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How to Clean Rusty Pruners

Inadvertently leave a pair of shears outside all winter (as one of our editors did) and, come spring, you’ll uncover a rust-encrusted mess. But all is not lost! With just five straightforward steps, months of neglect can be undone by the next day

1. DISASSEMBLE. With less-pricey pruners, you can skip this step, but quality shears (like these Felcos) are made to come apart. Loosen the center screw, turn the nut counterclockwise, then pop off the spring.

2. SOAK. Bathe loose parts overnight in WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover Soak ($25 for one gallon; True Value). It will take away the corrosion but won’t harm plastic handles.

3. SCRUB. Use an extra-fine sanding block dipped in lubricant to remove residue and restore the color.

4. SHARPEN. Hone the blade over a lubricated stone, holding it at an angle that matches the blade’s bevel. Flatten the other side on the stone.

5. REASSEMBLE AND WIPE CLEAN. Rub the metal with a soft cloth, and you’re good to go.