[NAFEX]sharpening shears / secateurs

Del Stubbs northernlights2n at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 26 09:55:19 EDT 2005

Since I operate a knife making shop - on occasion I touch up local friends' and my own
secateurs . Sharpening them is not rocket science, but is specific to them. I looked
online for some kind of guide but didn't find one. So here are my suggestions for anyone
who doesn't have someone locally to keep them in tune.
A. Take them apart, many have left hand threads, some have a spring that needs to be
unwound a turn or two.
B. Both halves need sharpening. The side with the blunt (80 degree) cutting edge is
likely rounded at the edge. Examine this closely. This needs to be ground sharp again.
Easiest done with a rotating stone ( in a dremel or drill) or round file like a chainsaw
file. Don't grind / file any on the flat inside edge. 
C. Sharpen the knife edge, do not take off any material from its flat inside edge. File /
grind it to it's origional angle, (25 to 30 degrees) right to the edge until there is not
more tiny rounded inside edge and you can feel a burr along the whole edge. Then add a
tiny secondary bevel, again on the outside, about 45 degrees, this strengthens the edge.
If you want to remove the burr do so with great care to in no way round the inside flat
surface. I suggest just letting the other edge remove it.
D. Clean all contact surfaces and add a tiny bit of grease (vasaline is good) around the
center pivot area.
E. Re-assemble. Tightening until the spring can't open them, then back it off until they
just open.
  Some have a threaded bolt that tightens both together first, then a locking nut that
holds it in position.
F. The 2 reasons material gets stuck between the blades are a). Blades not firmly in
contact. b). Either edge slightly rounded.
G. Anvil type pruners just need the knife edge well sharpened, but I presume most growers
use secateurs.
I am certainly no expert in this, I'd welcome any comments. It is a subject any fruit
grower should get familiar with.
Though I still have dormant apple trees here I presume most of you are through with
winter pruning - so now is a good  time to get them tuned up, no?

Del Stubbs  http://www.pinewoodforge.com   zone 3   N. MN

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