How To Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blades

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Should you be doing some garden landscaping and suddenly your hedge trimmer seems to struggle with cutting shrubs and branches, then it might be due time for you to give your blades a good sharpening. 

Sharpening your hedge trimmers is actually pretty easy, and you will soon be able to get them back into their original state. 

Keep reading to find out how you can sharpen your hedge trimmers, and get a great result! 

Things To Keep In Mind

Before you get started, make sure that you have some protective goggles and some non-slip  gloves for cutting for handling, and later sharpening your hedge trimmer.

You should also ensure you have a flat file, as you will need this if you are manually sharpening your hedge trimmer. 

Should you want a faster approach, you can simply use a rotary tool instead of a flat file.

Safety First

Before we get started on just how you sharpen the teeth of your hedge trimmer, you need to make sure that you are prepared and safe. So, let’s go through the process of preparation and safety 

1. Use A Silicone-Based Cleaner

The first thing you will want to do is get a lubricating, silicone-based cleaner. Then, take your trimmer outdoors to begin spraying it down the blades thoroughly with the lubricant.

Give it around 15 seconds, and activate the hedge trimmers. Doing this allows the lubricant to get between each blade and cut up any gunk that is on there. 

If your blades are filthy you may want to do this 3 times. You can do this after or before the sharpening, but it is easiest to do so before.

2. Unplug/Remove Batteries

You should never be putting your hands on the blade of your trimmer when it could turn on by accident, so you need to remove the battery pack or unplug the device so that it does not turn on by accident. 

3. Wear Protective Gear

How To Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blades

Ensure you have your safety gear nearby. Even if they do not look sharp, safety is still required, and you will need some heavy-duty gloves so when you handle the blades you are doing so safely. 

You should put on protective goggles too, the sharpening process can cause the metal bits to scatter, and you do not want a trip to the emergency room with metal in your eye. 

4. Align Teeth With Screwdriver

Hedge trimmers will have 2 rows of blades that are on top of each other.

Get the handle of any screwdriver to gently nudge the teeth so that they align perfectly, they should be positioned on top of each other perfectly, this is going to give you more space in which to work. 

It will also let you sharpen both sides at the same time should you have decided to use a rotary tool. 

Some hedge trimmers are fitted with a mechanism that locks the blades in place, once you have done this make sure to activate the mechanism to lock them.

If you do not have this feature, steady up your blade with a hand as you file the other side. 

5. Clamp To Work Surface

Get yourself a C-clamp and tighten it around a workstation and the main body part of the trimmer so that the blades protrude over the end of your work surface. 

Tighten up the clamp until it will not get any tighter. 

Should you not have a clamp for the trimmer, you could hold it beneath a very heavy object, heavy blocks or bag of concrete will suffice for this purpose. 

This is imperative as it is not safe to begin sharpening the blades of your trimmer without keeping it still, it is a recipe for injury to try and do so. 

Sharpening Your Trimmer Using A File

If you have decided that you will use a flat file to sharpen your hedge trimmer, get your flat file ready. You can use any metal file that has a rough texture and a flat face.

Should you have a set of flat files, you should seek out a file that matches the width of the teeth on your trimmer, this will simply make it easier to do. 

Next, you will want to drag your chosen file alongside the first blade’s tooth, and do so at an angle of 45 degrees.

You can choose any tooth to begin with, although it is best to ensure that you know exactly where you start. 

Place the flat file along the bevel of the tooth and push downwards, scraping the file away from yourself. Then, apply gentle pressure as you move it to sharpen the edge of the tooth. 

Once at the end of the downward scraping, lift it off and reset it at the top of the tooth. You should repeat this action 7 to 8 times over for a good enough result. 

If you were to drag it backwards and forwards over the blade, in a sanding motion, you would wear it down, and would actually end up dulling the blade. So, ensure that you continually file in the same downward direction.

Once you have finished the first tooth, continue on to the rest of the teeth. Sharpen each tooth in the same way as you did the first, and make your way around the whole blade.

Once you have completed the first side, it is then time to flip over your trimmer and repeat the whole process again on the other side, this can take a full hour at times.

Once finished, clean up the blades with a whetstone as this will get rid of any burrs. 


Sharpening your hedge trimmer blades is super easy. You do not need too many items, and the primary consideration is safety.

However, make sure you are filing it in the same consistent direction as to avoid potentially dulling it further.

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