How Do You Sharpen Felco Secateurs? 3 Safe & Easy Ways

Many gardeners swear by Felco secateurs, and if you have a pair, you know why. These secateurs are reliable and exceptionally durable, designed to last a lifetime. But to get a lifetime’s worth of use out of them, you have to take care of them properly. And that means regular sharpening.

But before we get to that, let’s take a closer look at why Felco secateurs are so special.


Why Felco?

To understand what’s so great about Felco, we’re going to take a deep dive into the brand’s iconic product, the Felco 2. Felco released the Felco 2 in 1948, and since then, more than 16 million have been sold all over the world.

The Felco 2 is unique in its design. It’s lightweight and precise, but the thing that stands out about it the most is that all of its components are replaceable.

The original design hasn’t changed, yet Felco continues to innovate its production process and in the materials it uses. Each of these secateurs has about 50 steps in the construction process, including hand assembly and manual quality checks to ensure each and every pair meets the brand’s high standards.

Felco manufactures its tools in Switzerland using environmentally friendly production methods, like renewable energy and recycled waste.

So, what’s so great about the Felco 2, and is it worth the price tag? Most people who have used a Felco pruner would answer that with a resounding yes. The finger grips and ergonomic handle are comfortable and easy to use, and you feel like you’re holding something substantial but safe in your hand.

A tough hardened steel anvil blade and single-piece aluminum handle are strong enough to tackle even heavy pruning jobs. The blade also has a wire-cutting notch, and the counter blade has a sap groove, both little details that demonstrate how much thought went into this product.

The Felco 2 comes with an adjustment key, allowing you to tweak the cutting head and lock. Plus, it has a lifetime guarantee.

The Felco 2 comes with an adjustment key, allowing you to tweak the cutting head and lock. Plus, it has a lifetime guarantee.

Now, in addition to the Felco 2, there are many other Felco secateurs available, each with its own unique features. The Felco 4 can cut through branches as thick as 25mm, while the Felco 5 has a tapered head that makes it easy to get between branches. The Felco 12 requires 30 per cent less cutting force, and the Felco 31 can make powerful cuts through hard, sappy, and deadwood. Felco has many more options to choose from, each to the same high standards as the Felco 2.

Three Ways to Sharpen Felco Secateurs

Felco uses a proprietary heat treatment that hardens the blade, providing an ultra-sharp cutting edge. Depending on how you use it, the blade can remain sharp for a long time, or you may need to sharpen it pretty regularly. Felco believes that you should sharpen the blades every day if you have to.

Although there is one brand-recommended technique for sharpening your Felco secateurs, there are three sharpening tools to pick from, and each is a little different. Let’s take a closer look:

The Felco 902 Sharpening Stone is made of high-quality corundum. This tool is ideal for sharpening your secateurs or Felco cable cutters or loppers. It’s two-sided with fine and medium grit options, and it gets the job done with minimal force. Choose the blue medium grit or white fine-grit section and use the proper sharpening angle and technique to get the most out of your secateurs’ blade.

This versatile sharpening stone is suitable for wet or dry sharpening, and it sharpens without causing any ridging. The compact length of 100mm makes it easy to grip, and it’s suitable for both left and right-handed people.

Another sharpening tool by Felco is the 903. Rather than being made of corundum stone, this one is diamond-coated hardened steel, the type of sharpening tools that professionals prefer. The diamond coating is exceptionally strong, which means that this sharpening tool will last a long time. You only need to apply sight pressure to bring your dull blade back to life.

This tool has a compact, easy-to-hold shape that’s 100mm long, and it’s suitable for dry and wet sharpening. It’s made for right and left-handers and designed to reach every area of the blade.

The 902 and 903 are ideal for regular sharpening, but if you need something with a little more grit, take a look at the 904. This Felco sharpening tool is for when you’ve accidentally left your secateurs outside and the blades have experienced some oxidation. Its ergonomic design fits right into your hand, and it sharpens quickly, giving you professional results in only a matter of a few strokes.

This tool is lightweight and can easily slip into your pocket or toolbox. It features a forged aluminum handle and a tungsten carbide sharpening surface with a thumb guard to keep you protected. The handle end of the tool doubles as a bottle opener, and it includes a ring so you can easily attach it to a chain, cord, or hook for easy storage.

How to Sharpen Felco Secateurs

Here’s the simple process for how to sharpen your Felco secateurs:

  1. Make sure the blades are clean. Use soapy water and a textured sponge to get rid of any dirt or sticky sap. If the blades are coated in stubborn dirt, you can also use WD40 and some steel wool.
  2. Hold your secateurs in your non-dominant hand with the handles slighting spread apart and your fingers over the spring. The blades should rest in the palm of your hand with the beveled edge of the cutting blade facing toward you.
  3. Use the flat side of your sharpening tool to apply light, circular motion to the blade holding the sharpening stone at roughly a 23-degree angle. Move up and down the blade between six and ten times for best results.
  4. Next, use the edge of the tool and hold it at about a 60-degree angle. Apply light pressure, pulling along the entire edge of the blade from the base to the tip.
  5. Turn your secateurs over to inspect the opposite side of the blade. Look for any roughness that may have appeared due to sharpening the other side of the blade.

If you see anything that needs to be corrected, hold your sharpening tool at a very slight angle, about five degrees, and lightly run it down the length of the blade.

Does Felco Shears Require Other Maintenance?

Yes, to maintain the integrity of your Felco tools and to get the longest life possible, regular maintenance is required. This maintenance includes:

  • Felco advises that you clean your pruning shears after each use. Do this by using a soft dry rag to wipe away any visible dirt. If needed, use soap and water to remove anything sticky. And, as mentioned, WD40 and steel wool for anything that’s stuck on.
  • After cleaning, it’s a good idea to oil your Felco tool to prevent corrosion. Release the hand and remove the spring. Add a few drops of oil inside, then move the spring in and out to ensure that the oil is well dispersed. Add a few drops of oil into the brushing, then move the handles, opening and closing them to ensure the oil coats the entire interior surface. Finally, add a few drops of oil behind the safety lock, then open and close it a few times for even coverage.

Felco also advises you to dismantle your tool every so often for a good cleaning. By doing so, you get a good look at all of your secateurs’ parts, so you know if anything is wearing. Every piece of a Felco tool is replaceable, but you need to know where the problem is if you intend to replace something.

Wrap Up: Felco Secateurs

Most people who buy a pair of Felco secateurs will tell you that these tools are a great investment. The craftsmanship is second to none, and every part is replaceable. They are covered by a lifetime warranty, too, so you could conceivably have these shears for the rest of your life. You can even pass them down to your children.

But to get that much life out of these impressive shears, you have to take care of them. That means periodic sharpening in addition to regular cleaning, oiling, and other maintenance.

The Felco products we mentioned here, and the sharpening process are based on what the brand recommends. These are by no means the only ways to approach sharpening your garden shears. With a top-notch brand like Felco, we think it’s best to follow their expert recommendations.

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