Don’t you just find it frustrating when you need to do some pruning, only to find that your pruners have either rusted or they no longer give you the precise clean cuts that you're looking for?
Or you start pruning your roses, branches, shrubs and fruit trees only to get not so clean cuts and after a while you realize that you've actually damaged the plant?
Like any tool that needs to be cleaned and sharpened to function well, your gardening shears need that kind of care too. When you take good care of your pruners, not only will you be able to use them for a long period of time, you’re also saving your plants from disease-causing pathogens carried by dull and dirty tools! So if you’ve been neglecting them, now is the time to get those hands working and clean and sharpen your pruning shears!
It's easy to keep your pruning shears in shape but are you doing it the right way? Let me guide you through what you need to know. First, let's see what you should do after each use and also what you should do after each season.
What To Do Every Time After You Prune
After a long day of pruning, to get them ready for the next pruning session, remember to clean them after each use.
How to Clean Your Pruner After Each Use;
Wipe your pruner with a cotton pad soaked with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. You can also use disinfecting wipes to remove remaining sap, bacteria, or fungi. Next, use some steel wool with a drop of vegetable oil to polish the blades. This is a good way to lubricate the blades and prevent rust.
Pruner Maintenance After Each Season is Different from Daily Cleaning;
Simply wiping your pruner every day may not be enough. Once the pruning season is over, giving your pruners a deep clean is a must. You have to disassemble your pruner and wash each part individually with warm, soapy water, scrubbing any sap or sticky residue left behind. Rub each part with rubbing alcohol or any sterilizing product. Allow the parts to dry before you reassemble and store them. Remember, never store your garden shears while they’re still wet! Any wet tool placed in storage can encourage formation of rust which can damage the blades.
How To Prevent Your Blades From Rusting
Prevention is always better than needing to remove rust from your pruners. Cleaning with water and alcohol is not enough. When your pruner is dry, use a mineral oil or multipurpose lubrication oil such as 3-in-1 or WD40 to wipe down the joints and the blade. The oil adds a protective layer against rust formation.
A little tip: store your pruning shears in a bucket of sand. Some gardeners do this to keep them clean, dry and free of rust because sand will wick away moisture, keeping your pruners away rust free.
Even with proper care and maintenance, rust might still happen. For small spots of rust, scrub them off with steel wool or a wire brush. However, for garden shears that are heavily rusted, it’s best to look for a wire brush attachment for drills and other tools designed for rust removal.
When and How To Sharpen Your Pruners
Dull pruners are not only hard to operate, they also damage the plant stem, making the plant susceptible to pests and diseases. To avoid this frustration, sharpen your pruning shears before you prune. Use any sharpening tool like a fine file, sharpening stone or a sharpener designed for pruners, to sharpen the sharp edge and remove any burrs from the flat side of the blade. Re-sharpen your pruners in between sessions if you’re pruning for a long period of time.
When Should You Consider Replacing Your Blade
Frequent or intensive use can cause the blades to wear over time. But when exactly should you replace them? Here’s what you should do: examine the blades to see if there are nicks and cracks. Check if you can see the angle of the beveled edge of the blade. If the blade is old and damaged, they need to be replaced. Companies like Haus & Garten offer replacement parts for their pruners which are cost-efficient compared to buying a whole new set every season.
How To Adjust The Bypass Mechanism
After using your bypass pruner for a long time, the jaws may loosen from overuse, which will further result in catching and jamming. To resolve this, adjust the passing clearance of the blades by tightening the blade nut. If the blade is bent, straighten it by using a hammer to tap it a few times.
1. Look for a pruner with high-quality steel blades.
Generally, pruner blades are made out of steel and sometimes coated with a protective layer against rust corrosion. Make sure to look for blades made of high-quality, hardened or carbon steel because they last longer and are less likely to need frequent sharpening. Aside from this, quality gardening shears should have an adjustment mechanism made so that the blades and cutting action can be adjusted, in order to produce that clean and precise cut every time.
2. Pick one that has an ergonomic design.
If you intend to prune or deadhead for long hours, ergonomic styled pruners will reduce wrist strain and hand fatigue, allowing you to prune easier without hurting your hand. This type of design often includes anti-slip cushioned handles for a comfortable grip, shock absorption pad, angled blades, and a slightly curved shape, much like the Haus & Garten EnduroPRO pruner.
3. Look for additional features.
Quality pruning shears have handy features to make pruning more efficient. Look for blades with a self-cleaning sap groove. This keeps the blade clean and free of sap and other sticky substances. Another useful feature would be a wire cutting notch, designed to avoid damage to the blade when cutting wires.
4. Choose a pruner with a strong spring.
Many pruning shears have a spring in between the blades in order to reduce workload and hand fatigue when pruning or deadheading. Look for a pruner with a spring tightly attached to the handles which can also be detached for cleaning and maintenance.
5. Pick a lightweight pruner.
A light pruner that fits perfectly in your hand is comfortable to cut with. If you're doing a lot of pruning, always consider the length and weight of your pruners because generally, heavy ones will cause more fatigue.
6. Look for a pruner that can be disassembled.
Not all pruners can be taken apart for cleaning and maintenance. Make sure to find a pruner that is easy to disassemble so that you can clean the individual parts easily. Sap, dirt and other sticky residue can build up over time, making it hard for you to open and close your pruner, so taking your pruner apart is the easiest thing you can do to resolve this.
7. Choose a brand that offers replacement parts for their pruner.
Make sure to purchase a pair of pruning shears from a brand that offers replacement parts for its products' vital components. This can save you a lot of money, especially if you need to fix or replace a single part. Many reputable companies offer replacement parts that are easily accessible through their store, so make sure to pick a brand that you can trust that provide quality tools and who also have excellent customer service.
Well-maintained shears will help you prune effectively, avoid possible transmission of disease-causing pathogens from plant to plant and save you more time and money in the long run. By knowing the proper ways to clean and maintain your pruner's performance, you can now keep your pruning shears in tip-top shape for a long time and maximize its performance.
If you're looking to buy quality pruning shears, be sure to check out our range below for more information about our products, plus videos that demonstrate them in action.