How To Maintain Pruning Shears. (5 Easy Tips) - HayFarmGuy (2022)

Pruning shears are those trust gardening tools that we use for a variety of activities such as cutting and trimming plants, and also creating topiaries, hedges and other gardening activities.

All gardeners have one on hand for clean and sharp cuts on plants.

One thing to note however, is if you do not maintain your pruning shears, it will get dulled over time.

This will lead to more difficult and less clean cuttings on the plant, which can cause infections on the plants.

Yes!! Plants get sick as well.

Maintaining your pruning shears involves a simple routine of activities such as oiling it, cleaning after use, replacing worn out parts to mention a few.

In this article, I’ll be explaining how to maintain your trusty pruning shears so you can use them for many many years.

Table of Contents

  • 1 5 Ways To Maintain Pruning Shears
    • 1.1 1. Clean Your Pruning Shears After Each Use
    • 1.2 2. Oil Your Pruning Shears Regularly
    • 1.3 3. Sharpening Should Be a Frequent Activity
    • 1.4 4. Adjust Pruning Shears From Time to Time
    • 1.5 5. Replace Worn Out Parts Immediately
  • 2 Can I Use Wd40 On My Pruning Shears?
  • 3 How Do You Keep Pruning Shears From Rusting?
  • 4 How Do You Keep Pruning Shears Sharp?
  • 5 What Oil Do You Use For Garden Shears?
  • 6 Can I Use Methylated Spirit On Pruning Shears?
  • 7 Conclusion

5 Ways To Maintain Pruning Shears

How To Maintain Pruning Shears. (5 Easy Tips) - HayFarmGuy (1)

Like I mentioned earlier, if you plan to use your pruning shears for a long time and avoid unnecessary spending on buying new ones every time, then you have to cultivate the habit of maintaining them.

I’ll proceed to explain 5 easy ways with which you can keep your pruning shears sharp and strong.

1. Clean Your Pruning Shears After Each Use

The Best Pruning Shears On Amazon!

The Best Pruning Shears On Amazon!

It is important that you clean your pruning shears immediately after each use to get rid of any wetness or sap that might be stuck between the blades.

This is very easy to do as you can wipe down with a bundle of old T-shirts or rags.

Clean in-between each blade carefully to remove anything that might be jammed there.

You can also decide to wash your shears from time to time. Have some steel wool and wire brush at hand to thoroughly clean the pruning shears.

2. Oil Your Pruning Shears Regularly

Oiling your pruning shears from time to time helps to keep them lubricated and avoids rust or corrosion.

Oiling your pruner is an easy activity which you can carry out after washing or sharpening.

Non-petroleum based oil or lubricants are perfect for your shear oiling purposes.

Even something as simple as sewing machine oil will work perfectly. This oiling helps to keep your pruning shears a little longer and shinier.

3. Sharpening Should Be a Frequent Activity

Once you notice your pruning shears cutting is no longer so sharp, then it is time for you to sharpen it.

If it is left that way, you’ll realize that your cuttings become more difficult and less clean as the blade gets dulled.

There are various sharpening devices you can use such as a whetstone, flat file or knife sharpener.

Pass the sharpening device over your pruning shears blade a few times to get your blade sharp again.

After sharpening, wipe down with oil and you are good to go.

4. Adjust Pruning Shears From Time to Time

As you use your pruning shears, some parts may begin to get loose and this requires that you fasten them from time to time.

After use, check your shears on your gardening bench. Dissemble it piece by piece to see if there are any corroded or worn out parts.

In the absence of that, assemble the parts back together one by one and finish up by tightening the central nut.

5. Replace Worn Out Parts Immediately

As you use your pruning shears, over time some parts will become dull, corroded or weak.

Your maintenance routine might no longer be sufficient to keep them sharp and going.

At this point, the best thing to do is to replace the parts that are no longer letting your pruner work smoothly.

The parts that easily get worn out include the blades, spring and center nut. You can get these at any convenience store and replace them.

By carrying out this maintenance routine regularly, your pruning shears will work for you for a long period of time.

Here is an article I wrote on using scissors instead of pruning shears

Can I Use Wd40 On My Pruning Shears?

