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How to clean and sharpen old pruners

By: Jennifer Howell
Have your pruners lost their edge? Are they rusty and stiff? We’ll show you how to clean and sharpen your pruners so they look and perform like new again!

Dull, dirty or rusty hand pruners that don’t open and close easily can ruin your day. Keeping your pruners dirt-free and sharp helps you cut smoothly, preventing stress on your hands. And a clean cut heals better on the plant and minimizes the risk of infection or disease. Watch our video and read the steps below to see a quick way to clean and sharpen pruners.

How to clean and sharpen pruners

  1. 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.
  2. Scrub with a wire brush to remove dirt and rust. Loosen nuts or even disassemble the pruners to clean more thoroughly between the blades.
  3. Rinse pruners after cleaning off dirt, debris and rust.
  4. Buff with steel wool to take off any remaining rust or sticky sap.
  5. Dry with an old towel or sock.
  6. Sharpen the bevel with a diamond file, following the exact angle of the existing bevel. Run the file from the base to the pointed tip several times.
  7. Lubricate pruners with a few drops of oil such as WD-40® or 3-in-1 oil in between all moving parts.
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