How to Sharpen Grass Shears

How to Sharpen Grass Shears Featured Photo

Shears are an important garden tool for every gardener. They are not only used to trim even the tiniest grasses and shrubs, but they also help you achieve a perfect edge, thereby giving your grasses a uniform shape and appealing look. But, this can only be achieved if the blades of your shears are sharp.

However, after being used for a couple of years, it’s only normal that the shears will become blunt. It is, therefore, necessary to know How to Sharpen Grass Shears as this will ensure your garden is always neatly trimmed and beautiful.

In this article, we will learn the ways of sharpening our shears without having to call on an expert. Come along as we learn together.

Items Needed

Grass shears are hard to sharpen without the right equipment and materials. Hence, to do it effectively, you will need the following items:

Grass shears
  • A wench (it is optional)
  • A table vise
  • 10-inch mill file
  • Motor Oil
  • A rag
  • Scissors sharpeners
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety boots

How to Sharpen Grass Shears

To sharpen your grass shears, take the following steps:

Sharpening the Mill File

The first action to take is to sharpen the mill file. To do that, take the steps outlined below.

First Step: This involves securing the grass shears on a table vise. This should be done with one of its blades facing upwards. The lower part of the factory bevel should be positioned close to your body while the beveled edge of the shears should be faced upwards, away from you.

If you find it difficult to manipulate the shears so that the second end of the blade is out of the way, then you will need to remove the pivot nut with a wench, this will separate the two-blade-handle sections.

Second Step: Now place the 10-inch mill file so that it’s against the blade at the tip of the grass shears. After this, tilt the file upwards or downwards (whichever works best for you) so as to align with the angle of the factory bevel.

Third Step: Firmly stroke the file across the blade of the shears to file away bits of the metal blade. Continue doing this, maintaining the bevel angle while also moving the file.

Fourth Step: After chipping off some metal from the first blade, now reposition the file so that it’s facing down from its initial position. Again, firmly push the file across the blade. The process should be repeated all over again, with the file rubbing across the length of the blade. Once that is done, return to the starting position and make a second pass. The process should be repeated again and again until a sharp edge has been achieved.

Fifth Step: Once you are done with the first blade, also lock the second blade into the table vice and thereafter sharpen it starting from the tip of the shears to its base while ensuring the factory bevel is used as a guide. If required, reattach the pivot nut to connect back the parts.

Sixth Step: It’s time to apply motor oil along the visible metal part on each of the blades. This will prevent the blades from rusting.

To ensure the shears are moving perfectly well and operating as they should open and close the blades a couple of times. If any friction is detected, then reapply the motor oil to the parts where the blades intersect and to all other moving parts as well.

Sharpening the Scissors

Now that we are done with the mill file, it’s time to sharpen the scissors.

First Step: The first step would be to remove the pivot wrench after which you are to detach the two-blade handles of the shears.

Second Step: Position the blade handle so that the blade’s edge is facing upwards. Now hold it in position using your non-dominant hand. (You could also use a table vise for this purpose).

Third Step: Ensure the sharpening surface of the scissors is well aligned on the blade’s base. To determine if you are on the right track, it’s usually a v-shaped notch which straddles the blade. Ensure the sharpening surface is aligned and touching the factory bevel.

Fourth Step: In this next step, you are to pull the sharpener from the tip of the blade (this should be done in a single motion) while at the same time applying a slight but even pressure. Repeat the action over and again (up to ten or twelve times) or just until you are sure the edge is sharp.  Repeat the same process for the second blade.

Fifth Step: This final stage involves reattaching the shear blade and tightening of the pivot nut. After that is done, apply some motor oil along the edges that were sharpened and also to any moving parts or wherever you detect friction.

Note: A 10-inch mill file can sometimes be labeled as a mill bastard file or a bastard file.

Warning: Never consider or attempt to sharpen grass shears with electric grinders. This is because they tend to grind away the metal at a very fast pace, this makes it impossible for you to achieve an ideally sharpened edge throughout the blade.

It is also important to take safety measures while sharpening your garden shears to prevent accidents. One of such safety measures to be taken is to put on safety glasses, this will stop tiny metal particles from finding their way into your eyes. It’s also important to wear safety boots so that even if the shears mistakenly slip, you won’t hurt yourself.


Your grass shears will get dull with time and constant use, this is a given. However, rather than discard them and go for new ones (which is quite expensive and unnecessary if you ask me), you can choose to sharpen them yourself and in no time it’s as good as new.

It’s our hope that with this article, you have learned How to Sharpen Grass Shears. Now your grasses and ornamental plants can look trimmed, well cut and beautiful to the admiration of your family, friends, and neighbors.