How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmer Blades?

This post may contains affiliate links. If you click and buy we may make a commission, at no additional charge to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.

You shouldn’t wait until cutting instruments like hedge trimmers show signs of serious wear and tear before you make the move to sharpen them. To get the most out of your blades we have written this guide on how to sharpen hedge trimmer blades.

Ideally, after about 50-70 hours of use the blades need to be sharpened to keep maintaining the cut quality/performance.  Sap and resin residue from the back of tree branches can make their way to the hedge of trimmer blades hereby causing damage. Apart from washing them off, the blades need sharpening maintenance often.

Hedge Trimmer Blades

For safety reasons, endeavor you only sharpen the cutting edge and not the integrated cut protection of the hedge trimmer.

Only sharpened trimmer blades yield best results, no matter the kind of hedge trimmer you use.  There are three main types of hedge trimmers; Gas hedge trimmers, electric hedge trimmers and battery-powered hedge trimmers.

The strongest of all trimmers are gas hedge trimmers and will need a higher level of maintenance because the machine uses more cutting power to work faster.

Electric hedge trimmers on the other hand are the second strongest hedge trimmers. If you don’t mind the discomfort of a power cord then these trimmers might suit you.  They don’t require much sharpening as gas hedge trimmers do.

Battery hedge trimmers are the most eco-friendly alternative of them all. They don’t require gasoline, operates with less noise but are generally less powerful than gas or electric trimmers.  When it comes to maintenance you will need to pay more attention to the batteries rather than the blade of the trimmer.

There are two ways of sharpening hedge trimmers:

1. Use a file

2. Use a Power Grinder

Using a File

Sharpening Hedge Trimmer Blade Using a File

The simplest and most traditional way of sharpening hedge trimmers is by using a dedicated file. Do not underestimate the simplicity of this process. If you do it rightly, your blades will effortlessly cut through hedges and leaves.

Pay close attention to the instruction below because most people get it wrong:

Step 1:  While you file each blade make sure you go in a downward motion first.

Step 2: Step two is crucial; don’t file downward and upward in a repeating fashion. You are only making the blades duller than they were before. Instead lift up the file before you go back up the blade.

Step 3: There is only one direction you need to take to sharpen your blades and that direction is downwards. Not downwards and upwards. Sharpening hedge trimmer blades like this will take some time but the results will please you.

Step 4: After you must have sharpened all the trimmer blades, use a sharpening stone to remove the shafts from the blades.

It’s ok to notice some inconsistencies around the blade. After all, sharpening with a file is a manual process.

Using a Power Grinder

Sharpening Hedge Trimmer Blade Using a Power Grinder

Power grinders are the most efficient and fastest way to sharpen hedge blades. They produce consistent results but are much more dangerous to use.  They can create sparks to ignite a fire outbreak, so be very careful with them.

You have a competitive edge if you know how to use a power grinder. Now I’m not talking about watching it off a YouTube video. You must have been taught in person on how to properly use a power grinder.

To use a power grinder follow these laid down rules:

1. Fixate the blade tightly in an unmovable position. Make sure you get this right the first time otherwise you will have to move it around when the sharpening process starts.

2. Once you start using the grinder, gently apply pressure to the blade teeth.  If you apply too much pressure you might sharpen off more than is required.

3. Sharpen each tooth individually for best results. Also make short strokes down the teeth rather than full long strokes. You will need to sharpen with a lot of short strokes if you want a reasonable degree of consistency.

4. If there are burrs left on the blade, use a sharpening stone to skim over the blade teeth. Skimming with a stone isn’t necessary when you use a power grinder because burrs are more prone to occur with files.


Here are some essential steps you need to take to insure your safety :

1. Before the sharpening process takes place, you must ensure that the power source of the hedge trimmer cannot turn on. Take off the battery and remove the cord if it’s an electric hedge trimmer. Also empty the tanks and ensure that the button is in off position. 

2. Remove all sources of discomfort and attachment from the trimmer before you begin sharpening it.

3. The best way to sharpen the trimmer is by placing in on a flat empty surface. A workshop table is an ideal surface to help move the blade around.

4. Wear protective gear and gloves before you start the sharpening process. This step is very important if you intend to use a power grinder.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t enjoy the extra labor required to sharpen your blades then don’t force it. For as little as $5 you can get it sharpened in a local tool shop.

As long as you have a way to sharpen the blade teeth then you will be fine.

Remember sharpen the blades after 50-70 hours of use or once in a month.

Leave a Comment