Loomis Flower Farm Shop

Posts Tagged ‘sharpening garden tools’

Garden tool sharpening of pruners and loppers

How to Sharpen Pruners, Loppers and Shears

Sharpening Garden Tools

In my first post on Sharpening Scissors, I sowed you a quick and easy way to sharpen your garden scissors with my favorite sharpening tool: the diamond hone sharpening paddle. This guide will give you some insight and techniques to keep your garden tools (pruners, loppers and shears) sharp and in tip top shape for the garden. I guess you are asking: Aren’t they sharp enough? Most gardeners will not maintain their tools, and just go on using dull, ineffective blades. But clean cuts are imperative to keeping your plants healthy, and a sharp set of tools makes garden that much more fun, and reduces the time to prune and cut.

Steps for Sharpening Pruners and Other Curved Blade Tools

Clean your blades. We have to get to the steel before we can sharpen. Cleaning the gunk off the blades can help tool function immediately, and the sap dirt and grime can harden over time and make your tools almost useless. You can clean your pruners with dish soap, warm water and a brush or scrubbing sponge. For dried sap on the blades, scrubbing bubbles will help break down the sticky stuff.

Remove rust. You can remove rust by soaking the blades in white vinegar overnight. For stubborn, rusted blades you can also use a wire brush to remove the oxidized metal.

Removing rust from garden tools
Rusty, sappy tools prevent clean cuts.

File down large nicks. The sharpening process requires a move from coarse to fine. If you have diamond stone paddles, it makes the process simple. Grab your coarse paddle and run it over the blades at an angle equal to the existing bevel. Focus on any damage areas to smooth out the blade curve. The coarse paddle will remove the top layer of metal and get you to the good shiny stuff. Make sure and get both sides of the blade, but on the flat part, keep your hone flat and just do a few passes.

Sharpening time. Call me strange, but I love this part. Take your medium grit hone and run it over your blade. After a few passes, you will start to feel the metal get smoother, and your blade will begin to sharpen. After quite a few passes of the sharpener, switch to your fine diamond paddle. This will really put a shine to the blade and start to really put that cutting edge in shape. As you sharpen one side of the blade, it will build up a burr on the backside. Make sure and do a few strokes to remove this.

A bit of oil. When sharpening your garden tools, its a great opportunity to lubricate the joints for smooth operation. I use regular sewing machine oil, and just put a few drops on the pruner or lopper nut. Also take a rag and put a drop or two of oil on, and run it over your sharpening work. This will protect the blade from rust and keep the sap from sticking.

Conclusion

And that’s it, simple and effective. Now go enjoy your work! We carry the diamond stone paddles for sharpening in our store, and you can find them here:

Garden Tool Sharpening Kit

sharpening garden tools

How to Sharpen Garden Tools: Q & A

Key Sharpening Tips for Pruners, Loppers, Scissors and Snips

How do you really sharpen garden tools and what type of sharpening stone or file can you use? Garden tools take abuse out in the garden and landscape. They bend, flex, and can be required to cut all kinds of things. It is not uncommon for them to quickly become dull and lack the cutting capability we require on our bushes, plants and grass. So how can we sharpen our garden tools and keep our time in the garden efficient and happy? Here is a quick overview of many common questions when it comes to the subject.

Why do my garden tools need to be sharpened?

Why do my garden tools need to be sharpened?

Having sharp garden tools provides a number of benefits:
  • Easier to cut, snip and trim
  • Less damage to the plant or tree with a clean cut
  • Clean cuts heal more quickly
  • Less stress on the garden tool or machine
  • Less power required to cut
  • More efficient use of time
Essentially, it keeps both you and your plants and trees happy.

What is the best tool for sharpening my garden tools?

What is the best tool for sharpening my garden tools?

Well, it depends. If you are sharpening mower blades, you will go nuts using a diamond sharpening paddle. And a large file is not going to help at all when sharpening garden snips or scissors. Here is an overview of all the tools you can utilize to sharpen a variety of garden tools: Garden Tool Sharpeners

How do I sharpen garden shears?

How do I sharpen garden shears?

Sharpening garden shears is just like sharpening a pair of scissors. You can sharpen them without disassembling, but usually if you can remove the central locking nut, it makes it easier. Most shears will have a layer of say and goop that will need to be removed. You then run a file or diamond pad across the blade at about a 10 degree angle until you see raw steel. Carefully and lightly touch the edge after a few passes and you should feel a sharp edge.

How do I sharpen my garden pruners?

How do I sharpen my garden pruners?

Sharpening garden pruners is easy with the use of diamond stone sharpening paddles. These paddles are efficient and small enough to get into the blade space of pruners as you sharpen. Run the paddles along the curved blade to reveal shiny metal, and make a few passes. Pruners typically have a blade side and a solid edge. Make sure the edge is clean with no knicks as you sharpen.

How do I sharpen shovels, spades and hoes?

How do I sharpen shovels, spades and hoes?

Typically, larger garden tools become quite dull with a layer of rust. Use a file to hone down the edge to raw metal and put a rough edge onto the tool. Once you have raw metal, you can then use a diamond stone paddle to put a sharp edge on the implement.

How often do I need to sharpen my garden tools?

How often do I need to sharpen my garden tools?

It all depends, a casual gardener will only need to sharpen tools once a season. An avid gardener may need to keep an edge, and sharpen their tools once a month or week. The best advice here is to keep them clean and in good shape and they will only require periodic maintenance and sharpening.

What is the best sharpening tool for my garden tools?

What is the best sharpening tool for my garden tools?

