How Long Do Hedge Trimmer Blades Last?

Dull or damaged hedge trimmer blades can lead to uneven cuts, strain on the motor, and overall reduced performance. So how long do they usually last before needing replacing?

Hedge trimmer blades last a long time, typically several years, particularly if you maintain them properly by cleaning and sharpening them regularly. Due to all the factors involved, there’s no way to know exactly how long they will last as each situation will be different, but there are signs to look out for that they need replacing such as the blade no longer moving smoothly despite cleaning and lubricating. 

In this post, you will discover the best ways to keep your blades cutting efficiently for many years and the one thing you should look out for that indicates a replacement is due.

The Average Lifespan Of Hedge Trimmer Blades

There is no easy answer to how long the blades on your hedge trimmer will last as it all depends on how they are used, maintained, and the type of hedges being cut.

Many typical home users find their blades are good for 5 to 10 years of use and may not even be the first thing to fail on their machine. Commercial users on the other hand may find they need to replace the blades every 2-3 years as they are used nearly every day during the growing season.

A couple of top tips for longer-lasting blades are to always buy the best you can afford and keep them well-maintained.

Factors Affecting How Long Hedge Trimmer Blades Last

Hedge trimmers can be used in many ways and on lots of different types of vegetation, all of which can impact their useful life. Regular maintenance is also key in keeping them running efficiently.

Here are some of the main factors that can make a difference:

Frequency Of Use

An obvious factor in the life of your blades is how often you use your hedge trimmer and how long for, as regular or prolonged use increases wear and tear.

If you frequently undertake landscaping projects or have extensive hedges to maintain in the yard then the trimmer blades will need replacing before someone who uses their machine just a couple of times a year.

Type And Density Of Vegetation

The type and density of the hedges you typically trim also play a big part in the lifespan of your hedge trimmer blades. Softer plant materials, such as young and tender branches, will cause less wear on the blades compared to trimming thicker, woody stems. 

Tackling dense vegetation often, like thick shrubs or overgrown hedges, can put additional strain on the blades and lead to them wearing out quicker.

Clean And Lubricate Regularly

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping trimmer blades in good condition for as long as possible. The basic tasks involved are to clean them of sap and debris after every use and to keep them well-lubricated with suitable oil. This helps reduce friction and keeps them rust-free.

If you want to learn more about how to lubricate your trimmer’s blades, check out this article I wrote on this very topic. 

Cleaning the blade after each use is equally important, you can read more about that here

Keep Them Sharp

Another task you should take care of when needed is to sharpen the cutting blades. This is fairly simple and straightforward to do with a hand file or sharpening stone. However, a small motorized grinder like the ones from Dremel will make the job far quicker. 

Check out this article I wrote about sharpening trimmer blades if you aren’t sure how to get started. 

Variations Based On Blade Quality

Blades made from higher-quality materials, such as high-carbon or hardened steel, tend to have better edge retention and durability. As a result, they will have a longer lifespan compared to lower-quality alternatives.

Proper Storage

Most hedge trimmers come with a blade guard and it’s important to use this to protect the blades when being stored in the shed or garage. Make sure the blade is clean and lubricated before putting it away and keep it in a dry, safe location.

When To Replace Hedge Trimmer Blades

With blades lasting so long, the only way to know when to replace them is to look for signs that they are nearing the end of their life. These include:

Irreparable Damage

Signs of irreparable damage include severe chipping, deep nicks, bent or misaligned edges, or blades that no longer move freely. When you notice any of these, it’s time to consider replacing the blades.

Not Staying Sharp

You need to sharpen your blade teeth when you notice that your trimmer no longer cuts cleanly and leaves a ragged edge on the clippings. That’s just a regular part of maintaining your tool.

However, there comes a point when even with proper maintenance and care, hedge trimmer blades reach a state where they cannot be effectively restored or sharpened. 

If you find yourself having to continually sharpen the teeth after a short period of use, then it may well be time to just replace the blade. 

Replacing vs Repairing

While it can be tempting to continue using worn-out blades to save costs and just attempt to repair them instead, it is important to understand the risks involved. 

Dull or damaged blades can compromise the quality of the cut made to the branches of the hedge, leading to ragged edges and potential harm to the plants. 

Also, blades that struggle to cut effectively can really put a strain on the motor leading to an even more costly repair bill and reducing the overall performance of the hedge trimmer. 

By replacing blades when necessary, you ensure you maintain a balance of optimal safety, efficiency, and results.

Can’t I just Keep Sharpening My Hedge Trimmer Blades?

In some cases, having the blades sharpened professionally may be a viable option to extend their lifespan and restore cutting performance. However, it’s important to weigh up the cost-effectiveness of sharpening versus replacement. 

If the blades have undergone significant wear and damage already, the cost of frequent sharpening will eventually outweigh the cost of purchasing a new set. 

Make sure to consider the condition and age of the blades before getting them sharpened at a garden tool workshop and take their advice if they recommend replacement instead.

Final Thoughts

As you now know, there’s no easy answer to how long hedge trimmer blades will last, but there are ways to make sure they keep going as long as possible.

Keep an eye on their general condition and clean, lubricate, and sharpen regularly for the best results. If you notice they no longer cut cleanly even after sharpening, or the engine is struggling then it may finally be time to replace the blades.

Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!

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