At times it may seem sharpening your loppers is just another road block in the way of you actually going to trim your hedges. If you want to have beautiful looking work done each time with your loppers though, your best bet is to invest the time into maintaining your loppers for optimal performance.
The health of your plants also depends on your loppers being sharp and clean. Get this: when you are shearing your plants, wounds are created that the plants must work hard to repair.
The sharper your loppers are at the time you use them on the plant, the smoother the healing process will go because they created a smooth cut rather than a jagged, uneven one.
The First Things You Need to Do
When learning how to sharpen loppers, you need to remember that it’s not as easy as just sharpening them and forgetting about it. There is process that should be followed for optimal results.
The first thing you want to do is clean your loppers. Get a bucket of warm, soapy water and a hard bristle brush and start scrubbing. Getting all of that debris off of your tool may just be the most important step to remember when you are learning how to sharpen loppers.
The reason for that is because when your loppers are clean, they will be able to get sharper than if you had started sharpening them with dirt and grime there to further dull them down.
The Different Ways to Approach Sharpening
Angle is an important factor when considering how to go about sharpening your loppers. Different tools require different degrees of an angle for optimal sharpening. If you know what brand of loppers you own, then you can take the guesswork out of the equation and just research what the factory that produced your tool recommends.
The most common method of sharpening loppers is by way of a whetstone. A whetstone is a fine grain stone that will have the ability to sharpen a tool when friction is applied. When using your whetstone to sharpen your loppers, you will want to soak the whetstone in some type of oil (motor oil or vegetable oil) to provide adequate lubrication.
To begin the actual sharpening process, rub the blade of your loppers on the curved inward area of the whetstone. Use gentle, smooth strokes. You do not want to apply too much pressure here. If your tool has nicks or dents, you are better off switching to a coarser grain whetstone than using more pressure on a lower coarse whetstone.
Continue to wet the whetstone with oil to keep it lubricated and keep sharpening your lopper blades until there is a thickness of one millimeter. You don’t want to go any smaller than that because you will then be subjecting your blade to weakness. Be sure to wipe your blades clean after they are sharpened.
Care Forever After for Your Loppers
In between sharpenings, make sure you remember to oil up your loppers with some lubrication and wipe them clean between each use. This will prevent grime from building up and causing rust on your loppers’ blades.
Keep all your loppers stored in a dry area out of the elements, as exposure to water and sand and dirt will do nothing but harm them.
When all is said and done, it was well worth the effort to sharpen and properly care for your loppers. Aren’t you glad that you didn’t decide to hit that snooze button before?