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Renovating Secateurs

January 16, 2019

January is a great time to take stock of your garden tools and service, repair or replace damaged kit. Winter is prime pruning season so I was keen to have all my blades sharp and in full working order. I have been having a dilemma over my secateurs as my latest pair disintegrated. I have tried many different types and brands and had various levels of success.

Toying with purchasing a new pair was actually proving hard to pin down so I went back to the drawing board. I found my four year old disregarded secateurs and decided to see whether any were saveable.


Armed with You Tube tutorials, RHS and manufacturer advice sheets, I sourced the mechanical expertise and patience of my husband and embarked on a fascinating lesson in bringing rusty kit back from the dead! Click on gallery photos to enlarge and see description.

Each component of the secateurs are carefully disassembled and cleaned in a white spirit bath and then individually rubbed with wet and dry paper whose abrasive nature removes dirt and surface rust.


A wire brush attachment on a drill made light work of returning tarnished metal back to shine.

Smaller components like the toothed nut come up well with a hand held wire brush. Parts such as the spring can be oiled or if too far gone then replaced.


There was no way of knowing whether the blade would ever cut cleanly again but every attempt to restore it was made. The black rancid blade was flat rubbed on dry and wet paper with an instant result.


Then the tough art form of trying to obtain a sharp edge on the blade commenced, this was a bit of a labour of love. Online videos proved essential to illustrate the angles needed on both sides of the blade to achieve a sharp cutting edge. Easier said than done!