Forum home Talkback

Sharpening garden tools

Please can anyone recommend a sturdy sharpening tool for all garden implements? The ones available don't seem robust enough and are difficult to hold firmly while sharpening. What I really need, is a smaller version of the old knife-grinder's wheel I remember from my childhood! 


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,847

    I have a large kitchen steel which I find works on my loppers and non stainless steel trowels.  For my secateurs I use a tiny 4" long steel I bought at Malvern flower show from a man selling them as fishing knife sharpening tools.  I suggested he label them as secateur and pruning knife sharpening tools and he could sell many more.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Babs, nothing comes easy, I have all the oil stones files and small grinders though still find it best by hand. I work from the back of the cutting edge with a smooth file Obilixx is correct a knife steel will also work, the idea is to get rid of notches or rags first then a few rubs on the oil stone though fine emery paper will do then oil and store. If you clean oil and store them each use they will only need this treatment now and then, that is as long as you do not use them as tin snips wire cutters or cutting trees down. My grass cutter blade gets the same treatment and my garden knife gets the oil stone every few uses, you really need to watch what you do with a knife, never leave it open fold it after each use. That is my H&S tip for the year.


  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    A grindstone as you describe, Babs, is a bit drastic for most tools most of the time.  They're used to put a completely new edge on a tool that's been sharpened so much that the cutting edge has worn away.   It might be useful for an axe, bill hook or similar that's had its edge damaged by hitting nails and bits of wire, too.

    For knives, hoes, spades, secateurs, loppers and all the rest a good flat file is really useful if you need to take off some metal, and then go for stones and fine files as Frank describes.

    Incidentally, don't forget that many tools (notably chisels and hoes) should be sharpened only on one side and just have the burr removed from the other.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,739

    Maybe I'm bone idle, but I've been gardening for over 40 years and I've never once sharpened anything.image

    ( other than the pencil I use to write labels)

  • Probably no use to you at all, but I seem to sharpen all manner of tools for half the neighbourhood  and this is my mainstay:

    Having said that, there very much cheaper versions available, quite suitable for lesser use.

    Hostafan - I suspect you probably buy tools made from quality steel, as it's a definite fact that poor/cheap steel will not hold a sharp edge.



  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    No - I think Hosta loses tools before they get bluntimage

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,739

    Not sure either is correct guys to be honest.

    I never buy the most expensive ,nor the cheapest. Ilost a pair of secateurs in a hedge one but found them 6 months later.

    Felco secateurs , Spear and Jackson spade and my trusty 75 year old potato fork.

Sign In or Register to comment.