A nice diamond paddle set is perfect for both sharpening dull tools, and doing light sharpening maintenance on your pruners, loppers, clippers and scissors. Light, efficient and easy to caryy in a garden apron or tool box, they will provide years of sharpening service.

How do I sharpen scissors?

How do I sharpen scissors?

Sharpening garden scissors is easy and quick. We use diamond hone paddles, and they are small light and easy to maneuver on even small scissors.

How do you sharpen lawn mower blades?

How do you sharpen lawn mower blades?

Sharpening mower blades is not difficult. I don’t like to sharpen them with electric tools like a rotary tool or grinder. They let you remove too much metal, and you can create divots and hot spots that reduce blade life and can be dangerous. I use a diamond paddle hone set.
  • First, clean the grass gunk off your blades with a sponge or stell wool and dish soap
  • Next, take your course diamond paddle, and run it wover the blade edge until you can see bare metal. Do this on both sides, keeping the backside flat.
  • Then go to your medium and fine paddles until you have a nice fine blade tip. Be careful to use a clamp or vice, and wear leather gloves to keep from slicing your hands.
If you dont have a paddle set, we offer an inexpensive set that can be quite useful: Diamond Whetstone Paddle Sharpener Set for Garden Tools.

We sell a nice little garden tool sharpener set in our store, as well as a woodworking tool sharpener.

How to Sharpen Gardening Tools

Sharpening Garden Tools: What to Use

A Guide on What to Use to Sharpen Garden Shears, Pruners, Scissors, Shovels and More

Ok, we’ve all experienced it. Excited to clip those new flowers or that just ripened vegetable, you anticipate the clip, excited and ready to go for it, and with a squeeze of the hand, bleh. The stem mushes in your blades or fails to cleanly cut. Our tools enhance the pleasure of gardening, and having sharpened, clean blades can enhance the gardening experience and speed with which we glide through our rows or throughout our landscape.

So what is the best tool to sharpen a gardening tool? There are a number of garden tool sharpening tools and techniques, and below is a list:


The File

The File

The old standby: the rusty file. You can use any fine file to sharpen large blade tools like shovels, hoes, weeders, lawnmower blades and more. Note: this is will not produce the sharpest edge, but will remove rust and get rid of the dull edge on large tools.

The Rotary Tool

The Rotary Tool

Rotary tools are a great power tool for general garden sharpening and maintenance. They are relatively inexpensive and can do rough sharpening, and fine blade sharpening as well.

The Diamond Stone

The Diamond Stone

Diamond stones are a great multi-purpose sharpener for a variety of garden tools. You can use them once you have a dull blade, and have removed any rust. They have a fine and coarse side typically, and can help you hone a nice edge on any tool.

Diamond Paddle

Diamond Paddle

These paddles arelight and portable. They usually come in a set, and are portable. They are typically used for touchup after initial tool sharpening and maintenance, and are quite handy. See our Garden Tool Sharpening Kit

Read more


Angle Grinder

Angle Grinder

The angle grinder, aka “the beast”, is a great tool for quickly getting through rust and steel on large gardening tools. Shovels, hoes, lawnmower blades are no match for this tool.

So how do you use these tools? Subscribe for follow on posts on how to use them to sharpen all you garden tools.

Garden tool maintenance

Care and Maintenance of Garden Tools

Cleaning, Sharpening and Protecting Your Gardening Tools

Ok, we are all guilty of leaving a tool or two dirty or dull. Who wants to do maintenance of garden tools when there are plants to tend? The fact is that gardening tools need love and care, just like flowers and vegetables, and if you neglect them, they will either break, or make your gardening experience less than optimal. So how often do you need to maintain those garden tools? Well, at least at the start and end of the season, but if you are like us on the farm, with heavy garden tool use, you should do it weekly or at least twice per month. So what is required? See below, and note, for convenience, at the end of the post are picture links to the Amazon products I used.

Clean Your Garden Tools

A brisk cleaning of your garden tools can be done after every outing. Leaving dirt caked on the tool and handle invites rust and decay. You can wash them with a hose and remove all dirt, but you can also wash them with a brush and some mild detergent. Dry them with a towel and let them sit in the shade to dry.

Removing Rust from Garden Tools

Rust is the devil when it comes to garden tools, and unfortunately, they live in the perfect environment for this killer: heat, water and dirt. The best way to keep rust at bay is proper storage and a daily cleaning. If rust prevails, get out some steel wool and start scrubbing. The rust should come off with a few strokes. You can also apply some light oil or WD40 to loosen the rust. Be sure and wipe your tools clean when done.

Taking Care of Garden Tool Handles

The garden is harsh on steel, but even more harsh on wood handled tools. If you are like us, you love your wood handles, and probably don’t tend to them as often as you should. If you have neglected your handles over time, fear not, a little sand paper can take away the greyness of time, and help to restore the beauty of the wood. Wooden handles require an oil like boiled linseed oil for protection. Apply the oil to the handle and let it soak up the love. All wood handles can take an application, even your Hori Hori Garden Tool. WARNING: Read the label on linseed oil rags, and do not leave them out and about when done, they generate great heat as they dry and can combust! Take it from someone who experienced this first hand.

Sharpening Garden Tools

If you have ever dug with a dull shovel, or tried to prune a tree with dull garden scissors, you know it just makes the job harder. Tools can be sharpened with a variety of methods, outlined below:

You don’t need something fancy, a simple sharpener with do, and there are different methods for each tool (standby for focused posts on Sharpening Your Garden Tools).

For convenience, see our diamond sharpening paddles that provide a quick and easy way to sharpen your tools.

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