Cutting blades lose their edge over time. We explain how sharpening your hedge trimmer can be done quickly and easily.
Is your hedge trimmer no longer as effective as it used to be? This is not uncommon: frequent use blunts the cutter blades, so they need sharpening from time to time. It is possible that there is another reason for issues your trimmer may be having.
Check the following symptoms to quickly deduce the likely cause:
Branches keep getting jammed in the trimmer
If you are noticing a tendency for branches to get stuck between the teeth during trimming, so they block the tool without being cut. This is a possible indication that the upper and lower blades of the hedge trimmer are no longer meeting, rather than an indication of a need for sharpening. This happens because the spacers between the blades wear out over time. Your dealer can fix this by replacing the spacers for you.
Branches are not cut cleanly
If your petrol or electric hedge trimmer leaves behind an uneven and frayed edge as it cuts, this indicates that you need to sharpen the hedge trimmer blades. You can go to one of our dealers for hedge trimmer sharpening, or alternatively you can get the tool back into peak condition - with some patience and a little effort, you can do this yourself.
You will require a Flat file, Whetstone, Soft cloth, Water, STIHL resin solvent, Safety clothing, work gloves, safety glasses or face protection.
Ideally, sharpening should be done before the blades show visible signs of wear, but when cutting performance and behavior begin to deteriorate, i.e. blades frequently snag on branches. You can also find all the important information you need about sharpening your hedge trimmer in the operating instructions.
During use, plant sap and resin accumulate on the cutting apparatus of your hedge trimmer. Remove this dirt with a soft cloth before you start sharpening the blades.
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.
You will need a whetstone for this step of sharpening. Use it 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, and lightly moisten them as you work. Draw the whetstone along each blade, using a careful swiping motion in the direction of the tip and smoothing the roughened surface as you go.
Almost done! Now you need to give your freshly sharpened hedge trimmer a little TLC.
First remove any grinding dust generated in the previous steps. The process of filing will have removed the corrosion protection that was previously on the blades, so you next need to spray the cutting apparatus with STIHL resin solvent. This will ensure that the machine continues to function perfectly and that it will serve you well for a long time to come.
Look at our video guide for step-by-step instructions:
If after reading this guide you feel unsure or uncomfortable it might be a better idea to take it to your local dealer. If you are uncertain that dull blades are causing the issues your having it might be better to have a professional make an assessment. Our STIHL dealers will be pleased to help, and can professionally sharpen the blades to achieve an optimal result without removing too much material.