Guides and Tips on How to Use a Hedge Trimmer Safely

Learning how to use a hedge trimmer is a handy skill for taking care of the yard and keeping the hedges as pristine and precise as the lawn. Hedge trimmers are convenient to use in transforming your fence into something more clean-cut and sophisticated.

However, you have to be careful when handling this machine.

How to Use and Operate a Hedge Trimmer

There are basic guidelines on how to use a hedge trimmer for your safety and efficient use of the unit. Follow these to make trimming your hedges safer and more convenient.

Guides and Tips on How to Use a Hedge Trimmer Safely

Before Trimming

Picture Out the Shape of the Hedge

Before you power up your unit and start trimming, picture out the ideal hedge shape first. Ideally, the configuration should be inclined, with the top portion sloping inwards. It ensures that your hedge has enough base to support growth at a later time.

Lay the Groundwork

Before trimming, it is essential to prepare the groundwork for a lesser mess to deal with afterward. Thank includes placing a tarp or a protective covering on the ground to catch the trimmings.

Wear Safety Gear

Protect yourself while trimming your hedge. Make sure to wear appropriate clothes, including protective gear like eye goggles, ear protection, gloves, and boots. Heavy-duty and snug-fitting garments are also the best.

Lubricate the Hedge Trimmer

One of the vital parts of using a hedge trimmer is to know how to care for it. That includes making sure that the unit is in good condition before you start powering it up. Lubricating the trimmer is essential before every use for better cutting performance.

Holding Your Trimmer

  • Hold the hedge trimmer firmly with your front hand gripping the handle and the back holding the grip. Wearing appropriate gloves will help give you a better grip on the unit.
  • Wrap your fingers tightly on the unit’s handle without straining your hand. Your thumb should be under the handlebar, never in the same position as your other fingers.
  • Keep your hands and fingers away from the trimmer’s blade at all costs.
Guides and Tips on How to Use a Hedge Trimmer Safely

After Trimming

Clean Away the Trimmings

After trimming, clean away the cuttings. It is where that tarpaulin setup becomes handy. Simply bundle it up for disposal.

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Clean Your Hedge Trimmer

After every trimming session, it is vital to keep the trimmer cleaned thoroughly to preserve is good condition.

Clean the cutting blades using soap and water, then check the air filter for any dust particles or trimmings stuck inside. Clean it up to avoid weak engine power due to blocked airflow.

Give the hedge trimmer a thorough check once the unit is clean. Check for broken parts or loose screws. Tighten the fittings and replace the damaged parts before tucking it away.

Sharpen and Lubricate the Blades

Your hedge trimmer is only as good as the blade’s performance, so make sure you preserve its sharpness. Sharpen the edges if you think it needs sharpening, then lubricate it thoroughly. A little lubrication will go a long way, so don’t overdo it.

Store the Unit Correctly

Store your hedge trimmer where it’s protected, especially from harsh weather elements. A case with UV resistant and waterproof features is best to protect your gear. However, you can also keep it wrapped in a towel before placing it in a box for extra protection.

Trimming Basics

  • The key when using a hedge trimmer is to work slow and steady. It is safer that way and produces more precise cuts.
  • Only use the hedge trimmer on branches that are ¾-inch thick, never more than that.
  • Let the hedge trimmer do the hard work to avoid hurting yourself and the blade.
  • Trim your hedge starting from the bottom going up.
  • Use the trimmer in sawing motion when cutting thick branches.
  • Release the power button after every cut to prevent wear and tear of the blade.

Safety Precautions on How to Use a Hedge Trimmers

  • Ensure that no one comes near you while using the hedge trimmer. Keep people at least 40 feet away while working.
  • Wait for the trimming blade to stop before making adjustments with the trimmer or moving to the next hedge.
  • Never use the hedge trimmer while on top of a ladder.
  • Don’t overreach when trimming hedges. Trim only the parts below your shoulder height for optimum control of the unit.

Tips on How to Use a Hedge Trimmer

There are various types of hedge trimmers, and each requires different handling techniques. So, learn how to use a hedge trimmer based on what kind you have on hand.

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Electric Trimmers

This type of hedge trimmer offers infinite power sources for continuous work, but the trailing cord limits your reach. Here are some tips on how to use a hedge trimmer wired to a power outlet.

  • Keep in mind that the trailing wire limits your reach, so don’t pull too far away. If the cord is too short for the intended work, you can comfortably use an extension cord to reach around your hedge.
  • After every trimming session, make sure to unplug the unit, even if you are only taking a break. You don’t want someone to accidentally turn on the device while connected to the power outlet.

Gas Trimmers

Gas-powered trimmers are highly powerful hedge trimmers, but they require the most care and maintenance.

  • Ensure that you know what you need to power up the trimmer, whether it requires gas only, a special kind of fuel, or a combination of gas and oil.
  • If the unit needs a gas and oil mixture, make sure that you refilled the container before using the trimmer.
  • Keep the fuel of your machine fresh. Empty the tank after every use. You don’t want gas sitting inside while at storage. It creates layers of old gas or oil that may clog the machine in the long run.

Cordless Trimmers

This type of hedge trimmer uses batteries for power. There is no cord trailing behind, and cordless trimmers don’t produce toxic fumes. However, they can only work for as long as the capacity of the batteries.

  • Only start using your hedge trimmer with fully charged batteries.
  • After using the trimmer, put it on charge before storage.
  • Don’t leave the battery inside the trimmer is in storage. Take it out to preserve the battery’s service life.
  • Don’t leave the batteries charging for too long if you don’t want to damage it. Once fully charged, store the battery away from direct sunlight and moisture.
Guides and Tips on How to Use a Hedge Trimmer Safely

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ)

Are hedge trimmers easy to use?

Hedge trimmers can be easy to use if you know the basics. The instructions typically come with the product, and often covers what extra considerations should be taken for your growing area.

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Here are a few key points to keep in mind: 

1) Always use two hands on the handle.
2) Only cut when it’s dry and clean and not wet or cold out, as this could cause damage due to moisture buildup that makes cutting more difficult.
3) Quieter hedge trimmers will allow you to work without disturbing your neighbors too much-or interrupting your favorite soap opera!
4) Lastly, take care of it by following all directions included in the manual.

Can you use a hedge trimmer to cut branches?

You can, but it doesn’t make for a very precise cut.
Branches and hedges will typically spread and grow in many different directions after they’re trimmed, and a hedge trimmer isn’t like a chainsaw that you can control the direction of the blade with. If you want to trim branches or hedges into specific shapes, this is best done using scissors or hand-held shears.
The preferred method when branches needs to be trimmed tight to the pole is to use loppers made with metal alloy headstocks which allow an arcing cut on hardwood poles such as apple trees.

What do you use a hedge trimmer for?

Hedge trimmers are mainly used to cut or trim foliage that is too close to a building for a mower to reach. 

They can also cut overhanging branches of shrubs and bushes without damaging the hedge itself, and they may be more suitable than a shear in some circumstances where large amounts of dense growth need to be removed quickly.


Learning how to use a hedge trimmer allows you to use your device more efficiently and safely. Hedge trimmers are potent machines, and if you are not careful, accidents happen, or your hedge may not look as clean as you would like.

Different types of trimmers require separate handling techniques. However, with this guide, you should know how to use a hedge trimmer and maintain your device by now.

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Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.