How To Clean And Lubricate Hedge Trimmer Blades

If you have ever owned a hedge trimmer you will know that following use the blades have picked up a combination of sticky sap, dust, leaves, wood dust and anything else they may have come in contact with. This will not immediately affect the performance of your trimmer, but if you do not deal with it, it will eventually start to affect both the sharpness and the smooth sliding of the blades. In the end you may have to sharpen your trimmer blades to recover performance, and believe me, sharpening blades is a lot more difficult.

If you haven’t already got one, take a look at our article on picking the best hedge trimmer. We provide a guide so that you know what you are looking for and reviews of some of the best models on the market.

You need to establish a simple system for quickly cleaning and lubricating your hedge trimmer blades after every use. Here we provide that simple hedge trimmer maintenance system. We have tried this and have found the whole thing from start to finish takes less than 10 minutes. There’s really no excuse. If you don't implement some sort of system then you will end up looking for replacement blades for hedge trimmers instead.

SAFETY NOTE: Before cleaning and lubricating your hedge trimmer, make sure the battery is removed from the machine.

How To Clean Hedge Trimmer Blades

What you will need

  • A bowl
  • Some warm soapy water
  • An old cloth, preferably clean
  • A small scrubbing brush, or better yet an old toothbrush

The Cleaning Process

  • Dip the cloth into the water and soak it thoroughly. Holding the hedge trimmer pointing downwards so that no water runs into the motor, wipe the first side of the blade with the wet cloth.
  • Grab the scrubbing brush and quickly give the teeth a scrub, focussing on any areas that look as though dirt is accumulating.
  • Finish off that side with a quick wipe again with the cloth.
  • Turn the hedge trimmer over and repeat the process on the other side.
  • When both sides have been scrubbed, wring out the cloth and give the whole blade another quick wipe, removing any drips and excess wetness.
  • Leave the trimmer with the blades pointing downwards for a few minutes to dry out.

And that is how to clean a trimmer. You can if you really want use alcohol or perhaps even kerosene as the cleaning agent. Their main advantage is that they will disinfect the blades in the event that you have been cutting hedges which may be suffering some form of fungal infection. However the risk of cross infection, in our opinion, is slight and so we don’t recommend this.  

Now, before putting everything away it is a good idea to lubricate the blades.

How To Lubricate Hedge Trimmer Blades

To ensure the smoothest operation of your hedge trimmer and to make sure that you get the longest possible blade life should lubricate the blade after each use.

You will often be told that you need to lubricate both before and after use, but let’s be honest, not everyone has the time or the inclination to be doing something as fussy as this every time they use their hedge cutters.

We recommend using the trimmer, cleaning the blades, lubricating the blades and then put away ready for use the next time.

What you will need

  • Lightweight machine oil (we recommend 3-in-One Multi-Purpose Oil)
  • Old cloth

Many people recommend either WD40 or a specialist hedge trimmer oil for lubricating their blades. WD40 fine, but we don’t recommend it as it is not actually a lubricant. In fact it is simple a water repellent whose principle use is as a rust solvent. If you only have WD40 to hand then by all means use it, but be aware, it is not really lubricating. Hedge trimmer blade oil is ideal, but actually unnecessary as lightweight machine oil will do the job just as well and is a lot cheaper.

How to Oil Trimmer Blades

  • Lay the hedge trimmer down on a flat surface.
  • Take the oil for trimmer blades and one by one, apply the oil to the edge of the teeth of each tooth on the top blade.
  • Once done, wipe any excess oil off the blades with your cloth and replace the blade guard.

If you are using your hedge trimmer for an extended period of time, it is advisable to intermittently stopping and lubricating the blades during use, as well as at the end.

And that’s it. There really isn’t a great deal to it and hopefully you can see that the whole process from start to finish shouldn’t take you a long time at all. If you want to keep your hedge trimmer it top condition for as long as possible then do this every time you use it. Otherwise you might need to get yourself a top-rated hedge trimmer earlier than expected.

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