How to Sharpen Pruners With a Sharpening Stone


A pair of sharp pruners is essential when pruning your trees or bushes. When you prune plants, they secrete a fluid that seals the wound to promote fast healing. If your pruners are dull and the branch gets ripped or torn, the plant may take much longer to heal. Disease may even enter the plant and weaken or kill it. One method to keep your pruners sharp is to use a sharpening stone.

Step 1

Examine the blades to see what angle the blades are kept at. They are usually kept at 10 to 15 degrees.

Step 2

Wet the sharpening stone by soaking it in water or lightweight motor oil. Most people prefer using oil since it doesn't evaporate and will serve as a better lubricant.

Step 3

Stroke the blade against the concave side of the stone with numerous smooth strokes. Move the blade in one direction away from you. Pretend you are trying to shave off slices of the sharpening stone.

Step 4

Move to a finer-grain sharpening stone to finish sharpening. Stroke the pruners along the stone until the edge is razor-sharp.

Step 5

Test the sharpness of the pruners with an easy preliminary test. Hold the pruners up to the light and look for a reflection in the blade. If you can see a reflection off the blade edge, the pruners are not yet sharp enough.

Step 6

Clip a woody branch to test the pruners. Look for a smooth, clean cut without any pulling or catching. If they do pull or catch, sharpen further with the fine sharpening stone.

Step 7

Rub a light coat of oil on the blades of the pruners. Remove dirt and debris off them after each use to prevent rusting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't sharpen the edge thinner than 1 mm in thickness. A thinner blade is prone to damage or breakage.

Things You'll Need

  • Coarse sharpening stone
  • Fine sharpening stone
  • Water or lightweight motor oil


  • Grounds Maintenance: Sharpen Pruners, Shears and Loppers
  • PBS: Pruners
Keywords: sharpen pruners, sharpening stone, motor oil, smooth strokes, thinner blade

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.