Do you need to sharpen your secateurs? If so, we have a step-by-step process and tips that will help you get the job done quickly and painlessly. Secateurs are an essential tool for any gardener and in this article, we explore how to keep them at their best.
A sharp tool requires less force to make a cut, offering greater control and reduces the chances of slipping or overcutting. Gardeners should sharpen important tools periodically to ensure they are effective for each gardening session. Treat your tools as costly items like your mower or car – saving on repairs or replacements. For the sake of longevity and your fingers, take some time at least every winter to bring your tools back to life.
A sharp pair of hand pruners makes cleaner cuts that heal more efficiently. For infrequent gardeners, one sharpening a year may do the trick. It only takes 10-15 minutes to sharpen your pruning tools if you’ve kept them in good condition.
Step 1: Wash the blades
Before you get to sharpening, you’ll want to ensure your clippers are clean. Use warm soapy water and a cloth to wash the blades. Rinse and dry completely before moving on.
Step 2: Remove rust and sap
Use sandpaper or steel wool to remove the rust and sap from your blades. Place a strip of sandpaper or steel wool on a workbench, hold one blade at an angle to it with two hands and rub in circular motions until all signs of rust disappear. To get rid of stubborn sap residue, scrub both sides with soap first then follow up by rubbing away any remaining spots caused by trapped oil. Rinse and dry before proceeding.
Step 3: Secure the secateurs
If you have a bench vise, clamp the handles of your secateurs into it and tighten. If not, use a heavy object on one side of the blade so that it’s held securely in place while you sharpen with the other hand.
Step 4: Sharpening
Use a sharpening stone or handheld sharpener to grind along the beveled edge (may be one or both edges) in smooth strokes. Be sure not to round the edge or change the shape of the blade.
If your blade has two beveled edges, hold one side of the blade in your non-dominant hand and use short strokes to rub it against the sharpener with medium pressure, alternating sides every few seconds until you reach an even angle on both sides.
If you have multiple diamond blades with different levels of coarseness, start with the most coarse and finish with the finest.
Step 5: Lubricating or Oiling
To finish off, rub some mineral oil onto all surfaces of the cutting blades. Alternatively, you can use a lubricant like WD40. Once complete, wipe clean before storing away again.
Secateur and Pruning Shear FAQ
Can you get secateurs sharpened?
Yes, many garden suppliers will sharpen secateurs. However, not all have the equipment to do so and it can be more expensive than sharpening your own blades. Secateurs that are very blunt can be resharpened by taking them to a specialist for grinding or use an electric grinder.
What to look for when buying secateurs?
Secateurs should be sharp, sturdy and comfortable to use. They must also have a non-slip grip so they can be used for prolonged periods of time without hurting your hands or wrists.
What are the best secateurs in Australia?
Our pick for the best secateurs in Australia is the Gonicc 8″ Professional Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears. Check out our buying guide on the Best Secateurs for our full list of recommended products.
How many types of secateurs are there?
There are three main types: anvil, bypass and ratchet pruners; each serve a different purpose :
Anvil secateurs have a pointed blade that cuts through the stem by pressing down on it with a cutting surface.
Bypass secateurs have two blades which cut from either side of the stems and do not touch, thus avoiding crushing or bruising them.
Ratchet pruners are similar to bypass shears but instead of using handles, they are designed to be operated with just one hand.
Secateurs may also differ in regards to blade length and whether the blades are curved or straight-edged; what type of material the cutting surface is made from (plastic, steel, stainless steel) as well as features such as a clear plastic head.
What is the difference between pruners and secateurs?
Pruners are often be used to cut through soft growths while secateurs are for cutting hard stems.
Secateurs can also be used as a tool to prune, clip and trim plants in order to maintain their shape or health by removing diseased leaves from roses or blossoms from fruit trees.
What are the best secateurs for arthritic hands?
Look for secateurs that are lightweight, have a smooth and ergonomic handle design, and an adjustable grip. Secateurs should be relatively well-balanced for ease of use with one hand (some models come pre-equipped with a finger ring to help balance them). To reduce the strain placed on the hand, consider powered options like the Bosch Powered Secateurs.
What secateurs do professionals use?
Professional gardeners tend to favour the larger, heavier-duty models that can cut through tough stems. Secateurs come in a variety of shapes and sizes: some are straight; others have curved blades for cutting around obstacles more easily. It’s worth noting that many secateurs are designed for left or right handed use only.
Which Felco secateurs to buy?
Some of the most popular secateurs are the Felco Pruners and it’s easy to see why: they’re lightweight, ergonomic design helps give a better feel of control over cut. They also have an adjustable grip with soft-grip lining for comfort and a smooth blade release mechanism that means you can quickly change blades when needed.
Which secateurs does Monty Don use?
Monty Don is a gardener with over 40 years of experience, so it’s no surprise that he has his own favourite secateurs. He likes the Felco Pruners and recommends them for their lightweight design as well as how easy they are to adjust.