archiveJuly 2019

Care and Maintenance of your Hedge Trimmer
MaintenanceTrimmer

Care and Maintenance of your Hedge Trimmer

Care and Maintenance of your Hedge Trimmer

A hedge trimmer is an essential part of the garden enthusiast’s equipment. A powerful piece of machinery, it is imperative that serious attention is given to its handling, use and treatment. Care and maintenance of your hedge trimmer is of paramount importance for the following reasons:

• Safety A hedge trimmer by definition is a potent piece of garden equipment. If it is not looked after in a proper manner, used in a correct and responsible manner, and looked after by following the guidelines set out by the manufacturer guidelines it could become very dangerous not just to the user but to people in the vicinity of its use.

• Durability Hedge trimmers are a sturdy piece of gardening equipment. If used appropriately, maintained before and after use, and stored in the correct way when not in use, there is no reason why it should last you many years. A well maintained hedge trimmer will always be an effective tool.

• Reliability As mentioned earlier you need to know that the equipment you are using is safe. If you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as to how to maintain and care for your machine, you can feel safe in the knowledge that it will always be predictable in its behaviour. You can always expect the same high standards and reward from each job you do.

Care and Maintenance of your Hedge Trimmer
Care and Maintenance of your Hedge Trimmer

• Time saving in the long term By spending a small amount of time looking after your hedge trimmer each time you use it, you are in fact saving time. This small sacrifice certainly balances off the amount of time wasted having to take it in for repairs, trying to find reasons why it is not working properly and having to do a job slowly because it is malfunctioning.

• Financial gains in the long term Good maintenance and care is more likely to lead to a situation where you never need to take your hedge trimmer in for repair, replace parts that have ceased working or worse still, buy a completely new appliance. Looking after the hedge trimmer blades

Cleaning

It is important that you clean the blades after every use. When you are cutting branches and stems it is highly likely that sap will soon cover the length of the blade. If the sap is left it will solidify and prevent your blade from cutting effectively. There are one or two ways to deal with this. One way is to wash the blade with soap and water (always ensure the trimmer is completely unplugged before any maintenance or cleaning). This will normally do the trick but you must be sure you also dry off the blade thoroughly afterwards or it will be in danger of rusting. You can also use wd40 oil or a similar type lubricant.

Keeping the blades sharp

It is important the hedge trimmer blade is as sharp as when you bought it. A blunt blade will lead to extra work for yourself working with an ineffective tool or even damage to your plants. You can sharpen the blade yourself using a die grinder or a Dremel-type rotary tool(this should only be done if you feel safe using these kind of tools as it obviously has its dangers) or take it to a dealer approved by your manufacturer.

Upper and lower blades

For optimum performance you want the upper and lower blades to be as close together as possible. It is a good idea after every session to check if a gap has formed between them. If a gap exists between upper and lower blades, loosen the top lock nut, screw the blade bolt in until a snug fit and then loosen the blade bolt one half turn. Again if this is something you do not feel confident in doing yourself, you should take it to your approved dealer.

Care and Maintenance of your Hedge Trimmer
Care and Maintenance of your Hedge Trimmer

Gearbox lubricant

After every 25 hours of use you should grease the gearbox with appropriate lubricant.

Damage through dirt and use

The tasks your hedge trimmer will be performing will place it in situations where there is likely to be a lot of dust, dirt, and general natural debris, so ensure the fuel tank and especially the air filter is clean. This will prevent unwanted dirt finding its way into the engine. The most important switches on your machine need to be checked before actual use. That is the on-off switch and the throttle. Because your trimmer has quite a powerful engine the actual casing is going to feel quite a bit of vibration. Always check nuts and bolts are
screwed tight or replace where necessary. This vibration may also have an effect on the spark plug. Before using your hedge trimmer check the spark plug gap is the distance specified by the manufacturer.

Electric Hedge trimmers

Always check the length of the cord to the energy source for any cracks or cuts.

Fuel and carburettor area

If you have a petrol hedge trimmer you need to make sure that you have no leaks in the fuel line that lead to the carburettor. Also double check to make sure no cracks have appeared in the fuel tank itself as this can be a place where leaks will appear.

