CANCELED — Upcoming Workshop: Maintaining and Using Garden Shears, Pruners, Clippers, and Loppers, April 28, $50–60



Many people believe that if a tool crushes through a twig that its good enough, but good pruners and gardeners know that a clean cut is vital to the recovery and health of the plant.  Plus, a sharp pair of pruners makes the work much easier.  In this class we’ll be analyzing what makes a good pair of garden shears and how to make your own pair work better.  We’ll take them apart, learn about sharpening by hand, sharpen up the blades, remove any rust, and go out and experiment with different cutting angles and styles of tool.  We’ll look at what makes these tools different and what makes them similar.

Workshop Details

This course will cover basic aspects of use and maintenance of garden shears, loppers, pruners, and clippers. Please bring your own pair, or as many of each as you like (you’ll likely only have time to sharpen one or two of them during the class though) — extras will be on hand for you to practice with as well.  Please also make sure that you are either able to open them past 90° or that you can take them apart for the class (if your shears are riveted together and won’t open past 90°, they may not be maintainable. ).  I’ll have some tools for taking shears apart but can’t guarantee that we can get unusual or highly specialized versions open.  The techniques you learn here will be equally applicable to scissors. This class will help you better understand these vital gardening and aboriculture tools and maintain your own for a lifetime to come.  Please wear clothing appropriate for the weather and activity: close-toed shoes, pants, etc. Please bring a pack lunch. Snacks and beverages (coffee, tea, juice, water) will be provided.

The workshop  will take place at the Low Technology Institute on April 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost of the workshop is $60 (members get a $10 discount, find out more about joining the institute here). You can reserve your spot by paying the workshop fee at our online store. If the course is sold out, please check out with the $0 “Waitlist” option to be added to the queue.

Register Now!


Mr. Fleming sighting down a blade to check its sharpness at a recent workshop.

Todd Fleming is has been a traditional woodworker and knifemaker for eight years and has taught himself how to sharpen all manner of woodworking tools and knives. He’s made numerous tools, saws, and blades he uses himself and has developed a good understanding of blade geometries for different purposes as well as the metallurgy of hardness and tempering. He is the owner/operator of Fox Wedge Woodworking when not at his day job as a carpenter for the Associated Housewrights. He currently works out of his apartment workshop in Middleton, WI.

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