Those who work with edged tools in either the kitchen or the woodshop swear that you're more likely to cut yourself with a dull tool than a sharp one (and that it hurts more, too). That's one reason why any conscientious tool-user keeps those edges razor-sharp.
Gardeners use edged tools, too, which need to be maintained just as thoughtfully as a chef's knife. With that in mind, the Corona company added the AC8300 Pruner Sharpening Tool to their line of garden products. This isn't a grinding tool intended for sharpening dull edges, its purpose is instead like that of a sharpening steel in the kitchen: keeping sharp edges sharp when you use it every time the tool is used.
The AC8300 is a simple steel bar five inches long. Four inches are encased in a soft, pliable red plastic sleeve. The business end of the AC8300 has a 3/4-inch by 1/8-inch length of carbide set into one edge. A black cap of the same material as the handle cover slides on securely when the sharpener isn't in use.
To dress the edge of a pruner, clippers, loppers or shears, Corona says to simply slide the carbide along the edge of the tool, taking care to match the existing bevel. Repeat the motion four or five times, then flip the blade over and slide the carbide along the back surface once to remove any "wire" edges. When used daily or perhaps more often, the carbide helps keep the edge from dulling. The size is somewhat small, but this allows it to fit into the narrow angle of pruners and shears well. With a little practice, you can also use the AC8300 to dress the edge of a shovel or hoe out in the garden. It'll also help keep a sharp edge on a pocket knife or utility knife.
Though it slips easily into the pocket of your jeans or work apron, the handle is also drilled for a lanyard or other cord. Either way, it's easy to keep the tool at hand for whenever you need it.
The AC8300 is good at what it does, though like a sharpening steel, it's for daily maintenance instead of sharpening a dull blade. If your clippers or pruners have nicked or dull blades, they need the attention of a whetstone or even a grinder. Once that's done, you can help keep them sharp with this little baby by frequent use