- When you notice that the blades are not cutting through shrubbery as efficiently as they used to it is time for them to be sharpened. You can have this done by a professional or you can do it yourself using a bench grinder or a file.
- Make sure that the double-handle locking feature is in good working order, as this will prevent you from using the trimmer unless you have both hands on it. If the feature does not appear to be working, you will need a professional repair.
- Make sure that the brake is in good working order, as this will stop the blades from moving the moment that you stop the machine. Signs that the brake needs some attention include the blades continuing to run for a little after it is engaged.
- Inspect the power lead of corded hedge trimmers for signs of nicks and fraying, as this can cause electrical shorts and even shocks. If you are using an extension lead, make sure that it is an approved 13A one and that it has been unrolled.
- Inspect the air filter of your petrol hedge trimmer’s engine. This is known to become clogged over time; whilst it can be cleaned using soapy water on the odd occasion, you will need to replace it eventually (especially if the filter is paper).
- Make sure that the spark plug is kept clean, both internally and externally, by unscrewing and carefully examining it. The gap between the electrodes should be around 0.5mm. Replacing the plug can help with many starting and running issues.
- Make sure that there are no signs of leaking fuel. This could reflect a problem with the tank, the fuel lines or some other component, so it is important that you get a professional to check it out as soon as you notice patches of leaked fuel.
- After every 20 hours or so of operation you will need to top up the gearbox with grease. This will ensure that all of the moving parts are kept lubricated and help to prevent them from jamming. You might like to wipe away any old grease.