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Sharpening Your Tools

March 11, 2018
We’re getting ready for the gardening season and that means the shovels are coming out. And just as sharp knives are essential in the kitchen, sharp garden tools make any landscape job easier. You may not have ever considered sharpening your shovel but believe it or not it actually makes digging easier. Dirt, rocks and tree roots quickly dull shovel blades. Sharpening your shovel is really easy. You'll need a 10 or 12-inch bastard cut mill file, which is readily available at home centers and hardware stores. This is a good all-purpose choice for sharpening any garden tool. Make sure the file lays flat across the edge bevel. It sharpens only when you push it, not when pulling back, making the file easy to control. It only takes a few long strokes to get a good edge without being overly aggressive. Another tool you can use to sharpen your shovel is this garden tool sharpener. As you pull along the shovel edge ad the tungsten carbide blades sharpen the edge. I like the protection the finger and hand guard provides during the sharpening process. Once the shovel is sharp, apply a spray lubricant on it. This helps to prevent rust. Hoes, lawn mower blades and other garden tools can be sharpened the same way. Taking proper care of shovels and other garden tool will extend their life. And you will always have the sharpest tool in the shed. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.

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