A good pair of garden shears should serve you well for many years, especially if they receive a little care and attention along the way. One of the easiest ways to extend the useful lifespan of almost any type of garden shear is by learning how to sharpen them.
How to sharpen garden shears and keep them in tip-top condition
Before we get started, you will need to gather a few things together. Make sure you have these tools on hand:
A thick pair of safety gloves
Sharpening steel, diamond file or similar
Machine oil (3-in-1 oil)
In addition to the above, you may also need a clamp in which to secure the shears while you sharpen them. Once you have everything you need, let’s get down to business!
Sharpening gardening shears — a step-by-step guide
Follow these steps and the end result should be a nice sharp pair of shears that make short work of any pruning you need to do.
- Clean the shears
Before sharpening any blade, you should ensure it is free of dirt or debris. Carefully wipe it down with a damp cloth.
- Secure the shears
You can either put them in a clamp or hold them steadily with one hand. This is down to personal preference, so even if you happen to own a clamp, you can still use your hand if that’s how you want to do it. However, if your hands are not very steady, a clamp is probably the best option.
- Match your sharpening steel or file to the angle of the bevel
Before you actually start the honing process, you need to match the angle of your sharpening steel to the bevel of the blade you are working on. There will only be a bevel on one side of the blade, so you also need to make sure you are working on the right side. If you try sharpening garden shears on the side of the blade without a bevel, you’ll end up making them weaker rather than sharper and stronger.
- Start honing
You hone or sharpen a blade by moving your sharpening steel or file away from you as you follow the direction of the bevel that was set on the blade at the factory. You can check whether you are doing it right by inspecting the bevel as you go.
If you’re following the bevel as you should, you’ll see a clean, bright edge starting to appear, and if you were to flip the blade over, you might see small burrs beginning to form on the other side.
- Continue along the length of the blade
Continue to use the same honing/sharpening motion as you work your way from the base of the blade to the tip, aiming for a uniformly sharp edge.
- Sand the burrs off and oil your shears
Once you have finished sharpening gardening shears for the first time, sand off the burrs that formed on the reverse of each blade and oil the moving parts.
If you’re looking for a new pair of shears, check out our garden/outdoor range. We have a large collection of home and garden products, including cleaning products, home fitness equipment, kitchenware and more.