Hedge trimmers are an essential part of any garden grooming kit. They provide an easy way for you to trim the hedges in your yard or garden without breaking a sweat. However, if you use them long enough, like any instrument, they will begin to blunt. And because of that, you will have to sharpen them. This is a continuous process that will occur throughout your time with them, so you’d better find the best way.
There are a lot of methods that you can use to sharpen hedge trimmers. However, one is better than all the others. And that’s sharpening them with a Dremel.
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Sharpening Hedge Trimmers With A Dremel
If you garden regularly, you’ll know what a Dremel is. It’s basically a miniaturized Power Grinder. It allows you to sharpen tools and to drill. However, here only the former option is relevant. The Dremel rotates a metal disc that you can use to sharpen any tool.
The Dremel can allow you to make quick work of the hedge trimmers without any safety issues. It doesn’t give off any sparks, doesn’t pose a major physical threat to your body, and can be totally controlled. The small disc gives you a level of precise movement and smoothness not afforded by any other tool. This level of control and speed is why it’s the best option to sharpen hedge trimmers.
How to Sharpen Hedge Trimmers With a Dremel
- Step 1: Ensure that the hedge cutter is clean. Make sure that there are no branches, bits of grass or small pebbles locked between the blades.
- Step 2: Once you’re sure everything is clean, attach all the screws and nuts in the Dremel sharpening kit.
- Step 3: Hold the hedge trimmer in place using a bench vise. Clamp the trimmer firmly so that it doesn’t move an inch during the sharpening process.
- Step 4: Power on the Dremel and then move it close to the hedge trimmer blades. Make sure that you apply light pressure, so as to not damage or over sharpen the blades. Short strokes ensure that you don’t mess with the proportions of the blades. Long strokes are discouraged because they can change the appearance of the blades.
- Step 5: Make sure that you repeat the process for each blade and you’re good to go.
Of course, this will be a process that you get better at as time goes on. However, if you’re not too sure about how to proceed, here are some tips.
Tips on How to Use a Dremel
- You can use a jig in order to hold the Dremel at a certain angle. This will give you more precision and control during operation.
- If you’re going handheld while using a Dremel, you should wear gloves and practice.
- You can use orange stones rather than rotary discs for sharpening. This makes a huge difference since using stones gives you more room to work. A disc can restrict the angles and the space you have to work with.
Why is the Dremel the Best Way to Sharpen Your Hedge Trimmers?
You can sharpen your hedge trimmers with a lot of different instruments like a mill file or a power grinder.
- The Mill File is the cheapest option for sure. It’s a manual sharpening instrument that you can use to sharpen the blades one at a time. You need to detach the blades from each other and then hook them up to a bench vise. This will take time, but it’s a safe method. However, when you get to sharpening with the file, you’ll realize how long it will take. It’s a more precise method and one which is probably for the pros, but it takes a lot of time, regardless. This is why the Mill file is considered a very inefficient way to sharpen hedge trimmers.
- The second alternative to Dremel is the Power Grinder. This is, without a doubt, the fastest way to sharpen your hedge trimmers. It involves strapping down the hedge trimmers and then inserting the power grinder at the right angle. This will make quick work of the hedge trimmers, but it will also be very dangerous. The reason is that the abrasion and friction created by the power grinder will create a lot of sparks. These can go into your eyes, and the power grinder can damage your arms or your hands. A lot of control and restraint is required when handling the Power Grinder. Only about 2-3 seconds of contact is needed at a time. Otherwise, there is a danger that you can seriously damage the hedge trimmers.
This is why the Dremel is considered a much safer option, even if it is a little slower.
- Hence the Dremel is a compromise between the safety of the File and the speed of the Power Grinder. The Dremel ensures safety and speed while avoiding the danger and the inefficiency of both instruments.
How to Know if Your Hedge Trimmer Needs Sharpening
Now that you know why choosing Dremel is your best option, find out if your Hedge Trimmers need sharpening. There are a lot of ways you can tell. For example, you can look at the blades of the hedge trimmer and assess that they’re blunt. You can also notice that the cuts on the branches are becoming uneven. That’s usually a good sign that you need to sharpen your hedge trimmers.
You can also look at your hedge trimmer after a day’s work to see if there are branches trapped between the blades. Twigs can get stuck between the blades and detach them from each other. That can usually block the blades from cutting any branches or trees.
If any of these things happen in the first place, you’ve overused your trimmer without sharpening it. You need to make a habit out of this. When your hedge trimmer needs sharpening can depend on how much you use it.
If you’re a regular user, then you need to find out the interval length between sharpening days. If you determine that length, setting reminders for sharpening your hedge trimmers will become easier. Also, you won’t be caught off guard on a day that you really need the trimmer to be sharp.
Using hedge trimmers on particularly hard wood or near fences or any sort of metal structure can damage it. If you’re trimming near a hard structure, judge the distance from it before you start. This reduces the chances of clashing against it while you work.