How to sharpen hedge sheers (hedge trimmers)


“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” —Abraham Lincoln

The above has to be one of my favorite quotes, a great summary of working smart versus working hard.  I have used this quote in reference to doing work such as creating tools to make the overall job take more time…in this sense I will be using it in the more literal terms in actually “sharpening your ax” or in this case your hedge sheers.

As you can see from the picture above I have let these sheers go a little and they provide a bit too much of resistance when trimming the hedges.  With proper maintenance the only resistance you should feel is from the bushes you are trimming.

The process to sharpen your hedge trimmers is actually quite simple and can be done with a very limited set of materials.



Step 1: Clean surface.  Apply a small amount 3-in-1 oil to one of the surfaces of the blade and rub with steel wool to remove any dirt/grime from the blades.  Repeat process for all four sides of the blades.


Step 2: Remove rough edges from flat side of blade.  Use your medium metal file to remove any rough edges on the blade.  Repeat with fine metal file until edge is very smooth.


Step 3: Sharpen rounded edge of blade. Using the fine metal file carefully make create a sharp cutting surface.  If the right work was done on Step 2 there should not be much work do do here.  Just keep gently apply pressure until there is very little resistance, pay attention to the sounds this is a case where you can hear when your work is done.


Step 4: Clean and oil up.  Clean off and remaining grime with old rag and apply some more 3-in-1 oil to the blade and any moving parts as needed.


Now you have some hedge sheers that will easily slice through your shrubbery with much less effort and allowing you more time to more exciting projects in your garden.  When it comes to other tools in your garden hand sheers or an old shovel you can use these same tips to make those work like new as well.

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