Since hedge trimmers have different variations according to a gardeners need, there are also distinctions between cleansing and maintenance of these tools. Conventional hedge trimmers are common among small gardens to trim and cut hedges and various plants. These hedge trimmers often require simpler ways to maintain and would sometimes only require water to cleanse the blades itself. The appearance of these elementary hedge trimmers is similar to the household scissors which is somehow oversized compared to its handy similarity. On the other hand, hedge trimmers which are both electric and fuel operated, are more complicated when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. Gardeners need not only to preserve the condition of their plants but also their tools of the trade. There are three different essential aspects of how to prolong the service life of an electric or fuel-operated hedge trimmer, mainly cleaning, greasing, and sharpening. These three steps would ensure that the serviceability and lifespan of a hedge trimmer shall not be brief, especially for businesses that use hedge trimmers for professional use.
As discussed in the previous articles, sharpening is the action wherein the blades of the hedge trimmer, whether electric or fuel-operated, are returned to its original state of cutting capacity in order for it to wield efficiently. It is the blades, which is the very basic component of a hedge trimmer, that also plays a vital role in cutting hedges alike. Through utilizing Dremel tools – or for more traditional hedge trimmers – whetstones, these can achieve the task of sharpening depending on the preference and need of the user. However, this is not the only maintenance requirement of hedge trimmers which are used often daily for professional work or home use. Hedge trimmers encounter different plant varieties that either has sharp thorns, hard bodies, hollow or sappy trunks and a lot more. Daily operation shall take a toll on the overall condition of the hedge trimmer, but with proper handling and maintenance, early retirement of hedge trimmers can be avoided through appropriate cleansing.
Since plants are in essence mainly water, the edges of the hedge trimmer may be inflicted with sap coming from the diversity of hedges and plants that it may encounter. Periodically, plant parts and remains such as wood may accumulate within the main shaft of the electric or fuel-operated hedge trimmer wherein the blades are mounted, thus creating friction and resistance for the free cutting movement of the blades. In order to avoid this, it is fairly important these are cleansed once in a while or – on the most optimum – before and after each use. Regular water may be used, depending on the make of the main shaft and the blades of the hedge trimmer. There may be variations of stainless steel to regular metal hedge trimmers available for gardeners. Albeit water is known as the main component to produce rust, the following aspect imparts the most important, if not the most critical knowledge, on how to clean hedge trimmers – providing for a solution on how to avoid jamming of the blades.
Greasing, wherein the user applies sufficient lubricants in order to reduce abrasion in between moving parts of the hedge trimmer does the trick. Lubricants are common in the market, often than not, the famous WD40 does the trick on most moving and non-moving metal components – such as a hedge trimmers’ blade. Even on industrial grade machinery, lubrication is principal in any type of operation. Coating the metal parts in grease or lubricant – that is often in contact with different plant forms – also ensure that these parts do not get damaged easily.
A coat of lubricant ensures that the blades pass through the trunk of any hedge gracefully and with little to no chafing, which is often the cause for lost sharpness of the blades and in worst cases total destruction of one or more blades for the hedge trimmer. However, it is not only the main shaft and the blades that require adequate maintenance but even the motor of the hedge trimmer itself. Proper operation of a hedge trimmer is by holding it by the front vertical grip with one hand, and the other hand pressing downwards on the rear grip, performing an upward motion while cutting hedges. It is favorably easier to cut a hedge coming from below then moving up the blade than operating it from above to then moving down the blade. The prior reduces stress from the motor by naturally heeding the upward growth of plants and its body instead of going against its inherent characteristics. One similar action of the latter is through a chainsaw, which is swung from the top to the bottom – which is not the case for a hedge trimmer.
Like any result of engineering, the motor also requires check-ups and maintenance like greasing and decluttering. Through time, the inside of the motor cover and motor itself may accumulate dust and particles from plants and may affect and seize the hedge trimmer from use. In worst cases, especially in fuel operated hedge trimmers, poorly maintained tools may catch fire and inflict serious injuries upon its user. The handles also play a vital role in the overall operation of a hedge trimmer. The handles, which are two in most hedge trimmers, are often covered in rubber outliers to provide sufficient grip and to somehow hush any strong vibration transferred to the hand of the user while cutting. In most cases, plant sap due to cutting may transfer to the handles and attract dirt and residue from the surroundings. This will make the handles sticky and difficult to wield without a glove. Incidentally, it may also be the cause of slippage from the hand of the operator. Cleaning hedge trimmers are normally simple and straight-forward, however, if not performed on a regular basis, may render the tool useless and broken. Maintaining a perfect upkeep procedure will ensure that a hedge trimmer’s shaft, blades, and the motor would be in tip-top shape whether for business or personal use.
You may interested to read How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmer with Dremel