After years of expertly trimming roses or removing twigs from ornamental shrubs, your pruning shears may be dull and no longer creating a clean cut. Trimming with a pair of sharp pruning shears creates a cleaner cut, which helps the plant protect itself from disease, stress and insect damage. Clean and prep the pruning shears before sharpening them with a sharpening stone, which is available at gardening centers and home improvement stores.
Wipe down both blades with a rag dampened with soapy water. This removes any grease, sap or dirt from the blades. Allow the blades to dry completely before continuing.
Rub the blades gently with a coarse steel wool pad. Working the steel wool over the blades helps remove any difficult gunk and rust. Wipe down the blades with a rag to remove the sanding dust.
Dampen a medium-grain sharpening stone with paraffin oil. Grasp the stone firmly with one hand while you hold the shears with the other. Holding the stone at the same angle as the curved blade, which is generally between 10 to 15 degrees, work the stone toward the blade’s edge, paying attention to follow its natural curve.
Continue to work the stone across each blade until they’re uniformly sharpened and you’re satisfied with the results. Finish by working a 600-grit dry or wet sandpaper over the blades. This removes any uneven edges.
Dampen a rag with a silicone-based lubricating product. Wipe down the shear’s blades with the lubricant to help prevent rust formation.
- Avoid running your finger along the length of the shear’s blade to check your progress. Instead, use the shears to a stem or leaf off a shrub or flower. Once you’re satisfied with the shear’s performance, stop sharpening.
Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.