How To Sharpen A Hoe

June 21, 2013

Gardening Tools

How often have you heard someone complain “hoeing is so haaaaaaaaard” or “I HATE HATE HATE weeding”?

Yeah, it’s not fun to weed. But it’s a lot easier if you have the right tools – and not only that, if you actually sharpen them. Have you sharpened your hatchets, machetes or shovels lately? I recently found this instructional video on sharpening a common garden hoe – check it out:

In a few minutes of shop time, he saved himself plenty of hard work. With a tool that sharp, weeding isn’t nearly the murderous chore it becomes with a dull tool. Sharpen your tools!

Then, instead of saying “hoeing is so haaaaaaaaard,” you’ll be saying “ooooowwwww…. I cut off my foot!”

Hopefully not… but it does make a big difference. Unless you’re building a food forest, gardening takes a lot of ongoing effort. Weeding isn’t just a good idea – it’s vital. The nutrients they consume are being taken away from your crop – and away from your dinner table. Don’t make it any more of a pain than it needs to be – any advantage you can give yourself is worthwhile. Though you don’t need to be able to slice a piece of paper with the edge of your hoe, it’s much better to have it too sharp than too dull.

As another side note – if you don’t have some good metal files lying around, get some. Most of us have old lousy files that are so dull they couldn’t smooth out a stick of butter. Grab a decent file, clean up your tools and go grow some calories.

Just like everything – work smarter, not harder.

About David Goodman

David Goodman is a naturalist and hard-core gardener who has grown his own food since 1984. At age five, he sprouted a bean in a Dixie cup of soil and caught the gardening bug. Soon after, his dad built an 8’ by 8’ plot for him and David hasn’t stopped growing since. David writes a regular column for Natural Awakenings magazine in North Central Florida, posts on the Mother Earth News blog, owns a nursery of hard-to-find tropical edibles and grows roughly 1.5 zillion plants on his one-acre homestead. In mid-2012, he launched as a place to share his ongoing experiments with tropical and temperate crops. He currently has over 20 intensive beds, multiple field plots, over 100 fruit trees, two food forest projects in different climates and a series of ongoing experiments in-progress - all of which bring him closer each day to complete food security. David is a Christian, an artist, a husband, a father of seven, a cigar-smoker and an unrepentant economics junkie. Visit his daily blog here: The Survival Gardener Follow him on Twitter here:

View all posts by David Goodman

2 Responses to “How To Sharpen A Hoe”

  1. Dean Says:

    Thanks for the video, I was hoe`in the weeds out of the garden this morning and would have had better luck with a butter knife. I’m off to sharpen it now great vid.


    • David Goodman Says:

      Thanks, Dean.

      A few years ago I read the excellent “Gardening When it Counts” by Steve Solomon. That really drove the “sharpen your tools” thought into my head. I took a file to my hoes and my shovels and went “whoa… why didn’t I think of this sooner???”


Leave a Reply