These trusty cutting tools are a gardener’s best friend – as long as you keep them sharp. Rachel Brown from the National Trust shows us how it’s done
YOU WILL NEED • Wet stone • Splash of water • Dry paper towel or cloth • Disinfectant spray (such as Jeyes Fluid) • Lubricating oil (such as WD40)
STEP BY STEP
1 Unscrew the secateurs Use a screwdriver to loosen the secateurs, then unscrew the cogs/bolt on the opposite side so they can be separated into their constituent parts.
TIP: If they’re stuck, try turning them leftwards: ‘Righty tighty; lefty loosey’.
2 Lay the parts out in order Keep the parts in sequence, running left to right, showing how they fit back together to help you remember which bits go where. Try not to lose the spring which can roll away.
3 Sharpen the cutting blade Wipe any initial debris or sap off the cutting blade. Dampen the wetstone with a sprinkle of water and sweep the blade slowly and gently along the surface of the wetstone.
4 Wipe all parts with disinfectant Use a dilute disinfectant spray and a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe over the secateurs. To remove rust, use a scouring pad or wire wool. Give them a good rub, then wipe dry.
5 Oil the moving parts Reassemble the secateurs so you can give all the joints a final squirt of lubricating oil. This will ease the scissor action of the cutting blade, and coat the blade against rust.
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