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4. Finish off blades by giving them a light coat of lubrication oil. Finally I always keep my tools in some kind of sheath. That does two things a. it protects blades from dirt and other debris and b. it protects blades if pruner gets dropped on ground.
Special pruning jobs 1. Anvil type pruners:
Anvil type pruners have only one cutting blade but it important to sharpen both sides equally. Avoid putting a curve on blade's edge because unless it is perfectly straight pieces of plant tissue will cling to blade after each cut and it will be harder for plant to heal.
2. By pass loppers
For scissor-action "bypass" lopping shears it is only necessary to sharpen outside surface of each blade. The inside of lopping shear blade needs to remain flat. The inside of blade should be cleaned but not sharpened.
General Pruning Tips 1. After you have sharpened you tools, it is a good idea to check tension screw between blades. That is located several different places on most tools but is usually around middle of each blade. You should adjust screw to give freedom of movement but make sure that they are close enough together to make good cuts.
2. Over time you may notice that cutting edge has become rounded or you get a serious nick in blade. It is much easier and more cost effective at this time to just replace blade. I usually recommend that my customers also replace spring at same time they replace blade. Doing these two steps, along with a quick sharpen will restore your pruner to its original glory days.
3. In my tool shed I always keep a rag handy that is dry (and fairly clean) on one end and has some lubrication oil on other end. That way when I put my tools away I never forget to do a quick two step process.
Final Words Having sharp tools to use in your garden really does make your job easier but more than that it is good for your plants. Over time you will easily be able to tell when it is time to sharpen but it is always time to keep them clean and well oiled.
Owner of Frostproof.com