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.
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.
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.
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.
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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