If you have a garden you tend to, one of the high-priority tools you need is a pruning shear. Hence, if you have flowers, vines or trees, you have to have a pruning shear to trim the leaves, mainly if they are overgrown and looking unkempt. You also need to know how to sharpen pruning shears.
When you want to prune, your pruning shears must be adequately maintained with smooth and sharp blades. The first step is to get a quality one. If you have a quality pruning shear, it tends to last for a long time. And the good part is, it would be easy to get the replacement parts for the quality pruners.
When your pruning shears are sharp, you will get seamless and effortless cuts. In comparison, dull pruning shears will destroy the plant tissue, which increases the chances of diseases from infectious organisms.
Items You Need to Sharpen Your Pruning Shears
- A sharpening tool
- Liquid soap
- Cleaning clothes
- Steel wool (Not compulsory)
- Wire brush (Not compulsory)
- Scrub brush (Not compulsory)
- Lubricating oil
- Orange essential oil
Steps to Sharpen Your Pruning Shears
If you want to know how to sharpen pruning shears, there are some steps to follow to ensure a smooth process. When you sharpen pruning shears, it would certainly be productive and last you for a long time.
Tidy Up Your Pruning Shears
Before you sharpen your pruning shears, you must eliminate any dirt that has grown over time. It is crucial to clean your pruning shears because otherwise the dirt might prevent you from adequately sharpening the blade. You can use a damp/moist cloth to wipe your pruning shears if they are not too dirty. However, if yours has been dirty for a long time, you might have to take some extra steps to make them clean.
Wash the pruning shears: You need to wash the pruners with water and soap to remove the clogged dirt. Afterwards, use a damp rag to wipe them off. When you are done cleaning the pruners, rinse them with water but do not soak. If you soak, you risk exposing the pruning shears to corrosion. As a result the metal will rust quickly.
Scrub if needed: If there is dirt on the pruning shears that refuses to leave quickly, a cleaning brush would be essential in scrubbing it off. If the dirt is proving difficult, apply orange essential oil on the blade as they effectively remove tough dirt and stains.
While cleaning, ensure you focus on the handle and small parts, too, in addition to the blade. It would not cost you much time to make the pruning shears look new.
Eliminate Rust From the Blade
Sometimes, rust can accumulate on the pruning shears’ blades, which makes them stick together. When this happens, it becomes challenging to use.
Remove tough rusts with a wire brush: Use the wire brush to clear tough rust spots. Also, it would be useful to eliminate rust on the edges and hidden corners.
Use steel wool: With steel wool, scrub the blade to eliminate tidbits of rust. It will take a few minutes to make your blades shine again and look new. When you use a little elbow grease, your pruning shears will look as new, and they will be fit for sharpening.
Sharpen Your Pruning Shears
In learning how to sharpen pruners, you must know that the next step after cleaning and removing rust is sharpening the blades. If you have small or big hand loppers, pruners or hedge trimmers, you can use the following tips to sharpen pruning shears.
Get the right angle: Hold your sharpening tool against the shears’ blade at the exact angle, which is around 20-25 degrees angle. If this is your first time sharpening pruners, it is vital to get some practice to get the angle.
Sharpen the shears’ blade: With the pruning shear sharpener, work from the base to the tip. Also, work down the blade’s length in a smooth and firm stroke. Repeat this action a minimum of 10 times and a maximum of 20 times. However, if the blade is very dull and almost out of use, it is best to do up to 25-30 strokes before it gets sharp.
For several pruners, their blade only has one sharp side, with the other end being flat. If this is your case, you only need to sharpen the blade end without touching the flat side.
Test the blade for sharpness: After sharpening the blade, you need to be sure it is sharp. Hence, run a paper on the edge of them. Once there is a clean-cut without any rough edges, then you can be sure you are done sharpening.
Lubricate the Shears’ Blades
It is not compulsory to carry out this step but to be on the safe side; it is best to lubricate. When you are done sharpening pruning shears, it is best to spend around five minutes to rub lubricating oil on your shears. This is because it ensures your hard work does not go to waste. Furthermore, it protects the blade from dirt buildup and possible rust.
Use lubricating oil to polish the blades: It is preferable to use a natural product like mineral oil or linseed oil. To lubricate the blade, all you need to do is spray it with any lubricating oil you want. Then, with a dry rag, rub it properly and clean off the excess.
After this step, you can relax knowing you have made your pruning shears look and work as any brand new shears. When you sharpen pruning shears, they make pruning easier for you.
How to Select the Right Pruning Shears for You
There is no particular pair of pruning shears that is ideal for everyone. The fact is, what works well for you depends on the grip strength, shape and size, budget and the type of pruning you want to do. However, there are general tips to consider before you choose a pruning shear.
Types of Pruning Shears
There are two varieties of pruners: Anvil pruners and bypass pruners. The Anvil pruners have a straight blade that cuts when it closes on a flat edge. It works like a knife on any chopping board. Anvil pruners are slightly bigger than bypass pruners, and it might be challenging to use them to access hidden areas.
Anvil pruners are preferable for dead wood instead of living plants because the blade crushes the stem during cutting. For the Bypass pruners, they are more popular than the previous one. The two blades that move simultaneously give a clean-cut like scissors. One of the pruners’ blades is sharp, and as it moves past the thicker and blunt blade, it cuts the object.
Top-Quality Steel Blades
In general, the pruning shears’ blades are made with steel. They can be coated with a substance that resists sticky materials like sap. It is best to search for blades of high quality. Their supposed lifespan determines how frequently they need sharpening. If you get blades with insufficient qualities, it would be difficult to prune, and you could damage the blade in the process.
Accessibility of Replacement Parts
Some pruning shears do not have replacement parts. So, when they are damaged, you will have to get a whole new pair of shears. Pruning shears with higher quality come with replacement parts, and they can be easily accessed. Also, bear in mind that what you pay for determines how frequently you will need replacement parts.
Not everyone pays attention to the ergonomic design of a pruning shear. However, if you are concerned about not having a strain on your wrist after pruning, it is essential to consider this factor. It is best to get a pruning share that makes the whole experience pleasurable instead of painful.
Some pruning shares have angled blades, tender-grip handles and a slightly-bent shape, which makes pruning enjoyable. Also, some of them have a rotating handle that turns as your hand moves. If you prune a lot, using a product with this feature will make lots of difference for you.
Some pruners come with a locking mechanism that enables you to lock it in its closed position. This feature is safe because it prevents you from accidentally injuring yourself with a sharp blade. Also, it keeps the blade safe when it is not used.
It is annoying having a pruning share that locks up always during use. Hence, to avoid this nuisance, it is best to know the type of locking mechanism that your pruning share comes with.
Ease in Assembling
Some pruning shears can be disassembled when they need to be cleaned, while some cannot. The latter would accumulate dirt, sap and the likes and you’ll have no way of cleaning them. This will later make the pair challenging to use. When you want to buy a pruning shear, it is best to opt for a product that can be easily assembled and disassembled.
Also Read: Best Gas Hedge Trimmers – Top Reviews to Buy
Having read this guide on how to sharpen pruning shears, it is best to take stock of what you will be pruning before taking any step. Besides, it is crucial to set your budget for buying a pruning shear sharpener. If you conduct a proper research, you will see that some affordable pruners offer top-quality.