A pole pruner is a special long-handled trimming device that lets you trim the tops of trees, tall bushes or sprawling vines without having to climb a ladder. It’s a fantastic tool that can make your gardening chores a lot faster and easier; until the blades get dull, that is. In that case, the pole pruner becomes so frustrating to use that you might as well try to clip branches and vines with your bare hands. Fortunately, a case of dull blades doesn’t mean that you have to toss your pruner in the trash! You can quickly and easily sharpen your pole pruner by yourself in your own home, and you’ll be back to happily hacking away at your plants in no time. Keep reading to find out how.
Step 1 – Put the Pruner in a Vice
The first step to sharpening your pole pruner is securing it down so that it won’t move while you’re working on the blades. Put one of the blades of the pruner in a vice (the beveled, or rounded, edge face-up) and secure it tightly so that it won’t slip and cut you while you’re working. Pull the pruner into an open position with the control rope, and tie one end of it to the end of the pruning pull so that it will remain open.
Step 2 – File the Beveled Blade
Next, take your metal file. Hold it at a 45-degree angle and start filing the beveled edge of the blade. Make sure to strike the blade repeatedly with the file with a steady, continuous motion, only moving your hand in one direction. If you move the file in a back-and-forth motion, you will texture the metal and make it duller and less efficient. For safety reasons, file in a direction away from your body. Make sure to strike the entire cutting surface, then file the other end of the blade quickly to make sure it is also smooth.
Step 3 – File the Saw Blade
Use a metal file that is small and round to sharpen the saw blade. Be careful when working in this area, as it is easy to slip and cut yourself on the saw teeth. You will notice that each tooth of the saw as a rounded edge, and a straight edge. Only use the small metal file on the rounded edges of the teeth, pushing the file forward as in step 2, using the same motion and directing the file away from your body.
Step 4 – Oil it Up
After sharpening the blades, apply some lubricating oil that’s geared towards metal parts to all the joints in the pole pruner.
Step 5 – Regular Maintenance is Key
In order to keep your pole pruner working like new, you should undertake this process fairly regularly. If you’re going to be doing extensive pruning, you may even want to take some files with you out into the yard or garden, so that you can quickly work on the blades without having to go back to the workshop.