How to use the hedge trimmer

How to use the hedge trimmer

The hedge trimmer or hedge trimmer is a very useful power tool in the garden, as the name itself suggests its use is mainly the cutting of the hedge that generally repairs the perimeter of the vegetable garden or garden, although it is also useful when there is need to regulate bushy beds or quickly shape small shrubs.

This machine works thanks to two comb blades, which move overlapping the teeth. The cut takes place in this way along the entire length of the bar, facilitating the creation of linear and precise cuts.

There are different types of hedge trimmers: the tool can be with petrol or electric engine, in turn the electric type can be powered by wire or with an attached battery. Another feature that particularly affects the working method is the fact that the blade cuts on both sides or on a single side.

Safe use

Like all power cutting tools the hedge trimmer is potentially a very tool dangerous: its comb blades can cause lacerating cuts that have very serious consequences. For this reason, you must be very careful when using the hedge trimmer and always work in safe conditions.

The first precaution to be implemented is to always work in conditions of stable balance. The hedges are often high and it is not possible to get from the ground to the top. You may decide to use ladders or scaffolding, but you need to make sure that these are stably positioned, particularly when the garden ground next to the hedge is steep or uneven. There are hedge trimmers with telescopic rod, which allow you to adjust the shrubs while remaining on the ground: in many cases this is an excellent solution, which avoids the risk of climbing a ladder.

Anyone using a corded electric hedge trimmer should be careful that the electrical cable always be away from the bar with the blades, to avoid accidentally cutting it.

Specific work clothes can reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident l'Use of anti-cut trousers it turns out to be a precaution that can save lives. Specific garments have parts made up of fibers capable of getting caught between the blades, stopping them. In this way, the cut-resistant clothes protect against accidental cuts. A great example of this type of clothing are the HS MULTI-PROTECT protective pants offered by STIHL.

Speaking of safety, it is advisable to recommend to those who use petrol hedge trimmers the use of headphones or earplugs, to reduce the noise to which the operator is subjected.

When using the hedge trimmer

Cutting the hedge is the main use of hedge trimmers, which are tools designed to quickly cut small diameter branches. The size of the branch that can cut depends on the power of the machine and the distance between the teeth of the blades, but even a powerful hedge trimmer is hardly able to easily deal with branches larger than two centimeters in diameter. For this reason the advice is to use the hedge trimmer for the ordinary maintenance of the hedge, while for special cases, such as drastic lowerings or reductions, other tools will be needed, such as loppers, saws or chainsaws.

How to cut a hedge

The hedge needs to be trimmed regularly, the cutting frequency required varies depending on the type of shrub planted, but generally at least once or twice a year it is necessary to intervene. The purpose of the cut is to keep the hedge aesthetically tidy and to prevent it from growing by adjusting its size to the desired size.

An important thing is to decide how much to cut, going so far as to shear in order to obtain a regular and uniform surface, without entering too much inside the shrub, causing empty patches and peeling all the leaves. If the cut is made regularly it will be easy to identify the point where the plant has driven back compared to the last intervention, this is a useful reference for deciding where to make the new cut.

The ideal shape

The shape to be given to the hedge may aesthetically seem like a vertical wall, in reality the ideal is to give one slight inclination at the sides, so that the top is slightly narrower than the base. In section, the hedge must therefore be a trapezoid.

This shape is recommended because it allows all branches to have solar illumination and therefore guarantees a more uniform vegetative development, which leads to a regular and well-filled surface along the entire length.

Another element to take care of is the edge which is created by cutting the side and the top, which must be well squared and straight, because it is on how this comes that the perception of the top line from the ground depends.

Cutting the sides of the hedge

The side of the hedge is cut with vertical movements of the hedge trimmer bar, which must describe some semicircles. It is first cut from bottom to top, if you use a double blade tool you can then easily go back and finish the job. For a good result it is very important to havefirm grip of the tool, which allows you to work with the bar always in line with the inclination of the cut to be given.

Cutting the top of the hedge

The upper part of the hedge is the most difficult to cut, because the fact that its profile stands out against the sky makes imperfections visible at first glance. To make this cut you need be at the right height: the height of the hedge must not exceed the operator's shoulders, otherwise it is necessary to get up on a ladder or use a hedge trimmer with a telescopic rod.

When cutting, you proceed by always maneuvering the tool on the same side, in this way the cut branches and leaves are dropped all on one side, facilitating cleaning operations. The cutting movement always describes semicircles. While cutting many of the branches stop above the hedge, care must be taken to always clean the top, in order to actually see if you are keeping a straight line. The single-blade hedge trimmer can mount a metal or plastic flange which is useful for picking up all the twigs and leaves and dropping them directly.

To cut straight you can decide to help yourself by pulling a thread, in order to have an unequivocal reference. However, care must be taken that the wire is always taut and that it is not bumped during work. Obviously, the wire must under no circumstances be tied to the hedge itself, but must be pulled between two independent poles, always to be sure that it remains taut and does not move during work.

If you are not using references, it is useful to stop every now and then and look at the work in progress from a distance, to verify the line you are holding. When you look at the hedge closely you do not realize the height it holds.

More reading on power tools

Video: hedge trimming an 80 yard