Cleaning & Sharpening - Japanese Pruning Tools

Japanese Pruning Tools

We recommend that you clean, sharpen, oil - in that order.

How Often?

It's a common question - how often should I sharpen my cutting tools? Short answer is, it depends on how frequently you use your tools.

Here are recommendations based on frequent use; you can judge from there if you don't use your tools often.

Secateurs:  every couple of weeks if you use them daily.

Shears:  daily, or even throughout the day, when you’re using them intensively. Especially if clipping boxwood.

How To?

1. Wipe off soil and mud (you should get in the habit of doing this and then drying your tools at the end of each workday).

2. Clean built-up gunk and rust off the blades with the Abrasive Cleaning Block or Crean Mate rust eraser.

3. Do a detailed sharpening with a whetstone or two - see below for 'Which Grit' to use. Soak your sharpening stone in water for a couple of minutes before using.

  • unless you are very handy, don’t take your secateurs and shears apart – it’s very difficult to get the double-locking bolt back together and the blades properly aligned.

You can sharpen on-the-go with the Swiss Istor carbon steel sharpener, but a light touch is required - you don't want to grind off too much steel.

4. Use the Twin Diamond File or the Niwaki grey #220 grit sharpening stone to restore damaged blades.

4. Apply Camellia Oil to lubricate and protect blades after cleaning.

5. If you don’t like sharpening yourself, or don’t have time for it, use our new in-house sharpening service.

Which Grit?

The appropriate whetstone grit depends on the type of steel, how long its been between sharpening sessions, and whether there’s been any significant damage to the blades.

We recommend using the manufacturer's recommendation for the tools that we sell.

Okatsune #400 grit - for regular sharpening of all Okatsune products; also good for Felco

Niwaki #220 grit (grey) - this is a coarse stone, use for rough/damaged blades

Niwaki #1000 grit (brown) - for regular sharpening of all Niwaki, Tobisho, Kurumi blades.

Niwaki #3000 grit (sand) - this is a fine polishing stone, use for detailed work on high quality steel

If you're still not sure which grit is right for your tools, ask us!