How To Use A Stihl Hedge Trimmer [Step By Step Guide]

A hedge trimmer is a wonderful tool that can help you prune bushes and hedges. Compared to a traditional grass cutter, it makes gardening a breeze. If you have a new Stihl hedge trimmer and need a guide to using it, this post is for you. We have done the research to come up with simple steps for you to safely operate your hedge trimmer.

Here are the steps for using a Stihl hedge trimmer:

  1. Check that the tool is safe to operate
  2. Prepare protective equipment
  3. Be alert
  4. Start the tool
  5. Begin cutting
  6. Turn off the tool and secure the blade

We will provide details about each step in this post. We will also provide you with safety tips and a maintenance guide. Continue reading to learn more.

Stihl Hedge Trimmer Types

Stihl hedge trim close up brand new ready to use for garden

Stihl manufactures different products that are both innovative and functional for gardening. They produce different types of hedge trimmers: gas-powered, cordless, and electric.

Gas-Powered Hedge Trimmer

This trimmer runs with the help of fuel. It may not be as quiet as the other two types, so it's a good idea to wear ear protection when using the machine.

Cordless Hedge Trimmer

This type is mobile and quieter than a gas-powered trimmer. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery.

Electric Hedge Trimmer

This trimmer cuts accurately, has an enhanced blade, and operates quietly. It can trim twigs, thin branches, and thick hedges.

Operating A Stihl Hedge Trimmer

This section will illustrate the use of a cordless hedge trimmer.

Before you use the hedge trimmer, observe the proper and correct transport of the tool.

Make sure that the tool is switched off.  The locking lever should be moved toward the lock icon. Carry the tool by the handle, with the blade pointing backward for safety.

1. Check That The Tool Is Safe To Operate

Check that the tool is safe to use before to avoid accidents. Never operate the tool when you see loose parts. Before turning the trimmer on, press the controls to see if the trimmer works smoothly.

You should also check the cutting blade and make sure it's clean. You can spray it with Stihl resin solvent to lubricate it.

Next, check the battery slots for foreign objects or debris. Only use the original Stihl battery for the tool. Before you put the battery in, move the locking lever to “open."  You will know that you inserted the battery correctly when you hear an audible click. 

Press the controls to see if the tool is working. Check this function at short intervals. You should only use the tool after inspection.

2. Prepare Protective Equipment

When operating a hedge trimmer, you should use the equipment below for safety.

Snug clothing: This will give you freedom of movement and protection. Avoid wearing shorts to protect your legs.

Protective boots: These will keep your feet safe from the sharp blade of the trimmer. Secure footing is important when trimming, so pick boots with nonslip soles.

Safety goggles: A pair of goggles will reduce the risk of eye injuries. Some debris will fly off when trimming hedges, so keeping your eyes protected is important.

Ear protection: Hedge trimmers will be loud during operation, so wearing ear protection is also necessary.

Click here to see this helmet on Amazon.

Durable gloves: You'll need gloves to protect your hands from the trimmer's sharp blade as well as branches and twigs. Wearing gloves will help you get a good grip on the tool.

Click here to see these protective gloves on Amazon.

Reneval pruning garden hedge barberry by

3. Be Alert

The operator’s condition should be considered along with the tool's condition. You have to be in good shape and not fatigued when using this tool. You should also be mentally aware and not under the influence of any substance or alcohol when operating the hedge trimmer.

4. Start The Tool

You are ready to start the tool when you have inspected it and deemed that it is operational. Once you have inserted the battery, remove the blade guard.

Next, unlock the tool with the locking lever and keep the loop handle trigger pressed. Press the trigger switch and switch lever simultaneously, and you are ready to go.

5. Begin Cutting

Once all of the necessary safety precautions are checked, you can start cutting. Make sure that you are holding the power tool firmly by wrapping your fingers and thumb around the handles. Use both hands.

If you are right-handed, your right hand should go to the control handle while your left is on the loop handle. If you are left-handed, your dominant hand should go to the control handle and your right to the loop handle.

Always move the cutting blade away from your body.

To cut a hedge vertically, move the trimmer from the bottom to the top in an arcing motion. Go forward with this motion until you reach the end of the line. Remember to briefly do overhead work.

For horizontal cutting, the blade should be angled at 0–10 degrees. You have to move the tool toward the edge of the hedge in a scything motion. It may take a few passes to cut wide hedges. It is also advisable to cut both sides first before the top.

Take note that horizontal cutting should only be done with hedges that are lower than your shoulders. Proper footing is required, so it is not advisable to use a ladder to reach the top of tall hedges.

Stihl produces an extended-length hedge trimmer like the one below for cutting high and wide hedges.

Keep your blade sharp and clean before use to maximize the efficiency.

6. Turn Off The Tool And Secure The Blade

close strong male gardener brown overalls new Stihl hedge trimmer, How To Use A Stihl Hedge Trimmer [Step By Step Guide]

Now that you are done with the job, you will need to secure your hedge trimmer properly.

Turn the tool off by releasing the switch lever and the trigger switch. After that, move the locking lever down to “locked” and then remove the battery.

Clean off any dust or dirt after use. A clean cloth can do this job without the help of cleaning agents. As mentioned earlier, spray resin solvent on the blade to ensure that they are debris-free.

Finally, put the blade guard in place before storing the trimmer.  

Other Safety Precautions To Consider

close woman using electric hedge trimmer

Using a power tool like a hedge trimmer may seem intimidating since it can be dangerous. Always prioritize safety before operating this tool to avoid the risk of injuries.

  • The first thing to do when you have new equipment is read and understand the user’s manual. If you don't have the manual, you can go online to check the manual for a particular hedge trimmer model. Stihl's user manuals are available for download on the company's website.   
  • Observe the time of the day when you use the tool. Operating power tools that make noise may not be allowed at certain times of the day in certain areas. You should also observe country-specific or municipal rules for cutting hedges and the like.
  • When you lend or rent the tool to someone else, be sure that the user manual goes with it so the user will understand all safety precautions before operating the tool.
  • Use the hedge trimmer only for hedges, shrubs, and scrub. Do not use it for other purposes.
  • Minors should not be allowed to use the tool. Moreover, animals and children should not be in the area when the tool is in use.
  • When not in use, do not leave the tool unattended. Lock the tool and remove the battery.
  • Take care of the battery. It can be a fire hazard, so do not place it near a fire or in a high-temperature location.
  • Do not modify the tool. You should let a qualified repairman determine if repairs are needed.
  • Do not use unauthorized accessories or attachments.
  • Be extremely careful when working on slopes or uneven ground. Clear the ground first before turning the tool on.
  • Never operate the tool near wires or cables to avoid electrocution.

Final Thoughts

close strong male gardener brown overalls new Stihl hedge trimmer, How To Use A Stihl Hedge Trimmer [Step By Step Guide]

Using a Stihl hedge trimmer may be daunting as it poses some danger, especially to those who are not familiar with the tool.

In this post, we tackled the steps for operating the trimmer along with the necessary safety instructions.

Now that you know how to use a Stihl hedge trimmer, you should feel more confident in pruning your hedges and shrubs.

If you found this article helpful, please check out these related posts:

How To Shape Bushes With Hedge Trimmer

Can I Use A Chainsaw As A Hedge Trimmer?

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