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A Quick & Easy Way To Clean & Sharpen Your Pruners

Gardening season is in full swing. It's important to make sure all your pruners are clean & sharp. Here's a really easy yet very effective way to do it.
In my days as a professional gardener I once had five pairs of Felcos (quite the investment by the way) but now I'm down to two. Somehow they've mysteriously disappeared. I think the green waste barrels must have eaten them. They are my favorite go to pruners which I keep in a low tin planter right by my front door because I use them almost every day. I live in Santa Barbara, CA where I get to play in the garden year round.
I also have Fiskar floral nippers , Florian rachet pruners and Corona lopping shears. They all need a clean and a sharpen every once in a while so I will give you an easy step by step as to how I do it. My gardening shears never look close to 100% clean and they never will. They've all gotten a lot of use over the years. I keep them all handy for use in our LadyBug Tool Pouch (made right here in California) which is pictured above.
As usual, there's a how to video waiting for you at the end.
If your pruners are scrubbed and sharpened the plants will be much happier because the cuts will be clean. You'll enjoy the whole process a lot more too as your pruners will open and close smoothly making it so much easier on your hands, wrists and arms.
1) I scour them with Bon Ami to get all the horticultural gunk off. This is a natural cleaning powder which does the trick but doesn't scratch. I've also used baking soda but prefer the Bon Ami because it has more scrubbing power.
2) Give the pruners a good rinse to get all the Bon Ami off.
3) I then dry them off with an old piece of tee shirt & sharpen with my favorite Wildflower Seed & Tool Company sharpening tool. I love this sharpener because my hands are small & it's so easy for me to use. Be sure to watch the video to see how to use this tool.
4) If they're still a bit dirty I'll give them another scouring. I rinse & dry just like above.
5) Wipe with vegetable oil or spray with WD40 to get any rust & more plant residue off. This step also keeps your your tools lubricated & working smoothly. I now use grape seed oil instead of WD40 because it's a natural alternative & works well. Any vegetable oil does the trick - you choose.
6) Let the lubricant soak in a bit & then wipe off. An old sock works the best for me rather than something like paper towels. Yes, I'm big on reuse!
This is my favourite sharpening tool.
Now that your pruners are all cleaned and sharpened like brand new you'll be ready for your next pruning extravaganza. I just had at it with one of my monstrous Bougainvilleas over the weekend so mine are due again. Pruning is constant. So is the cleaning.
Interested in more things garden? Nell Foster has lots more waiting for you at: www.joyusgarden.com

To see more: http://www.joyusgarden.com/quick-easy-way-clean-sharpen-pruners/

Ask the creator about this project

  • Hannah V
    Hannah V Brooklyn, NY
    on Jun 30, 2015

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Centrd
    Centrd Oceanside, CA
    on Jul 5, 2015

    Yes, thank you!

  • Holly Holton
    Holly Holton Marietta, GA
    on Jul 5, 2015

    Thank you! Just ordered the sharpener and am going to buy some grape seed oil. Was wondering how to maintain my Felco pruners. Thanks again!

    • Joy Us garden
      Joy Us garden Tucson, AZ
      on Jul 7, 2015

      You're most welcome! @Holly Holton I love that tool because it's so light & easy to use - my hands are small. Clean & sharp pruners make all the difference! Nell

  • Susanne
    Susanne Union, SC
    on Jul 5, 2015

    Many thanks! I needed this info.

    • Joy Us garden
      Joy Us garden Tucson, AZ
      on Jul 7, 2015

      I'm glad you found it useful. @Susanne I've cleaned my pruners this way for many years. Nell

  • Lisa Stewart
    Lisa Stewart Tallahassee, FL
    on Jul 5, 2015

    All of *our* garden tools are rusty and beat up, so *my* new tools will be stored separately and MAINTAINED. ;) Thanks for the tips!

    • Joy Us garden
      Joy Us garden Tucson, AZ
      on Jul 7, 2015

      It makes all the difference if your tools are dry before you put them way. @Lisa Stewart I've found that heavy rust is hard to remove. And, you're welcome! Nell

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