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How to Keep Garden Hand Tools Sharp I


Garden hand tools such as shovels, planes, hoes, gouges, chisels, etc. all become dull after repeated use. In addition, the bevel sometimes requires repair because of nicks, and at the very least, sharp edges must be maintained to properly do the job. Many people choose to simply toss the garden hand tools aside when they become dull, or they continue to use them because they are unaware of how to sharpen or repair damaged or dull edges.

It does not take the skills of a professional to sharpen garden hand tools and sharpen them properly. Instead of throwing dull hand tools aside or making an easy job more difficult than it really should be, use the following information to give the blades of your hand tools a good working edge. Garden hand tools of all types are really very easy to sharpen, and with proper care and a little know-how, quality hand tools can last a lifetime.

Before you begin to sharpen hand tools of any type, it is important to know the proper bevel angles for specific tools. A chisel or a plane at the tip should be beveled between thirty and thirty-five degrees. Below the tip, the edge should be beveled between twenty-five and thirty degrees. A garden hoe or shovel should have a seventy-five degree angle along the edge. Be sure to observe the original bevel of the hand tools you intend to sharpen in an effort to maintain the proper angles. Besides, you may consider investing in a honing guide before you begin to sharpen garden hand tools of any type. It will help you maintain the correct angles according to the hand tools you intend to sharpen, and it will provide the necessary information regarding blade types.

Various types of sharpening stones are available, and the stones used to sharpen specific hand tools will depend upon the blades. Select a stone with medium grit for hand tools that require a sharp fine edge. Examples of these types of hand tools are chisels, gouges, and planes. A stone with coarse grit may be necessary if the blade is nicked, excessively dull, or otherwise damaged. Mill files are also used to sharpen garden hand tools, and they are ideal for hand-sharpening hoes, shovels, axes, mauls, and similar items. When searching for files you will find flat and round varieties. Flat files are easy to handle for most applications, and the round varieties are ideal for smaller areas. Choose a variety of files and stones so you will always have just the right type on hand.