Can You Replace Hedge Trimmer Blades?

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A hedge trimmer is a versatile tool, making it easy to manage hedges, bushes, shrubs etc. Constant use will eventually wear out the blade though, so you are probably wondering: is it possible to get a new blade? The answer is yes, you can replace it. In this guide you will learn when and how to replace the blade step by step.

To replace a hedge trimmer blade, remove the screws connecting it to the main body. Use a wrench to unfasten the nuts so you can take out the blade. Insert a new one and put the screws and nuts back on. Your hedge trimmer is now ready to be used.

How to Replace Hedge Trimmer Blades

The following video shows you how simple it is to remove a hedge trimmer blade. The model used is made by Stihl, but the steps are similar to other popular hedge trimmers.

If would rather follow written instructions, there are directions given below. These steps are applicable to most types of hedge trimmers too. Of course this is a general guideline only and you should check the owner’s manual for more details.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • New blade
  • Blade lubricant (Plant Safe lubricant works great)
  • Wrench (usually 9mm, but consult your manual first)
  • Screwdriver (usually # Philips, but check your manual for details)

Step 1

Turn off the hedge trimmer. Unplug from the outlet if the trimmer is electric . Put your gloves and glasses on and set the hedge trimmer on a flat surface. Do this in a well-lit area to avoid losing any of the screws.

Step 2

Hold the hedge trimmer and look at the bottom. You will see the screws which attach the blade to the body. Remove all the screws. Place them aside for now.

Once the screws are gone, lift the blade and metal cover off. Depending on the model, some parts might fall off. You should have no trouble putting them back in place. Refer to your owner’s manual if needed.

Step 3

Hold the blade and you should see a few nuts. Use a wrench to remove the nuts. Take the strip off and you will be able to remove the blade.

Step 4

Get the new blade. Lubricate it if you have not done so already. Insert the blade where you had removed the old one. Ensure the blade is correctly aligned.

Step 5

Put the nuts back on. Do the same with the screws. Turn the blade on (plug it back in if the tool is electric). Give it a try. If you did it correctly your hedge trimmer should work fine.

Safety Reminders When Replacing Blades

Read the product manual first before attempting to replace or sharpen the blade. Even if the blade has dulled, it is potentially dangerous and you should always protect yourself.

By reading the owner’s manual you also reduce the risk of accidentally damaging the tool. Removing the wrong screw might cause important parts to fall apart. You might have to take the tool to a repair shop and get it fixed. Worse, tinkering with your hedge trimmer without knowing what you are doing could void its warranty.

Always wear safety glasses and gloves. Never assume the blade is harmless because it can no longer cut the way it used to. This is also why you should replace or sharpen the blade in a well-lit room or outdoors. This also minimizes the risk that you lose one of those tiny screws or parts.

Image Credit: Mark Hunter

Do You Sharpen or Replace Hedge Trimmer Blades?

Hedge trimmers should be sharpened at least after every 50 hours of use. If your hedger is used heavily it will need more frequent sharpening. For instance if you cut a lot of weeds with your hedge trimmer the blade will wear out faster.

How often you can sharpen hedge trimmer blades depends on their usage. At some point the blade has to be replaced.

To keep it simple: the time to replace a hedge trimmer blade is when sharpening no longer works, or you no longer get the same results. Since people use hedge trimmers differently, only you can determine when the blade has to be replaced.

Do not replace the blade unless you are sure it can no longer be sharpened. A lot of new hedge trimmer users make the mistake of not sharpening the blade. When the blade dulls, they immediately look for a replacement.

If the blade no longer cuts like before, sharpen it first with a good tool like the Sharpal multi-sharpener. Chances are that is all you need to do. This video shows you how to sharpen a hedge trimmer blade.

How often you can sharpen the blade varies by product. You should only replace the blades when sharpening no longer works.

How Long Do Hedge Trimmer Blades Last?

It is impossible to give a specific answer because no one uses hedge trimmers the same way. Not only that, these blades vary in quality.

Two people can have the same type of hedge trimmer, but they will use it differently. One maintains a small garden and only uses the tool on occasion. Its blade will last a long time. The other person has to maintain large hedges, cut shrubs, branches, bushes etc. Its blade will wear out more quickly.

If you have been using hedge trimmers for a long time, you will get an idea of how long it takes before the blade needs sharpening or replacement. This will be based on your experience and cannot be compared with others.

Are Hedge Trimmer Blades Universal?

Hedge trimmer blades are not interchangeable. Its replacement has to be compatible with the brand and model number. Check the website of your hedge trimmer brand and enter the blade model number in the search box. You will find suitable replacements there.

If you no longer have the manual and the model number is not on the blade (or faded), take the blade to a hardware or home improvement store. Show the blade and they should be able to find a replacement.

The reason these blades are not universal has to do with their design. Hedge trimmer blades have the same purpose, but manufacturers produce all kinds of hedge trimmers. The configuration, shape, design etc. are not compatible with each other.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can all hedge trimmer blades be replaced?

Almost all the major brands have replaceable blades. However, the way you replace them differs. Most will require you to undo some screws and nuts, but some models have a release button. You just press the button and the blade pops out.

Is it necessary to lubricate a new hedge trimmer blade?

Some blades will require it but others are already lubricated. Check the package for instructions.

How long should a new hedge trimmer blade last?

It depends on how often it is used and what materials are cut. If it is for regular hedge trimming, the blade will last a long time. If you use it to cut branches then it will wear out more quickly

What happens if I put an incompatible blade on my hedge trimmer?

At the very least the blade will not fit or the trimmer will not start. Worse, you might be able to put the blade in and use the hedge trimmer. But it will wear out quickly or suddenly just stop working. It is too risky so you should avoid it.

Can I switch the blades of an electric and gas hedge trimmer?

Use only the blades that are designed for your hedge trimmer. If the blade is incompatible it could result in all kinds of problems.

I installed a new blade but my hedge trimmer is not working. Why?

Check the installation. Make sure the blade is aligned in the right direction. Some of the screws and nuts might also be loose. You should also check if the trimmer is plugged in (if electric) or has fuel (if gas powered).