After investing in a quality trimming tool or shears, it’s worth taking a little time to keep them in good working order. Cleaning and maintaining your pruners isn’t just about improving the life and usability of your tools, it’s also important to disinfect your pruners if you’re dealing with plants or trees that are at risk of infection.

It’s also important to sharpen knives regularly, as dull blades tend to tear through plant tissue and cause jagged cuts. Now that it’s winter and there’s not as much pruning gardening to do, there’s no better time to clean and sharpen your pruning tools!

Cleaning and Disinfecting Pruners

Cleaning – Pruners should be cleaned before they are disinfected, as dirt and residue on the blades will interfere with any disinfectant you use. It is usually sufficient to wipe the blades with a dampened cloth, and even better to add a small amount of detergent to the water. Cleaning should be done regularly to prevent pruners from jamming. If it has not been cleaned for a long time, we recommend taking the tool apart and wiping it down thoroughly.

Disinfection – Medical alcohol, the kind you can buy at the drugstore, is ideal for disinfecting pruners. Disinfection with alcohol does not require soaking, a simple wipe will do the trick, and there is no need to rinse it off.

Oil – After cleaning, oil the tool to keep it moving freely and to prevent corrosion. A generic mineral oil can be used. A thin vegetable oil should do the job well. Put some oil between the blades, on the springs, and a little on the latches that hold the chainsaw closed when not in use. Then move the parts so that the oil gets to all sliding surfaces and wipe off any excess oil.

Sharpening Pruners

It is important to keep your pruning tools sharp. First, a sharp blade makes the cut easier and the gardener works less easily to fatigue. Second, a clean cut will heal better and faster, making it less likely that the plant will become infected through the wound. Therefore, blades should be sharpened regularly and replaced if deeper scratches or nicks appear. Most hedge trimmers and pruners on the market are sold with replacement parts and there is no need to eliminate the entire tool.

It is beneficial to sharpen your pruning tools after use to keep them in top condition. Keeping up this habit isn’t really as easy as you might think, but it’s a fairly simple task. If you do this regularly, the life of your pruning tools can be greatly extended, and you can save money on new equipment. And, they’ll always give you clean, fast cuts!

It is important to remember that common pruning tools such as hedge shears and hand pruners can only be sharpened on their single bevel. That is, not the “back” of the cutting blade, which needs to be kept flat. Cutting board pruners, on the other hand, usually have a double bevel, so sharpen on both sides.

Sharpening a Bypass Pruners

Grinding Stone – With the flat side of the diamond grinder, grind the bevelled side of the blade with a rotating movement at an angle of 20-30° (like a sharpening stone).

Sharpener – Pull the concave sharpening edge gently along the blade edge at an angle of 30-50°. Use either of the corner edges of the sharpener, i.e. do not try to have the sharpener ‘flat’ against the blade. Work only with one side of the sharpener. One light pass on the back of the bevelled side will remove the burr which has formed.

Pruning means more than just the work of cutting off branches! Proper cleaning and maintenance of tools is also an important part of gardening, and only then will you be able to create your garden better.

Gardepot is dedicated to providing wholesale gardening tools, as well as sharing gardening knowledge. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.