Make sure you keep your edging shears sharp. Blunt blades are liable to chew up the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, so your job will take much longer and require more effort.
It’s also bad for the lawn – crushed grass stems retain moisture and so are more prone to disease.
Preparation of Edging Shears
Before you begin, remove any rust from the blades with medium grit sandpaper, taking care to avoid the cutting edges as this could blunt them.
Clean the blades with warm soapy water, making sure you remove any stubborn bits of dirt or hardened grass sap.
It’s best to use a large single cut mill file to sharpen edging shears. A single cut file has rows of parallel teeth along its length. Around 250mm (10″ approx) is a good size.
A mill file is a flat, multi-purpose file with abrasive teeth that is most commonly used for sharpening blades.
Guide to Sharpening Edging Shears
For safe and accurate sharpening, put the edging shear blades in a vice, if possible, or brace them against a solid surface such as a workbench. The blade you are going to sharpen should be pointing upwards and away from you.
Step 2 – Find the Right Angle
Each blade has a single bevelled edge, which means it is slightly angled to form a sharp ridge. It’s important to follow this angle when sharpening, otherwise you could spoil the cutting edge. The other side of the blade is flat and should not be sharpened.
Lay the file across the blade at the same angle as the bevelled edge. Starting at the top near the pivot point, use long, smooth strokes to move the file down to the tip of the blade, then lift it up and repeat from the top.
Always push the file away from you – don’t drag it back up the blade or you’ll damage both the blade and the file. Do this several times, adjusting your angle as necessary until you have filed the entire edge evenly.
Turn the shears over and repeat the process with the other blade.
Rub the flat side of the blade all over with medium grit sandpaper to remove metal burrs created by the sharpening process.
Use a cloth to lightly coat each blade with some three-in-one oil to help keep rust at bay.