Sharpening of hand tools - axes and shovels
How to sharpen an axe or shovel?
Tool sharpening is a skill that requires practice. You will have to use a file to do this, but don't worry! There's no reason why you can't learn to sharpen your tools with these few tips:
Use the file in the "away from you" direction .
Always lift the file on the return movement, this definitely extends the life of the file.
Always use both hands for sharpening-it will be more stable, safer and easier to maintain a consistent sharpening angle).
try to use good quality files: polish Befana or Pferd pocket file available from us
a low-quality file will not effectively cut hardened steel, may slip and cause injury.
Sharpening in practice
Use a fine file l start with the edge facing away from you in a motion from the blade towards the obstruction , piece by piece - patiently.
Securely mount the axe or shovel in a vise or, being in the field, you can use the solution in the picture
if you have one, paint the cutting edge with a marker - this will allow you to see if you are collecting the material well
remember you can always improve your sharpening - patience pays off
when checking an axe to see if it cuts well, remember that sharpening at a high angle will give a sturdier blade at the expense of user comfort,
sharpened at a low angle [thin] will cut live wood and thin branches better - at the expense of strength
Blunt tools are dangerous to use, always check before use.
If your axe is blunted, there is a greater likelihood that the blade will bounce during operation. A blunted shovel will be less efficient and may not work well for cutting branches and roots. A blunt axe is more likely to break at the handle or be damaged on impact.
You can always tell if the tool needs sharpening because the edge will start to look rounded or if it "reflects light when you look at it from above ( such a bright line). As a general rule of thumb, if you notice that your tool has started to take on an uneven profile (instead of staying straight), it's time to make corrections!
Sharpening is an art and you need to practice it over time to master the art of sharpening tools. With the right knowledge and skill, any tool can be sharpened.