Real World Gardener Sharpening Secateurs in Tool Time

August 21st, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.


talking with Tony Mattson, General Manager of


Are you in the middle of winter pruning right now?


What’s the state of your gardening secateurs?

Do they open easily, are the blades sharp? You know they’re sharp if they make a clean cut through a plant’s stem without leaving a little tear behind.

Almost as if you only cut through part of the stem and then pulled off the remaining part.

If they’re not sharp, those cuts that you make on your plants will end up with bruising and tearing on the stems leading to dieback and fungal disease problems.














You don't have to sharpen your secateurs and other gardening tools every day or every time you use them.

Sharpening takes off a bit of metal and reduces the blade.

Only sharpen your much loved secateurs when they don't cut cleanly anymore.

That can be best described when a piece of stem cuts only part way and the rest is torn.

It's worth remembering that these kind of cuts on plants are entry points for disease such as fungal dieback.

Oilstones are things of the past.

The better method is to use either a diamond stone or a tungsten-carbide stick.


For bypass secateurs, sharpen the outside of the blade. 

Start on the inside of the blade and go outwards when sharpening.

For anvil secateurs, sharpen both sides.

To quote a long time gardening presenter on Gippsland FM, the jobs not done until the tools are put away.



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