University of Florida

Sharpening Shovels

A sharp shovel takes less effort to use, because it travels easily through the soil and slices cleanly through roots. Start by removing any surface rust or dirt from your shovel using steel wool or a wire brush. Clamp it right side up in a vise, and drag a metal file along one edge in a smooth, even motion. Work in one direction and try to maintain a consistent angle. Then repeat on the other side.
Your goal is to hone the edge of the shovel without removing too much metal. You can use a bench grinder or rotary tool instead of a file. Just be sure to wear the proper protective equipment.

UF/IFAS Publications

Also on Gardening in a Minute

Other Sites