Disclosure: This post was paid for by the folks at 3-IN-ONE. The opinions expressed are my own.

Do you have a gardening tool that is extra special to you? I do. Whenever I’m out in the garden, you’ll almost always see me with a pair of hand pruners that I use for lightly shaping shrubs, removing tree suckers, or cutting fresh flowers.

As a garden communicator, I am often provided with the newest model of hand pruners, and while these hand pruners bear the labels of several makers, my favorite pair is in fact, my oldest.

At first glance, these orange-handled pruners aren’t fancy, and I don’t know who the maker is. The handles aren’t the most ergonomic, but function almost as well as the newer ones do as I move through the garden pruning slender stems and small branches.

I refer to this old-fashioned pair of pruners as my ‘garden heirloom’ because they once belonged to my father-in-law who was an avid gardener. He didn’t have just one, but three pairs of orange-handled pruners that would hang on the wall over his tool bench. All of his gardening tools were meticulously maintained and as a result, they are still more than able to assist me in my pruning tasks.

When my father-in-law could no longer garden due to complications of ALS, he bequeathed his gardening tools to me, and I started using the pruners to take care of his garden once the disease had robbed him of the ability to do so. He would sit nearby where he could watch me cutting back his prized plants.

Several years later, those orange-handled pruners have a new home in my garden shed, and it’s important to me that I take of them as well as he did. Thankfully, the folks at 3-IN-ONE have the perfect product that I use to keep his pruners clean and in excellent condition. 3-IN-ONE Multi-Purpose Oil lubricates these, and all of my hand pruners allowing them to open and close smoothly, making pruning much easier while putting less stress on my hands.

Apply 3-IN-ONE on each blade…


…and wipe with a clean cloth.

It’s no secret that pruning can get your tools messy with accumulated sap and plant debris on the blades and a pair of dirty pruners is harder for me to open and close and can even damage plants by making messy pruning cuts. I use 3-IN-ONE to remove the mess, leaving behind shiny blades. In short, it cleans, lubricates, and protects my heirloom hand pruners as well as my other pruning tools.

Earlier this week, I faced a challenge of my own making when I inadvertently left a different pair of pruners outdoors for a few months before I discovered them.


They were difficult to open and had sap and plant debris sticking to the blades. So, I brought them indoors to try to get them back to life. First, I used a wire brush, dipped in water, to get rid of as much dirt and debris as I could and then applied a generous amount of 3-IN-ONE lubricating oil along the blades and the pivot joint and then wiped it off with a dry cloth.

Right away, there was a huge difference, and I was so happy to see that my neglect hadn’t damaged them forever as they were now easy to open and close once again.

The tools you use in the garden will perform better and last longer when properly cared for and for me, 3-IN-ONE Multi-Purpose Oil plays an essential part in caring for my tools; protecting them from rust while decreasing the amount of dirt and plant debris sticking to the blades. I look forward to using my orange-handled, garden heirloom in the garden for years to come.

3-IN-ONE® products are available nationally at retailers, such as ACE Hardware, Lowe’s and True Value. To find the stores near you that carry 3-IN-ONE visit 3inone.com and select the “where to buy” button on each product’s detail page.






Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

2 replies
  1. 5birdy
    5birdy says:

    Hi Noelle, I will definitely try 3-in-1 on my gardening tools! What product do you recommend to sharpen the blades when they get a bit dull? I’ve read conflicting advice on what’s ok to use, and the local hardware store charges $10 per sharpen which can quickly add up and cost more than the original item.


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