Have you lost the fun in the garden having a dull garden clipper? Well, before you blame the tool consider the abuses it has been through. Don’t get me wrong, but it’s common to confuse garden clippers for hammers and use them to cut bigger branches, clip grass, and even twines. And, that too with minimum care and maintenance.
That said, you can easily reclaim your garden clipper (or, the hand pruner) by taking a few moments to sharpen the blades using simple tools. For that to happen, you need the right information available. And, to help you out in this regard, today we are giving you a step-by-step guide on how to sharpen garden clippers.
The steps are easy and anyone with little patience can get the blades in shape in under 10 minutes. So, without further ado, here we go.
Table of Contents
Things You’ll Need
Sharpening your garden clipper is not rocket science and there is no need to use fancy tools. A few household items, an inexpensive blade sharpener or metal file, and lubricants. That’s it. You are up for the assignment.
To give you an idea, let us share a list of all supplies that you might need during the process:
- Safety gloves & dust mask
- Foamy/ liquid soap
- Clean rag and towel
- Cleaning Brush
- Medium coarse steel wool
- Blade sharpener/ Metal file
- Silicone-based lubricant
- Olive oil
- Twigs/Some Leaves
How to Sharpen Garden Clippers?
Wearing Safety Equipments
Working with metal tools involves health hazards to some extent. That’s why it is essential to wear safety gear so that your organs aren’t exposed to hazardous particles.
You can start with a pair of eyeglasses or goggles. This prevents metal rust from injuring the most sensitive body parts while sharpening.
Wearing a dust mask is compulsory especially for people who are prone to allergens. Otherwise, it might end up taking pills to stop continuous sneezing and snivel.
You can also cover your hands with a pair of gardening gloves and protect them from grime or odor by filing the garden clipper.
Preparing the Work Area
You can lay down a mat around the work area and avoid a mess. It also means cleaning becomes fairly easy afterward. Make sure you don’t have any dishes and drinks sitting around.
This will save the kids from eating those foods and accidentally swallow toxic metal molecules.
Cleaning the Garden Clipper
If you barely use the garden clipper it’s unlikely to build up much grime and in this case, wiping it off with a damp rag should be fine.
But, if it is held for regular usage and isn’t well maintained at the same time, then all those sap and gunk are likely to accumulate roughly over the hook.
Eventually, the blade will struggle to cut cleanly even with sharp edges. That’s why cleaning them takes a bit of effort.
However, don’t think of the shortcut and just soak your garden pruner in water. It will do more harm than good with rust forming faster. Instead, we like to apply foamy soap on the surface and then clean it off with a dry towel afterward.
Additionally, check all the nooks for sticky dirt and scrub them off with a wire brush if they don’t come off easily.
Removing Rust from the Blade
Prior to the sharpening, you should examine each blade for rust. If you spot any, buff those rusts off with a ball of coarse steel wool. After removing those rust, clean the blades with a damp rag. As you become satisfied with the cleanup, dry them with a towel.
Sharpening the Blade Angle
This is the most crucial step and hence a bit of experience is needed to get a perfect hand to it. However, it’s not necessarily an intimidating task and you’ll get better every time you practice it.
Before you move on to the sharpening, look closely and find the clipper blade sloped edges (referred to as bevel edge). This angle is what makes the blade sharp. In most cases, you’ll notice beveled on both sides of the blade.
Now, begin with a little pressure on the shape of the blade while dragging a metal file or blade sharpener across the beveled angle away from your body.
Continue the motion and work your way up the blade until a sharp edge forms. Repeat the process and file the opposite bevel. Then put the blade sharpness into the test on some braches. Once it cuts cleanly you can wrap up the sharpening process.
Wiping off with Lubricants
As the sharpening is done, dip a soft cloth in linseed or olive oil and finish with a gentle wipe over the blades. This will help with the rust as you store the clipper until the next use.
Needless to say, keeping your garden clipper sharp makes pruning plants faster and easier. And, coming to the end of this blog post we hope you are able to get your head around how to sharpen garden clippers.
Finally, we would advise you to get into the habit of maintaining your gardening tools rather than just waiting for the season to come. This way you can maximize their lifespan and save money in the long run.