Common mistakes to avoid when using a hedge trimmer

Using a hedge trimmer can be a simple task, but there are several easy mistakes that can harm its performance.

Read on for tips to help extend the life of your trimmer and keep your hedges in tip-top condition.

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1. Pruning during nesting season

Most experienced gardeners will already know this, but if you’re a beginner or first-time hedge trimmer owner, it’s an easy mistake to make.

The nesting season in the UK lasts from late February to August and using a hedge trimmer during these months can disturb or even harm birds nesting in hedges. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, disturbing them is an offence. Check for active nests whenever you want to trim a hedge and postpone the work if you find any.

2. Do not use protective equipment

Wearing some type of protective gear is always a good idea when using a power tool, as it can help prevent serious injuries. Wearing thick gloves will protect your hands from cuts, while safety glasses will protect your eyes from flying debris and dust.

It is also recommended to wear long-sleeved clothing and steel-toed boots for added protection against accidental cuts during use. You may also want to wear ear protection, as hedge trimming can be a noisy job.

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3. How to use the hedge trimmer in the rain

It is strongly discouraged to use the hedge trimmer in the rain due to the safety risks involved, as rain can increase the risk of electric shock. It can also damage the equipment and reduce the effectiveness of the hedge trimmer.

By using your power tool only in dry weather, you will prevent moisture from entering the motor or other components and ensure it stays in excellent working condition for longer.

4. Using dull blades

Using dull blades can have many negative consequences, including damaging your hedge, significantly reducing the effectiveness of your trimmer and even posing a risk of accidents.

Irregular cutting can increase the risk of diseases entering the plants. Regular maintenance, including sharpening the blades, is also very important, as it prevents the motor from burning out due to unnecessary strain.

Additionally, using dull blades can lead to a higher chance of slipping and injury. Keep blades sharp to ensure safer operation.

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5. Allowing a cordless trimmer’s battery to discharge to zero percent

Once you’re ready to put your cordless lawn mower away, whether for a day or until next season, keep in mind that letting the battery run completely dead contributes to faster deterioration and ultimately shortens its lifespan.

If you use your grass trimmer regularly, try to charge the battery before it drops below 20%, but it’s good practice to charge it above 50% if you plan to store it during the winter. Check it about once a month during the winter and recharge it if necessary.

You should also give it a quick wipe down before storing it, using a dry cloth. Always store it in a cool, dry place and avoid extreme temperatures, such as a greenhouse or shed.

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