How to maintain hedgetrimmer blades

Lubricate blades for clean and easy cutting

/ Inspirations

06/06/2023

Estimated reading time 3 minutes

How do you use a hedgetrimmer? Whether it's electric, battery powered or petrol driven, a hedgetrimmer can cut and trim hedges and shrubs with thin branches easier and faster than hand tools can. Don’t use a hedgetrimmer to prune trees: that job is best done using a chainsaw.

How does it work? A hedgetrimmer cuts a bit like a guillotine: one blade remains fixed while the other slides back and forth, causing gaps to open and close between the teeth. This movement generates friction between the blades, which can be exacerbated by trapped fragments of leaf and bark, wood dust, resin, etc., hindering the movement of the blade and putting the engine under strain. The result is extra effort for you and a ragged cut for plants, which is both harmful to their health and unsightly. This is all the more true if you are using the hedgetrimmer for precision jobs such as ornamental pruning.

To reduce friction, and therefore wear, on the hedgetrimmer blades, they need to be lubricated. However, you should inspect and clean them first. Lubricating your hedgetrimmer’s blades is essential before storing it over winter or for extended periods, because it protects against rust (and it goes without saying that your hedgetrimmer should be stored in a dry environment).

Once you have finished using the hedgetrimmer, carry out routine maintenance. While you’re at it, check the sharpness and wear condition of the blades, and check them for damage. First of all, switch off the hedgetrimmer, let the engine cool down, then—depending on the machine’s power source—remove the plug from the electrical socket, the battery from its housing, or the cap from the spark plug. Finally, protect your hands with utility gloves (here you can find the personal protective equipment to use for various gardening tools).

Here’s how to clean and lubricate hedgetrimmer blades:

  • Clean the blades with a dry cloth, or a stiff- or soft-bristled brush.

  • If you suspect that the plants you have pruned are diseased, disinfect the blades with alcohol to prevent the infection from spreading, then let them dry completely before reusing.

  • Sharpen the blades if necessary, carefully following the instructions in the user and maintenance manual. You can also take a look at this article on how to sharpen a hedgetrimmer. If you have an Efco hedgetrimmer, contact your nearest service centre, which will sharpen the blades professionally. Do your blades need replacing? You can contact a service centre for this too.

  • Lubricate the blades with specific, good-quality biodegradable oil, such as Efco Chain Lube protective oil. Using an oil can with a spout, apply it generously between the blades, without missing out any teeth. Alternatively you can apply biodegradable spray-on lubricant.

  • Start the hedgetrimmer and run it for a few seconds, accelerating a couple of times to distribute the oil over the entire surface of the blades, then turn the machine off.

  • Wipe off any excess oil with a rag.

  • Check the gear case grease level after every 20 hours of operation: if necessary, using the appropriate greaser or screw, lubricate the gear case by injecting molybdenum disulphide grease, such as multifunctional Efco special grease.

  • Protect the blades of your hedgetrimmer using the supplied blade cover.

For lubricating hedgetrimmer blades, we suggested using biodegradable oil because it doesn’t cause pollution by dispersing oil into the environment during pruning. Never use recycled oil. You can read more useful information about hedgetrimmer lubricants in this article on the importance of quality oils and petrol for gardening tools.

Do you want to buy a hedgetrimmer so that you don't need to prune by hand? Or are you looking to replace your current model? Here you will find a comparison of different types of hedgetrimmer (electric, battery, petrol) and a focus article on battery-powered gardening tools (including hedgetrimmers).

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