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Handheld Pruning Sheers

How to Clean and Sharpen Your Hand Tools

How to Clean and Sharpen Your Hand Tools

Your tools are an investment and if maintained properly, they will be good "partners" for years to come. Tools make tasks easier, so it’s important to keep them cleaned, sharpened, and ready-for-use. Tools should be cleaned after each use and sharpened before pruning season in January, or as they become dull from use.

Basic Supplies

  • WD-40, PAM Cooking Spray or other cooking oil

  • Scouring pad or wire brush

  • Soap and water

  • Sharpening stone

  • Goggles and gloves are recommended for safety

Simple Steps to Clean and Sharpen Hand-Held Pruning Shears

  • Use just a little bit of WD-40, PAM Cooking Spray, or other oil, along with a rag, to remove sap and dirt from the blade.

  • If needed, use a steel wool pad or stiff wire brush to remove rust.

  • Once this step is complete, use soap and water to wash off the oil residue, and wipe dry.

  • Secure the pruners in vise-grips, if possible, to keep them sturdy and safe while sharpening.

  • Place the sharpening stone against the blade, holding it at the same angle as the cut of the blade.

  • Always start at the bottom and work your way up the blade, sharpening away from yourself for safety.

  • Typically, you'll need to use the sharpening stone and motion 15-20 times up the blade.

  • Once you've completed the prior step, bring the sharpening stone flat on the backside of the blade and motion it towards you to remove any metal burrs.

  • Soap and water can be used to clean up the pruners once you are done sharpening. Be sure to dry them with a clean towel.

  • The pruners are ready for another season!

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