How to sharpen electric hedge trimmers

Written by gail delaney
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How to sharpen electric hedge trimmers
Electric hedge trimmers help to keep shrubs neatly trimmed. (poinsettia hedge 3. image by mdb from

Electric hedge trimmers save you time and are easier on your arms than manual trimmers. When those blades become dull, the job takes longer to accomplish. Instead of making a clean cut on the stems, they are mashed and bruised, making them more susceptible to disease. Blades dull every time you use them. Instead of buying a new electric hedge trimmer or having the blades professionally sharpened, you can sharpen them yourself in a short amount of time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pliers or vice grip
  • Bench vice
  • Metal file
  • Linseed oil

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  1. 1

    Find a flat surface to work on. Unplug the electric hedge trimmers and place them on the table top with the blades facing away from you.

  2. 2

    Using a pair of pliers or vice grip, grasp the bolt or screw holding the two blades in place. Turn the bolt or screw counter-clockwise and remove it. This will release the two blades.

  3. 3

    Place the blade in a bench vice, and clamp it so the blade does not slip.

  4. 4

    Slide a metal filer down the length of your blade. Start from the inside or bottom section of the blade part and run your file until it reaches the tip. Sharpen on a 38-degree angle several times. Do not do this to the flat edge of the blades.

  5. 5

    Repeat Step 4 to sharpen the other blade.

  6. 6

    Test for sharpness by holding a piece of paper above the blade. Without using a lot of force, bring it down across the blade. If the paper does not cut easily, repeat the sharpening process.

  7. 7

    Apply a thin coating of linseed oil over both sides of the blades before you bolt them back together. This will keep them from rusting.

  8. 8

    Using the pliers or vice grip, replace the screw or bolt back into place. Tighten so each blade is securely in place.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear protective eyewear to protect your eyes from pieces of metal.
  • Some electric hedge trimmers do not have a removable bolt. This generally means that they are not serviceable, and you need to buy a new hedge trimmer.

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