What Oil to Use on Hedge Trimmer Blades?

Trimmers need oil to run well and cut efficiently, and if you neglect this important step, you could do serious damage to your machine. Pole hedge trimmers and gas hedge trimmers need motor oil as well as blade lubrication oil to operate correctly. Electric trimmers don’t need engine lubrication but will not cut without a blade lubricant for hedge trimmers. 

With so many different lubricants, it can be hard to select the best one or to know if there is even a wrong one. Some oils are better for hedge trimmer blades and others for engines. Trying to keep all the oils and where they go straight can be difficult, so the information below will help keep it simple.

What Lubricant Does a Hedge Trimmer Take?

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Before going through the basic maintenance steps of lubricating your manual trimmer, it is important to look at all the moving parts that benefit from high-grade engine oil and other viscous coatings. A battery-powered hedge trimmer will not need engine or transmission oil but will need to lubricate the blade assembly and guard teeth.

Gas hedge trimmers need blade teeth oil, transmission grease, and something like SAE 30W motor oil. Below are different types of lubrication for hedge trimmers. 


Gas-powered trimmers need engine oil to lubricate the hot internal parts responsible for combustion and driving the blades. Never use random motor oil in the gas tank when filling up gas-powered models. Use 2-stroke engine oil in the fuel tank 40:1 gas-to-oil ratio. 


Both electric models and gas ones need trimmer blade lubrication to prolong equipment life. Almost any oil can be used as a lubricant for hedge trimmer blades, but some work much better and have less of a harmful biological effect than others. 50-50 motor oil can coat the blades but kills plants, and WD-40 spray lubricants wear off quickly. The best blade lubricants are vegetable oil spray adjusted depending on the temperature outdoors. 


Heavy-duty gas-powered hedge trimmers can be oiled using. maintenance grease nipple that runs the special grease into the transmission. This extra lubrication can help mechanical parts last longer and reduces friction, as well as provide rust inhibitors deep into the internal engine parts. White lithium grease or another transmission grease type can be injected with a grease gun with minimum effort. 


To prevent rust during winter storage, vegetable-based chain lubricants, chainsaw oil, or spray-on lubricants can be used. Trimmer tools work best when everything is oiled and clean, so taking these steps before placing lawn equipment in winter storage can give you a head start in the spring. 

When Does a Hedge Trimmer Need to be Oiled?

Maintenance on hedge trimmers is crucial to keep the cuts clean and the equipment working effortlessly. Oiled blades reduce friction, improve engine efficiency, and create clean cuts. To achieve success, frequent oiling and blade lubrication are needed, so a supply should always be kept in your hedge trimmer gear case. 

A hedge trimmer should always be lubricated before and after use for brush cleaning projects. While working, a reapplication of some lubricant, even temporary spray oils, needs to be applied every 30 mins. If this is done consistently, the trimmer will work at top efficiency. Some vegetable oils and bar oils can last for at least twice as long, but reapplication during a large job is still recommended. 

Steps to Oiling a Hedge Trimmer

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To coil a hedge trimmer on the fly, you need to take a few seconds to do it correctly, or else your results won’t be ideal. A dirty blade will not take lubrication well, and improperly made fuel mix can stall your engine and lead to a waste of time and fuel. Follow the procedures below for an easier maintenance task.

Clean the Trimmer

Use a cloth to wipe down the blade and body of the trimmer. Once all the debris and grime are gone, you will have an easier time applying the oil to the blade evenly. You can also check the fuel and oil mix levels and decide if they need to be topped off. 

Add Oil

Using a spray, oiled cloth, or grease gun, add oil to the moving parts of the blade and engine assembly. Use the best oil you can for each component to ensure a long trimmer life and steller cuts and shaping abilities. Oil that needs to be added to the fuel tank with gas can also be poured in to top off the tank and prevent immediately stopping again. 

Run Blade

After the oil has been spread evenly and everything is wiped down, and your fingers are clear, run the blade to work the oil deeper into the grooves and teeth. Let the oil warm up and become more liquid before starting to cut plants again. Once the blades are running smoothly, and the lubrication is incorporated, you can reposition the trimmer for your next cuts.

Resume Trimming

Continue cutting the hedge and enjoy the smooth chops the oiled blade makes. Keep monitoring for the first few cuts to make sure nothing is off, or no globs of lubricant are flying around. With a newly oiled blade, you should be able to cut for at least minutes before needing to reapply more lubricant.

Oil before Storage

If this is the last trim of the season, you will want to spend a little extra time lubricating your trimmer before putting it away. Put a coat of chain oil or long-lasting vegetable oil to keep the blade rust-free all winter. 

Trimmer Oil Type

Different types of oils have different drawbacks and benefits for trimmers. Some are more appropriate for gas-powered trimmers, whereas others work on pretty much any machine. Check the table below for some ideas on what you want to lubricate your hedge trimmer with. 

Oil ProCon
3-in-1 oilDesigned for all engine partsExpensive and not always on hand
SAE20 Engine OilCan be used in the engine and on the bladeHarms plants and soil microbes
WD 40Easy to apply quickly in the field Dries up very quickly 
Vegetable OilLasts long and doesn’t harm wildlifeNeeds to be applied manually or in multiple layers with a spray

What Happens to an Unoiled Hedge Trimmer?

If you forget to lubricate your hedge trimmer, it won’t immediately spell disasters. Often you will have a fair warning that your machine is in need of lubrication before it shuts down completely. If you begin to feel extra heat, hear the pitch of the engine change, or feel greater resistance every cut, there is a good chance oil is needed. 

If you only forget to lubricate the blade, you shouldn’t have too many problems other than janky cuts, but if you don’t add the right volume of oil into the fuel mix, you could mess up your engine badly. Always prioritize adding oil to the fuel mix and then lubricate your blade when you need to use oil on your hedge trimmer. 

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Last update on 2024-05-30 / Affiliate links / Somes Images and Data from Amazon Product Advertising API