Wd40 is a lubricant producing brand that started out in the US in 1953 and it’s a go to brand for mechanics, engineers and other people who have to deal with tools.

Most people however do not realize that they can use Wd40 products on their gardening tools.

Wd40s’ products can be used for a variety of activities ranging from wiping dirt on pruning shears to lubricating it.

Wd40 Multiuse Product is one of the best products out there for lubricating your pruning shears after cleaning up.

The Wd40 Multiuse product will help extend the life of your pruning shears and ensure its’ effective performance every time.

It has a unique and quick action formula which protects garden tools from corroding and damage.

You can easily purchase the product at retail stores such as Walmart or you can visit the where-to-buy section of the website to select an online store.

How Do You Keep Pruning Shears From Rusting?

Your pruning shears are one of your most important gardening tools as you need for basic activities such as cutting and trimming plants.

Many gardeners complain of their tools getting rusty especially after a long summer of gardening activities.

The key to always having sharp and strong tools lies in regular maintenance. Do not just toss your pruning shears down immediately after use.

Take your time to clean it with a rag or wash with warm soapy water to remove any rust adhered to it.

Oil and sharpen your shears regularly as this will help to reduce corrosion.

The major enemy of your shears blade are sap and water. Do not leave your pruning shears lying on the floor.

After cleaning up, either hang them up properly in the tools shed or stick them into a sand bucket where they will be safe from rain or any form of water.

These simple routine tasks can make the difference between a rusted blade and a sharp one.

How Do You Keep Pruning Shears Sharp?

Having sharp pruning shears is very vital to your backyard gardening activities.

As a matter of fact, if your shears blades are dull, you end up damaging your plants as the cuts are not as clean and sharp as they should be.

Apart from keeping rust away from your shears, you also have to ensure their sharpness.

Oiling and sharpening your shears from time to time is the best way to keep them sharp. Lubricating the shears helps to keep away rust and ensure the parts are working properly.

The best device proposed for sharpening is a whetstone as it is often easy to use even for beginners.

When using a whetstone for sharpening, place the stone almost parallel to the blade, then move the stone over it in one direction.

Do not move the whetstone back and forth over the blade. Your shears do not have to be over sharp to avoid injury.

Also check out this article I wrote on the type of pruning shears Monty don uses

What Oil Do You Use For Garden Shears?

Oiling is an important aspect of garden shears maintenance. Lubricating your shears regularly helps to keep rust and corrosion away and add some shine to it.

There are a variety of oils you can use for lubricating your garden shears.

Vehicle lubricating oil works as well as most multipurpose oils. You can also use linseed oil, lamp oil or motor oil.

Cooking oil is also a good option, especially olive oil. This might be surprising to most of you, but olive oil is a great protectant for tools.

After applying oil to your blades and other metal parts, remember to wipe off the excess so it doesn’t run off to the wooden handles.

Can I Use Methylated Spirit On Pruning Shears?

As a matter of fact, yes, methylated spirit or ethanol is very good for removing rust and disinfecting your pruning shears.

Plants also get diseases and sometimes these infections are transferred from one plant to the other by sap adhering to the blades of the pruning shears.

Disinfecting your pruning shears before or after use, is a good way to avoid infection transfer among your plants.

Methylated spirit contains about 95% alcohol level and it is advisable to dilute it to about 70 – 75% before use.

For proper disinfection, spray the pruning shears blade with the spirit, wipe with a cloth to remove any stuck sap.

Spray thoroughly once again then leave the spirit on the blade and allow it to dry naturally.

This process kills off any pathogen on the blade.


A trusty pair of pruning shears is a gardener’s good friend.

This garden tool is one that is required for basic gardening tasks and it is always handy to have one at hand.

Quality pruning shears can be quite expensive and maintaining them regularly will help them last longer.

After using your shears, endeavor to clean or wash them, oil and sharpen them regularly and also replace damaged parts.

Disinfecting your shears blade with methylated spirits and other alcohol based liquids helps to prevent plant to plant infection.

Remember! Sharper pruning shears give you sharper and cleaner cuts.


How do you maintain pruning shears? ›

Caring for Pruning Tools

Remove any ingrained dirt or sap, using a wire brush or wire wool if necessary. Wash them in soapy water then dry them. Pruners, loppers and shears are all sharpened in much the same way. Hold the tool firmly in position then pass the sharpener over the edge of the blade.

