When it’s time to clean up outside and do the yard, certain tools are commonly used no matter where you are. But I’m not talking about gardens and gardening tools. I’m talking about the yard itself. If you’ve got a lawn, you’ll probably own a lawn mower. If you have trees in your yard, you may have a chain saw, even an axe.

What’s your plan when your blades become dull? When the lawn looks unhealthy after you’ve just cut it, when your chain saw is taking too long to do its job, when you’re forced to keep swinging away with your axe because it’s just not cutting right? Well, you know it’s time to sharpen up those blades up.

Believe me, you don’t need to buy new blades. You needn’t go to a professional blade sharpener. Not everyone likes, or is able, to turn their blades in for professional sharpening once or a few times a year, anyway. You can do the sharpening yourself, right at home with your own hands using a sharpening file.

This could be the fastest sharpening because you’ll be doing it yourself, right there where you are. It could be the cheapest sharpening because you won’t be paying anyone to do it for you. You won’t be spending gas money to go drop them off to a professional and then to pick them up. You won’t have to buy new blades or chains. Isn’t all that worth it?

Why use a sharpening file? Sharpening files are lined with strong cutting ridges that abrade, or smooth, metal or wood. There are many kinds to choose from. Each type is meant to work on a specific type of surface. The coarse grade file is meant to remove a lot of metal, like when you’ve got to reshape a blade edge that has been dinged, nicked badly or banged up. The smooth grade file is meant for edges that need to have a nice smooth finish. This is usually the last step in sharpening. Your choice will depend upon just how sharp you want your blade to be.

To sharpen a lawn mower blade, a bastard file is a good choice. It does a fine job of sharpening lawn mower blades. It’s able to sharpen, as well as put a razor-sharp edge on your blade. If you prefer, there are special rotary blade files that can be used.

If home owners are fortunate, there are trees that enhance the look of their yard and home. Periodic use of a chain saw becomes necessary, in such cases. To sharpen the many cutting teeth of a chain saw, round files are used. They’re also called chain saw files. The teeth on a chain saw come in different sizes. They’re specified in the owner’s manual, so be sure to check and use the right size. Don’t just buy what you find. You could really ruin your chain.

Maybe you don’t have a chain saw. Maybe you’ve got an axe. If you do then you’ll probably know that working with a dull axe will make you frustrated and tired. You’ve got to make it sharp for your own safety and not just for the job you need to do. An axe file or a cross cut file may be used to get your axe in good working condition. If you prefer a razor-sharp edge, a flat file or a smooth grade file could do the trick. Tough working axes don’t need such a sharp edge. But they do need it to be sharpened correctly in order to cleave through the wood. It all depends on just how sharp you need it to be.

Whether you have a lawn mower, a chain saw or an axe for maintaining your yard, you can do the fastest, and cheapest, sharpening job ever by doing it yourself. And it really isn’t hard to do. It just takes a bit of time, patience and practice. You’ll be developing very useful skills that could save you hundreds of dollars and a great deal of time. If you do it right, your blades could last your lifetime. Be careful.

Len Q. is a master blade sharpener. If you would like to learn about * Knife Sharpening: How to Sharpen Knives, Maintain and Store Them * Sharpening Gardening Tools, Chain Saws, Lawn Mower Blades, Axes (including how to Maintain and Store Them) Find it here at http://www.MakeKnivesSharp.com

Image from page 50 of “Book for florists : autumn 1946” (1946)
Title: Book for florists : autumn 1946
Identifier: bookforfloristsa1946vaug
Year: 1946 (1940s)
Authors: Vaughan’s Seed Company; Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection
Subjects: Flowers Seeds Catalogs; Bulbs (Plants) Seedlings Catalogs; Vegetables Seeds Catalogs; Trees Seeds Catalogs; Horticulture Equipment and supplies Catalogs
Publisher: Chicago. Ill. : Vaughan’s Seed Store
Contributing Library: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library
Digitizing Sponsor: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library

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NO GRINDING, NO SHARPENING NECESSARY Flexible striking blade is made of the finest steel and heat treated for that purpose. Being flexible it will always be in contact with the revolving blades of the "lawn-mower", thus, assur- ing cutting at all times, ”when properly installed". Does a nice clean cutting job without any effort. Will cut wet grass just as nice as dry grass. Promotes a more healthy growth of grass and makes lawn mow- ing a pleasure. Ea,, $1.75; 6 for $9.00. BERGMAN Lawn Mower SHARPENER A high-grade, durable lawn mow- er sharpener, easy to use and adjust- able to al 1 types of machines. No dan- ger of making low spots in the blades. Price, $1.20; doz., $9.60.

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Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability – coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.
By Internet Archive Book Images on 1946-01-01 00:00:00
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All American Lawn Mower Blade Sharpener Review

I decided to start sharpening my own lawn mower blades and began researching tools online. I was finding jigs that were too expensive or too cheap, until I found this one at http://www.allamericansharpener.com. After trying it out, I can truly say it was a pleasure to use. It is made by a company in Ohio that appears to be focused on manufacturing a high quality, well designed product for a reasonable price. Well done, All American Sharpener.