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Shears Sharpening

Garden shears sharpening & secateurs sharpening information. Includes written guide on the differences between sharpening bypass shears & anvil shears. Video guide on how to sharpen shears and recommended shear sharpener products. Applicable to shears, secateurs, pruners & loppers.

Sharpening Garden Shears & Secateurs

Types of Shears - Bypass & Anvil

There are two main types of pruning shears, used for two different purposes. Bypass shears are designed for pruning live plant growth and function very similarly to scissors in that one blade (the single bevel blade) bypasses another (the anvil blade). The other type of shears are called anvil shears, which are intended for trimming dead wood. With the anvil style, a double bevel blade closes down on a flat anvil stop. The method of sharpening each style of pruner is slightly different.

Sharpening Bypass Shears

Sharpening bypass shears - with Diafold flat file

When sharpening bypass shears, which only have a single bevel, the method is the same as for sharpening scissors - click here for full information! In summary: rest the tip of the blade on a table top edge and "level the bevel". Stroke into the cutting edge 6 -7 times from heel to toe as shown on the illustrations below.ILLUSTRATED SUMMARY:
  1. Place the sharpener level with the single bevel of the blade facing upwards.
    sharpening shears - step 1
  2. Stroke gently to sharpen along the curve of the blade, towards the outside tip of the blade.
    sharpening shears - step 2

TIP: Clean, easy test cuts on a branch or plant confirm the sharpness.

Sharpening Anvil Shears

Sharpening anvil shears - with Mini-Hone tool

When sharpening double-bevel anvil pruners, start by stroking away from the cutting edge for 6 -7 strokes.

Then turn the shears over (rotate 180°) and finish by stroking into the cutting edge. This removes the wire edge burr you may have produced by stroking away from the cutting edge in step one.

Since the cutting edge of the anvil pruners closes down on a flat surface, it is important to remove an even amount of material from the entire length of the cutting edge. If more material is sharpened away from one area of the blade, it will not close down completely on the anvil and therefore will not cut cleanly.

How to sharpen Shears - Video

How to sharpen shears (pruners). Courtesy of DMT® ...

>> Buy a DMT Diafold® Flat Diamond File - click here!

>> Buy a DMT Mini-Hone® Diamond Honing Tool - click here!

Shears & Secateurs Sharpeners - Recommended Products

Serrated knife sharpener diamond file

DMT Diafold® Diamond Flat File - an excellent sharpener for narrow spaces such as shears, secateurs and loppers. Utilises a continuous diamond surface for the same precision quality results as other Diafold® models.

Serrated knife sharpener diamond file

DMT Mini-Hone® Diamond Tool - catering for confined or narrow, hard-to-reach surfaces, these sharpeners are ideal for shears, secateurs and loppers but are also useful for standard edges. The ergonomically designed handle provides comfortable sharpening, deburring and honing in tight spaces.

Diamond Grit Types - Which to use?

DMT diamond grit types guide

By working through the DMT® system of progressively finer grits, you will quickly achieve a razor sharp edge on quality knives and tools. The DMT® diamond products are colour-coded for identification. In our product descriptions, coloured diamond shapes denote the specific grits in which each model is available.

Which grit you should use depends on... How often do you sharpen? How dull do you let your knife or tool edge get before you re-sharpen it? How sharp is sharp enough for you? Ask yourself these questions, and then read the grit descriptions (left) to determine which grit(s) best suits your needs. Hint: the pros use more than one grit & move from coarser to finer grits as they sharpen.

Sharpening Shears - Questions

If you have any questions about sharpening shears, secateurs, loppers or other gardening tools then please don't hesitate to contact us.

You can email us at

Or you can call us on (0114) 251 3535 - Monday-Friday (8.45am-5pm).

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