Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
Winter: when our gardens are carpeted in snow hiding our beds from view, when our soils are frozen and crunch under foot, when branches are sheathed in ice – brittle and easily damaged – this is the time to focus our fervent gardening energy on sprucing up our tools.
Although I encourage every gardener to keep their tools clean, sterile and sharp everyday, I also realize that we can get behind in our care practices during the busy gardening seasons. I may quickly sterilize and sharpen my Fiskars Professional Chrome Handshears each time I put them to use, but I still find my tools require an overhaul by the end of the year. Ground in grime builds up in mechanisms. Blades wear down and sometimes get nicked or bent. Over time, worn out tools become difficult to use properly.
Ideally, when we prune a branch we sever it without tearing. Cutting branches cleanly enables the plant to protect itself from the damage and from potential pests and disease that can enter into a wound. If we tear wood and bark, plants have a difficult time bouncing back. Using dull, gunky or nicked pruning tools increases the odds of making bad cuts. Too, using worn out tools increases the odds we’ll injure or fatigue our own fragile bodies.
Because I use my pruning tools less frequently during the dead of winter, that’s when I usually take them to a local small machine shop to have them overhauled. For about $8-$15 a piece, the shop will dismantle my tools, oil them, replace broken or damaged parts, and grind my blades to a fresh, razor-sharp edge. In less than a week, I’m able to pick them up good as new.
If I’m feeling ambitious, I may work over my gear on my own. I’m a big fan of tools with replaceable parts. Fiskars Professional line of hand shears and saws provides this kind of sustainable tool to fit my needs. If I nick a blade or bend a saw blade, I can order an inexpensive replacement part instead of replacing the entire tool. Still, regardless of what kind of hand shear or lopper I use, I can always clean and sharpen the parts. Here’s how:
First, I spread out protective newspaper or a recycled grocery bag on my work surface. Then, I gather together steel wool, an old rag, a pair of lightweight gloves, rubbing alcohol, a small tree branch, an old toothbrush, and Fiskars Tool Care kit oil and diamond-sharpening file.
Next, I put on the gloves (because I can’t stand the feel of steel wool) before applying a bit of cleaning oil to the shears or saw. If my device has rust spots, scrubbing with the steel wool should lift them right up. If I’ve got a lot of ground in dirt, I use an old toothbrush to work it out. If sap is caked on, rubbing alcohol on a rag can help lift it up.
Once my tools are clean, I move on to sharpening my shears. Using a bit of oil while sharpening tools is key. The oil helps ensure metal filings don’t stick to the blade as I work; tiny filings can create nicks as we sharpen blades. Plus, the oil will keep filings out of tool components and keep those gears working smoothly. Once the blade is oiled, I begin by tilting my shears away from me at a slight angle. If I have clamps handy, I may clamp my shears in place to hold them firmly while I work. Then, I slide the sharpening file firmly in one direction – away from myself – on one side of the blade bevel for about 20 strokes. Then, I may make a single, light stroke on the other side of the blade only to pick up filings.
The real sharpening should only be focused on one side to maintain a good bevel. Repeat filing until the blade is sharpened to your taste, which can be determined by making practice cuts on your branch.
If your saw becomes dull, or if like me, you manage to bend blades out of shape from time-to-time, simply order a new blade, unscrew the old and insert the new one. It’ll be good as new!
Remember: if your tools have become damaged beyond repair, Fiskars makes it easy for you to get a replacement pair! Just visit the warranty page of the website for details.