Do you leave your hedge trimmers dirty after trimming the hedges? If you ever did this, then you must be aware of the outcome this action bring along. Just like any other tools, hedge trimmers also need proper care to serve you for longer. You already know how “Proper maintenance” can increase the lifespan of almost everything. No doubt, you’ve to have good quality tools too.
Since you’re a landscaper and cleaning your hedges with hedge trimmers very often, you might have noticed how the hedger is slowly degrading. It makes the whole cleaning thing a lot more daunting with an old hedge trimmer. Have you ever thought of maintaining your hedge trimmer to increase its longevity? If not, then you should.
How to Maintain Hedge Trimmers?
Did you say you’re good to go without maintenance? I’d laugh, but you might take offense. Anyway, maybe it’s better to read the whole article rather than coming back crying. Isn’t it? So some tips for maintaining hedge trimmers are…
Clean the Hedge Blades
Don’t be this lazy to leave the hedge trimmer without cleaning its blades. Otherwise, you’re going to face your nightmare from last night for real, RUSTED HEDGER BLADES! Of course, we’re not here to scare you with such extravaganzas, but you should keep your eyes open.
You have to make sure the power button is turned off and the hedge trimmer isn’t connected to the power socket to start the cleaning. If it’s a battery hedge trimmer, take the battery out of the hedger. Lay the hedge cutter on a clean and smooth surface. First thing first, you have to remove any leaves or twigs that are stuck between the blades. If you find them being too stubborn, tweeze them out!
Some plants have resins such as fir and pine. Trimming these plants can transfer some resin to your hedge cutter blades. You can’t clean them just with your bare hands; you’d need a resin-cleaning solvent in this case. Take an old dry cloth, apply the cleaner on the blades then wipe these off with the cloth. It should clean the resins decently.
Lubricate the Blades
Did you notice your hedge blades gradually wearing away small particles of it? Don’t any steps to prevent it any further? You’ll then get upset when the blades go useless for good. Again, when you’re lubricating the blades right before using the hedger, it’s going to help you make the trimming a lot easier.
Lubricants stop sap and residue from sticking to the blades, and the blades need to trim hedges faster. Once the trimming session is finished, don’t forget to use the same lube/oil to clean the blades. It makes the cleaning procedure trouble-free. Now, what should you use to lubing the hedge cutter?
Your manufacturer should instruct you in this regard. Maybe they have got a special lubricant to use on that particular trimmer. If not, then ask them what you should use then. Experts mostly recommend any 3 in 1 oil to clean hedger blades. You may try this too. Remember to buy the spray bottles because they’re easier to work with.
Sharpen Your Hedger Blades
You might have noticed that your hedger blades get blunt after cutting big branches. Resin is another culprit for it. If you don’t sharpen the blades after a short period, then you better be ready to count a big loss.
Moreover, you’ll likely spend hours cutting hedges where you could make it in 30 to 40 minutes. Don’t wait for your hedge trimmer blades to get completely dull and blunt. Gas hedge trimmers are the most powerful in cutting leaves and branches, and their blades also need to be sharpened more often. You may need to do it twice or more times in a month though electric and battery hedgers don’t require sharpening that much. Still, you may want to do it once a month.
Before you start the procedure, you should put on protective gear to save you from any injury. Ensure the plug is taken out from the outlet, the battery is removed, or the fuel tank empties to avoid any unexpected occurrence. Put the hedge blade on a smooth surface or a table. Take a file to sharpen the blades. You have to move the file upside down, meaning it should go towards the cutting edge. When you run the file for once, lift it and move it upside down again. Repeat the step until the blade is sharp enough.
Then do the same with the other blades as well. Please make sure the strokes are the same on each of them. Please don’t go harsh, be easy and gentle on them.
Smoothen the Burrs
If you avoid this step after sharpening the blades, then you should know how it feels while trimming. Textured blades can’t do the job nicely and make it late to cut even those thin leaves. Trimming doesn’t seem to be enjoyable anymore. This is why you should smoothen the burrs after each sharpening session.
