How to Lubricate Your Electric Hedge Trimmer

If you’re looking for a proper guide on how to lubricate an electric hedge trimmer, you probably own one already but you might be facing performance lags and jams. Following the use of a hedge trimmer, the blades usually pick up dust, sticky sap, leaves, wood dust, resin, or anything that the hedge trimmer comes in contact with when you sweep it across your outgrown hedges. Lubricating your trimmer is a great way to prevent common issues.

However, this does not affect the performance of the hedge trimmer immediately, but if you don’t know how to lubricate a hedge trimmer, the debris caught by the hedge trimmer will eventually affect the sharpness and also the performance of the trimmer. The blades will not be able to slide smoothly and over time, without lubrication, they may go rust. In the end, you might need to sharpen the blades of the hedge trimmer again to recover performance, and this is a lot more difficult than it sounds. 

Hedges cut in front of a house
We’d like to live in a house with hedges this big to cut with our electric hedge trimmer

The Best Electric Hedge Trimmers

If you’re planning to get a replacement or are planning to buy your first hedge trimmer, it’s advised that you go for the best one in terms of quality and performance. They are usually the ones that can withstand debris and still keep performing well, but it does not mean you should wait for a long period before you lubricate them.

Here are some of the best ones you can buy today:

  • Black and Decker Corded Electric Hedge Hog Trimmer: This product has a rust-resistant sheering blade, that cuts branch up to three-quarters of an inch thick. Heavy-duty blades that are pre-hardened ensures that it stays sharper for extended periods. It’s light-weight, easy to assemble, and use.  This innovative power tool has a precision ground dual-action blade that cuts through overgrowth with 40% less vibration than single action blades. Get it here.
  • Toro 22 In-Corded Hedge Trimmer: This is a powerful and reliable tool that provides excellent service for trimming hedges, shrubs, and bushes. This trimmer is designed to get the job done faster and easier. It helps to provide desired results with less effort; preventing arm fatigue. Get it here.

To find more about the best hedge trimmers out there, click here to get a run-down through the list.

Now, back to where we were. To get the best out of your hedge trimmer, you need to have a system for quick cleaning and lubricating your electric hedge trimmer after its use. We are going to provide you some simple steps to proper maintenance. We have tried this ourselves and found out that we finish trimming our hedges in less than 10-mins. Do you see why lubricating an electric hedge trimmer is so important? It saves you so much time and labor!

If you do not implement such a maintenance system, you will end up looking for replacement blades for your trimmers and that could be a painstaking task to do. 

How to Lubricate Your Hedge Trimmer

Step 1: You need to clean your hedge trimmer blades before you lubricate them. Randomly oiling your blades without cleaning out the debris will only make the situation worse.

You will need a bowl, warm soapy water, a clean cloth, and a scrubbing brush. Then dip the cloth in the warm soapy water and soak it properly. Point the hedge trimmer downwards to prevent the water from going into the motor and then wipe the sides of the blade with the wet cloth.

Then, grab the scrubbing brush and scrub those blades, especially in areas where you deem to have dirt accumulating fast. Afterward, use the wet cloth to wipe the sides of the teeth clean again.

When both sides have been wiped and cleaned properly, wring the cloth and give the blades another sweep to remove the remaining drips or excess wetness. 

Then, you have to leave the hedge trimmer blades facing downwards for a couple of minutes to dry out. 

This is how to clean an electric hedge trimmer before lubrication. You can also use alcohol or kerosene to sterilize the blades. The advantage of this is that it will disinfect the blades if you cut a plant, bush, or tree that could be suffering from fungal infection. The risk of cross-infection is however minimum, so we usually do not recommend doing this. 

Step 2: Before you put the blades after a thorough wash, we recommend you grease/lubricate the blades to ensure cutting precision and less vibration. 

To do so, you need to be able to identify the right type of oil used for electric hedge trimmers. This is not as hard as it seems, as a heavy-duty commercial oil will work fine with your electric hedge trimmer. Use oil that is not too toxic but one that is validated for purity, as well as being environmentally friendly and safe. If you ignore this information, you can damage your plants when you trim them.

Electric hedge trimmers always come with an instruction manual. Big companies such a Black & Decker, Greenworks, Makita, or Radius Green will usually offer their oil or recommend the type of oil that needs to be used with your hedge trimmer. However, the oil is not as important as how you oil your hedge trimmer. We will tell you how to lubricate your electric hedge trimmer thoroughly but bear in mind that the type of oil you decide to use can make a huge difference to your electric hedge trimmer in terms of performance and longevity. Stick to oils that are pure and keep them in cool, dark, and dry areas at your home. 

Step 3: It’s also important to know when you should oil your hedge trimmer. Unless oil starts dripping out of your electric trimmer, you should keep lubricating it. If the oil starts dripping out of the trimmer, that’s a sign for you to stop.

Whenever you know you are about to trim rough and long hedges, you should lubricate your trimmer after a thorough wash for smooth functioning. When you oil your trimmer, it prevents sap, branches, and other debris from sticking into your trimmer, so it is recommended that you oil your trimmer frequently. 

But you do not have to do it all the time. Some people decide to do it when they feel that their trimmer is getting rigid, while others schedule it at weekly or monthly intervals. In this instance, it’s in your best judgment to know when to lubricate your electric hedge trimmer because you know how you have been using it. 

Step 4: The final step is to lay down the electric hedge trimmer on a flat surface after you have rinsed and dried it out. 

Take the lubricant that has been recommended for your electric hedge trimmer and then apply on the edge of the blades and teeth one by one; on top and below the blades. Once you are done, wipe away excess lubricant off of the blades with a fresh cloth and then replace the blade guard. 

If you have been using your hedge trimmer for an extended period, it is advised to stop and intermittently lubricate the blades during use as well. Also, in the end, it is advisable to lubricate the trimmer to slash away everything in your hedgy path with precision. 

And that is it, there no big deal to it than following these simple steps. Hopefully, you will realize that the entire process does not require much time. You need to be able to clean and lubricate your electric hedge trimmer now and then, on your best judgment of course, to keep your hedge trimmer in top condition for as long as possible. We recommend that you do this every time you use it. Otherwise, you might need to look for replacements sooner than expected. 

Final Thoughts

Work on a functional plan to follow when you want the best cleaning and lubricating routine for your electric hedge trimmer. This will often become difficult for you to crack. If you are lazy and do not want to clean it after every use, at least try and clean and lubricate the power tool once a week to ensure nothing is jammed inside that can kill your hedge trimmer. Also, sharpen the blades once monthly to make sure you get a fine and precise cut with each use of the trimmer. 

If cleaning too often is too much for you, oil your trimmer whenever it’s suitable to keep the blades running properly, with minimal vibration and seamless cuts. A clogged system that does not cut well will take a lot of time to trim the hedges and can cause fatigue.

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I've been raised in a family of international gardeners spanning multiple generations, from vegetable growers in Germany to fruit tree growers in Iran. I hope you find the information you read useful to using electric gardening tools in gardening.

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