How to easily clean & sharpen your pruning shears

Pruning shears are essential tools for gardeners, but to ensure they perform optimally, regular cleaning and sharpening are crucial. A clean and sharp pair of pruning shears not only make gardening tasks more efficient but also promote healthier plants. In this guide, we’ll walk you through easy steps to clean and sharpen your pruning shears, keeping them in top-notch condition.

Cleaning Your Pruning Shears:

  1. Gather Your Supplies:
    • Rubbing alcohol or a household disinfectant
    • Wire brush or old toothbrush
    • Soapy water or a mild detergent
    • Clean cloth or paper towels
  2. Disassemble if Possible: If your pruning shears can be disassembled, carefully take them apart. This makes it easier to access and clean each part thoroughly.
  3. Remove Residue and Sap: Use a wire brush or an old toothbrush to scrub away any dried sap, dirt, or debris on the blades. Pay attention to the nooks and crevices where residue may accumulate.
  4. Soak in Disinfectant: Fill a container with rubbing alcohol or a household disinfectant. Submerge the blades in the solution for about 10-15 minutes. This helps sanitize the pruning shears and prevents the spread of diseases between plants.
  5. Clean with Soapy Water: If your pruning shears are not too dirty, washing them with soapy water may suffice. Use a mild detergent and a brush to clean the blades thoroughly.
  6. Wipe Dry: After cleaning, thoroughly dry the pruning shears with a clean cloth or paper towels. This prevents rusting, especially if the shears are made of steel.
  7. Reassemble (if Disassembled): Once the shears are completely dry, reassemble them if you took them apart for cleaning. Ensure all parts fit securely.

Sharpening Your Pruning Shears:

  1. Gather Your Supplies:
    • Sharpening stone or file
    • Lubricating oil or honing oil
    • Clean cloth or paper towels
  2. Secure the Shears: Secure the pruning shears in a vice or use a clamp to hold them steady during sharpening. This ensures safety and allows for better control.
  3. Identify the Beveled Edge: Pruning shears typically have a beveled edge on one side of the blade. Identify this edge as it is the one you’ll be sharpening.
  4. Sharpen with a Stone or File: Hold the sharpening stone or file at a 20- to 30-degree angle against the beveled edge. Move the stone or file in a sweeping motion along the edge, maintaining a consistent angle. Repeat until the edge is sharp.
  5. Hone the Edge: For a finer edge, use a honing stone or finer grit on the sharpening stone. This helps refine and polish the blade for a smoother cut.
  6. Lubricate the Blades: Apply a few drops of lubricating oil or honing oil to the blades. Spread the oil evenly with a clean cloth or paper towel. This prevents rust and ensures smoother cutting.
  7. Test the Sharpness: Before using the shears in the garden, test their sharpness by making a few cuts on a small branch. Adjust as needed until you achieve the desired sharpness.

Conclusion: Regular cleaning and sharpening of your pruning shears are simple tasks that significantly impact their performance. By following these easy steps, you not only maintain the longevity of your pruning shears but also ensure precise and efficient pruning, promoting the health and vitality of your plants.