How do you clean shears before pruning? ›

Ethanol or isopropyl alcohol are ideal for sanitizing pruning equipment because blades can simply be wiped or dipped into disinfectant without a prolonged soak. Products sold as rubbing alcohol usually contain 70% isopropyl alcohol and can be used directly from the container.

How do you clean pruners after use? ›

Clean pruners with warm dish soap and water or spray the blades with Scrubbing Bubbles® bathroom cleaner to remove dried sap. If your pruners have rusted, soak them overnight in white vinegar to dissolve the rust. Scrub with a wire brush to remove dirt and rust.

What are secateurs used for? ›

Secateurs are a gardening tool that look like a pair of strong, heavy scissors. Secateurs are used for cutting the stems of plants.

How I take care of my tools? ›

Clean, Inspect and Care for Tools

Make it a habit to clean tools after each use before you return them to storage. Wipe them down with a rag or old towel and be sure they are free of dust, grease and debris before you put them into their proper places. This is also an opportunity to look for any damage or defects.

What are the steps to clean shears? ›

How to Clean Pruning Shears
  1. Take apart the pruning shears.
  2. Soak them overnight in distilled white vinegar if they are rusty. ...
  3. Gently rub with sandpaper to remove stubborn stains.
  4. Wash the shears with warm soapy water and a cloth.
  5. Rinse and dry well.
  6. Put the shears back together.
Jun 18, 2022

How do you clean and sharpen pruning shears? ›

After wiping pruners dry, use coarse steel wool to work off any rust. If pruners are badly rusted apply WD-40 and let soak for 10 minutes. After soaking, remove oil with a clean cloth and use steel wool to get rid of remaining rust. Use a diamond file to sharpen the blade.

How do you clean and maintain garden tools? ›

Clean - Round up all your tools, a bucket of warm water and a wire or stiff bristle brush. Start with the brush and knock off the majority of the dirt on your tools. Once you have the dirt removed, scrub the remaining of with the warm water. Then rinse and let them air dry or wipe them with a towel.

How do you clean and sharpen garden shears? ›

How to Clean & Sharpen Your Garden Tools! // Garden Answer - YouTube

Should you oil garden shears? ›

Oiling Wood Handles and Tool Blades

Once wood handles are clean and dry, I like to finish them with a coat of oil to repel moisture and dirt, and to keep the handle from becoming dry and brittle.

What is pruning shear? ›

Pruning shears are a gardening tool that look like a pair of strong, heavy scissors. Pruning shears are used for cutting the stems of plants.

What does pruning shears look like? ›

Pruning Shears Explained: Choose the Best Pruners For Your Garden

What is a pruning saw? ›

Definition of pruning saw

: a saw that has a usually tapering straight or curved blade and either a closed or an open and sometimes folding handhold and that may or may not be attached to a pole.

How do you maintain grass shears? ›

Always try to clean your tools after each use. Rinse tools under running water or soak them in water. Then remove any remaining soil using a cloth, bristle brush or wire brush. Get rid of any sap that may have collected on cutting tools with soapy water or turpentine.

What are the 10 ways of maintaining tools and equipment? ›

10 ways to make your equipment last longer
  • Read the User Guide. ...
  • Use the Correct Equipment For The Job. ...
  • Know Your Machinery. ...
  • Inspect Regularly. ...
  • Carry Out Regular Maintenance, Using a Schedule. ...
  • Replace Parts When Needed. ...
  • Clean After Use. ...
  • Repair and Refurbish, Rather Than Replace.
Apr 6, 2022

Why do I maintain my tools? ›

If you don't maintain your tools, they will accumulate dust, dirt, and grease. Also, they won't be as effective when you need to use them the next time. Ensure that your tools are free of grease and oil before storing them. It helps maintain their condition and prolong their lifespan.

What to use for pruning? ›

The best tools for pruning
  1. Secateurs. Bypass secateurs, which have a scissor-action, are great all-rounders for pruning and cutting back plants. ...
  2. Pruning saw. Pruning saws come in various sizes and can be used on branches up to 5cm thick. ...
  3. Long-reach pruner. ...
  4. Loppers. ...
  5. Hand shears. ...
  6. Topiary shears.

