A guide to sharpening secateurs

Alan Titchmarsh offers advice on sharpening secateurs, in this No Fuss video guide.

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Secateurs are an essential tool for every gardener and a piece of kit we use almost every day. But it’s important to keep them sharp. Heavy use clogs them with plant sap and blunts the blades which can tear plant tissue and allow disease in.

In our video guide Alan Titchmarsh highlights the importance of looking after your secateurs by oiling and sharpening them every few weeks so that they are always safe and easy to use.

For help in choosing secateurs see our Best secateurs round up, Buyer’s Guide and reviews

How to sharpen secateurs

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You Will Need

  • WD40
  • Sand paper
  • Sharpening stone
  • Oil
  • Cloths
  • Replacement blade (if needed)

Step 1

Cleaning garden tools bypass pruners secateurs pruning use scouring pad to clean edges and blades 17/11/2014 171114 17112014 17th 17 November 2014 Autumn Joe Swift WTDN photographer Sarah Cuttle location Linnette Ralph Warner Road London practical seasonal maintenance step by step
Cleaning garden tools bypass pruners secateurs pruning use scouring pad to clean edges and blades 17/11/2014 171114 17112014 17th 17 November 2014 Autumn Joe Swift WTDN photographer Sarah Cuttle location Linnette Ralph Warner Road London practical seasonal maintenance step by step

To clean the blade, spray with WD40 and then remove the sap by rubbing with sand paper or a scourer. Do this on both sides of the blade.

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Step 2

Gardening mistakes - sharpening secateurs
Gardening mistakes – sharpening secateurs

To sharpen a blunt blade, use a sharpening stone. Holding it flat rub it across the surface of the blade. Then turn the secateurs over and position the stone so it is at the same angle as the bevelled edge and work it along the blade.

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Step 3

nfg-alan-titchmarsh-sharpening-secateurs

Many brands of secateurs can be taken apart to help you give them a really good clean and they will usually provide a tool to do this with. Unlock the screws and carefully dismantle the secateurs, remembering where each piece went. You can then remove the blade and sharpen it on a flat sharpening stone, oiling the stone first. When you’re finished, fasten the secateurs back together.

Step 4

If the blade is damaged and broken you may also be able to buy a new blade and simply take the secateurs apart and swap in the new blade.

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