Picture of Sharpen Hedge Shears with a File
Unless you're a pro, it's best to stay away from using a grinding tool to sharpen your shears. The best and simplest was is to use a 10 in. long mill file. The file works very well on hedge and pruning shears. If you're not sure whether they're meant to be used for gardening, simply check the package. 

For more tips on your outdoor tools check out The Family Handyman - Outdoor Tools

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Step 1: Tighten the pivot nut

Picture of Tighten the pivot nut
Before sharpening, check the pivot nut. It could be loose, making the blades drift apart while cutting and tear the twig instead of cutting it cleanly. The nut should be snug with no play in the pivot. With the nut tightened, check the tool; if it cuts cleanly, it doesn't need sharpening. If it still cuts poorly, look down each blade to make sure it's not bent. If a blade is slightly bent, loosen the pivot nut and separate the blades. To straighten the blade, put it in a vise, slip on some thick leather gloves and tweak it until it's straight.

Step 2: File the edge to expose clean metal

Picture of File the edge to expose clean metal
Clamp the blade firmly in a vise. Examine the factory edge. Hold the file with both hands and mimic the direction of the bevel like a golfer taking a practice putt. Now move the file in one broad stroke away from you along the entire cutting angle. To reiterate, move the file in one direction, away from you. Don't use small, jerky strokes or you'll lose the factory edge. As you work, you can see the clean metal path left by the file. Adjust your angle as needed to file the entire edge evenly. Repeat this motion several times until you expose clean metal over the whole edge. Usually it'll take only about 10 strokes. Do the same with the other blade.
cglaw20131 year ago