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First things first. 10 things to be aware of before you start using your hedge trimmer Follow

Powered Hedge Trimmer In Use

1. Read the manual: Often neglected but absolutely essential. The manual will have a great deal of information and advice on both operation and safety that you need to know. A good, thorough read, followed by reference when necessary will save an awful lot of time and phone calls.  

2. Oil and Fuel: Your petrol powered hedge trimmer will need filling with oil and fuel and, will probably be a two-stroke machine, so it will be necessary to mix the required ammount of oil and the petrol with care to the right ratio. This link will give you the information you need on the oil and fuel and 2-stoke engines in general Basics of the 2-Stroke Engine

3. Handling & Movement: Before you even turn your hedge trimmer on, try to get used to the weight and feel of it so you do not have an unpleasant surprise when the engine fires up. You don't want to find out it is too heavy for a particular movement when the blades are moving at high speed. Give yourself plenty of space, perhaps outside, and check you are comfortable with handling it before you start. 

4. Controls: Learn and familiarise yourself with all the controls, whether it is a petrol or an electric machine. You can check these out by clicking here to look at the main features and functions of a hedge trimmer

5. Safety Features: Familiarise yourself with the safety features like the front hand guard and the safety shut-off trigger. Here is a brief pictorial guide to the safety features on a hedge trimmer with a key below.

                                 

Key

A - Wrap-around handle - protect hands from top of hedge, or any other obstacle

B - Safety cut-off switch - Shuts down engine and blades if you let go

C - Front hand guard - stops your hand being hit by flying debris and keeps hands away from blade if you slip

6. Safety Clothing & Equipment: MD recommends that you wear at least the very basic safety equipment. gloves and goggles, are highly recommended.  Safety ear defenders are also practical so you can avoid being hit by bits of twig and good boots are preferred.  You clothing should not be too loose and a helmet might be useful.

7. Safety Precautions:  Make sure you wear no loose jewellery (medallions, chains etc) and that your hair, if very long, is tied up or under a hat/helmet before your first use. 

8. Nuts, Bolts & Bolts: A new machine is unlikely to have loose nuts and screws but it is essential that you check them before you start. In fact, this is a good safety habit to get into every time you pick up the machine to use it. 

9. Cable: If you have an electric machine, check the length of the cable so you don't try to reach somewhere you can't. Look at whatever cable management system, if any, you machine has fitted and make sure you know how to use it before you even switch on the hedge trimmer.  

10. Starting: Check and learn your starting procedure, whether it is an electric hedge trimmer or a petrol version. This will save time and effort as you get used to using the machine.  

 
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