ZoSharp, LLC

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Shovels and Trowels

Apr 04 2013

With each use the cutting edge gets worn a little more. Hitting rocks and gravel can take a toll on the business end of these trusty ground tools. Before using them each year, take a gook look at them. Check the handles for wear and rot. Although the wooden handles will last for years, they do become weak in time. If there are major cracks in the handle consider a replacement handle instead of replacing the whole shovel. Check the pricing on the handles, sometimes you can get a new shovel for less than a good hickory handle will cost.

Next look at the blade. Is it in good shape? Does the edge follow s nice smooth line, or is if folded over in places where it hit large rocks or tree roots. Is the line smooth or are there nicks in it. A nice smooth clean edge will allow for easier digging. The blade should have a nice square edge that follows the form of the shovel in a nice smooth line. If you look real close at the cutting edge, there should be a slight bevel or taper from the front of the blade to about 1/4  the thickness of the blade. This creates a wedge that will make pushing it into the ground easier.

The blade should also be free from rust build up. Again rust will add to the friction and make the blade that much harder to force into the soil or what ever you are trying to shovel. After each use it is always best to clean the shovel by scraping off the majority of the dirt, cement or whatever you were moving with it. Finish with a quick spray with the garden hose. Hang it up and it will be ready for the next use.

When you find that the blade is worn it does not necessarily mean it is time to replace it. In most cases the shovel or garden trowel can be reconditioned for a fraction of the cost of replacement. At Zo-Sharp we will first clean the shovel or trowel, then do a full inspection of the handle and blade. After we are satisfied that the blade and handle are in reasonably good shape, we will start the sharpening process. This is done by either filing or grinding the worn material away leaving a nice crisp square edge on the shovel or trowel profile. Then we will add the taper creating the wedge needed to make digging easier. The final step in any sharpening process is to make sure that everything is as close to the manufacturer specification as possible, giving you a used tool that works like a new one. 

Always remember to be safe when digging. It will cost you nothing to call DIGGERS HOTLINE, but hitting underground utilities can be very expensive. Be safe and happy digging.

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