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How to Keep Garden Hand Tools Sharp II


Before beginning, the key to properly sharpening garden hand tools is to maintain proper angles, and this can be accomplished using a honing guide instead of guessing. Garden hand tools that are not extremely dull can be sharpened within a matter of minutes using a hard stone or a water stone while using either water or lightweight oil. If the blade is not excessively dull, it will not be necessary to remove very much metal, but keep in mind that the blade should not become too hot, and the file or stone should run toward instead of away from the edge of the blade.

Besides, if necessary, run water over the blade frequently during the sharpening process to keep it cool. Twelve strokes or less should do the job for a blade that is not very dull. However, if the blade is nicked or extremely dull, it will take a little more work. When you plan to sharpen a very large garden hand tool, it is also helpful to use a sturdy vise instead of trying hold it steady while filing.

Once you sharpen a fine blade with a coarse-grit stone or file, hone it to a fine edge by holding it flat against a fine-grit stone and pulling it steadily inward. This stone will sand away any lines or scratches created by the coarse stone used first and it will remove any metal burrs.

If the tip of the hand tools you intend to sharpen require a second bevel, use a chisel or a plane blade to complete this process. Woodworking tools and some knives require a second bevel, and if they are used to carve softer wood, the second bevel should be honed at a thirty-degree angle.

To give garden hand tools a razor sharp edge, invest in a leather razor strap or a high-quality hard stone. This process should not require more than four or five strokes on each side of the blade.

To make sure garden hand tools are adequately sharpened, hold the blades of the tools beneath a bright light. If the blade is sharp along the entire length, it will not appear to sparkle beneath the light. Blades of any type that are improperly sharpened or ignored will not live up to their full potential.

Check the condition of Garden Tools often, store them in an area of low humidity, and properly care for the blades. Garden hand tools that are properly stored and cared for will provide limitless service and superior results for many years to come.