In-depth Guide: How To Fix A Jammed Hedge Trimmer?

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The probabilities of getting a hedge hammer jammed are pretty high, and it does not matter if you are using an electric or gas-powered trimmer. This might happen for a few reasons. Starting to show signs of it being worn out is presumed to be the most common one. These signs of wear cause debris to get trapped in the cutting mechanism. 

Always make sure the hedge trimmer is completely turned off and disconnected! Then, Check the blades to see the reason for them to be jammed. If debris is causing the blades to stop moving, make sure to completely remove it and clean the blades thoroughly.

In Short: If some branches and leaves got stuck, use a tree pruning shear to cut these away. Next, lay the trimmer on an eve surface and check if a lot of debris got stuck on the blade’s teeth. A piece of wooden dowel can be helpful to remove wood or leaves lodged between the teeth of the blade. Use protecting gloves to avoid being cut by sharp blades. Check the blades and if severely damaged, change them.

This article will cover in more detail what to do when your hedge trimmer gets stuck, how to avoid this issue, and how to give maintenance to your hedge trimmer.

How to fix a jammed hedge trimmer?

If you need a simple fix, you can always call a professional to get the job done. But, as I have mentioned before, there are methods for securely and efficiently unjamming your hedge trimmer. Just follow the procedures below and always be careful not to hurt yourself.

The things you might need:

  • Protective gear, like boots, gloves, and protective eyewear.
  • Cleaner, soapy water could also do the job.
  • Brush.
  • A wooden dowel could be helpful.
  • Pruning shears.
  • Lubricant.
  • Resin remover.

1. Get yourself some protection.

Being safe is a priority. Make sure the hedge trimmer is turned off and unplugged, and if your trimmer is gas-powered, make sure the spark plug is disconnected. Keep in mind this step is crucial to prevent any disaster, as you will not start the trimmer by accident.

2. Check the blades of the trimmer.

The most common issue with a hedge trimmer is jammed blades. When trimming thick pieces, the blades could get jammed due to collected debris. You have to check the blades, look for leaves and branches stuck in them. 

Large branches can be removed by hand, and you can use the pruning shears for tough branches. If you see any damage or fracture on the blades, you will have to replace them.

3. Inspect the teeth of the trimmer.

In this step, it is essential for you to put on protective gloves. Place the trimmer on a flat surface and look for any wooden debris attached between the teeth. This debris can be pulled out manually; if this does not work, use the wooden dowel to detach the pieces a bit.

If some teeth are bent, you will need to replace them to make your trimmer work properly.

4. Replace the blades if broken.

If the blade is broken, replace it before resuming your work. You will have to open the housing to access the screws, bolts, or nuts that secure the blades. Remember the position they were in before removing them. 

Remove the old blades, insert a new set that you have ensured are compatible with the trimmer, and secure them again.

5. Substitute the broken teeth.

If just one tooth is bent out, the trimer will not work correctly. I recommend changing the whole teeth chain as replacing just one is a difficult task and time-consuming.

The first step is to open the housing and loosen the chain enough to remove it; remember to use the correct tool established by the manufacturer. Install the replacement chain, making sure the teeth are facing out and the chain is securely attached. If you are going to do something with your bare hands, take your time and be careful, but better wear gloves.

Apply some lubricant to the teeth using a cloth, let it sit for 15 minutes, then plug in the trimmer, turn it on and let it run for a few minutes, then turn it off again and lubricate to finish.

How to prevent a hedge trimmer from getting jammed?

Some preventive measures to ensure a jammed trimmer is not an everyday thing:

  • Try to sharpen or replace the blades routinely; you can do this every 50 hours of use.
  • Clean and lubricate the blades after every use.
  • Use resin remover on the blades and teeth.
  • Give your trimmer some maintenance regularly. 

Hedge trimmer maintenance

Photo 53229095 | © Andreaobzerova |

If you want your trimmer, the blades, and the teeth to last, regular maintenance is essential. To do so, follow the recommendations below.

1. Clean the blades.

After every use, wipe the blades with soapy water and a cloth, then apply some lubricant. Before storing the trimmer, make sure the blades are completely dry.

2. Clean the air filter.

Remove the air filter, blow it out, and tap it on a firm surface. Replace it with a new one if it is badly soiled. Unless otherwise specified in the user’s handbook, the filter should not be washed or immersed in water.

3. Sharp the blades.

Sharpening the blades is the most time-consuming task, but it will be easier to handle if you use a drill with a tiny cone-shaped filing stone or a flat-file. Do this every 50 hours of use, very gently. If you do not have the time, you can take it to a professional.

4. Tighten loose screws or fittings.

Examine the trimmer for any loose screws or fittings. Tighten them using the correct tools, but don’t overdo it so you can prevent damaging the thread or other nearby parts.

5. Lubricate the blades

After cleaning the blades, make sure to lubricate them and then let them dry off. A little goes a long way, so try to be careful when pouring it on the blades or the cloth.

6. Keep the trimmer clean.

Not only should the inside be clean. Clean the trimmer’s exterior with a damp cloth and gentle rubbing. Do not use abrasive chemicals or cleaning solutions. Let it dry completely before storing.

7. Store it properly.

Try to store the trimmer in a waterproof and UV resistant case; in case of not having one, use a cotton sheet or towel to wrap it and put it inside a plastic bag, and put the trimmer inside its box away from the floor.

11 safety tips for using your hedge trimmer

  1. Always read the instructions.
  2. Do not use the trimmer in rainy weather.
  3. Always check to verify the condition of the parts.
  4. Wear safety gear like gloves, goggles, and a facemask.
  5. Make sure the trimmer is turned off if not in use.
  6. Do not use the trimmer with one hand.
  7. Do not force the trimmer with demanding tasks.
  8. Store it correctly.
  9. Make sure the blades are sharp.
  10. Make sure the trimmer is unplugged during maintenance, cleaning, or fixing.
  11. Keep hands away from the blades.

Final thoughts

When your trimmer gets stuck, make sure to follow all the steps mentioned above to ensure you are doing it correctly and in a safe way.

To prevent a jammed trimmer, maintain it properly, clean it when necessary, and store it accordingly. You need to keep in mind that it is not entirely up to you to avoid a jammed trimmer, but you can be more careful so this does not happen regularly.

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