How do you sharpen hand shears? ›

Home Maintenance & Hand Tools : How to Sharpen Hand Shears

What oil is good for pruners? ›

Any type of oil will do, from canola or vegetable oil to WD40, honing oil, or household 3-in-1.

What oil is best for tools? ›

You can use pretty much whatever oil you want. I happen to use just regular motor oil since I always have some lying around. What I like to do is start by applying a liberal amount to my first tool, then wipe off the excess with a clean rag. From there, I'll use that rag to apply oil to all of the other tools.

Can I use WD-40 on my pruning shears? ›

How to Clean Gardening Tools & Protect from Wear With WD-40 ...

What kind of oil do you use for garden tools? ›

Lubricating Oil: Such as boiled linseed oil, tung oil, motor oil, lamp oil, or cooking oil. Boiled linseed and tung oil are probably the best choices, but you can use what you have on hand.

What are the types of pruning shears? ›

There are three basic types of pruning shears: anvil, bypass, and ratchets. A bypass is the most popular of the three and acts like scissors. It is good for growing stems. Anvil pruners feature a straight blade that uses a splitting action.

Why do you prune shears? ›

The best pruning shears will continue to provide a clean and easy cut, branch after branch. Pruners are every gardener's tool of choice for light and everyday pruning. Depending on the type you're using, they're brilliant for cutting live as well as dead foliage, and they can help make the work a lot easier too.

Do you need pruning shears? ›

Pruners are the tools for trimming everything from tender annuals and perennials to woody shrubs and small, tough tree branches. Every gardener needs a few pairs of pruning shears in varying sizes for different tasks around your landscape.

How many types of shears are there? ›

A metal guillotine, or shear, generally comes in one of two styles. Hydraulic or Manual. With manual machines, a foot pedal is used as the actuation method to descend the blade. Sometimes referred to as a treadle shear or treadle guillotine, the foot pedal spans the entire width of the machine.

What are the two types of pruners? ›

There are basically three types of hand pruners: bypass, anvil, and ratchet. Bypass garden pruners are probably the most popular, for good reason. This tool makes a nice clean cut using two curved blades that bypass each other in the same manner as scissor blades.

What type of shears do I need? ›

To choose an all-around cutting tool, you should measure the length of the blade against your middle finger, and the overall length of the scissor against the extended palm of your hand. Most women are more comfortable working with a 5.5” or 6.0" scissor, while most men prefer a 6.0” or 6.5” shear.

What is regular pruning? ›

Regular pruning reduces the risk of storm damage to structures from broken branches. Protect your family and friends from falling branches over walkways, driveways, and children's play areas. This practice also helps control pests, vermin, and snakes by reducing their habitat options.

How do you use a pole saw? ›

Using the Flexure of the Pole Saw - Prune Like a Pro - YouTube

What size saw for pruning? ›

What size pruning saw do I need? As a general rule, choose a pruning saw with a blade that's double the diameter of the branches you'll be cutting. For example, choose a saw with at least a 10-inch blade to cut branches up to 5 inches in diameter.

How do you sharpen Fiskars pruning shears? ›

Flat files are excellent for sharpening the blades on these Fiskars tools. Make sure when sharpening to do so at the same angle as the blade, and if there are any cuts or notches on the blade, take extra care to file those out as well.

How do I keep my garden tools from rusting? ›

7 ways to prevent rusty garden tools this winter!
  1. Keep garden tools clean and dry. Give your garden tools a good clean and wipe down after every use, especially before storing them away. ...
  2. Remove rust. ...
  3. Sand them down. ...
  4. Sharpen. ...
  5. Season with oil. ...
  6. Sterilise. ...
  7. Store in a dry place.

What is pruning shear? ›

Pruning shears are a gardening tool that look like a pair of strong, heavy scissors. Pruning shears are used for cutting the stems of plants.

What does pruning shears look like? ›

Pruning Shears Explained: Choose the Best Pruners For Your Garden

How do you clean and sharpen Fiskars? ›

Fiskars Pruner: Clean Oil Sharpen - YouTube

How do you sharpen shears? ›

Hedge shears, how to sharpen and clean garden tools - YouTube

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