Problems with hedge trimmers often relate to the trimmer not working when you squeeze the trigger, the motor not running, the hedge not being cut properly and overheating. Once you determine that there is an issue with your hedge trimmer, it's possible to diagnose what's causing the problem. Diagnosing a hedge trimmer is accomplished by following simple steps.

Step 1

Release the trigger-lock button if the trimmer doesn't work when you squeeze the trigger. The trigger-lock is usually a small button to the side of the trigger, and is a safety mechanism. Ensure the extension cord is plugged in if the problem persists, and check the household circuit-breaker panel for tripped breakers if the cord is plugged in but the trimmer still won't work.

Step 2

Turn the trimmer off and look for debris between the cutters if the motor works but the hedge isn't getting trimmed. Debris should be cleaned out. Then use a damp cloth to clean the blades, and apply a light coating of oil. Replace the cutter assembly if the problem persists, as the blades are probably blunt. The cutter assembly can only be replaced, not sharpened. Replace it by removing the bottom cover and then removing the cam with the locknut. Finally, remove the cutter assembly, discard it and insert a new cutter assembly in its place.

Step 3

Perform the cut properly if you are unable to diagnose any more problems. Don't try to cut branches larger than ¾ inch in diameter, and use sweeping movements to cut new growth. Don't force the trimmer through brush, the likely cause of overheating.