The angle grinder is an often underappreciated tool that goes overlooked by DIYers across the world. After all, many people are often swept up in getting the right tools they need for the current project they are working on.
It’s not that they don’t think that angle grinders aren’t useful, but what good exactly is making a piece of metal sharper or blunter when what you need is a shovel or ax for the job?
Of course, this is the line of thought until their tools need sharpening, of course. Then the angle grinder shines while doing the same for your tools!
However, when it comes to using the angle grinder on your tools, you shouldn’t start trying to sharpen them with no idea of what you are doing. Not only do you risk damaging your tools in a way that will be unrepairable, but you also run the risk of injuring yourself in the process!
Fortunately, sometimes all it takes is a little knowledge before you start to avoid accidents from happening. This is why we have created this short instructional article for you!
In this guide, we’re going to show you how to sharpen your tools from your spade, to your garden hoe.
Step To Keep In Mind Before Started
Before we get to the main content of this piece, we should probably explain some principles and ground rules first:
Different Tools, Different Grinding Methods
The first thing to note is that there is no one-grind-fits-all tool instruction here. If you are using metal tools, each one will likely have a slightly different approach when it comes to getting the best result out of it.
So, whilst the principle we are going to cover will likely be applicable across other tools, make sure that you check beforehand the best method for sharpening, especially if the tool in question has a very awkward edge that may not be ideal for angle grinding.
Of course, finding out more is what this article is for!
Preparing Your Tools Correctly Before Grinding
One of the steps that virtually all metal tools will have in common before grinding is that you will need to prepare them beforehand. This is especially the case for tools that have not been used in a long time, and have started to accumulate dirt or damage, such as from rust.
As such, simply starting to use the angle grinder on tools at this stage can cause further damage to both the tool and the angle grinder itself
Brushing Down Tools
The first and one of the most important things that you should do for all your tools, before taking them anywhere near an angle grinder, is to brush them down first. More specifically, the thing that you should be brushing them down with is some type of tough wire brush or a steel wool pad.
This is a vital step, as it will help take most of the excess rust on your tool off it before you use an angle grinder to sharpen it with the angle grinder.
Whilst the blade of your grinder will normally dull over time anyway, angle grinding a rusted tool can accelerate that process quite a lot. So, to avoid that from happening, and keep your angle grinder sharper for longer, this is a vital step.
Wearing Appropriate Safety Gear
This is probably the most important step that you need to take if you plan on using, in terms of your safety, is making sure that you are wearing the appropriate protective gear.
This may sound a little like overkill, especially if you have seen how small an angle grinder can be. Just keep away from the blade, and you should be fine, right?
However, the consequences of an accident happening with an angle grinder can be as gruesome as they can be fatal.
Keep in mind that, when using an angle grinder to sharpen your tools, you are using a very sharp piece of metal that is ever so slightly cutting into other metal objects, and often old metal objects at that.
The risk of an errant piece of metal coming off of your tool while it is being sharpened and entering your eye can result in blindness, and even death in the worst cases!
What’s more, the cuts that you can get from your body coming into contact with an active angle grinder can be very deep, resulting in some serious injuries, or even worse sometimes.
So, when using an angle grinder, make sure that you are wearing protective eyewear, and wearing thick gloves, as well as any necessary padding and protection across the rest of your body.
Get A Good Vice
When it comes to sharpening your tool, you also need to make sure that your tool is well-secured whilst you are sharpening it.
Simply having it on a workbench while you work on it can cause damage to the grinder, while also jostling the tool, making any sharp edge it has uneven and jagged, making it even more dangerous to use, both for yourself and others. Having a harness or vices you can put your tool in will help reduce this risk.
How To Sharpen A Spade?
The humble spade is the workhorse of many builders, gardeners, and general DIYers across the globe. The metal edge often makes cuts through the soil, plant matter, and other materials, to lift them easier. So having a sharp enough edge is vital!
- Make sure that you have a grinding disc inserted in the grinder and not a cutting disc.
- Turn on the angle grinder, and make sure it is on a slow speed when you start grinding your tool against it.
- Start making sweeps across the blade of your shovel with the grinder. Make sure that the angle of the grinder is right, at around 30 degrees. Any less, and you risk flattening the shovel’s blade. Much more, and you may end up making it too sharp,
- Makes rue that the grinder doesn’t stay in one place, keeps it moving, and does not apply too much pressure on the shovel.
- Once you are satisfied with it, you can turn the angle grinder off, and release the shovel from the vice.
How To Sharpen A Garden Hoe?
For many of the same reasons that a shovel benefits from a good sharpen, a garden hoe is made to cut through roots and weeds, so it does need to be sharp as well.
Fortunately, a how is sharpened in a very similar way as shovels are.
- Place your hoe in a vice, and make sure that the edge is easy for your angle grinder to against.
- Once again, start slow, make slow sweeping motions on the blade, and do not stay in one place too long, as the heat from the friction can warp the blade.
And that’s all there is to it. These methods can be used for several similar tools, such as axes and pickaxes. Stay safe, and start grinding away!