How to Oil Pruning Shears : A Quick Guide

How to Oil Pruning Shears A Quick Guide
How to Oil Pruning Shears A Quick Guide

To oil pruning shears, apply the oil to the blades and pivot point, then open and close the shears several times to distribute the oil evenly. If you want to keep your gardening tools in good condition, it’s crucial to oil them regularly.

Pruning shears are one of the fundamental gardening tools that require proper maintenance. The blades of pruning shears get sticky, dirty, and rusty, which can damage your plants. It’s necessary to oil them regularly to keep them in good working condition.

Oiling your pruning shears is an easy and inexpensive way to extend their lifespan, and it only takes a few minutes. In this article, you’ll learn how to oil your pruning shears in a step-by-step guide. So, let’s get started!

Understanding Pruning Shears

Pruning shears are gardening tools used for trimming and shaping plants. These tools are essential for gardening maintenance and are especially helpful in removing dead branches or stems. Understanding the different types and components of pruning shears is important in taking proper care of these tools and ensuring their longevity.

Different Types Of Pruning Shears And Their Functions

Pruning shears come in different shapes and sizes, each designed for different purposes. The following are the four main types of pruning shears and their specific functions:

  • Bypass pruning shears: These have a scissor-like cutting action and are most commonly used for pruning living plants. They are great for precision cutting and can handle branches up to 1 inch in diameter.
  • Anvil pruning shears: These have a singular blade that cuts against a flat surface, making them ideal for cutting dead or woody branches. They are not suggested for sheer pruning as they can damage live plants.
  • Ratchet pruning shears: These have a unique mechanism that multiplies the user’s effort, allowing for easier cutting of thick branches. They are particularly useful for gardeners with weak hands or arthritis.
  • Snip pruning shears: These have a compact design with short blades and are ideal for trimming small plants or performing tough cuts. They are not suitable for cutting thick branches.

Additionally, check out: How to Choose Pruning Shears?

Components Of Pruning Shears

It is essential to understand the different parts of pruning shears to use them effectively and carry out maintenance tasks when needed. The following are the essential parts of pruning shears:

  • Blade: This is the sharp, metal portion located at the end of the shears and is responsible for cutting plants.
  • Spring: This provides tension to the blades and allows them to open after each cut, making cutting easier.
  • Handle: This is the part of the shears where the user grips the tool. It can be made of plastic, metal, or a mix of both.
  • Lock: This keeps the blades in a closed position when not in use, preventing accidents and damage to the blades.
  • Nut and bolt: This is the mechanism that holds the blades together and can be adjusted to tighten or loosen the blades.

Importance Of Understanding Parts And Mechanics Of Pruning Shears

Knowing the components and mechanics of pruning shears ensures proper care and maintenance of the tools. These include cleaning the blades after use, oiling the pivot point and other moving parts regularly, and sharpening the blades when required. Failure to maintain pruning shears can lead to poor performance or rust build-up, reducing their effectiveness over time.

Understanding the different types and components of pruning shears is important to maximize their use and ensure they remain functional for a long.

When To Oil Pruning Shears

Signs That Indicate When Your Pruning Shears Need Oiling

Pruning shears are essential garden tools that help maintain healthy plants. When working with pruning shears, it is critical to keep them well-lubricated to ensure they work smoothly. Here are some of the signs that indicate the need for oiling your pruning shears:

  • Difficulty in cutting: If you notice that your pruning shears are not cutting efficiently or are getting stuck often, it is a clear sign that they need oiling.
  • Resistance in the blades: If you feel resistance while opening or closing the blades of your pruning shears, it is an indication that they need oiling as the blades may have become stiff.
  • Rust: Rust is a clear sign that your pruning shears are not only dirty but also slowly getting damaged. You can deal with it by wiping it with a cloth soaked in oil.

Pruning shears are made to last as long as possible with proper care, which includes oiling. While manufacturers provide guidelines for how often pruning shears need oiling, it usually varies depending on the frequency of use, environmental factors, and wear and tear.

It is recommended to oil your pruning shears after every use, and at a minimum once a month. By doing so, it will prevent the collection of sap, dirt, and other debris from hampering the shears’ motion.

Importance Of Keeping Pruning Shears Well Lubricated

Keeping your pruning shears well lubricated is essential because it keeps them in good condition and extends their longevity, thus saving you money. Here are some reasons why you should keep your pruning shears well-lubricated:

  • Maintains cutting power: Oil makes the blades of the pruning shears slide easily and remain sharp, enabling them to cut effortlessly and efficiently.
  • Prevents rusting: Oil acts as a barrier between the metal blades and the moist environment, preventing rust formation.
  • Reduces wear and tear: Oil reduces friction between the blades, which eventually decreases wear and tear. It is crucial to lubricate the pivot points, the blades, and the spring to keep the pruning shears in good working condition.

The maintenance of your pruning shears’ condition, including oiling, is vital for their longevity and efficient function. By following the recommended oiling frequency and paying attention to signs that indicate pruning shears need lubrication, you can keep them in good condition for a long time.

Furthermore, consider reading: How to Adjust Fiskars Pruning Shears?

How To Oil Pruning Shears

Preparing Pruning Shears For Oiling

Before oiling your pruning shears, it is necessary to prepare them properly. Here are some tips to follow:

  • First, clean any debris or rust from the shears with a wire brush or sandpaper.
  • Next, use a rag with spirits to clean the blades to remove any dirt or sap buildup.
  • Once clean, inspect the shears for any damaged or bent parts that may require replacement.
  • Finally, open and close the shears a few times to ensure that they are functioning correctly before oiling.