Storage

If you have a petrol hedge trimmer and you are going to store it away for a long periods of time it is important to empty out the petrol out beforehand. People often forget that petrol deteriorates. It will eventually turn to varnish and leave deposits in the engine. This of course will affect the engine badly. If you do not wish to take out the petrol you can always add a petrol stabiliser to the fuel. This will prevent petrol deterioration. Before storing away always make sure the trimmer is greased, clean and the blade cover is replaced. Now your trimmer is ready for next season.

Features & Functions of Hedge Trimmers
Hedge Trimmer FeaturesTrimmer

Features & Functions of Hedge Trimmers

Features & Functions of Hedge Trimmers

The hedge trimmer has become a common sight in domestic gardens, and has proved to be an essential and affordable piece of equipment for trimming, cutting and even sculpting your hedges and bushes. The hedge trimmer comes in various shapes and sizes and is manufactured by all the large retail brands. It can be bought from all reputable DIY stores and online gardening e-shops.

How a Hedge Trimmer works

At first sight the hedge trimmer resembles a chainsaw. The working machinery and handles are at the back of the device, while at the front are the large blades which do all the work. You will find trimmers with a single blade ( non-reciprocating) and dual blades (reciprocating blades). The single blade appliances, as can be expected, are more efficient cutting a lighter amount of foliage. As well as being able to take on a larger task, the dual blade appliance also makes for a finer neater cut. Critics of the single blade suggest that it does little more than shred. The two lightweight blades which work in tandem to cut through natural foliage cleanly and with minimal effort are usually between 6 inches and 28 inches long. The latter is really only used on very powerful machines and in a commercial environment. For domestic home use you should never need a blade longer than 18 inches.

How a Hedge Trimmer works
How a Hedge Trimmer works

Three types of hedge trimmer

There are basically three types of hedge trimmer – petrol powered, electric powered and battery operated. In the electric and battery operated models power is provided to a small motor in the housing via a plug or battery. Once the engine is running a crankshaft is triggered into life and moves backwards and forwards. The crankshaft is connected to the blades and in the case of reciprocating machines causes the blades to move in opposite directions.

The electric hedge trimmer will need to be plugged in to an electricity source. This can cause restrictions on where you wish to carry out your work and it may also be less flexible when trying to manoeuvre it to different angles when trying to make a clean cut. The petrol model is free of any of these issues but its disadvantage is it is much heavier than its electric cousins. However as it is generally more powerful it is excellent for the bigger projects. The advantage of the battery model is it is not only cordless it is also lightweight. So for small domestic jobs it is also vey useful. However it should also be taken into consideration that the charge does not last long and that it could take up to an hour to recharge it again.

A petrol hedge trimmer will more than likely be powered by a two stroke engine. Although more powerful, and manoeuvrable than the electric models, on the whole it will need more maintenance. Owners need to remember to ensure the fuel used in the tank is always fresh, clean, and the correct brand the manufacturer recommends. Before storing the appliance all fuel should be emptied out and then run the engine on ‘idle’ and so all the petrol in the carburettor is dispersed.

Three types of hedge trimmer
Three types of hedge trimmer

Long Reach hedge trimmer

Gardeners can now acquire a hedge trimmer for especially high bushes or shrubs. The telescopic hedge trimmer comes with up to three extra features. The shaft or handle can be extended to different lengths depending on the job in hand. This can be a great safety measure as it may get rid of the need for ladders and in doing so create a much more secure and safe environment. The second feature is the fact that the blade is able to align to be parallel with the top of the hedge. This allows you to trim quite precisely even though you maybe below the crown of the hedge. Thirdly in an attempt to make the trimmer lighter, the battery is detachable and wearable around the waist.

Extra features

Another useful feature to look out for when buying your hedge trimmer is “rotating blades” This facility allows you to change the angle of the blades and hence means more flexibility and manoeuvrability when you work. An excellent safety feature on electric models is the cord retainer. This prevents the cord being pulled out form the energy source accidentally.