Sharpening Gardening Tools

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Sharpening serrated or straight blade kitchen knives is relatively easy. Gardening or woodworking tools, on the other hand, can look a bit more challenging to sharpen, especially if you are not an experienced knife sharpener. Still, with a bit of experience and the right sharpener, it is possible to sharpen your own tools, including axes, shears, pruners, and chain saw blades.

When these blades start working poorly, you know it�s time to sharpen them. Instead of taking them to a professional knife sharpener, considering using a sharpener at home. You�ll be able to quickly sharpen those blades and get on with your work, instead of having to take them in another day.

You can sharpen most of these with a simple sharpening file. This metal file has ridges on both sides to remove some of the metal on your blades. Sharpening stones can be used not only on knives but also on these larger tools. There are even specific files for sharpening axes, chainsaw blade teeth, and other tools. Chainsaw blades do require a specific round shape and the size of the file depends on the size of the teeth, so make sure you are using the right one for your chain saw.

Coarser files remove more metal, making them ideal for blades that have been nicked or otherwise damaged by use. Smooth files can make a smooth finish and razor-sharp edge; depending on the tool you are sharpening, you may not need a very smooth file.

To use a file to sharpen your axe, chainsaw blade, or other tool, simply use it as you would for a kitchen knife. Draw the blade across the file, removing metal. Because of the size of the blade, it may be easier to hold the blade in place with a clamp or vise, and then draw the file across the blade. Unlike with kitchen knives, the most important step when dealing with gardening or woodworking tools is that you remove enough of the edge to expose a new surface. At the same time, do not remove too much metal, making the blade too thin, or it will bend or break if you try to use it against a hard surface, like wood.

When sharpening garden tools, especially grass clippers, pruning shears, or similar tools, make sure that you keep the original angle on the blades. Each is designed to have a very specific bevel. Always try to keep this angle when sharpening the blades. Use long strokes, covering as much of the length of the blade as you can on each stroke.

This method does require some practice, but outdoor tools, due to their thickness, are often the best blades to practice your knife sharpening skills on. Other methods for sharpening tools include stones, sharpening wheels, and bench grinders. An electric sharpening wheel or grinder will be the fastest method of removing metal from the edge of the blade, but you don�t need expensive or professional sharpening equipment to keep the edges of your tools sharp. You just need to know how to use the equipment you do choose.

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Author: Steve Efren has a full range of knife sharpeners for kitchen or hunting use. Also check our knife sharpening system special

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