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How To Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blades – 2 Methods

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A hedge trimmer, also known as a bush trimmer, or shrub trimmer, is a common gardening tool. It is used to cut, trim, or prune hedges or larger bushes and shrubs which are difficult to cut by simple pair of scissors.

A hedge trimmer can prove to be a highly efficient and effective tool to trim your hedges and bushes and keep your garden immaculate and exquisite.

However, one common problem faced by the owners of a hedge trimmer is that the blades get blunt over some time which may cause difficulty in trimming and cost you a new trimmer or getting the old blades sharpened.

If you are one of those people who cannot figure out what to do with your blunt hedge trimmer blades, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will guide you step by step on how to sharpen hedge trimmer blades and help you keep those hedges impeccable!

How To Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blades
Hedge Trimmer Blades – via

Know Your Hedge Trimmer

Before diving into how to sharpen hedge trimmer blades, you first need to know what type of hedge trimmer you own and what you should expect while using it. If you don’t already own a hedge trimmer and are looking to buy one, some good hedge trimmers are linked below.

Types of Hedge Trimmers

Following are some different types of hedge trimmers:

1.     Manual Hedge Trimmer

Also known as hedge clippers or hedge shears, a manual hedge trimmer is a cheapest and most widely used type. Their design is similar to large scissors, and they do not require anything to operate. They’re also environmentally friendly.

2.     Electric Hedge Trimmer

Electric trimmers are motorized powered through electric batteries (cordless) or a direct power supply from a cord. These are a little more expensive than manual trimmers but are more efficient and easier to use.

3.     Gasoline-Powered Hedge Trimmer

Gasoline-powered hedge trimmers are more heavy-duty than electrical ones, but they are also noisier, heavier, more difficult to use and are not environment friendly.

Why Do You Need a Hedge Trimmer?

A hedge trimmer can be a very beneficial tool for your garden to prune and trim your hedges and keep them spick and span.

If the hedges are not trimmed regularly, they start growing and spreading in all directions, which takes up a lot of space and makes your garden look unpleasant. Another important reason for trimming your hedges is to keep them healthy and growing.

If the hedges are not trimmed regularly, the older leaves start dying out, and it may also retard the growth of your whole bush. Apart from that, hedge trimmers have various functions in maintaining your garden, stated as follows:

  • Cutting and trimming small branches and stems
  • Maintaining and trimming a proper hedge
  • Pruning the branches after the flowering season
  • Deadheading
  • Cutting the thinning or dying shrubs
  • Cutting back the perennial plants
  • Cutting edges of the lawn
  • Cutting the thinner and softer trimmings into smaller pieces to be used as compost

What to Do When a Hedge Trimmer Is Not Cutting Properly?

If your hedge trimmer is not cutting properly or the cutting isn’t neat, this is your cue to sharpen the blades of your hedge trimmer. You don’t need new trimmers when you can DIY.

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to sharpen hedge trimmer blades at the ease of your home without seeking a professional.

Tools You Need to Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blades

You will need the following simple tools while sharpening hedge trimmer blades:

  1. Safety gloves
  2. Flat file
  3. Safety goggles
  4. Water
  5. Soft cloth
  6. Whetstone
  7. Power grinder
  8. Dremel tool

How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blades?

Following are some effective, cost-efficient, and easy methods for sharpening hedge trimmer blades with step-by-step instructions. A video tutorial has been linked for your further help.

Method 1: How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blade Using a Flat File

The file is a simple and cheap tool used for sharpening metal blades. You can learn how to sharpen hedge trimmer blades using a flat file in the following simple steps.

Step 1

Gear up and wear your safety equipment to avoid any injury.

Step 2

Clean your blades with a wet cloth to get rid of any dirt and debris.

Step 3

Take your file and start running it down each cutting edge of the blade. Maintaining the angle of the file the same as the cutting edge of the blade is very important.

Step 4

Ensure that you run the file down only in one direction, similar to the cutting edge, and not back and forth.

Step 5

Sharpen all sides and edges of the blade with the file and make sure you don’t file too much, as it may weaken the blade.

Step 6

Once you are done with the filing process, take a clean wet cloth and wipe away dust from filing on the blade.

Step 7

Now use the whetstone to smooth the blade’s roughened surface and get rid of any burrs after filing. Turn over the blade and moisten it a little bit. Swipe down the whetstone in the same direction of the edges and tip and smoothen the blade as you go.

Step 8

To test how sharp your blade is, you can test it with a sheet of paper. A well-sharpened blade should easily and cleanly cut the paper.

Step 9

You can lightly coat the surface of the blades with some linseed oil or an anti-corrosion spray. It will preserve the blade, ensure a longer lifespan, and keep it from rusting.

Method 2: How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blade Using a Power Grinder or Dremel Tool

If you own a power grinder and know how to use it, this method will work great for you. Using a power grinder is a much quicker and more effective way to sharpen your hedge trimmer blades.

Handling a power grinder can be a bit challenging, and if you don’t know how to use it, you may over-grind your blade, and it may weaken and wear out quickly.

On the contrary, the Dremel tool is a much safer, more efficient, and easy-to-use alternative to a power grinder. Here’s the guide on how to sharpen hedge trimmer blades using these tools.

Note: Use the same steps and follow instructions from the manual of your Dremel tool. Its usage is quite similar to a power grinder, and it is only recommended for its special attachments to sharpen gardening tools.

Step 1

Gear up! Wear your safety goggles and gloves.

Step 2

Now clamp the blade on a bench, so it doesn’t move while you sharpen it.

Step 3

Run down the power grinder at the angle of the cutting edge and move unidirectionally towards the edge. Turn over the blade and repeat it on the other side too.

Step 4

To finish off, repeat this process for all the tooths and then wipe off the blade with a damp cloth.


This article includes detailed instructions on how to sharpen hedge trimmer blades on your own. Now your garden can look spick and span with those immaculate hedges, and you won’t have to worry about your bushes extending in the yard.

We hope you find this article useful. Please leave your feedback in the comment section.