So now take a whetstone. This is your weapon to knock those burrs off. Start running the whetstone towards the tip, again and again, until the burrs are smooth again. Though filing doesn’t tend to create burrs, don’t forget to smoothen it if you see a little burr.
Take Care of the Air Filter
Your gas or petrol hedge trimmer won’t function properly if the air filter is jammed with dirt and debris. It would be best if you cleaned it before it’s jammed too badly. Otherwise, the filter will be really daunting to clean. That’s when you need to replace the filter with a new one. Though it’s not very expensive, not taking care of it well will make you replace it more often. Now that is expensive!
To clean the air filter, you have to take the filter off first. Then try shaking the dust off by tapping it on something solid. It should work if you’re cleaning the filter regularly. Otherwise, you may have to collect a powerful air sprayer and spray it through the air filter. You should talk to the manufacturer if they can send you a new one if the dust layer seems really stubborn. Better not wash the filter unless recommended in the manual book.
Clean the Exterior
Can you start your hedge trimmer without the power button or work with it without the outer part of it? Without proper maintenance, buttons, screws, and the insulation part is going to come off gradually. You’re Aware of what happens then. You can even get horrific electric shocks in such cases.
Cleaning the exterior part of the device is important to keep it in shape. Compressed air sprayers can remove the dirt layer pretty decently, saving the device from rust and all. Some people don’t have such sprayers, so they can safely clean it with a dampened sponge and cloth. Make sure you’re reading the manual before using a damp cloth or so. Maybe it can be harmful to this particular model.
Using abrasive chemicals is a ”BIG NO” from the experts. Also, don’t rub too harshly.
Fix Any Loose Screw and Bolts
With repeated use of a hedge trimmer, it’s nuts, and bolts can go loose, which will cause vibration while trimming. You can’t work properly with a shaky device, can you?
You may end up falling down and cutting yourself, which isn’t going to please you, for sure. You can’t shape hedges properly either with a vibrating hedger. So, better have a look at them before each use and tighten the bolts and screws often. Take professional help if you find them confusing.
Clean the Fuel Tank
How could you skip cleaning the fuel tank of your petrol hedge trimmer? Petrol usually lasts from three to six months if it’s stored carefully in a sealed container. It oxidizes when it comes in touch with oxygen. If you’re not using your hedger for more than three months, then you should throw the petrol inside, clean the tank nicely and then load it with new petrol. Otherwise, it should damage the device gradually.
You need to dispose of the old petrol and pour hot water into the tank. You may put some mild detergent in it. Insert a small brush and gently clean the tank. Make sure there’s no leak in the tank and if you find any, inform the manufacturer immediately. Ideally, you should replace the fuel tank once in a year or so.
Keep the Power Cord in Check
Keeping the power cord of any device in good shape is very important. Not only saving you and your family from unexpected accidents but also avoids sudden interruption in trimming sessions. We know how it feels to stop midway in a hedge trimming sitting.
If your hedge trimmer power cord or plug develops any defect, change the whole cord with the plug. Check the manual if there’s any instruction written regarding this. There’s some power cord which will work as well as the original one while the others may not serve the same way. So you better visit the nearest dealer to do it for you.
Store It Safely
Storing in safely means storing it in such a way that’ll keep both you and the device secured. The hedger can be proved seriously dangerous if not stored carefully. Please keep it in a place where children can’t reach it. Even if you don’t have your own kids, you have some in your family and neighbors.
Cover the trimmer well, especially the blades. Make sure it’s cleaned properly, and the fuel or battery has been removed before storing. There shouldn’t be any dirt or debris, oil, or cleanser left in the hedge trimmer. This way, you can go a long way with a hedge trimmer without replacing it.
Like any other device, hedge trimmers need proper maintenance to increase their lifespan. From cleaning to storing the device, there are steps to follow that will help the device to function as a new hedge trimmer does. Though petrol and electric devices need a little more maintenance, they’re worth it because these two are more powerful than others.