Beginners Guide to Using A Hedge Trimmer

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Are you using a hedge trimmer for the first time? If yes, then it’s crucial to understand how this machine works.

Hedge trimming devices are easy to use but could be injurious if you operate them incorrectly.

So, we are here to let you know how to use a hedge trimmer and some other points that can help you to get results.

First we will discuss the setup of a hedge trimmer, safety points, and things to remember while trimming. Afterwards, we will talk about how to clean the trimming device.

How to Use Hedge Trimmer for the First Time

Set Up a Hedge Trimmer

The first step is to make sure you have the power source available. For instance, if you own a gas-propelled trimmer, it should be filled with an accurate mix of oil and gasoline. Follow the instructions given in the user’s manual while preparing the fuel mixture.

Similarly, if you own a corded model, make sure an electrical outlet is available near your work site.

Plus, the trimmer’s power cable should be able to reach all the hedges you want to trim. It’s better to have a little bit of extra cable length. Otherwise, the trimmer might unplug while you cut.

If you are using a battery dependent model, then make sure it’s fully charged. Consider a spare battery if you want to cover a lot of hedges.

Also read: How To Trim Hedges Into Shapes?


Be careful while using the trimmer, and remember all the points discussed in this section. Read detailed hedge trimmer safety guideline here.

First, wear safety gears, including gloves, ear protection and safety goggles. Gloves are essential because it absorbs trimmer’s vibration and keeps your hands safe from debris.

Ear protection is one of the prerequisites, especially if you are using a petrol powered hedge trimmer. Goggles keep your eyes safe from the flying debris.

Second, use the trimmer using both your hands. Take complete control of the machine so that you can get desired trimming results. Plus, keep the blades away from your body. These edges are built to cut greens but can harm anything that comes in contact with them. So, make sure only plants touch the trimmer blade.

Third, keep a check on the weather. Do not use an electric trimmer in moist or damp conditions. Otherwise, the device can short circuit or cause an electrical shock. So, It’s better to wait for the climate to improve instead of indulging in repair tasks.


While Trimming

Plan the trimming session. Think about the design before you start. Do you like a straight line on the edges? Or you want them round.

Decide the shape first. Otherwise, there are chances that you might cut some of the branches deeper than others, which does not look good.

Keep the trimmer at your front, maintain a firm grip and trim the hedges up and down, then side to side.

Trim hedges that you can reach without using a ladder or any other similar structure. Trimming hedges after standing on a table or ladder could be dangerous if the user slips. If you have tall greens in your garden, it’s better to invest in a hedge trimmer with long extension pole.

Also read: Can You Trim Hedges in Summer?

After Trimming

Once you trim all the hedges, please turn off the machine and unplug it from the electrical outlet using the corded model. Some of the trimmers are available with a lock-off function that prevents any accidental startup. But you cannot depend upon a feature for safety.

Next, clean the trimmer to make sure none of the debris is stuck in between its blades. We suggest that you do the cleaning immediately after the trimming finishes. If you delay, then the residue might not leave quickly.

The third step is to clean the area. Use a blower or rake to collect all the branches and leaves that feel while you were trimming.

Related post: What is The Proper Way To Trim a Hedge?

Points to remember

  • Trim the hedges slowly and steadily. Do not rush.
  • Do not use the trimmer to cut branches that are thicker than ½ to 1 inch in diameter. Check the tooth gap of your machine to be sure what is its ability.
  • Make sure none of the family members, kids or pets are around when you are trimming the hedges.
  • Do not use a ladder while trimming the hedges.



Safety is the primary factor while using a hedge trimmer. Such an outdoor tool can efficiently maintain all your garden hedges and bushes but can lead to injuries if you don’t use it correctly.

So, make sure you are wearing gloves, ear and eye protection.

Second, check the power source of the trimmer. It could be the fuel mixture, power cord or battery, depending upon your model.

Keep the machine away from your body while trimming the hedges. Use both hands to use it. Turn off and clean your trimmer once you are done with the maintenance. Collect all the greens using a blower to clear your garden.

About M H Sharaj

Sharaj is a passionate garden enthusiast and expert gardening tool reviewer with more than 5 years of hands-on experience. His love for gardening blossomed in his childhood, nurtured by weekends spent in his family's vibrant garden. Sharaj holds a degree in Management and enjoys the unique challenges and rewards of roof gardening. He combines his horticultural knowledge with a keen eye for innovative tools and equipment, providing readers with insightful, unbiased reviews. When he’s not testing the latest gardening gadgets, Sharaj is cultivating his own lush rooftop garden oasis, filled with a variety of plants and flowers. His mission is to inspire others to create beautiful, sustainable gardens using the best tools available.