Garden shears are essential for any gardener, allowing them to cut and trim plants easily. However, these shears can become dull and ineffective over time, making gardening tasks more difficult than necessary. To keep your garden shears in top condition, it’s important to know how to sharpen them properly.

Learning how to sharpen garden shears doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right tools and techniques, you can quickly restore your dull blades to their original sharpness. Not only will this make gardening easier and more efficient, but it will also help prolong the life of your shears.

Follow These Simple Steps for How to Sharpen Garden Shears

Step-1: Clean the Shears

Before you start sharpening, you must ensure your shears are clean. Remove dirt or debris from the blades with a soft brush and warm soapy water. This will help you get a better result when sharpening.

Step-2: Secure the Blade

Securing the blade so it doesn’t move while sharpening is important to ensure your safety. Use a vice or clamp to hold the blade securely in place.,

Next, secure the blade so it won’t move while you sharpen. A vise or clamp is ideal for this purpose.

Step-3: Use a Sharpening Stone or File to Remove Burrs

Once the blade is secure, use a sharpening stone or a file to remove any burrs that may have formed on the blade. Make sure you follow the natural curve of the blade as you sharpen. This will help maintain its original shape and balance.

Step-4: Angle the Shears for Optimal Sharpness

When learning how to sharpen garden shears, it’s important to understand the correct angle of the blade. The optimal angle is between 25 and 30 degrees. Place a piece of wood or cardboard against the blade to achieve this, then angle the sharpening stone or file accordingly.

Step-5: Run the Sharpening Tool Along the Beveled Edge

Now that the angle is set use a sharpening tool to run along the beveled edge of the shears. This will remove any material from the blade and give it a sharp finish.

Step-6: Hone the Shears With a Leather Strop

Once you have sharpened the shears, it’s time to hone them. A leather strop is ideal for this purpose, as it will help polish the blade and give it an even sharper edge.

Step-7: Test the Sharpness With a Piece of Paper

Try cutting a piece of paper to test the sharpness of your shears. If the paper is cleanly cut in one go, your shears are sharp and ready to use!

Step-8: Oil the Blade to Protect it From Rust

Finally, apply a small amount of oil to the blade. This will protect it from rust and help it stay sharper for longer.

Why Is It Important To Keep Garden Shears Sharp?

It’s important to keep your garden shears sharp for several reasons. Firstly, sharp shears are more effective at cutting and trimming plants than dull ones, making gardening tasks quicker and easier.

Sharp blades also help reduce the risk of damaging or ripping delicate stems and leaves, keeping your garden looking its best. Regularly sharpening your shears will prolong their life and ensure they remain in top condition for years.

Having the right tools is essential when it comes to sharpening garden shears. A quality sharpening stone or file will help you achieve a sharper edge quickly and with less effort. Investing in a leather strop or honing tool can also be beneficial, as it will keep your blades even sharper for longer. Additionally, oil applied to the blade after sharpening helps protect it from rust and keeps it in top condition.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. What Oil Is Best For Garden Shears?

When choosing oil for garden shears, look for lightweight and non-toxic options such as mineral or vegetable oil.

2. Do You Sharpen Both Sides Of Garden Shears?

Yes, sharpening both sides of garden shears is important to ensure they stay sharp and in top condition. 

3. Will Aluminum Foil Sharpen Garden Shears?

Sharpening garden shears with aluminum foil is not recommended, as this can damage the blades and cause further problems.

4. How Do You Sharpen Garden Tools By Hand?

To sharpen garden tools by hand, start by securing the tool in place. Use a vice or clamp to steady the tool and prevent it from moving while sharpening. Then use a sharpening stone or file to remove any burrs that may have formed on the blade.

5. How Often Do You Need To Sharpen Garden Shears?

Sharpening garden shears is an important part of maintaining them and should be done regularly. Sharpening them every 4-6 months is recommended depending on how often they are used. If the blades are frequently dull or require more frequent sharpening, consider honing them with a leather strop every few weeks.


Keeping garden shears sharp is crucial for maintaining the health and appearance of your plants. Dull blades can cause damage to plants and make pruning a difficult task. Sharpening your shears regularly improves the quality of your gardening work and extends the lifespan of your tools.

Furthermore, it saves you time and money in the long run by preventing accidents and eliminating the need for frequent replacements. So, sharpen your garden shears frequently and efficiently to ensure a beautiful and thriving garden all year round!

About the Author

Virginia E. Hayes is a gardening enthusiast who loves to write about gardening tools, safety issues, and ways to keep gardens clean and safe. With her vast experience in gardening, she provides valuable insights and tips to help fellow gardening enthusiasts to enhance their gardening experience. Her passion for gardening and writing has made her a sought-after author in the gardening community.

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