How to Sharpen Pruning Tools

Types of Pruning Tools

Before you start, take a good look at your pruning tools, paying close attention to the beveling of the blades. This bevel is what makes a tool sharp, and blades are factory ground to a precise angle that’s just right for each tool. When sharpening a blade, focus on maintaining the bevel – don’t try to change the angle or the shape of the blade, or it won’t cut properly.

How you sharpen pruning tools depends on the type of blade:

  • Hedge clippers: Usually consist of two blades that move against each other, like scissors. Often the blades are beveled on one side and flat on the other, and both blades need to be sharpened.
  • Grass clippers: They also have two blades, but clippers may be beveled on both sides of the blade.
  • Anvil Pruning Shears: This type has one blade that moves against a hard, flat plate. Instead of a scissoring action, they cut by pinching. Only one blade needs to be sharpened, but it may be beveled on both sides.
  • Bypass Loppers or Pruning Shears: These shears also have one blade, but it moves past a hard, flat edge in a scissoring motion and is likely beveled on just one side.


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