By: Author John Cunningham. Published: 2019/06/09 at 8:09 pm
Ideally, the blades should be cleaned before oiling them. The moisture from organic material stuck to the blades can cause corrosion. Cleaning after every use will prevent damage and help keep them sharper for longer.
So, what oil do you use on a hedge trimmer? Use 3 in 1 oil or SAE20 engine oil to lubricate the blades of a hedge trimmer. Any grade engine oil will work well.
Give them an oiling every 30 minutes, or use them before and after use. I use a machine oil applicator, but a paintbrush or oil-covered rag would do the job too.
Your hedge trimmer will sound quieter and will cut faster after good oiling; you just can’t beat good oiling. You can use WD40, but it doesn’t stay on the blades as long; if that’s all you got, go for it, it’s better than no oil.
Clean & Lube – Use a wire brush to clean any organic matter from the blades before lubing. Use a paintbrush or machine oil bottle to apply oil.
2 Cycle Engine Lube
If your hedge trimmer is gas-powered, you’ll already know the gas needs to be mixed with 2-stroke oil. The ratio will vary from one model to another, and some models, like Stihl, have their own specific type 2 stroke oil.
Most trimmers will run between 40:1 or 50:1. That’s 50 parts gas to 1 part oil. Mixing small amounts of gas and oil isn’t accurate.
I mix a gallon at a time, and to keep it simple, get a bottle size that makes the correct ratio for your machine. A 3.2 fl. oz. bottle in a gallon can is 40:1, and a 2.6 fl. oz. bottle in a gallon can is 50:1.
Always shake the can before refueling, as the oil and gas separate when stored. I never leave gas in the hedge trimmer after use; it goes off and will cause all kinds of problems.
Regular gas 87 or 89 octane is best, but ethanol E10 is okay too. E15 and greater are not okay and can cause engine damage and void your warranty.
Oil Mix – Most Hedge trimmers run about 40:1 gas to oil mix. Always shake the pre-mixed gas before refueling.
Check Transmission Lube
All hedge trimmers will have a transmission gas-powered, electric, and battery; it’s located where the blades meet the body.
All the transmissions will be lubricated, and some will need to be topped up from time to time. Most of the battery and electric models are what they call oiled for life, meaning you shouldn’t have to check it, change it, or top it up.
The gas-powered models will need to be checked and topped up. On some hedge trimmers, you can use a grease gun to pack the transmission through a maintenance grease nipple or bung.
Other less thoughtful manufacturers make you remove the transmission cover plate. You should check and top up about every 25 hours of use or every three seasons.
The grease type may vary from one manufacturer to another, but white lithium grease is normally used.
You don’t need to remove the blades to grease the tranny, but removing them does make sharpening blades a ton easier. Note blades are timed, and your top blade may be different from the lower blade, so mark them clearly before disassembly.
For tools and supplies for your hedge trimmer, check out the “Hedge trimmer tools page”
You may also find the “Hedge trimmer troubleshooting page” useful.
Grease – Remove the transmission bung to fill the transmission grease; don’t fill to the very top, as the grease needs space to move around when the blades are moving.
I use tubes of white lithium grease; the tubes make filling a little easier.
Hedge Trimmer Storage
Electric, battery, or gas-powered blade care is the same. Clean down the blades after use using a stiff brush and a cloth to remove any foliage.
Allow them to dry out fully before coating them with WD40 or your oily rag. Fit your scabbard, as the blades can still move if pushed and are dangerous to little fingers and pets. Gas-powered trimmers should be drained of gas when not in use or use a gas stabilizer that keeps the gas fresh.
If you’re winterizing your trimmer, fill the gas tank up using your treated gas. This prevents moisture in the tank. Also, clean the air filter and spray the whole machine with a coat of WD40; this protects from corrosion and dampness. Don’t cover the machine with plastic, as this promotes condensation; just store it somewhere dry.
Winterizing – Drain the gas or fill the tank with treated gas. Store the trimmer away from small fingers and pets, and use the scabbard.
Why is my hedge trimmer not working? Common problems include:
- Blocked carburetor
- Flooding engine
- Dirty air filter
- Dirty spark plug
- Blocked/damaged gas line
- About the Author
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer at Lawnmowerfixed.com.
He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and shares his know-how and hands-on experience in our DIY repair guides.
Johns’s fluff-free How-to guides help homeowners fix lawnmowers, tractor mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, power washers, generators, snow blowers, and more.