How To Sharpen Shears

Sharpening shears is a skill that every gardener should possess. Dull shears can make pruning a difficult and frustrating task. Keeping your shears sharp is not only important for your plants but also for your safety. In this article, we will show you how to sharpen shears in easy and simple steps.

Why Do You Need to Sharpen Your Shears?

Over time, the blades of your shears can become dull due to repeated use. Dull shears can damage your plants by crushing or tearing branches instead of cutting them cleanly. This can lead to an increased risk of disease and pest infestation. Sharpening your shears regularly will ensure that they are always in top condition and ready to use.

What Tools Do You Need to Sharpen Your Shears?

Before you start sharpening your shears, you will need a few tools. These include a sharpening stone, a lubricant such as oil or water, a rag, and a pair of gloves. You can find sharpening stones at your local hardware store, garden center, or online.

Step 1: Clean Your Shears

Before you start sharpening your shears, it is important to clean them thoroughly. Use a rag to wipe away any dirt, debris, or rust from the blades. This will ensure that the blades are free from any obstruction that could interfere with the sharpening process.

Step 2: Determine the Angle of Your Shears

Different types of shears have different blade angles. It is important to determine the angle of your shears before you start sharpening them. Most shears have a bevel angle of around 30 degrees. You can use a protractor or ask the manufacturer for the correct angle.

Step 3: Apply Lubricant to the Sharpening Stone

Before you start sharpening your shears, apply lubricant to the sharpening stone. This will help to prevent the stone from clogging and ensure that the blades slide smoothly over the surface.

Step 4: Sharpen the Blades

Hold the shears firmly with one hand and use the other hand to run the sharpening stone along the blade, following the bevel angle. Make sure to apply even pressure and work from the base of the blade to the tip. Repeat this process several times until the blade is sharp.

Step 5: Test the Sharpness of Your Shears

To test the sharpness of your shears, cut a piece of paper or a thin branch. If the shears cut cleanly and smoothly, then they are sharp. If they do not cut cleanly, then repeat the sharpening process.


Q: How often should I sharpen my shears?

A: You should sharpen your shears at least once a year, or more often if you use them frequently.

Q: Can I sharpen my shears with a file?

A: While it is possible to sharpen your shears with a file, it is not recommended. Files can easily damage the bevel angle and cause the blades to become uneven.

Q: Can I sharpen serrated shears?

A: Yes, you can sharpen serrated shears. However, you will need a special sharpening tool designed for serrated blades.

Q: How can I prevent my shears from becoming dull?

A: To prevent your shears from becoming dull, always clean and oil them after use, store them in a dry place, and avoid using them on hard materials such as wire or metal.


Sharpening your shears is an important skill that every gardener should learn. By following these simple steps, you can keep your shears in top condition and ensure that they are always ready to use. Remember to clean your shears before sharpening them, determine the correct blade angle, use lubricant on the sharpening stone, and test the sharpness of your shears before use. With a little practice, you can become a pro at sharpening shears and keep your garden looking its best.