How to Sharpen Pruners


Pruners possess a small, curved set of blades that are designed to cleanly and easily slice through small branches and shoots in trees, bushes and plants. Correctly sharpened pruner blades won't tear or otherwise damage the branch, allowing it to heal properly and reducing the risk of rot or insect damage.

Step 1

Clean the pruner blades of any dirt, rust or tree sap. Use a rag soaked in mineral spirits to remove sap.

Step 2

Open the pruner blades completely.

Step 3

Begin sharpening the blades. Place the end of the sharpening stone on the outside of one of the blades, where it meets the other blade.

Step 4

Push the stone away from the base of the blade toward the tip of the blade. At the same time slide the stone up and off of the cutting edge of the pruner blade. Repeat this process several times.

Step 5

Sharpen the other pruner blade in the same manner.

Step 6

Clean the newly sharpened blades with a rag and mineral oil. This will remove any metal filings left behind as well as protect the blade from oxidation due to moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not sharpen the flat faces of the blades. As these are sharpened, metal is filed away and the two faces will not meet closely together, interfering with the cutting action and eventually rendering the pruners inoperable.

Things You'll Need

  • Rags
  • Mineral spirits
  • Small sharpening stone
  • Mineral oil


  • "Complete Guide to Sharpening;" Leonard Lee; 1995
Keywords: pruner blades, sharpen a pruner, sharpening stone

About this Author

Vance Holloman is a residential contractor and freelance writer living in Atlanta. Much of his writing centers on the expertise he has gained from two decades in the construction industry. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and numerous online sites, including and "Auburn Plainsman." Holloman has a Master's degree in business from the University of Maryland.