Pruning is a vital part of gardening. It’s necessary for getting rid of dead or damaged branches and ensuring healthy plant growth. But even the best garden tool won’t be effective if it isn’t properly stored and maintained.
I used to be an absolute shocker for looking after my gardening tools. I’d buy the cheapest possible equipment, then leave them wet or dirty after use. It got so bad that i’d basically be buying new equipment every time I needed to use them.
You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve since turned a corner, and my tools are now multi-use! In this guide, I’ll share with you my top tips on how to store and care for your pruners so they can last as long as possible – saving you time and money in the process! So let’s get started…
Storing Your Pruners
Proper storage of your pruners is key to making sure they last for many years. Storing them properly in a dry, cool place will prevent rust and wear on the blades. Here are some suggestions on how to store your pruners:
Indoor Storage Options
1. Hang Them Up
One of the most effective ways to store your pruners is by hanging them on a pegboard or hooks in a garage, shed, or designated tool storage area. Hanging your pruners keeps them off the ground and allows any residual moisture to evaporate, preventing rust and damage.
2. Use an Organizer Box or Drawer
Storing pruners in an organizer box or drawer with compartments for various gardening tools can help keep your workspace tidy and your pruners protected from damage. Make sure the pruners are dry before storing them in a closed container to avoid rust formation.
3. Store Them Flat
If you don’t have a dedicated storage area, you can also store pruners flat on a shelf or in a cabinet. This method allows any moisture to evaporate and keeps the pruners easily accessible for your gardening needs.
Outdoor Storage Options
1. Keep Them Covered
When storing pruners outdoors, it’s crucial to keep them covered when not in use. You can use plastic wrap, a waterproof bag, or a small container with a lid to protect them from the elements and potential rust.
2. Store in a Weather-Resistant Storage Box
Invest in a weather-resistant storage box or shed to keep your pruners and other gardening tools safe from the elements. Ensure the storage box is well-ventilated to allow any moisture to evaporate and prevent rust formation.
Regardless of where you choose to keep your pruners, make sure it’s somewhere safe from damage. This way, you’ll have clean and sharp implements ready whenever you need them! To ensure their long-term performance, next we’ll discuss common maintenance tips for your pruners.
Maintaining Your Pruners
Now that you know the best ways to store your pruners, let’s dive into common maintenance tips! Taking care of your pruners is essential for a successful and enjoyable gardening experience. Without proper maintenance, they can become dull or even damaged over time. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep them in good condition:
|Sharp blades cut more precisely and reduce strain on your hands and wrists. You should sharpen them after each use, or at least once every few weeks depending on how often you’re using them.
|Make sure to clean off any dirt or debris from your tools before storing. This will help prevent rusting and corrosion. Use a damp cloth with mild soap if necessary. Avoid harsh chemicals which may damage the finish of the tool.
|Oil & lubricate parts
|Applying oil to the moving joints helps ensure smooth operation and extends the lifespan of your pruners. If possible, disassemble the pieces so that you can get into all of the nooks and crannies for maximum coverage. Be sure not to apply too much oil as this could cause sticky buildup or attract dirt and debris.
With these easy-to-follow maintenance tips, you’ll be able to keep your pruners in great shape for years to come! Regular cleaning, sharpening and lubrication will go a long way towards ensuring top performance when it comes time for those important trimming jobs around the garden – so don’t forget about them!
Cleaning And Sanitizing
Cleaning and sanitizing your pruners is essential for their care. First, before cleaning them, use a brush or cloth to remove any dirt or debris from the blades. Then soak the pruners in soapy water for about 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. After that, you can disinfect them by wiping down the blades with rubbing alcohol or a diluted bleach solution. Be sure to keep the handles dry during this process. Once finished, dry off all components of the pruners completely before storing them away. This will help prevent rusting and other damage caused by moisture buildup.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should I Sharpen My Pruners?
When using regular garden shears, they should be sharpened after each use. But if you’re using high-quality bypass or anvil type pruners, then those can go longer without needing to be sharpened—generally between four and eight uses depending on the thickness of branches being cut. If your cuts are feeling more like sawing than slicing through stems, then it might be time for a tune up!
