Should You Sharpen a Spade?
A question I’m sure many gardeners have asked at some point is, “Should you sharpen a spade?” Well, the answer isn’t as clear-cut as you might think. After all, many people use their spades on a daily basis, and those people will tell you that there’s really no need to sharpen the blades. On the other hand, there are those who say you need to give your tools a good shave if you want to get the most out of your gardening tools. So, what’s the best answer?
It depends. If you are a beginner gardener, then sharpening is really not necessary. Beginners usually start off sharpening their tools by boring them with a stone or some other “tourmaline” tool that can be found in most hardware stores. After a while of using these tools on stone or other items, however, they may discover that these aren’t doing the job they used to and that a better solution is needed. So, if you’re a beginner it would probably be a good idea for you to purchase some new tools and spend some time sharpening them.
But, once you’ve become accustomed to your new tool, you might find it is necessary to sharpen the tools regularly. Just because you haven’t used a specific tool before doesn’t mean that you won’t need to use it again. It just means that you might need to upgrade or have another tool to perform the task. And, believe me, if you’re anything like me, you like tools.
You may feel that you don’t need to sharpen your tool. After all, don’t you want to have a very well rounded edge instead of a jagged one? Well, in order to have a very well rounded edge you need to do what professionals do. They sharpen their tools and leave them sharp.
Professionals spend thousands of dollars a year learning how to sharpen their tools and when they do they know the proper techniques. The time involved is nothing compared to the price you pay. Most of the time professional tools can be obtained at a fraction of the cost it would cost you to obtain the same quality at home. I’m sure you can figure out why that is.
Home tools are often left rusty and dull, simply because they’re not used as much. However, they’re used daily and can quickly be destroyed. I’d rather spend my time sharpening my tools than spending my time cleaning them. After all, when you take the time to clean your tools you’ll usually find that they will return to looking just as nice as they did when you first purchased them. That’s the beauty of owning sharp tools.
Another benefit is time. When you purchase a new pair of cutting tools, you’ll have to learn how to sharpen them. This can take many hours of reading manuals and experimenting until you discover what works best for you.
Sharpening your own tools is a great way to save money. Not only can you save a lot of time but you will also increase the quality of the tool as well. In addition, sharpening your own tools can be a wonderful hobby. You’ll be proud of the result and will enjoy the satisfaction of being able to create something beautiful from a basic stone.
So, if you’re asking “What should you Sharpen a Spade?” think about the reasons that you have for asking this question. If you’re a beginner it might be to sharpen your collection of garden tools. You probably don’t have the cash to buy brand new tools and are simply interested in increasing the usability and life of your current tools.
If you’re a seasoned gardener then your answer might be different. Now, you’re considering how much better your garden tools look and how much easier it is to maintain your lawn and garden tools. A third possible reason that you might want to sharpen your lawn mower, bush knives, edgers and trimmers is because you’re trying to bring the maximum sharpness back into your blades. The fourth reason that I have for asking this question is because you’re afraid that you might destroy your blades. Whatever your reason for sharpening your garden tools, there are many benefits that accrue.
If you’ve decided that you’re going to sharpen your own tools, the first step is to find a good pair of personal shears. Once you have found a set of shears that feel comfortable to use, start practicing. Practice with the intention of not actually using the sharpener on the actual object. Keep the practice sessions short – 30 minutes or less is ideal. Soon, you will find that you can maintain your tools easily, but without the fear of damaging them.