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Sharpening: How to Sharpen a Shovel

Sharpen your shovel or spade and make digging easier. You can do it in 10 minutes.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Sharpen a shovel

Your shovel will slice through dirt and roots easier if it has a sharp edge. If the point of your shovel is ragged with dents or chips, start by smoothing it with a grinder (Photo 1). Then switch to a mill bastard file (Photo 2) to file a bevel. You don't want a knifelike edge. Instead just bevel the top edge at a 70-degree angle to the back. That's pretty blunt compared with the 25- or 30-degree angle used for knife sharpening.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Angle grinder
    • Mill bastard file

You'll also need leather gloves.

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