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in Tools and techniques
My secateurs and shears are looking very sad, especially as the garage I use as a potting shed is very damp. Do any of you have any advice for me on maintenance, e.g. can I sharpen them? Also I have a very cheap hand-push mower with blunt blades and if possible I would like to sharpen them as it does the job pefectly for my small lawn.
You can buy sharpening strips for push lawnmowers. They're basically strips of sandpaper that clip onto the mower and sharpen the blades as you push the lawnmower. They're single use, and not that expensive. Have a look in a large DIY store or garden centre for them.
secateurs and shears are relatively easy, take of any rust residue (bit of wire wool will do it) then you can either use a sharpening stone or a sharpening tool, available from most hardware or diy shops (or online)
The best way is to keep a tin of machine oil, a small tin is cheap and will last a long time. Clean and wipe your tools dry after use then wipe a light coat of oil on them. All my tools are years old and still going strong.A rub with a fine file will put the edge back on Secateurs, there will be a flattish edge on the blade just before the cutting edge so rub the file from the back of the blade towards the cutting edge taking off any burrs. Then take a spanner to the centre nut and bolt and nip it up until you feel a little pressure as you press the handles together. Give them a good oiling and hang them up, it is best to hang all tools, you know where they are and they are not lost under a heap of something.A lawn mower blade can be sharpened the same way, run a fine file from the back of the blade to the cutting edge in circular sweeping movements, you will get the hang of it after a few runs finish with a bit of fine sand paper and oil, I even oil the wood shafts of all my tools.Hope this helps.