How To Sharpen Backyard Shears & Pruning Instruments


felco hand pruners & purple garden gloves lay next to cut pomegranate branches the text reads cleaning & sharpening pruning tools

Who likes to prune? I positive do and all the time have. Fall and Spring are the busiest instances for pruning. Spring is quick approaching and I need to share how one can sharpen backyard shears and different pruning instruments, plus how one can clear them too.

Pruning shears might be bigger and heavier, or smaller and lighter. Which one you select depends upon what you’re pruning, how a lot you prune, the scale of your arms, and what feels most snug to you. If you happen to’re left-handed, there’s a pruner for you.

You’ll discover an assortment of pruners plus floral snips, loppers, and sharpeners for mild or heavy-duty pruning to purchase on-line additional on down on this publish.

It’s easy however generally we’d like reminding: make certain to scrub and sharpen your pruning instruments. Earlier than you begin any form of pruning job, it’s necessary to verify your pruning instruments are prepared for the job. It’s the identical recommendation skilled cooks give: preserve your knives sharp and reducing will likely be a lot simpler.

In case your instruments aren’t sharp, you’ll make jagged cuts. Pruning will likely be laborious on the plant and tougher for you. Clear cuts are necessary for the well being and aesthetics of the plant.

I’m not going to get into pruning methods right here. These could be worthy of separate posts and movies as there are numerous strategies of pruning and causes to prune in addition to many alternative gardening zones and instances to prune.

On that topic, an important factor to know is how the plant grows and the way it’ll reply so you possibly can prune it efficiently.

Listed here are some issues to analysis: when’s the perfect time is to prune it, does it flower on new or outdated wooden (or each), how a lot do it’s essential to prune it (tip-pruned, thinned out, minimize all the way in which again, minimize midway again, and many others) and the way it’s going to develop again on account of the pruning.

Houseplant pruning is far less complicated and must be accomplished much less typically. I cowl it within the houseplant care posts I do.

Cleansing & sharpening my pruners:

How To Sharpen Backyard Shears & Pruning Instruments In 3 Easy Steps

1. Clear.

Get all of the gunk and residue off your instruments earlier than sharpening them. Take a tender fabric and sprinkle cleaning powder on it and your instruments. Begin cleansing!

You should definitely completely clear the mechanisms and handles in addition to the reducing and anvil blades. In the event that they’re actually soiled, then you’ll have to make use of metal wool or a scouring pad.

I didn’t have a scouring pad within the video above so I used a flathead screwdriver to scrape the gunk off.

Completely rinse off and dry with a clear fabric or let dry within the solar earlier than transferring on to the following step.

2.  Sharpen.

There are various sharpening instruments available on the market. You’ll see a number of down beneath. Which one you utilize is a private factor, what feels greatest in your hand and will get the job accomplished effectively.

I take advantage of this device as a result of it’s small, mild, and tremendous simple to make use of. Merely make 3-5 swipes with the sharpening aspect after which 3-5 swipes with the sharpening aspect.

Do each side of the blade and that’s all there’s to it.

My very favourite pruners: the tried & true Felco #2’s. As you possibly can see, 1 of the deal with covers is lacking & the opposite is on the way in which out. I’ve used these A LOT.

3.  Lubricate.

Wipe the blades and equipment mechanisms with a beneficiant quantity of oil to lubricate, forestall rust, and do some further cleansing.

I take advantage of coconut, avocado, or olive oils as a result of I all the time have them readily available. I’ve used WD-40 prior to now however I’m not a fan of the scent!

I let the oil sit on the device(s) for not less than 10 -Half-hour after which wipe the surplus off. That is the place you’ll see any left-over residue come off.

I clear and sharpen my pruning instruments each month. I dwell in Tucson the place gardening is a year-round pleasure. I’ve an acre of land so there’s all the time one thing to clip, inside or out!

If you happen to’re pruning roses or taking cuttings, then you definitely actually need to preserve these instruments good and clear so that you don’t unfold any illness.

Now, get to pruning!

After all, you’ll want good instruments which might be simple so that you can use and likewise ones you’re snug with. The three pruning instruments I take advantage of frequently are my hand pruners, floral snippers, and loppers. And, you’ll want a sharpener too.

Word: This publish was initially printed on 9/22/2017. It was up to date on 2/4/2022.

a pair of garden loppers, felco hand pruners, fiskar floral snips, & a garden sharpening tool lay on a towel
My pruning instruments that I take advantage of frequently. I’ve had all of them for ages & they’re all the time shut at hand!

Hand Pruner

That is used for common backyard pruning. I not often use them for my indoor crops besides to prune a dracaena cane, kentia palm frond, or every other massive plant.

I’m true and devoted to my Felco # 2 bypass pruners. I purchased them in 1999 once I labored at Berkeley Horticultural Nursery. They’re nonetheless going robust!

I’ve solely changed one half on it (a blade) even in my a few years as knowledgeable gardener. I can HIGHLY advocate them, particularly for those who do a very good quantity of pruning. They get 18,000 – 5 star critiques on Amazon by the way in which!

I’ve included different choices in case you don’t want this heavy a pruner or need one thing inexpensive.

My Favourite Pruner

Purchase At: Amazon

Felco F-2 Basic Pruner $57.27

Hand pruners you may additionally think about (value low to excessive)

Floral Snips

Floral snips are for deadheading, reducing flowers, and choosing fine-stemmed crops like herbs. I additionally use them for trimming my houseplants.. 

Like my Felcos, I’ve additionally had my Fiskar Snippers for years now. They’ve lengthy, slim blades which makes them excellent for reducing these finer stems. My mannequin isn’t made anymore however they’ve been changed with those beneath.


I extremely advocate these too.

My Favourite Floral Snip

Purchase At Amazon

fiskars snips with grey handle from amazon

Fiskars Pruning Softouch Micro-Tip Snip $32.17

Floral Snips you may additionally think about (low to excessive)


For pruning branches over 1/2″.

I take advantage of loppers for branches which might be too huge in diameter for my Felco hand pruners. They don’t get almost as a lot common use as the opposite 2 instruments do, however they make an look each 3 weeks or so.

I can’t discover my model anymore (I’ve had them that lengthy!) however I like them as a result of the handles prolong. Listed here are a number of decisions for you.


My Favourite Sharpener

Purchase At Amazon

red tungsten sharpener for pruners from amazon

Zenport Tungsten Sharpener for Pruners $11.32

If I might help a plant look higher and improve its well being in any manner, it makes me comfortable.  I consider pruning as a type of artwork and that’s why I would like my pruners to be in tip-top form. I really feel like I’m being a bit naughty, with a pointy blade in hand, however I’m actually doing a plant nicely.

I hope you’ve discovered this publish on how one can sharpen backyard shears to be useful. Oh, how your crops will love you!

Glad gardening … comfortable pruning,

Signed by Nell Foster

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