As a gardener, a simple pair of hand pruners is a tool you find yourself attached to at the hip. They are tool that gets used and abused. Eventually those blades begin to dull and every cut gets a little tougher to get through. If you use your hand pruners constantly you should sharpen them every couple of months. More often if they are a hand pruner of lesser quality. If you are an infrequent pruner, you may only need to sharpen once a year.
Once you pick up a few supplies, it’s a breeze to sharpen pruners. It takes about 10 minutes, and it’s like getting a brand new pair all over again. You will definitely appreciate having a sharp blade when pruning time comes around.
How to sharpen pruners
Soap & Warm Water
Clean rag and dry rag or towel
Diamond files or sharpening stones (coarse, fine, and extra fine)
1. Clean with soap and water.
Wipe the hand pruners down with a rag soaked in warm soapy water. Scrub off any organic debris and wipe the handles off.
2. Remove rust and stuck on matter with steel wool
After the pruners are wiped clean, use steel wool to scrub off any residue that might still be stuck on. Continue to scrub to remove any rust that may have developed until the sheen is restored to the metal. Wipe them clean and dry them off.
3. Sharpen with diamond files
Start with the coarse file to sharpen the pruners. Line the file up at a 10-20 degree angle mimicking the beveled edge of the blade. Begin at the inside edge of the blade and move file back and forth down the blade. Continue with the coarse file until the blade is sufficiently sharp.
Switch to the finer grit diamond file. Use the same motion to smooth out any burrs. Sharpen the blade with the same number of passes as you used with the coarse file.
4. Lubricate your hand pruners
Wipe the pruners clean of any particles leftover from the sharpening. Pat dry. Then, apply a non-petroleum based oil to repel any water and hinder the development of rust. Oil the blades, hinges and springs and wipe clean.
Just like that you have a sharp pair of hand pruners ready to take on all that your garden can throw at them. I know Kristyn is over the moon to have a surplus of freshly sharpened pruners ready to us for her new wattle fences. Our gardens won’t know what hit them!