How to Sharpen a Shovel: The Ultimate Guide

You don’t always have to use a blacksmith to sharpen your tools. You can do it at home without using heavy tools. You only need to pay close attention and use your skills for these methods to work.

If you prepare your garden soil before planting your crops, you can grow them better. It will give you time to think about what crop to plant. Depending on the crop, you might need to adjust the soil’s nutrients to match the crop’s needs.

This article will also teach the importance of sharpening your shovel. If you don’t sharpen your tools regularly, it will affect how well you work. We will showcase methods to sharpen a shovel at home with common tools. So read on to learn more.

Importance of Sharpening your Shovel

There are many reasons to keep your shovel in good shape. It keeps your shovel in good shape, which is the most important reason. A sharp shovel can quickly go through any soil. It can also cut through weeds and other soft debris.

Your shovel will stay sharper for longer if you sharpen it. Part of the shovel can chip off when the surface isn’t even. It can damage your shovel if it happens often.

If you keep your shovel sharp, it will last longer. Keeping your tools clean and sharp will last much longer than if you don’t. The shovel will be less likely to rust and break if sharpened.

When’s the Best Time to Sharpen your Shovel

How you feel about it will determine when you should sharpen your tools. But sometimes, the shovel needs to be sharpened. One of these times is when the shovel gets chipped on the edges or tip.

If you have a chipped edge on your shovel, it will only worsen if you don’t fix it immediately. You also need to sharpen your shovel when rust starts to form. Rust can ruin your shovel if left untreated, so sharpen it during this time.

Ideally, it would help if you sharpened your shovel twice a month. It depends on how often you use your shovel. If you use it every day, you should sharpen it at the end of each week. If you use it less often, then sharpen it twice a week.

Essential Guide on How to Sharpen a Shovel

There are different ways to sharpen your shovel. You can use a grinding wheel, a honing stone, or a grinder. These methods will help you sharpen your shovel to be effective again.

1. Steel wool and File Method

The steel wool and file method is the first one on our list. It’s a standard way to do things you can at home. This method only needs a few things to work, making it easy to do, and you can use the same things repeatedly.

What You’ll Need

  • Steel wool
  • File
  • Clamp
  • Clean rag

Step-by-Step Procedure

  • Cleaning the shovel head is the first thing on this list. It will stop the rust from getting worse. Use a clean cloth for this step. Ensure you clean the cloth afterward because the rust might stick to it.
  • Next, you will need to sharpen the shovel. To do this, use steel wool to clean off the hard rust. It will help you sharpen the shovel more effectively because it is now clean.
  • Last, hold the shovel in place with the clamp. It will help you sharpen the shovel accurately because it will not move. Then, sharpen the edges of the shovel with a file. File the edges of the shovel evenly by using moderate force. You are now done!

2. Metal Grinding Disc or Electric Hand Drill Method

For this method to work, you need a metal grinding disc or a hand-held electric drill. It’s good to sharpen your shovel because it won’t leave any rough edges or chips. Be careful when using the metal grinding disc because it might cause accidents.

What you’ll need

  • Method: Use a metal grinding disc or an electric hand drill.
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Clamp
  • Clean cloth

Step-by-Step Procedure

  • The first step is to clean your shovel. You can use a clean cloth to remove the dirt and other residues from the shovel’s face. It will make sharpening the shovel easier and faster because of its smooth surface.
  • Next, use the clamp to hold the shovel in place. It will help you move it around and sharpen it accurately. If it moves while using the metal grinding disc, it could be an accident.
  • Last, sharpen the edges of the shovel with the metal grinding disc or electric hand drill. Make sure you smooth out the shovel’s edges and don’t sharpen the tip directly. Move from the shovel’s edge to the tip to finish your work.

3. The Bench Grinder Method

The bench grinder method is the last one on our list. This method requires a bench grinder to sharpen your shovel. It might be the most expensive method but also the easiest. You will need a steady hand for this method, so we suggest practicing it beforehand.

What You’ll Need

  • Industrial Gloves
  • Bench Grinder
  • Clean Rag

Step-by-Step Procedure

  • The first step in using a bench grinder to sharpen your shovel is to clean it. You can do it by using a clean cloth to remove any dirt or rust. It will help you see what you need to sharpen better.
  • Now you need to get your gloves and equipment ready for sharpening. Please ensure the bench grinder is secure, so it won’t move while you’re using it. Please turn it on to the lowest level of power first.
  • To sharpen a shovel, hold it firmly and start from the edges. Move slowly to the tip of the shovel. Be careful not to chip the tip. After sharpening, let it cool down and wipe it with a cloth.


You can sharpen your shovel in different ways. You can do these things at home. Be careful when you use tools that sharpen other tools, especially if they are industrial tools. If you aren’t careful, they can hurt you.

Learn more: How to Sharpen Tools To Their Fine Points

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Sharpen a Shovel

How Do You Sharpen an Old Shovel?

You can still sharpen the spade with a file if you don’t have a grinder. It will just mean more work. You can do this with a bench grinder or a portable grinder (like this 4-inch angle grinder).

Should I Sharpen My Snow Shovel?

The edge of the blade is not sharp when it arrives. It makes the blade stiffer and helps it last longer. However, do not sharpen your blade! The safety radius corners reduce the direct impacts on surface cracks.

What Is Used to Sharpen Shovel and Bolo?

Sharpening stones, or whetstones, sharpen the edges of steel tools and implements. They are ground and honed to make the tools sharper.

What Is the Difference Between a Spade and a Shovel?

The shovel blade is usually more extensive than the blade on a spade. A spade has a relatively flat blade with straight edges. It’s smaller than a shovel (although the size varies depending on use), and the blade is usually in line with the shaft rather than angled forward.

Can You Use a File to Sharpen a Knife?

You can sharpen the blades on saws; files are the best tools. However, grinders can be too wide to fit into the teeth of blades. To create an extremely sharp edge, you will need to reduce the coarseness of the file each time you repeat the sharpening process.

Can You Sharpen Tools With an Angle Grinder?

You can use an angle grinder for many things. You can use it to grind metal, cut tile and pavers, and rout out mortar. It can also use to sand, polish, and sharpen things. Learn how to use it to cut tile, mortar, and pavers; quickly remove rust and loose paint; sharpen blades and cut or grind steel.

How Do You Sharpen Garden Tools With a Hand Grinder?

Turn the angle grinder to the slow-speed setting. Turn it on. To sharpen the shovel, move it along the edge of the blade. For the best results, keep it at a 30° angle.

Should You Sharpen a Hoe?

A sharp hoe will work much better than a dull one. It can easily slice weeds off the roots and chop them into the soil more easily when tilling them up.

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