Sharpening your own blade may seem intimidating at first but with some practice (and maybe a few YouTube videos) it doesn’t have to be hard work. First off, get yourself a good quality diamond file or whetstone so that you don’t damage the metal too much by filing away too much material from the blade in one pass. Then start making small strokes along the edge of the blade at about 15 degrees per side until it feels nice and smooth again. Don’t forget to pay attention to both sides of the blades as well as any notches or serrations present on them. Once finished make sure to oil your pruners regularly; this helps keep rust away while also lubricating its moving parts ensuring a smoother action over time.
What Type Of Oil Should I Use For Lubricating My Pruners?
When it comes to selecting a type of oil for your pruners, there are several options available. Common choices include:
1. 3-in-1 Oil: This is a popular, all-purpose lubricant that is often used for lubricating pruners and other gardening tools.
- Why it is used: It cleans, lubricates, and protects against rust, making it an ideal choice for maintaining pruners.
- Pros: Versatile, affordable, and easy to find; provides rust protection.
- Cons: May not last as long as other lubricants; may attract dirt and dust over time.
2. Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is a petroleum-based, colorless, and odorless lubricant.
- Why it is used: It is safe for use around plants and food, making it suitable for pruners used in vegetable gardens.
- Pros: Non-toxic, inexpensive, and widely available; does not attract dirt.
- Cons: Not as long-lasting as other lubricants; may require more frequent application.
3. Silicone Spray: Silicone spray is a synthetic lubricant that provides excellent protection and lubrication.
- Why it is used: It forms a thin, slippery film that reduces friction, repels water, and protects against rust and corrosion.
- Pros: Long-lasting, water-resistant, and does not attract dirt; suitable for use in damp environments.
- Cons: May be more expensive than other lubricants; may require more careful application to avoid overspray.
4. White Lithium Grease: White lithium grease is a thick, long-lasting lubricant that is often used for heavy-duty applications.
- Why it is used: It adheres well to metal surfaces, providing excellent lubrication and protection from rust and corrosion.
- Pros: Long-lasting, water-resistant, and provides excellent rust protection.
- Cons: May be too thick for some applications; can attract dirt if not applied carefully.
5. WD-40: WD-40 is a well-known, multi-use product that can be used as a lubricant, rust dissolver, and cleaner.
- Why it is used: Its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of applications, including lubricating pruners.
- Pros: Multi-functional, easy to find, and affordable; provides rust protection.
- Cons: Not specifically designed for long-lasting lubrication; may attract dirt and dust over time.
6. Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is a natural, plant-based lubricant that is derived from various types of seeds and nuts. If you use vegetable oil for your pruners, opt for a light, refined oil like canola or sunflower oil, as they are less likely to gum up or leave a sticky residue. Remember to store the oil in a cool, dark place to prolong its shelf life and prevent it from going rancid.
- Why it is used: It is an eco-friendly, non-toxic option that is safe for use around plants and food, making it suitable for pruners used in vegetable gardens.
- Pros: Environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and widely available; does not harm plants or soil.
- Cons: Not as long-lasting as other lubricants; may require more frequent application; can become rancid over time, which may result in a sticky residue or unpleasant odor.
When choosing an oil to lubricate your pruners, consider factors such as the type of environment in which you’ll be using the tools, the frequency of use, and whether the lubricant needs to be safe for use around plants and food. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintaining your specific pruner model.
How Can I Tell When It’s Time To Replace My Pruners?
It’s important to know when it’s time to replace your pruners. Start by checking the blades of your pruners regularly. If they show any signs of wear or damage, such as being bent out of shape or having corrosion spots, then they need replacing right away. It’s also worth inspecting the handles too; if they feel loose or worn in places then replacement is necessary.
Another factor to consider is the sharpness of the blades. Over time, even with careful use and cleaning after each job, the cutting performance will start to decline until eventually it won’t be good enough for precision trimming anymore. At this point you should look into buying new pruners that offer superior sharpness and longevity so you can continue gardening with ease.
Finally, take a look at how much control you have over the blades when cutting branches or woody stems – if this has become difficult due to lack of tension between them then it could be time for a change! Newer models may come with adjustable settings which allow you more flexibility while using them and make life easier overall.