How do you sharpen & remove rust from pruning tools?

Overland Park, KS(Zone 6a)

How do you sharpen your pruning tools? I need to start this season out right with sharp pruners! Do you use tools for this? How do you clean rust off? Any suggestions for rehabilitating old rusted pruners found at garage sales?Thanks so much!

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

I always used a bench grinder to sharpen up hand tools. Something like loppers big and small, I'd also use a bench grinder. I've successfully sharpened my loppers with a bench grinder but you really have to go slow, steady and fairly light so as not to grind out too much in one spot. I'd think on that, probably the most important part is never stopping on one spot. It's like sharpening a drill bit, you just have to know where the business part of the blade is at, that's what you wanna sharpen. I do my mower blades the same way. Sometimes on hard-to-get-to-spots of a blade or just when I have plenty of spare time, (which is, I'll use a whetstone if I have one. But, most important of all is wear gloves, safety glasses and BE CAREFUL! I have a paternal Grandpa's pocketknife and the blade is almost just a strip of metal from being sharpened so much over the years! Removing rust? I don't know anything about that. I tend to keep my stuff dry as long as possible but it always end up rusty, I just use them rusty until they can't do anything anymore! My Mom is big on preventing rust though, she washes first then rubs oil on all her shovels and all tools like that with a rag right after she gets the dirt off of them. Last year, I asked her, "is this a new shovel?" she said it was 15 years old! I couldn't believe it, it looked like it was a week old!
My 2 cents, Will

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

Hello Gardenblue2,

If you're like me and don't have a bench grinder, here's what I use to sharpen tools.

I have a metal file that I use to sharpen my tools. I spray with WD40 or wipe with sewing machine oil to keep the rust away. It might help remove it too.

Here's what I found on a "do it yourself site":
A 10 in. mill file works great for filing blades and tools and you'll also need a sharpening stone. Some thinner blades; like grass clippers; can be sharpened with a scissor sharpener. Here's a link to a site that you might find helpful with pics included.
It reads:
"Unless you're a pro, you shouldn't use a power grinding tool for sharpening. Buy a new mill file, 10 in. long for the best control."

I hope that you find some of this advice useful. Happy gardening. : )

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

To remove rust, I used steel wool to get the rust off, then oiled them. I found that really thin pads of steel wool made it easier to get into crevaces.

I have a sharpening stone and a small sort of all purpose sharpener. Does the job.

This message was edited May 20, 2013 5:06 AM

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Use will always rust iron- age too. If you worry abt oil use in ground with plants, use an olive oil, loppers, like scissors,can be ruined if sharpened wrong. steel wool, sandpapers for metal, steel wool, and never leave em stuck into dirt..... actually using them again- like a shovel? Removes the rust and oxidation anyway.

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