how to sharpen secateurs

Your in-Depth Guide On How to Sharpen Secateurs

Last Updated on January 10, 2023

As a gardener, your first and most important goal is to keep your garden looking its best season after season. Surely you have questions about gardening, plants, flowers and the tools you need to take care of them. We are here to answer all of your questions about one of the most important garden tools – the secateurs.

One of the Best Gardening Tools Around

Secateurs are important tools that every gardener should know how to make the most of them. However, they are only good and effective as long as you keep them sharpened. Let’s discuss how to sharpen secateurs to how long they’re supposed to last.

What Are Even Secateurs in the First Place?

This tool is one of the best garden tools around. However, this doesn’t give you much of an answer to this initially proposed question. This tool can also be called pruning shears, pruning clippers or hand pruners. Pruning shears consist of 2 sharp, silver metal blades that come together and apart. One of the blades is crescent-shaped. The second blade is shaped like a semi-circle.

How Do Secateurs Work?

Pruning shears contain a two-part plastic handle that gardeners can grab and hold. This style of handle is meant to be squeezed. By exerting pressure on the handle and bringing both parts of the handle together, the cutting blade then comes together. After relieving the pressure on the 2-part handle, the cutting blade separates.

Sharpening Using a Whetstone

Although this is a very useful garden tool that every serious gardener should have and use, secateurs blades are only useful if they are sharp. Don’t worry, however, as sharpening secateurs blades is an easy process.

There are many different ways that you can use to sharpen a blade. Using a whetstone is the most popular and easiest method to get the job done.

Step 1: Check Your Tool

First, before anything else, you should check your secateurs for any damage. This damage could include cracks, rust and more. If you find that your tool has a lot of damage to it, you should replace it with a new one.

Step 2: Clean Your Shears

After making sure that your garden shears are in proper and usable condition, check them for any plant remnants. If you find bits of plant life or even sap or dirt on your tool, then remove them. You can get rid of unwanted plant life from a blade by using a towel that has been dampened with water. Then, you can use the towel to wipe away any plant life gently.

Step 3: Bring Out the Whetstone

Once your shears are clean, you can now sharpen them. Tool sharpening is easy to do. For this method, you can use a whetstone or sharpening stone. A sharpening stone consists of a rectangular piece of whetstone which itself is attached to a wooden base. This whetstone has a grainy texture that will sharpen your pair of shears.

Step 4: Whet the Blades

Take your pair of shears and your sharpening stone in your hands. At an angle, run your sharpening stone over the blades starting from the base to the tip. Do this action as many times as you need to.

Step 5: Inspect the Blades

You know you are finished sharpening when your blade’s edge is sharp to the touch. You should be able to see the edge of the blade at an angle. Likewise, the tips should be pointy like an arrow.

Sharpening With a Diamond Sharpener

Sharpening your tools is an important job as, more often than not, tools are only useful when they are sharp. If using a stone is not for you, here is another method you may be inclined to try.

What Is a Diamond Sharpener?

A diamond sharpener is a type of file. It consists of a file made of silver metal that is attached to a plastic handle. You don’t need a ton of experience to use this. Also, it doesn’t take much work to keep your tools in great condition with this.

Have It On Hand

It’s a good idea to keep a diamond sharpener at your home. You can also use it for sharpening many household items such as knives and scissors.

Using a Diamond Sharpener

Sharpening with a diamond sharpener is easy. First, take your sharpening secateurs in your hands. Next, open the blade so that there is a suitable gap between each blade. After this, take your diamond sharpener and glide the sharp end over the edge of your pair of shears. Repeat this action until your shears have a sharp edge. You should now have perfect shears for your garden.

How Do You Use Secateurs?

You can use this garden tool in many different ways. The main one would be to cut a variety of plants. These plants can include stems of flowers, twigs on trees, branches on bushes and so on.

Although they seem pretty simple, you should learn a technique to ensure you don’t unnecessarily damage your plants.

Maintaining Your Shears

How long do secateurs last? The length of your shears lifespan depends on how well you handle them. You can only determine this information.


For example, like many things in the world, what you choose to do with your shears will define their lifespan. If you choose to make deep cuts or rough cuts on thick plants, then any of your garden tools will have a shorter lifespan.


As we’ve discussed above, for your shears to cut effectively, properly sharpening them is needed. If not sharpened, many of your garden tools won’t work effectively. So if sharpening isn’t your thing, it’s best to take them to a sharpening service.


Clean your shears regularly by removing sap or leaves left after using them. It is better to clean it right after use because, in this case, stains and debris are easier to remove.


Another tip that you can extend the life of your shears is by wiping every bit of them with oil. Oil is a great way to keep your equipment clean and in tip-top shape. Oil won’t cause your equipment to rust. Likewise, the oil will ensure your equipment will work smoothly.

A great oil to use would be linseed oil. Linseed oil is great as it is not expensive, easy to purchase, is non-greasy and doesn’t have a strong odour. All of your garden tools will thank you if you regularly apply oil to them. We would not recommend using wd40 on your tools as this will be counter-effective.

Look Sharp

Learning how to sharpen secateurs is easy. We hope you have found this article useful and apply this knowledge to all of your tools. Remember, a straight edge and a sharp side can only be achieved by the process of sharpening. Sharpening secateurs should be in your daily routine for the proper care of your plants.

Do you have other sharpening tips to share? comment below.

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