You need the proper maintenance of your tools if you want them to last – it’s that simple. By proper maintenance, I mean regular cleaning, servicing after a while, and proper storage. Without these, no matter how expensive a tool is, it won’t last.
The same goes for a hedge trimmer. Getting the suitable hedge trimmer or the most expensive one isn’t enough to consistently get the desired cutting performance out of it. Maintaining it properly is also crucial.
The components of it, such as motor, blades, air filter, the grips, need regular attention. These tasks are not daunting, but you need to be consistent with them.
Here are seven easy ways to maintain your hedge trimmer properly to get the maximum performance out of it and lengthen its lifespan.
The 7 Coolest Tips to Maintain the Hedge Trimmer
1. Clean the Air Filter Often
The motor of your petrol hedge trimmer needs a constant flow of clean and cool air to function correctly. But as you keep using the trimmer, dust particles and debris builds up in the filter and disturbs the airflow. This results in overheating of the engine, poor performance, lack of power, and also lessens the lifespan of it.
Cleaning the air filter is not a daunting task, however. It is typically released by a catch or a button – refer to the manual for more precise information about your particular model.
After you’ve removed the filter, gently tap it on a solid surface then blow through it. If you can manage a decently powered air sprayer to spray air through it, it’d clean the filter better.
If the filter is heavily jammed or if it has been used for a long time, it’s better to replace that with a new one. Do not ever wash or submerge the air filter unless specified in the manual. Changing the filter after a while is a good practice – it’s cheap.
2. Clean the Cutting Blades
Every time the blade of a hedge trimmer makes its way through small branches and leaves, trace amounts of sap accumulates on the blades. It can be the reason of the blades binding up over time.
This reduces the cutting performance and efficiency of the blades. Also, the added friction caused by dirty blades makes the motor to overheat.
But you can make sure none of these happens just by wiping the blades down with soapy water and cloth after every use – it’s that simple to clean the blades. If you can apply appropriate lubricants afterward, it’s better for their efficiency and lifespan.
The best practice is to clean the blades after every use; it doesn’t take long. If that’s not happening, then wash them after every second or third use. Dry out the blades after every wash before storing them away.
3. Sharpen the Blades
Every time you put your hedge trimmer against the leaves and branches, the blades get a little blunt. Over time, their performance is degraded. Sharp blades mean sharp cuts which are precisely what we all desire. It is why sharpening your blade after a while is necessary.
Well, I’m not going to lie here, sharpening the blades isn’t the most straightforward task of them all. It’s time-consuming and needs some skill.
You need a drill with a small cone-shaped filing stone. As an alternative to a drill, a flat fine would do great also. Refer to any related popular video on youtube for precise guidelines.
Go gently on your blade, do not wear away too much metal at one sharpening. Sharpen only once per 5- hours of accumulated use. You may take the help of the local service center if you’re not confident enough to do it yourself.
4. Lubricate the Blades Regularly
As you keep using the trimmer, the blades get more exposure to moisture and contaminants. You’ll be surprised how quickly erosion will take over on a good-quality blade if you do not do anything about those.
Proper lubrication once a month will create a protective barrier and help avoid erosion. It also helps the blades glide over each other smoothly, which reduces friction and provides smoother cutting with more power.
And lubricating the blades is probably the easiest of all maintenance tasks. The best practice is to lubricate the blade after they have had a good wipe down and dry off. Make sure you lubricate once a month; it doesn’t matter much how much cutting you done within – a lot or nothing.
5. Tighten Any Loose Fittings or Screws
You know what frightening? When you’re trimming, and some metal falls off the trimmer, and you’re not sure what fell. You’re highly confused to keep trimming, and it can be dangerous as well.
Loose body parts like crucial screws or bolts can easily fall off and become lost, which will cause damage to the trimmer. Hedge trimmers vibrate quite a lot which makes the bolts, connectors and screws loosen over time. It is a good reason why all tools need regular servicing.
To make sure no such hazard happens, give a thorough check over your trimmer after every while. If you find something that needs to be tightened, firmly but gently tighten them using appropriate spanners and screwdrivers.
All the screws tend to loosen up a little over continuous vibration. So tighten all of them to the appropriate amount that they need to be tightened respectively.
However, never over tighten them as it’ll cause damage to the threads. Do not switch screw sizes. Refer to the user manual of the trimmer before unscrewing anything.
6. Keep The Exterior Clean
Who doesn’t like a nice looking neat and clean trimmer? All the exterior body parts like springs, switches, buttons, and screws can fall victim to poor maintenance if you do not keep your hedge trimmer clean. A poorly maintained trimmer will not only look bad from the outside, but the inside mechanisms will be affected too.
The best tool for keeping the exterior clean is a compressed air sprayer. If you have one of those, use it to blow out the build-up dirt. If you don’t have one, use a lightly dampened sponge or cloth to clean the dirt out.
Do not use abrasive chemicals or cleaning solutions unless stated in the manual. Keep the rubbing action nice and gentle. Dry it off completely after you’ve wiped down the exterior and then store it away.
7. Store the Trimmer Properly
How you store your trimmer is critical to decide how long it’ll last. If you’re storing your trimmer in a place that is prone to leaks or excessively damp, you are causing to shorten the lifespan of the trimmer.
The metal parts will corrode due to moisture, and the fuel system could be hampered. Electric trimmers might get shorted due to the dampness, and other components may fail.
The best way to store your trimmer is in a UV resistant and waterproof canvas case. If you do not have one, wrap the trimmer in a dry towel or cotton sheet, place it inside a plastic bag, and then put the box somewhere off the floor.
Let’s Wrap Up
These easy yet effective maintenance tasks will not only help to lengthen the lifespan of the trimmer but also fetch maximum performance out of it. Do take care of your investment to get the best out of it.