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How to look after Japanese garden tools?

Having invested in your choice of quality Japeto garden tools it is worth taking the time to maintain them in good woking order. The following notes are not exclusive but deal with the basic elements for cleaning and sharpening garden tools. For convenience, the tools have been grouped under the usage class as per the Japeto website product headings where these are relevant.

How to clean japanese garden tools?


Most of these Japeto tools will be used in soil and so will quickly become dirty. However it will be much nicer the next time that you come to use them if they are clean, and so it is worth taking the time to clean at the end of your session. A quick soak in water (not the wood handle) and a scrub with a stiff brush will deal with most of the deposit. Dry off with an old towel or kitchen paper and give a light coating of Vaseline, machine oil or Camellia Oil. The Japeto Hori Hori knife is a classic Japanese weeding tool and looking after it properly will extend its life.


These tools (with the possible exception of the sickle) are likely to have gathered some sticky sap or resin on the face of the blades. This will require some scrubbing with warm soapy water. Once clean, dry off and apply a thin coat of oil. Again Vaseline, machine oil or Camellia oil can be used.


Secateurs are precision instruments and need to be treated with care to ensure good performance and a long life. As the blades are sharp and pass each other very closely they need regular cleaning to remove the inevitable build up of sap and resin from the plants being pruned. Use a pan scourer or wire wool combined with penetrating oil e.g. WD40 to clean down to the metal.

How to sharpen Japanese garden tools?

For this you will need a whetstone or sharpening stone of which there are several types available.


These types of tools can suffer quite badly as they are dragged or raked through the soil and so the sharp edges can quickly become blunted. If the damage is really bad you would be best to start with a metal file. If you have a vice, lock the hand in the vice and steadily remove the damage. Always observe the angle of the blade and work to it. Remove any burr from the other side of the blade. Finish up with your whetstone to get a sharp edge. In particular it is important to retain the sharp edge of the Hori Hori knife. Lastly, apply a thin coat of oil.


Sharpening shears is not an easy job and we recommend going to the nearest professional who will do the job for you.


Saws are a special case and hopefully if used correctly they will continue to provide good service for many years to come.
Secateurs are a different matter. If you are confident that you can disassemble them you will find that they will be easier to sharpen.
Ensure that both blades are clean. Start with the sharp blade. Fix it in your vise. Use your whetstone, keeping to the existing blade angle whilst stroking away from the edge. When it is sharp, turn it over and remove any burr on that flat side. Do not attempt to sharpen the flat side. Finish with a thin coat of oil.

What are Japanese garden tools used for?

How to use Japanese garden tools?

A guide to using Japanese garden tools?

The above 3 questions are about the functionality of Japanese garden tools. Japeto tries to answer these questions with the following high quality japanese garden tool videos covering the main Japanese garden tools available through Japeto:

How to use Japanese garden tools: A quick and easy guide.

How to use a Hoi Hori knife by Japeto

How to use Japanese garden secateurs by Japeto

How to use a Japanese single edge weeder by Japeto

How to use Japanese shears by Japeto

How to use a Japanese garden sickle

How to use Japanese garden loppers by Japeto

How to use a Japanese hoe and digging fork by Japeto

What product perosnalisation do you offer?

Japeto offers a personalisation service on many of our products. Examples include Hori Hori knives, Hoe & Digging Forks, Japeto Japanese Gardening Tool Gift Boxes and more. Japeto garden tools that offer personalisation will include the following question on the right hand side of the individual product page:

 Simply scroll down the page to see what part of the product can be personalised and how many characters are offered. When personalising wood and leather the product will be engraved. Where personalising metal, e.g. a blade, the metal will be laser marked. Please bear in mind that if using a blade (which has been laser marked) regularly the laser marking may begin to fade. In other words laser marking is not a permanent solution unlike the engraving on the leather or wood parts of the garden tools which are permanent.


Because Japeto is a fairly new company, the above FAQ's are by no means comprehensive. This section is constantly evolving and may not have your answer. If that is the case, in the meantime, please call us on 01243 219912 or email enquiries@japeto.co.uk and we will answer your question to the best of our ability.