How to Sharpen your Tools
One thing most people don’t know about garden tools, is that when you buy them from the garden center or hardware store, they are not ready to be used. The tools are more often than not dull, and need to be sharpened if you wish to use them properly. If you do not sharpen them, your work will certainly be more arduous, and you will put more wear and tear on your tools, shortening their life span.
I use a bench grinder to do my sharpening. They are inexpensive, and they will save you a ton of time. A file can also be used, but I think you will be frustrated with the amount of time and effort you must go through to sharpen your tools with a file.
Bench grinder File
When you first get your tools, the edge will be rounded. To sharpen the edge, basically you want to turn that rounded edge to a 15 degree pointed edge. For example, if you are sharpening a shovel for the first time, you will need to sharpen the edge at a 15 degree angle on ONE SIDE ONLY until it is sharp. Try to keep the same angle and depth of the sharpening across the entire edge. Occasionally, if you are working with a really damaged edge, you may have to grind the opposite side if the metal is bent over to the other side, but do not make an angle here, keep it straight, just grind the excess metal.
Below see examples of freshly sharpened tools