Proper Cleaning for a Stihl Hedger

Updated February 21, 2017

A Stihl hedger, or hedge trimmer, requires regular basic cleaning after each time you use it. The hedge trimmer also requires a deeper cleaning of certain system parts if it isn't working properly. Keeping the unit clean will improve the trimmer's function, and it will keep the hedge trimmer running for many seasons.

Regular Cleaning

After using the Stihl hedge trimmer, clean the entire body of the hedger. With a clean rag, wipe off any dust and debris that may have collected on the body and the handles. Wipe off the metal blades and in between the blades with the rag as well. Don't use any grease solvent on the metal teeth. When you are finished with the other basic cleaning, you'll need to lubricate the blades. Spray Stihl resin solvent on the teeth. Start the hedger's engine and let it run for a few minutes to distribute the solvent.

Cleaning the Air Filter

The air filter on a Stihl hedge trimmer sits above the carburettor and helps clean all particulate matter from the air before it gets mixed with the fuel. These filters will collect a lot of junk, especially if the hedge trimmer is used in dusty conditions. Unhook the air filter cover and check the filter pad after each use. Wash the pad in a light detergent, like dish soap, if it's dirty. Rinse the pad under cool water and let it stand overnight before using it again. Replace air filters when they can't be washed clean anymore.

Cleaning the Muffler

In some parts of the country, a spark arrester screen is required to prevent accidental sparks from leaving the muffler and starting a fire. This screen collects a lot of the carbon build-up emitted from the engine's exhaust. As this carbon builds up over time, it will inhibit the venting of gases, and the engine will shut off. Wash this screen periodically, every 40 to 60 hours of operation, and scrub off the carbon with a wire brush. Brush out the muffler and the exhaust port if they also have heavy carbon deposits.

Cleaning the Fuel Tank

Dust, dirt and woodchips can fly into the fuel tank during a refuelling stop when the cap is undone. These particles may not even be visible, but floating in the gas, they will eventually suck up against the fuel filter and shut off the gas supply. Drain and scrub out the fuel tank, if you notice a sudden loss of power or similar acceleration issues. Pull off and replace the fuel pickup nozzle every season. Clean the pickup nozzle regularly if it's been used in dry, dusty conditions.

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About the Author

Currently based in Minneapolis, Minn., Eric Blankenburg has been a freelance journalist since 2000. His articles have appeared in "Outside Missoula, Outside Bozeman," "Hello Chengdu" and online at and various other websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Montana.