How to Sharpen Pruning Shears: 13 Steps (with Pictures)


Maggie Moran

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home and garden specialist

This article was co-authored by Maggie Moran. Maggie Moran is a Professional Gardener in Pennsylvania. This article has been viewed 77,884 times.

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Updated: January 28, 2023

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With a medium or coarse diamond hand file, you can easily sharpen your pruning shears in just a few minutes. Make one smooth stroke with the file from the base to the tip of each shear blade. Always file away from your body to avoid scratching yourself. Make 10 to 20 strokes on each blade until a sharp edge is formed. Then, file the backsides with a few more strokes to remove rough edges. To prevent rust on your sharp pruning shears, dip a soft cloth in linseed oil and gently wipe the cloth over the blades. For more tips from our gardening co-writer, including how to clean your pruning shears, keep reading!

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