How to Sharpen and Clean Your Pruners

It's that time of year when some gardeners cannot do much in the garden due to the weather or you are just starting to work in the garden. Now is a good time to start cleaning garden tools and sharpening pruners for the upcoming growing season. Here are the steps to cleaning and sharpening your pruners.

Pruners collect sap when you use them. They also start to rust from being exposed to moisture. To clean them, remove the nut and bolt that holds them together.

After you have disassembled your pruners give them a spray with a lubricant spray and wait for about 5 minutes.

Rub each part of the pruner down with a piece of fine steel wool soaked with lubricant spray. Wipe off grime, rust and excess lubricant with a soft rag. Use an old toothbrush to get into those small spots that need to be scrubed and cleaned.

Use a sharpening stone to sharpen the blade. There are several different types available that you can purchase from garden or hardware stores. Keep the sharpening stone in full contact with the blade moving from the back of the blade to the tip. Repeat this process several times till you see shiney new metal exposed on the blade. You only sharpen the one blade.

Turn the blade over and remove any burrs from the back side of the blade with a diamond file.

Reassemble your pruners. Tighten the nut down tight then slightly loosen it till the pruners open and close correctly. Now you are ready to garden!

During the gardening season you can also give your pruners a quick sharpening without having to take them apart. Different pruners may come apart for cleaning differently than those shown in the pictures.

Did you know that you should sharpen your shovel? Check back for a future blog on how to do it.

The Creative Gardener


Good info -- but, I leave my tool cleaning and sharpening to my son, an archaeologist! He has to care for his field tools and always asks if I have any tools that need maintenance. I'm fortunate!

Thank you, I know that I should be sharpening my pruners, but I keep forgetting. This may just be the motivation that I require.

Have to get a sharpening stone first, though.

Janet said…
Wow Debbie, I have never taken mine apart. I do sharpen them and think I clean them fairly well. Will have to take them apart next time.
Connie said…
Wow, how timely that I happened by here today. I just pruned my Simplicity rose hedge a few days ago when we had a sunny gorgeous day. I noticed that they were a bit dull and wondered about the proper way to clean and sharpen them. Thanks for doing this post!
Aerie-el said…
Thanks for the excellent step-by-step instructions. I'm going to clean mine right now. :)
Excellent read. I like your style...have a good one!/Nice blog! Keep it up!
garden tools