Digging tools, such as shovels, are easier to use when they're sharp. Check out these tips for keeping your tools in tip-top shape.
sharpening shovel blade

Keep your garden tools working at their best by sharpening the edges. By sharpening your tools, you will ultimately save money by making them last longer with fewer replacements. Here's how to sharpen tools like shovels, trowels, and spades.

  • Working time 20 mins
  • Start to finish 20 mins
  • Difficulty Easy
  • Involves Sanding

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

brushing shovel
Step 1

Clean Tools

Start by cleaning the metal parts of your tools. Use a wire brush or wire-steel pad attached to a power drill to get off any built-up dirt or rust.

sharpening shovel blade
Step 2

File Edges

Lock the tool into a vise, or use a long clamp to secure the tool to a work surface. Use both hands to move a mill file along the edge of the blade toward the shovel's point. Repeat this movement a few times to make sure the entire edge has been filed.

Step 3

Clean Back of Tool

Flip over the shovel and remove burrs (rough edges) on the back side of the blade with sandpaper. If any rust remains on the blade, remove it with the sandpaper.

Step 4

Oil Blade and Handle

Lightly coat the blade with machine oil. Apply several light coats of linseed oil to the handle if it's made of wood. Let the oil soak in the handle after each application.


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