Choosing the right oil is crucial to ensure your pruning shears work perfectly. Here’s a look at some tips for choosing oil and the recommended amount:

  • Use a lightweight oil, such as sewing machine oil or motor oil, to lubricate the shears. Avoid using heavy oils, as this can result in gumming up the mechanism of the shears.
  • Apply a small amount of oil to the blades. You don’t require more than a drop or two. Over-oiling blades can lead to sticky, jammed shears.
  • Avoid using any old oil lying around. It is best to buy new oil for your shears.

Applying Oil Correctly To Ensure Proper Lubrication

Applying oil to pruning shears is essential for proper lubrication, making sure you follow these steps:

  • Place a drop of oil on the joint of the pruning shear’s blades where the screw is located.
  • Open and close the shears slowly and then wipe off any excess oil with a clean rag.
  • Apply a few more drops of oil on the blades and wipe off any excess oil again.
  • Always apply a drop of oil after cleaning and before storing the shears for optimal blade functioning.

By following these simple steps, you can assure your pruning shears are in optimal condition and will last longer. Remember to clean, oil, and inspect your shears regularly to maintain their effectiveness.

Best Practices For Maintaining Pruning Shears

Pruning shears are necessary tools for any gardener or landscaper to keep the garden plants looking healthy and well-maintained. However, to ensure the optimal performance of these pruning shears, proper maintenance is necessary. In this area, we’ll cover the best practices for maintaining pruning shears to keep them sharp, clean, and rust-free.

Tips For Preventing Damage To Pruning Shears

Prevention is always better than cure, and this fundamental principle uses for the maintenance of pruning shears. Following these useful tips will prevent the pruning shears from damaging, and they last longer.

  • Avoid using pruning shears to cut branches thicker than their recommended capacity.
  • Clean the pruning shears after every use.
  • Never use water to clean them; it can cause rust formation.
  • Always use sharp blades to avoid putting stress on the pruning shears.
  • Store the pruning shears in a dry place to keep them away from rust formation.

How To Clean And Properly Store Pruning Shears

Cleaning and storing the pruning shears instantly after use is essential to keep them in excellent condition. Here’s what you should do.

  • First, remove any plant sap or debris from the pruning shears with a dry cloth.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the blades gently.
  • Clean the remaining sap with rubbing alcohol.
  • Dry the pruning shears with a clean cloth.
  • Apply a thin layer of oil to the blades to prevent them from rusting.
  • Store pruning shears in a dry place, hang them, or keep them in a case to prevent the cutting edges from dulling.

Other Useful Maintenance Practices For Optimal Performance

Apart from cleaning and preventing damage, several other practices can keep the pruning shears in good condition and give them a longer life span.

  • Regularly sharpen the blades of pruning shears with a sharpening stone or a professional sharpening tool to keep them sharp.
  • Lubricate the blades with oil regularly to prevent rust and friction.
  • Check the nuts and bolts often to ensure the pruning shears remain tight and stable.
  • Inspect the blades and handles regularly for any signs of rust, scraps, or cracks.
  • Trim branches perpendicular to the surface with the pruning shears, avoiding angled cuts.

By following these best practices, you’ll maintain your pruning shears in excellent condition, enabling you to achieve your gardening activities smoothly.

Moreover, take a look at: How to Sharpen Hand Pruning Shears?

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Oil Pruning Shears

How Often Should You Oil Pruning Shears?

It is important to oil pruning shears after every use. This ensures that the blades remain sharp and clean, and helps prevent rust and corrosion. You should also oil your pruning shears before storing them for an extended period of time.

What Oil Should I Use For Oil Pruning Shears?

Use a light machine oil, such as 3-in-1 oil or mineral oil. Avoid using vegetable or cooking oils, as they can become rancid and attract dirt and debris. Apply a small amount of oil to the blades and pivots of your pruning shears, wiping off any excess with a clean cloth.

How Do You Clean Pruning Shears Before Oiling?

To clean pruning shears before oiling them, use a soft-bristled brush or a toothbrush to remove any dirt or debris from the blades. Then, use a cloth or paper towel to wipe down the blades with rubbing alcohol or vinegar.

Allow the shears to air dry before applying a small amount of oil.

Can You Over-Oil Pruning Shears?

It is possible to over-oil pruning shears, which can lure dirt and debris and cause the blades to become dull. To avoid this, only apply a small amount of oil to the blades and pivot points. If excess oil is present, wipe it off with a clean cloth.


Having well-maintained pruning shears is essential in maintaining the health of your plants and trees. Oiling your pruning shears is just one important step in proper maintenance. By regularly oiling your pruning shears, you can ensure they function smoothly, stay sharp, and last longer.

It’s a simple yet effective task that won’t take much of your time, but it can make a huge difference in the long run. Remember to clean and dry your pruning shears before oiling them, as this will prevent any debris from sticking to them.

And don’t forget to store your pruning shears in a dry place after use to further prevent rust and damage. With these easy steps, you can ensure your pruning shears have a long lifespan and are in their best condition for your next gardening task.


  • David Mark

    David Mark is an experienced gardening guide with over 20 years of experience. He is passionate about helping people learn about gardening and creating beautiful, healthy gardens. David's love of gardening began at a young age, when he would help his parents in their backyard garden. He quickly learned the basics of gardening, and as he grew older, he began to experiment with different plants and techniques. After graduating from college, David worked as a landscaper for several years. This gave him the opportunity to work on a variety of different gardens, from small backyards to large commercial properties. He also learned how to install irrigation systems, build raised beds, and create patios and walkways. In 2005, David decided to start his own gardening website. He quickly became known for his expertise and friendly personality. He has helped hundreds of people create beautiful gardens, and he is always happy to share his knowledge with others. David is a certified Master Gardener, and he is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He is also a regular contributor to gardening magazines and websites.

1 thought on “How to Oil Pruning Shears : A Quick Guide”

Leave a Comment