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Sharpening Techniques for Different Vertak Garden Tools I


To better maintain your vertak garden tools, specific sharpening techniques vary depending upon the particular tool. Below is a list of sharpening tips in sharpening different garden tools, if your are a garden lover, then you cannot miss it.

Shovels and hoes: The most commonly used sharpening tool for shovels and hoes is a 10 inch mill file, which can be purchased at any hardware store.

Mill files cut only on the forward stroke, so do not apply pressure on the back stroke. To sharpen the edge of the blade, hold the file securely with both hands and push away from your body with long steady strokes. Be sure to hold the file at the same angle as the tool’s original angle. As you push down with the file, also push it to the side and across the blade. Keep doing this until you have a smooth, even edge across the entire blade at the desired angle. After filing is complete, turn the tool over, clamp it back into the vice and remove the metal burr as described above.

Note that many inexpensive shovels and hoes are manufactured using a stamping machine, which leaves their cutting edges blunt and square. For these tools, you must first create a new cutting edge. Typically, a 30° angle is recommended. To visualize this angle, remember that the edge of the freshly filed metal will be twice as wide as the metal is thick.

Loppers, pruning shears and hedge shears: Use a file or whetstone to sharpen these tools, and if possible, sharpen into the cutting edge.

Some loppers and pruning shears have two cutting edges, both cutting edges of these tools need to be sharpened. Other loppers and pruning shears have a thin, sharp blade that slides past a blunt angled cutting bar, called an anvil, if this is your case, only the sharp blade of these tools needs to be sharpened.

Sharpening must be uniform so the two cutting edges, or the cutting edge and the anvil, meet at every point. If an anvil has nicks or scratches, these can be removed with a small rat-tail, three-cornered or tapered file.

Hedge shears should be sharpened to their original factory angle. Most hedge shears have a distinctive squared tip that is approximately 1/16 of an inch thick. If a hedge shear blade is bent, separate the blades, put the bent blade in a vise and tweak it until it is straight.