Landscape and garden work is supposed to be a fun and rewarding experience; something you look forward to throughout the growing season. It is an opportunity to enjoy fresh air, sunshine and some good exercise. Two keys to ensuring it is a pleasurable experience is using good tools and keeping those tools clean and in tip-top shape. Tool sharpening is an important step in the process.
If you are thoroughly experienced at using power towels, sharpening can be a breeze. If you aren’t experienced, it is better that you not use a power grinding tool for sharpening. Use a 10 inch mill file or a GardenSharp, garden tool and lawnmower blade sharpener. The GardenSharp is easier to use and requires only a light pressure for achieving the best edge on your tools.
Be sure to check the pivot nut on your pruners, loppers etc. The nut could be loose, allowing the blades to tear rather than cut cleanly. If you are using a file, follow the angle of the manufacturer’s bevel. Resist the temptation to alter the bevel in an effort to get a better cutting edge. The original angle is the best angle.
Once your tool is clean and sharp, apply a light coat of oil to help prevent rusting. After you’ve sharpened your tools a few times you will have developed a proper technique and will be comfortable with the process. Sharpen as often as needed and have fun keeping your tools and landscape ship-shape.