Gardening is an essential part of housekeeping for many households. Big, intermediate, even condominium style homes all have gardens and gardening needs for different purposes. Scales of greenery, depending on its size and the owners’ preference, and the upkeep of the garden require very basic tools like hand operated hedge trimmers to electrically operated variants. Other gardening tools are used for sorting, digging, or even cleaning soil to protect and nourish horticulture. One common gardening pattern is to form hedges, wherein different plants, maybe it ornamental or fruit-bearing trees, are planted in a single-file profile wherein it is both aesthetically pleasing and can somehow be efficient to maintain its overall appearance and growth. Throughout the history of gardening, it is common practice to cut and form different plants to its desired shape, essentially due to space and basic upkeep. The interrelation of cutting tools to acts of cutting has seemed to have paved the way for hedge trimmers to be the fundamental material of a gardener.
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In-depth, what are hedge trimmers and how does someone use it? Hedge trimmers are similar to your regular house scissors. They have handles and two blades intersecting each other providing that cutting motion. Traditionally, hedge trimmers are maintained by using sharpening stones or in more familiar terms, whetstones. The blades are rubbed against the whetstone to sharpen its edges, giving the user a more reliable edge when trimming down plants. However, as technology arose, conventional hedge trimmers have far improved from manually operated scissors-like tools to electricity operated hedge trimmers. These new automated hedge trimmers are now widely available in the Philippine market, spanning at an average of PHP 3,000.00 off the shelves. The purpose of these electric hedge trimmers is to lighten the load on the effort that a gardener exerts on a conventional hedge trimmer to a fully automated one, thus increasing output and lowering the time consumed to maintain hedges. However, electric hedges are not spared from the need of sharpening its blades like its predecessors.
Electric hedge trimmers require specialized tools for more efficient maintenance of the blades, but would also serve its purpose on a regular whetstone sharpening for a much greater time. To answer to this, Dremel has made electronic sharpening tools that could hasten the sharpening time requirement of these electric hedge trimmers. In contrast, Dremel sharpening tools are also similar to regular whetstones in essence, only that it requires sanding tips compared to the traditional block whetstones. An American company, Dremel specializes in rotary power tools of all proportions, from sharpening tools, sanding tools, saws, oscillating tools and more. Development of products has since grown from the companies’ humble beginnings back in 1932 in Racine, Wisconsin, USA. Using Dremel to sharpen our day to day tools, such as hedge trimmers , shall turn a weight of a whole day’s manual work into hours or even minutes of quick gardening.
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But how does a hedge trimmer be sharpened by using dremel? Unlike its precursor, Dremel is also an electric operated tool that spins a sanding attachment at its’ tip to speed in order to mimic the action of whetstones rubbing against a traditional blade. Here is the step by step procedure of how to sharpen a hedge trimmer using dremel:
Step One: Clean the hedge trimmers blades of all wood and plant remains
This is an important part of sharpening your hedge trimmer. Plant remains, especially wood, can be dangerous when sharpened with dremel tools. Other wood remains are either hard, especially those from trees, and sharp – common from bushes. Removing such objects would free the gardener of any injury pertaining to fragments that may shoot off from the blades of the hedge trimmer.
Step Two: Place the hedge trimmer on an even surface before sharpening
Placing the hedge trimmer on an even surface gives the operator ample vantage point in seeing through the output of sharpening using dremel. There are numerous blades across the cutting end of an electric hedge trimmer, so consistency in assuring that the blades are evenly sharpened is important for maximum output during gardening. It is also in connection to safety, as the dremel tool may jolt off the hand of its operator. An even surface will provide just the right platform when an accident happens for the users’ protection.
Step Three: Ensure that the hedge trimmer is unplugged and the dremel with ample sharpening attachment
Unplugging the hedge trimmer during sharpening may be obvious, but some gardeners may forget that it is an essential reminder in order to protect themselves from injury. The sanding attachment for the dremel should also have sufficient capacity, often called grit, which is abrasive and provides the sharpening action provided that it is spun by the dremel rotary tool.
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Step Four: Angle the dremel against the blades of the hedge trimmer at 45 degrees
Sharpening at an angle not only protects the user from any possible projectiles from the hedge trimmer or the dremel tool but also ensures an even cutting surface on the blade itself of the hedge trimmer. 45 degrees is the best sharpening angle for any cutting tool as cutting tools are naturally structured with an angle towards its cutting edge. Doing so at this angle won’t deform the blade. Occasionally, the user might sharpen at a 180-degree angle – making the dremel tool jolt against the hand and may force the tool to slip out of the user's hand. However, safety precautions have also been put in by dremel to ensure welfare such as dead-man switches and press to action buttons to address this concern.
Step Five: Sharpen the blades one at a time and adjust speed according to the blades’ need
The rotary tool by dremel provides variations in speed according to the blades’ sharpening needs. Slower speed tends to sharpen at a slower pace but with precision, while faster speeds sharpen the blades at a faster rate with the risk of overcompensating the sharpness. In some cases, it could break the dremel or the hedge trimmer blade. Because of the dissimilarity of the hedges that a hedge trimmer is used on, the blades cutting edge may differentiate from one another – thus requiring distinct sharpening action.
With all this in check, sharpening your household hedge trimmer will be an easy task.