A hedge trimmer can simplify the process of trimming hedges and shrubs into a uniform shape. Like any tool with metal blades, though, the hedge trimmer can begin sticking after repeated use. You can restore blades to their best form by lubricating the hedge trimmer regularly.
What Type of Lubricant
If you still have the paperwork that came with your hedge trimmer, you should consult it before purchasing an oil for your hedge trimmer. Often, the manufacturer will recommend an oil that works well on its product. Tanaka, for instance, recommends WD-40 on its trimmer. In general, though, any type of tool oil can be used to lubricate the blades.
How to Lubricate
You can oil a hedge trimmer in a few different ways, though not all ways are good for all trimmers. If you have a manual trimmer, you may be able to safely dip the blade into a pan of oil. If you have an electric trimmer, you should either spray the oil onto the blades from a spray can or rub the oil onto the blade with a cloth. Charles Howard of Cornell University recommends filling a sock with sand and applying the oil with this "oil sock."
How Often to Lubricate
Hedge trimmers can be kept in their best working condition by oiling the trimmers with every use. You can apply oil prior to pruning a hedge or bush to help prevent sap from the hedge from sticking to the blades. Oiling again after using the trimmer to prune a hedge helps remove sap from the blades and keeps the blades moist during storage.
Other Hedge Trimmer Care
Like all garden tools, you should wipe hedge trimmers clean after every use, using a rag to carefully wipe down the blades and remove any organic residue prior to applying new oil. Once the trimmer has been cleaned and oiled, store the trimmer somewhere out of the elements, like in a shed or garage. A hedge trimmer can lay flat on a worktable or can be hung by its handle for storage.
Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.