs lit up in green).

Electric hedge trimmer maintenance

Always disconnect the plug from the mains before you maintain your hedge trimmer, as otherwise there is a high risk of injury!

If you have an electric hedge trimmer with a mains connection, you should carefully check the power cord and plug before and after each use.

  • Are they well insulated?
  • Are they showing signs of age or breaking in areas?

If you notice any damage during maintenance, you must stop using the device. Electrical components must only be replaced or serviced by a qualified electrician. 

  • Have the carbon brushes checked by a dealer after 100 operating hours.
  • The gear unit and connecting rod should be checked by a dealer after 50 operating hours.

Hedge trimmer care: maintenance spray and lubricating greases

Your hedge trimmer is exposed to external influences and stubborn dirt each time you use it. Our carefully selected range of STIHL care products includes everything you need to maintain the functionality of your power tool.

Summary: Hedge Trimmer Maintenance

  • Regular maintenance extends your tool’s service life and reduces the risk of accidents.
  • Start with a thorough visual inspection.
  • Carefully check the most important functions to ensure they are working correctly.
  • In petrol hedge trimmers, the fuel tank, air filter and spark plugs should be cleaned and looked over regularly.
  • When performing maintenance on hedge trimmers with a mains connection, always disconnect the plug from the power first.
  • For battery-powered hedge trimmer maintenance, remember to check the battery and charger too.