How to Sharpen Your Pruning Blades

If you have sharp blades on your pruning tools it makes pruning much easier and quicker. Sharp blades will give neat and clean cuts and keep your plants and trees healthier.

Some of the things you will need are:

Bench Vise
* Screwdriver or Wrench
* Medium-fine Flat File
* Rag or heavy cloth
* Kerosene, mineral oil
* Stiff Brush
* Lightweight Oil (WD-40 or mineral oil)

Here are some ways to sharpen your pruning blades.

You have to pinpoint what type of pruning shears you have. There are Anvil kinds of pruners that will have one sharp blade that will squarely hit a flat object. Bypass shears will have two sharp blades that will criss-cross each other like scissors.

* If you have an Anvil type of pruner you will sharpen both sides of the blades. If you have a bypass pruner you will only need to sharpen the outside of each of the blades. Therefore it will let them cut clean when they slide past each of the blades.

* To make sharpening the blades easier you should use a screwdriver and a wrench to take apart the shears. Now clamp the blade in a vise and line up the parts in the order in which you take them apart. You should do this so when you are done it is easier to put them back together.

* Now you need to clean the blades. Get rid of dirt or grime by using a stiff brush and soapy water. If there is sap on the blades use kerosene or mineral oil and a cloth to clean the blades. SAFETY TIP: Once you finish oiling the shears spread them out on the ground and let them dry completely before you dispose pf them.

* Put a medium sized flat file along the slant of the edge, which should be facing you. When you are sharpening try to keep the original angle of the edge of the blade. Push the file away from you, as the file will move from the end of the blade to the back of it. After each finishing stroke lift the file up and repeat the process. Do not pull the file towards you.

* When the edge of the blade is shiny and even turn the blade over in the vice. If there are any burrs file them off. Now put a coat of lightweight oil, such as WD-40 or mineral oil.

* Now that you have sharpened the blades test them out on a plant or tree and if there is not a neat cut you need to repeat the process as the shears are not as sharp as they should be.

There are also some things you can do to keep your shears sharp after you sharpen them. After you use the shears give them a coat of lightweight oil and store them so they will be safe from dings.

Author: Jason Green