Best way to lubricate hedge trimmers

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Written By Janine Clarke

I am Janine Clarke AKA Equipment Girl, a nerdy girl with an unhealthy knowledge about power tools and gardening! You can contact me here.

Your hedge trimmer is a valuable tool in your garden, making light work of hedges, shrubs, trees, bushes and branches. Of course, if you want the best performance from your hedge trimmer, you must take good care of it!

This is as true for gardening tools as it is for you, and you’ll find maintenance tasks like cleaning your hedge trimmer enhance its performance and extend its lifespan. Adding an effective lubricant is no different.

When it comes to making your life easier, knowing the best way to lubricate a hedge trimmer is helpful information, and you’ll find all you need to know right here.

Restore your hedge trimmer blades with some care and attention

Before you start cleaning and caring for your trimmer, take the time to read the instruction manual if you still have it. If that paperwork is long gone, have a look online. If you are in any doubt, following the manufacturer guidelines is helpful and will give you confidence.

You don’t need a particular oil or spray

Of course, there are times when you don’t need to follow the guidelines to the letter, especially if they recommend a particular brand of oil over all others. It could be a partnership or sponsorship deal rather than a ringing endorsement of a product like WD-40, Fluid Film or any commercial oil.

So, if you have the manufacturer’s instructions, follow the general guidelines without feeling you must follow the instructions to the letter!

Why should I lubricate my hedge trimmer blades?

The most significant reason to lube your hedge trimmers is to ensure they perform at their optimal level, and protect your device. You want it to avoid rust, and ideally, ensure that excess moisture doesn’t impact its performance.

If you take good care of your device, you reduce the need to replace it, or repair the machine. Trimmers are dangerous, just like chainsaws and mowers, so taking great care of the motor and blades makes sense.

Jagged cuts are a sign of poor performance from your machine

If you find it tougher to cut through branches, twigs and shrubbery, it might be that your top blade is no longer in good condition. You might also find your cuts uneven and jagged, which is another indicator that your blades are not operating at their optimum level. Oiling your trimmer and applying proper lubrication minimises the likelihood of corrosion on your device.

You don’t need to do a lot of work to lubricate your blades, but doing so correctly provides an excellent return that offers short and long-term benefits.

You will enjoy greater cutting power, but you’ll also extend the lifespan of your hedge trimmer. This can save you money and inconvenience at a later date.

Lubricating your hedge trimmer

You’ll be glad to know there are many options to consider when looking to lubricate your hedge trimmer, but not all opportunities are equal. YouTube is the source of many great tips but also where many bad ideas receive too much time and attention.

Take time over caring for your device

If you’ve seen users dip the blade of manual trimmers into a pan of oil, you know this is one way of oiling your trimmer. Of course, it is a highly messy option and will likely cause more trouble than it is worth!

It is better to follow more deliberate actions when applying oil or grease to your trimmer, especially if you have an electric trimmer.

You can spray organic material oil as a lubricant

A good tip is to spray oil from a can directly onto the blades. Alternatively, you can place and rub the oil directly onto the blades with a cloth or clean material. Again, YouTube shows some weird and wild suggestions as to what material is suitable for oiling your trimmer, including a sock filled with sand!

That isn’t recommended as your first choice for lubricating a trimmer, but it’s not unusable!

How often should I lubricate the blades?

Ideally, you should lubricate the blades every time you use them, and even then, you should do so before and after you use them.

Avoid sap sticking to your blades

Lubricating your hedge trimmers before use improves performance and ensures tree sap doesn’t stick to the blades. After you have finished trimming bushes and trees, lubricating the blades again removes any sap and helps maintain the blades’ condition when not in use.

hedge sap on saw blades

Cleaning tips to complement lubricating the blades

While lubricating your hedge trimmers is a sensible step in maintaining it, it shouldn’t be the only maintenance task you carry out.

Good maintenance is essential in enjoying the best results

Following these other steps will ensure lubricating your blades delivers the best results:

  • Wiping the blades down, removing dirt and debris, before and after every use with a rag or cloth
  • Wipe away dirt and debris, wash and spray lubricant on bolts and switches
  • Remove any residue or build-up from your trimmer when not in use
  • Storing the device safely, away from the elements, is vital – and a shed is a great storage location
  • You can hang the device from a wall or place it on a secure shelf
  • Look to store the trimmer away from liquid and avoid the impact of moisture on metal, such as rust
  • Consider the benefits of blade sharpening in enhancing the lifespan of your device
  • Review and clean the oil reservoir
  • Check and clean the air filter

These tips are the same for any garden tools, but a good lubricant is essential for trimmers.

Can I use soapy water on my hedge trimmers?

Yes, soapy water is a good part of the cleaning process and should be undertaken in addition to the lubrication process?

Can I use mineral oil to lubricate my trimmer blades?

Mineral oil has an extensive range of uses and comes in handy for a wide range of household tasks. This oil is a suitable option for oiling your trimmer blades.

Can I use spray oil?

Many people gravitate towards commercial oils such as WD-40 or Fluid Film, but any good oil or grease will minimise friction, and enhance the performance of your device. Just be careful to wipe away excess lube from your tool and metal surfaces after cleaning it.

Feel confident in your performance

Lubricated blades provide you with the confidence you need to get the best from your gardening equipment and machinery.

A well oiled machine is a cared for device, and more likely to perform strongly time after time. Applying the same care you would do to a motor or mowers will ensure you get the best from your device, no matter how often you use it. The need to clean and grease your blades will vary depending on use and quality of the tool, but developing a habit of regular cleaning and oiling will help you get the best from your trimmer.