How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmers

Written by mary lougee
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How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmers
Sharp hedge trimmers cut through leaves and branches to leave a clean appearance. (Isolated hedge image by Pamela Uyttendaele from

Sharp hedge trimmers make quick work of trimming bushes. The blades snip leaves and branches with each closing motion between the two blades, using the same technique as scissors. Hedge trimmers need sharpening when they tear leaves and branches instead of cutting them cleanly. Dull trimmers leave a hedge or bush uneven with small pieces protruding from the foliage.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Vice
  • Dremel tool
  • Sharpening stone
  • Wrench

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  1. 1

    Turn the handle counterclockwise to open the vice grips.

  2. 2

    Open the hedge trimmers, pulling the two handles as far apart as possible.

  3. 3

    Set the trimmers in the vice with the centre of the trimmers in the teeth of the vice. The handles should point down and the tips of the trimmers will point up at a 45-degree angle on each side of the vice.

  4. 4

    Turn the vice handle fully clockwise to secure the hedge trimmers.

  5. 5

    Press the Dremel shaft lock and hold it. The shaft lock is on the top of the Dremel near the collet, which is the nut that holds the attachments in place.

  6. 6

    Turn the Dremel tip by hand clockwise until it stops. Place the collet wrench on the collet nut and turn it counterclockwise. This will open the collet to remove the current bit.

  7. 7

    Pull the current bit straight out and insert a sharpening stone into the Dremel. Tighten the collet nut by turning it clockwise with the wrench.

  8. 8

    Place the Dremel speed button on the highest speed. This is “High” on a two-speed model or “6” on a variable-speed model.

  9. 9

    Turn the “On/Off” button to the on position.

  10. 10

    Place the sharpening stone at a 45-degree angle to the trimmer blade on the left. Slide the Dremel from the bottom of the blade to the tip in long strokes. Make five or more passes on this blade.

  11. 11

    Repeat this sharpening process on the right blade.

  12. 12

    Turn the Dremel off and release the hedge trimmers from the vice by turning the vice handle counterclockwise.

Tips and warnings

  • The vice must be tight on the hedge trimmers so they do not slip out of its grip.
  • Five passes of a Dremel sharpening stone will sharpen hedge trimmers in need of sharpening. For rusty or very old hedge trimmers, repeat the sharpening process until each blade is sharp.
  • Spray a generous amount of lubricating spray on the junction of the two blades on the hedge trimmers if they do not open easily.

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